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February 10, 2021 15 min read

If drying off quickly, looking good, and feeling comfortable while lounging on the beach is important to you, then choosing the best beach towels is a decision you should make carefully.

It may seem a simple decision, but so many people make the wrong choice when choosing towels for the beach.

If paddleboarding is your thing, fast-drying and style are likely to be important to you. While those wanting to chill out around the pool may prefer a cotton beach towel. Whichever style you prefer, we’ve picked out the best beach towels for every situation. 

What is the best beach towel? GILI’s Top 3 Picks

Sand Cloud Towels

Sand Cloud — Best Overall 

This Sand Cloud Turkish beach towel is our choice for best overall. We love everything about this stylish royal blue super soft towel.

Rainleaf Microfiber Beach Towel

Rainleaf — Best For Travel

This beautiful multi-color towel from Rainleaf is our number one pick for travelling. Great for multiple uses and ultra compact.

Mebien Turkish Beach towel

Mebien — Best Style

The Mebien Turkish beach towel is our number one choice for style. We love everything about this vintage pre-washed classic.

What Features Should You Look For In a Towel For The Beach?

You have a lot to think about before purchasing a beach towel. From material and weight to size and design, all these matter when purchasing a beach towel

Material

Cotton, linen, or microfiber? The material the towel is made from affects the overall performance of the towel:

  • Durability — how long will it last.
  • Resistance — avoiding snags, pulls, and shrinking.
  • Absorbency — effectiveness of drying your body.
  • Feeling — soft, firm, rough.

The traditional fiber content of beach towels is plush cotton. However, new materials have been introduced to the market to provide sand-free and quick-drying qualities. Microfiber for example is a synthetic fiber made up of polyester, nylon, and other polyamides. 

Construction

The quality and construction of the towel are important. You don’t want your beach towel to fall apart at the seams the first time you use it. Equally, you need it to be flexible, absorbent, and durable. 

As with most things, expensive usually means better quality. However, this doesn’t mean great budget options aren’t available.

Weight

Do you plan to travel? If so, you’ll want something lightweight and easy to carry. We recommend a lightweight microfiber option so it can dry faster.

If you’re having a staycation by the pool, or the beach is close to home, the weight of the towel is something you may consider less important compared to other features.

Size

Size may seem trivial, but you’ll be grateful you considered it when getting out of the water on colder days. There are some really large absorbent towels up for grabs, big enough to dry the whole family measuring over 70 x 70 inches!

But remember, when traveling, smaller options are preferable and work best for saving space. You need to figure out what size is best for you.

Design

Round towel or blanket? Maybe the elegant style of Turkish Towels? Design can mean a lot, not only for style but also practicality. 

If you’re a winter paddle boarder, then you will need something a little more than a simple bath towel. This as well as other essential SUP clothing is a must-have accessory while out on the water. 

Best Beach Towel Overall — Sand Cloud

Sand Cloud Towels — Our best overall pick. The Sand Cloud towels are sand resistant, fast-drying, and lightweight — what more can you want from a towel? This beach towel is perfect for travelers to take to the pool, the lake, and the beach.

Sand Cloud Towels

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size —37 x 69 inches
  • Material — Cotton
  • Good For Travellers 

What we love:

  • Soft, lightweight, absorbent, and sand-free
  • Made from 100% luxurious cotton
  • Highly versatile — use as a towel, blanket, sarong, or tapestry
  • 10% of profits go into marine life conservation — #savethefishies

What we don't love:

  • Not the most durable towel option concerning its price

From the material used to the business environmental ethos, these towels are by far one of the best you can buy. No wonder we chose Sand Cloud Towels as our best overall pick. 

Dock & Bay Quick-Dry Beach Towel — Best Overall Runner Up

The overall runner up has to be the Dock & Bay Quick-Dry Beach Towel. It dries quickly and is perfect to pack away for any vacation. We recommend this towel for those visiting warmer climates.

Dock and Bay towel

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size —78 x 35 inches
  • Material — Microfiber
  • Good For Vacations

What we love:

  • Sand resistant and quick dry material
  • Extra large size but compact in travel accessory pouch
  • Range of colors to choose from
  • Sewn-in elastic hook for easy hanging and drying

What we don't love:

  • Absorbency could be better

Dock & Bay towels are made from some of the best microfiber materials available, keeping the sand away and being soft on your skin.

Microfiber Beach Towel —  WildHorn Outfitters (Best For Travelling)

Pool, beach, or gym? This Akumal microfiber towel from WildHorn is versatile to keep up with the busiest lifestyles with quick-drying a stand out feature. This is a great option for travel lovers.

Akumal Microfiber Beach Towel

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size —78 x 35 inches
  • Material — Microfiber
  • Good For Versatile Lifestyle 

What we love:

  • Extra-large in size, yet compacts neatly into a portable carry case
  • Dries three times faster than cotton towels
  • Soft and comfortable 
  • Eye-catching colors and designs

What we don't love:

  • Absorbency doesn’t meet expectations

Both the super large size and portability of this WildHorn beach towel makes it stand out from the rest.

Your Choice Microfiber Beach Towel

Here we have an excellent microfiber towel that’s sure to meet expectations. The towel comes in a retro cabana design only, so if that fits your flair and style — this is the beach towel for you.

Your Choice Beach Towel

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size —67x 35 inches
  • Material — Microfiber
  • Good For Vacations

What we love:

  • Sand does not stick
  • Soft, thin, and more absorbent than other microfiber towels
  • Retro cabana stripe design
  • Compact and great for traveling

What we don't love:

  • Only comes in one design

Your Choice (manufacturer) has used a ‘cationic’ technology to provide better absorbent qualities to their beach towels.

Rainleaf Microfiber Beach Towel

Rainleaf’s Microfiber Beach Towel is bold and does a great job. The absorbance is fantastic, and it keeps the sand off at all times, making it ideal for the beach.

Rainleaf Towel

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size —40x 70 inches
  • Material — Microfiber
  • Good For Outdoor Adventures

What we love:

  • Super soft microfiber material
  • Super Absorbent 
  • Fast Drying
  • Can double up as a blanket

What we don't love:

  • The design is garish and very bold

If you want to make a statement and stand out on the beach then this Rainleaf beach towel is for you.

Ricdecor Indian Mandala Microfiber Large Round Beach Blanket

The Ricdecor Round Blanket is perfect for a  day spent on the beach, and a great budget option that comes with a carry bag for easy traveling.

Ridecor Round Towel

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size —59 inch Diameter 
  • Material — Microfiber
  • Unique Design

What we love:

  • Soft, absorbent, and fast-drying
  • Stylish design
  • Oversized, extra-large round towel
  • Thick material for added durability

What we don't love:

  • Colors fade quickly in the sun

While the material is durable, unfortunately, the colors aren’t. Overall, this towel from Ricdecor does a good job considering the cheap price you pay for it.

BEARZ Outdoor Quick Dry Towel

BEARZ offers a twin pack of microfiber towels, which is obviously, great value for money. This makes a great choice for backpacking, as you can keep your beach towel and face towel separate.

Bearz Outdoor Towel

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size  — 48 x 24 inches and 15 x 12 inches
  • Material — Microfiber
  • Good For Travel Lovers

What we love:

  • Two towels included in one pack (body and face towel)
  • Comes with detachable hang loops
  • Carry bag has a water-resistant pocket
  • Superfast drying

What we don't love:

  • The main towel is quite small

This is a good cheap option that would suit travelers and backpackers who are planning to be on the road.

PACKTOWL Luxe Microfiber Towel

This Luxe Microfiber Towel from Packtowl offers the same softness as a traditional cotton towel but maintains all the desired qualities of the microfiber range.

Packtowl Towel

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size  — 36 x 59 inches 
  • Material — Microfiber
  • Good For Luxe Lovers

What we love:

  • Polygeine odor technology
  • Dries 30% faster than standard towels
  • Absorbs up to five times its weight in water
  • Fluffy and super soft

What we don't love:

  • Color bleeds and runs out of the towel when washing

The thicker material gives a fluffy finish, ideal for those looking for a piece of luxury for their traveling adventures.

Best Beach Towels On A Budget

Below is a selection of beach towels for those who want good value for money. All the towels listed in this section are budget friendly.

Utopia Towels Cabana Stripe Beach Towels

Made from 100% cotton, this 4-pack of Cabana Stripe Beach Towels from Utopia is a great value pack for those on a low budget. The assortment of colors will make it easier for the whole family to choose their towel for the beach.

Utopia Towels

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size  — 30 x 60 inches 
  • Material — 100% Cotton
  • Good For Multi-Pack

What we love:

  • Cheap price tag and the bundle pack
  • Soft and delicate touch
  • Absorbent and lightweight
  • The iconic cabana stripe design

What we don't love:

  • Not the most durable 

We can look past the durability when we see the extremely low price for a 4-pack of beach towels.

Amazon Basics Cabana Stripe Beach Towel

Another cabana striped beach towel direct from Amazon Basics. This is a great option for anyone on a tight budget who wants to buy a simple towel for the pool or beach.

Amazon Basics Towels

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size  — 30 x 60 inches 
  • Material — 100% Cotton
  • Good For Basic Use

What we love:

  • Good value for money
  • Choice of colors
  • Plush, terry cloth fabric
  • A decent size for beach use

What we don't love:

  • Snags easily

While the quality may not be the best, you can’t complain about the price being so low.

Land’s End Rugby Stripe Beach Towel

This beach towel from Land’s End is made with shooter loops to combat snagging and enhance durability. If you’re searching for the most comfortable towel but still on a budget, then this would be a solid choice.

Lands End Rugby Towel

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size  — 30 x 78 inches 
  • Material — Cotton Material 
  • Good For Comfort

What we love:

  • Extra large size
  • Breathable cotton providing a thick cushioned layer
  • Super soft material
  • UPF50 UV protection

What we don't love:

  • Does not repel sand

The large size and cotton material will make this a difficult towel to pack when wanting to travel lightly, so perhaps sticking poolside is a good idea with this one

Most Luxurious Beach Towels

This section is for those who don't have a budget, and you simply want luxury at any cost. 

Laguna Beach Textile Co. Plush Cabana Beach Towel

The Laguna Beach Textile Co. offers classic Californian vibes in each of their beach towels. Thicker, softer, and more absorbent than most towels  — this is a premium beach towel for those who like a touch of luxury.

Laguna Beach towel

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size  — 70 x 35 inches 
  • Material — Cotton 
  • Premium Quality 

What we love:

  • Made from 630 GSM cotton fabric. (plush and thick)
  • 50% more absorbent than basic options
  • Choice of classic cabana colors and round towel options
  • li>Reinforced stitching along the edges for extra durability

What we don't love:

  • Expensive for a beach towel

If style and branding are important to you, then the Laguna Beach Textile Co. range is a good option.

Benevolence LA Mexican Falsa Beach Blanket

Benevolence’s Mexican Falsa is the perfect choice for beach lovers extending their day into the night. Enjoy a campfire and marshmallows under starlight while using the beach blanket for extra warmth during the night.

Benevolence LA Mexican Beach Blanket Towel

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Size  — 50 x 75 inches 
  • Material — Recycled Acrylic and Cotton
  • Good For Picnics and Late Night Beach Fires

What we love:

  • Handwoven, thick, and soft blanket style
  • Perfect for any activity
  • Versatile design
  • 100% recycled materials
  • Luxurious but not overpriced

    What we don't love:

    • Not suitable for machine washing

    Many things to like about this awesome towel. It can be used as a picnic blanket, yoga mat, and a general throw over.

    Genovega Mandala Microfiber Beach Towel Blanket

    Another microfiber towel, but Genovega has given this one a touch of luxury with the enormous size and double-sided pattern. This is a perfect choice for families or someone who wants some extra space.

    Genovega Mandala Microfiber Beach Towel Blanket

    Where to buy:

    • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

    Features & Specs:

    • Size  — 72 x 72 inches 
    • Material —  Polyester Blend
    • Good For Groups

    What we love:

    • Enormous size perfect for couples, families, and groups
    • Double-sided print design
    • Microfiber qualities to keep it sand-free and fast drying
    • Machine washable

      What we don't like:

      • Not the most absorbent

      Earn a few extra street-cred points by adding this bohemian style towel to your beach day gear. This is great for the beach and makes a statement. 

      Best Trendy Turkish Towels

      Turkish towels are well known for the quality they provide. This section offers some of the most trendy and unique designs.

      Nature Is Gift Natural Turkish Cotton Towel

      If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option, then you can’t go wrong with this Turkish towel from Nature Is Gift. Take this lightweight and multipurpose towel anywhere while enjoying the soft luxurious feel on your skin.

      Nature Is Gift Turkish Cotton Towel

      Where to buy:

      • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

      Features & Specs:

      • Size  — 30 x 70 inches 
      • Material — 100% Certified Organic Cotton
      • Good For Eco-Friendly Lovers

      What we love:

      • Highly absorbent
      • Fast drying
      • Lightweight and does not take up a lot of space
      • Multipurpose towel

      What we don't love:

      • Can shrink in a hot wash

      Overall, this is a great Turkish towel option that is bound to please anyone who chooses it.

      Mebien Turkish Beach Towel

      Mebien’s Turkish Towel is classy, stylish, and ideal for a chilled day out on the beach. The super-soft finish feels amazing on your skin after a dip in the water, and it looks great at the same time.

      Mebien Turkish Beach Towel

      Where to buy:

      • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

      Features & Specs:

      • Size  — 35 x 67 inches 
      • Material — 100% Turkish Cotton
      • Pure Quality 

      What we love:

      • Stylish design, perfect for the beach or in the home
      • Double-woven materials allow for a soft finish and fast dry time
      • Excellent quality
      • Eco-friendly materials

      What we don't love:

      • Absorbency doesn’t meet expectations

      It’s easy to understand why we chose this Turkish towel as our most stylish option. Nature Is Gift towels are a thing of beauty with the bonus of being suitable for multiple uses.

      Best Beach Towels to Make a Statement

      Like to turn heads? This is were you will find a selection of towels that make a loud statement.

      Pendleton Oversized Cotton Beach Towel

      Are you looking for something to make a statement on the beach? This oversized beach towel from Pendleton ticks that box. With the vibrant Native-American design, you’re sure to catch staring eyes and make a bold impact when you roll this out on the beach.

      Pendelton Oversized Towel

      Where to buy:

      • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

      Features & Specs:

      • Size  — 40 x 70 inches 
      • Material — Cotton 
      • Eye-Catching Design

      What we love:

      • Lots of patterns and colors to choose from
      • Great absorption and luxurious softness
      • Suitable for use at the beach, pool, or spa
      • Large and useful size

      What we don't love:

      • Very delicate to wash

      The pattern choices alone make this an excellent choice of a beach towel. Bold, unique, and hard not to make a statement with this beautiful towel.

      The Northwest Company Officially Licensed NFL “Zone Read” Beach Towel

      NFL lover? Show your colors off with pride. The Northwest Company is the leading manufacturer of branded textiles in the US and these towels do make a statement.

      NFL Beach Towel

      Where to buy:

      • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

      Features & Specs:

      • Size  — 30 x 60 inches 
      • Material — 52% Cotton, 48% Polyester
      • Good For Sports Lovers

      What we love:

      • Vividly decorated
      • Soft and cosy finish
      • Good absorbency
      • Machine washable

      What we don't love:

      • Thinner than most beach towels

      So why not sport your team colors with pride this summer and hit the beach with a statement.

      Bahia Collection by Dohler Multi Flamingos Brazilian Velour Beach Towel

      Be seen with this beautiful flamingo inspired beach towel. The tropical design and bright colors will bring the heat to the beach this summer. Oversized,  unique, and perfect for two people to share.

      Bahia Collection Beach Towel

      Where to buy:

      • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

      Features & Specs:

      • Size  — 58 x 74 inches 
      • Material — 100% Cotton 
      • Good For Turning Heads

      What we love:

      • Extra-large size, perfect for two people
      • Super soft feel
      • Bold and bright colors

        What we don't love:

        • Not double-sided

        The unique Flamingo design and fairly large size make this a great addition for almost anyone. If you want to stand out on the beach this summer, then this will do that for you.

        Beach Towels For The Family

        Most towels are designed for one person use only. However, sometimes a towel that's suitable for the whole family is needed. Below is few options that we recommend.

        Bdsign Oversized Beach Towel

        This spacious beach towel offers enough cover for the whole family. Made from microfiber materials, quick-drying, and does not allow sand to stick to it. This is perfect for young kids getting in and out of the water all day long.

        Bdsign Oversized Beach Towel

        Where to buy:

        • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

        Features & Specs:

        • Size  — 74 x 74 inches 
        • Material —  Polyester Blend / Microfiber
        • Good For The Whole Family
        What we love:
        • 74” round towel option available
        • Folds, rolls, and packs very easily
        • Sand free and dries three times faster than traditional towels
        • Can absorb water up to 7 times its weight!

        What we don't love:

        • Heavier than other options

        Overall, this family-friendly beach towel is easy to travel with and perfect for a full day on the beach, by the pool, or in a park.

        WildHorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket

        Partner this huge parachute-style beach blanket with a beach canopy for the ultimate set up. The whole family will be able to fit on this beach towel and enjoy an escape from the sand in between swimming in the water.

        Beach Blanket

        Where to buy:

        • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

        Features & Specs:

        • Size  — 9 x 7 Feet
        • Material — Nylon
        • Good for full days at the beach

        What we love:

        • Enormous size  — 63 sq. ft.
        • Sand anchor pockets on each corner
        • Secure valuable side pockets
        • Compacts down to 5” x 8” travel pack

        What we don't love:

        • Water spreads throughout the material and takes a long time to dry

        WildHorn Outfitters has raised the bar for amazing family-friendly beach towels. This will be sure to exceed your expectations.

        Stephen Joseph Hooded Towel

        This hooded towel is one of the best beach towels for kids and will go down a treat with them. Choose from a shark, jellyfish, llama, mermaid, and more. Stephen Joseph has partnered imaginative design with practicality perfectly.

        Lands End Rugby Towel

        Where to buy:

        • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

        Features & Specs:

        • Size  — 46 x 23.5 inches
        • Material — Terry Cloth Cotton
        • Good For Adventurous Kids

        What we love:

        • A whole range of imaginative designs
        • Enclosed corners for hand warmth
        • Top-quality materials and construction
        • Hooded design

        What we don't love:

        • Could be plusher

        All in all, this is a great option if you have young children joining your beach day activities.

        Special Mention - Best Towel Robe for Wild Adventures

        Want something that acts like a towel, but also offers protection from the cold weather? Have a look at the dry-robe below.

        DryRobe Advance Long Sleeve Change Robe

        Not strictly a beach towel, but still worthy of a special mention — DryRobe range are superb for outdoor lovers in cooler climates. They double up as a changing range and are super warm after a cold dip in the water.

        Lands End Rugby Towel

        Where to buy:

        • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

        Features & Specs:

        • Size  — Small to XL in size
        • Material — Synthetic Lambs Wool Lining, Nylon Outer
        • Good For Cold Water Lovers

        What we love:

        • Super warm for colder days
        • Fleece-lined body and pockets
        • Handy Zip-up feature
        • Waterproof internal pocket for keeping valuables safe

        What we don't love:

        • Expensive price tag

        The outside of the robe is fully waterproof. You can put the nylon side down on the sand without getting cold and wet on those Fall and Winter days.

        FAQ’S

        🏆 What is the difference between a bath towel and a beach towel?

        A bath towel tends to be plusher and fluffier than a beach towel. This difference in thickness means that sand doesn’t stick to a beach towel as much as it would to a bath towel. Microfiber towels are common favorites for travelers as they dry fast and don’t hold on to the sand, however, the absorbency level doesn’t make them a preferred bath towel.


        👍 Where can I buy a beach towel?

        You can find good deals on beach towels online at stores like Amazon. Tourist destinations will also have stores close to the beach selling them if you forgot to pack one, although they tend to be more expensive than online shops.


        🏝️ How much does a beach towel weigh?

        The average weight of a beach towel is anything between 12 and 15 lbs. Microfiber towels are generally the lightest. Whereas a more expensive and luxurious beach towel can be up to, or over, 16 lbs, depending on their material and thread count.


        ❓ Are beach towels waterproof?

        Beach towels aren’t waterproof but water absorbent. This means they soak up the water from your skin and swimwear, allowing you to dry off quickly. Some products have a waterproof under layer allowing you to place the towel down without it absorbing moisture from the ground.


        📦 How often should you wash a beach towel?

        You’re best to wash a beach towel regularly to avoid mildew build-up. If you’re using it at the pool with chlorinated water then you should try to rinse off the chlorine every day to avoid color fading.


        📦 Are microfiber towels good for the beach?

        Microfiber towels are excellent for beach days as they wick away water, dry fast, and keep the sand off. They’re also lightweight which is great for traveling. You can find some large-sized microfiber towels which are the preferred choice for the beach.


        📦 What is the best sand free towel?

        Our GILI top pick for the best sand free towel is the Dock & Bay Quick-Dry Beach Towel. The sand-resistant quality and overall finish are fantastic and a great choice for any outdoor lover.


        📦 What are the best quality towels?

        The best beach towels, according to beach lovers and enthusiasts, are extra large and absorbent, like the range from Sand Cloud or WildHorn. Microfiber towels are considered the best for those traveling. While towels with a hood are great for adventure seekers and winter climates.

        Jay Regan
        Jay Regan

        Chief Paddler - Jay has been surfing and paddling for over 5 years. When he's not dreaming up new stuff at GILI, he's writing articles about paddling, out paddling, or often traveling.


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