The bathtime routine before bed can be a great way for your baby to chill down before sleeptime. When it comes to drying, you'll want to be wrapping them up in a soft, absorbent towel that's practical enough to cocoon a wriggly baby.
We've found some of the best baby towels including those made with bamboo and organic fabrics, which can be kinder to the planet as well as to your baby's skin. There are plenty of adorable animal designs to choose from as well as some seriously clever tricks from practical-thinking baby brands for bath time or after splashing in the paddling pool.
If you're also looking for ways to keep your baby settled in the water, don't miss our tried and tested best baby bath seats plus a range of best bath toys for extending playtime and keeping them happy while splashing around.
Best baby bath towels at a glance
- Cuddledry Handsfree Towel, £34.99
- Clevamama Bamboo Apron Bath Towel, £11
- Tutti Bimbi Baby Organic Bamboo Hooded Towel and Mitten, £18.99
- Tommee Tippee Newborn Swaddle Dry Towel 0-6 Months, £14.99
- John Lewis & Partners Elephant Hooded Towel, £18.50
- Apron Baby Bath Towel with Hood Splash n Wrap, £15.49
- The White Company Hydrocotton Baby Towel, from £24
- Personalised Children's Shark Poncho, £26
- Organic Bamboo Hooded Baby Towel by Liname, £16.99
- John Lewis & Partners Bunny Hooded Towel and Mitt, £18.50
What to look for when buying baby bath towels
Size - Baby bath towels vary in size - some are close to normal size towels, others are baby-sized. Be sure to look at the measurements we've provided in our list especially if you'd like a large towel that will last you a few years.
Fabric - Apart from the usual cotton or microfibre towelling fabric, you'll find the option to choose organic bamboo. Bamboo is absorbent like cotton and can dry quickly, plus it has anti-bacterial qualities. A cotton/polyester mix will dry more quickly. The softness of the bath towel will come down to the quality of the fibres, the weight (measured as GSM - grams per square metre) and the twist of the yarn (a lower or zero twist can absorb more water).
Extra features - Some bath towels for babies include a hood for your baby's head, personalised names or phrases for a special touch and tabs that tie around your neck like an apron, allowing for your hands to be free when carrying your baby out of the bath.
Wash care - Towels can be washed in a washing machine with similar colours. One tip you may not know - it's recommended you wash towels without using fabric conditioner, to prevent the fibres becoming coated and more scratchy over time. Always check the instruction label before washing for the first time.
The best absorbent and soft bath towels for your baby
1. Cuddledry Handsfree Towel, £39.99
- Best apron style
Size: One size (L112cm x W75cm) | Fabric: 56% Bamboo 35% Cotton 9% Polyester | Awards: Silver – Baby bathtime product, MadeForMums Awards 2022
The Cuddledry Handsfree Towel has won several MadeForMums Awards, thanks to the hands-free style and the high-quality softness of the bamboo-cotton fabric. The addition of polyester helps quicker drying when damp.
Cuddledry helped to introduce the 'apron' style of baby towels, enabling you to attach the towel around your neck so you can pick up and lift out your baby without getting soaking wet. MadeForMums Consumer & Reviews editor Christy, mum of 3, says, “The neck tie makes it so much easier to use than a standard towel."
Parent tester, Emily, mum of 2 agrees. "This product definitely makes life easier with helping to get my baby out of the bath without getting soaked myself or having to place him on a towel on the floor to wrap him up. It was super easy to pop on, and the poppers make it feel safe and secure."
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Vicky, mum of 1, loves the closeness the apron towel brings. “Even at 16 months my little girl loved that she went straight into a cuddle with me rather than standing while getting wrapped in a normal towel.”
2. Clevamama Bamboo Apron Bath Towel, £22.99
- Best for longevity
Size: 0-4+ years (98 x 104 cm) | Colour: White, Coral, Blue, Grey | Fabric: Bamboo fibre with cotton trim
How adorable are these cloud designs on the Clevamama towel as well as the softness of the fabric, which is also bamboo. For older kids, the towel can also be used as a dressing gown - a great multi-use feature to get a bit more life out of the product.
The larger size was a popular point with our parent testers. Mum Nicole comments, “It’s perfectly big enough for my now 17 month old which is a relief as our other hooded towels were hung out to dry months ago.”
3. Tutti Bimbi Baby Organic Bamboo Hooded Towel and Mitten, £24.99
-Best for thickness
Size: 0-5 years (90x90cm) | Fabric: 98% bamboo, 8% microfibre
The Tutti Bimbi bath towel offers maximum comfort with extra thickness (500gsm) for after-bath snuggles. The bamboo material is stated on the website as being certified organic bamboo and chemical free which also has certified accreditation. It comes with a mitten too which can be useful for scrubbing their little faces or just for some extra bath time fun.
The towel was a winner with judges who were pleased to see high quality eco-friendly materials. MFM testers also mentioned that the towel stayed soft after washing, which is a big tick from us. Mum of 1, Sian, was also a fan of the included mitten, saying, “My daughter enjoyed playing with the mitten and ignored all of her bath toys. 100% worth the money.”
Longevity was also a key plus point, as the large size should last as your baby grows. “I would even buy 2 to have a spare one as I know it would last quite a few years,” added tester Sian.
Available from: Amazon
4. Tommee Tippee Newborn Swaddle Dry Towel, £14.99
-Best for the beach
Size: 0-6 months | Fabric: 80% polyester 20% polyamide
This swaddle towel by Tommee Tippee is made from hypoallergenic microfibre towelling, so it's not just highly absorbent but should be suitable for even more sensitive skin. It’s also SPF 50 resistant so it can handle the beach, plus it’s also chlorine resistant making it perfect for a post-swim snuggle at the pool.
The penguin hood will keep little ones’ heads snug and looking cute, plus, the product is listed as one of retailer Amazon’s recommended buys.
5. John Lewis & Partners Elephant Hooded Towel, £18
-Best for fun design
Size: H79 x W58cm | Fabric: Cotton
This straightforward elephant wrap towel is both adorable and practical, with the trunk and floppy ears adding particular extra detail. Made from pure cotton, it should be soft against baby skin as well as nice and absorbent for post-bath drying.
Made by John Lewis, this towel is machine washable at 40 degrees, meaning you can whack it in the machine with everything else whenever it needs a wash.
Available from: John Lewis
6. Mori Dinosaur Hooded Kids Bath Towel, £23.45
-Best fun colour
Size: 1-3 years | Fabric: 100% organic micro cotton
This super vibrant bath towel features dinosaur teeth and spikes on the back to add a bit of fun to bath times. This Mori towel wraps around your child simply and effortlessly. Designed with organic micro cotton, this Dinosaur Hooded Kids bath towel should be soft and snuggly and highly absorbent. A brilliant essential bath time item for your toddler.
Available from: Baby Mori
7. The White Company Hydrocotton Baby Towel, from £26
Size: Small, Large | Colour: White, Blue, Pink | Fabric: 100% hydrocotton
A simple classic from stylish brand The White Company, this hooded towel is made from pure hydrocotton. The brand explains that the special twists in the hydrocotton make the towel feel extra thick and soft, despite it’s lightweight quality. Your baby can expect to feel warm and cuddly with the fluffy texture this towel brings, plus a bit of humour during bath time with the cute ears on the towel hood.
Available from: The White Company
8. My 1st Years Personalised Hooded Towel, £22
Size: 75cm x 75cm | Colour: Multiple design and colour options | Fabric: 100% cotton
For a splash of adventure, this hooded towel lets little ones feel like a real life shark, complete with their very own tail. Suitable from 0 to 3 years, it can be also be personalised with children’s names to really make it feel like their own. The personalised element also makes for a perfect gifting idea for other babies in your life. Made from 100% cotton it should also be nice and absorbent as well as cosy to wrap up in.
Available from: My 1st Years
9. Organic Bamboo Hooded Baby Towel by Liname, £16.99
-Best for unisex
Size: 100cm x 70 cm | Fabric: Bamboo & cotton
This organic baby towel is made from a mix of bamboo and cotton. The bamboo quality makes its hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial, as well as being capable of absorbing water faster than cotton alone. The handy hood helps keep the towel in place on little ones’ heads and the added bear ears look extra adorable.
The Liname towels are made in unisex colours which is perfect for gifting mums-to-be who don't know the gender of their baby yet.
Available from: Amazon
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10. John Lewis & Partners Bunny Hooded Towel and Mitt, £18
-Best for newborn
Size: 75cm x 75cm | Fabric: Cotton
This hooded towel comes as an adorable set with a matching mitt. Both are mode from soft cotton so they should be gentle on even newborn skin, while little ones are wrapped up after bathtime.
The handy mitt is in the same bunny design as the towel hood, so babies can be extra cute as well as cosy when they’re all cocooned up. The two-piece nature of the set also makes it a handy gift idea for new parents.
Available from: John Lewis
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How did we choose our 10 of the Best?
Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.
When testing baby bath towels we considered the size, fabric, extra features and the washing care.
Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.