The kitchen hand towel – a ubiquitous essential that most home cooks can’t do without. Kitchen hand towels are used for many things, from cleaning the flour off your hands while baking to mopping up a spill on the counter and drying the dishes you’ve just hand-washed.
Aside from its utilitarian purpose, a kitchen hand towel can also be a décor statement, adding a punch of color or personality to your kitchen. These small towels are available in a range of materials, sizes, colors and designs, and while choosing a pattern or color that doesn’t match your kitchen décor is not serious, you may end up wasting your money if you pick ones made from an inferior material or the wrong size.
If you’re not sure which kitchen hand towels to buy, we’re here to help. Below, we’ve curated a list of a kitchen hand towels of different sizes, price points and fabric. Read on to discover the ones that work best for you.
1. Top Pick: Utopia Towels Kitchen Towels – 15 x 25”
Can you ever really have enough kitchen hand towels? Not if you love to cook and entertain. If this is you, then you know the number of kitchen towels you go through during the course of a week cooking and prepping food and washing and drying dishes and utensils as you work.
This pack of 12 kitchen hand towels from Utopia have thousands of highly rated reviews on Amazon and that’s no surprise. Measuring a sizable 15 inches by 25 inches, the towels are made of 100 percent ring spun cotton, which makes them soft, absorbent and most importantly, durable to withstand the kind of use – and abuse – that usually goes on in a busy kitchen.
The Dolby weave towels have a zero twist construction and an added combing process that removes short fibers to reduce shedding and fraying. The hemmed edges also add to the durability and finished look of each towel. The set is available in seven different colors, with six solid colors and six white with a colored striped pattern. With a dozen in the set, you know you will always have one at hand when you need it.
- Good size
- Set of 12
- Doby weave
- Made from 100 percent ring spun cotton
- Cannot bleach, use fabric softener or iron
2. Runner Up: Bumble Towels Premium Kitchen Towels 16 x 28”
Do you ever find it challenging to find just the right gift for a housewarming or bridal shower, especially if you are on a budget? One of the most useful and appreciated gifts is a set of kitchen hand towels. Not only is it an item every cook needs and uses, but it is also something that one cannot have too many of.
Whether as a gift or for yourself, these kitchen hand towels from Bumble are a good choice for any kitchen. Measuring 16 inches by 28 inches, they are larger in size than most kitchen towels, so they will last longer before they have to be washed.
Made from absorbent 100 percent ring spun cotton, each towel in the set of six are super absorbent and can withstand hundreds of washings without losing their shape or their color fading. And speaking of color, this set is available in six different choices, including red, tan, gray, navy, black and aqua.
Each towel also has a hanging loop, and the set comes in a handy tote bag to store them in.
- Made from 100 percent ring spun cotton
- Large size
- Machine washable
- Only six to a pack
- Some users report the hanging hooks are flimsy
3. Best Honeycomb Weave: PY HOME & SPORTS Dish Towels Set – 17 x 25”
Often, even the best quality kitchen hand towels contain dyes that may not be that healthy for you or for the environment. Even though these hand towels from PY Home come in a package of only four, they are all environmentally friendly and are made with non-toxic dyes.
These 100 percent cotton kitchen hand towels also have a lovely hollow honeycomb weave design that gives them a unique look and makes them super absorbent. The honeycomb texture is also very lightweight and although it soaks up water and messes, it also dries quickly to be used again in no time.
The cotton waffle weave towels come in a set of four and are available in three assorted packages: one package has beige, khaki, light grey and dark grey towels; one package has all light grey; and one package has four towels that are white and green. Easy to clean, you can pop the towels into the washing machine in cold water and tumble dry on low to minimize shrinking.
- Hollow honeycomb design
- 100 percent cotton
- Made with non-toxic dye
- Good size
- Only four in a package
- Some users said the towels did not absorb water well
4. Best Microfiber: HYER Microfiber Kitchen Towels – 26 x 18”
While some home cooks prefer their kitchen hand towels to be made of natural fibers like cotton, or a cotton blend, others prefer the performance of towels made of microfiber. Microfiber fabric is usually a blend of polyester and nylon that in this case, produces a towel that absorbs moisture and is reputed to better penetrate cracks and crevasses than cotton towels.
Microfiber towels are also more affordable than premium cotton towels. This package of eight kitchen hand towels from HYER are thick and plush, and measure 26 inches by 18 inches. Super absorbent, HYER claims a towel will absorb six times its weight in water, which is ideal if you are using them to mop up large spills.
The over-sized hand towels are also ideal for drying dishes and countertops and wiping spills from the stovetop and oven. They won’t fade or shrink after numerous washings and will retain their shape. Machine washable, they are available in a choice of seven colors: grey, camel, dark green, grey, purple and yellow. They also have a convenient fabric hook on one side, which makes them easy to hang out of the way.
- Made from microfiber
- Package of eight
- Super absorbent
- Lint free
- Some users didn’t like the texture
5. Best Organic Cotton: Smyrna Original Turkish Hand Towels – 16 x 40”
These days, it’s becoming increasingly popular to have everything organic, from food and beverages to the fabric of kitchen hand towels to dry dishes. Choosing organic means whatever the product is, it has to have the least amount of toxic dyes and chemicals possible.
This set of two kitchen hand towels from Smyrna are made in Turkey from Oeko-Tex certified, 100 percent organic cotton. A product that is certified as Oeko-Tex means it has been tested to be free of more than 100 substances known to be harmful to human health, so you can breathe easy using these in your home.
The towels are longer than a typical kitchen hand towel, measuring 16 inches by 40 inches, and have decorative fringes on the edges. They come pre-washed for a soft touch and become softer after each time you wash them. They are ideal for drying dishes and wiping up wet messes and they dry quickly. Available in 13 different woven print patterns, they also make a beautiful gift.
- Extra-long kitchen hand towel
- Made in Turkey from Oeko-Tex certified organic cotton
- Makes a beautiful gift
- More expensive than other kitchen hands towels
- Do not tumble dry, must air dry
6. Best Splurge: Ritz Kitchen Wears Checked & Solid Hanging Tie Towels
This next pick on our list of kitchen hand towels is a bit pricey, but if you’re looking for something a little different for yourself or as a gift for a special occasion or a special somebody and you’re not on a strict budget, then we think this set of two kitchen hand towels is worth considering.
Although they are smaller than traditional kitchen towels and are more functional for wiping your hands rather than dishes, we really like that the top part has a Velcro closure. You can hang the towel from the fridge or oven door handle, a towel bar or drawer handle or from the side of the barbecue as you grill.
The towels are woven from 100 percent durable cotton terry for long-lasting durability, measure 17 inches long by 8.8-inches wide and are super absorbent. There are eight different colors to choose from and each set includes a solid and a checked print to mix and match with your decor.
- Made from 100 percent cotton terry
- Top has Velcro tabs for easy hanging
- Easy care machine wash, tumble dry
- Not suitable for drying dishes
7. Best Budget Priced: KAF Home Soho Kitchen Dish Towel – 18 x 28”
Starting out in a first apartment takes a lot of careful decisions to make sure the budget is stretched far enough for all the basics, including stocking the kitchen with essentials. No matter how little or how much time you spend in the kitchen you’re going to need more than one kitchen hand towel.
This set of 10 kitchen hand towels is super affordable, and with so many, they will last a long time, saving you the hassle of buying new ones in a year or two. But affordable doesn’t have to mean poor quality. In fact, these towels are made from 100 percent recycled yarns, which means they are very eco-friendly. The blend of 70 percent cotton and 30 percent polyester makes them so easy to care for – just pop them into the washing machine and tumble dry on low.
Measuring a good size of 18 inches by 28 inches, the towels are multi-functional and can be used as an alternative to paper towels, saving you tons of money. Wipe up spills, dry your hands and dry dishes – you’ve got it covered. The towels are available in six different colors and mixed patterns.
- Made from recycled yarns
- 70 percent cotton, 30 percent polyester
- Easy care, machine washable, tumble dry
- Budget priced
- Thin material
- Not super absorbent
8. Best Bulk Buy: Simpli-Magic 79165 Herringbone Dish Towels
Having a large family means there’s always a lot of cooking and cleaning going on in the kitchen. Often, there is probably more than one person at a time handling a variety of tasks, from prepping and cooking to cleaning up. If you and your family spend a lot of time in the kitchen, then you’re going to all need a few good kitchen towels at your disposal to wipe up messes and dry dishes and wet hands.
This set of 18 kitchen hand towels are a value-packed bulk buy that won’t leave anyone hanging during those busy cooking sessions. Made from tightly woven and durable 100 percent cotton, these towels measure 15 inches by 26 inches and are absorbent and versatile.
The towels are white with a simple yet attractive herringbone design that runs near the top of each towel in the following different colors: three white towels with blue, three white towels with red, three white towels with green, three white towels with black, three white towels with grey and three white towels with yellow.
These lightweight towels are low-lint, machine washable on the gentle cycle and safe to tumble dry on low.
- Bulk pack
- Good value
- Made from tightly woven 100 percent cotton
- Simple design
- May be more than some people can use
- Some users said the quality of all the towels in the package was not consistent
What to look for when buying a kitchen hand towel:
Kitchen hand towels are an eco-friendly alternative to paper towels and a great way to add a pop of color or style to your kitchen. Reusable and easy to care for, kitchen hand towels are great for wiping your hands, mopping up spills and drying pots, pans, utensils and dishes. You can hang them on a hook, keep them in a drawer or fold one or two over the handle of the oven or fridge so they are close at hand when you need them.
It might seem like all kitchen towels are the same and there’s not much to consider when purchasing one, two or a set. However, it’s not that simple. Kitchen hand towels are available in a variety of sizes, fabric, designs, colors and price points, and the ones you choose may or not be the best for your specific needs. Below we explain some of the factors to think about, so you don’t end up purchasing something that won’t meet your expectations.
Fabric: The kind of fabric a kitchen hand towel is made of is important because it will determine how it feels when you touch it, how durable it is, how thick and absorbent and how easy – or difficult – it is to care for. The best kitchen hand towels are made of tightly woven, thick cotton, with sewn edges that won’t fray. Pre-washed cotton is a good choice, since the material is softer and there is less chance of the towels shrinking when washed. The thickness of the towel matters, too, since you want the towel to be absorbent, but not so thick that it stays wet for hours.
A cotton polyester blend is another choice that is popular because it’s easy to wash and dry in the machine. These are also durable, but are often thin, so that is something to watch out for because if the material is too thin, it won’t pick up spills or dry your hands very well, and instead, will just move the water around.
Microfiber, a blend of polyester and nylon fibers, has become popular over the years since its very absorbent and there are claims that it cleans better. However, depending on the brand and quality, some users complain of a rough texture that doesn’t feel good on their hands.
Size: As you can see by the products we have listed, kitchen hand towels come in a variety of sizes. While there is no right or wrong decision on this one, it is important to determine your needs before making a choice. If you dry large pots and pans, then you will want a larger size. If it’s to only wipe your hands or mop up spills, then a smaller size is a good idea, since they will dry faster.
Choosing the best kitchen hand towel for your needs is not rocket science, but taking a minute to evaluate some of the factors discussed above may help save you the aggravation of opening up a package of towels that will disappoint you.
Photo credit: Tatiana Kochkina/Shutterstock