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What are Waffle Towels?

By Amy Hunter
Updated May 16, 2024
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Waffle towels are a type of towels that have a waffle-like texture. These towels are available in kitchen towels and dish cloths as well as bath towels, hand towels and washcloths. Waffle towels are absorbent and dry quickly, which makes them an excellent choice for the bath and the kitchen.

Advantages of Waffle Weave

The waffle weave texture of the towels picks up and traps moisture, which reduces the amount of time that the user must spend towel-drying his or her hair, kitchen counters or other surfaces. A waffle towel's texture also allows air to flow through it, quickly drying it. This helps the towels remain fresh longer, because they will not remain damp for too long, which can cause towels to take on an odd odor. The waffle texture also provides ridges that can help clean up food or other items that have become stuck to surfaces.

Environmentally Friendly

Waffle towels are considered an environmentally friendly option for housekeeping for a variety of reasons. A supply of waffle towels in the kitchen allows the user you to wipe up spills quickly without using paper towels. They are so absorbent that one towel can be used to dry what might take a handful of paper towels. Spills can be wiped up with a waffle towel, and then it can be hung it to dry so that it will be ready to use for the next spill.

Using waffle towels in the bathroom can be an environmentally friendly choice as well. The use of a waffle towel to dry one's hair before using a hairdryer is an excellent solution. The waffle weave of the towel will trap and absorb water so that the hair will be drier before the hairdryer is used. This means less electricity is needed to dry hair and less heat can damage the hair. Again, the waffle towel can be hung to dry, and it will be fresh and ready to use the next time someone takes a shower.

Looks Can Be Deceiving

When some people first see and feel waffle towels, they might not believe that the towels can be more absorbent than plush towels, but using waffle towels can convince many people of their effectiveness. The towels do not have the soft and plush feeling of many bath towels, because the waffle's ridges prevent that. The waffle weave though, traps and absorbs more water than a heavier towel and takes less time to dry.

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Discussion Comments

By Perdido — On Dec 21, 2011

I have two dogs that live in the house, and they are always making a mess. Every time that they drink from their water bowl, they spill massive amounts of water onto the linoleum. I have learned that the best way to mop this up is with a waffle towel.

It takes at least six paper towels to dry off the floor around the bowl. This seemed ridiculous. Also, if I used a regular kitchen towel, it would not dry out in time to clean up their next mess.

I keep the waffle towel near the water bowl. I spread it out over a pegboard to dry, and I reuse it for days before washing it.

By wavy58 — On Dec 21, 2011

@lighth0se33 – I work at a home store, and we carry waffle towels for both the kitchen and the bathroom. Our waffle bath towels, while more expensive than regular bath towels, are huge.

The largest towel of this sort that we sell is 40 inches by 80 inches, but our most popular is the one measuring 32 inches by 60 inches. This would be plenty of towel for even people with extremely long hair.

I have one at home, and it actually keeps me warmer than a thick towel when I wrap up in it, because it soaks up so much moisture quickly. By the following evening, it is dry and ready to be used again.

By lighth0se33 — On Dec 20, 2011

Does anyone know if waffle towels come in large sizes? My husband and I are currently using big, plush towels to dry off when we exit the shower, but when we hang these up to dry, they often stay a little bit moist and develop a funky odor.

I've even tried hanging them on a rod above the heating vent. I think the problem is that they are so thick, part of them has to remain folded, and this traps the moisture inside.

If I could find waffle towels that are as big as these bath towels, I would try them. Our plush towels are as big as beach towels, and we love the fact that we can wrap up in them completely. I hope waffle towels this big exist.

By OeKc05 — On Dec 19, 2011

I hate using a hair dryer, so I love waffle towels. In the summertime, I just let my hair drip dry, but in the cooler months, I can't tolerate having a wet head for hours.

So, when the weather is cool, I use a waffle towel on my hair. This takes enough moisture out of it that I can stand to let it air dry the rest of the way.

The only time I have to use a hair dryer now is if my heater is broken. Otherwise, I just use a waffle towel. Then, I wear a terry cloth bathrobe that holds the slightly damp hair off of my skin until it dries fully.

By SZapper — On Dec 19, 2011

I think this article is right: in this case, looks are deceiving. I don't think waffle kitchen towels look like they could clean up any kind of spill at all. However, they are really, really absorbent.

I like to use a waffle weave washcloth in the shower too. I know they aren't as soft as a regular washcloth, but I feel like the waffle ridges really help exfoliate my skin (I get a lot of blemishes, so exfoliating is a must for me). My face feels so much cleaner when I use a waffle towel versus a regular towel.

By ceilingcat — On Dec 18, 2011

@KaBoom - I use waffle weave egyptian cotton towels for my hair and I think they are definitely more absorbent than regular towels. I feel like it takes me a lot less time to towel dry my hair than it used to.

I think it's kind of interesting these towels are considering environmentally friendly. I suppose using one waffle towel to dry up spills in the kitchen is way better than using a bunch of paper towels.

However, by that logic I think just about any towel could be considered to be environmentally friendly. Anytime you use a cloth towel instead of a paper towel you're cutting down on waste and paper use.

By KaBoom — On Dec 18, 2011

I'm a bit fan of waffle dish towels. I think they work great! Of course, my favorite dish towels are the ones that I hand knit for myself. I think they're the most absorbent (maybe I'm biased). But, the waffle towels come in a close second the hand knit towels.

I've never tried waffle towels on my hair, but I've been thinking about trying it. They work so well in the kitchen I'm sure they'd work equally as well on my hair. I really hate using the blow dryer, so any way I can minimize drying time sounds good to me.

By golf07 — On Dec 17, 2011

After having such good results with my waffle bath towels, I can see how they would work just as well in the kitchen.

I have very thick hair which takes forever to dry. Most days I use a hair dryer to style my hair, but even then, it takes a lot of time to get my hair completely dry.

I have found that if I use a waffle towel to thoroughly dry my hair, it makes a big difference. After using the towel to get most of the moisture out, I will leave it on my head for a few minutes before using the hair dryer.

This seems to cut down on the amount of time it takes to dry my hair. When I travel and use a towel that is not a waffle weave bath towel, that is when I really realize what a difference they make.

By LisaLou — On Dec 16, 2011

I have tried several different kind of kitchen towels, but cotton waffle towels are my favorite by far.

I used to buy cute, color coordinated towels for my kitchen, but once I started using waffle weave kitchen towels, I don't look for anything else.

There aren't as many choices for cute designs, but I can still find colors to match my decor. What I love about them is how absorbent they are.

With three young kids around, we have a lot of kitchen spills. It is expensive and not good for the environment if I were to use a paper towel every time.

The waffle towels absorb the moisture, dry quickly and are so easy to throw in the wash. I always make sure I have plenty of them clean and ready to use.

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