Whether you’re going for a swim or lying out in the sun, finding the
best beach towels will depend on its material and the type of comfort you prefer. In general, most beach towels are made of either cotton or microfiber. There are pros and cons to both, so the right material will depend on your personal preferences.
Cotton towels are usually budget-friendly and efficient. They’re also fluffier and softer to the touch. In contrast, they can be thick, slow to dry, and more difficult to pack, especially if you’re bringing more than one towel. They also wear out a little bit faster, with a few exceptions, like one of my picks I’ve included below.
Microfiber towels, on the other hand, are durable, lightweight, and will take up less space in your
beach bag. They're also highly absorbent, great at repelling sand, and less likely to develop mildew since they dry quickly. The main trade-off is that microfiber isn’t as fluffy as cotton and won’t give you as much of a cozy feeling.
After reading reviews and researching through endless options, I’ve gathered the best towels on my list below. My picks vary, from an Egyptian cotton towel to a compact microfiber bundle, but all are meant to help you have an amazing beach day. Read on to find the best beach towels for you.
1 The Overall Best What's great about it: This Dock & Bay microfiber towel is absorbent, fast-drying, and sand-resistant, making it the perfect beach companion. With a generous size of 78 by 35 inches, it can comfortably fit one person or even more. Even for its size, it's still super compact to pack because of the material. Although it's made of microfiber, it is still fairly smooth and soft. Also available in a 63-by-31-inch size, this towel comes with a travel pouch and you can choose from dozens of prints and colors. What fans say: "I LOVE this beach towel!! Lightweight yet sturdy microfiber, mine was the blue and white and beautiful. Machine washed and dried several times already and comes out like new. I travel with my own towels and this towel was not only my beach towel during a trip to Mexico but my back up blanket as well! Buying more!!" 2 The Runner-Up What's great about it: Similar to my previous pick, this NewLyfe microfiber towel is another great option. Designed with suede microfiber, this 70-by-31-inch towel can dry up to five times faster than other towels, making it highly absorbent. Durable and machine-washable, you can definitely rely on this towel to endure many beach days. Lightweight and compact, it's available in your choice of two different sizes and three different colors. What fans say: "Bought these for a beach trip where we were trying to pack light. They are fantastic! We’ll be using them all summer for swim team and another trip to the beach. They dry quickly and soak up a lot of water. Would definitely recommend them!" 3 The Most Budget-Friendly What's great about it: If you're looking for something more cost-efficient, these cabana stripe towels from Utopia Towels come in a set of four at an affordable price. Since they're made of cotton, they offer more fluff and comfort than some of my other picks. Additionally, they're super absorbent, though you should hang them somewhere to dry as soon as possible to avoid mildew. After multiple washes, these 60-by-30-inch towels still keep their softness. Machine-washable, the manufacturer advises against using bleach, iron, or fabric softener on these. What fans say: "Absolutely one of the best deals we have gotten in a while. PERFECT size and length for a beach towel. Not too fluffy or velvety. Exactly what we were looking for... and WHY would we spend $30 a piece for a beach towel that will be abused by sand and chlorine when we can get a deal like this - where ALL 4 of us can have a new towel. I would recommend this to any family looking to replenish their beach towels." 4 The Best Investment What's great about it: For extreme softness and comfort, this Caravalli Egyptian cotton beach towel is a great splurge that will continue to get softer with each wash. Made out of luxurious 100 percent long-staple Egyptian cotton, it's breathable, absorbent, and made to last. While it is a little heavier than other options on my list, it's still great to use for lying on the beach and drying off after a quick swim. You can easily put this towel in the washing machine, but it's recommended that you avoid using dryer sheets or fabric softeners. With an ample size of 70 by 40 inches, it comes in 10 vibrant color choices. What fans say: "This beach towel is large in size and soft. Mine is navy and the color is rich and is offset by bright white. It has good weight and could be used on grass, sand, or anywhere you need to sit. The thickness and looks of this beach towel is of top quality." 5 The Best Set What's great about it: If you're set on sticking with microfiber towels, this OlimpiaFit microfiber towel set is definitely an option to consider. In this set, you get towels in three different sizes (50 by 30 inch, 30 by 15 inch, and 15 by 15 inch), allowing you to use them for different activities. They are super absorbent and able to dry quickly. Additionally, they're hypoallergenic and designed with antimicrobial properties, so they are less likely to develop an odor when wet. Machine-washable, they conveniently come with a mesh bag that is compact and easy to carry. What fans say: "These towels are amazing. They're super absorbent, but all three roll up to a package which is just bigger than my fist. There is an attached elastic loop to keep it rolled up. They seem to dry very quickly. I bought a set to take on a trip and I've been using the larger one as a beach towel. I like it so much I just ordered two more." 6 Also Helpful: A Durable Beach Mat That Folds Up For Easy Carrying What's great about it: Along with bringing towels, this Camco handy mat is an amazing addition to your beach essentials. Up to four people can sit on this mat, which makes it great to have for larger groups. Made of long-lasting polypropylene, its material is both durable and reliable. On top of that, it's available in two sprawling sizes, and the attached handles make it easy to carry and travel with. To clean this mat, you can just wipe it down with soap and water. What fans say: "I've bought mats like these before and they're typically pretty disposable. You step on it wrong and the edge starts tearing from the body. This one has held up wonderfully, and survived a family vacation that involved a lot of small children running around/squirming on top of it. Works great." Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.