How Many Beach Towels Do You Need? Everything You Wanted to Know

Several things immediately spring to mind whenever the word “beach” is said. Perhaps it’s the sound of the waves, the white sand, and the blazing sun, or the absolute calm of lying beneath an umbrella on a beach chair. When packing for a vacation, don’t forget to include a beach towel.

In addition to serving as a place to dry off after a swim, a beach towel may be used as a spot to lounge about or take a nap and remove sand when you’re ready to leave. Beach Towels have a rich history and come in various sizes, colors, and shapes. Wrapping yourself in a clean and fresh towel after a swim enhances the experience.

Today we want to give you the definitive guide on beach towels. Every question that you may ever have about the best beach buddy you may have will be answered. Let’s dive in.

What are Beach Towels?

Beach towels are a personal choice for everyone. Travelers may want a towel that can be rolled up into a little package, while families may wish for a larger one that can hold more people.

A beach towel is typically a little bigger than a bath towel and usually has a bright design. Although it is often used to dry off after swimming, its primary function is to offer a flat area for laying down. They are also used for privacy when changing clothes in a public setting and cleaning sand off the body or other things. Compared to hotel towels, which are made from high-quality, 100% cotton terry material with a high density for good absorbency and a heavy luxurious feeling, beach towels are designed more for convenience and style.

There are many different beach towels, and each has been carefully crafted to provide the best beach or pool experience. Luxury beach towels are more elaborately created in terms of quality, shape, function, and aesthetics. And they’re the perfect summer fashion accessory, so you can take them everywhere this season.


The History Behind the Modern Beach Towel 

Henry Christy, an English entrepreneur who visited Constantinople in 1850 and learned about “pestemals,” long narrow flat sheets that were woven of linen or fine cotton that was used to be wrapped around the body. He is credited with inventing the contemporary towel.

The pestemal, originally developed in the 17th century, was later improved in the 18th century by using a fabric called “havly,” which translates to “with loops.” They were created of looped pile cloth, which Christy saw potential. After returning to England, he and his brother launched a linen manufacturing enterprise.

Also, at that point, they invented, in imitation of the Turkish original, a loom with little loops like havly that protruded from both sides of the cloth they wove on it. This fabric's characteristic made it superior to other kinds of cloth often used for drying purposes. 



The loops significantly enhanced the surface area of the towel, increasing its ability to absorb enormous volumes of water. In 1851, during the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace, the Christys gave a set of their towels to Queen Victoria as a gift. 

The towels were a hit with the queen, who became a loyal customer. After a century, the enterprise had over 300 custom-made looms weaving what was known as “terry fabric.”. In time, the terry cloth manufacturing technique found its way to the United States, where a wide range of towels for both the commercial and home sectors was created.


Coco Chanel's Role in Popularising Beach Towels 

In the 1920s, French fashion icon Coco Chanel was inadvertently responsible for changing perceptions about tanned skin and may have well paved the way for the advent of the modern beach towel. 

In the past, the lower classes were linked with tanned skin because of spending time outside in the sun. Because they could afford to spend their free time inside, the higher classes were able to keep their lighter skin tones.

Coco Chanel became a fashion icon when she was caught in the sun on a boat voyage from Cannes to the French Riviera in 1923. For the first time, sun-tanned skin became popular thanks to her fans trying to emulate her. 

People who could afford to vacation in warmer climates grew to connect the word “vacation” with a certain level of luxury and sophistication.

Vacations at coastal resorts became increasingly popular because Americans increased leisure time as their country became wealthier. The rising popularity of sunbathing resulted in an ever-expanding market for beach towels. 



Which Beach Towels are the Best

Now that we have gotten the history of the beach towel out of the way let us take a look at the types of them and which is the best

What is a Turkish Beach Towel? 

Turkish towels are large, flat-woven towels traditionally used in Turkish baths. While they function well as bath towels, they’re also an effective beach towel option. Compared to hand towels, Turkish beach towels are larger and more versatile in their use.

Some of the reasons why they can function well on the beach are because they’re absorbent, lightweight, and dry quickly. They’re the ideal towel to have while you’re traveling.

It is also possible to use Turkish Towels in a wide variety of ways. As well as a beach towel, many people use them as a shawl, scarf, blanket, or throw. They are ideal for the bathroom, the beach, the spa, yoga or Pilates class, home decor, or a picnic because of their small size and rapid drying time.

What are Sand-Free Beach Towels?

When you return from a day at the beach, you'll find that your beach bag is covered in sand from your beach towel, with everything you carried being a little sandy. 

To prevent sand from being entangled in the fabric, sand-free towels are made from polyester fabric with a looser weave.

Are Sand-Free Towels Worth It? 

Getting schnitzeled on the beach by sand grains lodged in your beach towel might ruin your beach vacation if you're a sand-phobe. When your towel gets sand all over your vehicle and home, it's the worst betrayal.

Sand-free towels are often thinner than traditional beach towels, even though they provide the same moisture-wicking advantages as a traditional beach towel. So they aren't as soft or comfy to sleep on as traditional towels. 

But if sand is the worst part of the beach for you and you hate the way it seems to get everywhere, then you may want some sand-free towels.



What are Cabana Towels?

Featuring a classic stripe pattern, Cabana towels are soft and plush. Perfect for the pool, beach, spa, lawn, or deck. Cabana towels are designed to be easy to wash and dry. They are versatile enough to pack and use for every destination. 

Cabana towels are iconic and usually cotton-based but can also be made with different materials such as polyester. The classic stripe patterns are the difference between a cabana towel and your regular towel. 

Cotton Beach Towels

When it comes to beach towels, terrycloth made of 100% cotton is what most people imagine when they think of a beach towel.

Because of their absorbency and comfort, they are popular. When picking a new beach towel, the variety of forms, styles, sizes, and designs is endless.



Microfiber Towel 

Towels made of microfibre are designed to dry more quickly than cotton beach towels. Another major advantage of microfiber towels is that they are easy to use. 

They are gaining popularity because of how popular their sand-free and rapid drying features are. If you're looking for a high-quality product at a reasonable price, these are the ones for you!

Beach Blanket 

For a relaxing day on the beach, beach blankets are an excellent choice. The best beach blankets include built-in UPF protection, which shields you from the sun's harmful rays while you relax in the sweltering summer heat.

These beach blankets are great for covering up or lounging down on the sand, but they are not meant to be used to dry off after a swim.

You should use a separate towel to dry off before laying on your beach blanket since they are made of cotton, spandex, and viscose, which do not like chlorine or salt water.

Each towel has its use case, and there is no such thing as the best beach towel, but only the best for the situation. 


How are Beach Towels Different Than Bath Towels?

We understand what you’re thinking. I’ve also been guilty of believing that a towel is a towel and that there is no distinction between a beach towel and a bath towel. A towel is a towel, but the reason for which it is used makes all the difference.

Using a fresh towel is essential whether you are at the beach or in the bath, as it enhances the luxurious and clean experience. Beach towels and bath towels are as comparable as steak and popcorn. While both are towels, they serve different roles and have major differences. Here are a few examples.


What separates a bath towel from a beach towel is its look. The significant hue contrast is the most obvious method to tell the two apart when they're seen apart from one other.

Towels are designed to blend in with the surroundings in which they are used. No matter their differences, bathrooms encourage people to unwind and decompress. By creating an airy and open space or a modernist monochrome masterpiece, the goal is the same: to make the area seem warm and inviting.


Against this vivid backdrop of yellows, blues, and greens, the beach enables you to express yourself freely and create dramatic patterns. To put it another way, the fluffy beige bath towel you hurriedly tucked up in your beach suitcase would probably get trampled on by the golden sand. On the flip side, nothing is worse than having a brightly-colored bathroom towel. 

There is a beach towel for everyone these days, as there is for everything else. Towels for the beach come in an array of hues.


We'll need some help from the readers at this stage in the beach towel vs. bath towel debate. Grab both towels, and I'll have you check them for me.

Towels vary in thickness as well as color when inspected from the side. In the bathroom, absorbency is the name of the game; therefore, bath towels tend to be thick and absorbent. No doubt you want the bathroom as dry as possible when you leave. 

Beach towels are less thicker, so they're less absorbent than their bathroom-dwelling counterparts, but this also means they'll dry extremely rapidly in the sun and be light enough to take around in your luggage while you're out and about.


The reverse side of a beach towel isn't always the same as the front. The more absorbent side of the towel is meant to dry the body after a session in the water. Meanwhile, the opposite side is meant to avoid being blocked up with sand and becoming damp. Both sides have the same construction; they've just been treated differently.

It is common for beach towels to have one side Velour and the other veloured; velour is used for laying on the ground, and veloured is used for shaving off the terry loops, making the towel feel soft and sand-resistant. The large terry loops on the reverse side are more absorbent and provide a faster drying option.


Feel the softness, absorbency, and luxury of a brand new bath towel. However, getting it wet at the beach can leave it discolored, sand-filled, and foul-smelling after just a couple of beach days. This is not the case with beach towels, which are made to withstand these negative side effects.



Can You Use a Regular Towel as a Beach Towel?  

Technically you can. But it's not a good idea if you want to fully enjoy your beach day.

Beach Towels are made with the beach in mind. They're the perfect blend of softness, absorbency, and rapid drying. Regular towels don't have these features; they tend to be smaller and thicker, which isn't ideal for the beach,

Thick towels take a long to dry, and no one wants to lay down on a wet towel; and because bath towels don't have the antimicrobial features that a lot of beach towels do, it's more likely to be a home for bacteria, or start smelling weird because of mildew. 

Size is another thing that you need to consider. You want a towel bigger than your body to lay down comfortably on your beach day. Regular towels are smaller than the average adult, so parts of your body would inevitably come in contact with the hot sand, and you'd end up with sand places you don't want it to be.

Which is Bigger: a Bath Sheet or a Beach Towel?

Beach towels are significantly larger than bath sheets since they primarily allow users to lie down without their skin contacting the sand.

However, for various reasons, most beach towels are far thinner than bath sheets (and bath towels). In the first place, the scorching sun makes it unnecessary to rely on a towel to dry off when you're at the beach. Secondly, a sturdy and thin towel may easily remove sand from your body. 


Because of its huge surface area, a beach towel's thinness makes it simpler to pack inside a beach bag. Allows for speedier drying, so there's no need to tote a wet towel.


Due to the lack of absorbency of beach towels, they're not as comfortable to use daily as bath sheets for towel drying. As a result, they should only be used on bright, sunny days.

Which Beach Towels are the Best? 

The best beach towels are decided by their materials and thread count. Beach towels are normally made from three materials, terry, cotton, or microfiber.

 Terry towels can be made from pure cotton or a cotton blend, but what makes them different is how they are made. They use the same loop method as sweat shorts, which is great for their absorbancy but makes them heavy and hard to carry around.

Microfibre towels are extremely absorbent but aren't the most comfortable option. They're made from a synthetic blend of materials that make them great for cleaning but not the best option for laying on.

Cotton is undoubtedly the best material for beach towels. The perfect balance of softness and absorbency makes it practical and comfortable. 


A beach towel's thread count measures how absorbent it is. You should aim for a thread count above 400 for the best results.

How Many Beach Towels Do You Need?

Beach towels are a beach necessity, so it helps to know how many you should keep in stock. The amount you'll need depends on several things. Ask yourself how long you'll be at the beach. If it's a one-day trip, then bringing on a towel should be fine, but if you are going to the beach for several days in a row, you need to bring some extras.

The location also plays a role. If you can wash your beach towel between uses, you can get away with just bringing one. Otherwise, you need to bring at least one extra. Another thing to consider is who you're going with. Kids tend to be messy; if you're carrying children to the beach, carry an extra towel. 

Do You Need a Beach Towel For the Beach?

Whether or not you need a beach towel depends on your personal preference. You need a beach towel to comfortably lay down at the beach without getting sand all over you. You don't necessarily need to use a beach towel to dry off, so you don't have to bring a beach towel for that specific purpose.


Another reason some people don't like packing beach towels is that they are big and bulky, so they take up a lot of space. If you're packing light and don't mind the sand, then maybe bringing a towel isn't the best option.

Why Do You Always Put Your Beach Towel in the Same Place?

Bath towels are the same on both sides, but that's not the case for beach towels. Beach towels generally have one side with loops and one side without them. The loop-free side is softer and tends to be patterned. It's the side that should face up when you're laying on your towel.

The looped side is what you use to dry yourself off. You should always use the towel sides for their intended purpose to ensure that you get the most from your beach towel. 

Loops on both sides of the beach towel would cause it to get soggy and heavy. Water would never be absorbed if the surface were velvety on both sides. The beach towel incorporates the greatest qualities from both worlds.

What Should I Look For When Buying a Beach Towel? 

You need to have a good beach towel, but you have to know what you’re looking for if you want a beach towel that’s premium quality. Finding a high-quality beach towel doesn’t need to be expensive, but you shouldn’t skimp on quality. Additionally, having a laundry basket for storing used towels is essential to keep them organized and ready for washing.

Here are some factors you should consider when choosing your towels!


Chances are you'll be spending a significant amount of time laying on your beach towel, and even if you only spend a short period on it, you still want to be comfortable. Make sure you pick a soft towel that feels good against your skin.


Beach towels have two purposes: drying the sunbathing. You need to make your beach towel can effectively absorb water, so you don't end up sitting on a wet, sandy, unpleasant mess. Plus, shaking sand out of a wet towel isn't fun. 

That is why you have to pick a water-absorbent towel. These towels absorb moisture, allowing them to dry quickly. Cutting cost is great, but what you don't pay is the price you'll pay in comfort, so it's best to send a little extra for a high-quality terry cloth or cotton towel. 




When it comes to towels, size matters. If your towel is too big, it will take up a lot of space, but if it's too small, you won't be able to lay comfortably on it. 

The ideal towel size is around 37 inches by 68 inches. A towel in this range is comfortable for most people. If it's still too little, consider investing in a beach blanket.


Most people don't think about the color of their towel beyond picking their favorite color, but there's more to it.

If you pick a darker color, it will absorb a lot of heat, which may lead to you feeling like you're being cool. On the other hand, lighter colors keep you cool, but they easily stain. Having a towel that stands out may also make it easier to identify.


There is a misconception that the thicker a towel is, the more comfortable it is, and the better it is for a beach day. A thick towel may make your day at the beach more difficult. 

Thick towels tend to have a lot of volumes, so even when you fold them, they take a lot of room. This may mean you need to carry extra bags to accommodate everything else, which can be inconvenient (food, sunscreen, books, bathing suit, change of clothes, etc.).

Not only that, thick beach towels become hellish to carry around because of how heavy they become.


How Big is a 30 X 60 Beach Towel?

A 30 x 60 beach towel is massive. For reference, the average height for a man is 5'7, and the average height for a woman is 5'4 inches. That means that most people will be able to comfortable lounge and sprawl while they're at the beach. 

Is a Beach Towel Bigger than a Bath Sheet?

Beach Towels are significantly larger than Bath sheets since their primary purpose is to allow users to lie down without their skin coming into contact with the sand.

However, for various reasons, most beach towels are far thinner than bath sheets (and bath towels). In the first place, the scorching sun makes it unnecessary to rely on a towel to dry off when you're at the beach. 

Secondly, a sturdy and thin towel may easily remove sand from your body. Because of its huge surface area, a beach towel's thinness makes it simpler to pack inside a beach bag. Allows for speedier drying, so there's no need to tote a wet towel.

Due to the lack of absorbency of beach towels, they're not as comfortable to use daily as bath sheets for towel drying. As a result, they should only be used on bright, sunny days.

Is Polyester Good For a Beach Towel? 

If we’re aiming for comfort, polyester isn’t the best option. It dries very quickly, so it’s an ok option for hand towels, but it’s not a good material for laying on. It’s not soft and unlikely to feel good against you. Furthermore, it’s not absorbent, so it’s not great for the beach.

While polyester beach towels aren’t comfortable, they are durable and sand resistant, so if those are the key thing you want, then it may not be the best option for you. When considering how many towels to bring, especially for longer stays, polyester towels might be useful as extras due to their quick-drying nature.

What is a Good Beach Towel Size? 

The perfect size of the perfect beach towel is very subject and will vary depending on your needs. Most people will be fine with a regular-size beach towel, but there are cases where you may need a little more space.

One example is if you're carrying a bag of supplies you want to keep close. In that case, you should try to get an extra large beach towel. Normal beach towels measure 30 x 60, but extra large beach towels go up to 40 x 70. These massive towers are in high demand, so they may be hard to find.


Can I Use a Bath Towel as a Beach Towel

If you don't want to buy a new beach towel, you may think you can just grab a bath towel instead. You probably already have several of them at home. While a bath towel is great for drying off, it doesn't work well for the other functions of a beach towel. 

That's because they're normally smaller than a standard beach towel, but they're also a lot thicker, which means they may feel uncomfortably hot to sleep on in hot sunny weather, and they can feel very heavy when wet.

We recommend you spend a little extra and get a good beach towel instead of a bath towel because they are thinner and larger and will dry much faster than a bath towel, making them a more practical choice.  

Beach towels also have an aesthetic perk because, unlike normally plain bath towels, beach towels come in several fun prints and designs.   

How Big are Oversized Beach Towels?

To accommodate more than one person, oversized beach towels usually have a width of at least 70 inches. They're not as effective in repelling sand as your standard beach towel, but they're designed to hold multiple people. 

How Do You Wear Beach Towels?

There is more than one way to skin a cat. Even when it comes to the art of styling beach towels, this adage holds true. Similarly, there are no right or incorrect responses in this case either. You're only limited by your imagination when it comes to possibilities. Here are some of our favorites.

A Tube Dress with a Matching Wrap

From back to front, wrap the towel over your upper body. Slide the open ends of your towels to the left, one end on top of the other, and secure them with your hands. Stuff the uppermost corner beneath the lowermost.


Strapless Dress

Using your towel, begin from the rear and work toward the front. Stack the open ends of your towels together, one on top of the other, with a strong grip, to the left. Stuff the top corner beneath the bottom one.


Tie the top ends of the towel together on one side and wrap it over your waist.

Beach towels are incredibly versatile, offering more uses compared to wash cloths.

Halter Dress

Begin by wrapping the towel around your back and tying it around your neck with the towel's upper corners in front of you.

Greek Goddess

From the front to the rear, wrap your towel. You may wrap it around your neck either on the left or right side, depending on how you wear it.

Should Beach Towels Match?

Bath towels, as stated above, are usually made to match the bathroom theme. However, beach towels are usually multiple colors to stop them from getting lost at the beach.   

That said, it would be a great idea to have matching colors, but we think it would be best to consider the frequency with which you wash our towels before selecting a color. Keeping whites and darks separate is a good rule when washing clothes. 

So, picking a color based on the colors you use the most is a good strategy. Choosing a color scheme that everyone in the family agrees on might make cleaning up a breeze.

What are Turkish Towels? 

You may have seen Turkish towels referred to as hammam towel or Fouta towel. Regardless of the name, the product that's being referred to is a 35 X 65″ – 40 X 70″ towel made from Turkish cotton, which is famed for its long threads.

Turkish Towels aren't the softest option, so they aren't the most comfortable, but the great thing about them is that they become softer and more absorbent every time you wash them. Furthermore, they dry quickly, so if you're on a long trip but want to make a quick beach decor, your towel is the perfect travel companion.

Something else that makes them the perfect travel companion is that they are thinner than most fluffy towels, so they don't take up a lot of space in your suitcase.

Aside from being highly functional, Turkish Towels are also aesthetically pleasing. There are several sources and a plethora of designs, sizes, and forms of Turkish towels for you to choose from. 

What is the Proper Way to Wash Towels?

Always verify the washing directions on the towel label. Separate whites from colored garments and wash in the hottest setting are advised as a rule of thumb. Every time you wash a towel, don't use too much detergent or fabric softener since it might build up in the fibers and reduce absorbency.

When Drying a Towel, What is the Best Method For Preventing Mildew?

Towels should be shaken dry after being washed to remove any remaining water. Next, use the hottest setting on your dryer's temperature dial to quickly dry your towels. You may also use a clothesline in a sunny, well-ventilated area to dry them. To avoid mildew growth, they must be dried rapidly.

Does It Work as a Bath Towel While It's Wet From the Beach?

In a pinch, a beach towel may double as a bath towel. On the other hand, beach towels tend to be thinner and less absorbent than bath towels, which means that they won't dry you either.

GSM: Towel Weight Measured in Grams Per Square Meter

There are several different ways to quantify the weight of a towel in terms of grams per square meter (or GSM). Towel quality, feel, and performance are all intimately linked to the GSM of a towel. 

Typically, the GSM range for cotton bath towels is 300-900 grams per square meter. Higher GSM towels are thicker, softer, and absorbent than their lower GSM counterparts. Made from the finest GSM cotton fabric, a luxury bath towel is thick, soft, and absorbent; these towels are typically seen at spas or hotels.


On the other hand, towels with a high GSM count are bulkier and more difficult to clean. Choosing a lighter or medium-weight towel, with a lower GSM, makes it simpler to wash but less "plush" simultaneously. Towels made with GSM have several desirable characteristics, including softness, absorbency, and ease of maintenance.

What Exactly Does GSM Stand For in Terms of Towels and Other Fabrics?

Cotton towels are included in the GSM scale, which measures and compares the weight of all fabrics. It may be calculated by weighing a square meter of any cloth and converting the weight to grams. Cotton bath towels typically come in GSM weights ranging from 300 to 900, with the higher GSM weights feeling softer and more absorbent.

A summer dress or light cotton shirt GSM would be around the mid- to low-100s, putting these statistics into context. Denim fabric has a GSM in the 400s. The weight of a 700 GSM wool coat or blanket would be considered heavyweight. 

Towels with a higher GSM are thicker and contain more fibers, which is why GSM is associated with better quality. Having a high GSM indicates a high level of luxury. A thick, fluffy, soft, absorbent and hefty towel is what you'll get if you pick one with a high GSM.

Towels with a High GSM Ratio are Important

Towels with a higher GSM count tend to be of higher quality. Towels with a GSM of 400 or more are considered high-quality. More tightly woven, the fabric of these soft towels is softer and more absorbent than fabrics with lower GSM values (for example, that found in a standard kitchen towel).

GSM ranges for cotton towels can be summarized as follows:

  • Lightweight, thinner, and coarser than 300 to 400 GSM

  • A GSM of 400 to 600 is an appropriate weight range for bath or beach towels.

  • GSM 700 through 900: Towels of the highest quality, weight, softness, and absorbency.

To begin your search for a cotton towel, seek one with a GSM of 400 to 600. They're perfect for the bath and the beach because they're nice yet not too heavy. They're soft and absorbent, but they're also simple to maintain. Regarding towels, the higher the GSM, the softer and more absorbent they will be.

Towel quality, feel, and performance are intimately linked to GSM.

Higher GSM Towels: Advantages

Bath towels' quality is strongly related to their GSM rating. Softer, more absorbent, and generally more luxurious are towels with a higher GSM rating. Also, they are usually more costly. Using a towel with a low GSM (grams per square meter) will be an unpleasant experience and ineffective at drying you off.

We often recommend towels with a weight of 400 GSM, It is still possible to find a high-quality towel with a GSM of 400 to 600. These towels have a great look and feel, are soft and absorbent without being too bulky, and consistently deliver on their promises. It's possible to air-dry them rapidly, and they may be washed and dried in a normal load. Towels weighing 600 GSM work well for many individuals since they are more comfortable and require less maintenance.


Towels with a GSM of 700 or more are considered heavy. It's worth the money to get these towels, which have a luxurious, luxurious, soft towel feel. They are heavy, absorbing, and rich in texture and depth. In addition to white and ivory, high GSM towels are sometimes available in a larger range of colors, such as red, blue, yellow, green, and so on. Towels with a high GSM require a lower load size and take longer to dry because of their weight. However, because of their superior quality, these bath towels necessitate extra upkeep.


July 22, 2022 — Hencely Team

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