Tackle the dishes with these ultra-absorbent towels, which come recommended by thousands of reviewers and Allrecipes editors.
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Credit: Allrecipes Illustration

Dish towels are one of the most reached-for items in the kitchen. So why don't we put a little more thought into which ones we buy? Let's be honest, cleaning kitchen messes is a normal occurrence in the life of a home cook. So let's all thank the humble dish towel for doing the dirty work for us.

Whether you're a young cook looking to purchase your first set of dish towels, or you're simply looking to upgrade your existing set, these are the best dish towels on the market. We scoured the internet, specifically the reviews sections, to find the dish towels people are most excited about. Keep reading to see our picks for the best 16 dish towels to buy, and find the right one for you.

Best Dish Towels at a Glance:

What to Consider When Buying Dish Towels

Types of Dish Towels

Which dish towel you choose to buy all comes down to how you intend to use them. Most of the time, you'll be using dish towels to dry dishes, cookware, hands, and other surfaces. But dish towels can also be used to handle hot cookware, clean big spills, and polish glassware.

Here, we'll break down the difference between common dish towel materials so that you can decide which one is a fit for you. While some dish towels are double-sided or feature different types within a set, you may also want to consider getting a combination of different materials so you can tackle every kitchen task.

  • Flour Sack: Flour sack dish towels, sometimes referred to as tea towels, are made from linen, which has soft fibers that are great for polishing fine china or glassware. They won't leave any fluff or other residue on your crystal-clear glassware. And they dry extremely quickly. The only con to flour sack towels is they're not the best at absorbing liquids because they're so thin.
  • Terry Cloth: If you are looking for absorbency that can handle big spills, terry cloth dish towels might be the right fit for you. Terry cloth material, often made from cotton, is made of piles of loops tightly sewn together. This is the type of fabric that's often used for bath towels or bathrobes because it's great at soaking up moisture. This makes it a great pick for tackling kitchen messes, but it will take a little time to dry.
  • Cotton: Tightly woven cotton is arguably the best material for dish towels because it is both very absorbent and leaves very little lint behind. It's ideal for drying dishes and hands and for handling hot cookware, as it's both durable and extremely heat-tolerant.
  • Microfiber: Microfiber towels are plush and thick, making them ideal for tackling big spills. Many of them have added absorbency and dry very quickly. Plus, they're great for use on glassware because they're lint-free. The only downside to them is that they can be damaged when used on hot surfaces, so you won't want to use them as an oven mitt.

With the best type of dish towel in mind for you and your kitchen, keep scrolling to see our 16 picks for the best dish towels you can buy.

Best Overall: All-Clad Dual Woven Stripe Hand Towels

best dish towels
Credit: Amazon

All-Clad is known for creating high-quality kitchen products that will last a lifetime, and these top-rated dish towels are no exception. The smart design of these dual-sided towels makes them ideal for tackling a variety of kitchen tasks. One side is made from absorbent terry, while the other is made from flatter, woven-weave cotton that's perfect for use on glassware and other delicate dishes.

The simple stripe design comes in a dozen colors, so there's an option for every kitchen. Not to mention, they've been treated with an antimicrobial agent to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria. One reviewer said, "Not only do these look sharp, they are thick and absorbent. And they are nice and big! Bigger than most dish towels. They get the job done… I think they will last a long time." 

Buy it: $30; Amazon

Best Runner-Up: T-fal Tea Towel and Dishcloths

best dish towels
Credit: Amazon

If you're looking to tackle big messes, these cotton terry dish towels are soft and absorbent workhorses. With more than 3,300 five-star ratings on Amazon, it's safe to say these are a popular pick.

One reviewer put it this way: "You know the minute you touch these they aren't made of cheap material. They absorb the moisture quickly when drying the dishes." This set comes with two towels in eight vibrant colors. And at $14 per set, you can't pass these up.

Buy it: $12 (originally $14); Amazon

Editors' Pick: Utopia Ultra-Soft Cotton Dish Cloths

best dish towels
Credit: Amazon

If you're looking for dish towels that will hold up through years of use, look no further.  The pure cotton weave on these classic dish towels softens with every wash. They're thick and absorbent, and they don't leave lint or scratches behind. It's no wonder why Allrecipes editors are obsessed with them. 

What Allrecipes Editors Are Saying: "They 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 are actually dried; you're not just moving liquid around." The set's affordable price also won Lenz over: "Because they're inexpensive and you get plenty in a package, I'm never worried about messing one up." — Darcy Lenz, senior editor 

The Utopia Ultra-Soft Dish Cloths have earned more than 9,300 five-star ratings from Amazon shoppers, making them one of the most popular cotton dish towel sets available. One wrote, "These dish towels are super soft yet absorbent enough to handle bigger messes." 

Buy it: $15 (originally $22); Amazon

Best Dishcloth: Sticky Toffee Cotton Terry Kitchen Dishcloth Towels

Sticky Toffee Cotton Terry Kitchen Dishcloth Towels, 8 Pack, 12 in x 12 in, Yellow Stripe
Credit: Amazon

If dish towels are a workhorse, dishcloths are the little engine that could of every kitchen. We grab them for wiping down counters, scrubbing pans, cleaning off shelves, and every other small task we can imagine. And when they're nasty, they go straight into the washing machine to be washed dozens (even hundreds!) of times. So if we're honest, dishcloths often show their age long before towels.

That's why you need high-quality dishcloths that will stand up to that use, as these 12-by-12-inch cotton terry dishcloths will do, according to their 1,700 five-star reviewers. 

"The best dish towels you can buy," one Amazon shopper titled their review, adding a photo: "They have stood the test of time. I've had this particular set for a year and a half and this is how they look. No loose threads, no stains even though I have used the white ones to wipe up coffee, among many other things." The customer also added, "They are incredibly sturdy, they absorb well, and are just fantastic. If you're looking for a reliable set of dish towels, look no further."

Buy it: $13 (originally $15); Amazon 

Best Budget Pick: Made By Design Cotton Dishcloths

6pk Cotton Dishcloths - Made By Design
Credit: Target

Turns out you don't have to spend much at all to get high-quality dish towels for all your kitchen needs. At just under $1 apiece, these affordable towels have rave reviews on Target.

The 100 percent cotton terry material is extremely absorbent, and the towels come in classic gray and white. One five-star reviewer says, "Very absorbent kitchen cleaning towels. One will clean my entire kitchen. Bought both white and gray."

Buy it: $5; Target

Most Versatile: Williams Sonoma All-Purpose Pantry Towels

Williams Sonoma All Purpose Pantry Towel Set in white
Credit: Williams-Sonoma

This set, available exclusively at Williams Sonoma, is consistently listed as one of the best dish towel sets on the market. Each towel features a waffle texture on one side and terry loops on the other, so you can take on any kitchen cleanup project.

Take it from this five-star reviewer: "These are the best kitchen towels around! You could dry five sinks full of dishes with one towel, I am convinced. I purchased these over six months ago and they have been the best I have ever owned by far."

These top-rated towels are a great value at $5.50 each. Choose from nine different solid colors to match your kitchen decor. They're machine-washable, and according to Williams Sonoma, the more you wash them, the softer they get.

Buy it: $22; Williams Sonoma

Ultra Absorbent: KitchenAid Albany Striped Tea Towels

best dish towels
Credit: Amazon

We had to include this set from KitchenAid, since reviewers had nothing but great things to say about it. This four-piece set, which is touting a 4.8-star rating on Amazon, is perfect for a first apartment or for replacing your old set of dish towels. A happy customer said, "I had bought KitchenAid towels in college. I still have them two decades later." 

Two of the towels are made from highly absorbent cotton for soaking up spills, while the other two are made from a cotton-polyester blend that's perfect for cleaning glassware and other dishes. This versatile set can tackle all your kitchen messes in style.

Buy it: $17 (originally $19); Amazon 

Best Terry: Crate and Barrel Waffle-Terry Dish Towels

Crate and Barrel Waffle-Terry Dish Towels
Credit: Crate and Barrel

Reviewers love these double-sided towels for their versatility — one side is made of waffle weave that's perfect for lint-free drying, while the other side is terry cloth for top-notch absorbency. Choose from a variety of solid colors to fit your kitchen decor.

"Where other towels simply move the water around and you still have to air dry, this one actually dries dishes by sucking up excess moisture," said one satisfied reviewer.

Buy it: $13; Crate and Barrel

Best Microfiber: Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

best dish towels
Credit: Amazon

Dubbed as a "can't live without" kitchen product by Allrecipes editors, the Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths are made with a soft-to-the-touch polyester-polyamide blend that allows them to absorb eight times their weight. In addition to soaking up big spills, they're ideal for drying dishes and cleaning delicate surfaces like stovetops, as they won't leave any lint or scratches behind. 

What Allrecipes Editors Are Saying: "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. 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." —Vanessa Greaves, senior editor 

Buy it: $14; Amazon

Best Flour Sack: Aunti Em's Kitchen Dish Towels With Vintage Design

Kitchen Dish Towels with Vintage Design for Kitchen
Credit: Amazon

If you're looking to dry fine china or glassware, these flour sack towels are great for polishing up your most delicate dishes. "These are excellent kitchen towels," said one reviewer. "Not only are they well constructed and designed to last a long time, they are sturdy, absorbent, and easy to wash." Another added that they "don't have much lint on them at all."

These kitchen towels are also oversized, offering lots of surface area for drying loads of dishes. At just over $1.50 apiece, they are a great value.

Buy it: $20; Amazon

Flour Sack Runner-up: Aunt Martha's Flour Sack Dish Towels

best dish towels
Credit: Amazon

Made from 100 percent cotton and featuring a high 130 thread count, these flour sack towels have impressive absorbency. Their quality construction and 28-by-28-inch size make them useful for dish-drying and cleaning up spills alike. And elegant details like four-side hemming make them pretty enough to display in your kitchen when they're not in use. 

What Allrecipes Editors Are Saying: "​​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. 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." —Mary Claire Lagroue, associate editor

Buy it: $17; Amazon

Best Tea Towel: Madras Flour Sack Dish Towels

best dish towels
Credit: Amazon

Looking for a dish towel that can tackle the dishes and assist with your cooking and baking projects? Enter: The Madres Flour Sack Dish Towels. These multipurpose towels are made from 100 percent organic cotton, so they're incredibly absorbent and useful to have on hand for kitchen messes. Their crisp color also makes them great for wrapping up baked goods or even using as napkins during your next dinner party. 

One reviewer noted that the tea towels are "great for cleaning and drying appliances like a Cuisinart. You can really get into the nooks and crannies."

What Allrecipes Editors Are Saying: "I love these flour sack towels for proofing bread dough, drying pasta, keeping phyllo damp, etc. They have a fine weave and leave no lint behind." —Frances Crouter, senior manager, content marketing 

Buy it: $28 (originally $30); Amazon

Best Design: Gracie Oaks Fairley Dish Cloths

Gracie Oaks Fairley Dish Cloth
Credit: Wayfair

If you like to layer pattern and color in your kitchen, look no further than this trio of stylish dish towels from Wayfair. Available in six colors, each set includes a gingham, buffalo check, and stripe towel of the same color. And each color coordinates well with the others in the line.

But you're not buying these just for looks. These towels need to pull their weight in your kitchen — and they will. Made with 100 percent absorbent cotton, the towels' tight weave makes for less lint left behind on glassware or surfaces. "I love this set," one happy reviewer raved. "These towels are a generous size, are absorbent, and are so very cute!" 

Buy it: $25; Wayfair

Best for Gifting: Martha Stewart Waffle Weave Kitchen Towels

Martha Stewart Collection 3-Pc. Waffle Weave Kitchen Towels, Created for Macy's
Credit: Macy's

Beautiful kitchen towels make wonderful gifts for new homeowners and newlyweds; they're also very much appreciated as a hostess gift. Include a pack of kitchen towels when you take a casserole to a new mom or friend recovering from a procedure. They'll appreciate the beautiful new additions to their kitchen and the thoughtful reminder of you each time they use them.

These waffle weave towels from Martha Stewart are elegant enough for a gift, but practical enough for everyday use. The set of three towels includes oversized (20 inches by 30 inches) cotton towels in three understated but classic designs.

One reviewer wrote, "Good looking, very absorbent, and nice and large — maybe the best kitchen towels I've ever had, regardless of price. Will definitely be ordering more." 

Buy it: $29; Macy's

Best Bamboo: Bondre Bamboo Kitchen Dish Cloths

best dish towels
Credit: Amazon

Switching to bamboo dish towels is one way to make your kitchen more eco-friendly. With their natural bamboo fiber material, the soft Bondre Kitchen Dish Cloths offer high absorbency and antibacterial properties, which means they won't harbor germs and common allergens like mold. The durable towels suit a variety of kitchen tasks, and since they're resistant to pilling, pesky lint won't sully your dishes, appliances, and countertops. The towels measure 12 by 12 inches and come in an assortment of colors. 

"After using one Bondre bamboo dish cloth for several days, I've found it to be the best I've ever used so far," raved one Amazon shopper. "It proved excellent for general washing, scrubbing tough food residue off pots, and wiping down counters. It was more absorbent than cotton, and felt thick and plush in my hand. I was able to wring it out almost dry. After being used, wrung out, and hung, it dried quickly [and] was completely free of odor." 

Buy it: $14; Amazon

Best for Drying Dishes: Hyer Kitchen Microfiber Dish Towels

best dish towels
Credit: Amazon

Doing the dishes feels like less of a chore when you've got a quality towel like these microfiber ones on deck for drying. These absorbent towels soak up six times their weight in water, allowing them to tackle any load that's been piling up in your sink. Their 26-by-18-inch size provides enough surface area for small and large dishes alike, and their soft material gently lifts water without damaging the surface of plates and serveware. Choose between 10 colors, each of which features a lovely lattice pattern. 

One reviewer shared, "I love these dish towels, they dry dishes, pots, and pans in a second. Great for glass containers too." Another added, "They are very soft and don't leave 'towel dust' on my dishes or hands." 

Buy it: $18 (originally $21); Amazon