When heading to the beach or pool, it’s easy to think you can bring any old bath towel-after all; towels are meant to keep you dry and fresh, right?
Sure, any towel can keep you dry, but if you want a towel that keeps you dry while adding a touch of style to your beach style, consider a beach towel.
See, beach towels elevate a flawless sand-ready fit from good to “who’s that guy over there?”
This is because regardless of how fresh you look in your shades and beach boxers, rolling up to the beach or swimming pool in a tatty, dirty old bath towel undermines the whole effect.
And make no mistake, beach towels aren’t only about style, they’re a great summertime essential.
Unlike your bathroom towel, the best beach towel can handle a lot of abuse. Remember it’ll be stepped on, exposed to the sun, saltwater and chlorine, and used as a tanning bed, cover-up, and beach blanket.
The beach towels are also generally large and have enough space to accommodate at least you and your better half or fully cover you while you’re changing out of wet trunks in the parking lot without creating a scene.
Another reason why you should choose a towel for the beach is that they’re fast-drying and can shake off sand quickly after a long day on the surf.
And, yeah, as we mentioned earlier, there’s no reason they shouldn’t look good.
But with so many options, how do you pick the right towel?
From artisanal Turkish towels, classic cabana stripes to designer terry cloth, we’ll help with the selection.
Here’s a review of our best beach towel recommendations.
Table of Contents
The Best Beach Towels For The Money
#1 Utopia Towels Cabana Stripe Beach Towel - EDITOR'S CHOICE
You don’t have to dig deep into your pockets to get a high-quality beach towel. Some towels come with excellent value offers, like a complete set for the family.
Take the Cabana Stripe Beach Towel, for example.
It comes complete with four funky colored towels with a classic bright stripe design. So, yes, if you need a beach towel that your family can bring to the next beach outing or pool day, you can’t go wrong with the Utopia Stripe Towel.
Additionally, this striped beach towel seems to hit all the right spots for a quality beach towel.
First, the towel is made from 100% ring-spun cotton fabric.
I’m a big fan of this material because it’s hypoallergenic, so it’s safe to use around my sensitive kids and my allergic dog.
The fabric is also luxuriously comfortable to wrap your body with, and while not as soft as a regular towel, they’re comfortable, with some users comparing them to the Spa towels.
While maintaining a plush experience, the Cabana Stripe Beach Towels are made to handle the rough outdoors. So I can grab the towel, take it to the beach, lay it on the sun, use it for drying off, use it as a pad on a chair, dry it in the sun, and launder it, yet, it doesn’t show chafing or signs of wear.
Being terry in nature, the weaves on the Cabana Stripe Beach Towel are the most absorbent of all kinds, with loops on both sides. They’ve a great terry absorbency that feels good and will soak up all the water and completely dry off your body when getting out of the pool. You won’t have to lounge in wetness after a dip.
The towels can also double up as bath towels because they don’t leave fuzzies all over your skin. The zero-twist construction with added combing expels the shorter fibers, and this helps reduce shedding and fraying while offering superior absorbency properties.
It has a generous size too, and though not the largest on our list, the 30 by 60 inches towel is practical for most beach usage, including comfortable lounging, covering large tables for beach parties, or covering your body when changing.
Other makings of the best beach towel on the Cabana Stripe include a superior absorbency that keeps you warm and dry during your entire stay at the beach.
Plus, this striped beach towel gets soft and cozier after every wash and dry cycle, so you can expect it to have better quality over time.
Overall, Cabana Stripe Beach Towel is a fantastic and versatile gift for your friends and family. It’s practical on the beachside as it is in the pool or the bathroom.
It provides a comfortable feel and soft touch base and brings a lot of convenience to your daily routine.
*Tip: Follow instructions while washing the towel.
Separate it from other garments to avoid discoloration.
Try to use cold water to prevent color bleeding. Avoid fabric softeners as they may decrease the brightness and life of the fabric.
#2 Laguna Beach Textile Company Beach Towel - Luxury Option
Our second pick, the Laguna Beach Textile Towel, offers something that will make you feel like royalty.
The Laguna Beach Towel is a premium beach towel and doubles as a luxury picnic beach blanket.
Many reviewers love the Laguna because it’s easy to carry about in the city, yet also high-quality enough to function flawlessly in its moment of need.
Laguna Beach Textile Beach Towel is also unlike other picnic beach towels that are either so bulky and heavy that you’d never want to tote about or so thin and flimsy that you’re practically sitting on the ground.
Instead, this beach towel has a lightweight feel and is protective.
The towel is made from a unique fabric blend consisting of cotton, polyester, and acrylic. It gives it an impressively plush and water-resistant finish. A waterproof underside is so key, especially the New Yorkers who usually navigate the rained-on grass.
The bottom feels like a plastic material, which is great, so when the beach and grass are damp the moisture won’t soak through.
The upper side doesn’t disappoint either, as it feels so soft and absorbent that it’s quite pleasant to lie about for hours. Even my dogs have taken a real liking to it, far preferring the soft fleecy beach blanket to the grass.
And don’t let me forget to mention the stylish pattern! I can’t tell you the number of compliments I’ve received from friends on the design. Everyone wants to know where I got this fashionable towel from
The cotton layer also gives the towel the much-needed sand-proof and waterproof features. Sand doesn’t stick to the bottom at the beach, and a couple of good shakes, it falls off the fuzzy top with barely any residual.
Even better, a machine wash does away with all the delicate spots, and the towel still holds up fine.
Another desirable feature of the Laguna Beach Textile Company Beach Towel is its larger size. At 48×72, it’s perfect for accommodating a small family of three adults or five children.
And once you’ve trashed the towel at the beach and your family is tired and hungry, you won’t need an engineering degree to fold it. Instead, you simply roll it up however you like, and you stuff it back in a convenient carry bag.
Overall, the Laguna Beach Textile Company Beach Towel ticks on all the boxes for a beach towel.
The material blend keeps you warm and dry as no other beach towel can, while the waterproof design lets you sit on the dewy grass or damp beach without worry of moisture or dampness getting through.
#3 Ricdecor Beach Towel Oversized Beach Towels for Kids - Best for Kids
It’s time to revisit the classics and look at a more traditional style of a beach towel.
One such option is the Ricdecor Beach Towel.
Coming in at 59″ across, Ricdecor is specially designed for kids. Of course, while adults can’t fully lay on it, they can sit on it at the edge of the pool and shield themselves from the hot pavement.
This model is also available in a wide range of colors and styles, and though it’s not as colorful as the pictures, it’s bold and bright.
But is it any good?
Definitely, one of the good things about this model is that it’s especially soft. The towel is made from pliable microfiber material. No shear, not like a sheet and truly like a bath towel. The quality is nice, it feels soft so much that I can use it as a bathroom towel when I’m not on the beach. Some users even use this towel to lay their babies on.
While remaining thick and soft, the microfiber on this towel is proven to dry exceptionally quickly. In addition, the microfiber is extremely absorbent, drying up to five times faster than typical cotton.
So, after a surf or swim in the sea, you won’t have to worry about lounging around on a soggy towel as it wicks away the excess moisture to help keep you dry and comfortable.
While we already mentioned this pick is best suited for kids, the whole family is sure to love it.
It has a generous size, which means there’s plenty of space for several family members to unwind in style.
Plus, I love that the tassels at the end of the towel don’t fray after washing. Instead, it retains its original structure, only becoming more plush towels and softer for a better experience.
Overall, the Ricdecor Beach Towel is a great pick and has so many possibilities in usage. It’s a practical option for doing stretches before sports. It can also be used as a beach blanket, and you can even lay your toddlers on it.
For me, it acts as a comfortable meditating spot while performing outdoor yoga.
It’s a great beach towel and a perfect all-around pick, and it’s only downside is that it’s not as compact as the modern models. However, if you’ll be doing some backpacking or traveling, you’ll quickly realize it’s a little bit to fit in your bag.
#4 South & Rho Premium Luxury - Best Beach Blanket
The beach towel from South & Rho is something new and refreshing on the beach market.
It’s a comfortable and large picnic blanket that works great in any condition.
While it’s a bit more expensive than most beach towels, it’s definitely worth the purchase, delivering hours of endless fun and comfort.
But how good is this beach towel?
It’s a great pick, and the first thing that catches your eye is the quality of the towel. It’s well-made, using the finest quality cotton.
It is a nice choice of material as it makes the towel incredibly soft to the touch and enjoyable to lie on. Every user enjoys wrapping their bodies on this towel, and based on the user experiences, it’s quite gentle on your skin, regardless of whether it’s wet or dry.
Density-wise, this towel has a high density of 500g/ m2. It gives the towel the ideal thickness for an effortless pack without compromising on the overall comfort. Plus, it adds to the overall durability of the towel and will take on the abuses without fraying.
Another plus with this towel is how fast it can get you dry. The cotton fibers here are highly absorptive and won’t have you lounging in wetness after coming out of the water.
At the same time, it also dries off quickly in the sun, significantly improving comfort when using. The quick-dry is also a plus if you’re using the towel on the sandy beaches as it’s much easier to shake the sand off when the towel is dry.
South & Rho Premium Luxury Towel is among the oversized options compared to most standard beach towels, close to the Parachute’s Beach Towel. The standard size is somewhere between 60 by 30 inches, and this model adds a few inches in every direction (68 by 36). It has been done on purpose to make it much nicer to lie on the towel on your whole body. Also, it accommodates more revelers and is large enough to cover a whole beach chair.
Yet, it’s still pretty comfortable to fold and store and won’t cause any issues when fitting it inside a beach bag when traveling.
One thing separating this beach cotton towel from the competition is the addition of smart features. Users who bought this towel enjoy a wide and deep hood on the back of the towel that goes over the chair’s back, preventing the towel from sliding when you get up. Upfront, you also get a small pocket, which is useful for stashing your phone, sunglasses, or sunscreen.
I can’t also fail to mention the nice print and compliment the looks of South & Rho towels. A white base with colorful stripes, gives the towel a colorful look. The white base is also a plus because it reduces the instances of fading.
It gets stained much easier on the flip side, but this towel is easier to clean, so you’ve nothing to worry about.
#5 AmazonBasics Cabana Stripe Cotton Beach Towel - Budget Option
Looking to stock up on affordable beach towels for a beach weekend?
You’ll love AmazonBasics.
It’s an inexpensive option that lets you work on your budget and still leaves you with some money to treat yourself to an oceanside margarita.
Plus, this highly affordable towel comes in a pair of four, so it’ll give you incredible value for your money.
But does the slashed cost come at the expense of quality and performance?
Not really. While AmazonBasics’s long-term durability is questionable, this towel offers incredible quality at a budget tag, and you won’t regret the purchase.
Of course, at such a price, don’t expect a luxurious experience, but the towel has the makings of the best beach towels.
Quality-wise, it’s nothing to scoff at. For instance, the towel is made from high-quality and durable ringspun cotton. Ringspun means that different lengths of cotton strands are twisted together to form a strong, soft yarn, resulting in a plush and durable towel.
The towel is a joy to lie on or even wrap yourself around and won’t leave you with fuzzing, chafing, or any markings.
Yet, it remains strong for most outdoor uses and will survive getting laid in the direct sun for extended periods, constant washing, folding, and being steppe and trampled on.
Once out in the sand, it performs much like a true beach towel. The threads can pick up some sand, but a couple of shakes fully rids of them when it’s time to go home.
After a dip in the ocean water, AmazonBasics does a great job of drying your body of wetness. They’re not quick-dry options, so don’t count them on keeping your car protected during a drive home. However, they have a decent absorbency and will rid your body of most of the moisture.
The towel isn’t thick like our other options, but they’ve a soft texture thanks to the ring spun fibers. In addition, both sides are threaded, enhancing the overall softness and texture.
Meanwhile, the towel thinness is also a benefit as they are lightweight and less bulky than their counterparts. Because they’re not overly thick, it’s easy to fit up to two towels in a beach bag and save some space for some beach necessities.
Cleaning AmazonBasics is as easy as it gets since it’s a machine-washable towel. However, a few reviewers complain about excessive lint.
But you can avoid this by washing the towel separately.
We were also pleased with how AmazonBasics behaved after a cycle through the washing machine and dryer; the towel became cozier after the first wash, softer than they were right out of the package.
#6 Dock & Bay Cabana Microfiber Beach Towel - Best Towel for Travel
The Dock and Bay Cabana Towels solves all your issues with other towels; it’s big enough to fully lounge on, soak water, and resist sand, and when you’re done with the beach, it dries quickly and folds up small.
While it’s not the fluffiest beach towel for wrapping your body, it’s something you shouldn’t miss when going on a beach vacation.
The Dock & Bay Quick Dry Towel is designed for travel. This is because it supposedly dries faster than other beach towels.
Secondly, the towel is made from a thin fabric that takes nearly half the space on your beach bag as your cotton counterparts do.
Yet, coming with a generous dimension of 78 by 35 for the extra-large version, it’s bigger than most towels on our list.
But would we recommend ditching your cotton towel for the Dock & Bay Microfiber towel?
Of course, you shouldn’t expect the typical cotton terry cloth feel from this towel, but it separates this option from the competition.
It utilizes a microfiber construction as the base material, so it’s lightweight and will fold up quite small in a beach bag or suitcase.
Users also found the towel extremely smooth, which goes in line with the brand’s major claim that “sand won’t stick” to the towel.
It’s true because it offers a sand-free beach experience; once we lay the plush towel on the ground, there was no sand falling into the towel, and the small particles that did were easily shaken off.
While the texture is ultra-smooth and super soft, it’s not what I would call cozy. Instead, it’s thin, as most users established, and so it’s not the best option for wrapping your body when the weather turns cool.
When washing, this towel comes out of the dryer feeling brand new. Yet, it retains its soft, smooth texture, and even better, there wasn’t fraying of the threads.
Plus, the quick-dry nature ensures that it dries quickly, and this is great for those who are short on time.
Along with all the great features, this cute towel also comes with some smart accessories. For example, it comes with own carrying case with a zipper closure for easy portability. Unfortunately, it’s also big, so it’s hard to keep on the hook. Not a problem because it features a small, elastic hoop affixed to one of the sides for easy hang drying.
Overall, the Dock Microfiber is a great towel, ticking on all the right boxes, and will allow you to make the best out of your beach day. Our only issue was the fabric is 200 GSM microfiber, so it’s a slightly less absorbent towel. It’s not the best towel for drying and keeping you moisture-free after a dip in the water.
Best Beach Towels Buying Guide
In the section below, we shall look at everything you need to know about selecting the best beach towels.
But before we do that, it would be a good idea to look at the differences between beach towels and bath towels.
What is the Difference Between Bath Towel and Beach Towel?
One of the main differences between these two towels is the size.
Generally, beach towels tend to be bigger than bath towels.
While the size of a standard beach towel ranges between retailers, most of them come in at around 27 inches by 52 inches.
Part of the reason beach towels are bigger is practical; oversized beach towels are better for lounging on the beach or covering up.
The other difference is thickness.
Generally, bath towels are thicker than beach towels to absorb more water. However, the thickness makes the bath towels take longer to dry, which isn’t ideal while you’re on the beach.
Stylistically, these two towels are different too. Bath towels tend to come in solid colors, while beach towels are available in colorful prints and patterns.
Types of Beach Towels
Beach towels aren’t created equal.
There’re different types of beach towels available to suit your needs and tastes.
While they all serve the same basic function of drying you off, some have a compact size for portability, others thicker for extra comfort, and others are used better as blankets for sitting on.
Generally, when looking at the best beach towels, there’re two main umbrella categories of towels.
Rectangular Beach Towel
They’re the most popular towel shapes and a great option because they’re easier to roll up, wash, fold and store.
Round Beach Towel
A round beach towel is fun and unique.
It’s only cool but perfect for base lounging over the beach.
It also tends to be bigger than the rectangular towels, and this is why they’re so popular as picnic blankets.
What to Look for in a Good Beach Towel
Generally, beach towels tend to be big, but bigger isn’t always better.
While the large towels seem better, they’re heavier and more difficult to pack.
Ideally, there’s no hard and fast rule on how to pick the size but go for an option you’re comfortable with.
But it’s good to consider how you’re going to use the towel. For example, if you’re a frequent swimmer, ensure it’s large enough to wrap around you and dry off quickly.
If you’ll be lying on the beach, comfort should be your priority.
GSM stands for grams per square meter, and it’s an industry standard for measuring a towel’s density.
It refers to the weight of the fabric woven into a square meter and determines the thickness and plushness of different types of towels.
Generally, the lower the thread count, the lighter and thinner the towel.
Here’s a breakdown of the different densities:
300-400 GSM: Best for the gym. They’re lighter and thinner, so they absorb water and dry fast.
However, these towels have the least thread count, so are not durable and may start to fray after a few months of daily use.
400-600 GSM: Medium weight density and the most common density for beach towels.
Depending on the material used, they’re a bit heavier and more absorbent.
600-900: This category is for the premium, luxury weight towels. These towels are plush and absorbent.
While they may be great for showering, this spectrum isn’t ideal for beach towels as it tends to attract more sand, is heavier, and takes longer to dry.
Beach towels are made of all kinds of different materials, and each has its benefits and drawbacks.
Some of the popular materials for beach towels are:
The microfiber towels are praised because of their lightness and affordability.
They’re absorbent too and can absorb several times their weight in liquid.
Additionally, they dry quickly and are durable, so ideal for those on the go.
On the flip side, some users claim they’re not comfortable.
Cotton towels, like cotton shirts, are ultra-comfortable but take a long time to dry.
Keep in mind there’re different types of cotton towels, one of the popular version is the Turkish towel.
If you need to comfort cotton but need it to dry fast, consider a Turkish cotton towel.
Also known as peshtemals, a Turkish cotton towel dries fast.
Additionally, the turkish cotton towels tend to be larger and absorb water well.
Polyester is another popular beach towel material.
It’s synthetic and quick-drying, but it’s not the best option for comfort or water absorption.
A polyseter towel isn’t as absorptive as a Turkish cotton towel.
The other factor to consider when selecting a beach towel is packability.
This is an important element, especially if you’ll frequently be traveling. First, you need to pick a towel that doesn’t gobble too much of your suitcase space. We also recommend picking a lightweight towel for better portability.
However, if the towel is for your local beach, then packability isn’t a huge deal.
Best Beach Blanket Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What are the best quality beach towels?
A: The best quality beach towels have three main properties; durable to withstand abuse, high absorbency to keep your dry, and quick drying time.
Q: Do sand cloud towels repel sand?
A: Yes, the sound cloud towels are designed to be light, soft, and, more importantly, sand-resistant.
They’ll keep the soil from getting into the towel, and more importantly, they’re light and dry 3x faster than normal towels.
Q: How do you choose beach towels?
A: It’s always a good idea to consider your needs first.
Decide on what size you need and the price you’re willing to pay.
Whatever size or budget you go with, ensure the towel can stand up to abuses, doesn’t fray, and more importantly, it has high absorbency to keep you dry all through.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best beach towels is the Cabana Stripe Towel.
This option is an all-around towel, ideal for different uses.
For starters, it’s not expensive, and even better, it comes in a pack of four, offering the ultimate value purchase.
Performance-wise, it doesn’t fail, and with its 100% spring-rung cotton, it feels luxuriously soft and absorbent as a spa towel.
Yet, it has great absorbency characteristics and will not leave you lounging in wetness or cold after taking a dip in the water.