Guide for Picking the Best Towels for Your AirBNB 

So you have finally found your Airbnb property and gone through the (hopefully) smooth closing process – now what? It’s time to start getting your new property ready to welcome your first guests!

Depending on the condition of the property – you may be looking at a long list of items to purchase (as was our case, but do not fear – that’s where this blog comes in handy) or maybe you only need to refresh a few things.

One thing I know for certain is that you will need new towels, and lots of them! In the 2 1⁄2 years of running our Airbnb properties, towels are without a doubt one of the items that need to be replenished the most. 

Do you have to provide towels for guests? 

Let’s start with the most basic question – Do I even have to provide towels for guests? The answer is a very emphatic YES.

The biggest thing to remember about owning and operating an Airbnb is that you are entering the world of hospitality and you are providing not only a place for your guest to stay but also an experience that you hope will keep them coming back time and time again. 

Usually, there are two options you have when it comes to towels (also, linens – stay tuned for a post about that in the future). You can purchase them yourselves or sometimes the cleaning company you choose to hire will offer a linen program.

The linen program is usually a lump sum every year and the cleaning company is responsible for providing the towels (usually bed linens are included as well) and cycling through them. They will let you know if for some reason you have to purchase more throughout the year but they will handle the ordering process.

We have done this at our beach property and for the most part, it has worked out OK. There is not a set price as it depends on your market and the size of your property but it could easily be in the $400-$700 range, not including any additional items that may be needed throughout the year.

You will need to take a look at the numbers and your bottom line to decide if this route is the best course of action. 

Option 2 and probably the most common scenario, is purchasing them yourselves. This is what we do for the majority of our properties.

Luckily, today’s technology allows for an easy ordering process and allows owners operating from a long distance to always maintain a full supply. A little tip we’ve learned along the way – ask your cleaning team if you can mail supplies directly to them. This will save you the headache of having to ask your guests to bring the items in and give them access to your owner’s closet. 

What Color Towels are Best for Short Term Rentals? 

A picture of 4 bath towels stacked on top of each other with two washcloths stacked on top. Some clothespins, starfish, and glass jar with water in it in front for decoration.

Let’s talk details. These are my personal opinions, however, I believe that the best color of towels to purchase is white. No matter the decor or color scheme you choose.

We have hosted over 600 stays so far and have not wavered from this option. Think about the nicest hotel you have ever stayed at. What color were those towels?

Chances are they were white. I truly believe that white gives the impression of being crisp and fresh and it immediately makes your guest think that their towels are brand new and have never been used by anyone else.

This is exactly what we want. 

Remember I mentioned earlier that towels will need constant replenishment?

This is why. Some people may disagree and think that they should go with a darker color, but to me, this implies that you may be able to hide stains and grime from your guests.

White can be bleached, which can give guests even more peace of mind.

We want our guests to feel that everything is perfectly clean and brand new, even if you had a turnover that morning.

The goal is to leave no trace of another guest being in your property. 

Types of Towels for Vacation Rentals

Now you may be wondering – what makes a complete set of towels for a guest? If you thought only of a bath towel, you are partially correct. For our properties, a complete set of towels includes at least bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths. Depending on your particular property and the amenities you offer, this may also include hot tub towels, pool towels, etc… 

How Many Towels Should You Leave for Guests?

As far as quantities go, our breakdown is as follows. Each guest gets two bath towels, one hand towel, one washcloth, and one make-up towel, per stay. If you are not familiar with make-up towels, they are black and are literally labeled “make-up”.

I know it goes against my all-white rule, but some makeup can and will completely ruin white towels, and the black towels actually really come in handy in these situations.

Not only do they look upscale, but we have also found that our guests really appreciate this little touch. Our cabins have a maximum occupancy of 6 guests, meaning we leave out 12 bath towels, 6 hand towels, 6 washcloths, and 6 make-up towels per stay.

My rule of thumb for a thorough supply is to always have 3 turns worth of towels at all times. Things can and will happen during stays and the last thing you want is to be unprepared and run out of towels. 

At our mountain properties, we have hot tubs at each cabin. One, in particular, we have started leaving out specific hot tub towels – 1 per guest. These towels are striped so that they are noticeably different from the bath towels and so far the change has worked well.

If you have a pool, I would definitely recommend this route as well. I will be completely honest and say that at our beach property, we do not supply beach towels for our guests.

Two white and blue striped beach towels laying on the beach with the water in the background.

The main reason for this is space – there just is not enough storage for the extra towels in our unit and our cleaning team takes all the towels to a commercial site to be cleaned in between stays. Therefore, the additional towels will not work for this setup. 

Another thing to consider is that more than likely, sand on beach towels is probably not completely shaken off the towels when they are brought back up by your guests.

Throwing sandy towels in your washing machine can and will damage your machine, which is a large item that we as owners do not want to have to replace sooner than necessary.

If you have a more high-end property, you may choose to provide those “extras”, to which I say go for it! Certain price points definitely command a more white-glove approach and at the end of the day, you know your property and guests the best. 

What Size Bath Towels Are Ideal for Vacation Rentals? 

At the beginning of our Airbnb journey, we were completely renovating our first cabin and were being hit from every angle with all the costs.

Therefore, when it came to purchasing that first batch of towels, the price point was my number one consideration. The towels themselves were good quality – not too fluffy and definitely not scratchy, a total pet peeve of mine.

However, they were 24×50 inch towels. At first, I did not think this would be a problem at all, quickly it became apparent that towels are not all created equal.

Believe it or not, you can buy towels in even shorter lengths. I highly recommend not doing that, even though you may be tempted to save a little money. We did get some private feedback from guests complaining about the small size and that was all it took to make us go back to the drawing board.

The towels I have been purchasing for the past 2 years are 27×54 and that is the smallest I would recommend. 

At our cabins, the cleaning team does all of the laundry on-site, which is very common for that particular market. If you are like me and may be a fan of the “bath sheets”, which are oversized bath towels, you may want to re-think that decision.

While we want comfortable towels, the larger and more fluffy the towels, the longer it takes for them to dry. Also, the more space they take up in the washing machine.

This means more loads and more time for the cleaners in between turns. If you own a very large property that has two washing machines and two dryers, you could definitely go this route.

For most owners, this is not an option, so these little things need to be kept in mind. 

Guests can tell immediately if you care about your property and one of those many maintenance items is your towels. You do not want dirty and dingy towels period.

I suggest during your quarterly property visits, always bring extra towels to replace if necessary, and make sure to ask your cleaning team to give you updates on what you may need sooner. 

Lastly, all of the towels I purchase for our Airbnb properties are all listed below – hopefully, this helps make the buying process super easy for you! 

Bath Towels: 

No products found.

Make-up Towels: 

No products found.

Wash Cloths: 

No products found.

Hand Towels: 

No products found.

Hot Tub/Pool Towels: 

No products found.

Stay tuned for more helpful tips soon! 

Related: Best Pillows for Your AirBNB