What Is GSM in Towels?

As you shop for new towels, you may encounter the term “GSM” as a measurement of quality. Towel GSM often determines how absorbent, soft, and durable it will be, and understanding its value can help you make an informed purchase.

What Does GSM Mean?

GSM stands for “grams per square meter” and is used to measure the weight of a fabric in its most basic form. In essence, the higher the GSM, the heavier and thicker the material. Generally speaking, towels with a higher GSM tend to be more absorbent and durable than ones with lower counts, as long as the material and weave are of quality.

Towel GSM ranges from 300 to 900.

300 – 400 GSM

Lightweight, thin, and often very affordable, towels with a GSM between 300 and 400 are far from the softest and most absorbent options, but they tend to dry more quickly than towels with a higher GSM.

400 – 600 GSM

Great as bath towels and beach towels, these middle-weight items are softer than towels with a lower GSM, and they are reasonably absorbent and dry fairly quickly.

600 – 900 GSM

For the most luxurious experience, towels with a high GSM between 600 and 900 are thicker and more plush than other towels, and then tend to be made with high-quality materials, making them softer and longer-lasting, as well.

They are often more expensive than towels with a lower GSM, and they take longer to dry – if you purchase towels with a higher GSM, use a heated towel rack to ensure your towels are soft and dry before you need them again.

How GSM Affects Towel Quality

A woman places a stack of three plush towels on a bed.

GSM is an especially important measurement for towels since it directly impacts performance.


If you want a comfortable towel to use after a shower, opt for options with a higher GSM. Towels with a higher GSM are often softer and more plush than low GSM towels, though the materials used can also impact softness.


High-GSM towels will last longer as they won’t fray or become threadbare after repeated washes. This makes them a great investment if you want to avoid replacing your towel set too often.


To help you dry off more quickly and thoroughly, towels with higher GSM counts are the way to go. High-GSM towels are more absorbent and will soak up more moisture than lower GSM towels.


Most towels come with care instructions, but in general towels with a lower GSM count should be washed on a gentle cycle with cold water and hung to dry to prevent damage. Be sure to follow care instructions for higher-GSM towels as well to ensure they last as long as possible.

How to Choose the Right Towel Based on GSM

When choosing the right towels for your home, consider both GSM and material. Generally speaking, towels with a higher GSM count will be more absorbent, softer, and longer lasting than those with lower counts. However, the type of material used can also impact softness, absorption, and durability.

If possible, feel the towel before you buy it to get an idea of the texture and absorbency. Look for towels with a higher GSM count that are made from quality materials, such as cotton (especially Egyptian or Turkish) or bamboo, for the best combination of comfort and performance.

Tips for Maintaining High-GSM Towels

To ensure your high-GSM towels stay in good condition for as long as possible, follow these tips:

  • Wash them separately from other items and avoid washing with heavy fabrics.
  • Use a mild detergent to help keep the material soft.
  • Hang towels to air dry, tumble dry on a low heat setting, or hang on a heated towel rack.
  • Store towels in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight in order to prevent fading or discoloration.

Choosing the Best Towels Based on GSM

When it comes to towels, GSM is an important measurement to consider when shopping for quality pieces that are both comfortable and durable.

Towels with a higher GSM count often offer the best combination of absorbency and softness. With proper care and maintenance, these towels should last through many washes and drying cycles without fading or losing their luxurious feel.

When you’re ready to invest in a new set of towels, be sure to look for the GSM count and quality material before making your purchase.

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