The 10 Best Beach Towels

Updated October 25, 2017 by Melissa Harr

10 Best Beach Towels
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 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. Doctor Who Tardis Door Cotton

Get your geek on with the Doctor Who Tardis Door Cotton. This model is officially licensed and could even be used for decorative purposes, perhaps as a wall hanging. As far as towels go, though, it’s a bit on the thin side.
  • alternative to typical designs
  • good gift for fans of the show
  • smaller than comparable items
Brand Doctor Who
Model 62
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Utopia Towels 4-pack

Choose the Utopia Towels 4-pack to get your whole family beach-ready. You’ll get four, 100-percent cotton towels that feature a timeless cabana stripe — choose between blue, green, red, yellow, and orange, or if you can’t decide, opt for the variety pack.
  • loops on both sides
  • fold and stack neatly
  • prone to bleeding in the wash
Brand Utopia Towels
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Coyuchi Mediterranean Bath Sheet

Hand-knotted fringe and yarn-dyed organic cotton are the details that give the Coyuchi Mediterranean Bath Sheet a luxurious look and feel. It’s quite large at 39 inches wide by 71 inches long, providing plenty of space whether you're drying off or sunbathing.
  • light weight makes travel easy
  • high absorbency
  • pricier than many options
Brand Coyuchi
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Cotton Craft Luxury for Two

Snuggle up in the sun on the Cotton Craft Luxury for Two. At nearly 5 feet wide, it has plenty of room for sharing or just spreading out comfortably. And, unlike many others, its colorful pattern is on both sides, making it reversible.
  • ringspun absorbant cotton
  • relatively colorfast
  • fairly thin and flimsy
Brand Cotton Craft
Model 5842853
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. RNK Shops Monogrammed Damask

Add a distinctive touch to your pool, sunning, or bathing experience with the RNK Shops Monogrammed Damask. Simply select a color and add your initials, and you'll get a truly fun, personalized item that also makes a great gift.
  • wash separately in cold water
  • reverse side is white
  • not very plush feeling
Brand RNK Shops
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Northpoint Newport Oversized

It’s anchors aweigh with the Northpoint Newport Oversized, which comes in a range of nautical-themed designs, such as Sailing Checkerboard and Marine Pride. Quite heavy, at just over 1.5 pounds, this one won’t blow away as easily as its lighter brethren.
  • budget-friendly choice
  • soft to the touch
  • doesn't stand up to repeated washing
Brand Northpoint
Model 70627
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Northpoint Kids Hooded

Warm your little one up after a dip in the ocean with the Northpoint Kids Hooded. Even the pickiest child is sure to like one of the styles, which include a mermaid, whale, monster truck, and bumble bee, among others, while you’ll like the oversized hood for fast drying.
  • makes swimming more fun
  • suits toddlers best
  • material feels a bit scratchy
Brand Northpoint
Model 71041
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Pendleton Unisex Spa

Celebrate a love of iconic styling with the Pendleton Unisex Spa, which comes from one of the most trusted producers of soft home goods for over 150 years. Items in this line, featuring designs such as Silver Bark and Echo Peak, are super-sized and machine washable.
  • classic rather than trendy
  • bright and saturated colors
  • squishy and comfy to rest on
Brand Pendleton
Model XB233
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Dock & Bay Microfiber

The Dock & Bay Microfiber could be the perfect choice for the wandering beachgoer, since it dries quickly, folds up compactly, and even comes with a convenient travel pouch. For something a little different, select the round towel in either cross or maze patterning.
  • works well for camping or yoga too
  • sand brushes off with no trouble
  • available in several sizes
Brand Dock & Bay
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Dandelion Textile Turkish Peshtemal

If you’ve got any allergies or sensitivities, you might want to check out the Dandelion Textile Turkish Peshtemal. It’ll treat your skin right since it’s made from naturally dyed cotton, which means no chemicals to cause irritations, plus it’s soft and not scratchy.
  • produced in turkey
  • beautifully packaged
  • comes in bright and neutral colors
Brand Dandelion Textile
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

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 October 25, 2017 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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