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Beach Towel vs Beach Blanket: What’s the Difference?

Beach Towel vs Beach Blanket: What’s the Difference? - Bondi Joe Swimwear

When planning a beach day, choosing between a beach towel and a beach blanket can be a dilemma. Both serve specific purposes and offer unique benefits. Understanding the differences between the two can help you decide which one suits your needs better. This guide will explore the key distinctions between beach towels and beach blankets, covering aspects such as size, material, functionality, and more.

Size and Coverage

Beach Towels

Beach towels are typically smaller in size compared to beach blankets. They usually measure around 30-40 inches in width and 60-70 inches in length. This size makes them perfect for drying off after a swim and for individual use. The compact nature of beach towels also makes them easy to carry and pack, fitting neatly into beach bags.

Beach Blankets

Beach blankets, on the other hand, are significantly larger, often exceeding 6 feet in length and width. They are designed to provide ample space for multiple people, making them ideal for families or groups. The extra coverage of a beach blanket allows for comfortable lounging, picnicking, and playing games without the hassle of sand getting everywhere.

Material and Comfort

Beach Towels

Beach towels are commonly made from absorbent materials like cotton or microfiber. Cotton towels are soft, plush, and highly absorbent, making them perfect for drying off after a swim. Microfiber towels, while not as plush, are lightweight and quick-drying, making them a practical choice for those who prioritize convenience and portability.

Beach Blankets

Beach blankets are typically made from materials that prioritize durability and sand resistance. They often feature waterproof or sand-proof layers that make them easy to clean and maintain. Common materials include polyester, nylon, and other synthetic blends. While not as absorbent as beach towels, beach blankets are designed to provide a comfortable and spacious surface for lounging and activities.

Functionality and Use Cases

Beach Towels

Beach towels are versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes. Their primary function is to dry off after swimming, but they also serve as a comfortable surface for sunbathing and relaxing. Beach towels are easy to shake off and clean, making them ideal for quick trips to the beach, pool, or even the gym.

Beach Blankets

Beach blankets are designed for extended beach outings and group activities. Their larger size and durable materials make them perfect for picnics, playing games, or simply lounging with friends and family. Beach blankets often come with additional features such as stakes to secure them to the ground, built-in pillows, and carrying straps for easy transport.

Portability and Storage

Beach Towels

Due to their smaller size, beach towels are highly portable and easy to store. They can be rolled or folded to fit into beach bags, backpacks, or even larger purses. This makes them a convenient option for those who prefer to travel light and minimize their load.

Beach Blankets

While beach blankets offer more space and comfort, they can be bulkier and more challenging to carry. However, many modern beach blankets are designed with portability in mind, featuring compact folding designs, carrying cases, and straps. These features help mitigate the inconvenience of their larger size, making them easier to transport and store.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Beach Towels

Cleaning beach towels is straightforward. Most can be machine washed and dried, though it's best to follow the care instructions on the label to maintain their softness and absorbency. Cotton towels may take longer to dry, whereas microfiber towels dry quickly and are less prone to mildew.

Beach Blankets

Beach blankets often require more specific cleaning methods due to their materials and construction. Many are machine washable, but some may need to be spot cleaned or hand washed. It's important to check the manufacturer's instructions to ensure proper care. The waterproof and sand-proof features of beach blankets typically make them easier to clean after use.

Design and Style

Beach Towels

Beach towels come in a wide variety of designs, colors, and patterns. From bold and vibrant prints to minimalist and elegant styles, there’s a beach towel to match every taste and personality. This makes them not only functional but also a fashionable accessory for the beach.

Beach Blankets

Beach blankets also come in various designs, but they often prioritize functionality over fashion. While there are stylish options available, the focus is usually on features like sand resistance, water resistance, and durability. However, many beach blankets still offer attractive designs that complement their practical benefits.


1. Can I use a beach towel as a beach blanket?

While you can use a beach towel as a makeshift beach blanket, it may not provide enough space and comfort for multiple people or extended lounging. Beach blankets are specifically designed for these purposes.

2. Are beach blankets waterproof?

Many beach blankets are designed with waterproof or water-resistant layers to keep you dry and comfortable. Always check the product details to ensure this feature is included.

3. How do I clean a sand-proof beach blanket?

Sand-proof beach blankets are typically easy to clean. Most can be shaken off to remove sand and are machine washable. Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for best results.

4. What is the best material for a beach towel?

Cotton is a popular choice for beach towels due to its softness and absorbency. Microfiber is also a great option for those who prefer lightweight and quick-drying towels.

5. Can beach blankets be used for other activities?

Yes, beach blankets are versatile and can be used for picnics, outdoor concerts, camping, and other outdoor activities. Their large size and durability make them suitable for various uses.

6. Do beach towels dry quickly?

Microfiber beach towels dry quickly, making them ideal for frequent use and travel. Cotton towels, while more absorbent, may take longer to dry but offer a plush and comfortable feel.


Choosing between a beach towel and a beach blanket ultimately depends on your needs and preferences. Beach towels are versatile, portable, and ideal for individual use, while beach blankets offer ample space, comfort, and durability for group activities and extended beach outings. By understanding the key differences, you can make an informed decision that enhances your beach experience. Whether you prefer the compact convenience of a beach towel or the spacious comfort of a beach blanket, both options ensure you have a great time at the beach. Check out more guides to buying beach towels for more tips and tricks. 


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