Aug 31, 2023

The 7 Best Turkish Beach Towels of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Our top picks are some of the softest towels we've ever taken on oceanside getaways.

Katherine Alex Beaven is a Los Angeles-based travel, food and drink, and culture writer.

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It's time to upgrade your basic cotton beach towels. Turkish towels are made from Turkish cotton, which has a softer feel than regular cotton, and they only get more comfortable with time. While we do love the smoothness and softness of a Turkish towel on our skin, their performance and practicality are just as impressive as the luxurious feel. Turkish towels are known for being highly absorbent, fast-drying, and lightweight. They’re also usually tight-woven, which means they excel at repelling sand.

To find the best Turkish beach towels out there, we tested 15 with varying price points and features. We assessed them before their first wash, on the ground (literally), and after several uses and washes, testing for quality, absorbency, durability, texture, and value.


It packs well enough to take on your travels but is big enough to wrap up five people like a burrito.

The opulent feel comes with a premium price tag.

This luxuriously soft towel instantly elevated our beach experience. Made from 100 percent Turkish cotton, it features a traditional, textured Turkish flat weave designed to be extra absorbent and fast-drying (check and check!). Truth be told, we actually felt a bit hesitant to test this luxe towel out in the sand and grass lest it get mucked up. Still, we put this towel through the wringer, tossing it down to lounge on riverbanks, grass, and sand, and while the towel did get fairly dirty, after a cycle in the wash it was good as new.

We were impressed with the towel's size. It's portable enough to travel with in our suitcase, but large enough to seat three people while lounging and wrap around five people to dry off. Although lightweight and on the thin side, the towel still manages to feel soft and plush to the touch. This is by far the most expensive towel on our list, but we feel it's worth every penny, if you can swing it. The durability of the towel and its versatile use mean it might be one of the last beach towels you ever buy.

Price at time of publish: $108

The Details: 39 x 71 inches | 320 grams per square meter

Sand Cloud

This towel lives up to what it promises and passed our tests with a perfect score.

While impressive, the texture didn't blow us away quite as much as our supremely soft best overall pick.

The Sand Cloud towel has made its way across the internet, so we obviously had to put it to the test. Here's the thing: It passed with flying colors. Scoring a perfect five in every category, this particular towel design also won us over because it's modeled after the coral reef system in Florida — and 10 percent of profits from this design is donated to marine conservation. At 240 grams per square meter, it's the lightest towel on our list and definitely has more of a blanket feel because of this, but don't let that fool you, it's still great at drying. In fact, although we were skeptical, it surpassed our expectations after effortlessly drying us off from head-to-toe following a dip in the ocean — and then dried itself quickly in the sun.

The lightweight towel folds easily for travel, and it held up well after we treated it for a stain. After washing, the towel didn't seem to fade on either side, and its twisted tassels were intact. And, yes, it rejected all sand that came our way, keeping our car free from the bane of everyone's beach experience. The only thing that could make this better? If it came with a carrying case for travel.

Price at time of publish: $48

The Details: 36 x 67 inches | 240 grams per square meter


These towels were pro when it came to repelling sand and come at a price point that gives them superb value.

The thinness of the towels lacked any plush feeling, and they seemed to take a long time to dry.

The Havland Pack of 2 Beach Towels come oversized and in over 20 vibrant colors that make it a cinch to pick out your spot on a crowded beach. These lightweight towels are tightly woven, so they feel more like T-shirts than towels. There's no fluffiness to look forward to, and the towel takes longer than expected to air dry (but it's a quick 20 mins on low in the dryer), but we liked the feeling of drying off with something so soft and lightweight (which also makes them great for packing and traveling). These towels can also be used as blankets or wraps, making them more versatile than most beach towels. Plus, the price for this pair of towels can't be beat when considering the value.

Price at time of publish: $23

The Details: 39 x 71 inches | 25 colors


This towel feels luxurious and is thicker than your usual Turkish towel.

Since there are different textures on each side, you have to pick and choose how to position the towel.

An updated take on the classic beach towel look, the Kassatex Block Pareo Fouta Beach Towel features a minimalist block design in muted neutral colors that compliment a beachside backdrop. We were fans of the towel's larger size that works out to be 5 feet, 10 inches long — and how the towel's soft feel and well-made quality made us feel like we were at a luxurious resort. This dual-texture towel features one side that has a terry cloth feel and another with a peshtemal texture and is soft on both sides. It's thicker than you’d expect from a Turkish towel while still being able to easily shake out sand. We were particularly impressed with the towel's ability to quickly dry our hands and absorb a quarter cup of water while still remaining soft to the touch. This is a solid pick for anyone looking for a top-line beach towel or who wants to add a little luxury into their lives, though the fairly pricey cost may be beyond the budget for some.

Price at time of publish: $65

The Details: 40 x 70 inches | 6 colors |


There are tons of colors to choose from, and the towel actually got softer and more vibrant with use.

As the fabric softens with use, it's more likely that it will leave pieces of lint on your skin after drying.

The Cacala 100% Pestemal Turkish Bath Towel has a fun and colorful stripe design that comes in a whopping 43 different colors, making it easier for any picky pint-sized beachgoers to find their favorite. These lightweight and airy towels dry in a flash — great for family beach days when you don't want to load back in the car with wet towels. All-in-all, this towel is priced well and feels like a total bargain when stacked against some of the other towel prices on the list.

After washing the towel, the colors were actually a bit more vibrant and the overall feel of the towel was softer than before it was washed. We did notice that a few of the knotted tassels on the end came untied after several washes (interestingly, the tassels are on one end). However, we love that this towel just seems to get softer with use, which makes it an ideal pick for a child's delicate skin, though over time the softening fabric may pile off onto your skin when drying off.

Price at time of publish: $23

The Details: 39 x 71 inches | 0.66 pounds | 300 grams per square meter


The long length of the towel allowed us to stretch out completely without putting our head or feet in the sand.

The stripes are two different textures, giving it an uneven feel.

These large striped towels give off beach-day spirit and can easily shake off any sand that creeps on top. We particularly loved the longer length because it meant we could completely stretch out comfortably without our head or feet getting sandy. Even after washing, the towel seemed to retain its feel, size, and absorbency rate — and the cute fringe at each end was still attached in good condition. This towel comes in four beach-friendly colors that should fade well over time, though it's worth noting that the towel has two different textures, which may be a dealbreaker for anyone with sensory sensitivities. Stripes alternate between fluffy, terry looped white stripes and flat-woven colored stripes (which we found felt a bit thin and coarse). But again, the towel was fast absorbing, regardless of the two textures, and dried our wet hands in one or two passes and soaked up a quarter cup of water in minutes. Still, the price tag feels a bit high compared to other Turkish beach towel options out there.

Price at time of publish: $75

The Details: 39 x 71 inches (towel); 79 x 79 inches (blanket) | 400 grams per square meter

Pottery Barn

The soft feel, large size, and thick-stripe design are great for the beach, and it's easy to shake off any sand.

Monograms are an additional fee, and there are three sizes to choose from.

We were taken with the classic beach look of this large beach towel. The size is perfect for lounging, and its thick, single-color-and-white stripes give a timeless look we suspect will stick even when/if the colors begin to fade. This beach towel earned a perfect score when it came to appearance and feel, and it seems well-made and is soft and luxurious to the touch. Plus, we like that it comes in nine beach-ready colors and that there's an option to personalize the towel with a monogram. Initials aside, this towel looks and performs beautifully, easily shaking off annoying sand and quickly absorbing water (it soaked up a quarter cup of water almost instantly and dried our wet hands in just two pats). Even after a couple of washes, this towel remained soft and absorbent, though the high price tag still left us hoping for a sale.

Price at time of publish: $50

The Details: 40 x 72 inches; 32 x 64; 25 x 50 | 500 grams per square meter

These towels didn't quite have what it took to earn a spot in our top picks, but they may still check the boxes for some buyers.

WetCat Turkish Beach Blanket: This beach towel is available in over 30 colors and comes pre-washed so you don't have to worry about shrinkage. Most beachgoers will be able to stretch out with full coverage since it's oversized, but the thin quality of the towel makes it slightly uncomfortable to use on anything but powder-soft sand, and it looks more like a sheet or table cloth.

Kalkedon Turkish Towel: This beach towel is soft but not plush, and it does a great job of folding small for travel. However, while it did do a good job of repelling sand, it's a stretch to call it absorbent and is best used as a wrap or if you’re not planning on going in the water.

We took 15 Turkish beach towels out with us poolside and on the sand at various beaches. Real-world use allowed us to obtain the most accurate insights — but first our testing began at home with a quick wash per the manufacturers’ instructions. Whether poolside or out on the sand, we used the towels for lounging and drying off after a swim, while also noting the towel's texture, body coverage capabilities, plushiness, absorbency, and durability. We also paid attention to how fast the towel dried, ease of portability, and how much sand the towel attracted or repelled. We documented how well the towel performs in these categories after the first use, and if there were any changes in appearance or performance after being washed and used numerous times.

PS: Stay tuned for an even better gauge of how well these Turkish beach towels perform over time, as our we’ll continue to use the towels that made our best-of list and collect insights for six months following the initial test.

All three types of cotton have long fibers which make them absorbent and plushier to the touch thanks to their extra-long fibers. Pima cotton is the most durable of the three, making it easier to care for since it can withstand higher wash temperatures and wear and tear. Egyptian cotton is the most absorbent and is often woven in a way that can help it retain its plushiness over time, but it can take longer to dry than Turkish towels. Pima cotton and Egyptian cotton come from the same plant, but they're grown in different climates and harvested in different ways.

When it comes to feel and appearance, Turkish cotton fibers are smoother than Egyptian cotton, making them slightly less absorbent. Towels with Turkish cotton often have a tighter weave, which is why Turkish cotton is superior at repelling sand and debris and dries quickly. Both Egyptian and Turkish cotton require a bit more attention to care, namely at lower temperatures and on delicate wash cycles.

Towels come in several sizes, so be sure to check the measurements before you purchase. Generally speaking, a regular towel you’d use after a shower in your home will measure between 20-30 inches by 40-58 inches. Once they are bigger than that, they’re known as bath sheets. Bath sheet measurements usually start at 40 by 70 inches and go up.

If you’re buying a lounge towel for the pool or beach, you’ll want to keep the size of the person who will be using the towel in mind. Be sure the towel is no more than 4-6 inches shorter and 4-6 inches wider than the person. If you’re unsure, know that the average beach towel comes in at around 30 by 60 inches, while the average oversized beach towel is around 40 by 70 inches.

Towel weight is measured in GSMs, or grams (of weight) per square meter. The tighter the weave, the more dense and heavier the fabric. The lower the number, the thinner and lighter the towel; the higher the number the heavier and more absorbent the towel. Most towels come in at 300-900 GSM with the ideal weight of a beach towel being 400-600 GSM.

Absolutely. Turkish towels repel sand, which is a major win for anyone heading to the beach. They are also fast-drying and super absorbent, so it's a cinch to use them to dry off and carry home from the beach.

You can machine wash a Turkish towel as long as it's on the gentle cycle in cold water. Don't use any harsh detergents, fabric softener, or bleach. Similarly, you’ll want to tumble dry your Turkish towel on low heat. This prevents the towel from heat damage that can make it lose its softness and also prevents shrinking. Turkish towels can also be hand washed in cold water and line-dried, though the latter may affect the plushness of the towel.

Yes, Turkish towels are soft, absorbent, and are excellent towel choices to use on your hair. The softer cotton is also gentler and less abrasive to hair than other terry cloth cotton towels resulting in less breakage and frizz. You’ll also find that the quick absorbency (up to 25 times faster than a regular towel) helps cut down shower routine times.

Katherine Alex Beaven has thrown a towel down on beaches around the world. She combined research, T+L tester input, and her own requirements for good beach accessories to write up this list of the best Turkish beach towels.

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