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7 Different Types of Beach Blankets

Red checkered blanket on sand.

There is something wonderful about spending the day at the beach with friends and family. You can enjoy some time splashing around in the water or relaxing on the sand with a good book. Packing your beach gear for your beach trip can be tricky, especially with so many items to take.

When it comes to beach blanket options, you have plenty to choose from, with each having its own benefits. Do you want a beach blanket that is sand proof and waterproof? Or, perhaps you want something soft and absorbent to wrap yourself in coming out of the water?

Whatever your preference, there are several types of beach blankets to choose from. Below, let’s take a closer look at the many beach blanket options and learn each blanket’s pros and cons.

What is a Beach Blanket?

For those who do not frequent the beach often a beach blanket may be an unusual concept. A beach blanket is a large fabric piece of material that is spread out over the sand. This blanket will give people a place to relax and claim as their own as the beach. The beach blanket helps to create a barrier between themselves and the sand as they enjoy some fun in the sun.

Further, a beach blanket is a way of protecting your belongings while you are on the beach. Sand tends to get into just about everything. When you listen to music, read a book, or grab a bite to eat, you don’t want sand getting into things. Using a beach blanket will help create a barrier, some even sand proof, that can help keep sand out of where it doesn’t belong.

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Lastly, people will use a beach blanket as a way to dry after swimming in the ocean. Many beach blankets are made of absorbent materials that can help get you dry quickly. Soft cotton and microfiber cloths work amazingly well to trap water and keep you dry. Not only is this useful when drying off, but it can be quite useful when you are just sitting and relaxing in the hot summer sun.

Beach blankets can be made of several materials, and the material will often indicate performance features. Some absorbent blankets are made of super-soft cotton, while other blankets intended to keep sand away from your belongings will be made of lightweight and slippery nylon.

Finding the right blanket for your needs really depends on how you will use the blanket for your day at the beach. Be sure to find a blanket that is well suited for your purpose, and you will get years of enjoyment out of your new beach blanket.

Turkish Towels

A couple of Turkish towels hanging on a branch near the beach.

One of the most popular trends when it comes to a beach blanket is to purchase Turkish Towels. These are large, soft, and super portable, making them an ideal option for a day spent at the beach. Turkish Towels are typically made of 100% cotton, making them strong and durable for a lifetime of wear and tear.

Turkish Towels come in several different colors and patterns. Enjoy a beach blanket that is subdued and plain, or choose a pattern and color pallet that is bright and exciting. Traditionally, Turkish Towels are available as a striped pattern, but really the options are endless when choosing an option that you like best.

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One aspect of the Turkish Towel that people love is the fact that this beach blanket is completely versatile. It can function perfectly well as a beach blanket and work as a picnic blanket, towel, or even a chair cover. The durable material and large size make it useable for several applications, with its purpose not limited to beach duty.

The blanket is incredibly soft and durable and actually becomes softer the more you wash and use the blanket. This blanket can be laundered in a typical washing machine and hung to dry or placed in the dryer.

Another attractive feature about the Turkish Towel is a large size. This beach blanket is available in any size imaginable, but the blanket maxes out at a whopping 80 inches by 80 inches, providing over 44 square feet of usable space. This size will give you plenty of room to spread out on this durable, versatile, and practical outdoor blanket.

The Turkish Towel is also incredibly lightweight, making it portable. Pack up your beach blanket and throw it in a bag, the back of your car, or simply carry it to the beach. With its lightweight and minimal packing size, you’ll still have plenty of room to take a beverage, favorite book, and beach toys.

Compared to a traditional beach towel, Turkish Towels are a fraction of the thickness and weight. Even though they may be thinner, the Turkish Towel is just as absorbent as a traditional towel, able to dry you off after a day full of swimming and beach fun.

Lastly, the Turkish Towel is relatively affordable compared to other beach blanket options. Depending on the size of the Turkish Towel, this beach blanket is usually priced under $30. Choose to stock up on this versatile and functional blanket for everyone in your family.

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Sand Resistant Beach Blanket

Waterproof and sandproof nylon beach blanket on sand.

One of the most popular options for a beach blanket is the sand-resistant beach blanket. These are usually nylon beach blankets made of lightweight material. While any type of commercially available nylon can be used, ripstop nylon is a popular option to make a lightweight and durable blanket.

The nylon blanket can prevent sand from sticking to the surface, preventing sand from penetrating your belongings. The smooth nylon material simply bushes away sand, so you don’t have to worry about it collecting in your beach blanket.

A nylon beach blanket is also beneficial because it is extremely lightweight and thin. Although these blankets are quite large, they can easily pack down into a small pouch or carrying container. At a whopping 63 square feet, plenty of room for the entire family, a nylon blanket can condense to a pouch that measures only six inches by 7 inches. Perfect for stowing away in your car or for packing away in your beach bag.

This sand-free beach blanket is perfect for the entire family to spread out and enjoy their time at the beach. The blanket comes in many different colors and patterns. Choose from a bright and colorful sand-free beach blanket or a simple and subdued pattern.

One of the most popular brands for a sand proof blanket is the Sand Escape brand. Sand Escape makes one of the largest blankets, and the price is usually around $30 for a large size that can fit the entire family.

The biggest attraction to this type of beach blanket is the fact that it is sand proof. Having a sand proof blanket will help to keep your space cleaner and prevent sand from getting into your belongings. While a sand proof blanket is desirable, this blanket will not do well to dry you after swimming. The nylon material is non-absorbent, so you will still have to pack a towel to enjoy your day at the beach.

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Beach Mat

Woman in swimsuit lying on a beach mat.

Purchasing a beach mat is a popular option for people who regularly frequent the beach. Compared to other options, a beach mat is usually smaller in size and better suited for just one or two people to share. A beach mat is also usually thicker, providing more support while sitting on the beach. Beach mats come in several color and pattern options, allowing you to find a pattern you enjoy the most.

Many beach mat options have different features that allow them to repel sand. Some have multiple fabric layers, made of different materials, that help to keep sand away. Some have a polyester material backing with parachute nylon that allows sand to fall away from the mat easily. When you roll up the mat at the end of the day, the sand easily passes through the polyester and does not get packed with the rest of your belongings.

Plus, beach mats that are made with parachute nylon are lightweight and easily compactable. Many beach mats are sold as convenient mats that are rolled up and secured, making them easy to put in your beach bag or the back of your car.

A beach mat may be waterproof or water-absorbent, depending on the type of material used. For beach mats made of parachute nylon, expect water to bead and slide away from the surface of the mat. Other materials for a beach mat may be more absorbent, but you will most likely still need to bring a towel with you to the beach if you plan on doing any swimming. Most beach mats are more expensive for their small size. Expect to pay around $40 for a well-made beach mat.

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Beach Towel

Blue stripped towel on sand,

Tried and true, the beach towel will always be a popular option for an outdoor blanket at the beach. Larger than a bath towel or a regular towel, the beach towel is oversized and able to accommodate one or two people. The beach towel is practical, inexpensive, and versatile.

Most beach towel options are made from soft materials like cotton. A cotton towel is not only soft but super absorbent. This characteristic will help to keep you dry after a swim in the ocean. Plus, a cotton beach towel can easily be laundered and continues to get softer every time you wash it. Machine washable, the maintenance for a beach towel doesn’t get much easier.

A beach towel is a very inexpensive and versatile option. Beach towels come in several colors and patterns, making them extremely diverse. Plus, a beach towel is cheap. Expect to pay about $25 for a four-pack of beach towels, or buy one large and super thick cotton beach towel for under $20.

As practical and beneficial as a beach towel may be, it has some disadvantages compared to other beach blanket options. A beach towel is thick, cumbersome, and can be challenging to transport along with your other beach supplies. Plus, a beach towel is not sand proof, and honestly, it seems to collect sand like a magnet. This aspect can make a beach towel uncomfortable to sit on and cause sand to get into your bag and car when you pack up at the end of the day.

Microfiber Beach Blanket

Rolled microfiber beach blanket in multi colors.

A microfiber beach blanket is a perfect item to pack for a beach day. This beach blanket option is small, versatile, lightweight, and absorbent. Use the microfiber beach blanket to dry yourself after a dip in the ocean or as an absorbent way to line your beach chair while reading a good book.

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One of the best features of the microfiber beach blanket is the fact that this design is especially absorbent. The microfiber clings to water droplets, drying you completely with just a single pass. This blanket offers the ultimate way to dry off after swimming in the ocean.

Plus, the microfiber blanket is extremely lightweight and portable, especially considering the large beach blanket size. This beach blanket can easily fold and pack away to a small pouch size. Even a large beach blanket that measures 32 square feet can pack down to a portable pouch that only measures a few inches in length. This beach blanket option is the perfect way to pack away a durable and absorbent beach blanket in your beach bag or your tote.

The microfiber material is machine washable, making it super easy to launder your beach blanket from week to week. Simply throw the machine-washable blanket in the washing machine and hang it to dry. Enjoy a super soft and durable material to take to the beach on every trip. The microfiber fabric beach blanket comes in several colors and patterns and is incredibly affordable. An average-size microfiber beach blanket that is large enough for a single person will cost under $20.

Picnic Blanket

Red checkered picnic blanket topped with a wicker basket by the seaside.

Using a picnic blanket as a beach blanket is a wonderful way to get the most use out of a traditional and regular blanket. Not only is a picnic blanket perfect for a beach trip, but it can double as a camping blanket too. A picnic blanket is large, durable, and super soft to sit on for a day at the beach.

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Using a picnic blanket for a beach blanket has several benefits. First, a blanket designed for a picnic is quite large, able to accommodate the entire family. A picnic blanket will usually be about 30 square feet or more, giving you plenty of room to spread out. There are certainly larger varieties of picnic blankets available for purchase if you search for XL blankets.

A picnic blanket is also incredibly durable. You can find standard blankets made of cotton, or you can find durable blankets, like a Roebury picnic blanket, made with a quilted top and waterproof backing. These blankets will protect you from the sand and give you some warmth and cushioning if you are at the beach on a chilly day. Plus, the Roebury picnic blanket option makes a wonderful dual-purpose camping blanket.

Most picnic blankets are machine washable and can condense to a small size. These make them portable and lightweight, allowing you to carry your picnic blanket with your other beach accessories. If portability is an important feature for you, search for blankets with their own integral carrying pouches or fastening devices.

Although a picnic blanket is a large and durable beach blanket option, it does lack some of the features that other beach-specific blankets have. A picnic blanket is not likely sand proof and will do little to repel or absorb water.

A picnic blanket will not make a great towel and will just get wet and damp, taking a long time to dry. But, a picnic blanket is a relatively easy and affordable option for simply sitting on the beach. Expect to pay about $30 for a large picnic blanket to use on the beach or camping.

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Waterproof Blanket

Waterproof blanket on the sand.

A waterproof blanket for your beach trip is a great option for people who plan to take a dip in the ocean and spread out on the beach to relax. A waterproof blanket is portable, easy to use, and affordable. Adding a waterproof blanket to your beach arsenal is a great way to stay prepared for your day of fun in the sun at the beach.

Many waterproof blanket options are made of durable nylon. This material is a lightweight fabric that works to repel water. When water touches the nylon fabric, it immediately beads, then runs off the fabric without getting the fabric wet. This characteristic is the perfect way to keep your belongings protected and dry, even after you sit on the blanket after a day of swimming.

The waterproof and lightweight material is incredibly durable and easy to pack. Many large beach blankets can pack down to a small pouch, measuring just a few inches. This is a great way to through a durable and quite large blanket into your beach bag or car for a day at the beach. Plus, having a waterproof beach blanket means that you can simply pack your blanket into the pouch at the end of the day without waiting additional time for your belongings to dry.

Unfortunately, a waterproof beach blanket does the exact opposite of what a beach towel will do. If you plan to use a waterproof beach blanket, you will still need to plan on taking an absorbent towel to allow you to dry off after swimming. Plus, the lightweight nylon fabric will do little to keep the chill at bay if you are sitting on the beach on a cool night.

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Waterproof beach blankets are quite affordable, and many options are available for as little as $20. Waterproof beach blankets come in several design styles and colors, allowing you to choose a pattern and color that suits you best.

Where to Buy a Beach Blanket?

Woman putting a pastel checkered blanket on sand dunes by beach.

Beach blankest is a popular item that is regularly available. Unfortunately, this is a seasonal item in many parts of the country, usually only available in the spring and summer. Beach blankets can be found at typical big box stores like Target and Walmart or specialty pool supply stores. Further, depending on your location, sometimes camping and outdoor stores will carry beach blankets if they are located close to the coast.

If you are trying to buy a beach blanket out of season, you may have more luck ordering from online shops. These shops tend to have year-round availability making it easier to find what you are looking for. Try to search for a beach blanket at a large online retailer like Amazon. If you know the specific brand of beach blanket you are searching for, you can try to go directly to the manufacturer’s website.


We understand that you have several options for choosing the best type of beach blanket for your needs. Simply buying the right kind of blanket can be overwhelming. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of commonly asked questions surrounding beach blankets, their pros, and cons.

What makes a good beach blanket?

Ultimately, what makes a good beach blanket is finding something that works well for you. Being at the beach is all about being comfortable, so finding a beach blanket that works with your lifestyle is essential.

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Choose a blanket that is the right size and shape to accommodate just yourself or your entire family. Find a beach blanket that is soft and absorbent or lightweight and portable. A beach blanket is what you make of it, so choose a blanket style and material that matches your typical day at the beach.

When shopping for the right beach blanket, be sure to think about how you will most likely use the blanket. Think about the materials and the size of the blanket. Also, consider the functionality and features you would like your blanket to have. Many features and characteristics of beach blankets overlap with beach blanket style, so it is possible to find a beach blanket with all the right features you want.

What do people look for in a beach blanket?

People will look for different features when it comes to choosing the right beach blanket. For some, having a portable blanket is essential. These people may want a blanket that neatly packs into a carrying pouch or is lightweight and can be tossed in their car or beach bag.

If this is the case, you will want to look for a lightweight and thin nylon blanket. These beach blankets are often labeled as sand proof beach blankets because the sand has a hard time sticking to the nylon’s low friction surface.

For others, a versatile beach blanket is key. These people may gravitate toward the Turkish Towel option. Not only is a Turkish Towel warm and absorbent, but it is relatively thin and lightweight. Plus, a Turkish Towel can easily pack into a small space, making them simple to carry. This beach blanket type is incredibly versatile and can be used as a camping blanket or a beach chair cover.

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People who simply want a large space to spread out may gravitate toward a picnic blanket. This type of beach blanket is large and usually made of lightweight materials. A picnic blanket can easily be used for a beach blanket, and this type of blanket often folds down to a compact size with an integral fastener.

Lastly, some people require a beach blanket that is absorbent, able to dry them as they wrap up a fun day of swimming in the ocean. A tried and true beach towel will certainly do the trick when it comes to an ideal beach blanket.

Further, microfiber beach towels are an excellent choice and are quite large, lightweight, and fast-drying. Both of these options are machine washable and versatile, making them ideal beach blankets. Plus, beach towels and microfiber beach blankest come in a range of sizes.

Do you want a soft towel-type beach blanket?

How soft your beach blanket really comes down to personal choice. For many, a soft towel-type beach blanket is essential. This option will allow you to have something warm and absorbent to return to once you take a dip in the ocean.

Many beach towels are made of cotton and are machine washable, making them softer every time you wash your beach towel. These blankets are also warm and help to trap heat if you are sitting on the beach during a cool night.

For other people, though, the portability and weight of the blanket are essential. People may also prefer a blanket that helps to repel sand. For these people, a beach towel type of blanket will not be the ideal choice. Beach towels are made of cotton, which tends to trap sand and can be quite bulky and large to fold and carry.

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Does the beach blanket need to be portable?

When it comes to portability, it is really your decision how portable you need your blanket to be. For some, simply folding a beach towel in half is enough portability. These people may already carry many items to the beach, so adding a bulky towel or large picnic blanket won’t be an added burden. For others, though, portability is essential. These people may require a blanket that packs down to a small size or is lightweight and easy to carry.

For those that require a portable blanket, look for lightweight and thin materials like nylon. This material is a good way to ensure your blanket stays light, even when your blanket is oversized. Plus, many lightweight nylon blankets come in a separate carrying pouch which can be incredibly small.

Many of the sand-proof nylon beach blankets will pack down into a carrying pouch that only measures a few inches. This option is ideal for people who want to throw their beach blanket in their beach tote or the back of their car.

What size do beach towels come in?

Beach towels are usually much larger than their bath towel counterpart. These towels are typically much larger and sometimes are even big enough for two people to use. The typical beach towel is about 40 inches by 70 inches. There are oversized versions available that are much larger. Some large beach towels are 48 inches by 84 inches. This will give you plenty of room for two people to fully spread out on the beach towel, using it as a beach blanket.

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What is the difference between a beach towel and a bath towel?

While a beach towel and a bath towel may look similar, they are, in fact, very different. Both towels will most likely be made of soft cotton, but a bath towel is intended for use at home. The Towel will usually be thicker and smaller.

Comparatively, a beach towel is a typically thinner material and much larger. A beach towel can be big enough for just one person or can be oversized and used as a beach blanket for two. Beach towels typically come in bright and fun patterns.

Should I use stakes to secure your beach blanket?

Ensuring your blanket is safely secured into the sand at the beach is a great idea to keep your blanket and belongings safe. Because many of the blankets are made with parachute nylon, they can tend to catch the wind extremely easily. The blankets are very lightweight, which can cause them to blow away easily.

If you have a beach blanket that is made from nylon, or if you have a particularly large blanket, it is a good idea to use stakes. Make sure you place one stake at each corner and secure the stakes deep into the sand. Stakes will also give you peace of mind knowing that your blanket is safe and secure while you are in the ocean swimming.

Why purchase a sand-free beach blanket?

Sand is a very coarse and caustic material that tends to get just about everywhere. It seems like you can find sand everywhere after you spend a day at the beach. Purchasing a sand-free beach blanket is a great way to limit the amount of sand that comes home with you after your beach trip.

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A sand-free beach blanket is usually made of thin and low friction material. Commonly, parachute nylon is used for sand-free beach blankets. Because of its low friction coefficient, sand has a difficult time sticking to the blanket’s surface. Other times, sand-free beach blankets are made with dual materials.

These blankets usually feature a quilted or padded top, with a thin polyester material as the backing. The sand may accumulate on the blanket but easily slip through the polyester side, preventing sand from sticking to the blanket. Enjoy a nice day sitting on the beach and packing up your belongings without taking hitchhiker sand home with you at the end of the day.