The 10 Best Beach Blankets of 2021

Top picks for days on the shore

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TRIPSAVVY-best-beach-blankets

Chloe Jeong / TripSavvy

The Rundown

Best Overall: Wildhorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket at Amazon

"Four integrated sand anchor pockets help to keep the blanket on the ground even in high winds."

Best Budget: Camco Handy Mat at Amazon

"Made from durable, mildew-resistant polypropylene, making it difficult to stain and easy to clean."

Most Stylish: Scuddles Blue & White Striped Tote Blanket at Amazon

"The polypropylene is also mold and mildew-resistant—a major bonus if you forget to air it properly before packing it away."

Best Circular: IcosaMro Round Beach Towel at Amazon

"At 59-inches wide, this circular blanket is big enough for several kids or adults to find seats."

Best Throw: LL Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket at L.L. Bean

"An included stuff sack makes the blanket portable for beach-side excursions."

Best Sand-Proof: CGEAR The Original Sand-Free Outdoor Camping Mat at Amazon

"The mat is composed of tightly-woven material that keeps out sand, dirt, and dust."

Best Oversized: WELLAX Sand-Free Beach Blanket at Amazon

"Provides 90 square feet of space that can fit up to seven people."

Best For Travel: Coalatree The Kachula Adventure Blanket at Coalatree

"Reviewers loved that this functional blanket can be used as a pillow or poncho, too."

Best Lightweight: Matador Pocket Blanket at REI

"It only weighs 3.5 ounces, so it's something you could leave in your backpack or purse for those "just in case" scenarios."

Best Waterproof: UrbanEco Beach Blanket at Amazon

"It's particularly good for windy days, thanks to its double anchored design. "

When you’re headed to the beach, a proper blanket is essential. It creates an area for lounging, sunbathing, and picnicking. It should also stave off the sand. Blankets can vary to suit a variety of circumstances, from doubling as stylish towels to creating a moisture-proof barrier. We’ve scoured the internet to round up beach blankets for every need, taking into account the size and shape, fabric, waterproofing, and usability to bring you the best of the best for all your summer adventures.

Here are the best beach blankets available.

Best Overall: Wildhorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket

Sand Escape Compact Outdoor Beach Blanket

Wildhorn Outfitters

3.4
What We Like
  • Easy to shake sand off

  • Carrying bag

  • Quick-drying

  • Built-in sand anchors keep it in place

What We Don't Like
  • Gets wet easily

  • Material gets hot in sun

The Wildhorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket is reasonably priced, especially considering its large size. At 9 x 7 feet, the blanket offers 63 square feet of sand-free space, providing ample room for all of your beach gear and family members. Four integrated sand anchor pockets help to keep the blanket on the ground even in high winds. Our reviewer, Kimberly Holland, noted that the "fabric is thin and lightweight, but it’s durable and resistant to tears or snags from keys or hooks."

It comes with an integrated stuff pouch and compression straps (attached so that you’ll never lose them), and packs away to just 6 x 7 inches for hassle-free storage. The blanket is made from ultra-lightweight, tear-resistant parachute nylon, and is designed to last for years to come. Best of all, sand can’t stick to it. At the end of the day, simply shake it off and revel in the novelty of a sand-free car and home. Choose sea blue/charcoal, meadow green/gray, or dark blue/gray stripes.

Dimensions: 7 x 9 ft. | Weight: 1 lb. | Care: Machine wash on cold

Tested by TripSavvy

Wildhorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket is unique among oversized towels and blankets for the beach: It comes with built-in sand pockets so you can anchor it down—a few handfuls of sand were all we needed. We also used one of the pockets as storage for keys, cell phones, and sunscreen. 

This fabric is thin and lightweight but also durable. It’s not breathable—we sweat when our skin was in contact with the nylon—but it dries quickly because air moves under it easily. When sitting in the sun, the fabric can get very hot. It cools to the touch after a while, however. The material feels more natural than some stiff fabrics, which we like better when we’re hot and sweaty. It’s too thin to provide any real cushion, though, so avoid setting up camp on hard surfaces.

We found it easy to hand-wash the blanket, though you can also pop it into a cool rinse or wash cycle. We air-dried it as instructed, and it was ready to be packed into its carrying case (which you won’t lose, since it’s attached) in under an hour. When we packed it up, it compressed and fit easily into its case. Kimberly Holland, Product Tester

WildHorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket

  Tripsavvy / Kimberly Holland

Best Budget: Camco Handy Mat with Strap

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Easy to carry

  • Summery colors

  • Mildew resistant

What We Don't Like
  • No anchors

The Camco Handy Mat costs a fraction of the price of some of the other blankets on this list but remains a firm favorite. It’s made from durable, mildew-resistant polypropylene, making it difficult to stain and easy to clean. Fabric edging prevents fraying, while the mat itself is UV-stabilized to guard against fading over time.

Essentially, this blanket proves that cheap doesn’t have to mean poor quality. It measures 60 x 78 inches and folds into a compact 10.5 x 15-inch tote complete with a hook and loop flap, handles, and a pocket on either side. It’s a breeze to carry to the beach, and even easier to fit in your cupboard afterward. Choose blue/green, green/red, or green/turquoise stripes.

Dimensions: 5 x 6.5 ft. | Weight: 1.2 lbs. | Care: Spot treat with soap and water

Most Stylish: Scuddles Blue & White Striped Tote Blanket

3.4
What We Like
  • Comfortable fleece fabric

  • Built-in handles for transport

  • Waterproof backing

  • Stylish

What We Don't Like
  • Folding into original shape is a challenge

  • Top fabric snags easily

For flawless retro style, opt for the Scuddles Blue & White Striped Tote Blanket. Its soft polypropylene weave boasts artfully faded blue, white, and chocolate stripes, while fabric edging helps to prevent fraying-keeping your blanket looking smart for longer. When you’re not using it, the blanket folds into a tote with pockets on either side, a woven handle, and a color-coordinated, messenger-style flap.

It’s as practical as it is stylish, with a waterproof backing that keeps you dry (and is amazingly easy to clean). The polypropylene is also mold and mildew-resistant—a major bonus if you forget to air it properly before packing it away. When open, the blanket measures 60 x 78 inches, providing plenty of space for couples and families of up to four people. Our product tester also noted that the backing provides a bit of cushioning, which helps soften the surface if you "happen to spread the mat on a spot with a few rocks or shells."

Dimensions: 5 x 5 ft. | Weight: 1.6 lbs. | Care: Spot treat with soap and water

Tested by TripSavvy

We spent two beach days—one sunny and dry, one overcast and rainy—to test the Scuddles Handy Mat under various conditions. We can confirm that the waterproof backing resists moisture and helps stop mold or mildew growth in storage. It also provides a thin cushion if we spread the mat on a spot with a few rocks or shells. The fabric on top is soft and comfortable, though if you’re looking for a moisture-wicking blanket-towel hybrid, this product is not that. However, we found it stayed cool under the sun, unlike many other synthetic mats.

We appreciated that this blanket folds into its own carrying case thanks to a built-in handle and hook-and-loop fastener strips (watch out for hair getting stuck in the strips when you’re lying on the blanket, though!). It’s compact enough to tuck into a larger bag but lightweight enough for a helpful kid to grab once you get out of the car. Fully deployed, the blanket is plenty big for a family of four. We washed and air-dried the mat twice and noticed a small bit of thread unraveling on one end after the first cycle, but nothing we thought would be a problem. —Kimberly Holland, Product Tester

Scuddles Handy Mat

  Tripsavvy / Kimberly Holland

Best Circular: IcosaMro Round Beach Towel

What We Like
  • Stylish

  • Versatile

  • Comfortable fabric

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't dry quickly

  • Bulky

With bold fern leaves and fringed edges, this circular blanket makes a stylish statement on the shore or by the pool. The polyester microfiber material is soft enough that it can double as a towel; however, when used as a blanket it creates a quick-drying barrier. At 59-inches wide, the blanket is big enough for several kids or adults to find seats. The blanket’s lightweight material allows it to be packed up quickly. Weighing just more than a pound, you’ll easily be able to carry the blanket along for a day at the beach.

Dimensions: 4.91 ft. diameter | Weight: 1.14 lbs. | Care: Machine wash

Best Throw: LL Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket

L.L. Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket

Courtesy of L.L. Bean

What We Like
  • Water won't seep through

  • Comfortable fabric

  • High quality

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky

This double-sided waterproof blanket plays double duty. The 100 percent polyester fleece top turns the blanket into a cozy throw, while the 100 percent nylon and polyurethane-coated underside keeps moisture out. Reviewers applauded the blanket’s waterproofing features and attest that it holds up after washing. The coating also helps keep sand from gathering on the blanket. Measuring 80 x 72 inches, the oversized blanket easily seats four adults or wraps around two people. An included stuff sack makes the blanket portable for beach-side excursions.

Dimensions: 6.6 x 6 ft. | Care: Machine wash and dry

Best Sand-Proof: CGEAR The Original Sand-Free Outdoor Camping Mat

What We Like
  • Water resistant

  • Durable

  • Reversible

  • Carrying bag

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky

  • Not very soft

The CGEAR Sand-free Outdoor Camping Mat uses materials originally developed for military use, so it’s built for heavy duty use. The mat is composed of tightly woven material that keeps out sand, dirt, and dust. An additional coating of polypropylene creates the ultimate sand-free ground pad. Reviews applaud the sand-proofing and confirm that it brushes off easily when dry. The mat is resistant to water, which also helps with keeping annoying sand off the blanket and makes for more comfortable lounging after a swim. The blanket also stands up to UV damage, so you’ll find it is long lasting and durable. This blanket won’t blow away either, even in the heaviest winds. Heavy-duty D-rings keep it staked to the ground even when gentle shore breezes turn into gusts. The blanket comes in a variety of sizes, from the small that suites two people up to the x-large that seats 10. It’s versatile whether you need it for a day at the beach or you’re carting it along on an outdoor adventure.

Dimensions: S: 6 x 6 ft., M: 8 x 8 ft., L: 10 x 10 ft., XL: 12 x 12 in. |
Weight: S: 3.2 lbs., M: 5.6 lbs., L: 8.5 lbs., XL: 11.7 lbs. |
Care: Spot clean with soap and water

Best Oversized: WELLAX Sand-Free Beach Blanket

What We Like
  • Metal anchors keep it in place

  • Quick-dry

  • Collapses into carrying bag

  • Easy to shake sand off

What We Don't Like
  • Gets wet easily

  • Materials gets hot in sun

The Sandfree Beach Blanket by WELLAX is a great solution for big families when they visit the beach. Measuring 9 x 10 feet, this blanket provides 90 square feet of space that fits up to seven people. It's made from lightweight parachute nylon and features four sand pockets and four anchors to keep it stable on the sand. There's also a waterproof pouch to keep all your valuables secure.

At the end of the day, simply fold this beach blanket into its compressed size of 4 x 8 inches and pack it into its travel pouch. Best of all, the WELLAX blanket only weighs 1 pound, so it will barely add any weight to your beach bag. You can also use this blanket as a car seat on your ride home to protect against water and sand. It's available in three different colors.

Dimensions: 9 x 10 ft. | Weight: 16 oz. | Care: Hand wash

Best For Travel: Coalatree The Kachula Adventure Blanket

Coalatree The Kachula Adventure Blanket

Courtesy of Coalatree

What We Like
  • Tons of fun colors

  • Easy to clean

  • Versatile

What We Don't Like
  • Heavier

Those who prefer a more lightweight blanket that's easy to carry around should opt for The Kachula Adventure Blanket. This sustainably-made blanket only weighs 1 pound and 9 ounces and has a pocket to hold your valuables. Reviewers loved how functional this blanket is, too. It can transform into a pillow when it's stuffed inside the included travel pouch and comes with a detachable hood that transforms the water-resistant blanket into a poncho. While this blanket fits three people comfortably, it can also attach to other Kachula blankets using the carabineer hooks for extra space. It's available in ten different patterns.

Dimensions: 4.16 x 6 ft. | Weight: 1 lb. 9 oz. | Care: Spot clean with soap and water

Best Lightweight: Matador Pocket Blanket

Matador Blanket
What We Like
  • Durable fabric

  • Packable

What We Don't Like
  • Hard to fold into bag

  • Very thin

For those who looking for a simple, compact, and lightweight blanket to toss in your bag for trips to the beach or on a hike, the Matador Pocket Blanket is a solid choice. It only weighs 3.5 ounces, so it's something you could leave in your backpack or purse for those "just in case" scenarios. While it's not really a "snuggle up by the campfire" type blanket (it's decidedly more of a tarp material and weight), it's useful for keeping your stuff off the wet ground.

Dimensions: 5.25 x 3.66 ft. | Weight: 3.5 oz. |
Care: Spot clean with soap and water

Best Waterproof: UrbanEco Beach Blanket

UrbanEco Outdoors Lightweight Beach Blanket
What We Like
  • Fun patterns

  • Huge

  • Double-anchored design

  • Zipper storage

What We Don't Like
  • Material can get hot in sun

The UrbanEco Beach Blanket is reasonably priced, especially considering its large size. At 107 x 77 inches, that's a lot of sand-free space for friends and family, gear, and more. The material is water resistant and easy to shake the sand off of. It's particularly good for windy days, thanks to its double anchored design. There are six yellow plastic stakes and four corner sand pockets, so your blanket isn't going anywhere. There's also a hidden zipped pocket for small valuables like car keys and phones. When you're done, it rolls into a compact and easy-to-carry storage bag.

Dimensions: 8.91 x 6.41 ft. | Weight: 2.09 lbs. | Care: Machine wash on cold

Final Verdict

We love the Wildhorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket for its oversized square footage balanced with a packable carrying size. Four corner anchors keep the blanket grounded, even on high-wind days, so you needn’t worry about your picnic blowing away while you’re going for a swim.

What to Look for in a Beach Blanket

Size and shape

Think about how much stuff you plan to put on your beach blanket—and then add a few more square feet. (Larger families with loads of gear will want a larger footprint.) Most beach blankets come in either rectangular or square shapes, though one of our picks bucks convention with its circular footprint.

Fabric

Beach blankets are made from all sorts of materials, including water-resistant polyester, fleece, parachute nylon, and microfiber. Even the most rugged models typically have softer fabrics on top and some employ fabrics and fabric treatments that keep sand from clinging to the blanket.

Use

For some folks, simple protection from the sand will suffice. For others—especially bigger families—added features like sand anchors and stakes might be helpful at keeping the blanket in place. Pockets are also great for those who love playing in the waves and want a secure spot for their valuables.

FAQs

How should you clean your beach blanket?

Be sure to double check the label of your blanket for washing instructions; if present, follow those directions. In general, however, you can wash your blanket in a washing machine. Use cold water, and wash it on the gentle cycle. It’s best to wash the blanket separately from other items. Don’t add fabric softeners; adding these chemicals could destroy any waterproofing or technical fabrics in your blanket. Tumble dry on low or air dry.

How is a beach blanket different from a beach towel?

Beach blankets and towels differ in materials, fabric treatments, and size. Beach towels are often made from cotton, which is both soft and absorbent. Even larger beach towels are generally made for a single person or child. Beach blankets incorporate technical materials, such as polyester, fleece, parachute nylon, and microfiber, or have fabric treatments that make the blankets water-resistant and relatively sand-proof. Beach blankets are also much larger than towels; they’re made for multiple people to gather on them.  

How do you keep your beach blanket sand free?

First, look for a beach blanket that uses materials that keep sand from sticking. Sand tends to stick more to moist items—like beach towels—so water-proofing materials or fabric treatments will also keep sand from getting tracked onto your blanket. Use the incorporated stakes or place heavy items on the corners of the blanket to weigh it down. If wet, sandy feet or hands keep tracking sand on to the blanket during your day of play, use baby powder on your skin to rub off the sand.

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