Top 5 Best Gym Towels For Workouts Reviewed (2020 Guide)

When you’re hard at work in the gym, things are bound to get a little sweaty.

A gym towel helps prevent sweat dripping onto gym equipment and protects you from any bacteria lurking on the machine. 

As a workout towel is definitely something you should always carry in your gym bag.

I’ll be reviewing a variety of towels to help you find the best gym towel for you.

After considering all the options our top picks were…

What Are Gym Towels?

Gym towels are important for when you’re working out as they help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.

Their purpose is to protect gym equipment from your sweat and to protect you from any germs that might be on the equipment.

TIP

Don’t use the same towel you use to place on equipment to wipe away sweat on your body. Make sure you use a separate towel for this purpose.

How to Choose the Best Gym Towel 

Different Shades of Gym Towel

Towel Material

Gym towels are available in a few different types of materials, each with their advantages and disadvantages.

The most popular gym towel material is microfiber, but you can also get towels made from bamboo and cotton.

Microfiber

A microfiber gym towel is made out of polyester and polyamide synthetic fibers.

These fibers are very small, which makes for a thin and soft fabric

Even though microfiber gym towels are thin, they can still absorb up to 8x their weight.

This type of workout towel is also incredibly fast drying, which is a plus! Unfortunately, microfiber towels need special washing and can wear out fairly quickly. 

Bamboo 

A bamboo towel is eco-friendly, durable, and absorbent.

It’s a solid choice if you don’t like the texture of microfiber or the weightiness of cotton. Bamboo workout towels also tolerate multiple washings well and are antibacterial. 

NOTE

However, this type of gym towel can be a little bulky and expensive compared to towels made from other materials.

Cotton

Cotton gym fabrics are inexpensive, so they’re ideal if you’re on a budget.

They’re also absorbent and simple to look after.

However, this type of towel does have quite a few negatives. 

For one, they can get dirty easily and can take a while to dry.

Secondly, cotton can be a breeding ground for bacteria when it’s damp. And lastly, cotton gym towels are rather bulky and thick.

Absorbency 

Gym Towel Close Up

A gym towel needs to be absorbent, but it doesn’t need to be as absorbent as a bath towel.

While you can sweat a lot during a workout, it’s unlikely you’ll be as drenched as if you’d just taken a bath or shower! 

Besides, it’s best not to wipe away sweat before it has a chance to evaporate.

Doing so stops your body from cooling down naturally.

Towel Size and Weight

As a gym towel is not intended for use after you shower, it does not need to be very big in length.

As a rule, you should pick a gym towel that’s at least half of your height.

This is because you rarely put your whole body on a piece of gym equipment. 

In addition to this, you don’t want an overly thick or weighty towel like a bath towel.

The latter takes longer to dry and can trap bacteria.

Thick towels also take up a large amount of room in your gym bag.

NOTE

While thin workout fabrics don’t mop up as much sweat as thick ones, this isn’t a huge disadvantage unless you’re sweating more than usual.

Gym Towel Durability

Over time, gym towels will start to wear down and become less effective.

As you don’t want to keep purchasing new workout towels, you obviously want one that can withstand a lot of washing. 

Cotton towels are durable and cheap, so they’re a good option if you want a long-lasting towel.

Bamboo towels are another great choice as they can tolerate multiple washes.

Carrying Bag

Some gym towels come with a carrying case that can be attached to your gym bag for convenience and ease.

Although this feature isn’t essential, it is helpful as it allows for more space in your gym bag.

It also means you won’t forget to bring your towel to the gym as it will already be attached to your bag!

Benefits of Using Your Own Gym Towel

Person Sitting On a Pec Deck Machine

Some gyms offer towels, which can seem pretty convenient as you don’t need to bring your own.

However, you can never be sure of how clean these towels are.

Workout towels that have not been washed properly can increase your risk of contracting illnesses like fungal infections, the flu, Staphylococcus aureus, and even E.coli.

RECOMMENDATION

Using towels from your gym isn’t really worth the risk, so it’s much safer to bring your own towel.

How to Use and Care for Your Gym Towel

Gym towels are designed to go on a piece of equipment to form a protective barrier between your body and the machine.

Not only does this protect you from any bacteria lingering on the gym equipment, but it also protects the machine from your sweat.

When you’re about to lay down on a piece of gym equipment, place the towel underneath you to create a layer between you and the machine.

Don’t use the towel to wash off any sweat on your face or body.

You should use a separate towel for this purpose.

How Do You Wash Gym Towels?

Gym towels should be washed at a high heat and then left to air dry.

If you have a microfiber workout towel, don’t use fabric conditioner or bleach on it.

Bleach destroys the fibers on the towel, while fabric softener causes a waxy buildup that affects the towel’s absorbency.

TIP

You should also wash microfiber towels separately from other types of fabrics as other materials can cause the microfiber to degrade more quickly.

Should I Get a Cooling Towel?

Person Taking A Break From Exercise

Using a gym cooling towel after a long workout is relieving when you’re hot and sweaty, but it’s not essential.

This type of towel is soaked in cold water and then draped around your neck or other body parts to help you cool down.

Although not necessary, a cooling towel does help you feel a little better after vigorous exercise or to help you cool down on your walk home.

Why Is a Gym Towel So Small?

A gym towel is small in size as it’s not meant to cover your entire body or be used after a shower.

It only needs to wipe away sweat or cover a piece of equipment.

The small size also makes the towel more absorbent and fast drying, which are two important features you require in a gym towel.

Best Gym Towels Reviews

Best Cooling Gym Towel

U-pick 2-Pack Cooling Towel

Made out of Cold Sense silk thread that’s infused with breathable polyester to make sure you don’t stay hot and sweaty for long

U-pick 2-Pack Cooling Towel

These towels are a great pick if you’re looking for a gym towel to help you cool down after a long workout.

Cool Down Faster

The fabrics are made out of Cold Sense silk thread that’s infused with breathable polyester to make sure you don’t stay hot and sweaty for long. 

The sweat towels are easy to use, simply soak the towel in water and wring out any excess moisture.

Lastly, drape the fabric over where you want it to go like your neck, shoulders, chest, etc.

You get two towels in the pack, which is handy for when you need to wash one of them. 

Color Options

They come in a variety of different shades to add a splash of color to your exercise regime. 

To make carrying the towels easy, a carrying bag and clip is included with each towel.

This allows you to attach the case to your gym bag for ease and to save on space.

However, the case included with cooling towels from U-pick can be a little flimsy and prone to splitting.

Specs

  • Size: 10.5" x 5" x 1.02"
  • Weight: 3.98 oz
  • Material: Microfiber
  • Color: Black and Blue

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Effective for cooling down after a workout
  • Comes with a carrying bag

Cons

  • Carrying bag can be a little flimsy

Best Sweat Absorbing Gym Towel

FIT SPIRIT Microfiber 2-Pack Sports Towels

The towels are made of microfiber, so they’re very absorbent. They’re quite large in size, so you can use them for a variety of purposes like protecting gym machines, drying off after a shower, and wiping off sweat.

FIT SPIRIT Microfiber 2-Pack Sports Towels

Fit Spirit towels are one of the best gym towels for absorbing sweat.

They’re quite large in size, so you can use them for a variety of purposes like protecting gym machines, drying off after a shower, and wiping off sweat.

Material

The towels are made of microfiber, so they’re very absorbent.

They also dry quickly and have a soft texture. 

You get two towels in the pack, which is a great deal when you consider how effective and well-made they are.

Durability

Despite being very comfortable to use, the fabrics are durable and long-lasting so you don’t need to replace them very often.

They come in a few different sizes and colors, too.

Unfortunately, the color of the material is prone to bleeding in the wash, even after many washes.

The fabrics also have quite itchy labels, which might make them unsuitable for gym goers with sensitive skin.

Specs

  • Size: 24" x 72"
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs (with packaging)
  • Material: Microfiber
  • Color: Green

Pros

  • Works well for absorbing sweat
  • Dries quickly
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Durable

Cons

  • Fabric can bleed in the wash
  • Labels can be a little itchy

Best Microfiber Gym Towel

Desired Body Fitness Gym Towels 2-Pack

They’re soft and lightweight, as well as absorbent and fast drying to make sure you have the best workout possible.

Desired Body Fitness Gym Towels 2-Pack

Personally, I think Desired Body towels are the best gym towels that are made from microfiber.

Features

They’re soft and lightweight, as well as absorbent and fast drying to make sure you have the best workout possible.

You get two towels in the pack, which is great as it means you’ll never be without a towel for a workout when one is in the wash.

The fabrics have an attractive grey waffle design with a white silky border so you can exercise in style.

A lot of other color options are available, too.

Safe On Sensitive Skin

No itchy hooks or wash labels are on the towels, so they’re ideal if you have sensitive or easily irritated skin.

The towels are stretchy and comfortable for either drying off sweat or spreading over gym machines.

For the most part, these fabrics are very effective, but they are quite large in comparison to some other other gym towels.

The material can also be a little rough, but it eventually softens up after a few washes.

Specs

  • Size: 44" x 16"
  • Weight: 5.3 oz
  • Material: Microfiber
  • Grey

Pros

  • Absorbent
  • Dries quickly
  • Stylish design
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Material can be a little rough when brand new

SINLAND Microfiber Towel for Gym

The towel dries very quickly, which is exactly what you need when you’re at the gym to prevent any bacteria building up. It comes in an array of different colors to fit your style.

SINLAND Microfiber Towel for Gym

Another great gym towel is this one from Sinland.

You get three in the pack, which is handy.

The towel is made from microfiber and has a unique terry cloth texture that’s designed to absorb more sweat and moisture.

Quick Drying

The towel dries very quickly, which is exactly what you need when you’re at the gym to prevent any bacteria building up.

It comes in an array of different colors to fit your style. 

I really like the durability of the Sinland gym towel as it can be washed up to 500 times before it starts to show any signs of wear and tear.

Its relatively large size makes it suitable for a few different purposes, too.

Good But Affordable

The texture of the gym towel is soft to make it comfortable to use, particularly when you place it on machines at the gym.

My favorite feature of the Sinland gym towel is its affordability, especially when you consider that you get three in a pack!

However, you need to be careful when washing this gym towel as the color has a tendency to run.

Make sure you wash the towel separately from your other clothes to avoid any mishaps.

Specs

  • Size:16" x 32"
  • Weight: 14.9 oz (with packaging)
  • Material: Microfiber
  • Color: Black, Navy blue, and Blue

Pros

  • Effective for absorbing sweat
  • Soft and comfortable texture
  • Long-lasting
  • Dries quickly

Cons

  • Color can run in the wash

HOPESHINE Microfiber Gym Towel

Made from high-quality microfiber that dries quickly. Great to use and for placing on gym machines to add both protection and comfort.

HOPESHINE Microfiber Gym Towel

HOPESHINE’s gym towel is available in an array of colors, including grey, blue, white, and purple.

You get three in a pack for convenience, and each one is made from high-quality microfiber that dries quickly.

Texture

The towel has quite a soft but firm texture.

This makes it great for placing on gym machines to add both protection and comfort.

I really like the absorbency of this gym towel as it soaks up sweat thoroughly, even during the most vigorous workout!

Easy To Carry

You can also use the towel for other purposes like swimming, camping, and hiking. As the fabric is lightweight, it isn’t cumbersome to carry or store in your bag.

However, the material of this gym towel can be a little coarse when it’s brand new. After a few washes, the fabric should start to soften. 

Additionally, the towel can start to fray or wear down quite quickly, so it’s not as durable as some other towels.

Specs

  • Size: 16" x 32"
  • Weight: 3.52 oz
  • Material: Microfiber
  • Color: Grey

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Absorbs sweat well
  • Dries quickly
  • Lightweight material

Cons

  • Fabric can be a little coarse
  • Can fray or wear down quite quickly

Conclusion

Here’s a quick recap of all our top picks…

Best Microfiber Gym Towel

After looking at a variety of towels, I think the best gym towel is the Desired Body Fitness Gym Microfiber Towel

It has a soft, absorbent, and lightweight microfiber material that dries quickly. 

The towel is available in many stylish color options and features no itchy labels, so it’s ideal for gym goers with sensitive skin.

The only downside of this towel is its slightly coarse texture, but this eventually softens after a few washes.

Great Alternatives

My other recommendations are the U-Pick 2 Pack Cooling Towel and FIT SPIRIT Microfiber Bath Sport Towel.

Best Cooling Gym Towel

The former is best for cooling down after working out, while the latter is best for absorbing sweat.

U-Pick’s gym towel is made from Cold Sense silk thread that’s infused with breathable polyester to help you freshen up after exercising.

The towel retains water quite well to effectively cool you down. A carrying bag is included, too.

The only downside of the towel is its carrying bag, which can be a bit flimsy.

Best Sweat Absorbing Gym Towel

FIT SPIRIT’s microfiber towel works best for soaking up sweat due to its high absorbency.

It dries quickly and has a comfortable texture that’s soft on your skin. 

Unfortunately, the color of the towel is prone to bleeding in the wash.

It also has an itchy label.

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