Towels: Cotton vs. Linen

For an item we use every day, towels are often something you don't think too much about. But with the myriad of fabrics and styles of bathroom towels available it can be quite overwhelming when choosing the right set for your home. 

Absorbency, longevity and environmental impact are key factors you should consider when making the right choice, so we've listed some benefits for both cotton and linen towels to help make that choice a little easier.


The most common question asked about our towels is their absorbency. No-one wants to end a long soak or morning shower with a towel that feels like paper and doesn't soak up all the moisture off your body and hair. Luckily both linen and cotton are highly absorbent, however cotton tends to hold on to liquid and therefore might take a little longer to dry. 


Considering bathroom towels will have to withstand numerous washes, you need quality fabric that will not disintegrate after a few washes. Linen towels should be viewed as an investment, they get better with time and will become softer and more luxurious with every wash. Unlike synthetic fabrics that fade and break down after repeated washes, cotton bath towel sets last- so organic cotton or 100% cotton towels would be the better option for longevity as opposed to cotton blends. 


Organic cotton is made sustainably opposed to the conventionally cultivated cotton which is treated with at least 25% of pesticides, organic cotton is grown without using any harmful chemicals. It basically promotes an Eco-friendly system of farming that manages soil fertility without the continuous use of toxins, pesticides, chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. This helps keep the environment protected from the exposure to toxic chemicals and thus protect the health of people worldwide. Linen on the other hand has its own eco-friendly benefits; it is a natural fibre made from the flax plant. It doesn’t require any pesticides or any additional water other than rain water and every part of the plant is used. Linen is also organic, biodegradable, recyclable. 

It's clear that whether its linen or cotton, the important factor is that it's the natural form and not a synthetic blend. Luckily here at Oliver Thom, we cater to both cotton & linen varieties but most importantly make sure whichever towel brand we choose to supply they are ethical, absorbent and durable. 

Shop our towels here.