One of my missions for our next trip was to find a better travel towel, really an alternative the microfiber towel.  I seriously hate those things, they feel awful on your skin, everything sticks to them and they smell quickly.  So began my search and I stumbled across the Turkish towel.  Below is a full review and explanation as to why Turkish towels beat those micro fiber towels in almost every category!

What is a Turkish towel?

A Turkish towel is essentially a bath towel; it is made of cotton or linen that is woven. Mostly known as peshtemals, they have a history of nearly 600 years and originated in Anatolia, Turkey.


A Turkish towel is the most versatile travel item you will bring with you on your travels.  To date, I have used it as a towel, a blanket, a seat/ bed cover,  a dress,  a scarf,  a sarong,  a bag, a skirt, a beach cover up and I am sure more.

A Microfiber towel is well… just a towel.  I tried to use it as a beach blanket once- HUGE mistake I was pulling crap out of it for weeks. This towel serves no purpose but a towel, maybe a blanket for if you are cold.


My biggest complaint about those micro fibre towels as they are always so small even an XL (approx. 65 x 135 cm) one barely makes it around your body meaning you will need to either be super careful and show off some leg on the way back from the showers in your hostel or you need to put your clothes back on in the bathroom.  Let’s be honest neither are great options.  Turkish towels are huge (generally 100 x 150 cm); I can make it around myself nearly 2 times meaning nothing is going to slip out.


Turkish towels weight just a few ounces more than their microfiber counterparts so really for all the pro’s this is the only con and it is barely one.


They are so soft against your skin versus the awful feeling microfiber towels.  Turkish towels are made of natural fibers versus the synthetic microfiber so it is always going be nicer against the skin.


I often feel like those microfiber towels don’t absorb anything they just push around the water on your skin (am I the only one?).  Turkish towels act much more like a standard towel, absorbing everything much faster.

Drying time

The drying time for both towels is virtually the same, but because the Turkish towel is so thin it will dry much faster in the sunshine than a microfiber towel.


A good XL microfiber towel will run you about $45 CDN while a (bigger) Turkish towel is generally around $25 CDN.

Just to summarize:

Turkish Towel


Micro Fiber Towel


Versatility  ✓
Size  ✓
Weight  ✓
Texture  ✓
Absorbency  ✓
Drying time  ✓  ✓
Cost  ✓

There is no question in my mind the Turkish towel is the number one best thing to pack for your next trip.  Here are some links to buy them in Canada.

Buy them on Amazon HERE  and HERE and HERE !

Have you tried a Turkish towel before?   What are your thoughts on Microfiber towels?

Can’t get enough?