Whether you’re taking a shower, hitting the beach, or heading to the gym, a quick-dry towel is a must-have to reduce hassles, eliminate wet messes and prevent smelly mildew. And since a good towel does more than just dry fast, it should also be absorbent, durable, and soft against your skin. The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab tests towels of all kinds, from bath towels to beach towels. We review them for factors like absorbency, shrinkage, fabric strength, colorfastness, and of course how quickly each one dries. We also have our testers blindly rate each one for softness and the overall feel. When it comes to the materials, microfiber (typically made of polyester) usually dries faster than cotton. Super plush and absorbent towels might feel great, but they can take forever to dry because of their dense cotton loops. That being said, you can still find some 100% cotton or cotton-blend towels that are quick-drying if they use innovative construction techniques or have low piles on top. Both types of quick-dry towels are machine washable and dryer safe; just make sure to use low heat for microfiber. (For more info on shopping for towels, check out our towel buying guide.)...