A towel is a towel many people say, thinking that there is not much of a difference between a beach towel and a bath towel (except maybe for the colors). But as you instinctively pick washcloths for the kitchen and hand towels for the bathroom, you do not usually wrap yourself in the beach towel after you get out of the shower. You don’t keep a beach towel in the bathroom in the first place, right? There are more technicalities to consider when you think about the beach towel vs. bath towel conundrum and today we are here to explain them to you!

Beach Towel vs. Bath Towel: Main Differences

If you remember one of our previous guides treating the similarities and differences between bath sheet vs. bath towel, you remember that the latter is more practical, more widespread regarding everyday use, and more versatile, being adaptable to many of your needs.

A bath sheet is quite a large item in comparison to a bath towel, a fact that begs the question: where does the beach towel come in this greater picture? So let’s get organized!

1. Size

In the beach towel vs. bath towel competition on the scale, the beach towel wins. It is the most noticeable difference between the two products. Beach towels are sensibly longer and sometimes wider than the standard bath towel. If you want to get super technical, this is how things go:

  • Bath towels, dimension-wise, range from 27” x 52” to 30” by 58”. Of course, you will find slightly larger luxury bath towels, but they will mostly fall in these measurement patterns.
  • A run-of-the-mill beach towel, however, will be around 40” by 70”. More importantly, beach towels can be sometimes much bigger.

Now you will ask yourself what is the difference between a beach towel and a bath sheet, as we know the latter is quite a large piece of soft comfort in its own right.

  • The answer is as follows: beach towels do (and should) overcome bath sheets in size. A regular bath sheet’s dimensions are 35” wide by 60-70" long. A high-quality beach towel can be 1ft. Byft and nobody would say no to that.

We should not wonder why beach towels are so spacious. Their size is directly dependent on their purpose: they are the sole barrier between your body and the beach sand. They have to accommodate you, your family, and your beach gear. They have to act as a towel, a blanket, a tanning bed, and a pillow sometimes. There is no wonder they are so big!

2. Resilience

You can easily dismiss function from the beach towel vs. bath towel equation, as they both have the same one: absorb water from your body, keep you dry and warm. Well… yes, but beach towels are the Jacks-Of-All-Trades of summer fun, so they have plenty of other roles to play as well.

As we said above, we use our beach towels to keep us from lying directly on hot sand. We stomp all over them quite often, and we get them dirty in no time as we stain them with sand, salty sea water, greasy cosmetic products like sunscreen and skin oils, food, beverages, and even pet fur in case Good Boy joins us at the beach.

In other words, a beach towel takes quite the beating. Sometimes, we reuse the same beach towel many times before we manage to wash it properly and rinse out the sand, salt, chlorine, and food particles. While we offered you a tutorial on how to remove stains from towels and how to remove foul smells from towels, the beach ones are under a lot of pressure so to speak.

Their resilience – and by it, we mean that they contain specific fibers with particular properties is the second significant difference in comparison to bath towels. We don’t even want to know what you get if you treat a regular bath towel the same way you treat a beach one.

The best beach/pool towels usually come with labels such as “quick dry” or “premium,” meaning that they feature distinct fibers in complex weavings allowing them to dry fast and resist many beach adventures.

3. Thickness

Speaking about function and threads, you should know that beach towels are thinner than bath towels. Here is the reason for this:

  • A large, comfy, and luxurious bath towel has to absorb the water from your body very fast and keep you warm and dry until you get to put your clothes on. Those thick bath towels you love so much come in luxury fibers like Turkish cotton or bamboo.
  • On the other hand, while beach towels also feature deluxe cotton, they have to be thinner, as their purpose is not to dry you off completely (you have a separate sheet to remove water from your body when you get out of the sea or pool), but to be your “picnic blanket” at the beach. The beach towel you use should dry very fast and be very light when you carry it around in your beach bag.

4. Design

When it comes to colors, patterns, flashy graphics, and cartoon-like designs, beach towels win the beach towel vs. bath towel competition. Bath towels come usually feature monochrome designs ensuring they will match any bathroom color scheme, theme, and décor. Beach towels’ purpose is to make you burst with joy, so they will often feature bright colors, funky patterns, and so on.

5. Sides

Are you still trying to take sides in the beach towel vs. bath towel showdown? While there is no way to have a sheet without two sides (until quantum mechanics proves otherwise), not all sides are created equal!

  • In fact, while a bath towel is the same on both sides, a beach towel can feature a side that goes against the sand, while the other goes against your body.
  • The sandy side is shaved off, “veloured,” to be non-absorbent and sand-repellent. After all, you do not want a wet and clogged beach towel, do you?
  • The soft side, which you lie on, usually presents rich loops of fabric able to absorb the water from your body and dry at the same time.

Sometimes, beach towels are the same on both sides, just like bath towels, so it all depends on your tastes and needs.


We do not have to fight over beach towels vs. bath towels, as they are all dear to us and essential for our quality of life, each in its way. Just as you do not stack your bathroom cabinets with beach towels to use for hair drying, you do not take bath towels to the beach to use as sand blankets. They work together, in fact, and life is more comfortable with both in our lives!