What Are the Different Types of Washroom Towels?

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  • Written By: Mary Ellen Popolo
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2019
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There are several different types of washroom towels, each of which has its own purpose in the bathroom. Fingertip towels, hand towels, bath towels and bath sheets are common types of towels. Bath sheets, bath mats, and wash cloths are also classified as washroom towels.

The different kinds of towels can be divided into two categories — functional and decorative. Functional towels are those that are used for bathing or showering, while decorative towels are for display only. Some types of towels, like fingertip towels, can be both functional and decorative but are often reserved for company rather than used on a regular basis.

Towels that are used for decorative purposes generally match the decor of the bathroom. They can be folded and placed on shelves, rolled and put in a decorative basket on the side of the tub, or folded and hung on a towel rack. Plush and luxurious decorative towels are often used in a bathroom to give the bath an elegant spa feeling. Decorative washroom towels can be a solid color that picks up a hue from the shower curtain or bathroom wall, or they can be printed to add a design to the bath or match the shower curtain. Holiday-themed towels are often used in the bath as well and can be found for almost all holidays and in all sizes.


Washroom towels are used on a daily basis for drying off after baths or showers. These towels include bath sheets and bath towels, bath sheets being the larger of the two. A bath mat is similar to a bath towel but is placed in front of the tub or shower to prevent slipping on a wet floor. It is generally not used for drying as it is usually thicker and coarser than a towel.

Hand towels are usually hung on a towel holder close to the sink and used to dry hands after washing. They come in a large assortment of styles, patterns, and colors and can be elaborate or plain, often matching the decor of the bathroom. Some people have a set of hand towels for company and a separate set for everyday use. Fingertip towels are small towels — falling between the wash cloth and the hand towel in size and usually placed in the bath just for guests to use.

Hooded washroom towels are often used for babies and children. They are usually designed with various animals faces on the hood with the rest of the towel in the animal's body color. They are used to dry off a child after a bath. The hood and wraparound style are designed to keep the child warm.


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