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6 Different Types of Beach Towels

A woman walking on the beach with her beach towel.

If you are planning a trip to the beach or just shopping for beach towels because you are hoping to be planning a beach trip in the near future, you are going to want to know what options are out there.

It didn’t used to be this complicated, but that’s not a bad thing. With a whole range of options for beach towels you can find something that caters to exactly what you are looking for in a beach towel.

They come in all different sizes, shapes, materials, patterns, colors and much more. You should familiarize yourself with the benefits of each fabric and what size towel you need and determine if a towel or beach blanket is the best option for you or our family.

There are options for sand free towels, quick drying towels and even hands-free options, along with some eco-friendly options as well.

You want to be as comfortable as possible at the beach and it’s all possible if you do some research. I am confident after reading you will know exactly what you are looking for!

Cotton Beach Towels

When it comes to beach towels, 100% cotton terry cloth is traditionally what you would think of in your mind as you picture the look and feel of a beach towel.

This is because of their absorbent nature and comfort. You can find all different shapes, styles, sizes and designs, making the possibilities almost endless as you are shopping for a new beach towel.

Mebien Turkish Lightweight Towel for Beach Bath -Lightweight Prewashed 100% Cotton Towel Gypsy Orange 33x66inches
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One option for cotton beach towels that is extra smooth on your skin is Turkish cotton. You can find plenty of towels that are made from 100% Turkish cotton, which is perfect if you are looking for style and comfort in a beach towel.

If you are looking for a cotton beach towel that is more fade resistant, so it keeps the colors vibrant and fresh, yarn-dyed dobby velour cotton is something you definitely want to look for.

4 Pack Plush Velour 100% Cotton Beach Towels. Cabana Stripe Pool Towels for Adults. (Green, 4 Pack - 30" x 60")
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Beach towels made with yarn also create a more durable and longer strand of cotton. The double-stitched hem makes these towels much more sustainable over time, making them last a lot longer than other towels, which is really nice. You are also more likely to get longer lasting vibrant colors in your beach towel if fiber reactive dye is used to make them.

If you want to find a beach towel that will dry you off quicker than normal, absorbent terrycloth cotton beach towels are the way to go. There are countless options you can find in all different colors and patterns to choose from, making it easy to find something that you love.

Microfiber Beach Towels

A close look at colorful microfiber beach towels.

The purpose of microfiber beach towels is to provide a faster-drying material option than cotton. Another benefit of the microfiber towels is convenience. Between the added sand free and quick dry options, microfiber beach towels are quickly gaining popularity. They are also extremely affordable, which is a nice added benefit for any quality product you buy.

Sand-Free Microfiber Towels

We’ve all had the experience of coming back from a day on the beach and having piles of sand on the bottom of your beach bag, stuck to all your tanning lotions and sunscreen bottles and wrapped around your cool water bottle at the bottom of your bag.

Even when you return home from the trip, you continue to find and feel sand everywhere. Sitting on a beach soaking in the sun with your toes in the sand is a feeling like nothing else, but the sand is for the beach, it would be best for it to stay there!

Sand free towels are designed with polyester fabric, which makes the fabric weave a little looser so sand will fall through the weave instead of getting trapped inside the fabric.

You can even brush the sand through the fabric yourself very easily before you pick the towel up off the sand to fold it. This way you can avoid all the snarky stares from your neighbors on the beach when you pick up your beach towel to shake it off and the wind blows a whole sand cloud into the faces of everyone sitting next to you.

Quick-Dry Microfiber Towels

A row of rolled up quick-dry microfiber beach towels by the pool.

There’s nothing worse than getting out of the water, drying off with your towel, and having to leave the beach before the towel dries.

When this happens, you risk everything in your bag getting soggy and filled with all the extra sand stuck to the tower’s moisture.

If you are a person who likes to go in and out of the water to cool off periodically and come back to your towel, if it hasn’t dried from your last trip to the water, it isn’t going to dry you off quite as you need it to.

If it is a cooler day and you want to use your towel for a little more coverage over your legs while you sit and read a book or take a nap on the sand, a damp beach towel isn’t going to give you the comfort you are looking for.

Mandala Thin Sand Free Beach Towel-Quick Fast Dry Super Absorbent Oversized Large Towels Blanket for Travel Pool Swimming Bath Camping Yoga Girls Women Men Adults Palm Tree Blue
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Because of all of these common inconveniences, quick-dry towels are now an option when you are shopping for a beach towel. Most of them are also sand resistant as well, which is even better!

Hands-Free Beach Towels

There are some hands-free towels available now that make your trip to the beach even easier.

One of the issues you could find with towels is that you want a towel or beach blanket that has enough room, so no parts of your body have to hang off the towel into the sand when your skin is wet.

Another reason people want bigger towels is if you have children or even a whole family that wants to lay on a beach blanket together without spaces in between the towels so you can relax and have your drinks and snacks without a bunch of sand in the mix.

However, large beach towels or beach blankets are also very bulky and take up a ridiculous amount of room in your bag. Sometimes they could even take up a whole bag!

Waterproof Picnic Blanket – Portable with Carry Strap | Use as Beach Mat or Family Size Beach Towel for Sand Cover | Outdoor Play Mat and Indoor Couch Throw for Warmth and Prevent Pet and Kid Stains
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Hands-free beach towels are made with an attachable strap so you can roll your towel up and then secure it with the wraparound straps that snap into place and keep the towel from unrolling and they also have a strap that forms a loop at the top, similar to a handle on a bag or purse, so you could carry the towel over your shoulder to and from the beach along with your bag.

The awesome benefits of this is not having to put your sandy towel in your bag with the rest of your items, you free up so much space so you can bring all of your other items to the beach in one bag and if it’s still a little wet at the end of the day you don’t have to put the damp towel in your bag and get everything else wet.

Cacala Beach Bag and Towel Combo converts from Bag to Towel add in Beach Accessories for Vacation, Lightweight & Foldable Super Absorbent 100% Cotton 100x180cm - Pink
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Another type of hands-free beach towel are ones that dub for a beach towel and a bag, all in one. You can carry this type of beach towel on your back like a backpack with the drawstring straps and when you get to the perfect spot on the beach you can open it up into a full beach towel.

Then, when the day is over you can transform it back into the backpack-type shape and you are ready to go. This is useful if you don’t want to carry a bunch of other bags on your shoulder or if you have chairs, umbrellas, a cooler, children, or other things you have to carry onto the beach, this option gives you the convenience of freeing up your hands and just wearing it on your back, which is such a wonderful option to have.

Beach Blankets

Lacoste Monaco 100% Cotton Beach Towel Blanket, 60"W x 70"L, Blue/Teal Ombre Stripe
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Beach blankets are a very convenient and comfortable option for a day on the sand. The most beneficial beach blankets are made with built-in UPF protection, which helps prevent sunburns while you are basking in the hot summer sun.

One thing about these cozy blankets you definitely want to be mindful of is the fact that they are only intended for covering up or laying out on the sand, not for drying off after a swim.

Because they are made with cotton, spandex and viscose, they do not take kindly to any chlorine or salt water, so you should have a different towel for drying off before you lay on your beach blanket to prevent any damage.

Beach blankets can also be found in various styles and patterns that would make them a more diverse option as far as usability goes. You can use your beach blanket while lying on the beach, then use it for comfort during your travels, and when you get home, you can also use it as a throw blanket in your home.

DII Modern Cotton Geometric Blanket Throw with Fringe For Chair, Couch, Picnic, Camping, Beach, Everyday Use, 50 x 60-Hexagon Beige, Off-White
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It’s extremely beneficial to have these options for a blanket that you can use all year round, not just during the summer months. Most times, when it comes to beach blankets, you only use them one time per year, which is when you are at the beach.

Unless you live near the beach, then potentially this added benefit doesn’t apply. But typically, you bring your beach blanket to the beach and that is all it’s used for.

Any other days at the pool when you are back home, a beach blanket wouldn’t always be practical. This option gives you practical uses for your beach blanket so you can enjoy it when you aren’t at the beach as well.

Convenient Options

One of the most common issues people have with beach towels are towels that don’t provide enough coverage.

Having to lay on a beach towel and your legs hang over onto the sand could be very annoying. Especially if the sand is very hot. Plus, the sand attracts the sun more than a towel, so you risk serious sunburns on the parts of your body that are not on the towel.

Cabana Beach Towel by Laguna Beach Textile Co, Oversized Coral and Sea Glass Summer Sunbathing and Pool Side Lounge Comfort, Plush Cotton Softness with Colorful Stripes, Large 70” x 35”
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To provide the coverage you need, oversized beach towels are available, and they are pretty inexpensive as well, which is nice. They are generally the same as a typical cotton beach towel but add some more fabric to the length and width, so you don’t have to worry about choosing between having your feet or head in the sand.

A cute and convenient option for a beach towel is a lightweight cotton terry cloth beach towel that has a stylish fringe on the ends. It’s less bulky to carry, making it much easier to bring along for your day on the beach.

When you are going to the beach, you also want to travel to and from the beach with light coverage clothing over your bathing suit. Many people wear a cover-up or other lightweight and airy clothing.

WETCAT Original Turkish Beach Towel (39 x 71) - Prewashed Peshtemal, 100% Cotton - Highly Absorbent, Quick Dry and Ultra-Soft - Washer-Safe, No Shrinkage - Stylish, Eco-Friendly - [Aqua]
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But, did you know there are also beach towels that could be used as a sarong or shawl as well? Well, if you didn’t, now you do! You can now buy 100% Turkish cotton towels with all different colors and fashionable styles, such as knotted fringing on the edges, can be used as a sarong or shawl when you are done.

The fabric makes it more absorbent to dry you off, but it also dries quicker as well. They are very lightweight and convenient to wear over your bathing suit when traveling to and from the beach and to use it as a cozy beach towel while you are there.

Be Kind to The Environment

For an environmentally friendly beach towel option, you can now also purchase eco-friendly beach towels that are made with sourced cotton that is grown using measures to ensure the production is following the Better Cotton Initiative guidelines.

The Better Cotton Initiative is a global non-profit organization focusing its efforts on making the production of cotton products safer, better for the environment, and sustainability for the future of the cotton industry.

The measures they use to focus on water efficiency, organic healthy soil where the cotton is grown in natural habitats, eliminating any harmful production processes, preserving the quality of the cotton, and adhering to specific guidelines to ensure a better-quality work environment for workers harvesting the cotton.

Club Kokomo Turkish Beach & Bath Towel - Eco Friendly Quick Dry Towel - XL 100% Organic Cotton Peshtemal Towel - 37x69 - Sand Free & Sustainable Beach, Bath, Travel, Gym, Spa Towel or Blanket
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Another environmentally-conscious option for a beach towel are towels that are Oeko-Tex certified. Oeko-Tex encourages companies to follow specific guidelines and quality standards in order to make more responsible production decisions that encourage the preservation of our planet for future generations. Oeko-Tex certified products always have a label assuring you they have been checked and approved according to these standards.

The guidelines that must be followed for certification include testing fabrics or yarns that are being used to ensure there are no harmful substances being used during the production process, only allowing colorants and other chemicals that may be used to be 100% healthy and environmentally friendly, and dedication to socially responsible working conditions that are sustainable for the people working there.

Their innovative approach is an attempt to support the health of the environment, the safety of employees, and assure high-quality products that are making an environmentally conscious contribution to society.

Including the safety measures taken in the products previously listed, there are additional Global Organic Textile Standards that could also be used in the manufacturing of your beach towel.

If you see that your towel is a certified Global Organic Textile Standard, it means the manufacturer is providing a product that has complied with the standards of eliminating harmful chemicals and dyes during the production process to provide an eco-friendly beach towel that is safer for you and your family.

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