Towel Guide: Choosing the Right GSM

You may have heard of GSM before especially in relation to towels. But what exactly does it stand for and how does it apply to your buying decision? In this guide, we break down all of the above. For all questions related to GSM look no further - if you have a question that’s not on this page, contact our staff. They’re more than happy to help!

What Does GSM mean?

towel set

GSM stands for grams per square meter (g/m2). It’s an industry standard measurement that refers to the weight, thickness, and plushness of different types of towels. For shorthand, GSM refers to the density of the towel.

GSM can range from anywhere between 200 to 900 GSM. Here’s a quick break down of what different ranges of GSM mean:

200 - 400 GSM - Towels in this range of GSM tend to be lightweight and thinner. However, this is not always a bad thing for a towel! For example, you may prefer towels for the gym or kitchen to have a lower GSM. Even a beach towel around 350 GSM is perfectly acceptable, especially if you want the towel to be lighter and dry quickly.

400 - 600 GSM - A very standard range for your towels to be in. Most guest towels, beach towels, and bathroom towels fall within this range of density. These towels have medium absorbency with each gram weight (400, 500 etc.) making the towel a little heavier and denser.

600 - 900 GSM - Towels with this density are premium luxury towels. They’re heavier and generally reserved for bathroom use. These towels, because of their density, are more absorbent and take longer to dry off.

Other Factors That Affect Towel Quality

blue parmatex towels

Before you rush off to buy premium 900 GSM towels, be aware that there are other factors that can affect a towels plushness and quality! The type of material used will have an effect on the towel softness. Egyptian cotton and regular cotton will feel significantly different, for example, to a polyester blend. Whether or not the towel uses single or double loops will also affect the absorbency and feel.

How Can I Tell What GSM Is Right For Me?

bath towels

Whenever possible, we recommend touching, holding and feeling the towel in person - this is the fastest way to know if it’s what you like. However, if that’s not possible, any towel over 600 GSM made from 100% natural fabrics is likely to meet most people’s standards of quality.

For a luxurious experience people love the premium feel of Sheridan’s cotton towel range, including a 800 GSM bath mat for that soft feeling between your toes.

beach towel

Another customer favourite is the Bambury Holiday Printed Poncho Pal for Kids featuring rough fringe and a lightweight cotton velour texture for quick dry off at 320 GSM.

jenny mclean bath towels

From a solid bath towel with all the trimmings, from our experience, people can’t go past Jenny Mclean Royal Excellency Towels 6 pack set at a GSM of 600 and made from Egyptian cotton.

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