How many towels should adults own?

Stack of clean towels on wooden table in bathroom
Stack of clean towels on wooden table in bathroom

Moving in with your other half can kick off many household debates: what side of the bed do you want to sleep on? Where shall we put the sofa? How many towels should we own?

And if social media is anything to go by, its that last question that’s the most contentious.

Earlier this week, a Twitter user, Abdul Dremali, went online to pose this seemingly innocuous question and Towelgate well and truly kicked off.

Since posting the towel orientated query the photographer has received over 2,500 replies, proving the towel-owning debate is well and truly divisive.

Though Abdul believes that 10 is the perfect number of towels for a couple to own, his girlfriend doesn’t agree and the Internet is equally as confused by the conundrum.

One user had some pretty lofty views on how many towels people should own.

Which kicked off a splinter discussion about bath sheets and what they even are anyway.

Some people had a more philosophical view on the whole towel debate.

Towel gate is taking over Twitter [Photo: Getty]
Towel gate is taking over Twitter [Photo: Getty]

Who knew people were so interested in towel-ownership?

The whole debate has even prompted original poster, Abdul, to alter his Twitter bio to ‘world’s biggest Towel Influencer™’.

But though he may have launched a new career as ‘towel influencer’ Abdul and his girlfriend are still none the wiser about how many towels should be in their airing cupboard.

So how many towels should a bonafide adult own? We got the experts to put towel gate to bed.

The homes blogger

Rebecca Doyle @thehousebuild says: “In our family of four, we each have a bath sheet and two hand towels. We then have six spare sets for this for, for guests and to allow for one set to be in the wash. You can never have enough fluffy white towels. Yes, all of my towels are white and fluffy!”

The decluttering expert

Vicky Silverthorn says: “I think if you are trying to live a life with less having two sets of towels per person (one in use and one spare) is an ideal plan. Per household I think having around four spares is a good idea for guests, mishaps and the unknown. In addition…Beach towels can be stored with summer/holiday clothes!”

The towel retailers

A spokesperson from Linens Limited says: “At the least, each member of a household should own a bath towel for bathing, a hand towel, a guest towel and a face cloth. We’d also recommend that people try a bath sheet, which is a lovely indulgent towel large enough to wrap around themselves after a bath. For guests, it’s a nice idea to provide guest towels and bath towels to encourage a hotel-style stay.”

Denis Reichman from Modadom says: “Generally the minimum should be at least three sets of towels per person including a hand towel, bath towel and face cloth x 3. One set in the bathroom, one set in the laundry and one set linen closet. This is minimum based on washing and changing once a week only. Some people also like to have selection including larger towels (bath sheets). Also every home need six guest towels for toilets etc. This is very minimum and most homes will have at least double this amount. Most homes will also have a variety of colours and quality. This also does not include beach towels/novelty towels/gym towels etc that most homes will own.”

The luxury hotels

Magda Radoch – head housekeeper at The Chester Grosvenor says: “Of course, it varies depending on the household and number of inhabitants. However, for a couple, I’d recommend a baseline of two body towels, two hair towels, three hand towels and five washcloths each. This factors in how often each item needs to be washed on a weekly basis – damp towels don’t dry quickly, which means they harbour bacteria very easily. As such, body towels should be cleaned every 3-4 uses, whilst a wash cloth should be cleaned at least every 2 uses.”

Somer Freeman, housekeeping supervisor at The Grand, York says: “We should own four sets of towels, that include a bath sheet for the body, a bath towel for the hair, a hand towel for drying your hands and a face cloth for the face. Two sets should be kept for yourself personally, one for using while the others are in the wash and a further two sets should be kept spare for guests.”

Next up, how many sets of bedsheets we should own…*jokes*

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