The 10 Best Beach Towels

Updated April 21, 2018 by Melissa Harr

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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Why simply get dry when you can make a statement, too? Whether you're planning a family trip to somewhere tropical or just hanging out at the lake with your amigos, be sure you take one of these stylish and absorbent beach towels. Some are so eye-catching that you might find it difficult to hide them away in a closet when they're not being used. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best beach towel on Amazon.

10. Utopia Towels 4-pack

9. Cotton Craft Luxury for Two

8. Doctor Who Tardis Door Cotton

7. Coyuchi Mediterranean Bath Sheet

6. Northpoint Kids Hooded

5. Laguna Beach Textile Company Cabana

4. Dock & Bay Microfiber

3. RicDecor Indian Mandala Round

2. Packtowl Personal

1. Dandelion Textile Peshtemal

Planning A Successful Trip To The Beach

The five words "a day at the beach" call to mind the ultimate escape to pure, carefree relaxation and pleasure. When we think of the beach, we think of warm sunshine, cool surf, and hours to be spent at leisure. But, in fact, the amount of pleasure you derive from your time at the beach is directly proportional to how carefully you plan your visit. It might seem counter-intuitive, but unless you have a home mere steps from the shore, careful, even meticulous pre-planning is the best way to enjoy a truly carefree beach visit.

There are myriad factors to consider. For example, without adequate sun protection in the form of sunblock and, ideally, an umbrella or sun-shading structure, the sunshine can lead to burns, dehydration, and fatigue, none of which add to the fun. Always prepare to protect yourself and your family against prolonged sun exposure.

If food and drink is allowed on the beaches you attend, bring plenty of snacks and, more importantly, beverages. It's of critical importance that you stay well-hydrated while enjoying the sun and surf, and who wants to walk all the way back to the boardwalk or drive to a shop for a beverage when thirsty?

And then there is the terrain itself to consider. So ask yourself, will your day take you to a sandy beach that's likely to be pleasantly smooth and level? Will the sand be quite warm (aka too hot to touch with bare skin) in the sun? Or damp due to the tide? Or are you headed to a rocky beach that's likely covered in many sharp, pointy stones and shells? Or, like so many beaches, will this one feature varied terrain?

When it comes to comfort on the beach itself, your beach towel is an all-important catch-all tool; a good beach towel provides a place to sit or lie down in comfort, lets you store your stuff off the sand or stones when you're off swimming or playing volleyball, and, of course, it dries you off when you're wet with sweat or seawater.

Choosing The Right Beach Towel

If you use the term "beach towel" rather loosely and in fact are headed to the pool or cabana, then by all means choose a towel that is soft and luxuriant, made from pure cotton woven or spun into a thick terrycloth. These plush towels make a soft, welcoming spot for reclining on a lounge chair and can quickly dry you off after a dip in the pool.

But a soft, thick, 100 percent cotton towel -- or at least one spun for softness as opposed to one tightly woven for durability -- won't provide you much protection against a rough and rocky beach. These plush towels also tend to hold moisture for longer than other types of summertime towel, meaning they're not great for a long day involving many dips in the water.

For getting the most enjoyment out of your trip to the beach, consider a beach towel designed for the very elements you'll encounter there. Many beach towels feature "anti-sand" backing on one side, which usually consists of a tightly woven nylon that resists the cling of sand (wet sand included) meaning more comfort when you need to dry off and less sand shaken onto your beach site and its occupants.

This type of specialty towel offers another benefit, too: anti-sand towels mean more sand stays at the beach where it belongs instead of finding its way into your car or back home, where it seems nearly impossible to clean away every last grain.

Also, consider a beach towel (note that they're often referred to as a "beach blanket" when they are oversized) with pockets in the corners that can be filled with sand, stones, or sundry items to weigh them down, preventing a breeze from blowing your towel over. These weighted pockets are convenient for preventing your stuff from getting sandy or, on quite a gusty day, from losing your towel entirely.

And while you shouldn't machine wash a towel that's merely wet (unless it's soon be stored away), you should by all means deep clean a towel that's been soiled by spills, dirt, or heavy use.

Beach Towel Care And Maintenance

It might seem obvious, but it bears stating anyway: the more you use a beach towel, the faster the towel will wear down. How you use a towel has everything to do with its lifespan, though, and actually matters more than how often it is used.

For example, consider using a tightly woven, anti-sand-backed beach blanket to sit on while drying off with a separate terrycloth cotton towel. The plush cotton towel can't stand up to repeated use as a seat on the sand or rocks like the beach blanket can, but it will go through the washing machine many times without losing its softness or absorbent qualities. The beach blanket might need nothing but a good shaking after a long day of use, especially if it stayed relatively dry thanks to your other towels, which means minimal cleaning and a long lifespan.

Caring for your towels means, above all else, keeping them dry whenever possible. This is ideally accomplished by hanging them out in the breeze and in indirect sunlight. That combination prevents the wear-and-tear of the dryer and minimizes damage and fading from direct UV light.


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Last updated on April 21, 2018 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.


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