Off to the beach, but you need a new beach towel?
We live in a world with endless choices and the same goes for beach towels. With such a wide range of colors, materials, shapes and sizes – how do you pick one?
I remember as a kid we had a large towel with big bold coloured stripes and a thick twine-like fringe. I loved the feeling of my dad wrapping me in the huge fluffy towel as I ran out the water. It was like being swept up in a cloud of cotton candy.
I have such fond memories of sitting on that towel with the warm sun tickling my back, pushing my toes in the sand as my fingers played in the cotton fringing.
These days you have cotton beach towels, bamboo beach towels, sand free & water-resistant beach towels, rectangular beach towels and round beach towels. You even have hooded ones. Oh my goodness so much choice ! Let’s look more closely at some varieties.
The Rectangular Beach Towel
Your stock standard rectangular beach towel usually measures around 80cm x 160cm. Oversize rectangular beach towels are usually around 90cm x 170cm. Besides looking at the sizing, you should look at the material composition to decide which one works for you.
The most common material compositions:
- * 100% cotton
- * 100% Egyptian Cotton
- * 100% Turkish Cotton
- * Cotton Rich (70% Cotton, 30% Polyester)
- * Microfiber (sometimes referred to as “sand-free”)
- * Velour – very lightweight blend
- * Bamboo – usually quite light as well
How thick is your cotton towel?
400-600 GSM is considered a medium weight for a cotton beach towel. The heavier the weight the more absorbent the towel. Any less than 330 GSM probably won’t absorb water very well.
If you are keen on a thick and fluffy towel, try 630 GSM. It will be much heavier and was more absorbent.
The Round Beach Towel
The Round Beach towel is sometimes referred to as circular or Roundie.
It’s usually approx. 150cm in diameter. You can usually find these towels between 330 GSM and 630 GSM in thickness. In my experience, any less than 300 GSM means it’s not as absorbent when it’s made of cotton. The colour and design range is just as diverse as its rectangular cousin. They can also be found in a 100% Turkish cotton or 100% Egyptian cotton.
Turkish Beach towels
Turkish beach towels are made of very soft premium cotton which has extra-long fibres. They become even softer and fluffier after washing.
Avoid “made with Turkish cotton” which means it’s only partially made from Turkish cotton. It should say 100% Turkish Cotton. For size and width, 180cm x 100 cm is good if you’re tall like me 🙂
An interesting fact is that the first round beach towel was designed in Australia by a company called the Beach People.
The water-resistant sand-free beach towel
I recently bought my first sand-free towel as I liked the idea of leaving the sand at the beach. There are some great advantages to having a sand-free beach towel.
What I like about these are:
- * Compact and portable
- * Lightweight microfiber
- * Ultra-absorbent & fast drying
- * Feel great on your skin
- * Soft and luxurious
- * You can wrap it around your waist easily and tuck it in like a sarong
- * They usually come with a compact bag you can tuck your towel in
80cm x 160cm is a good size. They are ultra-absorbent & dry in half the time of a regular beach towel. I love that they take up very little space in your bag!
Taking care of your beach towel
Hang your towel out in the sun to dry. The sun’s ultraviolet rays kill around 90% of germs, keeping your towel’s bacteria level within the healthy range.
Once the towel is dry, give it a good shake outside before popping it into the washing machine.
Cold water is the best option to wash your beach towel as it keeps your colours bright. Also, go easy on the detergent and skip the fabric softener.
Make sure you wash your beach towel at least every 4 to 5 uses to get rid of the sand, sea salt and sunscreen. If the towel starts to get a bit smelly, soak it in some vinegar before you wash it- that should do the trick!
Besides the colourful patterns of a beach towel, the main weave of the material is geared towards outdoor use. A regular bath towel is not designed with sand in mind. So it’s best not to mix and match and stick with what the towels are specifically designed for.
So there you have it!
Why not give a sand-free towel a go – I was hooked once I tried them 🙂
Happy beach towel shopping! What’s your favorite type of beach towel ? Please leave your comments below !