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How to Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spa: Towels, Linens, Robes & Styling Ideas

woman in bathroom
Written By
PARACHUTE TEAM
Photographs By
JESSICA SCHRAMM FOR PARACHUTE
@parachutehome
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Who doesn't love being pampered at a day spa? From the tranquil music and relaxing scents to the ultra-fluffy towels and supremely plush bathrobes, virtually everyone can appreciate the atmosphere of a wellness center.

If you're all about that resort life, you might be wondering how to turn your bathroom into a spa. With the right textiles and a few design tweaks, you can transform your at-home space into a luxurious oasis.

Read on for a rundown of the best towels, bath linens, loungewear and other bathroom necessities, along with thoughtful spa bathroom decor ideas and styling tips.

Towels and Bath Linens

Who says every day can't be a spa day? With premium materials and a dreamy design approach, you'll be well on your way to transforming your bathroom into a truly tranquil place.

That said, the best spa bathroom ideas start with deluxe linens, including towels, bath sheets, hand towels and washcloths. Get useful insights below into the different materials and sizes, as well as how many to buy, what colors to get and how to fold your towels.

What Are the Best Towel Materials?

Want to know how to turn your bathroom into a spa? Don't overlook towel quality, as top-tier textiles are fluffier, softer, longer-lasting and all-around more luxurious. The best materials include Turkish cotton, waffle weave, fouta and ribbed cotton. Here's what you should know.

What Is Turkish Cotton?

cotton plants

Turkish cotton is a textile woven from long-staple cotton fibers grown in Western Turkey's Aegean region. Thanks to its durability, absorbency and unbeatable plushness, the material is a top choice for towels, bath sheets and washcloths. Turkish cotton bath linens will typically have a looped terry cloth weave.

Learn more in our article, What Is Turkish Cotton? Is It Any Good or Better Than Egyptian Cotton?

What Is Waffle Weave?

Waffle weave is a textile style characterized by its distinctive three-dimensional looming structure. Also known as honeycomb weave, the fabric is notably lightweight and quick-drying, plus it folds more compactly than traditional terry cloth. Waffle bath towels are typically made from long-staple cotton.

All Parachute towel materials are Oeko-Tex certified. Find out what this means in our article, What Is Oeko-Tex? Learn About This Textile Certification Standard.

What Is Fouta?

Fouta is a relatively thin and easy-to-fold textile with surprisingly excellent absorbency. Loomed from long-staple Turkish cotton or linen and often featuring the traditional striped pattern of the Mediterranean region, flat-weave fouta towels offer an air of understated luxury seen in small spa-like bathrooms.

What Is Ribbed Cotton?

Ribbed cotton is a super-soft material often used to make bath linens and robes. Woven with Spinsoft technology to create a sculpted rib texture, the fabulously fluffy textile feels amazing against the skin. Reminiscent of a high-end spa, ribbed cotton towels are also absorbent, long-lasting and quick-drying.

Get to know these materials further with our article, Bath Collection: Behind the Design and Styling Tips.

Consider White Towels

Spa towels are almost always white. The stark hue is simple, clean, versatile, and let's face it, bleachable. So if you want to learn how to turn your bathroom into a spa, white bath towels, hand towels and washcloths are the name of the game.

Don’t Forget a Hooded Baby Towel for Your Toddler

Babies can be stressful. If you’re a parent looking to de-stress with some cozier bath decor, be sure to keep your little ones comfortable as well with some non-toxic baby bath items. A turkish cotton hooded toddler towel and washcloth are the comfiest options if you want to give your newborn a relaxing bathroom experience as well.

Spring for Bath Sheets

One of the best spa-like bathroom ideas is to upgrade to bath sheets, which are substantially larger than standard towels (70 x 40 versus 56 x 30 inches). There's nothing quite like wrapping yourself up in a blanket-like bath sheet after soaking in the tub.

Bear in mind, though, that bath sheets take up a bit more room both when hung or folded. If you're short on space, you might want to get fouta or waffle-weave bath sheets, as they're lighter and more compact.

Learn more about the various towel textiles and sizes in our article, What Are the Best Towel Materials and What Sizes Should You Buy?

Get Designated Makeup Towels

Hotels often set out fresh washcloths every day. If you appreciate this luxury, why not treat yourself and your guests with designated makeup towels? Long-staple Turkish cotton in a dark color is ideal, as it offers gentle exfoliation and won't show makeup stains. Some skincare aficionados like to keep a stack of seven washcloths at the ready, reaching for a clean one each day of the week to keep bacteria off their face.

Learn How to Fold Your Towels

To achieve a neat, tidy, spa-like atmosphere, you're wise to learn the basics of folding towels. Here's one simple way to do it:

  1. Lay the towel flat, and smooth out any wrinkles with your hands.

  2. Fold the towel lengthwise into thirds. One side will fold a third of the way in, then the other side will fold on top.

  3. Next, fold the towel in half widthwise.

  4. Fold it in half once more to create a neat square.

Check out our guide on How to Fold and Style Your Towels Like a Luxury Hotel for more hacks.

Stock Up, Stack Up and Roll Up

When you think of a wellness center, you can probably picture stacks of bath linens sitting on shelves and in cabinets. If you're looking for tips for how to turn your bathroom into a spa, you might consider stocking up on high-quality towels and putting them on display. 

You can't go wrong with a neat fold, but rolling your towels is arguably easier and undeniably spa-like. Stack your rolls on a shelf or place them in a basket for easy access.

Easily accessible bath linens are also nice for visitors. See our Guest Bathroom Essentials guide for more tips and insight.

How to Make Your Towels Last Longer

When you invest in premium bath linens, it's crucial to know how to care for them so that they last for years to come. Keep these best practices in mind when caring for your towels:

  • Use a gentle, plant-based laundry detergent when washing your towels.

  • Avoid fabric softener and optical brightening agents to preserve the texture and color.

  • Wash your towels on their own or with similar fabrics, avoiding anything with velcro, hooks or zippers.

  • Try not to overload your washer with towels, running multiple loads if necessary.

  • Use wool dryer balls to fluff up your towels and reduce tumbling time in the dryer.

  • Resist the urge to pull loose threads. Instead, carefully cut snags with scissors.

For more detailed instructions, see our guide on How to Care for Your Towels.

How to Store Your Towels

As discussed, spa-themed bathrooms often display folded or rolled-up towels on shelves or in baskets. To take the opulence up a notch, you could also get a heated towel bar. These electric racks not only warm up your bath linens but also dry them quicker and prevent mold and mildew growth.

For more guidance on storing towels, check out our guide, Linen Closet Organization: Step-By-Step How to Best Store Your Linens.

Bath Mats and Rugs

When discussing how to turn your bathroom into a spa, bath rugs and mats are a critical piece of the equation. If you have classic Turkish cotton or ribbed bath sheets, you could get a matching bath mat, though these materials go well with other types of towels too.

You also might want to get a small rug. Rectangular area rugs can be placed in front of the sink or in the middle of the room, while runners are perfect for galley bathrooms.

What's the difference between mats and rugs, and do you need both? Get answers in our Bath Mats vs. Bath Rugs guide.

Shower Curtain

Does your shower call for a curtain? Your best bet is a minimalist design, as it'll add to the serene, spa-like effect you're going for. When browsing shower curtains, look for white, off-white or another neutral hue — extra points if it's linen, Turkish cotton or waffle weave.

Get to know the various materials, colors, sizes and styles in our Guide to Shower Curtains.

How to Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spa With Luxury Robes & Slippers

What do five-star hotels and resorts always offer? Plush robes and slippers. Loungewear is an essential category in everyone's wardrobe, and the right pieces can take your at-home spa experience to new heights.

From comfy bathrobes and sleep sets to soft slippers and cozy booties, you’ll find all the loungewear basics and then some at Parachute. Find out more about the collection with these guides:

Guide to Cozy Loungewear and Bathrobes

Everything You Need to Know About Our New Loungewear

Quiz: How to Choose the Right Bathrobe

Styling and Design Ideas: How to Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spa

An updated bath can entice potential buyers and ultimately help a home sell. But if you're looking to spruce up your bathroom for your own enjoyment, keep reading. You’ll find design ideas, styling tips and simple tweaks for transforming your space into a spa-like sanctuary.

Soaking Tub

soaking tub

If you're planning a renovation and want to know how to turn your bathroom into a spa, you should definitely consider upgrading your bathtub. From vintage-inspired clawfoot designs and modern freestanding models to tiled built-ins and bowl-shaped soaking tubs, there's something for every taste and budget.

For more ideas and inspiration, take a look at these 9 Beautiful Bathtubs.

Fancy Fixtures

Not planning a full remodel? Switching out your fixtures is an affordable upgrade that goes a long way. This can include things like faucets, showerheads, towel racks, shower curtain rods, lights, doorknobs, cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, you name it.

Wall Hooks

wall hooks

Speaking of towel racks, wall hooks are one of the best small spa bathroom ideas for those with limited space. And even if your bathroom is on the larger side, it's nice to have a spot to hang your bathrobe and keep a towel within arm's reach of your shower or tub.

Open Shelving

As noted above, spas often have stacks of folded or rolled-up towels on display. If you're short on storage or need to fill a bare wall, open shelving is an excellent solution.

Consider hanging a floating shelf or installing a built-in unit. In addition to towels, you can place small plants, candles, essential oils or fancy soaps on the shelves.

Chair, Bench or Stool

For folks lucky enough to have large bathrooms, an accent chair or bench can make the space all the more lavish and leisurely while enhancing the aesthetic. You'll have an extra place to sit, an additional surface for stacking towels and a solution for concealing your trash bin.

Looking for small spa bathroom decorating ideas? You might consider a stool instead. Stools are nice because they're more portable than other seating options. You can keep yours in the corner or next to your vanity, then pull it out when you need a bathside table.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is key to nailing the mood. Whether you're partial to essential oils or votives, fragrance plays a big role in achieving a calming ambiance. Not only that, but if you're looking for spa bathroom ideas for small bathrooms, candles and diffusers are a perfect solution because they don't take up much space.

Find out about why aromatherapy helps you relax in our article, How Oil Diffusing Helps You Sleep.

Eucalyptus

You can also hang eucalyptus leaves from your showerhead for easy, affordable aromatherapy. The steam activates the natural oils in the plant to ignite your sense of smell while you lather up.

Mood Lighting

There's a reason spas are often dimly lit. Overhead lighting can be harsh, especially when you're trying to wind down. Candles offer a nice glow, though you might want to get thinking about a few other lighting options.

Consider wall sconces, Edison bulbs over the vanity, a lighted medicine cabinet, an LED strip under the cabinets or a salt-rock lamp. Swapping your light switch for a dimmable model can go a long way too.

Water-Resistant Speaker

If you really want to drift away into a peaceful headspace, a water-resistant speaker might be just the thing. You can play soothing music, a guided meditation or spa-inspired white noise, like the sound of a trickling creek or ocean waves.

Streamlined Bath Accessories

Spa-like bathrooms tend to exude a "less is more" vibe. With this in mind, streamlining your bath accessories can make a world of difference. This could be a set of matching dispensers and caddies or simply containers with understated labels.

Neutrals

On a similar note, neutral hues are best. Most spas don't have brightly colored towels, as loud visuals aren't ideal when creating a calming atmosphere. Think white, ivory, beige, grey, blush and blue.

Plants

To achieve the organic back-to-nature vibe of a spa, find a few plants for your bathroom. Place a couple of small pots on your shelves, countertop or windowsill, hang a climbing species from the ceiling or get a larger plant and place it on the floor. Ferns, cactuses and succulents are great choices, as they tolerate low-light settings and humidity.

Check out these articles for more specific suggestions:

The Best Plants for Bedrooms and Bathrooms

The Top 16 Indoor Plants For Clean Air in Your Home

Natural Finishes

Natural finishes offer an inherently relaxing appeal, softening modern furnishings with a down-to-earth vibe. Wood floating shelves, a braided jute rug, a knotted wood bench, woven baskets and waterproof faux hardwood flooring are all excellent options.

Wood is a crucial component of Feng Shui. To learn more, see our article, Feng Shui Interior Design Ideas You'll Love.

Stone Accents

One of the best ways to transform your bathroom into a spa is to incorporate stone accents. It could be something substantial, such as a slate shower wall or a stone-tiled tub. On a smaller scale, you could place pebbles in the sink or get a countertop fountain.

Minimalism

minimalist bathroom sink

When in doubt, strive for minimalism. Bathrooms are prone to clutter, but it doesn't have to be this way. As long as you have a medicine cabinet, under-the-sink storage or somewhere else to stash all your products, it's easy to keep them out of sight and within reach.

Whether it's towels, fixtures or decorative accents, look for simple designs and try to stick to a neutral color palette. In the end, minimalism will help you get into a zen headspace.

For more tips and guidance on how to turn your bathroom into a spa, see our Bathroom Interior Design Guide.

Where to Buy Luxury Towels and Bathroom Essentials

Feeling inspired by these thoughtful ideas? You’ll find many of the premium-quality products mentioned above at Parachute, including luxury towels, bath sheets, hand towels and washcloths. When you browse the bath collection, you'll also find shower curtains, rugs, mats, bathrobes, slippers, loungewear and bath accessories.

What's more, Parachute stylists are available to help with designing and decorating your space. Whether you want to learn how to make a small bathroom look like a spa or are seeking advice for pairing colors and textures, an expert is ready to assist.

Schedule your free one-on-one styling consultation today!

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