When you open your linen closet, do your towels come tumbling out or look like they were hit by a tornado? This happens when each towel is folded differently, so they don't stack well and stay in place. While your mother may have told you that there is a "right way" to fold a towel, there are several methods, including the tri-fold, deep fold, or narrow fold, that will give you the results you desire. The key to success is finding the folding style that works best for your storage space and sticking with it.
The best towel folding method will:
- fit your storage space
- give easy access to individual towels
- hang easily from a towel bar or rack
- reduce wrinkles
- look attractive
This article addresses basic towel folding. But if you want to create cruise ship-worthy towel creatures, check out origami tutorials or the hundreds of online videos. Just remember, most of these creations will not stack or store well!
How Often You Should Fold Towels
Towels should be folded after each time they are washed. Leaving towels in a heap is overwhelming, messy, and can lead to confusion regarding which towels are clean and which are dirty. It takes less than one minute per towel to complete a basic fold, and the task is perfect for doing while watching TV or your video-based app of choice. The one rule that must be followed is that the towel should be completely dry before you fold it for storage or display, which discourages mildew growth.
The one time you don’t want to fold a towel too tightly is right after using it for a bath or shower. The towel should be placed over a towel bar, on a drying rack, or hung from a hook to air-dry. Allow as much of the surface of the towel to be exposed to airflow as possible. Too many layers of wet towels lying on each other is an invitation for musty, foul-smelling towels.
For some, towel folding is the best part of laundry. It's not just because the warm, soft, fluffy cloths can be delightful to handle fresh out of the dryer—there is a near-therapeutic quality to the repetitive motion that many (us included!) find relaxing. Ahead, we detail how to fold every type of towel, from regular bath and beach iterations to kitchen cloths, with the help of Jamie Gibberman, a professional organizer and the co-owner of Get Organized RVA in Richmond, Virginia. His first piece of advice? Make sure you have a large, flat, clean work surface, so you can smooth the piece down in between each step. "The end goal is to hide the edges so that only the folds are facing front," he explains.
According to Gibberman, the most basic bath towel method involves folding it in half widthwise and then lengthwise before folding it into thirds. "This creates one clean folded edge that, when stacked, would face out," he says. Another process that delivers a similar uniform, tight look? Begin the same way—fold the towel in half widthwise and lengthwise—before tucking "both ends in toward the center, leaving a small gap in between," he explains. "Then, bring one end over toward the other side, sliding the folded end into the top flap of the stationary side." Once you're finished, the towel should resemble an envelope or clutch purse—and no edges should come loose. "This is a great technique to use if you need to pack towels," he says. "They stay intact when you take them out of your luggage."
If you want to replicate the rolled look you find at spa or in luxury hotels, do so by laying the towel flat and folding one corner down to create a triangle (the rest of the towel should remain unfolded and look like a rectangle attached to the triangle). "Fold in half length-wise—it should resemble a paper airplane," Gibberman says. "Flip the towel completely over and start to roll from the rectangle end toward the triangle end." Keep rolling tightly, making sure to line up the edges, until all you have left is the small point of the triangle. "Tuck that small point inside the edge of the roll," he notes.
Since beach towels are sometimes longer than the standard bath iteration, you'll want to take a slightly different approach. Gibberman says to fold the beach towel in half lengthwise first, then widthwise (this creates a smaller rectangle) before folding it into thirds. This, he says, will result in a more compact, manageable result.
Hand and Dish Towels
For storage purposes, hand towels are best folded in half lengthwise; fold both ends into the center and then everything in half to create a neat look, notes Gibberman. And while dish or tea towels are often similar in size, they are typically kept in a drawer in the kitchen—which is why he suggests file folding them. "Fold the dish towel lengthwise, then fold it in half to create a smaller rectangle," he says. "Fold it into thirds if this matches your drawer depth—or fold both ends in toward the center and fold everything in half if the drawer is shallow." Place the cloths into your drawer like files in a cabinet, with the folded edge facing up.
There are a lot of seemingly mundane tasks involved in keeping a home. Things like doing laundry and washing dishes sound like boring chores you just want to get done so you can get on to the bigger, “more important” things. But the fact is those mundane basics are actually the most important part of keeping a home. If the fundamentals are not properly done, it has an impact on how your entire house looks and functions.
One of those basic chores important to successful homekeeping is folding laundry and today I want to focus on how to fold the towels in your bathroom.
It seems so easy to pull your towels out of the dryer and do a few haphazard folds before throwing them in the closet. And yes, doing that means the towels are clean and put away which is very important. But does that thrown together stack give you any pride in the job you’ve done or how your linen closet looks?
If any of us walked into a chic hotel and found the bath towels folded poorly and tossed on a shelf, we’d demand something better. So why don’t we expect the same of ourselves in our own homes?
Folding a towel neatly does not take any more time than practically rolling it into a ball and pitching it into storage if you know how to do it correctly.
I’ve tried to play around with different folding techniques to uncover the easiest way to get that neat, fluffy stack. You don’t want anything complicated or folds that are hard to replicate from towel to towel. The goal is easy and neat, every time. You want to be sure that each towel is folded in the same way and in the same size for that uniform look.
You may prefer to fold each type of towel in a different way than I’m suggesting here and that is perfectly fine. Everyone develops their own style. The point is to take those few extra moments to do a job well done that will give you a tidy linen closet and keep your towels fresh for when they are needed at bath time.
So let’s start with the smallest and easiest towel to fold – the washcloth:
HOW TO FOLD A WASHCLOTH
Lay the washcloth out flat in front of you and fold it in half.
Then fold the half into thirds.
HOW TO FOLD A HAND TOWEL
Lay the hand towel out in front of you. Evenly fold it in thirds lengthwise. Then fold it into thirds again in the opposite direction.
* Depending on the size of where you store your towels, you may just want to fold it in half the second time.
HOW TO FOLD A BATH TOWEL
Lay the bath towel out lengthwise in front of you. Like the hand towel, fold the towel into thirds.
Going in the opposite direction, fold it in half, and then half again.
When everything is folded, simply stack the towels in neat piles and store them away in your linen closet or place them on a shelf in the bathroom.
And just to be clear, having a large surface like the top of your washer and dryer or a tabletop makes this job really easy. But if you have no where to lay things out flat you can always fold the towel in the air in front of you, especially after you’ve perfected the technique.
Personally, I love opening the linen closet and seeing a nice fluffy stack of clean and neatly folded towels. Taking the time to correctly fold them makes your bath towels accessible, instantly organized, and pleasing to the eye. It is one of those simple homekeeping tasks that can have an immense effect on the way you feel about your home.
Turning your bathroom into a stylish, spa-like sanctuary doesn’t always mean time-consuming or costly renovations. Sometimes, that five-star hotel look at home is all about the fine details. Even an already beautiful room can fail to impress when stocked with poorly-folded bath towels. On the flipside, neatly displayed and properly folded towels can instantly elevate your space.
But don’t worry — you don’t have to have Marie Condo-level skills to know how to fold towels (or how to make towel animals!)
The simple secret is in the right bathroom towel decor ideas. To help you master the art of folding towels for display, we’ve created this handy guide. You’ll pick up some fun towel hanging ideas along the way. You’ll also learn new ways to fold towels and even how to roll towels to create a luxury effect.
Let’s take the first step to make your bed and bathroom worthy of a glossy magazine.
How to Fold Towels: the Basics
Good style is often about simplicity and not complexity. When it comes to chic bathroom towel ideas, let the classics be your guide. A luxury hotel look in your bathroom starts with high-quality towels. Five-star properties go above and beyond for comfort by stepping up their towel quality.
What Are The Best Towel Materials
Thick, ultra-absorbent bath towels made from premium cotton are a smart starting point. Egyptian cotton and Long-staple Turkish cotton are considered the best towel materials. They deliver superior softness and a luxurious, five-star, plush appearance.
Towels crafted from a cotton/polyester blend are also a great option. They’re not as heavy-weight as 100 percent cotton towels, but they’re perfect for frequent, everyday use. They last for years, and since they’re thinner, they’re also easy to manipulate and fold. That makes them an ideal choice for towel animals, if you decide to try your hand at those creative bathroom towel ideas.
How to Stack Towels
High-end hotels most often stack their towels. This is a classic, beautiful and efficient way to organize bath towels of any size and weight on shelves. The technique is quite simple and easy to master.
Lay the towel horizontally in front of you. Then fold it over about two-thirds from top to bottom. Smooth the edges, and fold the remaining third. Next, fold the towel in half, smooth it and fold it in half again. Then stack it with the folded spine facing outward.
How to Roll Towels
Rolled towels add a spa vibe to any room. Start by laying your towel on a flat surface. Fold the bottom left corner to the center lengthwise. Repeat with the bottom-right edge. Smooth the towel, then flip it upside down with the pointed end on the right. Start rolling tightly from the left. When you’re finished, tuck in the flap.
How to Fold Towels for Vertical Storage
This technique is a great way to maximize your storage space and store towels vertically in a drawer. Begin by spreading the towel in front of you. Fold it in half horizontally, then again vertically. Fold vertically again, but this time in thirds. Place the towel in a drawer with the folded edge outward.
Another great space-saving technique for large towels is folding in thirds. Start by laying the towel flat. Fold it in half lengthwise, then fold a third of it vertically. Smooth it out before folding it again. Repeat the process, this time horizontally. As always, display with the folded edge out.
How to Fold Hand Towels
Whether in the kitchen or the bathroom, we use hand towels all day long. So if you have plenty of these towels in your linen closet, you may need a few creative ways to fold and organize them. While the techniques above also work perfectly for hand towels, there are a few methods that look neat and are quick to learn.
Trying to find out how to fold towels so you can open the drawer or the cupboard and feel comfortable and prepared instantly? Want to fold towels like Marie Kondo?
Follow the simple step by step to find out how.
How to do konmari folding towels?
- Step 1. Fold the towel in half length ways to make a rectangle.
- Step 2. Fold the halved towel in half widthways.
- Step 3. Fold the towel into thirds, take one end in the middle, then put the other end over it .
- Step 4. Do the standing test. If the towel is correctly folded then it will be standing alone.
What is the best way to store towels? The konmari folding towels Method
- To get the most storage space for bulky towels, it’s best to fold them in thirds lengthwise, then into a rectangle.
- Place on shelves at your eye level or below, so the edges face toward the back for a neat appearance.
- If your closet is on the smaller side, consider rolling your towels for extra space.
Why Marie Kondo folding method to fold towels?
The reason I love the konmari towel folding method is that Marie Kondo folding method keeps stuff so neat and they’re sitting firmly.
marie kondo folding towels
The way in which these towels are folded and stored literally gives you more room to fit in. Space saver!
SHOP indoor decoration ideas
Is it better to fold or roll towels?
One trick hotels and resorts have done for years to save space on towels and washcloths is to tightly roll them into tubes for storage instead of folding them flat.
Folding them requires much more space than a rolled-up towel, and can be stashed in a basket or drawer out of the way, rather than consuming a whole shelf in a linen closet.
Where do you store your towels?
Store face cloths and hand towels in a drawer to keep them close at hand and so they don’t topple over.
Store bath towels in your linen closet. Either way, keep towels close at hand.
If you’d like to learn more organized tips, hacks, and advice, these posts can help:
Marie Kondo folding tips advocate KonMari folding techniques – that is, folding clothes, towels, and sheets so they can stack in drawers vertically.
Also, we look at how many hours of sleep are recommended and how to use a sleep cycle calculator to find the best time to wake up.
Use the free savings calculator to understand how your money can grow over time and money goal calculator.
If you’re going to take the time to fold towels and put them away, I say fold them and put them away in a tidy way. There aren’t a lot of ‘ways’ to fold towels, but I’m going to show you how I fold them. I fold them this way because this allows them to fit in our cupboards and shelves easily, you can grab them and hang them up and they still look good, and it feels better to use a towel that is folded neatly. Of course, if you have a different method and it works, keep going with that!
For consistency, I fold all the towels the same way:
- Lay flat and smooth out towel.
- Fold in thirds lengthwise.
- I fold bath towels in thirds again.
- Hand towels and wash cloths get folded in half to fit in our cupboards – you might want to fold in thirds, depending on your space.
- Stack on shelves for easy access.
Here’s a step-by-step for each type of towel:
Washcloths folded in thirds fit nicely in a cupboard and can be grabbed easily to use.
We change hand towels frequently – having them folded in thirds make it easy to grab and just place on a towel bar or towel ring. They hang smoothly and complete a spa-like look and feel in the bathrooms.
Bath towels can be cumbersome to fold because of the larger size. Laying them down on a counter or on a bed makes it easy to smooth and fold.
A couple things about towels that you might be wondering. We use white towels exclusively – I love the spa-like look and feel and I find that they hold up better over time. I typically buy the Charisma Towels from Costco (pictured) and Target or Homegoods. I use Clean Mama Oxygen Whitener (safe AND effective whitener) and Clean Mama Laundry Super Powder (Lemon + Clove) with every load of towels. I also use white vinegar as my fabric softener and Wool Dryer Balls to keep them soft and fluffy. You can find my laundry favorites here.
So simple and easy but one of those little things that makes a big difference.
Sure, learning how to fold towels beautifully may not be a major priority if they are stored behind closed doors, but if your towels come tumbling out every time you open the linen closet or press, it’s likely due to poor folding techniques. And if you want to display towels for guest use or on open shelves, spa-hotel style, then it could be time to up your towel folding game.
Properly folded, towels will stay neatly stacked and ready for use – and if you’re looking for laundry room ideas that are functional and good-looking, learning the technique is an easy win-win.
Improving your folding skills is also helpful if you’re considering how to keep towels soft. They’ll stay in better condition without excessive creasing, compared to towels shoved into cupboards haphazardly. Towels should be folded every time they are washed, and also after use, but only once they have been thoroughly dried. A heated towel rail will ensure towels dry quickly and help discourage mildew or stale odors between washes.
How to fold towels fancy
When it comes to folding towels to keep them perfectly organized and stylishly arranged, we turned to renowned tidying expert Marie Kondo for advice. The KonMari Method™ for folding towels works for both storage and display purposes as it will keep your towels uniformly folded and tidy.
‘Whether you plan to tuck your items into a linen closet or drawer or display them on an exposed shelf or in a glass paned cabinet, this folding technique ensures your towels are both neatly organized and visually pleasing,’ explains Marie. The technique can be applied to towels of all sizes (full size bath towels, hand towels and face towels).
Step 1: Fold the towel in half lengthwise to make a rectangle.
Step 2: Fold the halved towel in half width-wise (if it’s a small towel like a face cloth, you can skip this step).
Step 3: Fold the towel into thirds, take one end in the middle, then put the other end over it.
Step 4: Do the standing test. If the towel is correctly folded, then it will be able stand by itself.
How to fold towels to save space
If you have plenty of space available in your linen closet, Marie recommends stacking full bath size, hand and face towels on top of each other in neat vertical stacks. However, if space is restricted and you are organizing a linen closet to make more room, rolling them is recommended.
‘If you need to get creative with space, hand and face towels can be rolled and stored upright and one in front of the other in drawers or baskets,’ she explains. ‘This tip can also make it more easily accessible for family and guests who need to quickly grab a hand or face towel.’
How to fold towels like a hotel
There are several ways to fold towels like a hotel for display on the towel racks and rails but it is wise to keep things simple, especially in busy households. One of the easiest and neatest methods is to lay the towel flat and then fold each long edge into the middle, so both of the long edges meet in the center. This will leave you with neat sides, with the washing label tucked inside. Then just lay it over the towel bar, and slide until you have equal length sides hanging down. Hang in size order, with bath sheets at the bottom, then bath towels, hand towels and finally face cloths, if required.
Linda graduated from university with a First in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting. Her career began on a trade title for the kitchen and bathroom industry, and she has worked for Homes & Gardens, and sister-brands Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, since 2006, covering interiors topics, though kitchens and bathrooms are her specialism.
Have you ever seen the unique towel art in hotel rooms? Or how neatly the towels are folded?
If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel while on holiday you’ve no doubt seen these things before. You might have wondered how they did this? Surely, it must be difficult and complicated.
Actually, it’s quite simple! Here are 4 towel folding methods for you to try out. Follow these methods and you’ll be folding towels like a hotel in no time!
You’ve probably seen this towel art in holiday resorts or cruise ships. Place two swans facing each other to create a heart shaped decoration and set a romantic mood.
What You’ll Need: 1 bath towel and 1 washcloth
- Lay the bath towel flat lengthwise
- Starting from the top left corner, roll the towel downwards toward the center.
- Repeat step 2 for the right corner of the towel. You should now have a pointed arrow.
- Fold the point of the arrow backward in half, and then forwards again to create an s-shape. This is the swan head.
- Fold the washcloth into a fan to make the swan wings, and place on the swan body.
This method will allow you to create perfectly folded towels that can be stacked tidily for a neat presentation.
What You’ll Need: This method works with bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths.
- Lay the towel flat lengthwise
- Fold the towel two-thirds of the way, leaving one third unfolded.
- Fold the unfolded third over the top
- Now fold the towel in half, and then half again
Pocket and Fan
The pocket and fan is a unique way to fold towels for decoration. This fold also can be used for napkins at dining tables as well.
What You’ll Need: 1 hand towel and 1 washcloth
- Lay the hand towel lengthwise with the tag facing upwards.
- Fold the towel from the tag side one-fifth of the way. The tag should now be covered
- Flip the towel over. The folded fifth should now be facing towards.
- Fold the towel lengthwise two-thirds of the way, leaving one-third unfolded
- Fold the unfolded third lengthwise over the folded third.
- Lift the corner of the top layer, and tuck it into the folded fifth of the 2nd layer
- Now fold the towel in half. You now have the pocket completed.
- Take the washcloth and fold into a fan. Place it in the pocket.
Spa Towel Roll Basket
If you’ve ever wanted to recreate the spa towel roll basket for your own bathroom, here’s how to do it.
What You’ll Need: 1 bath towel (or more) and 1 basket
- Lay the towel length ways
- Fold the towel in half width wise
- If the towel is large, fold it again. Otherwise, skip to step 4.
- Begin rolling the towel tightly and evenly.
- Once finished rolling, place the towel in a decorative basket
Now that you are a towel folding pro, shop towels in wholesale quantities here at Texon Towel.
Have you tried to make any towel animals. You can choose any color from our towels to make them.
How to make a towel snake
Difficulty: Beginner | Materials: 1 Goza Bath Towel
Try it yourself:
- Step 1: Fold two corners diagonally until they meet in the middle.
- Step 2: Fold one long edge into the middle.
- Step 3: Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll the towel into a long, cylindrical shape.
- Step 4: Holding the pointed end with one hand, use the other hand to twist the ‘bottom’ of the snake around itself twice.
- Step 5: Fold the pointed end down slightly to form the head.
How to make a towel baby monkey
Difficulty: Beginner | Materials: 1 Goza hand towel, 3 rubber bands
Try it yourself:
- Step 1: Roll the long sides of the hand towel inwards so they meet in the middle.
- Step 2: Flip the roll upside down and fold it in half, allowing one side to be longer than the other.
- Step 3: Twist the top half of the roll upside down.
- Step 4: Place a rubber band around the fold at the top, spreading the towel out so it forms a head.
- Step 5: Place rubber bands on the side of each head to create the ears.
How to make a towel elephant
Difficulty: Ninja | Materials: 1 Goza bath towel, 1 Goza wash cloth
Try it yourself:
- Step 1: Start with the towel flat in a ‘landscape’ orientation.
- Step 2: Fold both sides of the towel lengthways into the middle.
- Step 3: Roll the short ends inwards until they meet in the middle and fold firmly in half.
- Step 4: Stand the U-shape up and push down on the top to ‘fluff’ it.
- Step 5: Lay the washcloth out to form the head. Fold the top two corners towards the middle, forming a triangle.
- Step 6: Roll the right side diagonally, then do the same with the left so they meet in the middle. Turn it over.
- Step 7: Under the two corners that are sticking up, fold down the cuff and pinch it at the back. Hold it tightly while turning the ears inside out.
- Step 8: Place the head onto the body.
How to make a towel swan
Difficulty: Beginner | Materials: 1 Goza bath towel
Try it yourself:
- Step 1: Lay the towel flat in a ‘landscape’ orientation.
- Step 2: Fold the top corners inwards until they meet in the middle.
- Step 3: Roll the outside edges inward to the middle.
- Step 4: Make a downward fold about a third of the way up the ‘arrow’ shape, and an upward fold about two-thirds of the way up. This should form a ‘Z’ shape.
- Step 5: Lay the ‘Z’ down and squeeze the corners to keep the curves in place.
How to make a towel seahorse
Difficulty: Ninja | Materials: 2 Goza hand towels
Try it yourself:
- Step 1: Lay one hand towel out. Roll the top and bottom diagonally so they meet in the middle.
- Step 2: Repeat step one with the other hand towel.
- Step 3: Place the long side of one towel in the opening of the other.
- Step 4: Secure the towels by wrapping them and tucking the back in.
- Step 5: Roll the ends to resemble the head and tail of a seahorse.
How to make a towel mouse
Difficulty: Graduate | Materials: 1 Goza hand towel, 1 Goza wash cloth