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How to choose the best towels for your kitchen

When it comes to kitchen towels, there are many different options out there — in brands, fabrics, designs, and more — but not all of them are functional or useful. Though you may not find kitchen towels to be the most exciting topic of conversation, it is necessary to consider them if you don’t want to waste time and money on useless towels. We’re here to save you from making kitchen towel mistakes by discussing what you should be looking for when purchasing towels that will pass the test of time. These towels not only hold up to lots of use, but they also do an excellent job of cleaning and absorbing, which is the main task for the best kitchen towels. Read on to find out which kitchen towels we like the best and why.



Yep. It’s that simple. Cotton kitchen towels are the best kitchen towels around, hands down. Kitchen towels made of tightly-woven cotton are the best at absorbing liquids and leaving very little lint behind. Cotton is also extremely heat-tolerant, making it great for grabbing hot pans off the stove. All of these features are extremely important in the kitchen. Your kitchen towel is much more than a cute decoration to drape from your cupboard handles.

A good kitchen towel should dry dishes and then handle the spilled milk on the kitchen table without leaving towel lint behind in its wake. Decorative towels are great for displaying your favorite foodie sayings but are usually very bad at absorbing liquids. This means that drying off just-rinsed produce or wiping dirt off of mushrooms are not good jobs for decorative towels. They typically move liquids around rather than sopping them up, and you won’t want mushroom dirt on your cute kitten towels. Plain white cotton towels (some have a blue stripe or two) are your best utility towels for the kitchen.

Other materials

Now that we’ve decided that standard-issue cotton towels are the best overall utility towels for the kitchen, we can discuss the other types of kitchen towels and their uses. Sometimes you need to polish a bunch of silverware or wrap some dough so it can rest, and these tasks can be completed using other types of kitchen towels. Check out the most common kitchen towel materials below so you can match the material to the job.


Microfiber towels are thick and soft, making them great for big spills. Many microfiber towels have added absorbency, dry very quickly, and are lint-free. Microfiber towels are excellent for polishing glassware or drying dishes. The downside to microfiber is that it can be damaged by heat, so you can’t use it as an oven mitt.

Terry cloth

Terry cloth is usually used for bathrobes and beach towels due to its extreme absorbency. Terry cloth, which is often made from cotton, is made of piles of loops sewn tightly together, making it excellent at soaking up moisture. If you often have spills in your kitchen, you may want to have a few terry cloth towels hanging around. Terry cloth does take a while to dry, though, so be prepared to have a backup towel on hand if you have to use your terry cloth to clean up a spill.

Flour sack

Flour sack kitchen towels are made from linen with soft fibers that are great for polishing fine china. Sometimes referred to as tea towels, flour sack kitchen towels won’t leave any lint or residue in the stock you strain through them or the dough you cover with them. Tea towels also dry extremely quickly, but they aren’t very absorbent, making them a lousy choice for kitchen messes.

The choice is yours

Now that you know your options for kitchen towels, the choice is yours. We think that cotton kitchen towels are the most well-rounded, making them the best option if you have to choose one style. However, your kitchen towel game doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all. You may find that keeping both a flour sack towel and a microfiber towel on hand in the kitchen suits your drying and spillage needs. There are also plenty of towels on the market that have one material on one side and a different material on the other for the ultimate multitasking towel. It is now up to you to decide which kitchen towels work best for your kitchen and your family.

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