The 3 Best Beach Towels of 2022 | People tested

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Whether your idea of ​​summer fun is a day by the pool or on the beach, you’ll need a beach towel that’ll be waiting for you when you get out of the water. The perfect beach towel is one that can dry you off in no time and is soft against your skin – bonus points if you can find one in a light, bright print that looks great when you lay it on the sand or on a chair.

Our PEOPLE Tested team tried nearly three dozen beach towels, focusing on material quality and texture, absorbency and durability before and after a wash/dry cycle, and their overall value. The top towel was the Clowood plush bamboo and cotton beach towel.

These are PEOPLE Tested best beach towels.

Best Overall: Clowood Plush Cotton and Bamboo Beach Towel

Advantages: The Clowood Plush Bamboo Cotton Beach Towel has a very soft texture and good absorbency that holds up well after one wash.

The inconvenients: It’s a bit heavy to carry.

If you’re looking for a soft and luxurious, yet budget-friendly towel, this is the one.

This towel is large enough to wrap comfortably around you or serve as a small beach blanket. One of our testers said it was “perfect” in size and “super soft and had a nice cushion” for lying on the sand. Our testers said it was a little heavy to carry, however, it’s worth making more room in your beach bag as it shakes off the sand well. The adorable designs also put our testers in a beachy mood.

The Clowood Plush Bamboo Cotton Beach Towel is also very absorbent. Its texture remained soft after our wash test, although one tester found it to be slightly less absorbent after one wash.

All in all, this towel is good quality for the price and, aside from its weight, probably won’t disappoint.

94% combed cotton, 6% bamboo fiber

Machine wash cold on gentle cycle, no bleach

Credit: People/Dera Burreson

Best Budget: NovForth Oversized Microfiber Beach Towel

Advantages: It is available in three different sizes and a variety of bright prints.

The inconvenients: It is thinner than some of the other beach towels tested.

Our testers loved how soft this beach towel is, which comes in an assortment of super cute prints that you’ll love showing off at the beach or pool. This towel comes in three sizes, with the largest measuring 73 inches long. It might take you a minute longer to fold it up, but it still fits nicely into a beach bag.

Both sides of the towel have the same soft texture, but it still managed to shake off the sand easily. It’s a little thinner, but it’s still substantial enough to lie on the sand or in a beach chair. Our testers found the NovForth Towel to dry quickly and easily, thanks to its microfiber construction. Its absorbency held up before and after washing, and the colors remained vibrant. There was no shrinkage or loose threads after washing, making this a long lasting towel.

The NovForth Oversized Microfiber Sandless Beach Towel is already priced right – in fact, one of our testers said he’d be “willing to pay a little more” for its quality. But if you can catch it when it’s on sale, that’s even more interesting.

30×61, 36×71 or 41×73

Machine wash cold, line dry

Credit: People/Dera Burreson

Best Splurge: Anthropologie Out to Sea Beach Towel

Advantages: It is soft, luxurious and easily shakes off the sand.

The inconvenients: It’s expensive if you’re looking to buy more than one towel.

The Anthropologie Out to Sea Beach Towel is the perfect solution when you feel like splurging on accessories for your next beach or pool outing. This is a thick, soft towel with a luxurious feel, although one of our testers noted that the bottom part of the design was a little coarser on the front and back of the towel.

Our testers noted that this towel was very absorbent — in fact, compared to other towels that had a similar look and feel, this Anthropologie option came out on top. One tester noted that “the quality, color, size, and absorbency are top notch.” Another tester said he was “shocked” by this towel’s ability to absorb water.

The Anthropologie Out to Sea Beach Towel was also able to shake off the sand with ease in our tests. The towel still looked great after washing, with no loose threads or other signs of wear.

Overall, our testers loved the towel and think it’s worth the higher price tag.

Credit: People/Dera Burreson

Things to Consider When Buying Beach Towels

Cut: Most beach towels are big enough to wrap around little swimmers multiple times, but you’ll also want to make sure they’re big enough for adults. Choose towels that are long enough not only to dry yourself off, but also to lie on the sand or in a beach chair for your relaxation comfort.

Material: Some beach towels are so soft, but after using them once you will have to wait for them to dry in the sun for hours. Look for quick-drying fabrics like microfiber to have your towel ready for you no matter how many times you’re in and out of the water.

Price: When pool and beach season is in full swing, you can never have too many beach towels. Some of the higher end towels can be expensive, which is why you want to look for durable towels at a low price so you can load them up without breaking the bank.

When to buy beach towels

It’s always beach and pool time in some parts of the world, so beach towels are readily available all year round. However, in more temperate climates, you’ll likely find the best selection before pool and beach season, and get the best sales right after so you can stock up for next season.

Credit: People/Dera Burreson

How we tested beach towels

We created a beach with real sand inside our PEOPLE Tested lab to get the right vibe for testing beach towels. Each was rated by two testers – one before the towel was washed and dried and another right after. We tested the quality of each beach towel, including softness and thickness, not only to the touch, but also in terms of comfort and cushioning when laying on the sand. We also checked the towel’s absorbency before and after a wash cycle to see which ones we can rely on to dry quickly after a dip. We researched the most durable towels to determine which ones would hold up season after season. Finally, we considered price to find the towels that offered the most value.

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What is PEOPLE Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of in-home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use and more. Based on the results, we evaluate and recommend products so you can find the one that suits your needs.

But we don’t stop there: we also regularly review the categories in which we have awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval, because today’s best product may not be tomorrow’s best. And besides, companies can never buy our recommendation: their products must deserve it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust – every day, every purchase.

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