How To Roll Towels: 3 Ways For Travel & Storage

February 28, 2024

Reviewed by
Suze Dowling

How To Roll Towels: 3 Ways For Travel & Storage

Welcome to the world of smarter and more functional storage solutions. In this article, we'll explore the art of towel rolling and uncover its secrets for efficient travel and everyday storage alike. Say goodbye to bulky and disorganized towels and embrace the convenience and tidiness that come with rolling.

Why Roll Towels?

When you want to optimize your space and keep your belongings neat, rolling your favorite towels is a game-changer. Let's explore some of the benefits that make towel rolling our go-to technique for a variety of needs.

Space Efficiency

By rolling your towels instead of folding them, you can save a significant amount of space. This concept is especially important when you're packing for a trip, whether it's a weekend getaway or an extended holiday. 

Rolled towels can fit more efficiently into your suitcase or backpack, leaving you with plenty of room for other essentials. No more struggling to close an overstuffed bag here!

Wrinkle-Free Wonder

You've experienced it before: A freshly folded towel turns into a wrinkled mess after a few days at the bottom of your linen closet or suitcase. 

With rolling, you can forget about unsightly lines and creases. The tight and uniform rolls keep your towels looking neat and wrinkle-free, so you'll always feel like you've just pulled them freshly out of the dryer.

Organizational Bliss

Why rummage through a disheveled stack of towels when you can find exactly what you need where you need it? Rolled towels are visually appealing and remarkably easy to organize. Whether you're stacking them on a shelf or stowing them in a closet, rolled towels’ cylindrical shapes make it a breeze to grab the towel you’re looking for.

How Do You Prepare Towels for Rolling?

Before we can dive into the techniques of towel rolling, we need to make sure we have the right towels and that they're ready for the task at hand. Here are a few key steps to ensure your towels are prepared for the rolling process:

Choose the Right Towels

When it comes to towel rolling, the type of towel you use can make a difference. At Onsen, we're proud to offer waffle-knit towels made from 100% USA-grown extra-long-staple Supima® cotton. 

This cotton is incredibly soft and up to 45% stronger than other yarns, meaning our towels are exceptionally durable for long-term use. The waffle-knit design adds a touch of sophistication while allowing for faster drying, making them the perfect choice for towel-rolling enthusiasts.

Clean and Dry

Before rolling, your towels should be clean and dry. Washing your towels according to the manufacturer's instructions will remove any dirt or oils, providing fresh and hygienic towels for your travel or storage needs. Once they’re washed, give them a good spin in the dryer or let them air dry completely. This step helps maintain their fluffiness while reducing the risk of mildew smells.

What Are the Best Techniques for Rolling Towels?

Now that you have the perfect towels ready, it's time to master the art of towel rolling. We'll explore three different techniques that cater to your specific needs. Whether you prefer a basic roll, a compact roll, or a roll with a twist, there's a technique to suit your style:

Method 1: The Basic Roll

The basic roll is the foundation of towel rolling techniques. Follow these simple steps to achieve a tightly rolled towel:

  1. Lay your towel flat on a clean, flat surface.
  2. Fold one side of the towel about a quarter of the way toward the center.
  3. Repeat step two on the opposite side, bringing it to the center as well.
  4. Starting from one end, tightly roll the towel toward the other side.
  5. Once you reach the other end, secure the rolled towel by tucking one end into the rolled portion or by using a fabric tie.

This method provides a secure and uniform roll so your towels can stay neat and compact.

Method 2: The Compact Roll

If you want to maximize space efficiency, the compact roll technique is for you. It creates tight rolls that save even more room in your suitcase or linen closet. Here's how to achieve it:

  1. Lay your towel flat on a surface.
  2. Fold about a third of the towel toward the center.
  3. Fold the opposite side in the same manner, overlapping the first fold.
  4. Begin tightly rolling the towel from one end to the other, making sure to maintain a tight grip throughout.
  5. Secure the rolled towel with an elastic band or a cloth strip holding the roll in place.

With this technique, you'll have to see how much space you can save without sacrificing the functionality of your towels to believe it.

Method 3: A Roll With a Twist

For people who want to add a touch of style to their storage or display, the roll-with-a-twist technique offers a creative and versatile approach:

  1. Lay your towel flat on a clean surface.
  2. Fold one corner of the towel diagonally, bringing it toward the center.
  3. Repeat step two with the opposite corner, creating a diagonal fold from the other side.
  4. Starting from one end, tightly roll the towel toward the other side.
  5. When you reach the end, gently twist the rolled towel to create an elegant spiral effect.
  6. Secure the rolled towel with an elastic band or ribbon, depending on your preference or storage options.

This method provides practical, rolled towels and adds a visually appealing touch to any setting.

Now that you're equipped with these towel rolling techniques, you'll be able to maximize your space, keep your towels wrinkle-free, and maintain an organized and clutter-free environment, whether you're on the go or at home.

What Are Some Travel-Specific Towel Packing Tips?

Towel rolling isn't just useful for storage; it's also a game-changer when it comes to efficient traveling. 

For easy access and organization, consider rolling each towel individually. This way, you can grab the specific towel you need without unrolling the entire stack. This method is particularly handy when you have limited space or need towels for different purposes during your trip.

Alternatively, rolling them in sets can help keep everything in order if you're traveling with a group or have multiple towels to pack. Roll towels of the same sizes or colors together and secure each bundle with an elastic band. This option ensures that you can easily find a matching set without any muss or fuss.

Packing Rolled Towels To Prevent Unraveling

To prevent your meticulously rolled towels from unraveling during travel, a simple trick with elastic bands or cloth strips can save the day:

  1. Elastic Bands: After rolling your towels, wrap a small elastic band around the center, or even at both ends, to hold the roll tightly in place. This step provides an added layer of security to keep your rolls intact.
  2. Cloth Strips: Instead of using elastic bands, you can also make cloth strips by cutting up old T-shirts or fabric scraps. Wrap the cloth strip around the rolled towel multiple times, then tuck the loose ends beneath the wrapped strip. This method secures your towel rolls while adding a touch of personalization.

Remember, the goal is to ensure your rolled towels stay tightly compact, making your travel experience more organized and efficient.

What Are the Best Towel Storage Solutions?

The benefits of towel rolling extend beyond travel; it's a fantastic way to keep your home tidy and your linens in order. 

Storing rolled towels in your linen closet is aesthetically pleasing and practical. The uniform shape of rolled towels makes it easy to stack them neatly on shelves, maximizing your available space. 

If you don't have a designated linen closet, using cabinet spaces in your bathroom can be an easy alternative storage solution. Rolled towels can fit nicely on shelves or inside cabinets, making them easily accessible whenever you or your guests need them.

Merrily Rolling Along

Now, you’re equipped with the knowledge and techniques to roll towels like a pro, whether for efficient travel or organized storage. By implementing these strategies in your daily life, you'll reap the benefits of space efficiency, wrinkle-free towels, and clutter-free environments.

At Onsen, we strive to make your life's basics better through smarter and highly functional design. Our waffle-knit towels provide exceptional softness, durability, and quick-drying capabilities to level up your showers, baths, and beyond.

So, why wait? Try out these towel rolling techniques, make the most of your Onsen towels, and embark on a journey toward a more organized, efficient, and stylish life.


I Tried Rolling My Towels Instead of Folding Them, and It Was a Game-Changer | Apartment Therapy

How to Fold Towels, According to the Folding Lady | Readers Digest

28 Bathroom Towel Storage Ideas That Are Pretty and Practical | Better Homes & Gardens

How to Wash and Dry Towels to Keep Them Soft | Whirlpool

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