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Best microfibre towels: quick-drying towels for travelling, swimming, camping and more

Perfect for trips to the beach, gym and pool, microfibre towels are compact, quick-drying marvels. With the help of Mumsnetters, we’ve put together this handy guide to the best microfibre towels to add to your suitcase, gym kit or bathroom.

By Jenny Elliott | Last updated Dec 20, 2023

Best microfibre towels

Microfibre was once seen as the poor relation to fluffy cotton. But times have changed, and now microfibre towels are not just a practical option – they come in a variety of sizes and designs and can be gentle on the skin.

Of course, it’s the way they soak up water and then dry quickly that makes them such a family favourite. Well that, and the fact they’re so lightweight they leave plenty of space in your bag for buckets and spades.

With so many choices, though, it can be difficult to know which microfibre towel to choose. That’s why we’ve consulted our Mumsnet forums to select the best of the bunch, whatever your budget or needs.

Here are the best microfibre towels to buy in the UK.

1. Best overall microfibre towel: Fit-Flip Microfibre towel

Fit Flip microfibre towels

Price: From £5 | Buy now from Amazon

Whether you're looking for something small for the gym or more substantial for the beach, these lightweight, super-absorbent microfibre towels come in a range of sizes. The variety of colours is also great for families who want to avoid everyone’s towels getting mixed up.

The microfibre material itself is soft to the touch. Don’t let that fool you though, these towels are durable, sand- and dirt-repellent and can be machine washed at 60°C.

The mesh storage bag is handy for travelling, and the press stud loop means they can be hung up in changing rooms or left to dry on beach parasols or tree branches.

2. Best budget microfibre towel: Decathlon Nabaiji Compact Microfibre Towel

Decathlon microfibre towel

Price: £7 | Buy now from Decathlon

"We have many Decathlon towels. The smooth ones are brilliant for sea swimming. Sand just falls off. And everyone has their own colour" - Clymene

"Really good price and lasts for years and years" - eternalopt

Decathlon’s reputation for affordable, good-quality products is proven yet again by its budget-friendly microfibre towels. Mumsnetters love the fun colours and how small they fold down.

The super-compact size and microfibre material ensure fast drying and the handy hanging loop can be used to secure the towel when it's rolled up. Some people aren’t crazy about the feel of the fabric, although Decathlon also makes an ultra-soft version for anyone who prefers a gentler touch.

3. Best microfibre towel for the beach: Dock & Bay Beach Towel

Dock and Bay microfibre towels

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

"We've got the Dock & Bay towels and I can't fault them" - ArtfulScreamer

"Dock & Bay do fab colours!" - Glitterfisher

Famous for their successful appearance on Dragon’s Den, Dock & Bay produce microfibre towels well worth investing in. Not only do the classic striped designs shout holiday, the high-quality material means that sand shakes straight off. The large sizes are also great for laying out on a sun-lounger or wrapping around you after a swim.

As with other microfibre towels, these are lightweight as well as fast-drying. What makes them so popular with Mumsnetters though, is their eco-credentials. They are made from 100% recycled materials and they're soft on the skin to boot.

4. Best microfibre towel for travel: Lifeventure SoftFibre Travel Towel

Lifeventure microfibre towels

Price: From £16 | Buy now from Amazon   

"Lifeventure microfibre trek towel in X- large is highly absorbent with a bath towel feel. It dries very quickly too and hardly takes up any room" - poppyboo

This sturdy, extra-large towel only weighs 146 grams but can absorb nine times that amount of water. Once hung out, it dries surprisingly quickly before packing down into its own little carry case.

The fabric is treated with odour control, making it a great towel for when you’re on the move without easy access to a washing machine. The towel is designed to be sand-repellant and will help you avoid lugging half the beach home in your bag.

5. Best microfibre towel for kids: Tiddlers & Nippers Kids Microfibre Hooded Towel

Tiddlers microfibre towels

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

This lightweight poncho, complete with its own carry pouch, is a practical option for a trip to the beach or the pool with kids. Not only does it dry four times faster than an ordinary towel, the microfibre technology means it takes up around eight times less space.

It comes in two different sizes: one for 2–5-year-olds, the other for 5–10. There’s a pink and a blue version, although we love the stylish grey. The double stitching around the hem means there shouldn’t be any unsightly fraying, and the hood is great for drying hair and blocking the wind and sun.

6. Best large microfibre towel: Immaculate Textiles XL Premium Microfibre Towel

Immaculate Textiles microfibre towels

Price: £19 | Buy now from Amazon

This giant towel is a whopping 2 metres by 1 metre, making it the perfect microfibre option for lying on the beach or for snuggling up in after a bath or shower.

The high-quality ultrafine microfibre material gives it a more luxurious feel than many other microfibre towels. But, despite the softness and generous proportions, it retains the ability to dry fast and fold down small relative to its size.

The mesh storage pocket can be attached to a rucksack, should you be short of space. The fact it can be machine washed and tumble dried further adds to the family-friendly appeal.

7. Best compact microfibre towel: Eono Small Microfibre Towel

Eono microfibre towels

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

This Amazon brand microfibre towel comes in a range of sizes – but if you want something ultra-portable, the small 60cm by 30cm towel is just the ticket.

Of course, it isn’t going to work well as a cover-up, but if you need a compact towel for the gym or a damp playground trip, it’s a convenient choice. The antimicrobial treatment minimizes the chance of mould and mildew, and it also comes with a soft, flexible plastic case. So, if you’re on the go, you can pack it away without everything else in your bag getting wet.

8. Best microfibre towel for your hair: Laicky 3 Pack Microfiber Hair Towel

Laicky microfibre towel

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

These nifty microfibre towels have been designed for twisting into a turban, allowing your hair to dry while you apply makeup or get started on your to-do list. There’s a button and an elastic loop for securing it in place, and it’s much less cumbersome than balancing a wet, cotton towel on your head.

The absorbent fabric lessens the need for hairdryers; those with waves and curls will love the way it dries without creating frizz. Kids with long locks may also find them useful, which is why it’s helpful that they come in a pack of three.

9. Best microfibre towel for the gym: BeMaxx Microfibre Towel Set of 2

BeMaxx microfibre towel

Price: £16 | Buy now from Amazon

This microfibre towel set is great for gym sessions as it includes both a large towel for the shower and a smaller hand towel. The integrated, zipped pocket in the larger towel can be used for stashing locker keys and other valuables. The hanging loop, with press stud, means it can be easily hung up in shower cubicles and changing rooms.

If we did have a quibble, it’s that the mesh carry bag is a little on the small size, meaning you have to be an expert towel folder to squeeze it all back in. But both towels are lightweight (just 285g) so they're easy to pop into a gym bag. And the fabric is soft, anti-bacterial and is great at drying quickly.

What is a microfibre towel?

Microfibre fabric is made of a blend of polyester and polyamide. As the name suggests, these synthetic fibres are super-thin and when woven together produce a strong, soft, absorbent fabric that doesn’t crease.

Are microfibre towels good for drying hair?

Microfibre towels are particularly good for drying hair as they wick away moisture fast and don’t require damaging rubbing. The small fibres cause less friction than a cotton towel, which means they’re also great for avoiding fly-aways and the dreaded frizz.

How do you wash microfibre towels?

Microfibre towels can be machine-washed with similar colours – just avoid using fabric softener as it will ruin the absorbency of the material.

What is the best microfibre towel to buy?

We are big fans of Dock & Bay’s fun, stripy towels made from recycled material. However, for the sheer variety of sizes and colours, Fit-Flip’s durable microfibre towels get our vote.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out what microfibre towels were being recommended.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at what microfibre towels had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best microfibre towels online at the moment.

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