6 Best Cooling Towels

6 Best Cooling Towels

Your workouts don’t stop when hot, humid weather strikes -- at least not if you’re a dedicated athlete. Many fitness buffs log miles on their sports watches, chase opponents across the field or slam balls over the net when temps are in the high 80s or 90s.

Some athletes even train or compete in triple-digit temps although high-heat sessions create extra work for their bodies. When you’re physically active in hot weather, you can easily become dehydrated, dizzy, or nauseous. You may even faint or succumb to heatstroke.  

Scary, right?

That’s why many athletes use cooling towels during or after a workout. A cooling towel does exactly what the name implies: cools down your body after an intense workout. Cooling towels look like sheets of cardboard when they’re dry, but they transform into smooth, soothing fabric after soaking in water.

And while cooling towels are certainly popular during summer, athletes also use them during colder seasons. After all, your body can overheat any day of the year.

Rock any workout regardless of the weather with one of the best cooling towels below. Slip on your running shoes or cross trainers and experience refreshing relief as your body’s temperature soars.

Why trust us: Faveable has spent thousands of hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing products to come up with carefully selected lists trusted by millions of consumers since 2013.

6 Best Cooling Towels

  • 6. SYOURSELF Cooling Towels
  • 5. Way 2 Cool Mesh Cooling Towel
  • 4. Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel
  • 3. Mission Original Cooling Towel
  • 2. Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Cooling Towel
  • 1. Alfamo Cooling Towel

Best Cooling Towels for Travel

#6

SYOURSELF Cooling Towels

Best Cooling Towels for Travel: SYOURSELF Cooling Towels
Performance
8.8
Material
9.0
Maintenance
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
80 % User Score
19 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Lightweight
  • Doesn't drip water
  • Versatile

Reinforced stitching makes these SYOURSELF cooling towels more durable than similar options. The extra-long length lets you wear this cooling towel in a number of ways.

Some users warn that these towels don't get as cold as other towels on our list. The chill also doesn't last as long as some of our other faves.

Expert Ratings

Performance

8.8 / 10

SYOURSELF cooling towels get the job done, but not as well as Alfamo towels or the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad. Results last up to 1 or 2 hours, which is half the time some of our other faves keep you cool. Expect to re-soak these towels frequently if you've got a long workout or game planned.

Material

9.0 / 10

Soft, ecofriendly, and versatile. The edges are smooth rather than rough or jagged. Reinforced stitching helps hold these cooling towels together during an intense workout.

Maintenance

9.0 / 10

Bid sweat-activated stench farewell when you stick this cooling towel in the washer. Lay it flat to dry when you're done washing.

Value

9.0 / 10

You get 4 or 6 towels for about the same price as one towel from competitors. However, you may find that you go through these towels quickly especially when compared to other brands.

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Best Budget Cooling Towel

#5

Way 2 Cool Mesh Cooling Towel

Best Budget Cooling Towel: Way 2 Cool Mesh Cooling Towel
Performance
9.0
Material
9.2
Maintenance
9.0
Value
9.5
Overall
92%
92 % Editor Score
82 % User Score
15 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Affordable
  • Reusable
  • Washable

Available in approximately 10 colors, including blue, purple, and gray. Soft and breathable, with built-in sun protection.

This cooling towel only comes in one size. Some fitness buffs complain the material frays easily.

Expert Ratings

Performance

9.0 / 10

Lower your body temperature quickly with this Way 2 Cool mesh cooling towel. Using it is simple: Just soak the cooling towel in water, wring out some of the liquid, and wear it around your neck.

Users say this inexpensive towel generally stays cool for an hour or so, sometimes longer.

Material

9.2 / 10

Lightweight, breathable mesh offers UPF 50 sun protection. The mesh is chemical free and super absorbent, so it holds a generous amount of water. 

Maintenance

9.0 / 10

Users say it's okay to toss this cooling towel in the washer, but don't put it in the dryer. Lay it flat to dry.

Value

9.5 / 10

For around $8 shipped you can cool down quickly during workouts or after games.

Overall Editor Score

9.2 / 10

Best Lightweight Cooling Towel

#4

Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel

Best Lightweight Cooling Towel: Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel
Performance
9.0
Material
9.0
Maintenance
9.2
Value
9.0
Overall
91%
91 % Editor Score
86 % User Score
28 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Effective 
  • Long lasting
  • Versatile

Made from thick yet lightweight material that keeps you cool for hours. Includes a portable pouch for on-the-go cooling sessions.

Doesn't stay cold as long as some of the other towels on our list, but it's reusable. Just give it another dip in cool water when it stops working.

Expert Ratings

Performance

9.0 / 10

You may not get 3 to 4 hours of neck-chilling goodness with this towel, but it gets the job done for shorter sessions. This is a great cooling towel for hikers, bikers, and anyone who gardens or does yard work.

It's easy to use this cooling towel. Just soak it and wring it - no snapping required.

Material

9.0 / 10

Thick, resilient PVA that's surprisingly lightweight and breathable. The cooling towel comes with a small pouch rather than the case that the company originally offered. 

Maintenance

9.2 / 10

When your towel gets stained or develops an unpleasant odor, toss it in the washer. Lay it flat to dry, and make sure you don't store it while it's still damp.

Value

9.0 / 10

Price wise, this Chill Pal falls somewhere in the middle on our list of faves.

Overall Editor Score

9.1 / 10

Best Cooling Towel for Athletes

#3

Mission Original Cooling Towel

Best Cooling Towel for Athletes: Mission Original Cooling Towel
Performance
9.2
Material
9.2
Maintenance
9.2
Value
9.2
Overall
92%
92 % Editor Score
89 % User Score
27 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Soft material
  • Long-lasting chill
  • Versatile design

Lightweight, flexible material cools down your head or neck quickly. Chemical-free material regulates evaporation for up to 3 hours of consistent cooling. 

Some users constantly have to reactivate the towel to stay cool even though others claim its chill lasts for hours.

Expert Ratings

Performance

9.2 / 10

Mission towels perform well, as evidenced by the brand's towels tennis phenomenon Serena Williams wears during matches. The towels lower your body temperature by up to 30 degrees, and results last for approximately 3 hours.

Material

9.2 / 10

Soft and flexible. This cooling towel is lightweight enough that you can wear it comfortably for hours. The material twists and turns easily, making it ideal for athletes who want a versatile cooling accessory.

Maintenance

9.2 / 10

Hassle free, as with most of the best cooling towels available. Just toss it in the dryer and then lay it flat to dry. 

Value

9.2 / 10

Somewhat pricier than many of our faves, but still budget friendly and worth the price.

Overall Editor Score

9.2 / 10

Best Long-Lasting Cooling Towel

#2

Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Cooling Towel

Best Long-Lasting Cooling Towel: Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Cooling Towel
Performance
9.1
Material
9.1
Maintenance
9.3
Value
9.4
Overall
92%
92 % Editor Score
93 % User Score
18 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Durable design
  • Quick activation
  • Lasts for hours

Quickly lowers your body temperature by as much as 30 degrees. Made from resilient mesh that offers UPF50+ UV protection. 

Your towel may start to stink if you store it before it's fully dry. You can solve this problem with a bleach and water soak.

Expert Ratings

Performance

9.1 / 10

Athletes and regular folks alike appreciate the dependable performance of this Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad. It activates quickly, releasing a chill that lasts up to 3 or 4 hours. You can lower your body temperature by up to 30 degrees with this cooling towel.

Material

9.1 / 10

Like many of our other faves, this cooling towel is made from mesh. However, it's a bit heavier than the Alfamo towel. Feel free to cut off some strips from the top or sides if you need a shorter, lighter towel.

The mesh provides UPF50+ UV protection, making this towel a hit without outdoor exercisers.  

Maintenance

9.3 / 10

Machine washable, as with most cooling towels. And unlike many cooling towels, these don't fray or fade after just a few washes.

Unfortunately, some reviewers warn that the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad cooling towel develops a funky odor after a while. You can tackle this issue by combining 1 tablespoon bleach with 1 gallon of warm water and soaking the towel for an hour or two.

Value

9.4 / 10

For a little more than $10 you get a dependable towel that lasts through numerous workouts and washings.

Overall Editor Score

9.2 / 10

Best Cooling Towel Overall

#1

Alfamo Cooling Towel

Best Cooling Towel Overall: Alfamo Cooling Towel
Performance
9.5
Material
9.5
Maintenance
9.2
Value
9.5
Overall
94%
94 % Editor Score
96 % User Score
21 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Works quickly
  • Long lasting
  • Versatile design

Available in 15 colors and 4 sizes. Folds easily for quick, convenient storage in the included carrying case.

Watch out for fading when you wash this vibrant cooling towel.

Expert Ratings

Performance

9.5 / 10

This cooling towel delivers a refreshing blast of heat-fighting power that lasts for up to 3 hours. It can reduce your body temperature by up to 30 degrees, making it ideal for summer workouts or hardcore athletes who work up a major sweat. 

This cooling towel also offers UPF 50 sun protection.

Material

9.5 / 10

Soft and pliable. We almost chose the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad as our top pick until we realized how heavy and inflexible it was compared to this Alfamo cooling towel. 

Wearers love that you can easily twist this towel into a head wrap or bandana if a traditional neck cooling towel isn't your thing. It's long -- longer than most towels we've researched -- and stretches generously.

Maintenance

9.2 / 10

As with most other towels on our list, you can toss this one in the washer. Be careful, though; some users report that it fades easily. Use a gentle detergent and avoid hot water if you want to keep this towel looking bright.

Value

9.5 / 10

This is nearly the cheapest cooling towel we've found, yet it still works better than pricier options.

Overall Editor Score

9.4 / 10

Faveable Ratings: 6 Best Cooling Towels

6 Best Cooling TowelsPerformanceMaterialMaintenance ValueOverall
Alfamo Cooling Towel Thumbnail
Best Cooling Towel Overall
#1Alfamo Cooling Towel
9.5
9.5
9.2
9.5
94
Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Cooling Towel Thumbnail
Best Long-Lasting Cooling Towel
#2Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Cooling Towel
9.1
9.1
9.3
9.4
92
Mission Original Cooling Towel Thumbnail
Best Cooling Towel for Athletes
#3Mission Original Cooling Towel
9.2
9.2
9.2
9.2
92
Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel Thumbnail
Best Lightweight Cooling Towel
#4Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel
9.0
9.0
9.2
9.0
91
Way 2 Cool Mesh Cooling Towel Thumbnail
Best Budget Cooling Towel
#5Way 2 Cool Mesh Cooling Towel
9.0
9.2
9.0
9.5
92
SYOURSELF Cooling Towels Thumbnail
Best Cooling Towels for Travel
#6SYOURSELF Cooling Towels
8.8
9.0
9.0
9.0
90

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Article Staff

Missy Nolan is a single mom who is too sleep-deprived to come up with a clever bio at the moment. She has been a professional writer for more than 10 years and loves staying home with her 3 kids. Well, most of the time. Missy rocks at parenting, baking, cooking, saving cute outfits she'll never wear on Pinterest, and sipping her beloved secret-menu Starbucks Pink Drink while strolling through Target.

She's your go-to girl for advice or feedback on any of the things listed above, as well as tips on healthy living, bargain hunting, marketing, and finances. Connect with Missy here or at MakeItWithMissy.com, a food blog that features healthy recipes and grocery deals.

You can also find Missy on Legit Lender, Health.com, The Nest, Catalogs.com, and OneSpace.

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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6 Best Cooling Towels

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— Missy Missy Nolan

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