The Difference Between a Bath Towel and a Bath Sheet

Know the difference and which one is right for you.

There comes a time in every adult’s life when having the answers to a host of age-old household questions at the ready becomes important. Whether it’s registering for wedding gifts or a mother-in-law who is set to visit—the exact reason doesn’t really matter—it’s good to be on your toes about matters of home improvement. You never know when someone is going to test your knowledge about how to clean wood floors, properly place a top sheet (upside down!), or take oven racks from greasy to gleaming.

But knowing how to do household chores is only part of the equation. You should also know how to tell the difference between all kinds of household objects. We’re talking heirloom versus multi-generational junk; objet versus knickknack; and bath towel versus bath sheet. While the answers to the first two are probably more in the eyes of the beholder, the last one is much more definitive, and we’ve got you covered.

Woman Carrying Folded Bath Towels
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

What’s the Actual Difference?

In the case of these two bathrooms staples, the definition comes down to size. A bath sheet is simply a larger version of a bath towel. That's it. Super simple, right? Most standard bath towels are going to fall in the 25- to 30-inch-wide by-55- to 58-inch-long range, which means they're great for a head wrap, a lower-body wrap, or even a top-half wrap. By contrast, bath sheets—at around 35-by-60 inches, although they come much larger—are going to offer you a far greater abundance of material that will ensure post-bath, full-body coverage.

What’s Better: Bath Towel or Bath Sheet?

Because bath towels and bath sheets come in the same materials and textures, they also come with the same care instructions. So much like the objet or the heirloom referenced above, whether one is superior to the other comes down to personal preference. Are your towel racks big and strong enough to support a pair of larger bath sheets? Do you have the room in your linen closet to store heftier towels? Do you mind spending a little more money for a bath sheet? And most importantly, do you like to wrap yourself up in a cocoon of towel goodness or do you prefer to dry off with something that’ll give you some air? Depending on your answers to those questions, you’ll know which is better for you.

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