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Finding the Perfect Towel: Everything You Need to Know

Finding the Perfect Towel: Everything You Need to Know

Getting out of the shower isn’t always a comfortable transition. You’re going from being warm, steamy, and relaxed, to being cold and damp. And who’s keeping you company as you make the trek from bathroom to bedroom?

That’s right – Your towel.

We’re here to make sure this essential companion doesn’t fall short of giving you what you deserve. That’s why we created Alta. This towel has everything you’re looking for to keep you dry, comfy, and clean, with special attention to the details you didn’t know mattered.

What to think about when choosing a towel:

Cotton type, GSM, staple length, twist construction…

These are the technical details that make the difference between whether your towel reminds you of those luxury resort linens you’re tempted to stash, or those underfunded-gym rags you’ve already forgotten.

Let’s break it down.

Cotton type

You’ve probably already found that towels made from 100% cotton have the best track record for desirability (and if not, you can take our word for it). But what kind of cotton should you be looking for?

Supima/pima cotton is a common choice for a towel. This is a fine way to go if you’re not looking for anything special, but c’mon – you’ve made it to OURA, which is enough to tell us that you know you deserve nothing short of special.

Egyptian and Turkish cotton have gone head-to-head for the top spot among dream-worthy towels and first-pick companions. It’s hard to go wrong with either, but it’s impossible not to go right with Turkey.

With a towel made from Turkish cotton, you get the satisfaction of knowing your cotton is sourced from the origin-country of towels themselves — a trustworthy reputation. Turkish towels also tend to dry more quickly between uses, leaving less time for bacteria to build up in the dampness. (Not that this is something OURA customers need to worry about with any of our bacteria-killing products.)

What about non-cotton fabrics? There’s polyester, which is more than likely what you’re getting at your local gym or cheap motel. Towels made from polyester aren’t worth your attention. There’s also bamboo. Towels made fully or partially with bamboo have grown in popularity over the years, and they have benefits like being lightweight and absorbent. However, bamboo towels are missing two features we weren’t willing to pass up: plushness & the ability to apply anti-microbial technology.


When it comes to plushness and absorbency, GSM tells you almost everything you need to know. It indicates how many grams are in every square meter of a towel. This is the unit to designate weight or density. Basic clothing like sweatshirts and t-shirts usually fall under 300 GSM. Thin, lightweight towels tend to be under 400 GSM. Average-weight towels, like beach towels, are often somewhere between 400 and 600 GSM. Any towel above 600 GSM is considered (by the experts, of course) to be a *luxury* towel.

OURA’s Alta towel hits the sweet spot of 650 GSM: it is ultra-absorbent and eternally soft, without being inconveniently thick and dense. In other words, it’s top-quality.

Twist Construction

The plushness doesn’t stop there. Rather than twisting shorter fibers into compact threads that reduce effectiveness and comfort, Alta’s cotton fibers are woven from zero-twist loops that secure the fibers in their natural fullness. Zero-twist towels are far more absorbent and soft, helping you dry off quickly without irritating your skin.

Staple Length

Imagine: You’ve just gotten out of a nice, warm shower. You dry your feet off on your bathmat and slide into the softest slippers you’ve ever owned. You’re feeling refreshed. Confidently, you pull your towel off the hook and wrap it around yourself, then head into your bedroom to get dressed. As you finish drying off and go to put on your favorite pair of pants, you find little fuzzies everywhere. Your towel has accompanied you from the shower, but it’s not ready to let go, so it’s shedding all over you as a last-ditch effort to join you in the world-beyond-the-bathroom.

This is a daydream-turned-nightmare that should only have to go as far as your imagination (and this blog). That’s why staple length matters; the shorter the staple, the more shedding there is. Alta has an extended staple length for less lint and more durability — a towel so dreamy, it may be you whose not ready to let go.

Thankfully, your ultimate towel companion doesn’t have to stay stuck in your dream world. With its long-staple, zero-twist, 650 GSM Turkish cotton, Alta brings you everything you could need post-shower: gentle, plush, absorbent goodness that will last.

Oh yeah, and did we mention that it’s antimicrobial?

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