You've stocked up on swim shorts, sunglasses and a beach-ready tote bag. Now, all you need to complete your beach arsenal is a stylish yet practical beach towel that will keep you dry and looking the part as you soak up the sun. Scroll on for the ultimate guide to what to look for in a beach towel and our pick of the best beach towels to buy this summer.

How to choose the perfect beach towel

Not all beach towels are created equal. There are a range of factors you'll need to consider – from durability and drying time to softness, and of course, style. Here's what to look for:

  • Fabric: Typically, beach towels are made from cotton terrycloth, which has a soft, plush feel and strong absorbency. These days however, more and more options in various fabrics are becoming available – from quick-drying and sand-repellent microfibre towels to ultra-lightweight and easy-to-pack linen towels.
  • Absorbency: If you're planning on simply lying around on the sand or in a park, you won't necessarily need a super absorbent towel. A sand-free beach towel or lightweight Turkish cotton towel might be your best bet in this instance. However, if you're planning on doing a lot of swimming and need to dry off quickly, opt for a more plush terrycloth towel that will absorb water easily and efficiently.
  • Style: Do you want to make a statement or keep it low key? Striped beach towels will never go out of style, particularly those in classic colour combinations like blue and white. However, if you want to take it up a notch, opt for bold, summer-ready colours and head-turning prints.

6 of the best beach towels to buy in 2021

Cap D'Arsène Blue Striped Grand Luxe Beach Towel & Beach Pillow

Made in Paris from a combination of heavyweight French cotton terry and Egyptian cotton percale, this beach towel from Cap D'Arsène is as luxurious as they come. Plus, it comes with a plush beach cushion that's guaranteed to elevate your beach or poolside experience.

Beddable Hammam Towel

Handwoven in Turkey from OEKO-Tex certified cotton, Beddable's super soft and lightweight waffle towels are quick-drying and easy to carry, making them ideal for the bath, beach or picnics. Choose from four neutral stone-washed hues.

Soho Home Amsterdam House Pool Towel

This classic cabana striped towel from Soho Home is the exact towel used at the stylish Soho House Amsterdam. Made from fluffy Turkish cotton, it's designed to remain soft and fluffy even as it's used over time. The broad and narrow stripes in white, teal and steel blue lend it a classic Mediterranean-inspired aesthetic.

Arket Organic Cotton Beach Towel

Woven from 100% organic cotton, this classic striped beach towel from Arket is super soft and easy to pack. It's guaranteed to be a summer favourite.

Frescobol Carioca Medium Stripe Beach Towel

Crafted from lightweight and ultra-breathable linen, Frescobol Carioca's striped beach towel is the perfect companion for a day at the beach or an afternoon picnic in the park. Choose from a range of colour combinations. The salmon and dusty sky gets our vote.

Shop all beach towels at OPUMO.