The Quest for the Best
When we started selling bamboo towels more than a decade ago, there weren’t many brands to choose from. Back then, in 2006, BAMBU BATU was still the only all-bamboo boutique in California, and we were determined to stock our shelves with some incredible towels, at a time when no one had even heard of bamboo towels.
We took our chances and ordered a case of 60/40 bamboo-cotton blended towels, made in India, from a now defunct company with a major distribution center on the east coast. We weren’t exactly sure what to expect, but one thing is certain, those towels exceeded even our greatest expectations: as soft as cashmere, amazingly absorbent, odor resistant, and built to last. When the company discontinued the towels a year later we were absolutely devastated. Not only did we love the towels more than anything, but they were far and away the best selling line in the store. Apparently BAMBU BATU’s small scale success was not enough to keep the multi-national factories running.
After that heart break, it took us years to find a comparable replacement that lived up to that same level of quality, softness, absorbency and durability. Those towels had opened our eyes to a whole new world of post-bath luxury, and the genie would NOT go back in the bottle. So we dabbled in a dozen or more different brands of bamboo towels, ordering samples from all corners of the globe.
We washed, we dried, we daubed, we shimmied. But we were not about to settle for anything less than the very best. Eventually, we came up with a winner, and those are the towels we proudly sell in our San Luis Obispo brick-n-mortar shop and online.
Our exhaustive research led us to many brands of bamboo towels, and a tremendous range in quality. Some towels were exceptionally soft but just didn’t seem very absorbent. Others were just too easy to snag on jewelry, on finger nails, or in the dryer. And some just didn’t seem to have the softness or the fluffiness that we’d come to count on from a great bamboo towel.
All in all, the realm of bamboo towels is a wonderful and luxurious world to explore. So it’s a been a marvelous experience and great learning process. And now I’d like to pass along some of that bamboo knowledge, with this quick tour through some of the leading brands of bamboo towels. By the way, if you find this article helpful, you might also want to read our study on the best bamboo sheets.
NOTE: To make shopping even easier, we’ve included some affiliate links in this article.
Amid the forest of bamboo companies, it’s not easy to narrow it down to just one superior choice. So what makes Daisy House stand out from the crowd? We love these towels for a lot of reasons. Most of all, they accentuate all the characteristics that make bamboo towels great: super soft, super fluffy, and super absorbent. Made in Turkey from a blend of cotton and bamboo, they also hold up very well over time.
In addition to these essential traits, Daisy House towels come in an astonishing variety of colors. Last time I checked there were 22 to choose from. Maybe your bathroom is hot pink with flamingo wall paper, or perhaps you’re trying to match the aquamarine tiles you picked up on your last trip to Mexico. Or do you prefer to go au natural? No matter what, they’ve got you covered. And we’re not the only ones ranking them number one; the Wall Street Journal also rated them the best overall towel.
Furthermore, Daisy House is a small, family-owned company, with excellent, friendly customer service. In an age of automated everything and corporate conglomerates, it means a lot to me when I can purchase my sustainable bamboo products from real humans with souls and voices.
In my experience, and as much as I love the bamboo, I have to say that I generally prefer the towels that are made from a blend of bamboo and cotton. It’s like they somehow give you the best of both worlds. But if you absolutely must have 100% bamboo, then Caribbean is the way to go.
These guys are real purists. They use nothing but 100% organic bamboo. And they donate a portion of their profits to UNICEF for children. So there’s a lot to love about these towels. Maybe they’re not as thick and fluffy as some of the bamboo-cotton blended towels, but the light weight and silky softness makes them ideal for babies and children.
The only down side here is that you won’t find a tremendous selection of colors. Being such purists, they only use un-dyed bamboo, so all their towels are white. But if you’re looking for 100% unadulterated organic bamboo towels from a company that really cares about helping children around the world, then Caribbean is your best choice. You can purchase their bath towels individually, but the price drops significantly if you buy them in sets of 6 or 12.
Murphy offers a line of luxurious bath towels made from 70% bamboo and 30% cotton. The ribbed terry fabric gives these deluxe towels and extra air of plush softness. There’s no doubt, these are some wonderfully soft, fluffy and absorbent towels. Personally, I’m a big fan of of ribbed towels, so that’s a plus for me, but some people might prefer a more uniform texture. The only other downside is the lack of color selection. Murphy Bamboo towels are currently only available in white. Check Amazon for current pricing and availability.
This company sprouted up out of nowhere about five years ago and dominated the internet virtually overnight. Their online presence makes them impossible to ignore, but they also deliver a very high quality product.
As with any great bamboo towel worth mentioning, these are extra super cushy. Cariloha uses a 50-50 blend of bamboo and Turkish cotton to produce a great towel that’s exceptionally soft, fluffy and absorbent. They also offer a beautiful selection of colors, which can be helpful if you’re trying to match a specific bathroom decor. Your best option is probably Cariloha’s bamboo 3-piece towel set, which includes a generously sized bath towel, a hand towel and a washcloth.
Another excellent line of luxuriously soft towels made from a blend of 65% Turkish cotton and 35% bamboo. Chakir towels are comparable to Daisy House and Cariloha in price and quality, remarkably soft, thick, fluffy and absorbent. They are also available in several colors.
UPDATE: Last we checked, these towels were sold out on Amazon, and it was not known when they would be available again. Seems that these towels are just too hot to keep in stock. Visit Amazon to check on current pricing and availability.
This company offers a luxurious 3-piece set of 100% bamboo bath towels, with all the fabulous qualities of softness and absorbency that make bamboo towels such a wonderful choice. The woven jacquard pattern adds an extra touch of elegance. Brooklyn Bamboo also carries a variety of bamboo towel sets for babies.
Keep in mind, with the 100% bamboo, these towels are not going to be as thick and fluffy as some of the bamboo-cotton blends like Daisy House. Also, Brooklyn bamboo towels are only available in a couple of colors, grey and off-white.
Looking for a good family feeling and an American-made towel, look no further than Bamboosa of South Carolina, recently relocated to Los Angeles, California. This family-owned and operated company is a true pioneer in the bamboo field. Since around 2004, they have been committed to providing the most environmentally responsible and ethically produced bamboo products imaginable, while creating jobs and opportunities right here in America.
Bamboosa’s towels are made from a blend of 80% organic bamboo and 20% recycled polyester. They are incredibly soft and absorbent, and so far as we know, the only bamboo towels being manufactured in the USA.
As a small mom-n-pop enterprise, however, their availability is sometimes rather limited. Currently they have a bamboo gym towel and a some bamboo baby towel sets in stock. Visit their website to order and to check availability.
Their name says it all. No frills, just great bamboo. Made from a blend of 55% bamboo and 45% cotton, these towels are certainly soft and absorbent. To increase the softness and absorbency, they recommend washing the towels before use.
The Bamboo Classic towel sets only come in white, but check out Amazon’s price for a set of four bath towels, and you’ll see that they are among the least expensive bamboo towels on the market. However, the low price might come at the cost of durability. These don’t seem to be the same quality material that we’ve handled elsewhere.
The benefits of bamboo as a textile go on and on. It is one of the fastest growing and renewable plants on earth, and its versatility is unparalleled. Fabric made from the bamboo plants has also proven to be hypo-allergic, anti-microbial and odor resistant, making it an excellent material for products like t-shirts, socks, underwear, and more.
With such softness and absorbency, bamboo is also an ideal material for towels. But not all bamboo towels are created equally. And in my experience, some varieties of bamboo fabric seem to harness that softness and absorbency better than others. For instance, the bamboo-cotton blends appear to make the best towels — fluffier and more absorbent than the 100% bamboo towels that I’ve used. Even so, there is something appealing about a towel made from nothing but bamboo.
In assessing these towels, we also take into consideration the philosophy and spirit of our bamboo producing colleagues. As a family-owned business founded on a commitment to environmental awareness and social responsibility, we care about a lot more than just the bottom line. Therefore, we like to promote and do business with other like-minded companies. And so, for all of these reasons, we’ve chosen Daisy House as number one, and named Caribbean a close second.
Whatever bamboo towel you choose, we wish you all the best in your bathing, drying and bamboo swaddling!