Hand Towels VS. Paper Towels – Which is the Best Option?

It’s easier than you think to go wrong when it comes to choosing the bathroom or kitchen towel set. Let’s start by saying that they respond to different tastes and needs.

Let’s now see the advantages and disadvantages of these two different types of material.

Hand towels

Hand towels


They are appreciated for having a light consistency, for being little bulky and for being very quick in drying. They are comfortable and practical but at the same time ensure comfort and softness. They take up little space and are ideal for activities outside the home.

For these reasons they are used a lot by athletes. They are also quite appreciated by travelers, because they do not require much space in the suitcase and are easy to fold. With a low weight and volume, they relieve you from the problem of checking in at the airport.

Also Paper towels are more environment friendly than paper towels. Moreover, you can use hand towel over and over for a longer period of time. The towels will help dry any moisture from the hand within minutes. On the other hand towels are considered as an ecological tool. If you use organic cotton towels you collaborate with projects that try to reduce the polluting effects.


Hand towels are more costly in comparison with paper towels. Generally, you would not be interested in cleaning up mess with your hand towels.

They collect microbes. If they do not receive the correct wash, they are the focus of bacteria that cause dermatitis and fungi. It can contain bacteria for a longer period of time.

If you rub your hand with thick towels you could exfoliate it unnecessarily and in a very harmful way.

Paper towel

Paper towel


Use of paper towels reduces on average 42% of bacteria, while the use of hand towels favors their increase by 50%.

In terms of hygiene: Paper towels have been shown to be the most effective method of removing remaining bacteria by washing your hands.

The friction between paper towel and skin helps to remove contamination, keeping bacteria on the paper.

Using paper towels instead of the cloth towel used by others is the best way to avoid the transmission of diseases in this way. Rubbing your hands with a paper towel also allows you to continue to release the germs that we bring in them.

In terms of effectiveness: Paper towels dry 96% moisture on hands in 10 seconds. And if its use is more conscientious for 15 seconds, the humidity is reduced to 1%.

As far as costs are concerned, neither prevails. Because paper towels are less expensive in short terms, however, they must be changed frequently.

Recycled paper towels have been observed to have a small amount of bacteria before being used, due to their components. However, they are still a better option than air dryers.

You can load them in your bag and take them everywhere to have them at the time you need them, especially when you are in a public bathroom, to avoid dryers, since the air they put on our hands can be contaminated by the ambient.

There is no method that will 100% kill bacteria after washing your hands. However, paper towels are the most hygienic method.


On the other hand, the amount of waste originating from disposable towels is high since most of them are not recycled and end up increasing the volume of garbage, although it is important to note that most of these are usually made from recycled materials.

If your business has air dryers and you don’t want to switch to paper towels, then you need to increase constant cleaning in the bathroom. Also you have to change paper towels constantly.

Disposable paper towels versus reusable hand towels

There is no denying that paper towels are comfortable to use, but like disposable plastic, they are harmful to the environment and produce a lot of waste. A greener alternative to disposable paper napkins is reusable tea towels or else reusable paper towels. In the long run, the reuse of cloth towels rather than the constant purchase of paper towels may be more convenient.

As long as reusable tea towels are cleaned and disinfected properly, they are hygienic enough for most daily cleaning. However, you should not use them to clean up bacteria-rich pies. Ultimately, it may be better to use a mix of both.

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