How much consideration do you put into finding the best travel towel? A towel that’s quick-dry, lightweight and stylish for backpacking and travelling! Haha well, it’s probably not number on your travel holiday list – 1. Book flights. 2. Book accommodation. 3. Buy the perfect travel towel!
But I’m going to share (what I believe) are the new best travel towels on the market from a great eco-friendly company in the UK called Cotton and Olive. That’s a pretty bold statement so I guess you’ll have to keep reading to see why I think that!
Cotton and Olive provided me with these towels for review, but that doesn’t mean I have to say that I like them. All my opinions will always be my own, whether I like or don’t like something.
Who are ‘Cotton and Olive’?
Cotton & Olive are a UK based company ran by Ilgen and her partner. The concept and company grew from an idea by Ilgen. Born in Turkey she was familiar with the usage of the traditional Turkish or Hammam towels and thought they would make the perfect quick-dry travel and backpacking towel.
The Zest Hammam towel is made from 100% cotton and the Lush Bamboo Peshtemal Towel is 90% cotton and 10% bamboo. Both towels are hand-loomed, with little tassels at each end giving it the stylish appearance of a blanket or throw, which was one of the things I loved about the towels.
Cotton and Olive now produce a wide range of different products from beach towels, bathroom towels, hand towels (yes there is a towel theme), but also bathrobes, tablecloths, beachwear, cotton bedspreads and throws. I have a feeling the range will continue growing as they seem pretty popular.
Check out the full range from Cotton and Olive here.
How do you wash the towels?
Both towels are machine washable, recommended on a 40-degree wash cycle. Fabric conditioner and tumble drying are not recommended, but the towels dry fast anyway.
Ilgen at Cotton and Olive also advised me to wash the Hammam towels before I used them to make them softer. I didn’t do this but still found the towels soft and absorbent. They are never going to be the same as big fluffy towels as regard to softness but to dry you they do a perfect job! I have washed them a couple of times now, but it’s difficult to tell how much softer they are getting!
The other bonus of these towels being lightweight and small is that you fit more items in your washing machine. Normally, a couple of big bath towels would almost fill your machine up but these Hammam towels allow you to wash all your holiday clothes in one load!
- The Zest Peshtemal Hammam Towel weighs only 310 g compared to a normal bath towel which is around 700 g
How much do the Cotton and Olive towels cost?
Zest Peshtemal Hammam Towel – £27.00
Lush Bamboo Peshtemal Towels – £27.00 (currently on sale at £22.00 at time of writing)
- All products are individually priced on Cotton and Olive’s website.
How eco-friendly are Cotton and Olive?
Not only do you want a great product but it’s really important to know how ‘green’ a company is! The towels arrived in minimal packaging, albeit each towel was in a thin plastic bag, something I’d be interested to see if there is an alternative because everything else about Cotton and Olive is great.
The product itself, a lightweight, quick-dry towel means reduced costs for electricity when laundering the products and you can fit double the amount in your machine so less work for you too!
First trip to Italy with Cotton and Olive travel towels
I flew from Stansted Airport, direct to Brindisi in Italy, with Ryanair. The allowance for luggage (without paying) is 10 kg, plus a small bag to take onboard.
What that means is you can be limited to space, large beach towels can certainly take up more room than you want. Plus you want extra space to pack all those pretty summer dresses you’ve been saving! You might think because they take up less space they might be smaller? I was able to wrap both towels comfortably around me with extra material (the Zest one was slightly larger though).
- Zest Peshtemal Hammam Towel – 180 x 90 cm
- Lush Bamboo Peshtemal Towel – 170 x 90 cm
Or if you want a really big towel Cotton & Olive have launched their new XL Beach Blankets which are 220 x 160 cm!
Since Cotton and Olive had provided me with two towels, I decided to treat them both to a trip to Italy! The towels fitted perfectly in my bag, along with a selection of different, dresses, sandals, yoga gear and toiletries for my stay at The Aia in Nardo, Italy.
I packed the Zest towel in my small rucksack so I could use as a cushion on the flight (it was a 6.50 am flight).
Multi-purpose travel towels
Not only did I use Cotton and Olive towels, to dry myself, I used them a handy blanket too. On my 4-hour bus journey from Nottingham to Stansted Airport, I used the towel as a cover so I could have a little sleep.
I appreciate a regular towel would do the same job but the nice thing about these products is that they look like a blanket too. I also dragged the other one from the bottom of my bag to use as a pillow. Ok, so it still wasn’t the most comfortable of journeys, National Express seats are strangely uncomfortable when you’re trying to sleep at 2 am!
Although some are specifically designed as beach towels, they also look great in your own bathroom. If you check out Cotton and Olive’s website you’ll see so many different designs and colours, perfect to fit any style.
- Budget travel – staying in hostels (which don’t provide towels)
- Beach towels
- Picnic blanket
- Camping Trips
- Blankets whilst travelling on buses, trains or planes
Would I recommend Cotton and Olive Towels?
An easy answer for me, yes I’d recommend them. I loved both the towels but the Zest one was clearly my favourite, as you can see from the photos! It was slightly larger, not that it mattered mainly I loved the bright colours and it was the one I was drawn too most when packing my beach bag.
Now that I’m home I’m still using the Zest Hammam towel, it’s much more compact than my other towels and since I don’t have much space in my home for drying it hangs perfectly on the back of my bedroom door to dry.
To buy your own travel towels head to cottonandolive.com
Are you thinking about buying the Cotton and Olive towels? Do you have any other questions, I’d be happy to help if you want to comment below 🙂
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*Cotton and Olive provided me with these towels for review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Honesty is the best policy!