The debate you didn't know you cared about: How many towels should a couple own?

How many towels should a couple own?

It’s a simple question that sparked a fierce debate on Twitter this week when it was posed by a man having a disagreement with his girlfriend.

“Hello fellow adults,” a man named Abdul Dremali addressed the users of the social media platform. “My [girlfriend] and I have a question… what is the correct amount of towels to own?”

While you’re at it, here are some simple cleaning hacks to make your life easier…

The Boston-based marketing director explained that they were seeking clarification of an actual number of towels a household of two needs, as they had “zero frame of reference”.

“I said 10 and she looked at me like I was crazy,” Abdul said.


That question was answered very matter-of-factly by New York-based journalist Yashar Ali, who gave the man specific quantities of each type of household towel.


Now, to some people – including this reporter who has about six bath towels she and her partner use and about a dozen stuffed in a cupboard somewhere untouched – that towel total seemed excessive.

Many people baulked at the number, particularly of washcloths (known here in Australia as face washers), including model Chrissy Teigen.


The mum-of-two joked about sending the reporter a new washing machine for his birthday, because his will presumably wear out quickly based on all the loads of towels he’s cleaning.

The tweet was also eye-opening to many who had never heard of the term ‘bath sheet’. As Yashar pointed out, bath sheets are essentially just extra large bath towels.


This total likely wasn’t, however, too many for one man, whose housemate shared that he uses a new towel every time he showers – which seems to be a thing if you experience skin conditions like acne.


For those not happy with Yashar’s prescription, fellow journalist Lizzie O’Leary presented a far more reasonable towel tally.

Which of course started an entire thread of its own about a) the difference between “nice” and “fancy” hand towels (answer: fancy towels are the ones you only put out for guests); and b) all the uses and names for the towels you use on dogs and dirt.

All in all thousands of people participated in the conversation in just two days, prompting Abdul to amend his Twitter bio to “world’s biggest Towel Influencer™”.


While there doesn’t appear to be an official consensus on the number of towels, minimalists argue that you only need two of everything per person (and two bath mats per shower) – one to use, and one to use while your other one is in the wash.

How many towels are used in your household?