You might be wondering “ Is there really such thing as a sandless mat?” Yes, it exists and it’s much different than a standard beach mat.
A few years ago I heard the term “sandless beach mat” and assumed it was a gimmick. As someone who frequents the beach I asked around and sure enough, I found a friend that had purchased one. Since then, I’ve watched as they’ve become more popular and quite effective for families that require a large space to sit down.
To be clear, it wasn’t what I thought it was. Still, I was impressed with the fact that it worked and kept sand at bay.
In this article, we’ll discuss what a sandless beach mat is and I’ll share how it works. I’ll also mention a few options that you can consider for the beach.
Why Sand Is Such A Problem At The Beach
I think we all can agree that sand is fun to walk, run, and play on at the beach. However, sand isn’t enjoyable to have it stuck to your legs and arms when you’re trying to relax. Whether you’re trying to eat a snack with sandy hands, or attempting to rub sand off your skin before getting in the car, sand is pesky and it’s hard to avoid.
Sure you can rinse off in the ocean or utilize the beach showers but somehow, some way, sand finds a way to go home with you.
If you’re like me you’ve discovered sand in your sheets and in your bags weeks after a beach trip – where was it coming from!
How A Sandless Beach Mat Works (And How It Can Help)
Let’s take a look at how sandless beach mats work. Here are 3 things that are important to understand.
- Sandless mats don’t repel sand
- Sandless mats don’t keep sand off your mat
- You’ll still need to be careful about getting sand on your body
These three points are important. Avoiding sand 100% is simply impossible and sandless mats won’t shield you entirely from the sand. You’ll still need to be careful and keep your wet and sweating limbs away from the sand, otherwise, it will stick to them.
Here’s what happens when sand gets on a sandless mat
- Yes, sand can get on a sandless mat
- Rather than settle on top of the mat it will find it’s way through the mesh polyester.
- Sand works its way through the fine mesh of the mat
Think of a sandless mat as a mesh material. It allows sand particles, and other microscopic pieces of dust, to fall through where it can return to the beach (where it belongs).
Sandless mats were originally created for helicopters to land on in dusty, sandy conditions. Understandably, a helicopter kicks up a lot of dust but these lightweight mesh mats allow dirt and sand to penetrate the mesh (blow through).
The concept has since been transferred to use on beaches all around the globe.
Sandless beach mats designed for the beach use a multi-layer system that protects your skin from the sand but still allows sand to fall through. It’s genius, right?
The mats are designed to be large and come in various sizes (4’ x 6’, 6’ x 6’, 8’ x 8’, 10’ x 10’). You can sit or lay on them directly, but most people choose to put their towels on top which. I find a soft towel more comfortable.
Because of their design (multi-layer polyester mesh), sandless beach mats can bulky like a beach towel yet more stiff. They fold up nicely for storage and fit in the back of a car. They should not be confused with ultralight beach blankets which are made from parachute nylon and pack small for travel.
Reasons To Use A Sandless Mat At The Beach
- Large families (big area for people to relax on)
- People who are regulars at the beach
- Clean freaks who hate sand
- People who apply a lot of sunscreen (check out the best natural sunscreens for kids and adults)
- Windy beaches – sand might blow on your beach mat but it will fall through
The Best Sandless Beach Mat (3 Sand-Free Options)
#1 CGear Sand-Free Multimat
CGear makes the original sandless mat, perfect for the beach. You may have seen the advertisements and commercials.
This sandless mat comes in a variety of sizes and colors. It has the best selection of any on this list. It comes in 3 colors (blue, orange, and green) and 4 sizes (6’ x 6’, 8’ x 8’, 10’ x 10’, and 12’ x 12’). The 12’ x 12’ is enough for 2-3 families or 14 people!
In addition to the beach, it’s also useful for camping, parks, and sporting events (check CGear sandless mat on Amazon). CGear uses a double layer weave and includes D rings on the corners so it can be staked down (if needed). It’s 100% mesh polyurethane.
Reviews are overwhelmingly positive but there are a few important things to know when choosing this mat.
- Sand size does matter. If the sand particles are large, they may not fall through as easy as fine sand (most popular beaches with have fine sand).
- If sand is wet, it won’t fall through the mesh as well because it sticks together – try to dry off after swimming before walking across the mat.
After use, the mat can be shaken out and folded up. It won’t take up much space and holds up well under the sun. There’s no reason this beach mat shouldn’t last multiple years at the beach.
#2 Sand Free Beach Mat (6.5’ x 4.9’)
Another option is this Sand Free beach mat. It doesn’t have all the size options that CGear offers but it has 3 color options (navy, sky-blue, pink). The size is irregular and is roughly 6.5’ x 5’ – big enough for a family or group of friends.
This sandless mat includes the two layers of mesh with an added waterproof layer between. It’s marketed for the beach but also works well for hiking/camping, picnics, the park, and sporting events (check Sand Free beach mat on Amazon).
It includes 4 plastic stakes and a handy carry bag. I like that it has a 100% money back guarantee so if you’re not pleased with it just send it back. Reviews for this product are positive. A few comments mention that it’s uncomfortable to lay on – plan on putting your beach towel on top (check out our list of luxury and funny beach towels).
#3 EcoEarth Sand Free Beach Mat
The last option we found is 4.75’ x 6.5’ and comes in 1 color (blue). It’s the smallest option on the list but it’s also the most inexpensive. If you’re on a budget, it’s your best bet.
It has many of the same features as the #2 beach mat including, a triple layer mat (2 mesh and 1 waterproof), metal stakes, and a storage bag. It’s quick drying, compact, lightweight, and best for 2-3 people (check EcoEarth sandless mat on Amazon).
This sand-free mat comes with a 5-year guarantee which is the longest on our list.
So there you have it. These are the best sandless beach mats available. Our first mat, made by CGear, is the original and has a few sizes and colors to chose from.
The other 2 options are imitators, however, they come in a smaller size and may be better for families on a budget.
Sandless mats do work, however, it’s important to be realistic. They won’t establish an impenetrable barrier between you and the sand but they will allow dry sand to fall through the mesh. It’s also wise to dry off before stepping on the beach mat and to use your soft beach towel to lay on.
I hope this article provided enough information to understand how sandless beach mats work. Thanks for reading!