Best Sand-Proof Beach Towels

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

19 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
202 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best sand-proof beach towels

Last Updated October 2019

Sure, making sand castles at the beach is fun. But most of us could do without all the sand, especially when it’s on our nice, clean beach towel. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to keep sand off your towel. And with every wipe, you spread it more and more.

But what if you could remove it from your towel with a simple swipe? You can — if you have a sand-proof beach towel. Through fabric choice or construction, sand-proof beach towels are designed so that any sand that lands on the surface is easy to remove. They come in a wide variety of sizes and colors, so you’re sure to find one that will make you willing to part with your old one.

But which one is worth your investment? Keep reading to learn more. When you’re done, check our recommendations for the best sand-proof beach towels on the market.

Getting sand in the eye is a common reason for corneal abrasions. A towel that helps keep sand off your skin can help prevent eye injuries.

Key considerations

Materials

If you’re looking for a towel that doubles as a beach mat, you have your choice of parachute nylon, mesh, and microfiber.

  • Parachute nylon dries quickly, and sand simply brushes off of it, but it’s too thin to use as a true towel.

  • Beach accessories made of double-sided mesh simply allow sand to filter through their tiny openings, but are not as absorbent as other materials.

  • Microfiber is the most versatile fabric for beach accessories, so it’s the best choice if you want your towel to pull double duty.

Why is microfiber the best?

  • Absorbent: It’s amazingly absorbent, for starters. This synthetic material can absorb seven times its weight in liquid. But it dries very quickly, so sand won’t stick to it like it does cotton, which stays damp for hours.

  • Lightweight: Microfiber is usually constructed from a combination of nylon and polyester, which makes it lighter in weight than cotton. You’ll find this feature especially attractive when you’re lugging bags of gear from your vehicle to the beach.

  • Compact: The fibers are very thin — hence its name — so towels don’t take up tons of space. In fact, an extra-large microfiber beach towel takes up about the same amount of room as a beach-worthy book. And unlike looped cotton towels, the weave is so tight that sand just slides right off the surface.

Texture

Most people enjoy microfiber’s soft, silky touch, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re not thrilled with the fabric’s traditional texture, consider other styles. Some advertise an alternative suede-like feel. Others may have a waffle weave or other texturing. So don’t give up if towels you’ve tried so far haven’t felt particularly luxurious — you have options.

Size

Microfiber towels come in a variety of sizes. All of them fold down to practically nothing, so even the most oversized mat-style towel won’t fill your bag. Still, you want to consider the user — there’s no need for a small child to struggle with a towel larger than himself. Quality towels range from 12 x 24 inches (which is roughly the size of a hand towel) all the way up to 78 x 35 inches (nearly as big as a twin bed sheet). Smaller towels are best for use with smaller individuals or for use solely for drying. The largest towels can be used to dry but double as a sand-free mat for relaxation.

Sand-proof towels fold up to almost nothing, so they’re ideal for travel.

Staff
BestReviews

Features

Corner pockets

The thin, lightweight construction of sand-proof towels is a selling point — but this puts them at risk for blowing away. Some manufacturers design towels with pockets at the corners, so you can fill them with sand or other materials to weigh them down. If your towels lack this feature, plan on placing your gear on top of them to keep them from blowing away or taking them out only when it’s time to dry off.

Hanging loop

Another way to keep track of your towels is by hanging them from a beach umbrella or canopy. Many towels come with a loop to hang them from your sun shade or on a hook in your bathroom to facilitate faster drying.

Storage pouch

It’s easy for a towel this thin to get lost in a linen closet, so many sand-proof towels come with storage pouches. This makes it harder for them to get misplaced or mixed in with your other towels. It also makes them easier to find in an overloaded beach bag. Sand-proof towels that come in elegant bags make an ideal pre-cruise or vacation gift for a loved one who has everything.

Antibacterial

There’s a lot to love about the beach, but a sterile environment isn’t one of them. Luckily, your towel can help. Many sand-proof beach towels are manufactured with antibacterial treatments that help guard against any microscopic dangers.

Additional features

  • Colors: Sand-proof beach towels come in a literal rainbow of colors. Choose different hues or designs for different family members, so there’s no squabbling.

  • Snaps: Some towels come with snaps that allow you to attach your towel to virtually anything to dry.

  • Eco-friendly: A handful of sand-proof beach towels are made from recycled materials.

  • Water-resistant: Towels with extra water-resistant coatings will repel sand even better than untreated microfiber.
EXPERT TIP

Sand-proof towels don’t offer much insulation, so if you want to warm up after your swim, pack extra clothing instead.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

To remove water effectively, pat your skin with the towel, rather than rubbing like you would with a standard towel.


Staff  | BestReviews

Sand-proof beach towel prices

Inexpensive: You can find well-rated sand-proof beach towels for as low as $10. Towels with a $10 price tag will usually be solid in color and measure less than 3 x 2 feet.

Mid-range: Sand-proof beach towels of a little higher quality generally cost $10 to $20 and will be larger, measuring around 4 x 2 feet. Some may be solid, others may feature stripes or simple patterns. Most will have bags that make them easier to store or carry as well as hanging loops for drying on the beach or in the bathroom.

Expensive: For $20 to $30, you’ll find a towel that should measure at least 5 x 3 feet, if not longer. Beach towels in this price range should be available in many colors and feature intricate, attractive designs. Many have additional protective treatments as well as hanging loops and storage bags.

Tips

  • Carefully check your towel’s instructions before placing it in the dryer. Some have fabric treatments that do not stand up well to high heat.

  • Some beach towels bleed at first, so be sure to wash them separately a few times before mixing them with other items.

  • Since most sand-proof towels fold up so small, they also make a good choice to pack for camping, cruises, yoga class, and more.

Other products we considered

We love the upscale style and added convenience that Aysesa’s Sand-Free Turkish Beach Towel offers. With a built-in storage pocket, it’s great for keeping track of small, easy-to-lose items when you’re lounging. Stylish striping and attractive fringe give it a hint of sophistication many brightly colored towels lack. Stylish horizontal stripes set the Lytepark Microfiber Beach Towel apart from traditional vertical-stripe designs, making yours easy to find at the pool or beach. At 70 x 35 inches, it’s almost as large as a twin sheet, so it’s big enough for whatever you need — but folds down smaller than a beach coverup in your bag.

Don’t expect your sand-proof beach towels to feel like cotton — they’re absorbent and effective, but have a very different texture.

FAQ

Q. Why can’t I find a sand-proof towel that’s fluffy?
A.
Simply put, sand-proof beach towels are designed not to do all the things that fluffy towels do to attract sand. Sand-proof towels have a sleek, tight weave that lets sand slide off. Fluffy cotton fibers, in contrast, have a raised, grabby surface that easily traps sand. Sand-proof towels are thin, allowing them to dry rapidly, so any sand that sticks releases quickly as the towel dries.

Q. How do I wash a sand-proof beach towel?
A.
If your towel is made of microfiber, like the majority of sand-proof towels, wash your towel with mild detergent in water that’s warm or hot. Avoid fabric softeners, which leave deposits on the towel and plug the open spaces in the microfiber, greatly reducing its absorbency. If you have several microfiber towels, wash them together. If you don’t, you may mix your microfiber with other synthetics that don’t shed lint. Air drying is best for microfiber, although some can go in the dryer on low heat or no heat/tumble settings. If you purchase a mesh or parachute fabric item, be sure to check your specific product’s instructions.

Q. Why do microfiber towels dry so quickly?
A.
Microfiber generally dries three times faster than cotton — largely because of their thin fibers. Microfibers are absorbent but incredibly thin — dozens of times thinner than a human hair. These towels are made of countless thin fibers, which individually absorb a ton of water, but dry quickly due to their size. Cotton towels, on the other hand, are made of fewer thick fibers, which take longer to dry.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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