Q: What is a Beach Blanket?

A beach blanket is exactly what it sounds like: A blanket specially meant for use at a beach. It does not matter if that beach is sandy, rocky, or a mix of the two. Where there is a beach, you need a beach blanket.

Q: How to Fold a Beach Blanket?

Since many beach blankets are a lot like everyday towels that you would use to dry off after a bath or shower, there are not many steps involved with folding one. How easy it will be to fold a beach blanket will depend on the material it is made of and whether it is wet or completely dry. And also if you have time to fold it before leaving (ideally, you would always have the time but real life does not work that way).

Some manufacturers will include special instructions for folding your blanket. In that case, you should read these instructions carefully. They exist because the manufacturer wants to make sure your blanket stays in great shape – a blanket that remains in great shape means lots of happy customers. Thus it is best if you understand how to care for your beach blanket so that you can enjoy it for a very long time.

Anyway, if you know how to fold a regular towel or blanket then you can figure out how to fold a beach blanket easily enough. If you have never folded one, a good method would be to try and identify the original fold lines and see if you can refold the blanket using those to guide you. This method is a great one to use with thicker blankets, as those fold lines are where the material is already compressed; those spots will give you less trouble as you begin to fold the blanket. It may take a few attempts, and you may not be able to get the blanket folded perfectly along those lines. Do not worry, though. Nothing in life is perfect, so do not expect to get your beach blanket folded perfectly every time.

If your blanket or towel is thin enough, try this method. First, fold it in half along its length. Then fold the top half down so it is even with the bottom, or almost even. From there you can continue folding downwards until the blanket is the size you want. Make sure it will fit into whatever bag or container you are going to use to transport the blanket. As you use your blanket more and more you will learn its quirks and eventually figure out the best method for folding it. You may become so adept at folding your towel that friends and family will blink and stare in shock as you merrily and swiftly fold it into a neat square or rectangle without pausing!

Q: How to Choose a Beach Blanket?

A beach blanket can make a trip to the beach extra comfortable and fun for everyone, so it makes sense to choose the blanket which meets your criteria. Grab a piece of paper or your phone. Write down or type the following considerations. Feel free to add any that are not mentioned but come to mind as you go along.

Consider the materials that are commonly used to make a beach blanket. Do you want a blanket that is made of cotton, microfiber, or a blend of two or more materials? Are you allergic to certain materials or dyes, or is someone in your family allergic? Do you prefer something that you can toss into your washing machine without any fuss, or are you willing to take the time to hand wash your beach blanket? Every blanket has its good points and bad points based on the material it is made of.

Next, think about the size of the blanket. If you like to take trips to the beach on your own, you do not need a very big blanket at all. If you anticipate that many beach trips will be taken with your partner or a friend, you may wish to buy a blanket that is big enough for you to share. If that is not a concern, but there is a significant height difference between the two of you, it makes sense to buy two blankets of different sizes. (Unless you know for sure, let your friend buy their blanket. Chances are they have different tastes and different needs than you do. The same goes for your partner.)

Families that love to make frequent visits to the beach may require a single blanket that is large enough for everyone to sit or lie on. If you are buying separate blankets for children, remember that as they age, they will experience growth spurts and a beach blanket must be big enough that it will protect their bodies, head to toe, from the hot sand. If your children are old enough to have jobs and want to purchase their beach blankets with their own money, offer to help them narrow down their options until they have a list of only the best choices. Let them make the final decision.

Remember that some beach blankets are thicker than others. Do you want one that is thin enough you can easily fold it or toss it into your bag? Do you prefer the additional comfort a thicker blanket provides on sand or other uneven surfaces? Bear in mind that a thick beach blanket may offer more protection but it must also be comfortable to lay on, especially if you tend to take naps at the beach. Remember that the material used for extra padding can also make the blanket hotter to sit or lie on, or it may mean the blanket needs a little extra care when you clean it.

A beach blanket will, at one time or another, come into contact with water or another liquid. If you would like to do away with the hassle of laundering a blanket because someone spilled juice or a wave unexpectedly rolled close enough, a waterproof beach blanket may be for you. Depending on what materials were used to manufacture it, your blanket may require a bit of extra care to keep it looking and working at its best.

Something that may not have occurred to you is: How well would this blanket I am looking at hold onto the ground? A beach blanket that will not be blown by even the lightest wind is good to have if you frequently visit locations where strong breezes are common. Check to see if the blanket comes with stakes or anchor pockets like some of the blankets on our list do. If not, and this is a feature you want your blanket to have, you will have to find another blanket. If, however, you are experienced with sewing and the blanket is made of a material that you have worked with before, it is possible to save yourself a little money and sew on loops or pockets yourself. You can even ask someone else to do this for you (and do not forget to pay them for their work. If they are willing to do it as a favor to you, thank them and remember to repay them in kind in the future).
Of course, there should be room for having fun while hunting for the right beach blanket. The great news is that many models come in a variety of colors and designs. The bad news is that the blanket that has a funky, colorful picture or pattern may not be made of very durable material, or the material is something you are allergic to. We should also mention that you might want to check with the manufacturer about what type of dye was used on their product. Some people may only suffer a reaction if the dye ends up inside their bodies, but others can have an allergic reaction just by coming into physical contact with a dye. As long as you know exactly what chemicals you or someone else is allergic to, and how serious the allergy is, you will be able to narrow down your choices to those which are least likely to give you a rash or send you to the hospital.

Finally, there is the price of beach blankets to consider. Unless you are very wealthy, we doubt you want to spend money on a fancy blanket or two. We also doubt that, whatever your income level, you want to waste your money on something that will end up being a sad pile of rags after only a handful of beach trips. On the other hand, a high price is not always an indicator of high quality. Some cheap beach blankets outperform their pricier competitors. You will need to consider carefully what you are willing to pay to get a beach blanket that fulfills your needs and will last for a while. Do not allow yourself to go over your budget unless a product seems like it will be worth the extra money. Also do not be ashamed of buying a cheaper blanket than you planned for as long as it meets your requirements and you like the way it looks.

Keep these points in mind during your search. They are not the only factors to consider, but they are some of the most important. You are more likely to make a purchase that best suits your needs and makes you happy if you shop around and examine beach blankets with these guidelines to help you.

Q: What is the perfect material for use in beach blankets?

The perfect material to use in beach blankets is . . . well, there may not be that one perfect material. All the blankets on our list have their advantages and disadvantages based on the materials used. The best ones seem to make use of more than one material. This can take the form of a blend, like in the Elite Trend Microfiber Beach Towel, or layers, as is the case with the ZOMAKE Picnic Blanket.

The perfect material to use in beach blankets is . . . well, there may not be that one perfect material. All the blankets on our list have their advantages and disadvantages based on the materials used. The best ones seem to make use of more than one material. This can take the form of a blend, like in the Elite Trend Microfiber Beach Towel, or layers, as is the case with the ZOMAKE Picnic Blanket.

We can’t say some materials are not better than others. Ripstop nylon is well-suited to making a beach mat durable, breathable, and easy to clean. It is not, however, the most comfortable material to sit on for a long time. While microfiber and woven acrylic make for a softer, more comfortable blanket, they are not quite as strong as many of the synthetic materials can be. None of these materials makes for a waterproof beach blanket. However, a beach blanket made entirely of PVC does not sound appealing at all: You will not need to worry about it getting wet, but it would not breathe, you would likely find yourself sticking to it when you sweat, and it would get very hot and uncomfortable to sit on in short order!

In the end, we conclude that to get the perfect beach blanket would take making use of multiple materials and perhaps more than one manufacturing process to make the best of all their qualities. As of yet, no one has stumbled upon or created that single material that can be used to make beach blankets. We can wait patiently for that day to come . . . maybe.

Final Thoughts

A beach blanket should be part and parcel of everyone’s beach trip gear. Which blanket you end up getting will depend on which one meets all your criteria, or comes close. We hope our list helped you make a decision, even if your final choice isn’t one of our picks. Happy beach hopping!