Originally published August 5, 2015 and updated May 4, 2022.
There are mixed opinions on the best towels for college students to take with them to school. ‘m a professional organizer and have sent 3 of my children to college and these 35+ tips and products will help you make the best choice for your college student.
Best Towels for College
If you choose to buy a college dorm room essentials bundle, it usually contains bath towels. I recommend that you consider purchasing towels separately so you can purchase the best towels for your needs and preferences.
I recommend you give all towels, sheets and bedding a first wash at home before you head off to college. This prevents dye running onto clothes or other items washed at college. It also provides the freshest, washed towels and bedding for the student.
How many towels do I bring to college?
There’s a balance between washing towels frequently and having limited space in college dorm rooms to store extra items.
For most people, 2 – 3 bath towels (or bath sheet), 3-4 hand towels a bathmat and 1 beach towel work.
That number may change depending on:
- You want to change towels out daily
- You prefer to use a different hand towel for your face and one for handwashing
- You want an additional towel for hair
- Realistically how often will you do laundry
When choosing bath towels, consider whether you want to purchase large bath towels to be able to wrap around you or smaller towels that take up less storage space.
How many washcloths do you need for college?
For most people 4 – 8 washcloths is a good number.
In determining how many washcloths to take to school, consider:
- Do you want a fresh washcloth each day?
- How often are you realistically going to do laundry?
- Do you want one washcloth for your face and another for your body?
- How much storage space will you have?
Best Color of Towels for College
In choosing the color of towels to take to college consider:
- Pick a slightly unusual color so you can easily distinguish your towels from your roommate’s towels. (Navy blue towels would be more common for boys than girls and navy blue is not one of my daughter’s school colors.)
- Choose a color that won’t bleed on your clothes when you wash one large load of clothes. You’ll want to avoid bright colors or wash them multiple times at home before you get to college and start shoving as many items as you can into the washing machines.
- Choose a color that won’t show stains too readily (realistically, no college student will be bleaching towels while away at college).
- Choose a color that you like and will coordinate with your bedding (if that’s important to you).
My daughter chose to go with navy blue towels. Although it challenges item 2 above, she plans on washing her navy blue towels with her jeans. This way the jeans and towels won’t be mixed with the rest of her laundry. This is important to her because much of her wardrobe is delicate enough that washing with jeans or towels would “rough” the clothing items up. Now her clothes are safe from being mixed with those more abrasive towels and jeans. Just as importantly to my daughter, the navy blue compliments the teal, grey and white colors of her bedding. And mom will wash these towels several times at home before she leaves just in case the color does bleed.
She chose to go with white wash cloths because somehow white wash cloths seem more sterile than dark-colored ones (call us crazy). Because stains will show on the white cloth, she’ll be able to clearly see if a wash cloth has gotten stained or needs to be replaced.
Take a moment to cut the tags off the towels and wash cloths. It makes the towels neater. )Is it just me, but those tags bug me flapping around.)
What towels to bring to college?
Determine your personal preference and needs. You should consider purchasing high-quality materials so that the towels will last for four years and even into the student’s first year or two on their own.
Here are some of the best bath towels. Each image is a clickable Amazon link and most are available in multiple colors.
How do you hang towels in a dorm room?
Most dorm rooms have a towel rood or two. The problem is that there may not be enough hanging spaces for all the roommates to have as many towels as the y all want.
You can use Command Hooks, over-the-door hooks or rods or even a coat tree to hold towels.
It can also be helpful to have towels with loops to hang them with. You can also look for quick-drying towels.
More College Tips
Tips for the Best Shower Caddy in College – These simple tips make it possible to have the best shower caddy in college, one that really works for you and makes dorm life easier.
Dorm Move In Day Tips for freshman year (or every year)– Dorm Move-In Day doesn’t have to be stressful or painful. Use these tips for parents to make college move-in day easier. I’ve moved my daughter into her dorm twice by myself and these tips are a huge help
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I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.