Buyer’s Guide: The Best Beach Towels

When it’s time to hit the beach, you’ll need a beach towel that’s compact, lightweight, and quick-drying.

ByKJ Callihan| Updated Mar 11, 2021 11:20 AM and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.


Whether you’re planning a trip to the shore or simply want to enjoy a plush and oversized towel at home, choosing the right beach towel for your needs and budget starts with understanding the available options. Beach towels vary quite widely, both in terms of how they are made and what they are made. Ahead, our guide breaks down the most common distinctions between beach towels and offers tips on how to zero in on the best beach towel for you. Plus, don’t miss our roundup of top-favorite picks, below!


Shopping Considerations for Choosing the Best Beach Towels

When shopping for a beach towel, there are a few things you should keep in mind, including the material it’s made out of, its size (length and width), and its aesthetics. Read on for tips below on how to choose the best beach towel for you and your beach crew.

When it comes to beach towels, you’ll need something that’s water absorbent and comfortable. However, you’ll also want a towel thin enough to tote around and shake out at the end of the day, as thick towels get heavier when wet and can be cumbersome to carry. Although beach towels come in a variety of fabrics, water-absorbent fabrics (such as terry cloth and cotton) and soft, durable, sand-repelling materials (like microfiber and nylon) are your best bets.

Compared to the dimensions of an average bath towel, which is approximately 27 inches by 52 inches, the standard beach towel is about 30 inches by 60 inches, with the highly sought-after oversize beach towel being around 40 inches by 70 inches or larger.

Buyer’s Guide: The Best Beach Towels

Purchasing a larger beach towel will give you the opportunity to sunbathe, make sandcastles, enjoy lunchtime picnics, play with the little ones, or just relax. With that in mind, be sure to check packages for a towel’s dimensions before placing your order.

When it comes to design, beach towels have really evolved throughout the years. Now you can find rectangular beach towels with tassels on each end or fringe along each border, round beach towels, and brightly colored beach towels that are embellished with patterns or geometric shapes. Because dark colors attract heat, you may want to opt for a beach towel that’s light and bright.

Our Top Picks

As you browse, consider fabric, color, dimensions, design, and shape before deciding which option is the best beach towel for you.

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Larger than the standard-size beach towel, this towel measures 70 inches by 35 inches—perfect for spreading across the sand or laying on the grass in your backyard. This high-quality towel comes with reinforced edges to help keep it intact through many uses and many cycles through the wash.

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Get snug with this luxuriously large beach towel from Pendleton, which, conveniently, can be rolled up and transported with the carrying straps that are included. The towel is crafted of cotton terry cloth; one side is designed to be extra soft, while the other side is looped to promote greater absorption.

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This microfiber beach towel was designed with travel in mind. It is uncommonly quick-drying, and despite being quite large in size, the towel weighs only about 1 pound.

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This is a thin, lightweight, quick-drying and high-quality beach towel, which, like other peshtemal-style towels, gets softer and more luxuriously comfortable with repeated use and washing.

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This beach towels is fast-drying, smooth to the touch, and highly absorbent. It comes in its own mesh travel pouch for easy portability and includes a handy hanging loop for quick drying. Once dry, the ECCOSOPHY towel fits back into its tiny pouch and comes out ready for the next boat trip, hike, camping adventure, or cruise.

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Crafted from100 percent cotton in a distinct, double jacquard weave, this beach towel is decadently soft and absorbent. It’s safe for the dryer too, with its deeply yarn-dyed color boasting extra lasting power.

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This microfiber towel from Rainleaf combines high-quality construction with a lightweight, fast-drying design that offers exceptional absorbency. Best of all, you can fold this towel up and place it in its bag (included) for simple portability or storage.

FAQs About Beach Towels

If you still have questions, we’ve listed a few common queries and their answers below.

While you can use a beach towel as a bath towel, you may find that it isn’t absorbent enough. When it comes to bath time, you should probably stick with a standard bath towel.

Beach towels are wider and longer than bath towels, offering more room for spreading out and sunbathing. They’re also made to be quick drying and are less absorbent than bath towels.

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