A relaxing day on the beach is hard to imagine without a good beach towel. It’s much more than just a piece of fabric to wipe yourself with – it’s also a soft surface to lounge on and enjoy your day in the sun.
When looking for the best beach towel, it’s important to think about absorbency, drying time, and comfort. In addition, if you’re after the best oversized beach towel, size will be essential too.
To help you find the perfect one, we’ve carefully researched and selected ten best beach towels for our list. Each of these models offers top-level comfort and durability. And, if you want to learn more about all of the features, be sure to also check the buying guide below.
How To Choose The Best Beach Towel – Buying Guide
Materials and Performance
High-quality materials are perhaps the most important thing when selecting a beach towel. In addition to drying off, you’ll probably spend a few hours lounging on it during the day. For this reason, the material needs to strike a balance between comfort, good absorbency, and quick drying. With this in mind, two materials stand out – cotton and microfiber.
Cotton: This is what we think of when we imagine a soft and gentle feeling on the skin. They can be very luxurious, especially if the fabric if higher-weight. When used on the beach, a cotton towel is very absorbent and comfortable, but dries a bit slower and requires more space to pack.
Microfiber: Microfiber is also a great option, but with slightly different properties. In terms of structure, this material is actually a blend of several synthetics (polyester and polyamide most notably). While microfiber towels beach dry faster and are more convenient to pack, they are slightly less absorbent and feel rougher.
Beach Towel Size and Shape
Compared to a standard towel, a beach towel is usually much larger. On average, it measures 60 x 30 inches, giving you plenty of space (but not quite for the whole body). For this reason, we’ve also featured a few extra-large models on our list (over 70 inches in length), for those of you who are taller or simply want more comfort.
While a larger towel will protect you from sand better, there is a trade-off here. With extra size also comes extra bulk, meaning they are much larger when packed. Considering that you’ll have plenty of other things to put in your beach bag, it’s best that you find a towel size that you’ll be comfortable carrying around.
When discussing shape, you have two options – rectangular and oval. Rectangular towels are certainly more popular, and a better choice for a single person. However, an oval towel can be great for groups. For example, a towel with a 60-inch diameter can double as a beach blanket on which 3 to 4 people can sit.
Thickness (Material Weight)
It makes sense that a thicker towel feels more comfortable, especially when under the towel beach is very rough. But is it a good idea to go with the thickest towel possible? Well, we would advise you that you go with something more moderate.
A very thick towel (like luxurious hotel towels) is going to be bulky, heavy when wet and, most importantly, it won’t dry very fast. As you can guess, this can be a problem on the beach (nobody enjoys lying on a wet towel all day).
Towel thickness is shown through Grams per Square Meter (GSM), where a larger number means a heavier fabric. Most lightweight beach towels weigh between 350 and 450GSM, offering both comfort and decent drying time. But if feel like you need something fluffier, a model like the Laguna Beach towel is made with an impressive 630GSM.
Absorbency and Drying Efficiency
A beach towel needs to dry you off quickly – if it fails to do so, you’ll soon be looking to replace it. The absorbing power depends on both the material and the fabric weaving. For example, a material with closed upright loops (like terrycloth) will be very efficient at absorbing moisture.
At the same time, it should also dry off relatively fast. A dry towel is much more comfortable to be on, not to mention that it collects less sand (easier to shake it off when it’s time to go). While having a high-absorbing and quick-drying towel would be ideal, most models are usually better at one or the other.
Even though design shouldn’t be at the top of the list when choosing, all of us put great importance on how the towel looks. For this reason, we tried to make our reviews varied and feature all sorts of different styles – from plain solid colors to models with intricate prints and details.
Besides just the looks, the color impacts the towel’s performance to a degree. You probably know that dark colors heat up faster, so a black or navy-colored towel might become unpleasantly hot. In addition, regardless of which color and design you choose, make sure that the colors are steady so they won’t fade in the sun or bleed while washing.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The ease of cleaning and maintenance depends on materials, dyeing, and construction. For example, some models have a frill around the edge that makes them difficult to clean in a machine without damage. Also, some lower-quality products bleed colors, so washing them in a machine isn’t recommended.
With that said, all the best beach towels on our list are perfectly safe to throw in a washer. As for drying, many manufacturers even recommend that you put the towel in a dryer (so it remains fluffy and soft). Of course, hanging it to dry is also a good option.
Balance between Price and Quality
With just a little effort while searching, you’ll see that the best beach towels don’t have to cost an arm and leg. For instance, you can find fantastic towels for as much as $25. And, if you choose to with a family pack of 2 or even 4 towels, you’ll come across even better deals.
Generally speaking, there’s not much difference between cotton and microfiber when it comes to price – it mostly comes down to a particular model. While the numbers we listed can work as a guide, the prices can vary significantly from one towel to the next. If you’re in doubt, investing a bit more is not a bad idea if you want a long-lasting towel.
Q: What Is The Difference Between A Regular And Beach Towel?
The main differences between bath and beach towels are size, thickness, and color. Compared to bath models, they are larger, allowing you to lay on them properly without half of your body being in the sand.
Also, beach towels are thinner – a feature that allows them to dry much faster than bath models. Lastly, they are often colored in bright and vibrant colors, making them easier to spot in the crowd.
Q: Are Beach Towels Waterproof?
No, beach towels are not waterproof. If it were waterproof, it wouldn’t be able to do its main job – dry you off after you get out of the water. This means that not even the best beach towels are made to repel water. Instead, they are made to absorb it and create a protective barrier between you and the sand.
Q: How to Wash Beach Towels?
Considering that they are usually made of cotton or microfiber, most are perfectly safe to wash in a machine. Before you put it in, remember to shake out the towel well and rinse it to remove grains of sand that are stuck. While beach towels usually have steady colors, it's still best that you wash them with similarly-colored items.
Q: How To Fold Beach Towels?
To make sure the towel fits in your bag and doesn’t get wrinkled, it's best to fold it properly. The process is very similar to folding a regular bath towel (with a few extra folds). Here’s what you should do:
- Start by folding the towel in half
- Take a third of the towel (top or bottom) and fold it over the middle third
- Take the remaining third and also fold it over the middle section
- When this is done, fold the towel in half from side to side
- If the towel is extra-large, you can fold it a few more times
- Make sure to smooth out the edges with every fold so it doesn’t get bulky or wrinkly
Globo Surf Overview
Whether you plan to lie on it all day or you just want it to dry off quickly, a good beach towel is a necessary piece in your beach bag. The best beach towels are guaranteed to improve your comfort level and make the day even more enjoyable. If you follow us with these simple tips about size and materials, we’re sure that you’ll find a model you can use proudly every time you go to the beach
More Beach Reviews:
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Beach Canopy
- Sun Hat
- Beach Games
- Sun Protective Clothing
- Tanning Oil
- Beach Toys
- Beach Cooler
- Beach Volleyball
- Beach Bag Essentials
Do you use one of the best beach towels that made our list for your summertime adventures? Talk to us about how you like it in the comment section below.