Finding the Perfect Towels For the Beach | Towel Supercenter

find the perfect beach towel

When you imagine a relaxing day on the beach, you probably aren’t envisioning a scratchy towel or an overly damp seat. Instead, you want a fluffy beach towel that stays dry and keeps you protected from the hot sand. Here, you’ll learn some tips on how to find the best beach towels for your trip to the beach, with advice on how to keep your towel feeling fresh.

What Is a Beach Towel?

Beach towels are water-absorbent towels you can use for activities like lazing under the sun or drying off after splashing in the water. The ideal beach towel has a low water retention rate and can quickly shake off any sand that gets stuck. Beach towels are larger than most other towels and come in various fun colors and patterns, especially eye-catching designs. 

how is a beach towel different from a bath towel

How Is a Beach Towel Different From a Bath Towel?

While beach towels support you during a day of sun, sand and surf, bath towels are for bathroom activities like drying off after a shower, covering up and wrapping your hair. Because these towels don’t fulfill the same purposes, there are quite a few differences.


  • Absorbency: Bath and beach towels are absorbent. The difference lies in how they retain water — you want beach towels to have a lower water retention rate so they don’t become overly damp. If a beach towel gets too wet, you’ll feel like you’re sitting on soaked fabric, and the sand will be harder to shake out.
  • GSM: Beach towels are thinner than bath towels. They have a lower number of grams per square meter, a measurement used to represent a towel’s thickness and weight. Bath towels rest between 400 and 600 GSM, while beach towels are slightly lower, ranging from 300 to 400 GSM.
  • Size: Bath towels are smaller than beach towels, sitting at around 22 inches long and 44 inches wide. Comparatively, beach towels are about 30 inches long and 58 inches wide. That’s because beach towels are large enough to cover your entire body while you’re relaxing on the sand, while bath towels only keep you warm and dry for the brief period between getting out of the shower and getting dressed.
  • Price: Because bath towels are smaller and more common, they tend to cost less than beach towels. A high-quality beach towel will last a long time, and investing in one now will save you the costs of buying multiple cheaper, lesser-quality towels in the long run.

pick the best beach towel


Factors to Consider When Picking the Best Beach Towel

When shopping for the best beach towel, here are some factors that may influence your decisions.

1. Material

Most towels you find will consist of cotton or polyester. Cotton is a natural material with soft, absorbent qualities, while polyester is ideal for making towels more durable and long-lasting. There are three cotton variants.


  • Pima: Crafted in the United States, Pima cotton is the most popular because it doesn’t require importing. It’s known for its long fibers that make towels feel plush.
  • Turkish: Like Pima cotton, Turkish cotton has long fibers — slightly shorter than Pima cotton — that make towels very soft and absorbent.
  • Egyptian: Egyptian cotton, crafted in Egypt, is one of the more absorbent options. However, this material retains water for longer periods, so it will stay damp after use.

Towel manufacturers tend to favor Pima and Turkish cotton because they’re adequately absorbent and dry faster than Egyptian cotton. 

When searching for beach towels, you’ll find two options — 100% cotton and an 86/14 cotton-polyester blend. Polyester is a fabric made of synthetic compounds blended with cotton to make a mix of 86% cotton and 14% polyester. Both are excellent choices for beach towels.


2. Weight and Density

Weight and density play crucial roles in a towel’s absorbency. You calculate these using the rating GSM. When a towel has a high GSM, it looks thinner, feels denser and requires more time to dry. Typical GSM measurements fall between 300 and 900.


  • 300 to 400: A towel with a GSM between 300 and 400 is lightweight and dries faster. This range is ideal for beach towels, giving you enough support to dry off after a dip in the water and drying quickly enough to thoroughly shake off your towel once you’re ready to leave the beach.
  • 400 to 600: In the middle of the spectrum are towels within the 400 and 600 GSM range. This range is best for bath towels, giving them a denser feel that retains more water, but takes longer to dry than towels within a smaller GSM range. 
  • 600 to 900: The densest, plushest towels fall within the 600 and 900 GSM range. These make ideal hand towels, but are not the best for bathing or beach activities because they retain too much water.

3. Absorbency

Along with weight and density, absorbency refers to a fabric’s ability to retain water. Beach towels should take in a lot of water, but not hold onto it.

Think about how different your beach and bath towels feel after using them. Bath towels notably retain water well, but they take a long time to dry. If you’ve ever had to reuse a damp bath towel in a pinch, you know it’s somewhat unpleasant. Comparatively, beach towels are thinner and do an excellent job at absorbing water, and their low water retention rate makes their drying time much shorter. So, if you sit on a wet beach towel, it won’t feel uncomfortable. And, once you’re ready to leave the beach, there will be less water to hold onto the sand, making it easier to shake out.

Aside from GSM, another role that plays into a towel’s absorbency is its pile, which refers to the number of upright loops in the fabric. These loops make a towel feel plush. The longer the pile, the plusher the towel feels. Piles also have twists. More twists indicate extra density and less absorbency. You want your beach towels to be absorbent, so it’s best to choose one that’s low-twist.

4. Size

Beach towels are more generously sized than bath towels. The average beach towel ranges from 30 inches by 58 inches and 30 inches by 56 inches, varying depending on the manufacturer. They’re large enough to cover your body without exposing you to the hot sand, but not too large to be a sheet. Whether you shop for a generously sized or smaller beach towel depends on your preferences.

how to find the best beach towel

Tips on How to Find the Best Beach Towel for You

Even when you understand all this information about choosing the right beach towel, you might feel overwhelmed when evaluating your options. Here are some starting points to help you find the best beach towel for you.

1. Think About Comfort Over Price

Though durable, cheap towels have short, twisted piles that can feel scratchy against the skin. High-quality towels are equally long-lasting, and their longer and plusher piles will keep you comfortable throughout your day. Higher quality means a slightly pricier purchase, but the investment is worth it — you’ll save more money when buying one high-quality towel than buying multiple lower-quality towels.

2. Opt for Larger Beach Towels

Hot sand can be uncomfortable when you’re trying to relax on the beach. Ideally, you want a beach towel large enough to protect your whole body from the burning sand, including your feet. Depending on how tall you are, you may need a smaller or larger beach towel. And, even if you’re petite, you may enjoy the extra space of a larger towel option.

You also want to consider other beach-lounging activities. Are you a fan of reading, listening to music or enjoying a picnic lunch? You’ll want to have a beach towel roomy enough for your body and all your beach hobbies.

3. Pick a Design or Color You Love

Towels play a role in your beach fashion. If you’ve ever been shopping for a beach towel, you’re likely familiar with the rainbow of colors and imaginative designs. Shopping for beach towels is different than shopping for bath towels — you have the creative freedom to pick a bold color and design you’ll love showing off on the beach. By choosing an exciting pattern, you’re also more likely to continue using your towel over time, maximizing your investment.

Checklist for Picking the Best Beach Towel

Take this checklist with you when shopping for a beach towel.


  • 100% cotton or 86/14 cotton-polyester blend: Body-use towels usually consist of 100% cotton or an 86/14 cotton-polyester blend. Cotton is naturally durable and soft, while polyester makes fabric even more durable and long-lasting. Both are great options when buying a beach towel and will last you a long time.
  • 300 to 400 GSM: When describing a towel’s weight and density, we use grams per square meter. The higher the GSM, the heavier and denser the towel feels. You don’t want your beach towel to feel too heavy, or it will retain a large amount of water and feel uncomfortable. The ideal GSM range for a beach towel is between 300 and 400 GSM.
  • Low water retention rate: Closely related to GSM is absorbency, which describes how well fabric holds onto water. A beach towel should have a low water retention rate because it needs to dry quickly. That way, it won’t get too damp and feel uncomfortable to sit on.
  • Size: Beach towels are larger than bath towels, sitting at around 30 inches by 58 inches. Make sure yours is large enough to protect your body and other beach activities from the sand.
  • Comfort: You don’t want to use a scratchy, thin or otherwise uncomfortable towel. High-quality towels have longer piles with a low twist that makes the fibers feel more comfortable against the skin. Make sure to brush your hand against the towel before buying. You can quickly tell if the towel is comfortable enough for long-term use.
  • Style: Abundant color and design options are some of the best things about beach towels. Choose a towel style that reflects your style and personality. With a design you love, you’ll want to use your towel on every beach trip, maximizing your return on investment.


How to Keep Your Beach Towel Clean

Before cleaning your towel, make sure it’s fully dry, and shake off all the sand. Sand can be tricky to get out of wet towels, and it’s imperative to remove it before putting your towel into the washer or dryer. Though it’s a best practice to use room-temperature water when cleaning your towels, it’s OK to use hot water now and then for a deeper clean. If you clean your towels infrequently, go ahead and use the hottest water setting on your washer.

Here are three reliable cleaning methods to get your towels clean after an eventful beach day.


  • Wash twice: The simplest method is to wash towels in two small, back-to-back loads. Put three to four towels in the washer with a moderate amount of detergent. After the first load, add more detergent and run again. Put the washed towels in the dryer and dry them thoroughly before putting them away.
  • White vinegar: White vinegar is a natural cleaning ingredient with bacteria-fighting properties. Put three to four towels into the washer and add a cup of white vinegar. Run your washer on the hottest setting and move them into the dryer once finished. Make sure they’re fully dry before putting them away.
  • Baking soda: When you need extra bacteria-fighting power, use baking soda along with white vinegar. Put your towels in the washer and start your first load using a quarter-cup of baking soda. After the first load, begin a second one using a cup of white vinegar. Put your towels into the dryer and dry them thoroughly before putting them away.

 shop wholesale towels

Shop Wholesale 100% Cotton and 86/14 Blend Towels at Towel Super Center

Towel Super Center is a customer-focused wholesale towel distributor. We have a highly diverse selection of towels, including pool towels, hand towels, bath towels and fingertip towels. We’re your solution when you’re looking for reliable towels to impress your clientele, whether you own a beachfront business, hotel or other commercial business.

We offer fast shipping and secure payment options — you can trust you’re getting quality towels and service through every step of the process. Browse our product page online and explore everything we have to offer. When you find something you love, add it to your shopping cart and place a wholesale order today.


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