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If you’re looking for the best beach towels for 2021 we’ve got you covered (pun intended). Beach towels are an item we all need at the beach.
Minimalists can go without umbrellas, ice chests, and snacks, but they certainly need something to lay on. Beach towels, along with sunscreen and sunglasses, are essential items that can say a lot about our personality.
Some people prefer classy stripe patters, while others prefer the artistic look of tie dye. Kids might like animal prints on their beach towel while the college student goes with a towel that garners a laugh from other beach goers.
In this article we’ll share information on what makes a good beach towel, then provide options to suit every personality in your family.
Why We Should Care About Our Beach Towel
As we mentioned above, the towel we chose to use can say something about who we are. Some people look for comfort while others strive for style.
Still others might pick up any towel that’s available. You might be asking “Why should I care about my towel?”
No. 1 Time Spent on Towels
If you’re a regular at the beach you’ll be spending a lot of time sunbathing on your towel and also use it to dry off. A beach towel should be comfortable and pleasant to sleep on.
It should also wick away moisture and feel good against our skin as we dry off. If it’s too thin it won’t last long, but if it’s too thick it might make us sweat.
No. 2 It Makes a Statement
Finding a unique towel will make a statement. You’l find that most people at the beach use a place colored towel or striped towel. A solid color doesn’t say much, however a well-made striped towel can give off a classy country club look.
No. 3 It Can Cause Skin Irritation
If you have sensitive skin, the fabric of your beach towel will matter. You probably won’t want a quick drying microfiber towel because those aren’t 100% cotton. Rather you’ll want a 100% cotton towel that feels soft on your skin.
No. 4 A Towel Can Be Multifunctional
- Does it provide a large area to sleep on? A small towel can be the worst, trust me I’ve been stuck sleeping on a tee-shirt at the beach many times because I forgot my towel. I’ve also used cheap hotel towels that barely fit my upper body while my swim suit and legs sweat against the rough sand.
- Comfort goes without saying as we use it to sleep on. It should be soft and feel pleasant against our skin.
- If your towel makes people laugh that certainly qualifies as multifunctional. The beach is all about smiles and laughter and I’ve seen a few towels that made me laugh. If you’re wanting to make friends and meet other guys and girls a humorous beach towel will help!
- Some towels fold into bag and even have handles. In our list below we only have one microfiber towel that comes with a bag. There are many out there!
- Can your towel transform into a clothing item as well? Some beach towels act as a wrap as well so you can wear it to the beach then take it off once you find your place in the sand.
Related: Best Pop Up Beach Tent
Best Place To Buy Beach Towels
The most common place to buy beach towels are at beaches. It’s important to note that beach towels will be significantly more expensive if purchased at the beach.
For those of you looking to pack light and get a towel once you arrive at your destination be prepared to pay a little more than you would otherwise.
Beach towels can also be rented from hotels and resorts but all have their unique rules. Some resorts charge a fee, while others provide them for guests free of charge.
If possible, we recommend buying a beach towel before you get to the beach and take it with you. They can be tricky to find if you don’t live near the beach but you can find them easily on the internet (Amazon for example).
On the internet, you’ll have a larger selection plus the cost will be much lower. If you need to pack light you can buy a microfiber towel that packs small and is lightweight – they are great for camping too.
Related: Best Paddle Board for the Beach
The Best Beach Towel Material
In our opinion, the best beach towel material is lightweight 100% cotton. Microfiber towels have become popular in the past decade for their ability to wick away moisture and dry quickly, however they won’t feel as soft as cotton.
Thicker cotton towels – like bath towels – can actually make the beach experience more hot and sweaty. In our reviews below we provide some great options for microfiber and 100% cotton beach towels.
For 100% cotton beach towels you’ll want to pay attention to the weight per square meter (Grams Per Square Meter or GSM). The higher the GSM the thicker the beach towel. Thick beach towels will last longer but they will also be heavier and hotter at the beach.
Best Beach Towel Size – Oversized
The best towel size is highly dependent on how many people will be using it. Standard beach towels just aren’t big enough for someone 6 feet or taller. We recommend towels that are “oversized” which give a little extra length and width for every body type.
A few unique towels on our list are round and/or extra large to fit multiple people. These are cool towels that are good for couples and families and sure to be a conversation starter.
Related: Best Beach Chairs Under $50
The Best Beach Towels for 2021
In our review we’ve broken the towels into 4 sections. Feel free to skip to the section that interests you.
- Section 1 – Microfiber beach towel
- Section 2 – High-quality striped towels
- Section 3 – Artistic beach towels
- Section 4 – Round towels
- Section 5 – Kids/Fun towels
Section 1: Best Microfiber Beach Towel
Microfiber Towel By Rainleaf
This is a compact towel is perfect for traveling and the beach. The Rainleaf microfiber towel is highly absorbent, and quick drying so you can throw in the car after a day at the beach without worrying about your seats getting wet.
It comes in 7 bright colors and can be hung anywhere to drive.In addition to the beach, this towel is a good option for camping and long days at the pool. The microfiber is soft and easy on your skin, but probably not as comfortable as the 100% cotton options on our list.
If your main priorities are travel size and quick drying – then this is your best bet. RainLeaf is a solid company with great reviews.
Customers like that this towel comes in different sizes – the XXL is huge (40 x 72 inches). It also comes with a handy zipper bag to keep in your car or backpack.
Section 2: High-Quality Striped Towels
Superior – Luxurious 100% Cotton Beach Towel
This towel is a beautiful oversized option measuring 34 x 64 inches. It uses a combed cotton with velour and absorbent cotton terry.
We like the deep blues of the towel shown in the photo below. It’s the Aqua Stripe beach towel and has a higher than industry average of 450 gram weight per square meter (GSM).
There are many original colors and patterns to choose from and all are beach themed. The best thing about this towel is the price compared to others on our list.
With an average rating of 4.2 out of 5, customers seem to like it as well. These towels are thick enough to withstand daily use but won’t be to bulky when getting to the beach.
Cotton Craft – Luxury Beach Towel for Two
This towel is bright with a full spectrum of colors. It measures 58 x 68 inches – so big it’s made for 2 people. Notice the length is similar to our other oversized options but the Cotton Craft beach towel’s width is much more!
It is woven on European looms and made from 100% pure ringspun cotton which means it can withstand a hot and sandy environment at the beach. It has a 450 GSM pile.
Use at the beach, at the park, or in the backyard while swimming in the pool. This is one of the most popular beach towels.
Laguna Beach Textile Company – Plush Cababn Beach Towel
If you want to show class at the beach then these cabana beach towels will do the trick. Laguna cabana towel’s design features blue and almond stripes on a white body.
The cabana towels are 100% cotton and thick enough to last years. People who have purchased this towel say they are plenty soft and hold up well on the sand even though it’s a white color.
They are also oversized at 35 x 70 inches and have a 630 GSM pile – much larger than the others on our list. With one towel per order these are a higher priced option on our list, but it might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Section 3: Artistic Beach Towels
Cotton Craft – Oversized Double Woven Beach Towel
Cotton Craft makes our list again but this time with a more artistic flare. This oversized double woven beach towel features a double weave and oversized area measuring 39 x 68 inches.
It’s perfect for one good-sized person (opposed to the Cotton Craft’s larger option for 2 people).
Its pile is 450 GSM and is 100% cotton. At an affordable price and colorful pattern choices we really like the Blue Tiles option!
Yogalo – Tie Dye Beach Towel
Yogalo brings us a beautiful light colored tie dye beach towel. It’s not like the other traditional style towels on our list, rather it is super thin cotton using traditional Turkish weaving techniques and weighs only 6.7 ounces.
Yogalo’s thin cotton will dry quickly and provides a large area to lay on, measuring 70 x 35 inches. The material can also be worn as a full body wrap. In addition to a stylish body wrap, use it as a scarf, tablecloth, and picnic blanket.
We like the large size and stylish functionality of this beach towel.
Related: Best Beach Umbrella
Cotton Craft – Double Wooven Velour Beach Towel
Cotton Craft knows how to design their beach towels. This beach towel design is original and stylish at an affordable price. Its 450 GSM pile is comparable to most of the other beach towels on our list (minus Laguna).
The beach towel measures 32 x 63 inches. It’s made with 100% pure ring-spun cotton. This offering is artistic with light blue patterns and white detail.
Customers like the size of the towel, the quality of colors, and the fact that repeated use and washing didn’t dull the colors. Nicely done Cotton Craft!
Dandelion Textile – Ivory Basic Pattern – Naturally Dyed
This is another 100% cotton Turkish style beach towel. It measures 71 x 39 inches, large enough for every person’s length and width. Dandelion Textile offers various colors on a white foundation.
The cotton is naturally dyed and chemical-free. It is very thin cotton, so don’t expect a thick beach towel. I actually like the thin style because it is lightweight and dries quickly.
These beach towels can be worn and the more you wash it the softer it becomes. It comes in cute packaging with over 250 happy customer reviews.
Section 4: Round Beach Towels
Popular Handicrafts – Round Indian Mandala Throw Towel
Even if you’re not into mandalas, these round beach towels are cool. The patters are intricate and perfect for hippy days and nights on the beach.
These towels are thin and shouldn’t be confused with the more traditional towels on our list. If the sand under this towel is damp, the moisture might soak through.
If you have an artistic soul and want something that will be different from the crowd, then take a closer look at this mandala beach towel. It measures 70 inches around and can seat a few friends.
They offer green, yellow, and blue shades with or without the tassels.
These beach towels can double as a tablecloth and picnic blanket. Add some color at the beach and around your house and buy one! One reviewer says the mandala helps her take the best beach selfies (what?!).
Yoler – Beach Blanket w/ Soft Microfiber
These Yoler beach blankets are designed with an elephant theme and feature colorful options that will definitely be unique at the beach.
The Yoler towel is made of microfiber so it won’t be a soft cotton texture, rather it will be thin and quick drying. We haven’t seen many microfiber towels with such beautiful patterns. We like the patterns and the price!
Genovega – Thick, Round, Terry Cloth Beach Towel
Genovega makes fun beach towels that will put smiles on people’s faces at the beach. These round beach towels vary in style – some even look like the center of a kiwi or watermelon. They have 16 patterns in total.
The diameter is 60 inches and can fit two people comfortably. The fabric is microfiber and not 100% cotton. Some reviewers state that it’s not as thick as advertised while others mention that it is thicker than competitors (expect medium thickness).
All-in-all this is a fun beach towel with bright colors. If you want a round towel that makes a statement it’s the one!
Section 5: Kids/Fun Beach Towels
JRG – Shark Beach Towel
This shark beach towel is perfect for boys, although it might make them scared to go in the water (it would make me think twice at the beach).
This shark beach towel won’t be as luxurious as some of the other towels on our list, but kids would much rather have “cool” than “comfort”.
JRG also has other towels (dolphin and pirate) that both girls and boys will also like. The price point is much lower than most towels on this list and one of the reasons is it is standard size (not oversized) 28 x 58 inches.
Dawhud Direct – Dogs Selfie Cotton Beach Towel
Another fun towel perfect for kids (and adults). The towel shows a bunch of dogs with big smiles crowded into a picture on the towel.
It comes in standard size 30 x 60 inches and is 100% cotton. With an inexpensive price point, the dog selfie beach towel won’t be an ultra thick or soft towel but it will do just fine to lay on and dry off with.
If you or your kids want love animals this will be a good beach gift. A cat selfie beach towel is also available.
Sawors – Lightweight Beach Towel – 100 Dollar Bill
This one is perfect for kids and college students. When you open up this towel everyone will start laughing – everyone likes a money right? This Benjamin Franklin 100 dollar note is made of microfiber so it is lightweight and quick drying.
If you’re looking to get the best beach towel award at the beach, then go with the 100 dollar bill beach towel. It’s fun and harmless. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to sleep on a lot of money!
Sawors – Lightweight Beach Towel – Glass of Beer
Ok, this isn’t a beach towel for kids, but it’s perfect for adult kids and college students. Sawors has a bunch of other options but we had to include the beer towel with a nice foam head on it.
I can’t tell you the name of the beer – it looks light – but I can tell that it’s cold. Be warned this beer beach towel will make you thirsty on the beach. It’s made with a microfiber material so it will dry quickly and it measures 28 x 56 inches.
In this article we covered 15 beach towels that ranged from the luxurious to practical, to just plain fun.
If you wait until you get to the beach you’ll find towels sell at a premium and you’ll be using the same towel as many others. To save a few bucks and find something unique, search online to find a towel that matches your personality.
Maybe you want to exude class, or a free spirit, or comedy. Whichever beach towel you chose we hope you and your family have an enjoyable stay at the beach.