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How to Choose Towels Using GSM

25 Jun 2024, 2:59 PM

How to Choose
Towels Using GSM

Selecting the right towels for your hotel or guest accommodation is essential for resident comfort and satisfaction. Towel quality directly impacts the guest experience, influencing both comfort and perceived luxury. 

This guide will help you understand the key factors to consider, such as absorbency, durability, and maintenance, ensuring you make the best choice for your establishment. By choosing the right hotel towels, you can enhance the overall experience for your guests, ensuring they leave with a positive impression of your hospitality.

Understanding GSM

Understanding GSM

Defining GSM & How It Is Measured

GSM stands for grams per square metre and is a metric measurement of the weight of a fabric. It reflects the density of the towel's fibres, giving an indication of its thickness, softness, and absorbency.

To measure GSM, a specific sample size of the towel fabric is cut and weighed accurately. This weight is then extrapolated to determine the weight per square metre of the fabric. The formula for calculating GSM is straightforward:


Weight of the sample (grams)
Area of the sample (square metres)

For example, if a fabric sample weighs 100 grams and measures 0.25 square metres, the GSM would be calculated as follows:


100 grams
0.25 (square metres)

= 400 Grams

This standardised measurement allows for consistent comparisons across different types and brands of towels, helping buyers to make informed decisions based on their specific needs and preferences.  Understanding GSM is essential for selecting towels that provide the right balance of comfort, absorbency, and durability for your hotel or bed & breakfast.

Range of GSM Values in Towels

Towels come in a variety of GSM values, each suited to different purposes and preferences. Understanding these ranges helps in selecting the right towel for specific needs, whether it’s for luxurious guest bathrooms or practical, quick-drying options for high-turnover areas.

  • 300-400 GSM: These are lighter, thinner towels that are often used for beach or gym purposes. They are quick-drying and easy to handle.

  • 400-600 GSM: Towels in this range offer a good balance of absorbency and durability, making them ideal for general hotel use such as bath and hand towels.

  • 600-900 GSM: These are plush, luxurious towels with excellent absorbency and softness, perfect for high-end hotels and guesthouses where guests expect premium comfort.

The Importance of GSM in Towels

The Importance of GSM in Towels

GSM value plays a crucial role in determining the absorbency, durability, and feel of a towel. The density of the fabric directly influences these key characteristics, making it an essential factor to consider when selecting towels for hospitality settings.


The absorbency of a towel is largely dependent on its GSM. Towels with a higher GSM, such as those in the 600-900 range, have more fibres per square metre, which enhances their ability to soak up water. 

These towels are ideal for environments where quick drying and high absorbency are necessary, such as in bathrooms and spas. Conversely, lower GSM towels, in the range of 300-400, are less absorbent but dry faster.


Durability is another important aspect affected by GSM. High GSM towels are typically more durable due to their denser weave and greater fibre content. They withstand frequent washing and heavy use better than their lower GSM counterparts. This makes them a preferred choice for high-end hotels and luxury resorts where longevity and maintaining a plush feel are important. Lower GSM towels, while not as durable, are lightweight and easier to handle, suitable for situations where towels need to be replaced frequently.


The feel of a towel is a significant factor in guest satisfaction. High GSM towels are plush, soft, and luxurious, providing a premium experience. These towels are often used in upscale hotels to enhance guest comfort. Lower GSM towels, on the other hand, are lighter and less soft but are practical for quick-use scenarios like poolside or gym environments.

Ideal GSM for Different Types of Towels

Towel Type

Ideal GSM Range


Kitchen Towels


Lower GSM for lightweight, quick-drying properties, perfect for handling spills and drying dishes.

Beach Towels


Lower GSM for lightweight, quick-drying towels that are easy to carry and manage at the beach or poolside.

Gym Towels


Lower GSM for light, quick-drying towels that can be easily handled and frequently washed.

Pool Towels


Lower GSM for lightweight, quick-drying features, convenient for poolside use.

Hand Towels


Medium GSM for good absorbency and quick drying, ideal for frequent use in guest bathrooms.

Face Towels


Medium GSM for a balance of softness and absorbency, gentle on the skin for facial use.

Bath Towels


Medium to high GSM for softness and high absorbency, suitable for everyday use in hotel bathrooms.

Spa Towels


High GSM for plush, luxurious feel and excellent absorbency, enhancing the spa experience.

Choosing the Right GSM for Different Hospitality Needs

Choosing the Right GSM for Different Hospitality Needs

Different types of establishments have distinct requirements that influence the ideal GSM for their towels, so it is important to consider the various options to determine which is best for you.

Budget Hotels

For budget hotels, cost-effectiveness and ease of maintenance are a crucial aspect of the towels they select. Towels in the 300-500 GSM range, such as our Essentials Nova range, are ideal for these settings. They offer a good balance of absorbency and durability while being lightweight and quick-drying, which is beneficial for frequent laundering. These towels are also less expensive, making them a practical choice for establishments focused on affordability.

Explore Our Essentials Nova Range of Hotel Towels

Mid-Range Hotels

Mid-range hotels should aim for towels in the 400-600 GSM range. These towels provide a higher level of comfort and absorbency than lower GSM towels while still being reasonably priced. They strike a good balance between luxury and practicality, ensuring guests have a pleasant experience without significantly increasing operational costs.

Explore Our Comfort & Essentials Range of Hotel Towels

Luxury Resorts

Luxury resorts and high-end hotels should opt for towels with a GSM of 600-900, such as our Heritage and Luxury ranges

These towels are plush, highly absorbent, and offer a luxurious feel that aligns with the high standards of such establishments.

Explore Our Heritage & Luxury Range of Hotel Towels

Spas and Wellness Centres

Similarly, Spas and wellness centres should invest in high GSM towels (600-900 GSM) to provide maximum comfort and absorbency. Due to their frequent use in wet environments, it's important to ensure they are laundered and dried properly to maintain their quality and hygiene.

Explore Our Gym & Spa Towels

Hospitality Setting

Ideal GSM Range


Budget Hotels


Cost-effective, quick-drying, easy to maintain.

Mid-Range Hotels


Balance of comfort, absorbency, and cost. Suitable for providing a good guest experience.

Luxury Resorts


Plush, luxurious, highly absorbent. Enhances guest experience but requires efficient laundry facilities.



Maximum comfort and absorbency, essential for guest relaxation and satisfaction.

Wellness Centres


Similar to spas, focusing on guest comfort and premium quality.

Pool Areas


Lightweight, quick-drying, easy to handle and frequently wash.



Lightweight, quick-drying, easy to manage for frequent laundering.

The Impact of GSM on Laundering and Longevity

The Impact of GSM on Laundering and Longevity

Influence of GSM on Care and Drying Time

The GSM of a towel significantly influences its care requirements, drying time, and overall longevity. Higher GSM towels, due to their dense weave and higher fibre content, tend to be thicker and more absorbent. 

However, this also means they require more thorough washing and longer drying times. Conversely, lower GSM towels are lighter and quicker to dry, making them easier to maintain but potentially less durable over time.

Care: High GSM towels need careful handling during washing to maintain their plushness and absorbency. They require adequate space in washing machines to prevent overcrowding, which can lead to uneven cleaning and potential damage. Low GSM towels, being lighter, can be washed more easily in larger batches without compromising on cleanliness.

Drying Time: The dense nature of high GSM towels means they retain more water, leading to longer drying times. This necessitates efficient drying facilities, such as commercial-grade dryers or ample drying space. Low GSM towels dry faster, making them more convenient for settings where quick turnover is essential.


The longevity of a towel is influenced by its GSM. High GSM towels, although requiring more care, tend to last longer if maintained properly due to their robust construction. Their dense fibres withstand frequent use and washing better than lower GSM towels. On the other hand, low GSM towels, while easier to maintain, may wear out faster with heavy use as their thinner fabric is more prone to fraying and thinning.

Tips for Maintaining Towels Based on GSM

  1. Washing High GSM Towels:

    • Use mild detergents: Harsh chemicals can damage the fibres. Opt for gentle, pH-balanced detergents.

    • Avoid fabric softeners: They can leave a residue that reduces absorbency.

    • Wash in warm water: Hot water can degrade fibres over time, while warm water ensures effective cleaning without causing damage.

    • Do not overcrowd: Give towels enough space to move freely in the washer to prevent strain on the fabric.

  2. Drying High GSM Towels:

    • Tumble dry on low heat: High heat can damage fibres. Low heat preserves the towel's integrity.

    • Shake out towels before drying: This helps fluff up the fibres and maintain softness.

    • Ensure thorough drying: Make sure towels are completely dry to prevent mildew and odour.

  3. Washing Low GSM Towels:

    • Wash frequently: These towels can be washed more often due to their quicker drying time.

    • Use less detergent: Lower GSM towels require less detergent for effective cleaning.

    • Avoid bleach: Bleach can weaken fibres and reduce the towel’s lifespan.

  4. Drying Low GSM Towels:

    • Air dry if possible: Their quick-drying nature makes them suitable for air drying, which is gentler on the fabric.

    • Use a dryer for faster results: If using a dryer, low heat settings are still preferable to preserve the towel's fibres.

By following these tips, hotel and B&B owners can ensure their towels remain in good condition for longer, providing consistent comfort and functionality for their guests. Proper maintenance tailored to the GSM of the towels helps in maximising their lifespan and maintaining their quality, ultimately offering better value for money and enhanced guest satisfaction.

Select The Perfect Towels For Your Hospitality Business

Select The Perfect Towels For Your Hospitality Business

Understanding GSM is crucial for selecting the right towels for your hospitality needs. GSM influences absorbency, durability, and comfort, which are key factors in guest satisfaction. By considering specific needs and preferences, hoteliers and B&B owners can make informed decisions to enhance their establishments.

Explore our extensive range of towels at Hotel Buyer Store or contact our sales team for personalised advice tailored to your specific requirements.

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