After doing a fair amount of research on paper towel alternatives, I chose to invest in Swedish dishcloths. After reviewing several options for Swedish dishcloths, I found SWEDEdishcloths to be the best overall price and quality.
Why I chose Swedish dishcloths:
I wanted a strong, reusable material that could be washed/sanitized, has longevity, minimizes smells and germs, and compostable. All the other alternatives I explored lacked one or several of these features. Microfiber, cotton, wool, and flannel clothes are not (easily) compostable and don't dry as quickly (more moisture = more germ and mildew), reusable paper towels only last 1 week, and beeswax wraps can't be used for cleaning.
I bought 16 to use in the kitchen for a household of 3 adults assuming I'd need at least 2 a day. However, they are so absorptive and easy to clean that I've only used about 4 per week. I was worried about germs and smells, but they dry quickly and easily. I highly recommend them as a zero-waste alternative and plan to purchase for family as gifts.