Best cooling towels

Fitness Gear

Landscapers commonly use cooling towels when doing work outside.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which cooling towel is best?

Towels are commonly used to take the moisture off of our bodies, but some towels can cool our bodies when wet. Cooling towels are specially designed towels that can be used in various environments when you want to be cooled off. They’re perfect if you have an outdoor job that requires you to work in hot temperatures or if you’re going on a hike in warm temperatures. 

If you’re looking for towels that are lightweight and breathable, the Sukeen 4 Pack is the top choice.

What to know before you buy cooling towels


Cooling towels generally use materials from PVA, microfiber, cotton or a combination of multiple materials. Most cooling towels are made from polyvinyl acetate material, better known as PVA. PVA is a synthetic material that is highly absorbent and retains moisture longer than other fabric. PVA is machine washable and dry to the touch, so it won’t get your clothes wet unless it’s completely soaked.

Many cooling towels are made from microfiber. Resembling the feel of a bathroom towel, microfiber towels are generally made from a polyester blend. Unlike PVA, microfiber won’t get stiff when dry, but they won’t stay cool as long as PVA. More suited for short-timed usage, a dampened microfiber towel can transfer moisture to your clothes. 

Cotton cooling towels are uncommon, as they are usually shipped pre-moistened in resealable bags and you can dampen them when dry. Some of these towels have special oils infused into the towel. Some cooling towels combine PVA and microfiber materials, and they tend to stay cool for a long duration. 


The common sizes for cooling towels are extra-small, small, medium and large. Extra-small towels tend to be 15 to 20 inches long, which is most suitable for children and pets. Small towels are around 30 to 35 inches long, perfect for adults. 

Medium towels are about 40 inches long and are perfect for wrapping around your waist. Towels in large sizes are around 47 inches, while extra-long sizes are about 60 inches. Those two sizes are similar to bath towels in that they can cover your whole body if needed. However, they may feel a bit heavy when wet, especially if they’re made out of a PVA material. 


While some cooling towels are machine washable, most of them are not able to be put into a drying machine. The drying machine can damage the material or shrink the towel, making the towel less efficient. It’s best to just let the towel air dry after you wring it out or follow the specific drying instructions on the towel if the manufacturer provides them. 

What to look for in a quality cooling towel

UV protection

Cooling towels with UV protection built into the towel can help retain cool temperatures when out in the sun. It’s perfect after you’ve played an outdoor game, engaging in outdoor festivities or taking care of outdoor tasks, such as mowing the lawn. Some towels that aren’t UV resistant can wear down in long exposure to the sun. 

Storage case

Many coolint towels come in some type of case, pouch or bag. Waterproof pouches are even better, as they keep the towels dry and secure until you’re ready to moisten it. Just make sure the towel is completely dry when putting a cooling towel in a storage case, as mold can accrue in the towel. 

Machine washable

Not all cooling towels are machine washable, as some of them require to be washed by hand. This may not be too tall of a task if the towel is small, but a bigger towel may be tedious to wash in a sink. Towels that aren’t machine washable can get damaged if put in a washer, and they can bleed color into other fabrics. 

How much you can expect to spend on cooling towels

Cooling towels aren’t too pricey, as they tend to come in packs for $3-$4. Individual cooling towels will cost around $7-$8 per towel. Towels made from microfiber or PVA materials tend to be around $10 per towel. Towels that come with extra accessories or are larger in size can cost $15 and higher. 

Cooling towels FAQ

Why does my cooling towel recommend waving it or snapping it to start it cooling?

A. When waving or snapping a cooling towel, the excessive movement activates the circulation of moisture. This involves an increase in airflow, thus allowing evaporation, which is what makes the towel give you a cool feeling. This process is common amongst most cooling towels.  

How long will a towel keep me cool?

A. Cooling towels will generally keep you cool for between 2 and 5 hours. The duration of cooling will depend on the air temperature, local weather conditions, as well as quality of the material in the towel. If the towel is in an environment with low humidity and high temperatures, it will dry faster. In hot and humid climates, the towel may retain its moisture longer but it may start to become warm with your body temperature. 

Can I use my cooling towel under my shirt during the daytime or under pajamas at night?

A. Putting a cooling towel under your shirt or pajamas may cut off circulation for the towel, resulting in poor cooling. Laying down at night with a cooling towel under pajamas restricts evaporation even more and that could result in the towel getting moldy or musty. 

What’s the best cooling towel to buy?

Top cooling towels

Sukeen 4 Pack

Sukeen 4 Pack Cooling Towel

What you need to know: There are four towels included in this pack, offering different colors for each towel. 

What you’ll love: The towel retails cool temperatures for up to 3 hours, keeping you cool when going on short trips. It’s chemical-free, making it safe for people of all ages. 

What you should consider: It requires washing before first use because it comes with an unpleasant smell when first purchased. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top cooling towels for the money

QIK-LABS 4 pack Cooling Towel

QIK-LABS 4 pack Cooling Towel

What you need to know: With individually wrapped towels, it’s easy to grab a towel when you’re on the go. 

What you’ll love: Four different colors are offered, giving you a variety of options to choose from. Each towel comes in a waterproof pouch, as well as a carabiner clip so you can attach it to your bag. 

What you should consider: Machine washing can damage this towel permanently. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Chill Pal Ultimate Mesh Cooling Towel

Chill Pal Ultimate Mesh Cooling Towel

What you need to know: This is one of the lightest towels on the market, with a mesh material that gives you a cool feeling while putting barely weight on your shoulder. 

What you’ll love: The towel is built thick to retain coldness, but with its light weight you’ll barely notice its thickness. The material in the towel is highly breathable so it brings in cold air easily. 

What you should consider: Because it’s so porous, it tends to dry it out quicker than others. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Ade Hennis writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.