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A great beach blanket, aside from being stylish on the sand, actually serves a useful purpose: giving you a more comfortable place to rest while making sure you don’t get sand all over your body or your gear.
Why not just use your beach towel, you ask? You totally can, and we have a guide just for you. However, upgrading to a proper beach blanket will not only make it easier to use your towel to dry off (and keep it from getting completely covered in sand), but it’ll give you the space you need to truly have a relaxing day while soaking up the sun.
Beach Blanket Buying Guide
Ready to upgrade your beach blanket? Here’s everything you should know when looking for one, along with our guide to the best ones you can buy for your next beach day. This may go without saying, but all of the blankets on this list work well beyond the beach, including at music festivals, campsites and at home on the couch.
Size: One of the main reasons to upgrade to a new beach blanket is all about size. We recommend looking for slightly larger or oversized blankets if you’re sharing the ground space with friends or a partner, or even your dog at a dog-friendly beach. A larger blanket generally ensures you’ll have a more comfortable time by the water, giving you the space to fully stretch out without moving all your gear to the sand.
Fabric and Care: In general, you’ll want to avoid tough-to-clean fabrics when choosing a beach blanket. Think blankets made with cotton, polyester and other materials, but avoid, say, certain heavier wool blankets that would be harder to wash and dry if they get sandy or wet.
For this guide, we picked beach blankets that are made with soft materials, including cotton, but that are also durable enough that you can easily clean them once you get home.
Portability: We prefer to pack beach blankets that are lightweight and easily foldable. While some of our favorites don’t include additional carrying straps, blankets that come with handles are nice to have when you don’t have extra room in your beach bag. Plus, they can make it easier to keep the blanket rolled up in a linen closet or even in the car.
What Are the Best Beach Blankets?
From two-person blanket to extra portable throws, here are the best blankets to order online this summer.
Slowtide Dylan Throw Beach Blanket
Both versatile and stylish, this Dylan throw from outdoor accessories brand Slowtide is destined to be the beach gear MVP of the season. It’s big enough for a couple at about 5.5 x 6.6 feet, and it’s made with a lightweight, sustainable woven cotton that makes it easy to pack up and carry with you down to the shore from the parking lot. The fringe-finished hems add to its vintage appeal, and it’s striking enough you’ll want to use it inside all year long.
Sunbeam Coastal Throw Beach Blanket
BEST FOR SOLO TRIPS
Sunbeam’s modern, soft Coastal Throw is the kind of beach blanket worth always keeping in the back of your car, especially if you’re planning any summer road trips. The blanket measures about 4 x 6 feet, meaning that there’s plenty of room for you to stretch out your legs under the sun, but it’s not too oversized. In other words, if you’re looking for something a little more on the lightweight side that’s not overly bulky, this is the throw to get.
CGear Sand-Free Outdoor Camping Mat and Beach Blanket
BEST FOR LARGE GROUPS
Consider this the ultimate outdoor mat and blanket for a beach picnic.
When you’re hosting a large beach gathering, spring for this large sand-free mat from CGear. It’s available in four different sizes, but we suggest the 10 x 10-foot large option, which can comfortably accommodate up to eight people at once. One downside is that it’s slightly heavy to carry at 8.5 pounds. But because of its sturdy structure, it won’t blow around when the wind picks up.
The mat’s D rings also ensure it stays in place so you won’t have to adjust it or worry about a ton of sand finding its way on your plate. The mat’s water-resistant and, best of all, sand won’t collect on top of the blanket thanks to the weave construction.
Nipomo Beach Blanket
MOST STYLISH BLANKET
When you’re shopping for a beach blanket, it’s worth considering how you might use it when you’re not at the beach. Will you use it as a throw on your couch or draped over the arm of your office chair?
The great thing about this new crop of beach blankets is that they’re so well-designed that the possibilities of where you can use them are pretty endless. We love this blanket for its stylish leather carry strap, which makes it easy to store it in a sleek bundle. It lets you stow it easily in a storage basket or looks just as great folded up under a side table.
At the beach, it’s plenty big for you and a partner. It’s available in three tones. And as far as cleaning it goes, you’ll want to wash it in the machine on cold and hang it out to dry.