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What Is Turkish Cotton? Is It Any Good or Better Than Egyptian Cotton?

Coal Turkish cotton towels
Written By
PARACHUTE TEAM
Photographs By
JESSICA SCHRAMM FOR PARACHUTE
@parachutehome
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Consider Turkish cotton the Goldilocks of cotton fabric — it’s softer than “regular” cotton, but not so plush that it feels heavy like Egyptian cotton material.

In selecting long-staple Turkish cotton towels, robes and bed linens, you’ll enjoy the softness and durability of its long-fiber construction, as well as the quick-drying benefits that let you live a life outside the laundry room.

Read on to find out more about Turkish cotton, including why it’s a worthwhile investment and how to care for it so your bath and bed linens last for years. 

What is Turkish Cotton?

cotton

Depending on the growing and harvesting conditions, cotton fiber can be different lengths. The longer the fiber (also known as the staple), the fewer edges it will have when it’s woven into a fabric. As a result, longer fibers produce stronger and softer fabrics.

Despite what you may have heard about thread counts, the quality of the fibers is what gives bed and bath linens their softness and durability. (See this article to learn more about Why Thread Count Doesn’t Matter.)

Bed linens crafted with long-staple Turkish cotton are more plush and less likely to fray, pill or fade than cotton fabrics using shorter staples. So, if you’re wondering “is Turkish cotton soft,” the answer is 100% yes.

Turkish Cotton vs. Egyptian Cotton and Other Types of Cotton

Compared to “regular” cotton, including pima, Turkish cotton fabric feels softer and more plush due to its longer fibers.

Egyptian cotton has the longest fibers, which creates a more plush fabric than Turkish cotton. Although this might lead you to believe that Egyptian is the superior fabric, there can also be too much of a good thing. Because of its density, towels and bed linens made with Egyptian cotton can feel heavy, and the high absorbency rate means Egyptian cotton bath towels can take extra long to dry. (You can learn more in this What is Long-Staple Egyptian Cotton guide.)

In contrast, fabric made with long-staple Turkish cotton fibers produces a lightweight fabric that doesn't absorb as much water. Because they take less time to dry, Turkish cotton bath linens are less likely to still be damp after a drying cycle. That reduces the chance for mildew to form, so your towels and robes don’t get that musty smell.

A Brief History of Turkish Cotton

Turkish cotton, unsurprisingly, comes from Turkey. But to understand why it’s such a treasured fabric, you’ll have to go back — way back — to the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey was once part of the vast Ottoman Empire that was founded at the end of the 13th century and ruled by a long line of Sultans surrounded by royal families.

Over the hundreds of years that the Ottoman Empire existed, textiles were reserved for royalty and thus had to be of the highest quality. So the region developed a lasting reputation for having the finest fabrics, which continues to this day.

But not all Turkish cotton is created equal — there are three major cotton production regions within Turkey: the Aegean region in the west, the Cukurova region in the south and the Eastern Mediterranean region. The Turkish cotton from the Aegean region is known for its superior quality because it produces a longer staple than the cotton from the other regions.

What are the Benefits of Turkish Cotton?

If you enjoy your towels and robes feeling soft and smelling fresh, Turkish cotton is the ideal fabric for you. The luxury bath linens are plush and absorbent, leaving you feeling fresh and clean. 

Whatever your comfort level or style, check out these benefits when selecting Turkish cotton bath and bed linen for your home.

Turkish Cotton Towels

When investing in a high-quality towel, you really can’t beat Turkish cotton towels. They’re plush and long-lasting — and you don’t need to spend all day drying them.

One excellent choice is a set of Classic Turkish Cotton Supreme Towels with fibers loomed at 700 grams per square meter, offering an exceptionally soft feel.

If you’re in the mood for both comfort and exceptional durability, look into a set of Soft Rib Towels, crafted using Spinsoft Technology. This is a special process that results in a greater fiber surface area, making the towels super soft and long-lasting. The sculpted rib design also provides more surface area to ensure a faster drying time.

Turkish Cotton Robes

The lighter weight of Turkish cotton makes it the ideal fiber for robes you can snuggle into year-round. They’re plush enough to quickly absorb moisture away from your skin (goodbye, shivers!) but light enough to comfortably don on a balmy day.

Whether you prefer to wrap yourself up in one right out of the shower or would rather lounge around while sipping your morning coffee, get lost in a super-plush Classic Turkish Cotton Robe. Or wear a light and airy Cloud Cotton Robe for all-day comfort, or re-create the ultimate spa experience in a textured Waffle Robe.

Make your day of comfort complete by slipping into Classic Turkish Cotton Slippers or an ultra-cozy Waffle Bootie. (For the ultimate in relaxation, see our guide on Cozy Loungewear and Bathrobes.)

Turkish Cotton Bath Mats

When it comes to bath mats and rugs, you want something soft and cozy underfoot. Turkish cotton bath mats offer that experience, but they’re also light enough to dry quickly so you don’t end up stepping out onto a damp mat or a wet floor.

Start with a Classic Turkish Cotton Tub Mat for a luxurious addition to your bath routine. This classically-styled mat is made of the same superior Turkish cotton as high-quality soft and durable towels. 

If you prefer a more minimalist look when it comes to your bath rug style, a Braided Hand-Knit Rug can offer a subtle texture in neutral colors, with the same plush feeling.

Curious about whether to go with a bath mat or rug for your bathroom? Learn more in the Bath Mats vs Bath Rugs guide. 

Turkish Cotton Shower Curtains

Shower curtains can define the look of your bathroom, but they also need to be durable enough to make them worth your investment.

A Turkish cotton shower curtain gives your bathroom an instantly fresh, light look, but can also take a spot cleaning and hold up after a round in the washing machine.

There are plenty of Turkish cotton shower curtains on the market to fit your style, whether you want to create a serene, minimalist look with a Cloud Cotton Shower Curtain, add some spa-inspired texture with a Waffle Shower Curtain, make it playful with a Speckled Shower Curtain or update your look with the stylish stripes and fringe of a modern Turkish Shower Curtain.

Can’t decide which shower curtain is right  for you? Explore the Guide to Shower Curtains.

Turkish Cotton Bedding

The luxurious comfort of Turkish cotton doesn’t end at the bathroom. Achieve a dreamy, cloud-like look and feel with bedding that’s made with long-staple Turkish cotton. 

Comforters and shams feature layers of the premium, long-staple Turkish cotton, giving your bedding a light and airy appearance that just begs to be cuddled. For those chillier nights, consider adding a Cloud Cotton Quilt or Marble Cloud Cotton Quilt to the end of your bed. (For more tips to make your bed even more inviting, see this Layering and Styling Your Bed guide.)

Even the littlest dreamer can elevate their sleep experience with a Cloud Cotton Toddler Quilt, made with fluffy, warm layers of premium Turkish cotton. 

How to Wash and Care for Turkish Cotton

To protect your investment in premium Turkish cotton bath and bed linens, it’s important to care for them properly.

Caring for Turkish Towels, Robes and Bath Mats

Machine-wash Turkish cotton towels, robes and bath mats in cool water using a mild, liquid laundry detergent. The fabric by its nature is absorbent, but that means these bath linens absorb dyes, too, so separate loads by color. 

To remove a stain, try Oxyclean instead of bleach.

After the wash cycle, shake out the pieces before putting them in the dryer to get rid of extra moisture and to help ensure your bath linens come out fluffy and soft. 

Tumble dry towels, robes and bath mats on low, using Wool Dryer Balls instead of dryer sheets to avoid coating the fibers with dryer-sheet chemicals and to further speed up drying time. Remove items from the dryer promptly after the cycle is complete and fold to store. (Check out this How to Wash & Care for Towels guide for more details.)

If your skincare products include ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or alpha hydroxy acid, consider using separate white towels to avoid discoloration.

Caring for Turkish Cotton Shower Curtains

A Turkish cotton shower curtain can be spot cleaned or be machine washed using mild detergent in cold water. Use the delicate cycle and a mesh laundry bag, and leave the curtain in the bag to tumble dry on low. Alternatively, you can line dry a shower curtain.

Caring for Turkish Cotton Bedding

Machine wash Turkish cotton quilts and shams in cool water using a mild, liquid laundry detergent. Do not bleach or iron Turkish cotton bedding. Tumble dry on low using Wool Dryer Balls instead of dryer sheets. Wool Dryer Balls help your towels and bedding dry more quickly, without harsh chemicals, while they add a delightfully fluffy feel.

Where to Shop for Turkish Cotton Bath and Bedding Products

With its long history of luxury, Turkish cotton bath and bed linens are essential for the home that desires comfort and convenience.

You’ll find a variety of super-soft Turkish cotton bedding for every style at Parachute. The premium fibers are woven to create a fabric that’s fluffy and durable, resistant to both pilling and fading. Our Turkish cotton towels are made with premium 100% long-staple Turkish cotton, and come in a variety of weights to fit your needs and style. 

The towels, robes and other home products you’ll discover here are made using innovative Aerocotton Technology, ensuring they’re exceptionally soft, durable and quick-drying.

And you can sleep easier knowing Parachute’s linens are Oeko-Tex certified, which ensures the bedding you sleep on every night is free of harmful toxic substances and allergens. (Need more help picking out the right fabric and style for your bed? See this comprehensive guide to Choosing the Right Fabric & Style for Your Bed Sheets.)

Turkish cotton bath and bedding products deliver the softest-feeling fabric that’s long-lasting and fast-drying. Let them transform your daily bath ritual into the luxurious experience you deserve. 

Read On:

Bedding Fabric & Materials Guide

Bathroom Interior Design Guide

The Warmest & Coziest Bedding for Cold Winter Nights

How to Decorate With Mirrors Across Your Home

How to Create a Modern & Inviting Entryway for Your Home

Laundry Room Accessories 101: Laundry Essentials for Clean Living

Guest Bathroom Essentials: 10 Decor Ideas and Tip

Sources:

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service 2020 Attache Report: Turkey: Cotton and Products Annual

https://apps.fas.usda.gov/newgainapi/api/Report/DownloadReportByFileName?fileName=Cotton%20and%20Products%20Annual_Ankara_Turkey_04-01-2020

Britannica: Ottoman Empire: https://www.britannica.com/place/Ottoman-Empire