Exploring Hammam Towels: A Comprehensive Review and Guide

Hammam towels, also known as Turkish towels or Pestemal towels have been a staple of Turkish culture for centuries. Originating from the traditional Turkish baths known as Hamams (Turkish spelling uses a single ‘m’), these towels have transcended their original use and have become a versatile accessory, not only in the realm of personal care but also in home décor, beachwear and even fashion.

The history of Hammam towels dates back to the Ottoman Empire, where they were used in Turkish baths as a cover-up and for their high absorbency and quick-drying properties. Made from 100% Turkish cotton, Hammam towels are known for their lightweight, durable and ultra-soft features. The high-quality cotton allows them to become softer and more absorbent with each wash.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of Hammam towels, exploring their history, what makes them unique and how to choose the best Hammam towel for your needs. We will also review some of the top Hammam towels and blankets from Ailera, a specialist brand distributing these high-quality products.

Whether you're looking for a new beach towel, a lightweight throw for your home, or simply want to switch to a more sustainable and versatile towel option, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. So, let's dive in and explore the world of Hammam towels!

What are Hammam Towels?

What are Hammam Towels?
A Hammam towel is a flat-woven fabric made from 100% Turkish cotton. Unlike the plush, looped terry cloth that most towels are made of, Hammam towels are flat and thin. They are lightweight, highly absorbent, and dry quickly, making them an excellent choice for travel, the beach, or any situation where a fast-drying towel is beneficial.

Materials Used in Hammam Towels

The primary material used in Hammam towels is Turkish cotton. Turkish cotton is known for its long fibres that create a stronger and smoother cotton yarn. When woven, these yarns result in a towel that is not only soft and comfortable but also durable and long-lasting.

Benefits of Using Hammam Towels

Hammam towels offer several benefits over traditional towels. They are lightweight and compact, making them easy to pack for travel or a trip to the beach. Despite their thinness, top-quality Turkish towels are highly absorbent and dry quickly, preventing the growth of bacteria and mildew. Importantly, hammam towels are also versatile and can be used as a blanket, sarong, scarf, or throw. Additionally, they become softer and more absorbent with each wash, ensuring they remain comfortable and efficient over time.

How to Choose the Best Hammam Towels

Best Hammam Towels

Choosing the best Hammam towel depends on several factors, including the material, size, design and price. Here's what you need to consider:

Factors to Consider When Buying Hammam Towels

1. Material

The material of the towel is crucial for its absorbency, durability and feel. High grade hammam towels are traditionally made from 100% Turkish Aegean cotton, known for its long fibres that create a soft and absorbent fabric. Ensure that the towel you choose is made from high-quality Turkish cotton to enjoy the full benefits of a Hammam towel.

2. Size

Hammam towels come in various sizes, from small hand towels to large beach towels or blankets. Consider how you plan to use the towel when choosing the size. For instance, if you're looking for a camping or beach blanket, a larger size would be more suitable. Alternatively, smaller hammam towels are great as hair towels.

3. Design

Hammam towels are known for their vibrant and diverse designs. Common designs feature horizontal stripes as these are the easiest to weave. More complex designs use jacquard techniques, where geometric patterns or intricate motifs can be “drawn” into the weave. Lastly, it’s also possible to print on the towels, as you would on a T-shirt. This allows for enormous creativity from weavers and designers - choose a design that suits your personal style and the intended use of the towel.

4. Price

Like any product, the price of Hammam towels can vary. This will usually depend on factors such as size, composition or weaving technique. Hammam towels can be similarly priced to regular terry towels, but often their compactness, weight, versatility, durability and aesthetic appeal can give them the edge. It's essential to note that the price aligns with the towel's quality - for example you should expect to pay more for a towel made from a cotton-linen blend or from 100% certified Organic cotton. 

Hammam Towels as Versatile Home Accessories

Versatile Home Accessories

One of the most appealing aspects of Hammam towels is their versatility. While they serve their purpose as towels exceptionally well, their uses extend far beyond that. With their stylish designs and variable sizing, Hammam towels can easily double as practical home accessories.

Different Uses of Hammam Towels

Hammam towels can be used in a variety of ways around the home:

  • Throw Blanket: With their soft texture and beautiful designs, thicker-weave Hammam towels make for perfect throw blankets. Drape one over your sofa or bed for an instant style upgrade or an additional lightweight layer.
  • Tablecloth: A large Hammam towel can serve as a unique and stylish tablecloth, perfect for casual dining or a picnic.
  • Curtain: At a pinch, a Hammam towel can even be used as a light and airy curtain. Imagine a situation where a toddler or baby needs to be kept out of the sun (a beach tent or pushchair, for example). The lightweight nature of a hammam towel keeps direct sun at bay but is not as stifling as a thicker towel or cover. 
  • Wrap or Sarong: Hammam towels are also perfect as wraps or sarongs, making them a stylish accessory for the beach or pool. A key point to note here is that the superb drying qualities of cotton allow your wrap to perform two tasks at once!

Care and Maintenance of Hammam Towels

Care and Maintenance

While Hammam towels are known for their durability, proper care and maintenance can extend their lifespan and keep them looking their best. Here's how to care for your Hammam towels:

Washing Your Hammam Towels

Hammam towels can be machine washed for easy care. It's best to wash them in cold or warm water on a gentle cycle to maintain their quality and prevent shrinkage. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners as these can damage the cotton fibres and reduce the towel's absorbency. 

Drying Your Hammam Towels

Hammam towels are known for their quick-drying properties. While they can be tumble dried on a low setting, air drying is the best option to maintain their shape and quality. This will also minimise the risk of shrinkage or damage to any tassels. Avoid drying them in direct sunlight as this can cause the colours to fade.

Ironing Your Hammam Towels

It’s possible to iron your Hammam towels but make sure you adhere to the care label instructions, which may vary according to the towel composition. You may also find that jacquard or double-weave towels are more time consuming if you want them to be wrinkle-free. However, one of the charms of Hammam towels is their soft handfeel and used appearance, so ironing is often unnecessary. Excessive heat can damage cotton fibres and impact towel absorbency. 

Storing Your Hammam Towels

When not in use, store your Hammam towels in a cool, dry place. Make sure they are completely dry (this is often the issue with thicker looped terry towels which by definition will take longer). Avoid storing them in damp or humid areas to prevent the growth of mould or mildew. With proper care, your Hammam towels will remain soft, absorbent and beautiful for many years to come.

Customer Reviews: Real Experiences with Hammam Towels

Customer Reviews

Hearing from people who have used and loved Hammam towels can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision. Below, we've compiled some verified customer reviews of Ailera's Hammam towels. These reviews highlight the towels' quality, versatility, and style, offering a glimpse into the real-life experiences of Hammam towel users.

  • Review by Pip H.: "Love these towels, great quality and pack down small for holidays and travel, very convenient and great for home too. The perfect birthday present for everyone!” (Ailera Felix Hammam Towel)
  • Review by Joa R.: "Such a beautiful Hammam towel. I have a lighter weight one I use that I also bought from Ailera when space is tight. This one is luxurious and still lighter than a towel and looks and feels great too, really soft.” (Ailera Leopard Hammam Towel)
  • Review by Anne H.: "I have been searching for a terry lined peştemal to replace a beloved towel that I lost. I bought one online but it was flimsy and too stripey. Then I ordered this one from Ailera not expecting much as it was cheaper. But I was thrilled when it arrived. It is beautifully soft and luxurious. It came with a super hair towel which is just lovely. Very soft and stylish. I am so happy that I ordered three more to make a set. I soaked the towels for twenty four hours in cold water and then washed them. They are so beautiful and I am over the moon!” (Ailera Dina Towel)
  • Review by Edwina P.: "This is the third Ailera towel I’ve bought , not because they don’t last but I’ve had so many compliments I’ve bought more as gifts.” (Ailera Talia Hammam Towel)
  • Review by Edwina P.: “Bought two when on offer, and absolutely love them. They compliment our newly refitted bathroom, take up less storage space than conventional terry towels and are very absorbent. Highly recommend!” (Ailera Dina Towel)


Why the best towels

Hammam towels, with their rich history and unique properties, offer a versatile and stylish alternative to traditional towels. Made from 100% Turkish cotton, they are soft, absorbent, quick-drying and incredibly durable. Their beautiful designs and variable sizing make them not only an excellent choice for personal use but also a stylish addition to your home decor.

When choosing a Hammam towel consider factors such as composition, size, design and price. Whether you're looking for a beach towel, a backpacking towel, a throw blanket, an outdoor tablecloth or a stylish cover-up there's a Hammam towel for you.

Proper care and maintenance, including gentle washing, air drying, and proper storage will ensure your Hammam towels remain in top condition for years to come.

Hammam towels are a testament to the blend of functionality and style. They are a testament to how a simple item can become an essential part of our daily lives, providing comfort, utility and a touch of luxury. So why not consider adding a Hammam towel to your home or travel essentials?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hammam Towels

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the history of Hammam towels? Hammam towels, also known as Turkish towels or peshtemals, have a rich history dating back hundreds of years. They were originally used in Turkish baths or hammams and their lightweight and quick-drying properties made them ideal for this purpose. Over time, they have evolved into versatile accessories used for a variety of purposes, from beach towels to home decor.
  • How do I care for my Hammam towel? Hammam towels are easy to care for. They can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with similar colours. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners as these can damage the cotton fibres and reduce absorbency. After washing, it's best to let them air dry, but they can also be tumble dried on a low heat. With each wash, your Hammam towel will become softer and more absorbent.
  • What makes Turkish Hammam towels different from regular towels? Hammam towels should be made from high-quality, long-fibre Aegean cotton and are flatwoven, which gives them a distinctive appearance and handfeel. They are known for being lightweight, quick-drying and highly absorbent. Their compactness makes them easy to pack, making them ideal for travel or trips to the beach. They also come in a variety of beautiful designs and colors, making them a stylish choice.
  • How do I choose the right Hammam towel? When choosing a Hammam towel, consider its intended use. If you plan to use it as a beach towel, a larger size might be more suitable. If you plan to wear it, a good choice of colours / designs from a company such as Ailera allows you to accessorise your towel. If it's for your bathroom, consider the colour scheme of the room. Hammam towels come in a variety of colours and designs, so you can choose one that matches your style. Also, look for a Turkish towel made from 100% aegean cotton for the best quality.
  • Can Hammam towels be used for purposes other than as a towel? Yes, Hammam towels are incredibly versatile. They can be used as a blanket, a scarf, a wrap, a picnic blanket, or even a tablecloth. Their beautiful designs also make them a great option for home decor.
  • Are Hammam towels eco-friendly? Yes, Hammam towels are often made from natural materials like cotton, making them a more eco-friendly choice compared to towels made from synthetic materials. They are also long-lasting, which means you won't need to replace them as often as regular towels.

Remember, if you have any other questions about Hammam towels, don't hesitate to ask!