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Sand Cloud Beach Towels Review: The Best Sand-Free Beach Blanket

Sand Cloud Beach Towels Review
Bryan Murray / iStock

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Updated May 7, 2024

There’s nothing like a nice day at the beach. Laying in the sun (or under an umbrella if it’s July in New Jersey) and the inevitable jump into the water to cool off is a recipe for a fantastic time. You come back to dry off and you’ve done one of two things. You packed two towels—one for lying on and one for drying—smart, but it definitely took up space in your bag. Or you decided to make an equally inconvenient decision — bring one towel for both sunbathing and for drying. Now you have a sandy mess of a towel.

Sand Cloud Beach Towel 1

I was skeptical when I heard about this new trend of Turkish cotton towels. How can it fold down to a fifth the thickness of a standard terry cloth towel but still be so absorbent? And it dries three times as fast because of the Turkish cotton and the thinner weave. The Sand Cloud towel in particular is sand-repellent, so wet or dry sand falls off in a couple of shakes, if not as soon as you lift it. Aside from the stylish colors, sizes, designs and patterns, the towel gets softer and more absorbent every time you wash it, and the company donates to awesome ocean and wildlife charities. And that’s just the beginning.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Super soft and absorbent 100% organic Turkish cotton
  • Thinner weave/material means it folds down to a fraction of the thickness of standard towels.
  • Impressively sand resistant
  • Environmentally conscious company — 10% of profits go toward marine conservation

Cons:

  • Slightly higher price point than the average terry cloth or microfiber equivalent
  • Thinner weave makes the towel more susceptible to rocks, seashells, sand debris when lying on the sand or the ground

Sand Cloud towel’s price range

There are options ranging from $30-50 for towels that fit one adult and children's towels, all the way to $168 for massive Party Blankets™ that are 7.5 feet by 7.5 feet. Sand Cloud also sells towel bundles, multipacks, bath towels, sunscreen, gift cards, and more.

Sand Cloud Whale Shark

Sand Cloud Whale Shark

Sand Cloud towel’s key features

Sand-repelling design

The loop-free weave combined with the high quality Turkish cotton makes it so sand rolls right off the towel with a couple of shakes.

Sand-repelling design 2

Better and better with each wash

The 100% Turkish organic cotton is not only three times as absorbent and softer than traditional beach towel fabrics, it becomes more absorbent and even softer after every wash.

Thin, space-saving profile

Because the material and weave is much thinner than fabrics like traditional terry-woven cotton, the Sand Cloud folds to a fraction of the size. This leaves you more room for your beach and outdoor essentials.

Tons of colors, sizes, and designs

When you visit the Sand Cloud website, the first thing I noticed was pages and pages of fun, unique designs to choose from. You can choose from sharks and sea turtles for $78, to colorful artist patterns, and a large collection of Disney kid towels for $38, Star Wars towels from $48 for one to $216 for a bundle of four, and other licensed collaborations.

The Sand Cloud towel—is it for you?

I think a better question is, why wouldn’t you want a Sand Cloud? Aside from a higher-than-normal price point, the Sand Cloud is, in this beach bum’s opinion, the best current evolution of the modern beach towel. If you’re looking for a high quality beach, outdoor, bath, or all-around towel that will last you a long time while getting better with each wash, then this is where you’ll find what you need.

Sand Cloud Whale Shark

Sand Cloud Whale Shark

What makes Sand Cloud special?

The short answer is the material. The 100% Turkish organic cotton is an absolute game changer. They’re soft, sand resistant, very absorbent but also (somehow) rapid drying, and super easy to store. But I really think, in 2024, it’s important to consider the company. Sand Cloud delivers a top-tier product while doing a ton of great work for nature conservation and the environment.

Sand Cloud towel’s performance

The one question I found myself facing often when packing my Sand Cloud for a day at the beach is, “Did I wash this recently?” This bears mentioning, because typically you’ll need to wash your beach towel thoroughly and often. Terry-woven towels hold sand for what seems like an eternity, and take just as long to dry. This can leave an unwashed towel feeling damp, scratchy, and a bit musty. The Sand Cloud dries so quickly and the sand brushes off so easily that you won’t find yourself with a stinky towel in the car on the way home from the beach. And you can also get an extra day or two out of it in some cases. Wash after wash, it gets better and better.

Sand Cloud towel’s ease of use/user friendliness

I think getting used to the thickness of the towel when laying on the beach is one of the things I found myself concerned about. Since the fabric is thinner, you may feel shells, rocks, etc. more when lying on the towel on the sand or ground. Just take a minute to clear any large rocks and shells before laying the towel down.

Sand Cloud towel’s maintenance and ease of cleaning

Washing and drying is fairly easy. You simply machine wash it on cold, hang/air dry, and be careful not to wash it along with larger and more abrasive fabrics, like denim. Most of the time you’ll just need to shake your towel off a couple of times to remove excess sand and let hang/air dry. I just throw mine over the back of the beach chair for five to 10 minutes in the sun.

Sand Cloud towel’s quality

You are getting exponentially more value than what you paid with this towel. The high quality 100% organic Turkish cotton is so soft, yet very durable.

Sand Cloud towel’s design

The foundation of the features in Sand Cloud’s design is centered around the longer fiber design, Turkish cotton, and loop-free weave.

Sand Cloud towel’s user reviews

Here are two recent user reviews of the Sand Cloud towel.

So worth the investment: I recently took a trip to Mexico, and wanted a beach blanket that would be compact and light enough to travel with just a carry-on. I was a little hesitant about the cost, but I'm so happy I spent the money. Sand really does slide right off, the design is beautiful, and the size is awesome.”

Fantastic space saver: I bought this towel because I needed to take a towel to my child's swim lessons and I wanted it to easily fit in the bag that I like to use. I actually like it so much that I plan to buy only these for my beach house now. The towel is easily folded up and fits perfectly into my small bag, and it is very absorbent so that it quickly dries my child. This towel is the standard size which I think is the smallest option and it is great for wrapping up my kiddo when he gets out of the pool, but I would choose this size for myself as well. I would only get the larger sizes if I needed something to lay out more like a picnic blanket at the beach. Also, the care label says to hang dry or dry on low but I have been fully machine drying on high and it has remained in great shape.”

Sand Cloud towel alternatives

Dock and Bay

These are soft, absorbent, and there are a ton of color options. They’re also made from 100% recycled plastic. Featured on The Dragon’s Den (Australia), this Certified B Corporation has over 100 products from which to choose.

Teema Towels

Also made from 100% Turkish organic cotton, Tema started as a solution for musty microfiber towels that the company creators purchased in preparation for a trip to Cambodia. A good selection of sizes and designs are available to fit your personal style.

Final verdict

I know it’s easy to think that a beach towel is a beach towel. As somebody who’s lived five minutes from the closest beach and spent summer after summer taking full advantage, I was as skeptical as you can imagine. However, after giving Sand Cloud a try, I can confidently say that Turkish cotton is truly unparalleled as a beach towel (and all-around) material.

The next time you’re trying to shoehorn your thick and bulky terry cloth towel into your beach bag, and you’re shaking it ferociously to get as much of the sand off as possible (while also trying to not get sand in your eyes as well as anybody’s eyes in the near vicinity)—why not make the switch to a Turkish Sand Cloud towel? They get softer with every wash, are three times more absorbent than traditional beach towel fabrics, and are sand-resistant.

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