These Are the Best Dish Towels For Keeping Your Kitchen Clean and Tidy

Whether you’re drying dishes, wiping down counters, or moving a hot pan, these durable towels are the best you can buy, including our favorite, Utopia 100% Cotton Dish Towels.

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best dish towels
Photo: Amazon

They're not exactly the most exciting kitchen tool out there, but dish towels (also referred to as tea towels) are an invaluable member of the team for home cooks and professional chefs alike. Whether you're drying a plate, wiping up a spill, or moving a hot pan from the cooktop to the oven, a great dish towel can fulfill multiple needs in and around your home.

The very best dish towels are made of absorbent, durable material — cotton, linen, and microfiber are common contenders — and are high enough in quality to withstand frequent washing. And yes, they can look nice, too! Here are our top picks for the best dish towels on the market, starting with Utopia 100% Cotton Dish Towels.

Our Favorites

Best Overall: Utopia 100% Cotton Dish Towels

Best Dish Towels
Amazon

Why It's Great

  • 100% cotton
  • Super absorbent
  • Practical pack of 12

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  • Utilitarian design

Utopia dish towels are about as real-deal as you can get. These towels are incredibly absorbent and made of thick, durable cotton that won't fall apart after a handful of washes. They're sold in a pack of 12, which may sound like overkill for home kitchens, but trust us — you'll be glad to have these dish towels in plentiful supply.

Darcy Lenz, Allrecipes senior editor, says that Utopia dish towels are "just great all-purpose kitchen towels. I use them for everything. They actually absorb liquid well so that when you're trying to use them to dry something (from your counters to dishes to your hands), they actually dry; you're not just moving liquid around." Lenz adds, "Because they're inexpensive and you get plenty in a package, I'm never worried about messing one up."

While the simple one-stripe design may not exactly add aesthetic pizzazz to your kitchen, it just means that these towels should fit right in regardless of your existing color scheme. In either case, Utopia's cotton dish towels are an unbeatable value and enjoy a well-earned spot at the top of our list.

The Details: Cotton; 15 x 25 inches; blue, green, gray, or red; pack of 12

Best Microfiber: Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Best Dish Towels
Amazon

Why It's Great

  • Provides a streak-free finish
  • Won't scratch delicate surfaces
  • Highly absorbent and quick drying

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  • Looks like any ol' shop rag

"I swear by microfiber towels in the kitchen for smear-free surface cleaning: countertops, windows, stovetop, refrigerator, etc., and you only have to use hot water — no spray cleaners needed," says Allrecipes senior editor, Vanessa Graves. "They even lift fingerprints off of painted surfaces. And the nose-prints the cats leave on the windows? Gone with a simple wipe. I recommend protecting your hands with gloves because the hotter the water, the better the clean."

Graves isn't the only microfiber dish towel enthusiast, and with good reason — this material is ultra-absorbent and fast-drying, which makes it an ideal choice for busy kitchens.

Brian Nagele of Restaurant Clicks is a microfiber dish towel devotee after over a decade in the restaurant business, saying that "they're ideal for kitchenware because they're soft and highly absorbent." Nagele further cites the material's "excellent ability to remove smudges without scratching dish surfaces."

The Amazon Basics variety wins our vote for the best microfiber dish towel because they're sold in a value pack of 24, with two different options for three colors within each set. With so many of these dish towels on hand, you can easily spare a few for keeping the bathroom clean, too.

The Details: Polyester/polyamide blend; 12 x 16 inches; blue/white/yellow or green/gray/pink; pack of 24

Best Flour Sack: Aunt Martha's Flour Sack Dish Towels

Best Dish Towels
Amazon

Why It's Great

  • Hemmed edges add elegance
  • 100% cotton
  • Pre-washed and bleached

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  • All-white design subject to staining

Despite its name, a "flour sack" dish towel is not, in fact, a sack. These dish towels are simply reminiscent of the soft cotton bags once used to store and transport flour, and they're delightfully durable.

"​​I know about these flour sack dish towels because of my mom, and they're the only ones I can remember ever seeing in her kitchen," says Mary Claire Lagroue, Allrecipes associate editor. "They're thick, absorbent, durable, and a generous size. We use them for drying hands, cleaning countertops, wiping up spills, soaking up excess water after washing leafy greens, and covering hot-from-the-oven casseroles."

Though also available in 18 x 28 inches and 33 x 38 inches, we like Aunt Martha's flour sack dish towels in the 28 x 28-inch size, which is perfect for drying, wiping, covering, or draping over a shoulder during dinner prep. And with their elegant hemmed edges, these dish towels can almost serve double-duty as napkins or placemats.

The Details: Cotton; 28 x 28 inches; white; pack of 7

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Best Budget: IKEA Rinnig Dish Towel

Best Dish Towels
Ikea

Why It's Great

  • Yarn-dyed cotton retains colors
  • Timeless pattern works in any kitchen
  • Super affordable — stock up!

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  • Thin material can only absorb so much

Everyone's favorite Swedish furniture store is a treasure trove for kitchen supplies, including a vast selection of dish towels. We like the Rinnig set for the no-frills neutral design, but if you're seeking something more lively, the Torvfly dish towels are also a fun option.

The Rinnig towels are very affordable, clocking in at just $1 per towel. Grab two or three packs, and you're all set! These basic dish towels aren't as absorbent as thicker competitors, but they'll work fine for greasy fingers and most countertop spills, and they're pretty great as a stand-in potholder when folded several times — the thin material remains flexible, and there's no-guessing whether you've got a good grip or not.

IKEA's dish towels may not be the fanciest on the market, but they're a great price and hold up surprisingly well throughout years of use.

The Details: Cotton; 18 x 24 inches; white/dark gray stripes or white/green patterned; pack of 4

Best Waffle Weave: Coyuchi Organic Waffle Kitchen Towels

Best Dish Towels
Coyuchi

Why It's Great

  • Ultra-high absorbency
  • Soft, long-lasting color
  • Organic cotton

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  • Pricey for dish towels

We just love a waffle weave towel. All the better that the cool-looking design is functional, too, since the puckered waffle texture creates all sorts of nooks and crannies to absorb liquids.

Coyuchi's waffle dish towels are made of 100% organic cotton — in a factory committed to the recycling of wastewater — which only gets better and softer with use, and they're fully machine washable. It's true that these dish towels are more expensive than most on our list, but don't be reluctant to use them once you have them — the high-quality material is durable and meant to be put to work.

These waffle weave dish towels come in a set of six, for which you can choose from three different color palettes to match your kitchen. And yes, these towels are nice enough that you'll want to have them on display.

The Details: Cotton; 20 x 30 inches; desert, coastal, or meadow color sets; pack of 6

Best Bamboo: Bondre 100% Bamboo Kitchen Dish Towels

Best Dish Towels
Amazon

Why It's Great

  • Made from sustainable bamboo fiber
  • Super absorbent
  • Soft and easy to clean

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  • Can shrink up to 10% after washing

Because bamboo grows so quickly and self-regenerates, it's considered to be a very sustainable material. These bamboo dish towels are a great choice for the eco-minded, but the softness, high level of absorption, and easy-to-clean nature make Bondre bamboo towels a great choice no matter what.

Thanks to bamboo's natural properties, these dish towels are resistant to stains and odor retention. They're easy to clean, but a potential downside is that they can shrink about 10% the first time they're washed — a minor annoyance for an otherwise exceptionally well-performing dish towel. Grab two packs and keep one for the kitchen and the other for tidying up around the rest of the house.

The Details: Bamboo fiber; 12 x 12 inches; white with variably colored trim; pack of 6

Best Linen: Linolo House Helper Treeless Linen Towel

Best Dish Towels
Linoto

Why It's Great

  • Made from scrap material of other linen products
  • Eco-friendly natural linen
  • Strong and absorbent

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  • Sold individually rather than as a set

Linen is a wonderful fabric for its strength and breathability. It's especially lovely for clothing but also makes an excellent dish towel thanks to linen's absorbent, lint-free properties.

Linoto offers a wide range of linen products, and their zero-waste initiative means these dish towels are crafted from the unused portions of fabric leftover in the creation of other products. No two Linoto towels are exactly alike, but they'll all be a high-quality, all-natural material and approximately 15 inches square in size.

These towels are only sold individually, but with several colors available, you mix and match your selections to suit your style preferences. An underrated perk of linen dish towels? Thanks to their elegance and pliability, they can easily step in as dinner napkins when guests come round.

The Details: Linen; 15 x 15 inches; white, oatmeal, indigo, graphite, or Santorini; sold separately

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Best Terry Cloth: Hyer Kitchen Microfiber Kitchen Towels

Best Dish Towels
Amazon

Why It's Great

  • Large size offers lots of versatility
  • Ultra-plush and absorbent
  • Durable and fade-resistant

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  • Takes up more storage space than slimmer competitors

Though frequently made of cotton, terry cloth can come in a variety of materials — it's defined by its production with a series of tiny, protruding loops that aid in the absorption of liquid. These dish towels are a microfiber terry cloth capable of absorbing six times its own weight in water.

"Hyer Kitchen's microfiber towels are top quality, mainly for their strong, lint-free material," says Naegle.

The lush towels come in several colors and are sold in a convenient pack of eight. They're plush and oversized at 18 x 26 inches, so they're the first towel we'd reach for when navigating a big spill in the kitchen or when laying out hand-washed pots and pans to dry.

Because the Hyer Kitchen dish towels are so large and thick, they'll take up more storage space than some of our other top picks, but their amazing performance is well worth the extra room.

The Details: Microfiber; 18 x 26 inches; blue, camel, green, gray, lake blue, purple, or yellow; pack of 8

Best Swedish: Swedish Wholesale Dish Cloths

Best Dish Towels
Amazon

Why It's Great

  • Compact size is easy to use
  • Eco-friendly alternative to paper towels
  • Usable either wet or dry

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  • Not a "towel" in the conventional sense

OK, so these dish towels are a bit different — they're more like reusable paper towels than actual towels, but they're little miracles of productivity in the kitchen.

Swedish dishcloths are washable, highly absorbent, and effective for light scrubbing. When they're dry, they have just enough abrasion to tackle caked-on residue, but they soften when wet and become the perfect vehicle for wiping down countertops, backsplashes, sinks, and more.

And unlike the other dish towels on our list, you can actually use Swedish dishcloths to do the dishes. The small, nimble size makes quick work of handwashing, and because they're so easy to clean, they won't hold bacteria and odors like a regular sponge. Once you have these in your kitchen, you'll wonder how you ever lived without them.

The Details: Cellulose sponge cloth/cotton blend; 7 x 8 inches; blue, gray, green, purple, red, teal, white, yellow; pack of 10

Best Design: Williams Sonoma Meyer Lemon Towels

Best Dish Towels
Williams-Sonoma

Why It's Great

  • Vibrant imagery
  • High-performance cotton
  • Practical set of two

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  • May be "too pretty" to want to use

Great design is subjective for sure, but there's a reason these Williams Sonoma Meyer Lemon dish towels are a bestseller: they're gorgeous. Vibrant yellows and greens contrast against bright white — these are the type of dish towels you may be reluctant to actually use!

Don't be distracted by the pretty design, though, because these 100% cotton towels have the absorbency and durability to earn them a rightful place in your kitchen. They're machine-washable and resistant to fading, so you can enjoy them as a functional showpiece in your kitchen for a long time to come.

Lemons not your thing? Check out Williams Sonoma's other fanciful dish towels, like these Bright Jacquard towels, Fnnch Honey Bear towels, or the simpler Multi-Pack Bundle.

The Details: Cotton; 20 x 30 inches; Meyer Lemon design; pack of 2

Related: The Best Dish Drying Mats Our Allstars Love

How to Pick the Right Dish Towel

Material

Ultimately, the best dish towel is the one you think feels best in your hand, but there are a few guiding principles to keep in mind when shopping for a new set. Cotton and microfiber towels are absorbent and can be washed multiple times without losing their absorbency, as well as linen, which tends to be more durable as well.

Design

As we noted with the Williams Sonoma towels, design is a personal preference. What looks great in your kitchen might be an eyesore in another, so choose your dish towel design based on your own space and aesthetic whims.

Versatility

A great dish towel can clean, absorb, and dry quickly without leaving behind streaks or residue. While not every dish towel will be ideal for, say, the delicate task of polishing wine glasses to a high sheen, choosing a quality towel will lend more versatility than one that sheds lint with every motion.

Common Questions

What fabric is best for dish towels?

Microfiber, cotton, and linen are widely regarded as the best material for dish towels.

How do you wash dish towels?

When it comes time to clean, be sure to use hot water with a detergent in order to remove grease and oil. It's also best to wash your dish towels separately from other towels — both to avoid collecting loose fibers on your dish towels, as well as to keep oily residue and unsavory odors away from your fluffy bath towels.

Why Take Our Word For It?

Allrecipes is a community-driven brand committed to providing helpful resources and trusted information to home cooks. Contributor Summer Rylander selected the best dish towels based on their quality, performance, and reputation among culinary professionals. In addition to her work researching kitchen products for The Cookware Review and reviewing tools for The Kitchn, she is very particular about towel texture and functionality (both in and out of the kitchen).

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