people's choice

The Best Beach Towels on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori via Getty Images

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written before about the best beach chairs, umbrellas, and tents, here we’ve rounded up the best towels for the beach, according to the people. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

Best overall beach towel

Laguna Beach Textile Co. Plush Cabana Beach Towel

“I love this towel! I was looking for a beach towel to keep around for my pool. This towel is big, thick, and absorbent. I’ve washed it several times and it has held its color and form. I have several towels around the pool, but everyone goes for this one, so much so that I ordered several more. Can’t say enough about this product. If you are looking for the perfect beach towel, this is it!”

Best patterned beach towel

Pendleton Oversized Cotton Beach Towel

“I know, this towel is crazy expensive. You’re probably saying to yourself, Christopher, any schmuck who drops $50 on a beach towel should be punched in the face. Touché. Consider that this towel is roughly the size of two towels. It’s at least the size of the Vatican. And unlike the Vatican, you can get all intimate up on this magic carpet. And also unlike the Vatican, you can toss it in the washing machine. It’s enormous. Ever been to a fancy hotel where they provide towels roughly the size of the Serengeti plains? This is one of those. This towel must make anyone under five-eight feel like a kitten on a bedspread.”

Best budget beach towel

Utopia Towels Large Beach Towel (4 Pack)

“I bought these towels because I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a towel that was basically going to be abused. I got them and was not sure if they would work out because out of the package they seemed a little lower-quality. But after washing them and using them, they fluffed right up and have been awesome! I buy beach towels from Costco at $12 and am finding that I actually prefer these to the heavier Costco towels because I like that they are lighter and that the terry cloth is fluffy and soft. I am now buying a second set and will continue to purchase these towels!”

Best beach towel that’s actually a bath towel

Utopia Towels Soft Cotton Machine Washable Extra Large Bath Towel

“I have now purchased these towels twice. I absolutely love the feel of them, and colors stay vibrant, wash after wash. I won’t sit here and tell you that these are the best towels ever created, but they are very nice towels. For the price, you are getting a great towel. The oversize aspect of it makes it a great beach towel, or just one you can wrap yourself up in after a nice hot, steamy shower.”

Best beach towel for travel

Nature Is Gift Turkish Peshtemal Towels

“Two of these folded take up less space in a backpack than a full-size adult beach towel, yet they are generous in size. We took ours to Six Flags and I was immediately impressed at how easily they fit into my bag and how light they felt. After some time in the water park, we grabbed our Turkish towels and marveled at how quickly we were able to get dry! They really are that absorbent! In addition, with the sun and a light breeze, they were barely even damp by the time we folded them up and put them into my bag to take home. No wet bag needed.”

Best round beach towel

Ricdecor Large Mandala Microfiber Round Beach Towel With Tassels

“This towel is amazing! I love the vibrant colors on it and the tassels gives it a nice touch. The material is soft and thick like a towel should be. The large round shape gives it a unique design and makes it perfect to share with others (perfect for two people and still roomy for three people). It’s so comfortable wrapping myself in it. It’s big enough to almost feel like a blanket. It’s perfect for any outdoor event. I can see myself using it by a campfire, an outdoor concert, or at the beach stargazing. This is my favorite beach towel ever, and it will be used a lot during the summertime.”

Best Turkish beach towel

Dandelion Textile Naturally-Dyed Cotton Turkish Towel Peshtemal

“I’ve always lived by the beach, and this is my favorite towel to lie out on. I had never even heard of these ‘Turkish bath towels’ before browsing Amazon for beach towels; I was worried they would be too thin, but I’m glad I gave this a try. This towel is just the right thickness and softness of something I want to lie on every day. It’s super spacious for one person lying down, but you could fit three people sitting on it (or two and a picnic!). It’s not too big though, so it still looks like a proper towel and not like a bed sheet, tapestry, or something that looks weird on the beach. I love the tassels and everything about it! It folds up so small that it takes up hardly any room in a beach bag or hiking backpack.”

Best microfiber beach towel

WildHorn Outfitters Akumal Microfiber Beach Towel

“I never write product reviews … but this towel is so awesome I HAD to! Took it on a recent Bahamas vacation, and used it every day for a week. Folds up very small, dries quickly, sand falls right off. Shocked at how absorbent it is. Also used it as a warm wrap or blanket on a boating trip in the evening. Washed and dried beautifully, no color-bleeding. Thinking about replacing all of our beach towels with these.”

Best plush beach towel

Cotton Craft Oversized Jacquard Double Woven Velour Beach Towel

“This towel was far past my expectations! The colors are unbelievably deep and brilliant, and the material weight is just right. I especially was impressed with the tightly woven top and bottom edges; very tidy. So far, I have taken mine to the pool twice and was very pleased to have it with me. It rolls up nicely in my gear bag as well. Great product and professionally manufactured.”

Best beach towel for two

Cotton Craft Beach Towel for Two

“This towel can very comfortably fit one person of any size or two people of average size. I go to the beach a lot and I like to move around, and it’s nice to not have to get any sand on me. A terrific investment.”

Best beach towel with a handle

Scuddles Extra Large Picnic & Outdoor Blanket

“This is perfect for a day at the beach or sitting on grass. The waterproof backing ensures that no sand is embedded in the blanket and tracked into the car or house. Great size, too! Perfect to take along for sports events. Even though this is a huge blanket, it folds up perfectly into a compact, easy-to-carry size.” [Note: Cookbook author Ali Rosen likes this one for picnicking in the park.]

Best beach blanket

Benevolence LA Mexican Beach Blanket

“I planned a weekend trip to Carmel, CA with my honey and really wanted a beach towel or blanket big enough for us to both take a beach nap on. This was absolutely perfect! There was room for us both and it was comfortable and, surprisingly, didn’t stay covered in sand when we left — just gave it a good shake … Definitely bringing this with me every time I go to a beach or river or lake.”

Best “sand-free” beach blanket

WildHorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket

“We are avid beachgoers and we have used mats and towels and other things, all of which collect an obscene amount of sand. This beach blanket is very user-friendly, extra large, and the sand pockets that run along the edges do the job of holding the blanket down. We tested this in some very windy conditions and it didn’t budge. It also dries quickly and sand does not stick! Even after placing three very sandy, wet children on it for lunch, the blanket dried quickly and the sand slid off when it was time to go. The last thing I will rave about for this product is the fact that while it is extra large, it packs up nicely into a very small, compact bag.”

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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The Best Beach Towels on Amazon, According to Reviewers