As with bedding, choosing the right bathroom linen may not be as easy when it comes to materials and care labels.

One of the top tips shared by Ms. Clara Teo, co-founder of Sunday Bedding, is that even the best towels will build up soap residue over time, which can lead to stiffening.

If that happens, just soak them in warm water with a splash of white vinegar to soften the towels.

Avoid plasticizers and remember that tumble drying (as opposed to line drying) will keep them softer.

Line drying is the more eco-friendly option though, so it really suits your preferences.

Choose your weight

GSM stands for grams per square meter. A typical cotton towel, including the one used in hotels, weighs between 300 and 600 GSM and 700 GSM is the sweet spot for this dense, luxurious towel that you normally get at spas or hotels.

“Be careful, however, not to go too high – some towels can weigh up to 900 GSM – as drying can take longer, especially with the humidity in Singapore. However, with gym towels you should choose a lower GSM, they dry faster and are easier.

Cotton is best

In general, cotton is the gold standard for bath towels because it is durable, soft, and absorbent. Look for towels made from 100 percent cotton as these will pass tests for softness, absorbency, and durability. The material is breathable and comfortable, so it doesn’t irritate the skin.

Go organic

Textile manufacturing can be full of dangerous chemicals that are used in dyeing, treating and washing. Look for organically certified towels that are less harsh on your skin. Global Organic Textile Standard certified towels mean that no toxic chemicals have been used during the entire production process.

Avoid decorative embellishments

While towels can add a design element to your bathroom with these extras, the delicate embellishments or embroidery are subject to more wear and tear over time.

Your towels will feel different after the first wash

“Don’t fret, as cotton fibers usually“ open ”after the first wash and dry. This will maximize the absorbency of the towel so that the cotton fibers are ready to soak up all of the water from your next shower. A good quality towel should always be are still present feel soft and absorbent after the first use.

This article was first published in Singapore Women’s Weekly (www.womensweekly.com.sg).