The Athlete Approved Guide to Pool Towels

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Whether you are a competitive swimmer going to workout or just love taking a casual dip in the pool with your family, having the right pool towel is key.

After a casual swim, you want to have the best towel available to dry off. You especially want to be well prepared if you are heading to the pool with children.

Additionally, towels are an important item for swimmer’s athletic performance. Staying dry helps keep the body at a comfortable temperature. When the body is wet, it is more likely to lose heat, which can lead to fatigue and affect your performance.

In this article, we take a look at the top pool towels in various sizes, colors, and materials to help you find the perfect one for your needs. Plus, we give you some tips on how to care and what to look out for when purchasing your new towel.

Our Athlete Approved guide shares our thoughts on the best pool towels including:

Best Overall Pool Towel: Chakri Turkish Linens Store Cabina Pool Towel

The Chakri Turkish Linens Store Cabina Pool Towel is a must have for your next trip to the pool. Not only do these towels have a wonderful texture, they are also of amazing quality and look great.

The 100% premium cotton fibers make this an extremely absorbent and soft towel that is sure to feel stunning wrapped around your body. 

This pool towel is fluffy, soft, absorbent, and aesthetically pleasing. We particularly like the fact that you could choose from several colors. So you can easily pick a towel that suits our style.

If you are looking for a go-to pool towel that delivers maximum comfort, then this is a great product for you. 


  • Soft – This towel is extremely soft, fluffy, and smooth, when you wrap it around your body you won’t want to take it off. 
  • Luxurious – This product is 100% cotton and absolutely luxurious. 
  • Colors – This product comes in four different colors, all patterns of these towels are striped. 
  • Eco-Friendly – This product is eco-friendly, it is made from natural cotton and there are no harsh chemicals, dyes, or synthetic fibers in it. 


  • Pack of Four – This product only comes in a pack of four.

Best Oversized Pool Towel: Genovega Store Oversized Microfiber Pool Towels 

The Genovega Store Oversized Microfiber Pool Towels are very large and oversized which makes them ideal for wrapping you up after your swim in the pool.

The best towels are soft and comfortable, but also durable. These microfiber towels have a super-smooth surface that are soft to the touch. The edges are professionally hemmed for added strength.

The patterns of these towels are fun! They come in shark, palm tree, lobster, pineapple, flamingo and turtle designs.

Lastly, the size of them is fantastic. At 36×72 inches, they will be easily wrap around any adult or child.

If you are looking for a fun-looking towel that is larger than average this is the ideal product for you. 


  • Patterns – These towels have fun designs and patterns on them that are unique and suit a variety of tastes. 
  • Oversized – These towels are extra-large, so if you enjoy big towels this might be a great fit for you. 
  • Quality – This product is of amazing quality and is made from a soft, breathable, and comfortable fabric. 
  • Pack Size – If you purchase this product you will receive a pack of six incredible and different patterned towels.


  • Print on back – The print of these towels is only on one side and the underside of the towel is a ‘funky gray’ color.

Best Looking Pool Towel: Great Bay Home Cotton Velour Towel

The best part about the Great Bay Home Cotton Velour Towel is how they look. There design is impressive and is perfect for anyone who wants to add a splash of style. 

These towels are made in America using 100% cotton materials. Everything used in manufacturing these towels is eco-friendly. 

It’s worth noting that the towels are a bit heavier than other products available, but overall they are still lightweight and easy to carry around. They also do not dry quickly, but that is a small price to pay for looking good!


  • Pattern Variety – There are several fun patterns and designs you can choose from if you like this towel and want something that suits your tastes. 
  • Natural Fiber – These towels are made from 100% cotton fibers, making them eco-friendly and comfortable against your skin. 


  • Plush – These towels are not as plush as others on this list. 

Best Fast Drying Pool Towel: MIMITOOU Quick-Dry Pool Towels

The MIMITOOU Quick-Dry Pool Towels are our top towel pick that can dry quickly. Not only that, they are also incredibly soft and luxurious.  

The first thing we noticed when we opened up our package was the incredible smell of freshness coming off the towels. We also loved the fact that the towels came individually wrapped, making them usable right away.

There best feature is how quickly these towels dried after being used. After our swim, we could see water droplets dripping down the towels almost instantly.


  • Quick Dry – These towels are designed to dry super-fast after use, so you do not have to lug around soaking wet towels in your swim bag for long. 
  • Patterns – There are several patterns you can choose from if you purchase this towel. 
  • Extra Large – These towels are extra-large, so if you need a large towel for your poolside adventures this is the perfect product for you. 
  • Sand Proof – These towels are sand proof, so if you take a trip to the beach you do not have to worry about sand getting stuck to your towel. 


  • Thin – These towels are not thick and lush.
  • One-Sided Print – The pattern/print is only on one side of these towels.

Best Kid’s Pool Towel: Franco Kids Hooded Towel Wrap

The Franco Kids Hooded Towel Wrap is our top pick for children. It’s big enough that they can wrap themselves up in style with help from their favorite characters including Paw Patrol, Baby Shark, Batman, Minions, Pokemon and Super Mario!

This towel is made from super soft and inviting cotton terry cloth that will keep your little one warm. The highly absorbent material will dry your kiddo quickly, so you don’t have to worry about them getting cold!

The handy corner pockets make it easy to stay wrapped up like a parka.

This towel will have your little swimmer snug and looking great while they dry off from their swim.


  • Patterns – Choose from 27 designs of your child’s favorite cartoon characters.
  • Corner Pockets – The pockets make it easy to stay wrapped in this cozy towel.
  • Hood – The hood keeps your child’s head covered.


  • Child Only Size – At 25×50 inches, these are best used for little ones only.

Best Budget Pool Towel: Ben Kaufman Cotton Ring-Spun Towel

The Ben Kaufman Cotton Ring-Spun Towels are incredibly soft and comfortable. They are made with 100% pure cotton and both are wonderfully soft and comfortable.

These towels are 30×60 inches, which a generous size for adults and child alike. They offer excellent value for money and are perfect for lounging around the pool or even taking them to the beach. 

The different color options are blue, green, yellow and red. You can purchase in packs of two, four, or twenty-four.

If you are looking for a nice set of towels at a reasonable price this is the one for you. 


  • Colors – This product comes in many amazing colors including blue, green, yellow and red. 
  • Quality – These towels are made of 100% cotton and are a gorgeous thick towel that is highly absorbent. 
  • Easy to Clean – This product is super easy to clean and care for, so you can rest assured that your towels will last through countless washes and not lose their luster. 


  • Late Delivery – This product may arrive later than expected based on experience.

Buying Guide

In our buying guide, we outline the key factors you should consider when shopping for a pool towel.

These features include absorbency, drying time, size, material and care.


This refers to the ability of the towel to absorb moisture off your body. If the towel does not absorb moisture effectively then it will leave your skin feeling damp and uncomfortable.

We can assure you that all of our towel picks are able to absorb plenty of moisture!

Drying Time

When using a towel, the time taken for the towel to dry completely depends on the material it is made of as well as its thickness. For example, thicker cotton towels usually take longer to dry compared to thinner ones.

From our list, the quickest drying towel is the MIMITOOU Quick-Dry Pool Towels.


The size of the towel you choose should depend on what type of activities you plan on doing with it. If you are planning on a long day at the beach, you would need a larger towel than if you want to go to the pool to swim laps.

Below you can find our six Athlete Approved towel picks with their corresponding sizes:


What fibers your towel is made from can hugely affect the quality of your towel. Things like absorbance, softness, thickness, and many other traits can be impacted by what fiber or material your pool towel is made from.

We recommend using towels that are made from 100% cotton as they are super absorbent and eco-friendly due to the natural material.


If you don’t treat them well, they won’t last long. So do not stuff them soaking wet in your swim bag and come back to it days later.

The easiest way to clean your pool towels between trips to the pool is to put them into a washing machine and dryer. This saves you lots of time and energy.

If you need to use your towel multiple times while at the pool, be sure to lay it out. It is best to lay them over a back of a chair or on a fence. Your towel will dry even quicker if you can put it in the sun.

Be sure that you read the care instructions carefully before washing. If you do not follow these instructions correctly you may damage your towels or other laundry.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we answer frequently asked questions concerning pool towels. Let’s get started!

Pool Towel And Beach Towel Differences

Pool towels are towels specifically designed to be used by swimmers in their swimming pools. They are generally rectangular-shaped and are often made from polyester, nylon or cotton.

The main difference between a beach towel and pool towel is the size. The most common sizes range between 30×60 inches and 36×80 inches.

How Can I Choose A Good Pool Towel?

What is a good pool towel? What that means to each person may vary depending on their specific wants and needs. But in general, a pool towel that is good will be made from high-quality fabric that is absorbent.

Our Athlete Approved favorite is 100% cotton: it is light, breathable, and absorbent. The holy trifecta for a good beach towel!

There is more to a good beach towel than the material. We have found that the thickness and size of your pool towel will also impact whether a towel is good. Thick towels, for example, have a tendency to be softer on the skin and more absorbent. 

There is a lot that goes into what makes a good towel. The main thing you need to look out for is quality, size, and thickness. With a good balance of those things, you should have a fantastic product that is sure to impress.

Use our best pool towel guide to determine which is best for your swim needs.

Which Is Better: Cotton Or Polyester?

Cotton is the standard fabric used in all pool towels. As mentioned earlier, it is known to be absorbent, easy-care, durable, and affordable. In addition, cotton is hypoallergenic and breathable, meaning that it does not retain moisture inside the towel.

Polyester, on the other hand, has been widely adopted by manufacturers as its durability, strength, moisture absorption and texture make it a popular choice. It is also cheaper than cotton, which makes it a great option for those who are looking for budget-friendly products.

When selecting a pool towel, it is important to note that cotton is recommended over polyester because cotton is inherently superior to polyester. This means that cotton pool towels are stronger, more durable, and easier to maintain.

How Often Should You Wash Pool Towels?

Washing your pool towels regularly is essential.

If you leave them unwashed for extended periods of time, they tend to lose their fluff and can get moldy.

To avoid this problem, wash your pool towels after every use.

Why Do Competitive Swimmers Put Towels on Their Starting Block?

When you go to any high level swim meet, you will notice that competitive swimmers place a towel over their starting block.

They do this to make sure they can get a solid grip on their feet when diving. They do not want to ruin their race by slipping off the block.

Being next to a pool, blocks are always wet. With wetness, comes slippery surfaces. If swimmers can get even a .01 advantage, they should take advantage of that.

Not all swim meets allow for this, so be sure to check with the meet official before putting your towel on the block. If it is not permitted, then you can at least dry it off.

How To Deck Change

When a locker room is unavailable (or just too far away), swimmers “deck change” from their men’s swimsuit/women’s swimsuit to their clothing (or visa-versa).

This is done by wrapping a towel around yourself and changing. The towel is used to cover up.

If you dare to do this, you must use extreme caution. While you may not think it is a big deal, you may offend other pool patrons. There are countless horror stories about deck changing gone bad.

Deck changing is prohibited at all USA Swimming sanctioned meets. There is no rule about deck changing for US Masters Swimming.


Pool towels come in many different sizes and colors. They are also available in various materials.

Having the right pool towel will enhance your pool experience no matter if you are there to swim laps, enjoy the day with your family, or everything in between.

With so many options to choose from, use our Athlete Approved guide to pool towels to help you make the right decision.

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