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Outfit Your Bathroom Like Your Favorite Hotel

As the temperatures drop, we look for ways to make our homes as warm and cozy as possible. Whether you have just come in from sledding or shoveling the driveway, nothing can warm you up from head to toe as quickly as a hot bath or shower. Once you are ready to rejoin the world, we suggest you step out of the tub onto a non-skid cotton bath mat, dry off with a fluffy bath towel, and wrap yourself in a luxurious, hotel-quality bathrobe. Add fresh slippers and a hair wrap for the true hotel spa feeling at home. Here are some of our suggestions for readying your bathroom for the best bath experience.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Bath Towel

If the choices of towels online and in the home goods aisle are overwhelming, consider a few of the factors we discuss with our hotel clients when it comes time for them to select the right towels for their guestrooms, pools, and spas. When choosing bath towels, they consider weight, fabric, weave, size, and care.

You may have noticed, when it comes to towels, hotels typically choose white. First, white towels are hygienic as they will reveal any stains. Second, the use of white towels eliminates the problem of bleaching or streaking of colored towels caused by benzoyl peroxide, as well as any concern over color bleeding when you launder your new towels.

#1 The weight of the towel

The weight of a towel is measured in grams per square meter (GSM), which describes the density of the fabric (usually cotton) woven into a square meter. GSM varies between 300 and 900 GSM for bath towels. It is easy to assume the heavier the towel, the more absorbent; however, the type of cotton used is as important as the weight of the towel in determining absorbency.

Towels from 300-400 GSM are lightweight, allowing quicker drying time. Depending on the towel’s intended use, you may want a lower GSM. This is the weight we have chosen for our gobi desert pool towel (369 GSM) and sonoran gym towel (540 GSM). These lightweight towels are versatile, quick to launder, and easy to pack. Often made with no pile, they are woven from thicker cotton, providing the extra surface area they need to be absorbent.

Towels from 400-620 GSM are the ideal medium weight perfect for bath towels. Our mojave collection (Towels 540 GSM/Bath Mat 800 GSM) is made with 100% microcotton. These bath towels are long-lasting, super-absorbent, and feel substantial and luxurious. Our sahara collection (Towels 525 GSM/Bath Mat 780 GSM) dual core towels are made with 100% extra-long staple cotton, which softens naturally. They are super-absorbent and fast drying with no shrinkage.

#2 The fabric of the towel

Cotton, the most common fiber used for towels and robes, is a soft, fluffy fiber that is naturally breathable and absorbent as it allows air and water to pass through the yarns. For this reason, most of Down Etc’s bath towels are made with 100% cotton.

Our silk wash® silk and organic cotton collection is an exception as it is made with silk and cotton. These towels are as absorbent as mid-weight towels but are lighter, cooler, and faster drying. This makes them ideal for families as they are easier for children to manage and quicker to dry in busy bathrooms. They are also very soft and low pile, which is why we recommend them for sensitive, damaged, or newborn baby skin. Hypoallergenic, this toweling fabric is made with 18% silk and 82% certified organic cotton, providing the best in natural luxury. Certified to meet the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), towels made from organic cotton are made from cotton grown without the use of toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

#3 The weave of the towel

You are probably familiar with terry cloth towels. Terry is made with uncut yarn loops on one or both sides of the fabric. It is the loops that allow terry to absorb large amounts of liquid and make it a great fabric for toweling. The loops or piles can be different lengths. The longer the piles, the more absorbent and plush the towel will feel. Higher quality terry has loops that are closely woven and firmly constructed so they are less likely to snag. Our bath towels are woven with a lovely dobby jacquard border created by a geometrical weave pattern at one or both ends of the towel.

 A waffle weave has a three-dimensional structure that resembles a waffle. Typically, these towels are lightweight with an increased surface area due to the structure without increased weight. Less plush than terry, the waffle is perfect for wiping hands or golf clubs as one side of our ogolf etc®face and club Towel. This double-sided golf towel is made with 100% cotton waffle on one side to wipe your club after each shot and 100% cotton terry on the other side to dry your face after the effort.


#4 The size of the towel

Typically, a washcloth is 13x13, a hand towel is 16x30, a bath towel is 27x55, a body sheet is 33x70, and a tub mat is 20x30. These sizes may vary slightly.

#5 Caring for your towels

We suggest washing any new towels prior to use. It takes several washes for towels to achieve their maximum absorbency, softness, and fluffiness. Down Etc recommends washing towels at a temperature under 40°C (104°F), which is a warm wash, to keep them looking and feeling their best; however, you may increase the temperature up to 60°C (140°F) at which temperature dust mites will be killed.

To keep your white towels brilliantly white, wash them with other white towels only and avoid using fabric softener, as it leaves a coat on the toweling loops, which reduces their absorbency. We recommend the use of bleach when needed so long as it is non-chlorine bleach to avoid damaging the towel or reducing its strength. We also recommend you follow instructions on any bleach label and avoid exceeding the pre-soak time, overfilling the bleach dispenser, or applying bleach directly to towels without diluting it.  Tumble dry your towels on low to medium heat (or the towel setting on your dryer) with textured dryer balls in the drum to make them extra soft and fluffy. Remove them promptly from the dryer for maximum fluffiness.

Selecting a Bath Rug that Provides Comfort and Safety

Safety and hygiene are primary concerns when it comes to bath rugs in hotels and in your home. That is why we highly recommend bath rugs be non-skid. Sliding across the bathroom floor is the fastest way to ruin the calming experience of a bath or shower. Down Etc’s 100% cotton bath rugs come in a variety of sizes and styles, but all are manufactured with non-skid dots on the back to prevent slipping.

Options include heavy weight, 100% cotton, cut-loop terry bath rugs that are lofty and soft on the feet. Our cut-loop terry soma and beau rivage bath rugs are premium products and favorites of our boutique hotel clients. Our low pile Turkish Bath Rugs have less loft but are no less soft. The mission bath rug and the pacific heights bath rugs have rounded corners and a piping finish for strength and durability.

Picking the Right Robe

Nothing beats wrapping up in a luxurious hotel quality robe after stepping out of a steaming shower or tub.  When picking a robe, you will consider the fabric, fit, and care of your robe, but all of these depend upon your style and how you plan to wear a robe. In determining the style that will suit you, consider where and when you will wear your robe. 

A robe instead of a towel?

Do you slip into your robe in lieu of a towel upon stepping out of the tub or shower?  In that case, you will want something that is soft on the outside and absorbent on the inside like one of our taurus mountain robes.

A robe to lounge?

Do you wear a robe while you are getting ready to go out or don a robe to lounge around the house? In that case, you might choose our pyrenees diamond jacquard shawl collar robe, which is crafted in our proprietary super-absorbent absorb8™ textile technology, an all-in-one fabric composed of cotton terry on the inside and plush polyester on the outside. Details include a shawl collar, double belt loops to adjust the waist height, and two front pockets. It is a perfect gift for you or someone you love. 

A robe to cuddle?

Do you prefer a robe that is simply incredibly soft? A spa classic, our mt. kilimanjaro ribbed cotton velour robe is 100% combed cotton, ribbed velour with a shawl collar, double belt loops to adjust the waist height, and two front pockets.

A robe for the pool or beach?

If you’re looking for a robe to take outside or to the beach, our mt. mckinley kimono waffle robe has the right look. Made with woven poly/cotton waffle, this robe has two front pockets and double belt loops. It's light and easy to wash and dry.

Our robes come in a one-size-fits-all. For that reason, they are manufactured with double belt loops and roll up sleeves to allow an adjustable fit. Front pockets provide a place for your hands or to carry your necessities on those days when your robe never comes off.

Slippers Mean You Can Relax Because You Are Home

Like your robe, your choice of slipper depends entirely on your personal preference.  Our slippers are perfect when you wish to swap your shoes for slippers at the front door. They can be purchased in sets to keep in a basket for guests who arrive unexpectedly. They are equally well suited to sliding into when slipping out of bed or stepping out of the shower. For specialty occasions, our “Eat, Drink & Be Married” and “Cheers! Celebration” are designed to bring a smile to your loved ones' faces. 

Once you are warm and cozy, we hope you will Have a Great Night’s Sleep!

Links updated 6/5/24

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