Let’s Talk Towels: How Many Do You Need?

We’ve spent a few water-cooler conversations lately on the trending topic of bath towels – notably, how many to stock in a typical household. Our informal poll yielded a wide range of numbers.

With so many variations in family size, storage space and laundry habits, a universal answer isn’t possible. Yet we can offer some guidelines, and you can make adjustments based on your personal preferences.

We asked Kelley Dillinger, our senior textile specialist, to share her expertise.


How many towels do you need in your bathroom?

In a normal week, most families will use about two sets of towels per person, with each set consisting of a bath towel, a hand towel and a washcloth. This will vary based on how often you choose to launder your towels. “On average, many people wash them every three to four days, meaning they’re likely to change out a single set twice a week,” Dillinger says.

You could substitute a larger bath sheet – a towel roughly 40″ x 70″ or larger – for a bath towel, if you prefer that size.

How many towels do you need in your linen closet?

A traditional linen closet for two people will have six bath towels, four hand towels and four washcloths, Dillinger says. This provides a sufficient number to have in a rotation – so you’re not buying replacement towels too often – and keeps some handy for guests. (And if your family has more than three people, you’ll want to add two of each type of towel to your closet’s inventory.)

How many towels do you need in a powder room or guest bathroom?

One to two sets of hand towels and bath towels should fill a guest bathroom, depending on how you style them. If you drape hand towels over the bath towel, that will potentially create enough room to fit a second set. Accenting our solid-colored Resort Towels with Resort Flourish or Resort Fretwork towels adds visual intrigue.

A half-bath on the first floor is usually stocked with a couple of fine linen towels for decoration and one or two traditional hand towels or fingertip towels for actual use. Monogrammable Guest Towels also make a distinguished statement.

Should you have different types of towels for your guests?

“You don’t need to differentiate between personal use and guest use,” Dillinger says. “And your choice of type should depend on your preferred quality, construction and performance.”

With a range of cotton types, densities and weaving processes, Frontgate offers the widest variety of premium bath towels available. In our blog “How to Buy the Best Bath Towel,” we break down all your quality considerations and explain how each towel type performs.

Now, about storage:

Round out your bathroom with beautiful furnishings. The Resort Collection includes glass-shelved étagères and bath carts, steel towel racks and teak shelving. Each also presents a storage solution to potentially overstuffed linen closets.

Got a game plan? Now it’s time to explore our selection of premium bathroom furniture.