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Whether out for a spur-of-the-moment romp in the sand or planning your dream week-long beach vacation, chances are you haven’t given too much thought to your beach towels. To most people, what’s most compelling about a trip to the beach is the destination, not what you bring with you. But the right towel is an essential part of your beach gear strategy and can make a big difference when it comes to establishing a comfy home base for your fun in the sun. Whether you just want to show the sand who is boss or show off some personalized style to the whole world, the right towel is both a perfect and practical accessory for the summer. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of choices for the best beach towels that do the job and look good at the same time.

What to look for when choosing the best beach towels

Putting a little thought into your beach towel purchase goes a long way toward making your beach (or even just neighborhood pool) outing as hassle-free as possible. If you’ve ever spent a day at the water only to find your towel soaking wet and full of sand when you need it the most, then you know how disappointing it is. Picking a quick-drying towel long enough to fit your lounge chair or give you room to spread out on the sand can make a world of difference, and there are materials, size, weight, and thickness to consider, not to mention your budget. Lucky for you, we’ve soaked up the options and are ready to layout the best beach towels for every occasion.

Related: These beach umbrellas throw shade on the rest.

Avoid itchy annoyances with the best sand-free beach towel

There are plenty of beach towels that look pretty, but then there are some that actually do more than coordinate with your bathing suit. If you plan on being at the beach all day, choose the best sand-free beach towel to ensure you can dry off without leaving annoying patches of sand all over your wet skin. 

Sand-free beach towels use microfiber, which keeps sand (and other natural materials) from sticking. With a simple shake, you easily loosen all the sand on the towel and then dry off with a clean fabric. Microfiber has the added bonus of being quick-drying too, which makes this beach gear a perfect all-day companion.

Best sand-free beach towel: 4Monster Microfiber Beach Towel

Full of Personality, Not Sand

This microfiber beach towel makes sure you can stay on the beach and it won’t stay on you. 4Monster

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Made of 100-percent microfiber with natural plant dyeing, these colorful, sand-free towels wick away moisture and shake away the sand. Soft and portable (they even come with their own 6 inches by 9 inches drawstring carrying bag), the best sand-free beach towels make sure nothing weighs you down on your getaway.

Personalized towels let you make a statement while staying dry

Let’s face it: We need to be practical, but it doesn’t mean we can’t look good in the process. Nothing screams your individuality better than personalized beach towels. Whether you choose the classic three letters of your first, middle, and last initials or go the longer, full name route, personalizing your towel brings a little bling to what is otherwise boring. 

Personalized beach towels not only make a statement at the pool or beach, but they also make perfect gifts. Whether it’s for your bridal party, your kids, or your friends, custom beach towels are both charming and practical.

Best personalized beach towels: Let’s Make Memories Customized Microfiber Beach Towel

Emblazoned With Individuality

This personalized towel lets everyone know which spot is yours. Let’s Make Memories

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Easily add your name to these personalized beach towels, which are ultra-absorbent, plush, and let everyone know this patch of sand is yours for the day. You don’t have to worry about someone confusing your towel with theirs, plus you have the added benefit of the ultra-fast-drying microfiber material.

Oversized beach towels wrap you up like a warm embrace

Most beach towels are around 30 inches wide by 60 inches long, which means unless you are shorter than five feet tall, you may not be able to stretch out entirely over your towel. If you like every square inch of your body to touch fabric, however, look for longer, oversized beach towels. A longer towel allows you to comfortably stretch out without laying your head in a mound of sand or on a germ-coated pool chair, plus it provides additional comfort when you’re resting.

Another benefit to oversized beach towels is the ability to wrap them around the entire length of your body. If you are visiting the beach on a cooler, blustery day, you’ll appreciate the added warmth from an oversized beach towel that wraps around you like a big hug from grandma. If you are a teenager or adult, look for sizes wider than 30 inches and longer than 60 inches, such as one that measures 40 inches by 72 inches in length. 

Best oversized beach towel: Welhome Cabana Beach Towel

Oversized Fluffiness, Extra Absorbency

These oversized towels offer plenty of room for lounging by the water while staying soft and absorbent. Welhome

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These oversized beach towels offer numerous designs for those who are looking for larger beach essentials. Plus, the Turkish cotton makes them super thick and absorbent, providing comfort and coverage. Turkish cotton, grown exclusively in the Aegan Region, uses extra-long cotton fibers. This means your towel becomes even more soft, plush, and absorbent the more you wash it.

Love comfort? Here’s how to get in the thick of it

Choosing a thick beach towel is a little tricky, but can be done. On one hand, who doesn’t love a warm towel (again, think hugs from grandma). However, if you go too thick with a beach towel, it takes forever to dry, should it get a little wet. Cotton towels, both Turkish and velour styles, offer the softness and thickness you want and are relatively quick-drying. 

If you envision lying on your towel all day for sunbathing and need comfort, or like a little weight to yous, then choosing a thick beach towel combines the two seamlessly. You can also review the grams per square meter (GSM) to let you know how thick and “weighted” the towel feels. The higher the count, such as 450 GSM, the thicker and weightier the towel will feel.

Best thick beach towel: Great Bay two-pack 100-percent Velour Cotton Plus Towel

Like Your Favorite Blanket

These towels provide the warmth, softness, and thickness you crave, without taking forever to dry. Great Bay Home

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This two-pack of towels is 100-percent velour cotton, which means they are both soft, thick, and have the right amount of weight to them. Velour is a knit fabric, which means it’s woven with a loop pattern. You find this in everything from athleisure wear (hello, yoga pants!), to pillows and blankets, so you’re likely familiar with the comfortable feel.

Stay dry while staying within budget

One of the best aspects of buying a quality beach towel is you don’t have to spend a fortune to find one that works hard for you. This means you can plan to spend more on your day of enjoyment at the beach, pool, or by the lake, without having to invest in your beach gear. It’s possible for you to find all the qualities you want such as oversized, sand-free, quick-drying towels and still remain well within your budget.

Look for options where you get two or four towels in a pack; this way you get the most for your money since you’re essentially buying in bulk. And don’t worry, even though you’re paying less, you don’t have to skimp on coverage or absorbency. Many budget-friendly towels are made with the same microfiber or Turkish cotton you find with other pricey brands, but without the hefty price tag to go with it.

Best budget beach towel: Utopia Beach Towels

Less Cash, More Coverage

These towels prove you don’t need to stretch your paycheck to get a decent beach towel. Utopia Towels

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The Utopia beach towels offer thick, absorbent, oversized Turkish cotton beach towels for a price far less than what you would expect to pay for this quality level. The towels are highly absorbent, yet offer lightweight coverage. They are also oversized, measuring 35 inches by 70 inches, which is several inches wider and longer than standard towels.

FAQ: people also ask

Are microfiber towels good for the beach?

Microfiber towels are a great choice for your beach essentials. Microfiber offers the benefit of sand not sticking to the towel easily, so that means all those annoying grains stay on the ground and not your wet skin. Plus, microfiber dries extremely quickly and absorbs water: all the qualities you could want.

What makes a good quality beach towel?

There are four main qualities to look for to find a beach towel that works for you.

  1. Materials: Whether you prefer cotton, which is soft and thick, or microfiber, which keeps sand away and is quick-drying, choose the towel with the material you prefer.
  2. Remain sand-free: Microfiber towels keep sand from sticking inside the fibers, which means you can dry off without feeling tiny grains all over.
  3. Quick-drying: When you are at the beach or pool all day long, choose quick drying so you can use it as much as possible throughout the day.
  4. Size: Will it cover you with both the length and width you need? Be sure to measure before you order those beach essentials so you get adequate coverage for your day in the water.

How do I choose a beach towel?

The easiest way to choose a beach towel is to review the material and size, whether it’s online or in-person. Yes, you definitely want it to look good too, but focusing on the construction of the towel is a better approach, versus solely choosing one based on color or design. Fortunately, numerous towels offer both quality and fun designs, giving you the best of both worlds. 

Related: Bringing gear near water? Here’s how to protect it.

The final word on choosing the best beach towels

A day by the water whether it’s the ocean, lake, pool, or spa requires little more than a willingness to relax and the best beach towels to keep you dry. The best are super absorbent, dry quickly after you use it, and maybe even show off a little of your personality. There are tons of affordable, fun options to choose from when it comes to this beach gear the hardest part will be deciding which cold beverage to enjoy while relaxing on your perfect beach towel.

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