The Best Beach Towels for Days Spent by the Water

When it’s time to hit the beach, you’ll need a beach towel that’s compact, lightweight, and quick-drying.

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The Best Beach Towel Options

Photo: amazon.com

If you have plans to hit the sand or ride the waves, you may want to give some thought to which beach towels you should bring on your trip. For instance, take into account the type of fabric they’re crafted from and whether or not they’re quick-drying. Consider color: a boldly colored or eye-catching towel is easier to find in a large group if you lose your spot on the beach. And fashion-forward folks may want to match their swimsuit, sandals, or beach tote.

Whether you’re sunbathing by the pool, chilling in your backyard, or lounging on the beach, having a quality beach towel is definitely an investment you’ll thank yourself for in the long run— especially when you’re soaking wet after a swim or when the sun is beating down and all you have is a folding beach chair. To help you choose the best beach towel out there, we’ve compiled a list below of some of the best.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Laguna Beach Oversize Plush Cabana Towel
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Rainleaf Microfiber Towel
  3. BEST UPGRADE: Pendleton Two with Carrier Towel
  4. BEST FOR TRAVEL: Dock & Bay Lightweight Beach Towel for Travel
  5. BEST TURKISH: Smyrna Classical Series Original Turkish Beach Towel
  6. BEST CIRCULAR: Polly House Large Round Picnic Mat Beach Blanket
  7. BEST MICROFIBER: ECCOSOPHY Microfiber Beach Towel
  8. BEST COTTON: Cotton Craft Oversized Woven Velour Beach Towel
The Best Beach Towel Options

Photo: amazon.com

Shopping Considerations for Choosing the Best Beach Towels

When shopping for a beach towel, there are a few things you should keep in mind, including the material it’s made out of, its size (length and width), and its aesthetics. Read on for tips below on how to choose the best beach towel for you and your beach crew.

Material

When it comes to beach towels, you’ll need something that’s water absorbent and comfortable. However, you’ll also want a towel thin enough to tote around and shake out at the end of the day, as thick towels get heavier when wet and can be cumbersome to carry. Although beach towels come in a variety of fabrics, water-absorbent fabrics (such as terry cloth and cotton) and soft, durable, sand-repelling materials (like microfiber and nylon) are your best bets.

If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of buying a microfiber (a polyester/polyamide blend) towel, there are eco-friendly microfiber beach towels out there. In addition, there are some ways to offset this, such as washing your microfiber towels or garments in washing bags, using cold water, and washing only when needed.

Length

Compared to the dimensions of an average bath towel, which is approximately 27 inches by 52 inches, the standard beach towel is about 30 inches by 60 inches, with the highly sought-after oversize beach towel being around 40 inches by 70 inches or larger.

Purchasing a larger beach towel will give you the opportunity to sunbathe, make sandcastles, enjoy lunchtime picnics, play with the little ones, or just relax. With that in mind, be sure to check packages for a towel’s dimensions before placing your order.

Design and Shape

When it comes to design, beach towels have really evolved throughout the years. Now you can find rectangular beach towels with tassels on each end or fringe along each border, round beach towels, and brightly colored beach towels that are embellished with patterns or geometric shapes.

Because dark colors attract heat, you may want to opt for a beach towel that’s light and bright. You should also choose a color blend or pattern that’s easy to spot from a distance, just in case you wander too far from your lounging area.

Our Top Picks

Depending on your preferences, you should be able to find something you like from the list of top picks below. As you browse, consider fabric, color, dimensions, design, and shape before deciding which option is the best beach towel for you.

Best Overall

The Best Beach Towel Option: Laguna Beach Oversize Plush Cabana Towel
Photo: amazon.com

Available in both rectangular and round styles, this towel sets the tone for a sunny day at the beach or pool. Larger than the standard size beach towel, this towel measures 70 inches by 35 inches—perfect for spreading across the sand or laying poolside beside your lounge chair for some afternoon reading or sunbathing. This high-quality towel also comes with reinforced edges to keep it intact, no matter how many times it’s washed or tossed in the trunk for the night. It’s also available in a variety of colors, including yellow and sea glass, midnight blue and seafoam, and ocean blue and almond.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Beach Towel Option: Rainleaf Microfiber Towel
Photo: amazon.com

The Rainleaf microfiber towel is smooth to the touch and boasts a long list of features. Available in six sizes and 10 brilliant colors, this microfiber towel works just as well as a beach towel as it does as a sports towel at the gym.This towel’s fast-drying quality is ideal for the beach, as is its absorbency, weight, and high-quality fabric construction. Once it’s dry, you can fold it up and place it back into its bag (included) for simple portability or storage. Just hang it anywhere until it’s time to get it out again. Prices go up with each size, so be sure to do a price check before deciding on a size and color combo.

Best Upgrade

The Best Beach Towel Option: Pendleton Two with Carrier Towel
Photo: amazon.com

When the sun is beginning to set and you’re ready to wrap it up, get snug with this 62-inch by 70-inch Pendleton beach towel. Suitable for either one or two people, this towel is luxuriously large. You could even use this beach towel as a blanket for sleeping or picnics. Once dry, it can be rolled up and transported with the carrying straps that are included. It’s crafted of cotton terry cloth; one side is designed to be extra soft, while the other side is looped to promote greater absorption. You can also choose from three beautiful designs.

Best for Travel

The Best Beach Towel Option: Dock & Bay Lightweight Beach Towel for Travel
Photo: amazon.com

If you’re worried about losing track of your sunbathing spot amongst busy beachgoers when you go off for a swim, these bold and bright colors might help catch your eye and guide you to your group. This beach towel was designed with travel in mind. It’s made of sand-repelling microfiber, so you can neatly repack it for the trip home. It’s also quick-drying; it dries three times faster than a regular cotton towel, so you won’t need to wait long for that, either. And, while it’s exceptionally large, measuring a whopping 38 inches by 75 inches, it’s only 1.1 pounds and can be rolled down into a 10-inch by 6-inch log.

Best Turkish

The Best Beach Towel Option: Smyrna Classical Series Original Turkish Beach Towel
Photo: amazon.com

Measuring 37 inches by 71 inches, this Turkish beach towel may be a bit thin, but it’s still a high-quality, lightweight, and quick-drying option. Perfect for the beach, sauna, spa, gym, or pool, these popular Turkish towels are compact, making them ideal for travel. Available in 29 rich colors, this towel is tested to the OEKO-TEX standard to be free of harmful chemicals. It’s recommended that this towel be washed prior to use, and it may even get softer with each wash.

Best Circular

The Best Beach Towel Option: Polly House Large Round Picnic Mat Beach Blanket
Photo: amazon.com

Available in 22 eye-catching designs, this round beach blanket is crafted of lightweight and durable polyester material and is large enough to cover up to two people at a time. It’s quick-drying, soft, and extra absorbent, too. Immensely versatile, this beach blanket has the potential to be whatever you need it to be, whether that’s a meditation circle or a small tablecloth. It’s also machine washable. Although it’s a little bit thicker than the average towel, it is still a suitable choice for the pool, beach, or anywhere else you may need a flamboyant towel.

Best Microfiber

The Best Beach Towel Option: ECCOSOPHY Microfiber Beach Towel
Photo: amazon.com

With colorful, interesting prints on both sides, these microfiber beach towels are fast-drying, smooth to the touch, highly absorbent, and noticeably sand-proof. Each beach towel comes in its own mesh travel pouch for easy portability with a hanging loop for quick drying. Once dry, when it’s time to travel, this soft towel fits back into its tiny pouch and comes out ready for the next boat trip, hike, campsite, cruise, or virtually anything else. The company names each design after a place on earth to try to capture each location’s essence through their unique prints.

Best Cotton

The Best Beach Towel Option: Cotton Craft Oversized Woven Velour Beach Towel
Photo: amazon.com

Share this double-size beauty from Cotton Craft with your bestie or keep all the cottony softness for yourself. Crafted from 450 grams per square meter (GSM) 100 percent cotton in a distinctly double jacquard weave, this beach towel is decadently soft and absorbent. It could double as a picnic blanket or as an indoor or outdoor seating cover as well. You should be able to wash it whenever you need without worrying about the color fading out, as this beach towel’s bold stripes should stay gorgeous for years, thanks to its deep yarn-dyeing process. It’s safe for the dryer, too.

FAQs About Beach Towels

If you still have questions, we’ve listed a few common queries and their answers below.

Q. Are microfiber towels good for the beach?

Microfibers aren’t recyclable, and they’re known for releasing fragments into the environment when washed. These fragments do not break down and may be swallowed by marine life.

Q. Can you use a beach towel as a bath towel?

While you can use a beach towel as a bath towel, you may find that it isn’t absorbent enough. When it comes to bath time, you should probably stick with a standard bath towel.

Q. What is the difference between a beach towel and a bath towel?

Beach towels are wider and longer than bath towels, offering more room for spreading out and sunbathing. They’re also made to be quick drying and are less absorbent than bath towels.