The 6 Best Beach Blankets
When you’re escaping to the beach, you need a way to stake out your spot in the sand. The best beach blankets create a protective barrier between your stuff and the elements and are comfortable to carry to and from the beach. Some blankets are versatile enough that they can also be used for picnics, camping, music festivals — even around the house.
If you're sick of bringing a bucketful of sand home with you, a sand-proof blanket is designed to actually shed sand and water — like off a duck’s back. They are usually oversized spreads made from thin yet durable parachute nylon. These ultra-lightweight ground covers have corner pockets for sand anchors, which means no more trying to tamp down your blanket with bags and coolers when the wind rises. You can also use these handy pockets to stow personal belongings out of sight. The best part? Sand-proof blankets typically pack down into impossibly tiny sacks. Plus, these blankets can double as rain shelters for camping. However, while they are super functional, these blankets are not as style-forward.
If you’re doing it for the ‘Gram and want a cute blanket you can take to the beach and beyond, look for your desired aesthetic in a thicker material, like fleece or plush cotton, that affords some safeguard against any type of terrain. Maybe that's a waterproof New England gingham picnic blanket or Cali cool artisanal blanket you can keep in your car. These blankets will be a little heavier than their nylon counterparts, but with that comes a little extra soft padding, too.
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1. This Extra-Large Sand-Proof Beach Blanket With Stakes
- Dimensions: 120 x 108 inches
- Weight: 14 ounces (with bag just over 1 pound)
This beach blanket combines sand-proof construction with an oversized ten-by-nine-foot footprint that reserves plenty of space for a group. It’s made from lightweight and rip-resistant parachute nylon that sheds sand and water with a quick shake (and it packs up into an ultra-compact compression sack). Small corner pockets allow you to use sand weights or create hidden space to stash your gear. Unlike others, this beach blanket has loops for firmly anchoring this blanket against strong winds with six included metal stakes – you need four, and get two spare. "I liked that we could leave it laid out while we were in the water or up doing stuff without worrying about it blowing away," one shopper pointed out, adding that cleanup was a snap: "When we were ready to leave we just shook the sand off and put it in the bag."
- Available colors: 3
2. A Soft, Waterproof Picnic Blanket That's Made For Toting
- Dimensions: 78 x 59 inches
- Weight: 2.05 pounds
This waterproof blanket comes in eight shades of softest gingham fleece sandwiched over a thick foam layer and a durable waterproof backing. All three panels are sewn together for anti-slip security underfoot — and the whole thing folds up on itself with a built-in handle for easy toting. "I love this blanket so much," one fan confessed. "It’s very durable on the non blanket side and water does not seep through at all...We have taken it to the park countless times, the beach, and camping and it’s held up so well and it’s so convenient to carry." Moreover, it's machine-washable and backed by a lifetime guarantee. The only caveat: it's not totally sand-proof.)
- Available colors: 8
3. This Round Beach Blanket That Comes In Whimsical Patterns
- Dimensions: 59 inches
- Weight: 1.4 pounds
If you want a statement-making option, this stylish round beach blanket comes in the cutest prints, including palm trees, cactus, and donuts, with a thick decorative fringe. It’s made from a quick-drying microfiber terry material and measures just under five feet wide (large enough to comfortably hold two). Since it's a traditional towel-like material, you don't get any sand-proofing or water resistance — but you probably will get a ton of compliments. As for the sand, one shopper wrote, "Absolutely love this beach blanket! It’s not the best for sand, but nothing a little shake can’t fix. Feels like a towel, so useful to use when drying down coming out of the water."
- Available colors: 9
4. A Handcrafted Serape Blanket Made From Recycled Materials
- Dimensions: 65 x 40 inches
- Weight: 2.25 pounds
Besides looking Insta-ready, this authentic handwoven serape is actually a very functional beach blanket. "I keep it in my car because you never know when a good, durable blanket can come in handy," one review pointed out. Shoppers raved that this one is beautiful and the perfect size for two, while praising the recycled acrylic/cotton blend for its ability to shed sand and clean up so easily. Also praiseworthy? Benevolence LA partners with initiatives for sustainable water and the fight against poverty. "Enjoyed using this as a beach blanket in Hawaii. It looks good and was easy to shake the sand out of," one shopper commented. "Light enough that we didn't even mind packing it in our luggage."
- Available colors: 8
5. A Sand-Proof Option That's Perfect For Solo Use
- Dimensions: 55 x 60 inches
- Weight: 0.5 pounds
This small beach blanket has room for two people to stretch out, but it's also perfectly sized for single use. It's made from a lightweight synthetic fabric that's waterproof and sand-proof, while the corners feature the same sand pockets and stake loops (though not actual stakes) as the large sand-proof beach blanket at the top of this list. (Grab these tent stakes plus backups for a song if you need them). When it's time to leave, the blanket stuffs down into a sack the size of a postcard you can clip onto your gear via the included carabiner. "Stow one of these in your car for use with picnics, sporting events, the beach, or any kind of outdoor activity," one shopper suggested. "The compact fit is perfect."
- Available colors: 6
6. This Luxe Insta-Worthy Cabana Blanket
- Dimensions: 60 inches
- Weight: 2.59 pounds
This gorgeous beach blanket comes in a colorful cabana stripe with a soft rope fringe for chic lounging. It's made of an ultra thick and absorbent plush cotton terry with a jacquard weave to maintain its vivid pattern summer after summer, but it's easy to clean on a delicate machine cycle. One shopper wrote, "Not kidding when it says it's thick. It's also very soft and durable. Great weight for use outside and is very well stitched together." Another reviewer who praised the rich colors and quality swore that it was the "Perfect blend of form and function."
- Available colors: 1, with several additional rectangular towel options also listed
Also Nice: The Endlessly Useful Turkish Bath Towel
- Dimensions: 39 x 71 inches
- Weight: 10.4 ounces
A Turkish bath towel is also a super versatile thing to have on hand when you're beach-bound. They don't hold sand and dry quickly, and you can use them as a lightweight blanket, a towel to dry off, and as a sarong. This one is made from fine pre-washed cotton and dyed with OEKO-TEX certified natural yarn colors that are guaranteed to be free of toxic chemicals and washer/dryer safe. "It’s so lightweight, folds up so small compared to traditional bulky beach towels," one fan explained. "When I got up I simply shook the towel in the wind once and all the sand was gone. Absolutely phenomenal."
- Available colors: 32