A truly good gym towel is a must if you’re a regular at the gym. Whether you enjoy cycling, running on a treadmill, lifting heavy weights or all of the above — you probably get a good sweat on each training session. You’ll want a towel to keep things dry, comfortable and stable, as having weights slip out of your hand or too much liquid on a moving belt can be dangerous.
We’ve reviewed a lot of fitness equipment here at Spy, and we’ve learned that after an intense spin session or weightlifting rep, you need a good gym towel to wipe away the sweat. The best beach towels are nice to have for a picnic, and cooling towels are perfect for a day in the sun, but gym towels are made for keeping up with fitness enthusiasts.
In this post, we’ll share our favorite options and must-haves for the gym. All of our top picks are affordable enough to buy multiples or come in multi-packs, which is great if you work out daily (in our experience, you also don’t want to reuse the same gym towel day after day because, hey, super gross).
What to Consider Before Buying Gym Towels
First off, think about how many you need. Do you workout every day, sweat a lot, and therefore need a new towel often? Then a large pack of 24 salon towels will be a good option. These are made from 100 percent cotton and provide optimal coverage, performance, and versatility. These towels are also highly absorbent and will remain soft after numerous wash and dry cycles.
What size towels do you need? Are you a hot yoga person, and need a towel that’ll stretch the length and width of your mat? Or, are you a spinner, and need a towel that can fit over your handlebars? Assessing your towel needs based on which activities you engage in is a great way to purchase the right one for you.
They also make gym towels with fast-drying microfiber that is also super absorbent and ones that have a feature that cools your body down quickly and reduces your body temperature up to 30 degrees. If you frequently overheat doing any activity, that’s probably a good one for you.
How We Chose the Best Gym Towels
All of the gym towels we reviewed are compact, absorbent, soft to the touch and come in multiple sizes depending on your preferences and/or needs. They’re also made of high-quality materials that can be used again and again, and machine washed for an easy refresh. We included options for many different activities, as well as great bulk options for stocking your linen cabinet or gym bag.
Keep reading to find the best gym towels to toss in your bag.
1. Rainleaf Microfiber Towel
The Microfiber Towel by Rainleaf is made using only the highest quality microfiber that will keep your towel fresh and free from germs and mildew. Due to the specialty materials, the towel will dry itself quickly and if needed, can absorb as much as three times its weight in water for a quicker drying experience. Available in six sizes, these compact and ultra-light towels are ideal for everything from travel to the gym, beach, camping, swimming, and backpacking.
Pros: These towels are very soft and feel like suede on your skin.
Cons: It is important to follow washing instructions upon opening as the color may bleed.
2. Utopia Towels Salon Towels
BEST BULK BUY
The Salon Towels by Utopia Towels come in a set of 24 towels made from 100 percent soft and durable, ring-spun cotton. Each soft, fluffy towel provides the optimal coverage, absorbency and versatility needed and can be used in your bathroom or salon, as a gym towel or even a quality spa towel to treat yourself at home.
Pros: These towels have a zero-twist construction and shorter fibers which helps reduce shedding and fraying.
Cons: These towels may not be bleach-safe.
3. Alfamo Cooling Towels
The Cooling Towels by Alfamo are unique due to their superior material which is made to cool your body quickly, up to 30 degrees below body temperature when wet. Ideal for sports and outdoor workers, these super-absorbent towels provide this cooling effect through the evaporation of absorbed water to keep you comfortable up to several hours. These multipurpose towels also come with a bonus waterproof carrying pouch with carabiner clip allowing for easy travel.
Pros: These towels are soft and pleasant to the touch and provide UPF 50 sunscreen protection.
Cons: While it cools down quickly, the cooling effect may not last as long as needed.
4. G Grounded Sports Store Cooling Towels 3-Pack
EASY TO CLEAN
These cooling gym towels from G Grounded Sports are machine-washable, so they’re quite easy to clean, and they’re made for holding up to repeated use and frequent washing. They’re highly-absorbent and can be dunked in water, wrung out and worn for a cooling effect. They’re super soft, lightweight and UV-resistant as well. They’re also purposefully cut longer and narrower than standard gym towels for more coverage and easier use.
Pros: Machine-washable, durable, made for multiple uses, UV-resistant and lightweight.
Cons: Thinner material that’s not as thick as other options, sweatier users should consider other towels first.
5. Acteon Microfiber Gym Towels
These microfiber gym towels from Acteon are made to absorb liquid quickly and dry just as fast. The smooth material dries up to three times faster than regular cotton and can absorb up to five times its weight in water. The microfibers have been treated with silver ions that promote cleanliness and resist odors, and the large 30.5″ x 16″ size rolls up into a compact size so it’s easy to travel with.
Pros: Anti-odor treatment, microfiber material dries quickly, compact for travel despite large size.
Cons: They’re thinner and not as fluffy as other towel options.
6. lululemon The Towel
BEST FOR YOGA
This towel from lululemon is made for covering a yoga mat during a sweaty heated power or Bikram class. It’s made of absorbent, microfiber material that can handle moisture of all kinds — from sweat and tears during a hard class to the power-session shower before you head to the office. It’s got clean-cut edges designed not to fray, and you can lightly spritz it with water before class for extra grip.
Pros: High-quality material, perfect size for a yoga mat, grippy and absorbent.
Cons: Higher price point, can’t order on Amazon.
7. Gatorade Premium Sideline Towel
Gatorade is one of those thirst-quenching brands that’s irrevocably tied to fitness, working out and athletic activity. Why not have your gym towel fit the vibe of your entire afternoon at the gym? Keep the theme consistent, and invest in this 100% cotton, machine-washable, lightweight gym towel from Gatorade. It’s long enough to drape over your head or around your neck, and quickly absorbs sweat. Plus, it’s got complimentary designs on either side and will stand out amongst others’ towels so you don’t accidentally grab a stranger’s sweaty fabric.
Pros: Great branded design, soft cotton fabric, machine-washable.
Cons: This towel is a bit more expensive than other options, as it’s sold individually.
8. Desired Body Store Fitness Towel 2-Pack
These premium sports towels are made for drying sweat quickly and comfortably mid-sweat session. They’ve got a stylish blue waffle design with a reinforced white border that adds durability and style to the design. They’re super soft, lightweight and portable, and made of microfiber material that’s stretchy and won’t cause irritation. They’re also made to be anti-odor, and not hold onto sweaty stench even after a few uses in a row. If your partner is always complaining about how bad your gym bag reaks, consider picking up a few of these instead.
Pros: Soft, lightweight material that’s absorbent without holding odors, 2-pack, portable, durable waffle design.
Cons: Smaller than other gym towel options.
9. Naisi Anti-Slippery Handlebar Sweat Towel
BEST FOR SPINNING
If you ride on a Peloton or NordicTrack spin bike on a regular basis, you know that when you’re riding out of the saddle a lot of sweat can drip down onto the handlebars. The problem is that just below the handlebars is the flywheel, and you want to keep that from getting wet or dirty, as moisture and dust can erode the materials easily.
This spinning towel is made to fit the Peloton bike perfectly, and is made of soft, absorbent terry cloth. It gives you a firm grip on the handlebars, and is dust proof and scratch proof as well so your handlebars stay protected. It also has pockets for storing your phone, headphones or other accessories during your ride.
10. S&T INC. Microfiber Gym Towels
There’s almost no better way to harsh a flow in the gym than by using an old, ratty, stringy gym towel with holes in it. You want to invest in fabric and a design that’s going to last you through many training sessions, and works as hard as you do. This pack of microfiber towels from S&T INC does just that, with a durable blend of polyester and polyamide. They’re excellent for use on the bike, treadmill or other equipment, as well as covering or drying off weight benches. The microfiber is knit closely in an absorbent blend, and is machine-washable so you can keep your towel collection fresh.
Pros: Durable microfiber polyester fabric blend, machine-washable, affordable 6-pack.
Cons: Their design is a bit bland compared with some of the other options.
11. Sukeen Breathable Microfiber Gym Towels
The best part of these microfiber towels is that they come with their own portable pouches and attached carabiners. This makes transporting your towel to and from the gym easy, and makes it easy to pack up a super sweaty towel and keep it from contaminating the rest of your bag.
The towel itself is hyper-evaporative, breathable and will stay chilled for up to three hours if you dunk it in cold water. It’s designed to be multipurpose and the pack comes with six different colors so you’ve got variety.
Pros: Cooling towels, come with their own pouches and carabiners, color options.
Cons: The 40″ x 12″ size might be too large for some gym goers.
12. Utopia Towels Pool Towels
BEST FOR SWIMMERS
If you got to the gym to swim laps and need a larger towel for drying off your entire body, this 6-pack from Utopia Towels is a solid choice. They’re quick-drying and large enough to wrap around your hair, body or both if you use multiple. While being large enough to use after a swim, they’re not huge and won’t take up too much space in your gym bag or car after use. You can machine wash them without causing damage, and they come in a few different color choices.
Pros: Large surface area for drying off your entire body, plenty of colorful options, machine washable.
Cons: Not made of microfiber material, so won’t dry as quickly.
13. Wise Owl Outfitters Gym Towels
These towels come in a 12″ x 24″ size that weighs only 3 oz. and can roll up and become super compact if need be. These towels from Wise Owl Outfitters are super soft, absorbent and dry quickly making them perfect for the gym. All of them also have a hang loop you can attach to the handlebars of a cycling bike, for instance, that doubles as a wrap and makes storage easy. They also come in packs of two and four so you can choose what fits your needs and budget best.
Pros: Convenient hang loop/ strap that makes portability simple, fun bright colors, choice of different packs.
Cons: Wash them first to avoid possible skin irritation.