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Best Beach Towels

Updated November 2023
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Best of the Best
Seaview 180 Sand Free Akumal Beach Towel
Seaview 180
Sand Free Akumal Beach Towel
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Spacious & Well-Made
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Perfect size, design, and color options for a beach towel that folds down nicely.


Available in different color and design combinations that are perfect to use at home or at the beach. Large size (75 inches x 35 inches) works well for sitting on the sand or for drying off quickly. Microfiber materials will dry you more quickly than cotton.


This design yields a very thin towel. Cost is a bit high for a single towel.

Best Bang for the Buck
SportLite Microfiber Beach Towel
Microfiber Beach Towel
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Best for Tight Budgets
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Lightweight towel with a microfiber design that will fold down to a small size for travel.


Several colors and designs available with this towel. Microfiber design is perfect for situations in which you need the towel to dry quickly, such as at the beach. Will maintain its bright colors even after many uses and washes. Reasonable price point.


Design is smaller than some other beach towels at 32 inches x 68 inches.

Bdsign Microfiber Beach Towel
Microfiber Beach Towel
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Easy to Fold
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Large microfiber towel that is extremely absorbent while folding up tightly.


Lightweight towel that's perfect for carrying to the beach because it folds down to a small size. Large, square towel measures 74 inches x 74 inches. Microfiber materials dry much more quickly than cotton. Works equally well for use at the beach or at home.


Extremely thin towel. Price is pretty high for the large-size towel.

WETCAT Turkish Beach Towel
Turkish Beach Towel
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Naturally Made
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A beach towel made of cotton with the features of microfiber, this is crafted in 100% cotton yet is lightweight and dries quickly.


Differs from others on our shortlist for being made of quality, natural cotton that's highly absorbent. Dries surprisingly quickly for a cotton towel, and doesn't tend to shrink much when washed and dried. 71 inch x 38 inch size is versatile and practical. Comes prewashed.


This towel is available in lots of color options, but some look duller in person than on your monitor.

Dock & Bay Microfiber Beach Towel
Dock & Bay
Microfiber Beach Towel
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Multiple Designs
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A large towel with more than a dozen color and pattern options.


You'll love the multiple color choices and different striped designs. Large towel comes in large and extra-large sizes. Microfiber materials allow towel to fold down to a small size. Includes a bag for easy travel and storage. Made from 100% recycled materials.


Towel is thinner than some people will want.

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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 all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
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.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best beach towels

For most beach-goers, long days spent in the surf include some leisure time relaxing on the shore. Lying back in the sand is enjoyable, but having it stuck all over your body and clothes when it’s time to head home is no fun. That’s where a beach towel comes in. This essential seaside accessory serves as a soft spot to lounge while also shielding your body from direct contact with the sand. It’s also great for drying off after you get out of the water.

Larger than standard bath towels, beach towels provide enough room to stretch out and relax. Plus, they’re just as useful when it comes to lounging around a pool. Beach towels are designed to dry more quickly than regular towels, thanks to the thinner material that also makes them simple to fold and carry to and from your favorite spot in the sun.

Finding your perfect beach towel can be tricky. You’ll have a choice of materials and sizes, plus you need a towel that can stand up to exposure to sand, sun, and water.

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No one wants to carry a load of sand to the car, hotel room, or home after a day at the beach, and today’s beach towels are designed with this in mind. Whether they’re made of synthetics, cotton, or both, these towels have a texture that keeps sand from sticking in the fibers.

Key considerations

Beach towels vs. bath towels

You may be tempted to just grab your favorite bath towel as you head to the beach, but keep in mind that bath towels and beach towels are not the same. And once you realize how bath towels are lacking when it comes to spending fun time on the beach or around the pool, you’ll appreciate the features that make beach towels better suited for these activities.

  • Absorbency: When you hop out of the shower, you want a thirsty towel so you can dry off quickly. That’s why most bath towels are made of thick materials that do a great job of soaking up water. However, this also means they’re bulky and take a while to dry completely.

When heading to the beach or pool, it’s more important to have a towel that folds nicely for transport and dries fairly quickly when wet. Beach towels fit these criteria: they’re absorbent enough wipe away moisture yet thin enough to dry much more quickly than standard bath towels. They also fold neatly for stashing in your beach bag.

  • Thickness: Thin or thick may not matter. Keep in mind that if your new beach towel’s primary use will be as a barrier between you and the sand, a thin towel works just as well as a thick towel, plus it’s more compact, easier to fold, and dries faster than plushier towels.

  • Size: If your plan is to lounge on the beach, a typical bath towel isn’t likely to cut it when it comes to size.

    • Standard bath towels measure about 27 by 52 inches (9.75 square feet), which isn’t large enough for many adults to lie on.

    • Beach towels come in several sizes, ranging from 30 by 60 inches (12.5 square feet) all the way up to 35 by 78 inches (19 square feet) or a bit larger. Unique round beach towels range in diameter from 62 to 75 inches (over 30 square feet).

      As you can see, the size difference of beach towels compared to bath towels is notable.

  • Design: Spending time at the beach is all about fun, and most beach towels are designed with this mind. While most bath towels are plain or in styles more suitable to home décor, beach towels are available in bold color patterns and graphics that pair nicely with the beach scene.

Beach towel features

As you shop for a beach towel, you’ll find almost countless options. That’s why it’s important to ask yourself a couple key questions before you choose.

What material do you prefer?

Beach towels are made of one of three materials: cotton, cotton blend, or microfiber. Each one has pros and cons.

  • Cotton: Cotton is a durable natural material that is somewhat more absorbent than synthetic fibers. On the downside, it takes a little longer to dry than synthetic materials, it may shrink a bit when washed and dried, and threads may unravel over time.

  • Cotton blend: These fabrics are lightweight, easy to wash, and inexpensive. On the downside, there are fewer texture and style choices, and there may be some longevity concerns.

  • Microfiber: There are lots of texture choices with microfiber, from soft to plushy. Microfiber is easy to wash and dry, and it dries quickly. You can find microfiber towels that pack down into a small size, making them easy to carry if you plan on walking or biking to the beach. On the downside, microfiber isn’t quite as absorbent as cotton; it’s a synthetic, which may not appeal to customers who prefer natural materials; and these towels run the gamut in terms of quality, requiring more care when choosing.

How many beach towels do you need?

If you only need one beach towel, it makes sense to purchase it individually. However, some companies offer multi-packs with two, three, four, or more towels for one price. This is a good option for families or individuals who use beach towels frequently.

Beach towel prices

Beach towels come in a wide range of prices, so there are options available for beach and pool enthusiasts with small and large budgets. Generally speaking, prices range from around $10 to $40 per towel, with thinner, less durable options falling on the lower end of the scale.


If you don’t want to spend much on a beach towel, you can find basic options for $10 to $15. You may sacrifice longevity for the low price, but inexpensive towels are useful for infrequent trips to the beach or pool. Keep in mind that beach towels are also available in multi-packs, which vary in quantity and quality and range in price from around $20 to $40.


This is the most desirable price point for many consumers because the beach towels in this range offer a combination of quality and value. For $15 to $25, you’ll have colorful options, as well as nicely crafted towels.


Whether the beach experience is part of your regular leisure routine or you simply want a spa-quality beach towel, you’ll find luxuriously soft, top-quality options in the $25 to $40 price category. While you certainly don’t have to spend this much to get a well-made towel, chances are you’ll find the texture and longevity of high-end towels worth the higher price tag.

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Did you know?
Some beach towels are made of terry cloth or velour. Both of these materials can be all cotton, but some are made with a blend of cotton and other materials like polyester.


  • Think about materials before you buy. Choose the best type and texture based on your preferences for absorbency, fast drying time, and softness.

  • Wash your beach towels. Keeping them free of sand, salt water, and chlorine will promote longevity, plus you’ll always have a fresh one when you head to beach or pool. Be sure to wash the towels with like colors, especially brightly dyed towels that can bleed onto lighter-colored materials.

  • Hang up the towel to dry after use If you stuff the wet towel in a bag and forget about it, your towel may develop mildew, mold, and odors.

  • Let your kids choose. With so many vivid colors and fun patterns to choose from, it’s fun for kids to check out the available options and decide on the ones they like.

  • Keep some spares on hand. That way you’ll always have one for a guest or a clean towel if one towel is dirty or wet.
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Round beach towels, which are often affectionately referred to as “roundies,” are fairly new to the market but quickly catching on because of their fun shape.


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

A. Yes, but keep in mind that because beach towels are typically thinner than bath towels and made to dry out fairly quickly, they aren’t quite as absorbent. You may have to spend a little extra time drying off, but that’s not a major concern.

Q. I like the idea of a beach towel with bright colors, but will the colors fade in the sun or bleed in the wash?

A. There is always a chance of dyed fabrics fading or bleeding, resulting in a dull appearance over time. You can reduce the likelihood of fading or bleeding by choosing a quality beach towel and washing it carefully with like colors.

Q. What should I do to care for my beach towel if I need to use it for a few days but can’t wash it right away?

A. When you have to wait several days to wash your beach towel, do your best to keep it as dry and clean as possible. Shake the sand off it when you leave the beach, and if the towel is wet, don’t fold it because this can lead to mold. Instead, spread the towel out on a chair or over a shower rod, door, or deck railing to allow it to air-dry until you’re ready to use it again. Wash and dry it as soon as you get the opportunity.

Q. What’s the best way to wash beach towels?

A. Wash your beach towels in the washing machine with your favorite detergent and like colors and fabrics. Select a hot water cycle to tackle odors and germs along with a cold rinse cycle. Place your towels in the dryer on a medium to high setting, and add dryer sheets or balls to make them extra fluffy.