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The 7 Best Beach Towels for Summer 2021

Outlier Grid Linen Towel

Now that we’re in the dog days of summer, it’s time to get your beach gear in order. While it’s perfectly natural to devote the lion’s share of your attention to beach necessities like trunks, sunglasses, and sunscreen, we urge you not to sleep on the selection of your beach towel.

I don’t care how cut your abs are, or how your expensive sunnies set off your cheekbones. Nothing can impair a hot summer vibe like toting around a terry cloth number from Costco. You’re not in grade school anymore, buddy — you’re a grown man, and your beach towel broadcasts to the entire shoreline whether you’ve owned this fact or not.

So toss that faded college-era beach towel left over from your childhood bedroom, and invest in one of these high-quality towels. All of our picks are broad and sturdy enough to take on sun, sand, and salt water, yet offer the subdued style that makes a statement on a poolside lounge, cabana, or even in the bathroom.

A Word About the Turkish Towel

The Turkish towel is a matter of some controversy. People love it or loathe it for the same reasons: It’s thin, extremely lightweight, and has no loops or “nap” to the fabric. This, in our opinion, is what makes it a perfect beach towel. Without the fabric loops, Turkish towels dry within seconds of absorbing moisture, making them easy to use and reuse after multiple dips in the water. They also don’t hold sand, guaranteeing a soft, clean dry-off. Plus, their light, thin profile lets them easily double as a beach blanket or even a scarf when the night turns cool. (Score major gentleman points by wrapping it around your ladyfriend’s neck when she starts to shiver.)

The Best Beach Towels for Summer

Slowtide Santiago Woven Towel

Slowtide Santiago Woven Towel

Can’t decide which type of towel is right for you? Slowtide doesn’t make it any easier. The brand offers beach towels in every conceivable pattern and profile, from luxurious spa-style towels to quick-dry towels that absorb four times their weight in water, all made from sustainable or recycled fibers. Our favorites, however, are the premium woven beach towels, which take the classic beach towel look up a notch with extra-thick absorbency, marshmallow softness, and a little extra length. And did we mention their sweet designs? Order quick — they sell out fast.

Bathing Culture Cosmic Rainbow Towel

Bathing Culture Cosmic Rainbow Towel

After a day getting tossed in the cold waves, all you want is a warm shower. But until you can get one, wrap yourself in this big bear hug of a towel. Hand-loomed, super absorbent, and kaleidoscopically colorful, this towel will make you feel like you did as a kid fresh out of the tub.

Onsen Bath Towel

Onsen Bath Towel

For those who have mastered the art of adulting, Onsen makes the classiest towel we’ve ever seen. The Japanese design philosophy shines through the simplicity and quality of the Supima cotton fibers and super-thirsty waffle weave. That being said, the classiest towel is also the cuddliest. (On the down-low, we’d happily sub this towel in for a bedtime blankie.) If your summer schedule pivots around cold water plunges or visits to a five-star spa, this is the towel you want to bring.

Coyuchi Mediterranean Organic Towels

If sustainability is a main consideration for you (and in 2020 it probably should be), look no further than Coyuchi. Their Mediterranean Organic Bath Towel is not only made from 100% organic cotton, but it also combines all the best features of both traditional and Turkish towels into one seemingly endless bath sheet. The thin, lightweight is buffed up by a tight waffle weave that offers extra absorbency. The neutral colorway plays great in both beach and bathroom — truly a towel for all seasons.

Teema Towels

Teema Towels

The perfect mix of sustainability, style, and performance, every Teema towel comes with a story. Their beautiful, limited-run designs are made by Turkish artisans on traditional jacquard looms, according to a 500-year-old process, resulting in a heavier fabric than you usually find on Turkish towels, with a baby-blanket softness to boot. As a bonus, their light weight and extra absorbency make them extremely travel-friendly.

The Loomia Iris Beach Towels

After a long day in the sweltering sun, the last thing you want is to smother yourself in a thick, fluffy towel. The dog days of summer call for the ultimate minimalist towel, i.e., a Turkish towel from The Loomia. The brand’s “Iris” model is our personal fave. It boasts a little extra heft than you usually find in a Turkish towel, plus a special reflection effect weave that sets off the striking stripe design. Better get two — your girlfriend will definitely steal one.

Sandusa Beach Towel Monterey Grande

Sandusa Beach Towel

Though the Sandusa towel may at first glance seem like a typical beach accessory, it’s anything but ordinary. Built with a double-layer of soft cotton on one side and waterproof padding on the other, this towel is guaranteed to stay dry and sand-free no matter how long you lounge on the beach.

Tesalate Into the Wild Towel for Two

Sure, this towel is a little expensive, but you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck as it’s built for upwards of three people. Great for families or friend groups who want to lay claim to a ton of shoreline space, the Tesalate Towel for Two is not only huge, but sand-free, ultra-absorbent, and quick-drying. Sounds like a win, win, win.

Now that you’ve got your beach towel situation all settled, it’s time to start thinking about what book to read while lying on it.

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