What exactly is a gym towel for? It is not there just to help you wipe some sweat off in between rolls. On the contrary, it’s there to help with cleanliness, maintain good hygiene, and stay healthy. After all, hygiene in a BJJ gym is only as good as the personal hygiene levels of its students. All it takes is for one person to slack and the entire school’s hygiene levels can go down.

Hygiene is important in Jiu-Jitsu given the close contact between people, and the fact we’re lying down on the ground for the most part. This translates to great opportunities for microorganisms to find their way on our skin and cause trouble. As usual, the first and most important thing is personal hygiene. And in a sport where we sweat profoundly, having gym towels that actually help maintain hygiene is a prerogative.

Properties like not retaining odors, repelling microbes, being quick to dry, and being highly absorbent, are what separate the best gym towels from all the rest. Once you’ve narrowed down the list to technically capable towels, you can base your decision on how they feel and look.

Gym Towel FAQs

What type of gym towel is best? This might not be a question you’ve ever been asked or something you’ve thought about. That said, what is the best choice of a towel for the gym? What sort of gym towels are worth having around? And what is the best type of gym towel for Jiu-Jitsu athletes? Read on for answers to all these questions and more.

How do I choose the best gym towels?

Easy. Go for any of the options below directly, like for example, the Wise Owl Gym Towel. If you expand your search beyond this list, make sure a towel fulfills certain characteristics. For example, go for 100% microfibre whenever possible. 

Size, absorption capabilities, and drying time all factor in differently depending on your needs. Features like antimicrobial fibers and comfort are a must too.

What are the advantages of certain types of towels over others?

Once again, this depends on whatever it is you’re looking for in particular. If you want a towel to keep you cool in between rounds, the Alfamo Cooling Towel is exactly what you need.

On the other hand, if you’re more about portability, or looking for a budget option, the Rainleaf or Seca Gym towels are better choices. As long as gym towels fulfill the basic requirements, you can choose any of the above to find the optimal match for you, as they all offer slightly different benefits.

Workout towels | Jiu Jitsu Legacy

What do I look for in a gym towel?

There are three things every gym towel has to offer in order for you to consider it. Antimicrobial properties, absorption properties, and a fabric that does not irritate. 

Without any of the three, stop looking into it immediately, If all three are there, then ask yourself what do you need from a gym towel? You can’t go wrong with the Performa Marvel towel which ticks all three of these boxes.

What’s the best way to use a gym towel?

The goal of a gym towel is to be used while you’re training. This is different from a shower towel, although you could use a bigger gym towel for drying off after a shower in a pinch.

The idea is that you need something that will dry quickly so that you can wipe the sweat off in between rounds. As such, the gym towel should be right next to your water bottle and at reach at all times while training.

Sweat towels | Jiu Jitsu Legacy

How do I make sure a gym towel lasts?

Wash them. No matter the technology used to make it (like the innovative  Gear Aid Quick Dry towel we reviewed earlier) a towel will only last if you look after it. While the best gym towel won’t retain sweat and will dry quickly, they still need proper care and washing. Luckily all of them are easily machine washable.

Reviews of the best gym towels

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel (5-star rating)

*BEST OVERALL GYM TOWEL*

The Wise Owl Camping towel is not just a gym towel, but a brand of gym towels for any occasion.  They are available in a dozen different colorful designs.

  • Super absorbent – The absorption properties of the Wise Owl Camping towel are unlike any other towel out there. It absorbs moisture immediately, meaning you don’t have to wait at all before using it over and over again.
  • Soft and high-quality – The Wise Owl towels are arguably the softest gym towels out there. They’re also made by a highly trusted brand that guarantees and delivers high-quality towels. 
  • Different Sizes – These towels come in three options, from a 12″x24″ two-pack to 24″x48″ and 30″x60″ large and extra-large options, respectively.


OlimpiaFit Microfiber Towel (5-star rating)

*BEST VALUE TOWEL*

Of course, even amongst the best gym towels out there, you could still find a bargain. For a value choice, nothing beats the OlimpiaFit towels, which offer amazing properties and come in 8 different colors.

  • 3 for the price of 1 – Of course, one of this towel’s most defining characteristics is that it comes at the best possible value, with a pack of 3 available with every purchase.
  • Antibacterial, no odor retention – From a more performance-oriented standpoint, this towel provides the perfect protection, with distinct antimicrobial properties. It retains absolutely no odors and is 100% antimicrobial.
  • Soft and hypoallergenic – On top of being antimicrobial, the three towels that you get are all super soft, and have been tested and proven to be hypoallergenic. Even if you have the most sensitive skin, these towels will help protect it rather than irritate it more.

Rainleaf Microfiber Towel (4-star rating)

*EASIEST TO CARRY*

Of course, when you pick up a gym towel, you want it to fit in your gym bag without taking too much space. Portability is a big thing when it comes to a good gym towel, and the Rainleaf towels top those charts.

  • Skin-friendly – The Rainleaf Microfiber Towel is notably skin-friendly, as a result of the absorption technology and the softness of the material. No irritation whatsoever, even after spending hours using it while rolling.
  • Hang Snap Loop – Apart from a neat carry bag that helps you take this towel everywhere in a small package, it also features a hang snap loop. This way, your towel doesn’t have to touch the mats at all because you can hang it anywhere.
  • Many color options – As far as options go, this gym towel comes in ten different options, providing more than enough variety for everyone’s taste.

HOPESHINE Microfiber Gym towel (4-star rating)

*QUICKEST TO DRY*

To be honest, having a wet (or even soaked!) towel is nuisance enough while you’re on the mats. Having to take a damp towel back home in your gym bag is a whole different issue. Thankfully, those issues are now a thing of the past.

  • Unique Spinning Technology – Created by using a unique technology, the Hopeshine towel offers both amazing drying properties, as well as vibrant colors.
  • Quick Dry – Speaking of quick-drying, there are hardly any gym towels out there that can dry as fast as the Hopeshine. The technology used in its production means it will be dry in a few minutes at most, while at the same time, being able to absorb immense amounts of liquid.
  • Multi-purpose – In terms of where you can use this towel, you’re pretty much unrestricted. This is not just tailor-made for BJJ gym use, but it is also great for camping, hiking, swimming, fitness, etc

Gear Aid Quick Dry Microfiber Travel Towel (3-star rating)

*GOOD ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE*

When it comes to gym towels not many people think of performance. The Gear Aid Quick Dry Microfiber towel is here to change your perspective on things. Portable, lightweight, comfortable, it is everything a gym towel should be.

  • Antimicrobial – While most of the gym towels that are worth considering have antimicrobial qualities, none have them at the level of the Gear Aid Towel. It has powerful antimicrobial treatment (SILVADUR  treatment) on top of impressive odor repellent qualities.
  • Easy to pack – The towel can be packed down to the size of a water bottle, even though it is a full-size towel. Apart from being lightweight, it can be used for a host of purposes, and it can absorb 5 times its weight in water. 
  • Comes with a mesh storage bag – the mesh storage bag that complies this towel has a zipper closure system and even features an extra pocket for toiletries like your antifungal soap, for example.

Alfamo Cooling Towel (5-star rating)

*BEST EXTRA FEATURES*

If you’re looking for the coolest gym towel around (literally), look no further. The Alfamo Cooling towel, available in 17 different colors is a multipurpose sports towel that has very specialized properties.

  • Cooling technology – The reason this is called a cooling towel is that it offers cooling technology on top of everything a gym towel offers. It is perfect for warm-weather training, or even working laborious jobs outdoors. It chills instantly and can keep the temperature for up to 3 hours.
  • Unique properties – Unlike most products that also offer cooling properties out there, this towel also retains it’s towel like properties when chilled. The fabric is pleasant. It is silky soft, pliable, and folds easily. Plus it comes with a carrying pouch that is waterproof and earth-friendly.
  • Multi-purpose use – You can use this towel in a myriad of different ways, depending on your needs. You could wear it as a bandana, around the neck, or wrapped around any joint or body part that might need instant cooling. 

Seca Gym Towels (3-star rating)

*BEST BUDGET OPTION*

Of course, sometimes a gym towel is not just high on your priority list. Still, you shouldn’t just be content with any old towel you get your hands on. This 2-pack is a great deal from the start, offering two towels for the price of one. However, it is also of exceptional quality.

  • Affordable – This is the absolute best gym towel to get if you’re on a budget. It not only features a great price but also comes as part of a 2-pack, meaning you’ll be covered for a very long time in the gym towels department.
  • Trusted brand – The brand behind this towel is a proven one when it comes to workout gear. Their workout towels are perfect for any athletic endeavor, and in particular, the rigors and hygiene challenge of a BJJ gym.
  • High Quality – Coming with a “fast sweat absorption guarantee”, you know that these gym towels are the real deal. Of course, they also protect from germs, feel great on the skin, and are made with the latest available technologies.

Performa Microfiber Marvel Collection Performance Gym Towel (4-star rating)

*BEST LOOKING TOWEL*

Last but not least, a real looker. The Marvel Collection gym towel is a must for anyone who is a fan of comic books and superhero movies. Perfect for children as well, as it doesn’t just have great designs, but impressive performance qualities as well.

  • Best designs – If you’re looking for some of the coolest designs in a gym towel, look no further. From a black towel with a subtly placed Punisher logo to a blue one with a Spiderman or Captain America logo. Personally, I find the Deadpool towel calls out to me.
  • Durable – Apart from the style and design, these durable towels are soft and pleasant, but will also last you a lifetime. No matter how often you use them, quick-drying technology makes sure they’re good as new every time you pick them up.
  • High Performance – In terms of performance qualities, the towels are large, lightweight, easily portable, and have 10 times better absorption properties compared to cotton towels.


Conclusion

Gym towels are truly essential to have if you’re training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Gi or no-gi, they’ll help you stay dry, stay clean and protect yourself from common gym germs. Once you pick up one of the best microfiber gym towels, you’ll never go back to the common cotton ones, I can promise you that!