Ellen's take on towels

<b>RALPH LAUREN:</b> "Regent," 100 percent Turkish cotton, $33 reduced to $15.99, Bloomingdale's, <a href="http://bloomingdales.com">bloomingdales.com</a>. Ellen says: Excellent absorbency and luxury heft but not worth paying full retail. Ideal at this 50 percent-off price. At 58 inches long (like the green one far right), it is 6 inches longer than the shortest (yellow) towel!<br>
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<b>CANNON:</b> "Super&#8211;Sized Egyptian" towel, 100 percent Egyptian cotton 2-ply loops, $13.99, Sears, <a href="http://sears.com">sears.com</a>. Ellen says: A decent midrange towel. Nothing special.<br>
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<b>TY PENNINGTON STYLE:</b> Bamboo (base all-cotton; pile 60 percent cotton, 40 percent viscose rayon from bamboo), $15.99 reduced to $7.99, Sears, <a href="http://sears.com">sears.com</a>. Ellen says: Best overall and a real bargain on sale, but I'd even (reluctantly) pay full price. Ideal combo of absorbency, thickness and softness. Couldn't detect any distinctively "bamboo" difference.<br>
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<b>COLORMATE:</b> "Basic," 100 percent cotton ring-spun, $7.99 reduced to $3.99, Sears, <a href="http://sears.com">sears.com</a>. Ellen says: Lost more than 2 inches in dryer shrinkage. Skimpiest of all but still a fine choice for kids, dogs.<br>
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<b>JACLYN SMITH:</b> "Today," 100 percent pima cotton, $7.99, Kmart, <a href="http://kmart.com">kmart.com</a>. Ellen says: Flimsy and underwhelming but very soft.<br>
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<b>MACY'S HOTEL COLLECTION:</b> 100 percent Turkish cotton, $40 on sale for $29.99, <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORSTB000074" title="Macy's" href="/topic/services-shopping/macys-ORSTB000074.topic">Macy's</a>, <a href="http://macys.com">macys.com</a>. Ellen says: The most lush and spalike. A little too heavy and difficult to manage on small bodies. But these will wow your houseguests.
chi-ellen-towels-oct08-pix

( Tribune photo by Bill Hogan / October 8, 2009 )

RALPH LAUREN: "Regent," 100 percent Turkish cotton, $33 reduced to $15.99, Bloomingdale's, bloomingdales.com. Ellen says: Excellent absorbency and luxury heft but not worth paying full retail. Ideal at this 50 percent-off price. At 58 inches long (like the green one far right), it is 6 inches longer than the shortest (yellow) towel!

CANNON: "Super–Sized Egyptian" towel, 100 percent Egyptian cotton 2-ply loops, $13.99, Sears, sears.com. Ellen says: A decent midrange towel. Nothing special.

TY PENNINGTON STYLE: Bamboo (base all-cotton; pile 60 percent cotton, 40 percent viscose rayon from bamboo), $15.99 reduced to $7.99, Sears, sears.com. Ellen says: Best overall and a real bargain on sale, but I'd even (reluctantly) pay full price. Ideal combo of absorbency, thickness and softness. Couldn't detect any distinctively "bamboo" difference.

COLORMATE: "Basic," 100 percent cotton ring-spun, $7.99 reduced to $3.99, Sears, sears.com. Ellen says: Lost more than 2 inches in dryer shrinkage. Skimpiest of all but still a fine choice for kids, dogs.

JACLYN SMITH: "Today," 100 percent pima cotton, $7.99, Kmart, kmart.com. Ellen says: Flimsy and underwhelming but very soft.

MACY'S HOTEL COLLECTION: 100 percent Turkish cotton, $40 on sale for $29.99, Macy's, macys.com. Ellen says: The most lush and spalike. A little too heavy and difficult to manage on small bodies. But these will wow your houseguests.

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