Confession: I’ve never been the biggest fan of baths. I love showers, but to me the bath is a place where you sit in dirty water and get cold too quickly. As Jessi Klein writes, “It makes me feel as if I were stewing up the world’s saddest soup out of myself.” But lately, it seems like everywhere I look, people are swearing by baths, as an essential ritual for relaxation and self-care. So, with newly launched towels from Brooklinen, I tried five types of baths to see what all the fuss is about…
First up was the “classic bath.” You know the one: where you round up bubbles and magazines and a glass of wine and then feel absolutely fabulous. Or, at the very least, buy yourself some much-needed me time.
Verdict: Carving out time to flip through magazines was lovely, but I’d rather read them curled up on the sofa.
THE ENGLISH GRANDMA
Next, I tried to follow the advice of my grandmother Milly, who lives in Cornwall and has taken a bath every single day for 87 years. She fills the tub with very hot water to four inches (“war time depth,” she says) and has “a wash all over and a gorgeous soak for 20 to 30 minutes.” Then, she finishes off with clouds of Johnson’s baby powder. My English aunt follows a similar routine, but in the morning she’ll include a cup of tea, and in the evening a gin & tonic.
Verdict: I enjoyed my cup of tea, but if four inches of water sounds very cold to you, you’re right. But once I added a little more water, I actually liked it!
After that, I tried the relaxing bath routine that Stella swears by: She likes to light a candle, turn off all the lights and listen to a podcast. “You know how people say, ‘Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee’? My version is, ‘Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my bath,’” says Stella. “It’s the one place where I can be alone with my thoughts.” I used Brooklinen’s Nightcap candle, which smells like blood orange and bourbon, and listened to Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations.
Verdict: Out of all the baths, I enjoyed this one the most. I actually felt like this.
THE TOM FORD
Designer Tom Ford swears by his daily morning bath, taken with a giant iced coffee immediately following his 4:30 a.m. wake-up. “I like that time of the morning when no one else is awake, and I can slowly come to life,” he says. So, as my final experiment, I tried an energizing morning bath, including a few drops of peppermint oil, since its aroma is said to be invigorating. (Apparently, adding peppermint oil to your bath water can also help clear nasal passages and relax muscles. Just be careful when you climb out of the tub, because oil can be slippery!)
Verdict: A quiet morning might work for Tom, but in my home, someone is always awake.
THE CHILDRENS’ BATH
Last but not least was the kids’ bath, where I was just a spectator. And when it comes to baths, Anton loves them enough for both of us: “Sometimes I don’t want to take a bath. I say, I don’t want to take a bath! Mommy puts the water in the bath and then I want to take a bath. That’s so funny!”
He used a colander to “make it rain…”
And made a beard of bubbles. “The bubbles are fun and cool,” he says. “I make a beard like daddy’s or put them on my head or just relax in them.”
And he loved every minute. The only reason he’ll get out is to get wrapped up in a soft fluffy towel. Our family loves Brooklinen bath towels, which are super thick and plush but also absorbent and warm. They’re made with Turkish cotton and come in four lovely colors. They are also the perfect size — not too long or short. We used to have ratty bath towels, and I didn’t realize what a game-changer it is to have a fresh stack of fluffy towels waiting for you. It makes me happy every morning.
Brooklinen is based in Brooklyn and run by a husband-and-wife team. Their number one priority is making amazing products, which is why they offer a lifetime warranty. If you’d like, you can see them all here.
Great news: Brooklinen is offering readers $20 off plus free shipping using code CUPOFJO20. Thank you so much!
Are you a bath or shower person? If you love baths, what’s your favorite kind? I’d love to hear…
(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Brooklinen, a brand we love and use every day. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Cup of Jo running.)