Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, 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 products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written before about everything you need for a good day at the beach — including the best beach chairs, beach umbrellas, and beach bags — here we’ve rounded up the best beach towels as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated beach towel
Over 2,000 verified purchasers gave this towel a five-star review, highlighting certain features that make it great for the beach: It’s very large and soft, it effectively absorbs water, and it’s a really “good deal.” According to one satisfied owner, “If you want a lighter weight quick-drying towel that is extra extra large with bright colors and a very inexpensive price, this is the towel for you.” It’s technically listed as a “bath towel,” and while most reviewers says it’s great for that purpose, many also enthusiastically recommend it as a beach towel. “The oversize aspect of it makes it a great beach towel,” writes one reviewer. Another adds, “I’ve purchased a number of these (in red, black and white) and love them. They are quite thick and soft, and make perfect beach towels. They have held up well after numerous wash cycles.” As one enthusiastic reviewer puts it: “Absolutely the yummiest towels that I have ever owned, in my entire adulthood and I am 65 years old.”
Best-rated (less expensive) beach towel
These Turkish cotton beach towels get high marks from reviewers who love their style, portability, and low price. “I purchased two of these last-minute before our trip to the Caribbean,” writes one reviewer. “I was wavering between these and a more expensive brand. These were a great choice. Fantastic purchase.” Many write about preferring the thinner Turkish-style towels to terry-cloth varieties, especially for use at the beach. “We made the switch to Turkish towels and love quickly they dry, how we never have mildew smells, and how long and wide they are. They make a nice beach spread, dry quickly in the hotel, and are compact.” One reviewer purchased three of these for a trip to Hawaii and says, “They were portable (waaay easier than toting three “beach towels”), quick-drying, and worked well. I even used it on the plane as a light blanket — perfect.”
And now, some micro-picks for every type of beach towel you might be looking for.
Best plush beach towel
“I can’t believe I spent $40 on a single towel, but I’m glad I did.” Reviewers love this towel’s “plush” fabric: “I wish they made robes from the same material,” writes one purchaser. “The Cabana Beach Towel is indeed quite plush,” writes another. “And they are huge. I’ve collected a real ghastly collection of beach towels over the years, but it will be nice to finally show up to the beach in style.” The general consensus is that this beach towel is worth the price, as one reviewer explains: “I’m a big believer in getting what I pay for. And when it comes to comfort, I’m willing to pay for it. Needing a nice towel for a weekend trip to the beach, I wanted something that could handle the conditions and make me feel good. This towel is the softest, plushest towel I ever touched. I even washed it twice, and the colors and durability held up. I highly recommend this towel to anyone who enjoys comfort and softness.”
Best patterned beach towel
“The colors are stunning and the towels are absolutely gorgeous,” writes one reviewer. “I bought these for the beach and they are much thicker than your average beach towel, which is great as I know they will hold up. I also love the fact that they are quite lengthy — at 5’7” I can lay out with my knees up and not have my feet in the sand. You won’t see a nicer towel on the beach. I think these have become a new addiction of mine. Will definitely buy again.” Purchasers love the unique designs and patterns on these towels. One even writes that it’s “too good to use as a towel” and chose to use it as a “wall hanging” instead. Many also appreciate having an oversize beach towel such as this one. “This is a gorgeous high quality towel. It is a few inches longer and wider than most beach towels. Luxurious.”
Best beach towels to buy in bulk
“We live just 300 yards from the beach and we go through beach towels quickly. We use them and our visiting family and friends use them. So many of the ‘tourist’ towels really don’t stand up to the wear, but these do. They are actual towels and not beachfront souvenirs. Absorbent and soft, and the colors stay vibrant. They’re great towels.” Reviewers praise these beach towels for delivering great value, especially at this price point. “I had low expectations, buying a pack of towels without being able to feel them first. I was pleasantly surprised at the thickness of the towels, much better than some thinner cheap beach towels I had bought in the past. I have used them several times at the pool since taking them to the beach and I am still very happy with my purchase.” One family found the multi-color four-pack to be just what they needed for a trip to Virginia Beach. “There are four of us and we each needed a beach towel. This pack afforded us a quality product and we each have our favorite color.”
Best blanket beach towel
Over 85 percent of this blanket’s verified reviewers give it five stars, citing its style and uniqueness as some of their favorite qualities. Many also appreciate the manufacturer’s values: “I bought it for its aesthetics, but after researching the company, I feel even better about how I spent my money.” One purchaser says, “It’s absolutely beautiful! I get lots of compliments and inquiries when I use it on the beach.” The idea of using a Mexican blanket as a beach towel might strike some as unexpected, but many owners of this blanket think it’s great for the beach, and they like that it’s easy to use in other situations as well. “Mexican blankets are my favorite blanket to bring with me when I go camping, to the park, or to the beach. This blanket it soft unlike some other Mexican blankets that tend to be itchy and its colors are so pretty and bright. I’ve been using mine for outdoor yoga and my kitty loves hanging out with me on the blanket.”
Best sand-free beach towel
Purchasers looking for a sand-free beach experience love this towel, like this beachgoer who writes, “Quick disclaimer: I hate sand. I hate how it gets everywhere relentlessly. The problem is, we love the beach. So I’ve always wanted a beach blanket that won’t hold sand. This is the one, ladies and gentlemen. It doesn’t hold sand at all. It shakes off completely and easily — the sand disappeared just like the anxiety I used to feel when it was time to pack up at the end of our beach trip. No sand, no stress.” Owing to its parachute-like material, “the sand comes right off without a problem.” Reviewers also note that since the material is so thin and packable, “it’s super-lightweight and packs very small into the attached stuff sack.” It’s also designed to remain flat on windy beach days, a very popular feature: “Spread it out and fill the pockets in each corner with a little sand and it stays perfectly in place.”
Best microfiber beach towel
“These soak up the water off your skin better than a regular towel, dry quickly, and are lighter weight and take up much less space than a typical towel or beach towel,” writes one satisfied reviewer, summing up the appeal of these micro-fiber beach towels. Another happy purchaser says this towel was “well worth the precious luggage space it took up” on a vacation to Maui, but adds that it was not actually “that big of a deal to throw in” because it’s “super light and compact.” One reviewer took it on a “recent Bahamas vacation” and was “shocked at how absorbent it was. Now we’re thinking about replacing all our beach towels with these.”
Best beach towel with handle
Many love how weightless and durable this mat is, but most cite the handle as the best feature. “I love this mat. It is so light and easy to fold up and even comes with handles for easier travel. I have taken this all over the place in the short time that I’ve had it and it has held up great.” Others fawn over how easy it is to clean, one writes, “It stays cool in the sun which is really important. Sand shakes right off, also important. You can spray it down with the hose on the way from the beach and the water just shakes off. Inexpensive and a convenient piece of outdoor gear to have in the back of the car.” Many comment that although the towel itself is huge, it folds up small enough for convenient travel. “It is also extremely easy to fold up and transport. Fits under a normal stroller with plenty of room to spare,” writes another. “Absolutely a good purchase, especially for the price! If you’re looking for a large blanket this is your pick.”
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