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9 Different Types of Beach Towels

One of the greatest feelings of summer is wrapping oneself in a warm, absorbent towel after a swim. Here's a rundown of the different types of beach towels so you can select the best one for your needs.

Two beach towels with a starfish and a sand bucket.

Nothing beats a quick dip in the pool or ocean when the weather is hot—having a warm, absorbent towel to wrap yourself up in after your swim is one of the best feelings of summer.

With so many beach towel options on the market, choosing the right towel for your next summer vacation can be confusing. Between different available shapes, sizes, and materials, the choices are almost overwhelming!

Luckily, our team has you covered and has put together a comprehensive list of the various types of beach towels so that you can choose the right towel for your needs.  

Related to: 45 Types of Clothing from Head to Toe for Women and Men

Microfiber Beach Towel

Microfiber Sand Free Beach Towel-Quick Dry Super Absorbent Oversized Large Thin Towels Blanket for Travel Pool Swimming Bath Camping Yoga Girls Women Men Adults Boho Bohemian Palm Tree Blue Mandala

Microfiber beach towels are growing in popularity because of their numerous benefits. These towels come in every shape, size, and color, making them incredibly appealing to a wide range of people. One of the best benefits of a microfiber beach towel is that they dry quickly.

Having a quick-drying towel is important, especially if you want to pack up quickly after a day at the pool or beach. Loading a dry towel into your car is more appealing than a soggy, cold, wet towel.

Also, sand has a hard time sticking to dry towels, making microfiber towels cleaners since they won’t track sand everywhere.

Microfiber towels are also incredibly absorbent and are even better than some Egyptian or Turkish cotton options. But, unlike cotton alternatives, microfiber will dry in about half the time.

Plus, microfiber towels are relatively affordable, making the cost of use manageable, especially considering the numerous associated benefits of using a microfiber towel. These towels are durable and long-lasting and will likely be the last beach towel you buy.  

Terry Beach Towel

A set of terry beach towels.

The tried and true standard when it comes to beach towels, it is true that nothing quite beats a terry cloth towel. These towels are soft, durable, warm, and absorbent.

Many terry cloth beach towels are made with 100% cotton, so they are easily laundered and dry pretty quickly. Plus, terry cloth towels come in various sizes, shapes, and colors, making them a versatile option.

These towels are very affordable, so if you live near the beach or have a swimming pool at home, you can stock up on towels without feeling the price hit your wallet. The only negative to these towels is that they do wear out relatively quickly.

Terry cloth beach towels can get worn and ragged at the edges and will appear faded and thin with extended use. Luckily, their low price point makes them easy to replace.

And when beach towels are too old to take on vacation, they can easily be repurposed as rags around the house.

Turkish Cotton Beach Towel

Exclusive District | Turkish Towel | Turkish Bath Towel | 100% Cotton | Beach Towel Peshtemal 38"x70", Black

The Turkish cotton version of a beach towel is similar to a standard Egyptian cotton towel, except the individual thread within the fabric is made with longer fibers, making these towels extra soft. Turkish cotton tends to be softer but also a bit thinner.

The thinner weight can make these towels easier to pack and transport to the beach, and they won’t weigh down your beach bag. Even though the towel is thinner, it is still incredibly absorbent, sometimes outcompeting a standard terry cloth towel.

Like traditional cotton towels, Turkish cotton towels come in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes, so you are free to choose the pattern you like most.

Many people will often refer to these towels as “Turkish towels” when in reality, people are referring to a particular style of a towel, called “Hammam,” that is usually woven on looms.  

Round Beach Towel

A round beach towel by the sea.

Having a round beach towel offers something out of the ordinary. Round beach towels aren’t as popular as traditional rectangular towels, but they offer just as much versatility and functionality.

Round beach towels can be made of any material, including cotton or microfiber, and come in various colors, sizes, and patterns. Round beach towels work perfectly well to dry you after a swim but function even better as a beach blanket.

Round towels are the perfect way to set up shop on the beach with a snack and your favorite book. Think outside the rectangular box and get a round towel for your next summer beach vacation.  

Oversized Beach Towel

A photo of a mother and child at the beach.

Plenty of room for summertime fun, an oversized beach towel offers the best of all worlds. Not only is this towel extra big to wrap yourself up after a brisk swim, but it is versatile and functional too.

An oversized beach towel is perfect for sharing between kids and makes an extra big space to claim your plot of beach territory. Large beach towels come in every color and pattern imaginable and are usually made of cottons, like terry cloth, Turkish cotton, or Egyptian cotton.

The only downside to an oversized beach towel is that it can be large and cumbersome to fold and pack in luggage. Due to their large size and relative thickness, these towels can also take an extended time to dry.

But, because they are usually made with standard cotton, an oversized beach towel can easily go in the dryer for a few minutes.

Personalized Beach Towel

Let's Make Memories Personalized Kids Beach Towel - Custom Monogram & Name with Fun Beach Designs - Soft Microfiber - 30" W x 60" L - Easter Basket Stuffer - Spring Break - Seahorse

If you have multiple children going on a beach vacation, having a personalized beach towel is necessary. Many options are available for a personalized beach towel, allowing every child to have exactly the style and design they want.

Usually, personalized beach towels are made with cotton terry cloth. These towels can be embroidered or screen printed, giving you options. Embroidered towels will last longer, pending the stitching does not become snagged.

Having a personalized beach towel also helps keep you and your family organized. These towels are just as soft, absorbent, and warm as other comparable terry cloth cotton towels and can be laundered just the same.

A personalized beach towel can make an excellent gift for a future beach vacation!

Blanket Style Beach Towel

A woman wrapped in a wool towel.

For some, going to the beach isn’t about swimming as much as it is about relaxing. Finding a blanket-style beach towel is ideal for people who simply want to sit on the beach and relax.

Usually, a blanket-style beach towel is made of thinner material that won’t be exceptionally absorbent. However, the benefit of more delicate material is a lightweight, easy-to-transport blanket that can allow you to spread out on the beach.

Beach blankets come in a range of colors and patterns, allowing you to find a style that suits your taste. Blanket-style beach towels can be used to dry off, but don’t expect the same absorption as you might with a terry cloth cotton towel.  

Hooded Beach Towel

A child wearing a hooded towel.

The hooded beach towel is perfect for young children who may not have mastered the art of wrapping a towel around the shoulders just yet. The hooded portion of the towel sits on the head, working to dry the hair and keep the beach towel in place.

Usually, the hooded style beach towels are only available in small sizes, ideal for children. These towels come in a range of colors and patterns, and sometimes the hooded beach towel will be modeled after a favorite animal.

What kid wouldn’t love to be disguised as a panda bear, monkey, or lizard at the beach? The hooded beach towel is a fun way to help your kids dry after a long day of swimming in the ocean and can make parting with the beloved beach for the day a little more manageable.  

Portable Beach Towel

4Monster Camping Towels Super Absorbent, Fast Drying Microfiber Travel Towel, Ultra Soft Compact Gym Towel for Beach Hiking Yoga Travel Sports Backpack

Having a portable beach towel is essential for people who live close to the beach and frequent the ocean. A portable beach towel is functional and easily packable.

While portable beach towels come in any material type, it is most common to find microfiber portable beach towels. Microfiber towels are incredibly absorbent and durable, and they are thin too.

This form factor allows them to pack down into a small size, sometimes small enough to fit into your pocket.

Portable beach towels are ideal for people on the go, and some come in convenient carrying cases or with hooks and clips that will easily allow you to hook your towel to your beach bag.

Beach Towel FAQs

Purchasing a new beach towel for your upcoming vacation is a great way to get into the beach mindset. With so many towels to choose from, it can be challenging to decide which type of beach towel is best for you.

Below, let’s look at some frequently asked questions about beach towels to help you narrow down your selection.

Which towel will repel sand?

Nobody wants to take the entire beach home with them when they leave for the day, so it is essential to find a beach towel that works to repel sand. The best option for a sand-repellent towel is a microfiber towel.

This beach towel option is lightweight and is very absorbent. Because these towels dry so quickly, sand rarely has a chance to stick to them. Plus, most microfiber beach towels can be easily packed for convenient carrying.  

Are beach towels washable?

One of the beautiful aspects of beach towels is how durable they are. Every type of beach towel can easily be laundered, and most can be put in the dryer. Beach towels are incredibly durable and can withstand regular washing and drying.

Of course, it is always best to read the care instructions on each towel before laundering.  

How much is a beach towel?

Beach towels are incredibly affordable, making them the perfect option for a quick trip to the beach. Many terry cloth beach towels are readily available for $10 or less.

High-quality Turkish or Egyptian cotton towels may cost upwards of $20. Microfiber towels can be more expensive, but most microfiber beach towels will cost under $30.