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With summer now closer than ever, it’s time to soak up every bit of fun in the sun. If you’re one of the 180 million Americans estimated to visit the beach this year, make sure your bathing suits, coolers, goggles, footwear, and best sunscreen are in order. Another essential you shouldn’t forget for your summer season? Your best beach towel. After all, no one wants to feel waterlogged or damp on their sunny day out.
At first glance, you may believe there’s only a slight variation to beach towels, but we’re here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth. Just as not all the best beach towels feature the same design, the same is true for shape, absorption, or packability. It’s also important to note the best beach towels are different from your average bath towel, as they tend to be thinner, easier to transport and designed to dry even more quickly. Ideally, they’re also bigger than your average bath towel, so you can lounge on them or use them to cover up.
What To Look for in a Beach Towel
- Absorbency is important. Heavy beach towels may feel nice and cozy, but unless you’re using the towel at home and have access to a dryer, you want something to dry fast and not stink up your beach bag.
- Check the size. Bigger can be better if you want a towel that doubles as a blanket, but if your visit to the beach involves a long trek, opting for something smaller and lightweight may serve you better.
- Look for variety. A cotton beach towel with eye-catching colors could be perfect for your next pool party, but if you want a towel to go with you to the gym, you may also want to invest in a microfiber option that dries in minutes.
- Consider the material. Most beach towels come in three materials: cotton, terry or microfiber. Microfiber is lightweight and absorbent, but it isn’t necessarily the most comfortable option. Terry is typically a mix of cotton and other materials and woven with loops that give them more surface area to absorb water. As for cotton, it tends to be soft and quick to dry and comes in either Egyptian (a more refined and more substantial yarn) or Turkish (with longer fibers to make it even more absorbent).
- Think about the cost. Some less expensive towels may do for now, but if you’re looking for a beach towel that will last you years and years, it may be worth splurging a few extra bucks in the long run for a more durable make.
How We Chose the Best Beach Towels
We’ve put together a list of the best beach towels available across the internet. You’ll find options for many preferences, including classic styles and one made to repel sand for a more comfortable beach experience. We went for trusted brands known for creating durable products that wash well and maintain their softness and vivid colors. We also included eco-friendly, kid-friendly and travel-friendly options, plus towels that feel luxurious. Everything included on our list is highly rated and a trusted fan favorite.
Ready to hit the beach or pool? Grab your new favorite towel and have fun in the water.
1. Breakwater Bay 100% Cotton Beach Towel
The Taupe Breakwater Bay 100% Cotton Beach Towel delivers everything you could want from a classic beach towel. This one-piece option sports an attractive and traditional design that is available in eight colors. On one side of the towel, you’ll find highly absorbent terry loops for quick drying, while on the other, there is sheared velour, which is ideal for comfortable lounging in the sun. In addition, this towel is easy to care for as it can be cold washed and dried in a tumble drier. Add in the fact that more than 2,000 reviewers have given this towel an average 4.5-star rating, and adding this one to your beach bag is a no-brainer.
2. Slowtide Division Bells Beach Towel
Slowtide is one of our absolute favorites when it comes to the best beach towels. They offer an array of soft, super-absorbent towels that will help you dry off and lounge about on the hottest days of summer. But when it comes to coolness, they’ve definitely got the game on lock. Their selection of rock beach towels is certainly a must-see. Through their official collaboration with Pink Floyd, this towel will make you feel like the hippest patron on the beach or by the pool. Made of sustainability sourced woven cotton jacquard, it features a double-sided design styled with icons in the fashion of their Division Bell album cover and comes with a clamp label and hanging loop for fuss-free use and hanging. If this print is not your style, it’s definitely worth taking a look at other pieces in their Pink Floyd collection.
3. Impressions Whitlam Striped Oversized Beach Towel
If you’re looking for a towel with space for you and a friend, consider the Impressions Whitlam Striped Cotton Oversized Beach Towel. This oversized beach towel measures 34 by 64 inches and features a stylish and modern design that will fit in at the beach. It’s made from 100% long-staple combed cotton for plenty of water-absorbing power and comfort.
4. SummerSand Microfiber Beach Towel
The SummerSand Microfiber Beach Towel was made for beachgoers who love the beach but hate getting sand everywhere. These well-reviewed beach towels leave sand where it belongs, but they also sport a construction that is compact, lightweight and dries quickly. They’re available in four muted colors which are combined with a classy striped design, and they even include a handy travel bag so you can separate it from dry items after you’ve used it. This towel’s versatility makes it great for other non-beach occasions, too, like going to the gym, general travel and camping trips.
5. Kaufman Beach Towels
These bright and colorful ring-spun cotton velour beach towels are fun for any beach or pool day, but they’re also deceivingly soft and absorbent. They aren’t as large as some of the best beach towels on this list, nor are they as durable based on the reviews. However, we love that they come in around $9 per towel, which is a downright steal if you’re looking for something decorative in the backyard or you just need extra towels on-hand for the next time someone comes over to use your pool (you lucky pool owner, you).
6. Theweddingpartystore Custom Beach Towel
FAVORITE CUSTOMIZED OPTION
The Theweddingpartystore Custom Beach Towel seems like another classic-style beach towel, but it can be personalized. Not only can you choose from a number of different colors for the striped design, but you can also choose what wording is stitched on, the font style and the thread color. It’s also constructed from high-quality cotton and measures 35 by 60 inches. Plus, if you order more than six at a time, the shop will offer you a discount. This would make a fun and unique gift for birthdays, weddings or housewarming parties.
7. Sun Kid Beach Hooded Towel
IDEAL FOR KIDS
These bright and colorful beach towels are ideal for kids, especially since they come with the added hood to keep them extra dry and warm after frolicking in the pool or ocean. We like how they can be customized with your child’s name, but we’re even bigger fans of the soft cotton velour weave material. It’s breathable and durable, which is always important when you’re talking about kids. These towels are also rated UPF 50+ for UV protection, so you can have some additional peace of mind if it takes a few extra minutes before you can re-slather your kids with sunscreen after waterplay.
8. Hapa Oversize Beach Towel
MADE FROM SUSTAINABLE SOURCES
The Hapa Oversize Beach Towel is not only gentle on your skin, but also on the environment. The beautiful red and pink beach towel is made from 100% recycled cotton that has been sustainably sourced. The machine wash-friendly towel features a bright and attractive pattern that is easy to spot on a busy beach, but subtle enough to look chic at any pool party. Measuring 40″ by 70″, the Hapa includes a hanging loop for added convenience.
9. WETCAT Turkish Beach Towel
This practical but luxe beach towel is thinner than terrycloth but it’s just as absorbent, which makes it an ideal addition to your beach bag. Each piece is made in Turkey with naturally dyed yarn and comes pre-washed for the softest possible touch. These towels also come in 24 color options and can double as a blanket, shawl, cover-up or hair wrap, so you may want to even consider bringing along two.
10. OCOOPA Sand Free Beach Towel
PRACTICAL BLANKET OPTION
For a towel that can do more, we like the OCOOPA Sand Free Beach Towel. Not only does it perform as a highly absorbent beach towel, but the oversized 82″ by 47″ towel doubles as a beach blanket. Perfect for picnics or when two people want to lay side by side on the sand, the 100% cotton towel features a striped design that’s great for the summer holidays.
11. Slowtide Grateful Dead The Rise Pocket Towel
AN OPTION WITH A STORAGE POCKET
Another amazing offering from Slowtide, this soft, 100% cotton absorbent towel features a nylon pocket a the corner where you can store your cell phone and other items. The one-sided print is a must-have for Deadheads, designed in the fashion of the iconic band’s Three From The Vault album cover. It measures 34″ x 62″ for comfortable use and lounging around, and comes with a hanging loop for easy storage between uses. If this print is not your style, it’s definitely worth taking a look at some of their other collaborative pieces, which include towels with Pink Floyd, The Beatles, New Balance, Spike Lee and more.
12. WildHorn Microfiber Beach Towel
GREAT FOR TRAVEL
If you’re looking for a lightweight beach towel you can use at the beach, take camping and keep with you on all your adventures, the WildHorn Akumal Microfiber Beach Towel fits the bill. At 75 by 35 inches, the towel has plenty of space for a single person at the beach. In addition, the microfiber material it’s made from is capable of holding up to four times its weight in water, meaning it’s got your drying needs covered, too. Not only does the microfiber hold lots of water, but it also dries three times quicker than competing cotton towels and includes a carry bag, and a handy loop for easy hanging.
13. VOCOOL Sun Lounger Mate Beach Towel
TOP SUN LOUNGERS PICK
If you spend all of your time at the beach or pool on a sun lounger, then you need the VOCOOL Sun Lounger Mate Beach Towel in your life. This intelligently designed towel turns any sun lounger into a more comfortable space. That’s because the towel is capable of storing your beach essentials in its three hanging pockets. The nylon beach towel is available in seven different colors and includes ties for securing your towel to the frame to prevent any unwanted movement during use.
14. ban.do All Around Giant Circle Beach Towel
FAVORITE CIRCULAR DESIGN
If you’re heading out for a day of fun in the sun, why not literally bring the fun with you via this funky and unexpected beach towel? We love the circular design of these towels since they easily double as a blanket, but the terrycloth design is also absorbent, quick-drying and thin enough to stash away in a beach bag.
15. Jay Franco Marvel Avengers Beach Towel
IDEAL FOR MARVEL LOVERS
Whether you’re a kid or a kid-at-heart, there’s nothing wrong with an adult turning up to the beach and laying out a beach towel sporting their favorite superheroes. This colorful Avengers towel features three of the best (male) characters, namely Hulk, Captain America, and Thor. It measures 28 by 58 inches, so there’s plenty of space for a single person to lounge. Additionally, this 100% terry cloth towel is fade-resistant and remains soft wash after wash, ensuring comfort and visual enjoyment for years to come.