Packing for a beach day is no easy feat. You’ll need a towel, a cooler of snacks and drinks, and the most important item of all: a beach blanket. Beach blankets vary in sizes and materials, though many are designed so that more than one person can share the blanket and things like sand and water are repelled. We love when a beach blanket is made with eco-friendly materials and can be folded or rolled into an easy-to-carry container like a pouch.
The Best Beach Blankets: At a Glance
What the Experts Say
“As more people are interested in outdoor activities and spending time outside, the need for versatile and functional blankets has increased,” says Iris Hrabe-Ritzertfrom Voited US. When choosing a beach blanket, there is a lot to consider, but Hrabe-Ritzert says to look for a blanket “made of durable and easy-to-clean materials and large enough to fit a family or a few friends.” She added that many are “packable, easy-to-clean and waterproof. Sand and dirt-proof features are essential, so you can easily shake off sand and dirt, even when the top is a bit moist. Beach blankets should also be lightweight and machine-washable to clean up any spills.”
Voited Compact Picnic & Beach Blanket
This lightweight beach blanket has a microfleece top made with 100 percent recycled plastic bottles and a bottom made with 100 percent recycled ripstop fabric. Ripstop is already pretty water resistant, but Voited added a Bionic Finish Eco Fluorine Free treatment (which is environmentally friendly) to repel water, sand, spills, stains, and pet hair.
The blanket is about 4.5 x 6.6 feet, which means you can comfortably fit two or three people on this blanket. However, if you want a larger size, buy two of these blankets and snap them together to make a super large blanket. Otherwise, use the snaps to create a cape when you need some extra warmth or want some privacy to change into and out of your swimsuit at the beach. Outfitted with stake loops, you can ensure that this blanket won’t fly away.
Jacquard Beach Blanket
This 6 x 5-foot beach blanket comes in two incredibly stylish designs and colors and features a tasseled fringe. Unlike some of the ripstop beach blankets, this beach blanket is made with a thick woven fabric that is Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX certified and made with 10 percent recycled materials like recyclable plastics. Expect a soft and cozy experience lying on this blanket at the beach. You can easily wash the Jacquard Beach Blanket in the washing machine. As a little bonus, it comes with buckle straps that lets you roll the beach blanket in a compact manner and easily carry it from the car to the sand.
Verloop’s Flower Stripe Throw
Just because you’re sending a day at the water doesn’t mean you’re dealing with sand getting up in your business. For rocky, craggy, and gallete-filed shores, you’re going to want something thicker and softer to deal with the cusion from uneven (and unforgiving) stones. Opt for a knit cotton throw from Verloop. It’s double stitched to add another layer of padding on any surface, plus it has a funky pattern perfect to getting noticed on the waters edge. Because its not another shaggy beach blanket, it also doubles in the backyard tanning on the cross or by the pool. You won’t want to mix sandy beach options into your backyard and lake styles.
Paradise Party Blanket
Prepare to fall asleep on the beach on this one. Measuring at 7 x 7.5 foot, this is one of the largest beach blankets on this list, but that’s not what makes it special. It’s made with 100 percent Turkish Organic Cotton, meant to be softer on the skin even in the heat. The weavers used a four-layer gauze jacquard weave which means it’s super soft and sand resistant, perfect for the shore. The fringe tassel and retro pattern of palms and suns will evoke a Malibu vibe every time you lay it out.
L.L. Bean Sunbuster Blanket
Setting up a beach blanket is already a bit of a task, so you don’t want an ocean breeze to blow it away. To prevent that, we say go with the L.L. Bean Sunbuster Blanket. It was intentionally designed to be weighted—at 5.1 pounds—so it doesn’t fly away in the wind. The silky top layer repels water, while the bottom layer is water-resistant. In between those two layers is a folding board that will help you fold this blanket quickly so you can head home after a days’ worth of playing in the ocean. At 4.8 x 5.8 foot, this is not the largest blanket on the list, but it’ll fit at least two.
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly beach blanket, consider the Kachula Blanket by Coalatree. It’s made with 100 percent recycled materials – a soft brushed nylon flannel on top and a durable ripstop nylon on the bottom. Coalatree coated both sides of the blanket with an eco-friendly DWR finish to repel water and any other liquids.
Not only can you buy multiple Kachula Blankets (in one of the 15 different designs) and snap them together to make a super large blanket, but it also has a snap-attached hood that allows you to convert it into an emergency poncho. There’s even a secret zippered pocket that can hold your wallet and phone. When not in use, stuff the blanket into an attached pouch and you’ve got a pillow for the drive home from the beach.
Frequently Asked Questions About Beach Blankets
How big should a beach blanket be?
Most beach blankets will fit 2-4 people, but there are some that are extra-large in size fitting up to eight people. Don’t forget that you may want some extra room to put out a picnic or store your belongings, so even if there is only two people, a beach blanket that can fit four or six people might be better, allowing each person to spread out amidst their belongings and the charcuterie spread.
A few beach blankets – like the Voited Beach Blanket and the Kachula Blanket – are outfitted with snaps along the sides so you can snap multiple blankets together and create a size that best fits your needs.
What’s a reasonable price to pay for a beach blanket?
Beach blankets can cost anywhere from $20 to $200, though we like beach blankets that are in the range of $40-$100 because they tend to have features – waterproof, sandproof, foldable – that make your beach day experience better. Don’t be afraid to invest in one that will last you for years to come.
“Keeping an eye on sustainability and durability, and creating a minimum of new waste, should be on everybody’s agenda. Thus, prioritizing weight, functionality and materials that are durable and ideally made of recycled fabrics means investing in a high-quality [beach blanket],” says Hrabe-Ritzert.
Can’t I just use a towel?
You could use a towel, but why would you? Towels aren’t big enough for more than one person to sit on and they absorb moisture – meaning it’ll soak up sea water and you’ll be lying on a wet towel for the remainder of the day.
As Hrabe-Ritzert explains, “Beach blankets typically are designed to be sand-proof and moisture-resistant. They take up a lot less room than a classic towel, which are typically bulky and especially unpleasant to handle when wet and sandy.”