Why Do Bath Towels Have Two Sides?

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Why Do Bath Towels Have Two Sides? The question on its own without context seems dumb, and the sarcastic answer would be— most three-dimensional objects have 2 or more sides to them.

However, the simple answer is that each side of a towel (not all) have their function, with beach towels having one side that is super absorbent for water and the other side being less so. So your towel doesn’t soak up water when you spread it on the sand.

13 Reasons why towels have two sides


There are towels that are designed to have different colours on each side of the surface. The texture may or may not be the same but the colours on each of the opposing sides are usually different. And there are people that are usually into these kinds of designs.

For example, kids towels are typically designed this way, with one side having a huge graphic design of their favourite superhero and the other side being designed with another hero. I’m sure you must have seen these before, either as a kid or not that you have kids of your own.

Maximise drying

Towels have two sides to maximise drying, when you wipe with one side of the towel and it becomes soggy and wet due to the liquid or fluid you’re cleaning.

You can turn it to the other side and continue drying off the surface if you don’t want to strain the liquid out first. That way you get a lot more done faster, this can be achieved when Towels have two sides.


It is considered functional when a towel has two different sides because it maximises the functionality of the towel in ways.

For example, one part of the towel could be used to wipe wet surfaces while the other could be used on dry surfaces. This way each side has its function and it’s still one towel. Increased functionality, cool right?

Textural difference

If you’re into more than one texture for your towels, towels with a plain side and a fluffy side could be ideal for you.

For example, there are towels that one side is ribbed, which has a rough but soft texture while the other side is plain and well padded which makes it extra fluffy. If you’re into that sort of thing, then you could get a towel with two sides that have individual textural differences.

To wipe different parts of your body

Don’t have a face towel? You could use one side of the towel to wipe your face while you use the other side to wipe your body and nether region.

That way you don’t “cross contaminate”, imagine using one side to wipe your butt after bathing and using the same side on your face.

Cringe right? You can designate each side of your towel for a section of your body if you don’t have multiple towels.

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Helps retain fluffiness

If just one side of the towel is fluffy, it would be nice but imagine how better it would be if it was double? With the two sides of your towel being fluffy, it increases the softness exponentially and every part of the towel feels great on the body.

Sounds amazing right? Get you some fluffy towels when you’re getting new towels for the epic experience. Need recommendations? Here Acosta Premium towels.

More surface area

With the towel being two-sided, you have more surface area to wipe with. You can wipe a wider range of areas with the two sides, if it was one side you may be limited when you’re cleaning. There are several pecks to having multiple options, and I think that is something we can all agree on.

Microfiber towel

This type of towel is typically designed this way, it has two sides that serve different purposes. Each side doing its unique job, if you mix the functions up it may not be as effective.

Sounds great right? For example, if you had to clean a greased surface, one side would be ideal for the task while the other would be better for more fluid substances like water.

Beach towel

Beach towels are designed with two different sides to make it ideal for the beach. Which should be obvious, right? One side being less absorbent and borderline water Repellent to ensure it doesn’t soak when you spread it while at the beach.

The other side being soft and fluffy so it feels good on your skin and you can use it to dry off when you go off for a swim in the seawater. As someone who doesn’t know how to swim, that last sentence gives me the jitters.

In case of stain on a side

If your towel gets stained and it doesn’t come out no matter how hard you try. You can either get a new towel or you could keep using the same towel.

If you’re going to keep using the same towel, if it’s upsetting to look at the stained part you could always turn it over to the other side which is still good as new. It would be like the stain never happened, It sound dumb but it works!

Minimises pulling

When both sides of a towel are of the same texture, it reduces the risk of pulling. The fibres of the cotton would be more compact and less likely to come undone when an external force is applied to it.

This may be why towels have two sides, who knows? Or am I just speculating? But it sort of tracks, with comparison to towels with different sides.


There’s just this pleasing aesthetic a uniform coloured and textured towel gives, especially if you have OCD. When the two sides of a towel are the same, it would make it ideal to be a bath towel.

Because all you do with the towel is wipe your body dry whenever you finish showering. And maybe the occasional tying it around your waist as you get dressed.

Reduces shrinkage

Towels are made with two sides to help reduce the level to which they shrink if exposed to excess heat. Since heat causes shrinkage by making one side less prone to shrinkage it also helps the other side withstand the heat. Which reduces the shrinkage level of the towel as a whole. Does that make sense?


Which side of the towel should I use?

You can use whichever side you choose, it’s yours do whatever you want. However, if it’s a different textured sided towel, then you should follow the manufactures specifications and use it accordingly. Either way, you paid for it and no one is going to fault you for using it contrary to the directives. 

Are both sides of a towel the same?

Not every towel has identical sides, some towels are multi-textured which means one side may be soft and fluffy while the other side may be plain and rough.

Whichever the case may be, when purchasing towels, you should know what you want and what you’re using them for. So you don’t purchase beach towels thinking they’re bath towels. Similar silhouette but very differently designed for different purposes.

Can I use a bath towel as a beach towel?

You can but you shouldn’t. Unless you don’t plan on using the towel to wipe your body whenever you bathe anymore, you should avoid using your bath towels as beach towels. Not only because it’s unhygienic but also because it’s the fastest way to ruin your bath towels.

Beach towels are designed with functionality in mind, they have two different sides. One for the wet sand and the other for your body. Most bath towels are the same on both sides, if you spread it on the wet sand, it would end up staining the towel and ruining the texture permanently.

What is a velour towel?

Velour is a French brand that makes different forms of clothing, they also have their custom fabrics made with unique weaving techniques. By definition, a velour towel is a towel made by the velour brand. Simple enough right? 

Are velour towels absorbent?

Velour towels are super soft and fluffy. Although there have been reviews that they aren’t the best when it comes to being absorbent.

But they get the job done as far as towels go, and they are super affordable which makes them even better. Need a couple of velour towels? Check these out 2 pack plush velour.

Why Do Bath Towels Have Two Sides – Conclusion

There are perks to towels that have different textures on each side, and also drawbacks. I’ve outlined some of them and the reasons why they were designed with this feature.

For examples, for the beach towels, it is super functional to have different textures. And also the microfiber towels have two sides that serve different purposes, but each side is important in its own right.

Whenever you’re purchasing new towels, always ask yourself “what am I using these for?” With that in mind you can always make the right choice and save yourself money.

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