Whether you’re planning a weekend at a local beach or an extravagant island getaway, a beach towel is a must. You can’t always count on your hotel to provide a quality beach towel, so it’s best to pack your own.
Some people like to wait until they arrive to get a towel, but a beach city definitely isn’t the best place to buy beach towels as they’ll often be more expensive than elsewhere. While some people are content to use a bath towel at the beach, we highly suggest bringing an actual beach towel for a variety of reasons.
Beach towels dry quicker, they’re lightweight, and they pack well. But how do you know which ones are the best beach towels? Check out our guide below. We’ll tell you what’s important in a beach towel, followed by a list of the best options currently on the market.
Quick Answer: Best Beach Towels
Below is a list of the best towels for the beach.
- Best Microfiber: Rainleaf Microfiber Beach Towel
- Best Luxury: Laguna Beach Textile Co Plush Cabana Towel
- Best Turkish: Cacala Pestemal Turkish Bath Towel
- Best Oversized: AmazonBasics Oversized Premium Beach Towel
- Best Kid’s: TheCroco Premium Hooded Towel
- Best Budget: AmazonBasics Cabana Stripe Beach Towel
- Best Round: Laguna Beach Textile Co Round Cabana Beach Towel
- Best Quick-Drying: Dock & Bay Lightweight Beach Towel
- Best Sand-Free: CGear Sand-Free Towel
- Best Blanket: Benevolence LA Mexican Falsa Beach Blanket
What to Look for in a Good Beach Towel
Here are the major things to consider when looking for a beach towel.
Bigger isn’t always better. First and foremost, choose a towel size that will fit your needs. You may see towels as small as 24” x 12” and as large as 72” x 40”. Most people will choose a towel somewhere in between. While a larger towel might sound better, it will also be heavier and more difficult to pack, and you don’t want it taking up too much space in your bag.
Also, consider how you’re going to use the towel. If you’re a frequent swimmer then you’ll want to make sure it’s large enough to wrap around you and dry you off quickly. If you’re buying it to lay on the beach, then comfort will likely be your first priority rather than size.
You’ll see towels made of all kinds of different materials and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Figure out what’s most important to you in a towel first, then you can decide which material to go for.
- Microfiber: Microfiber towels are praised because they’re lightweight, affordable, and very absorbent. They can absorb several times their weight in liquid. They’re also quick drying and durable, making them ideal for those who are frequently on the go. On the negative side, some would say that they’re not very comfortable.
- Cotton: Cotton towels, like cotton t-shirts, are very comfortable. And while you won’t hear any complaints about comfort, cotton towels usually take a long time to dry. Depending on your travel style, this may not be a big deal. If you’re going to the beach, then right back to your hotel room or home, and won’t need the towel again for a while, then a cotton towel will be fine. A cotton towel is not a great option though if you need something quick-drying.
- Turkish Cotton: If you want the comfort of cotton but need it to dry quickly, consider a Turkish cotton towel. Also called peshtemals, these towels are made from thin cotton. Because of their material, they dry faster than traditional cotton towels. They tend to be larger and absorb water very well. These towels are also very packable and comfortable.
- Polyester: Polyester is another popular towel material. Polyester is synthetic and quick-drying, but isn’t the best when it comes to comfort or water absorption compared to some counterparts.
Packability is important if you’re going to be traveling frequently with your towel. If the towel is for your local beach, then packability isn’t a huge deal. However, if you’ll be packing the towel into a suitcase or weekender bag, make sure it doesn’t take up too much space.
The weight of some towels will be listed, but other towel packaging might say something like ‘500gsm’. GSM stands for grams per square meter. The higher the gsm, the heavier, thicker, and softer, the towel will be. The lower the number, the thinner the towel and the less water it will absorb. Usually you’ll see beach towels somewhere between 450 – 650gsm.
Best Beach Towel Reviews
Now that you know what to look for, here are the best beach towels currently on the market.
Best Microfiber Beach Towel
One of the reasons microfiber towels are increasing in popularity is because they’re quick drying and super absorbent. If you need a microfiber towel for beach trips, go with the Rainleaf Microfiber Beach Towel. This 200-gram microfiber towel comes in eight different colors and six sizes so every member of the family can have one that works for them. The Rainleaf feels like suede, plus it’s able to absorb water five times more than its weight. It includes a carry bag and a hanging loop, making it the perfect travel towel. You can’t go wrong with the Rainleaf Microfiber Beach Towel.
Best Luxury Beach Towel
When it comes to luxury, Laguna Beach Textile Company makes the best quality beach towel. This 630gsm towel is 50% thicker than standard beach towels and is 100% plush cotton. It comes in a variety of beachy designs and stretches 70” x 35”. The towel is machine washable, making it easy to clean and maintain. Even with the high-end thickness it’s not cumbersome and still weighs less than two pounds so won’t add too much weight to your beach gear. If you want a towel that combines a classic style with premium comfort, consider the Laguna Beach Textile Co Oversize Plush Cabana Towel.
Best Turkish Beach Towel
The Cacala has long been the best Turkish towel for beach trips. The 70” x 37” towel is made of 100% cotton and comes in nearly 40 color options. This Peshtemal is super absorbent and can also dry quickly. It only weighs around 10 ounces, so you can toss it in your luggage without having to worry about it making your bag overweight. Not only is this towel ideal for the beach, but you can also use it at the gym or the pool. The Cacala 100% Cotton Pestemal Turkish Bath Towel is a versatile towel that’s perfect for beach-loving travelers.
Best Oversized Beach Towel
AmazonBasics has created an extra large beach towel that’s not only inexpensive but also comfortable. The 430gsm Oversized Premium Beach Towel is made from 100% cotton and measures 72” x 36”. This cute beach towel comes in 12 fun designs and has an ultra-soft construction with terry loop weave on one side and sheared cotton velour on the other. It’s machine-washable, so cleaning it is quick and easy. Whether you’re enjoying the sand between your toes, relaxing on a lounge chair, or drying off after a swim, you’ll love the feel of this towel. The AmazonBasics Oversized Premium Beach Towel will be a welcome addition in your beach bag.
Best Beach Towel for Kids
If you’ve been searching for a fun beach towel for the kiddos, your search ends here. TheCroco Premium Hooded Towel not only dries them off after they get out of the water, but the handmade hoods are decorated with fun characters like elephants, princesses, and dinosaurs. The 450gsm towel is made of 100% cotton and measures 49” x 28”. The hood of the towel measures 18” x 9” and the towel usually fits children up to seven years old. It’s woven of a thick cotton velour on the outside to give it a premium look and ideal softness, and the inside is made of an absorbent terry cotton. TheCroco Premium Hooded Towel is definitely the best beach towel for kids.
Best Cheap Beach Towel
It can be hard to find quality beach towels on sale, but the AmazonBasics Cabana Stripe Beach Towel maintains a high quality at a low price. Even at such a low price tag, you’ll get two 100% cotton beach towels that provide impressive absorbency and good coverage. The machine-washable towel measures 60” x 30” and comes in four different design options. These towels have a luxury feel that’s great whether you’re spending an afternoon floating in the pool or enjoying a beach party. If you’re looking for a spa-like towel that won’t break the bank, consider the AmazonBasics Cabana Stripe Beach Towel.
Best Round Beach Towel
The Laguna Beach Textile Co Round Cabana Beach Towel is an oversized towel with high-end comfort. It’s 60” in diameter and its 600gsm means it’s almost 50% thicker than an average beach towel. There are 10 California-style designs to choose from and the patterns are woven into the towel to minimize fading. Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, everyone’s sure to love the design, shape, and size of this towel. If you’re into round towels then the Laguna Beach Textile Co Round Cabana Beach Towel is definitely one of the best towels for the beach.
Best Quick-Drying Beach Towel
When you’re traveling it’s especially important to have towels and clothes that dry quickly. The last thing you want to do is put a damp towel in your luggage. The Dock & Bay Lightweight Beach Towel is made from microfiber and dries three times faster than a cotton towel. Not only will it dry quickly, but it’s been designed to prevent sand from sticking to it. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes, and it even has a hook to hang it while it’s drying. The Dock & Bay Lightweight Beach Towel was also featured on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, so you can be sure you’re getting an excellent quality, quick-drying towel for your next beach adventure.
Best Sand-Free Beach Towel
This is easily one of the most amazing beach towels for travel because its patented technology prevents the towel from tracking sand into your car or hotel after leaving the beach. The CGear Sand-Free Towel is made from polyester and its dual-layer weave allows sand, dirt, and dust to fall through the towel. Polyester is a lightweight yet absorbent fabric that makes a soft and comfy towel. This towel is large when you lay it out, but it’s compact enough to fit well in your carry-on bag when your vacation’s over. If you absolutely despise sand when it’s not on the beach, you should check out the CGear Sand-Free Towel.
Best Blanket Beach Towel
The Benevolence LA Mexican Falsa Beach Blanket is not only a great beach blanket, but can also be used for things like camping and picnics. These blankets are handwoven from 100% recycled materials and measure 65” x 40”. These blankets are washable, and they get softer and fuller with every wash. Along with being a great beach blanket, for every blanket purchased, they donate money to a charity partner who fights poverty in Mexico. If you’re looking for a super cozy towel that’ll keep you warm on the beach, around a campfire, and even in your hostel, this is one of the best travel beach towels you can buy.
A quality beach towel is an absolute must have when hitting the beach. Whether you’re drying off after a swim, laying on the beach, or napping in a lounge chair, having a great beach towel will be an asset to your beach adventures.