LAST UPDATED: April 2, 2021
Best Beach Mats (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Love the beach, but hate the sand? These beach mats are just what you need.
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON April 2, 2021
Everyone loves a good beach day: relaxing by the shore, playing in the waves, building sandcastles, and enjoying a cold drink with friends and family are some of the best things about a great day at the beach. What’s not so great is constantly trying to avoid getting sand in everything. This is where a well-designed beach mat can be a game-changer. A beach mat is designed to protect your body, food, and gear from hot sand, and unlike regular beach towels, they come in a wide variety of sizes large enough to accommodate your whole family if you want.
If you’re in the market for a new beach mat, check out our top picks and our handy buying guide to make sure you get the best one to suit your needs and help max out your fun and enjoyment while at the beach.
A beach mat protects your body from the hot sand and can accommodate your entire family if you choose the proper size. They repel sand and water and are great if you plan on lounging around in the sun. There are so many options available, so we put together this buying guide so you can choose from the best of the best.
This 9 by 10-foot beach blanket is made of 100 percent nylon that dries quickly. It weighs just 16 ounces and comes in three different colors.
- Sand brushes off easily
- Water repellent and breathable
- Sand pockets included
- Easily stains
- Included metal stakes not as effective as plastic stakes
This 82 x 79-inch mat is constructed from 100 percent waterproof nylon and is large enough to fit 4-6 adults comfortably.
- Super affordable
- Comes with four stakes and a carrying bag
- Fully waterproof
- Lifetime guarantee
- Material may be uncomfortable on bare skin
- Waterproof material is not very breathable
This parachute-grade rip-stop nylon beach mat measures 10 x 9 feet and can easily fit up to seven adults. It’s available in three colors and weighs only 14 ounces when folded up.
- Super durable
- Fabric is breathable and comfy
- Triple-stitched edges
- Comes with extra stakes and four corner anchor pockets you can fill with sand
- Parachute material makes it easy to blow away
- Four anchor pockets may not hold enough sand to keep the blanket on the ground without the use of stakes
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
The WELLAX Sandfree Beach Blanket is 9 by 10 feet and designed for the beach as well as camping, hiking, music festivals, and more. Made of 100 percent, quick-dry parachute nylon, it's easy to brush sand off of this blanket. It weighs only 16 ounces and is portable and easy to store. This beach mat is breathable, durable, and water repellent, making it ideal for hot summer days by the shore. One of the best features of this product is it has four sand pockets and metal stakes, so it stays in place even on windy days. As a bonus, the purchase includes a waterproof bag for your phone, money, keys, and other items.
One downside is that things such as sunscreen may stain it. Also, plastic stakes would work better in the sand. Otherwise, it feels soft and folds up easily into the included storage bag.
This beach mat measures 82 x 79 inches to accommodate four-six adults comfortably. It’s also compact enough to fold down into an easy-to-carry 5.1 x 6.3-inch storage bag for easy transportation. Constructed from 100 percent nylon, this mat is entirely sand-free: just shake the blanket, and sand comes right off. It’s also 100 percent waterproof. With its fast-drying, breathable, rip-stop nylon construction, this beach mat is an excellent multifunctional option for lawn concerts, picnics in the park, camping, even as a rain cover or emergency tent. When the mat is on the ground, you can use the attached storage bag to stow your valuables. We also love that this blanket comes backed by a lifetime guarantee.
One issue with this beach mat is that some users aren’t big fans of how the material feels on their bare skin, so you may want to still use a towel on top of it.
Measuring 10 x 9 feet, this oversize beach mat can easily fit up to seven adults. It also folds down super compactly to fit in its integrated storage bag. Constructed from 100 percent parachute nylon, this mat is breathable, comfortable, and fast-drying. Its simple design has integrated four corner pockets that you fill with sand to act as anchors. It also comes with six metal stakes — four for extra secure anchoring and two spares. The durable nylon is also fully waterproof and won’t absorb excess water on its surface. The edges are triple stitched for maximum strength and longevity. Use it as a picnic blanket, shade structure, rainfly, or makeshift tent for added versatility.
Because it’s constructed from parachute nylon, it does tend to try to blow away in the wind, so using the stakes to help securely anchor it to the ground is critical.
The Scuddles Extra Large Picnic & Outdoor Blanket is available in four sizes and several color combinations. Designed for use on sand and grass, this outdoor blanket features a durable, waterproof PEVA backing, making it comfortable to use and easy to clean. Simply shake it, and wipe off any dirt, grass, mud, or sand. One of the best things about this beach blanket is it comes with a handy strap that you can carry over your shoulder. Users report that the material is soft, is lightweight, and doesn't absorb liquids. It's also simple to fold after use and doesn't hold on to sand.
However, the top of the blanket tends to snag if you're not careful. Also, there are no sand pockets or other ways to weigh it down in windy conditions.
The ONIVA Beachcomber Portable Beach Mat is great for the solo sunbather. Measuring 22 by 21 by 3 inches, this beach mat is made of lightweight, durable polyester and features a sturdy steel frame. The body of the mat is padded for comfort, while the backrest reclines, allowing the user to stretch out. The mat also has a zippered pocket to store personal items such as a phone, wallet, or keys, and a shoulder strap, so it's easy to carry. Also, the manufacturer backs its product with a lifetime guarantee should you experience any problems with its construction. Users report that it's slim and easy to carry and can accommodate taller individuals rather well.
However, unlike other items on this list, it's only made for one person. Also, it's a little narrow, and it stains easily.
The manufacturer of the WildHorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket boasts that this mat is "huge but compact," and it's correct. This 7-foot by 9-foot beach blanket is made of parachute nylon and folds down to just 6 inches by 7 inches, making it very simple to carry and store. It features an integrated sack with compression straps, so folding it is not a problem. It also features four sand pockets to keep it anchored down in windy conditions. You can also use these pockets to store personal items. Plus, it has an additional front pocket for your devices, sunscreen, and other accessories. Available in five color combinations, this mat is lightweight, comfortable, and easy to shake off and clean when you leave the beach.
However, it does not come with any stakes, and it gets hot in high temperatures. Also, it won't keep you dry if the ground is wet.
The sand-proof Roebury Beach Blanket is 55 inches by 70 inches and comes in three different colors and patterns. The blanket features a three-layer design, including a washable upper layer and a water-resistant layer. When you're finished using this beach mat, it folds up into a lightweight and compact zippered bag with a pocket and carrying strap. One of the best things about this beach blanket is that you can wipe it clean by hand or put it in the washing machine. Also, since it doesn't contain any phthalates and is BPA free, it's great for children. Overall, it protects against moisture, it's easy to shake the sand out, and it comfortably fits two adults.
One downside is it doesn't have sand pockets or stakes to anchor it to the ground. It's also a bit stiffer than some other options.
The Eccosophy Sandproof Beach Blanket is another high-quality, ruggedly made product that will pleasantly surprise you. Constructed from ultra-lightweight and high-tech rip-stop parachute nylon, this mat is 100 percent breathable, heat-resistant, and super comfortable. It measures 10 x 9-feet, giving you plenty of room to accommodate up to seven people comfortably. The seams are triple-stitched throughout the entire mat, adding to its durability. Not only is the nylon material puncture-resistant, but it’s also machine washable, making it one of the easiest to clean and maintain on our list. This mat comes equipped with four corner anchor pockets that you fill with sand and the option to stake it to the ground for added security.
Given the light weight of the material, you’re definitely going to need those stakes, as the mat tends to blow away using just the sand anchors.
- When you return home after a day at the beach, don't forget to thoroughly shake out your beach blanket and other beach gear, so you don't bring sand and other debris into the house.
- Clean your beach blanket regularly. You don't need to do it daily if you spend every day at the beach on vacation, but it's a good idea to hand wash it or machine wash it every once in a while. Just make sure to follow the cleaning instructions.
- For additional protection at the beach, consider using a beach umbrella or other type of beach canopy or shelter. That way you have a shady spot to get out of the sun and away from damaging UVA and UVB rays.
Q: Do sand-free beach mats work?
Yes. Sand-free beach mats are designed so it's easy to shake off the sand when you're done using them. While they may not be 100 percent sand-free, they are fairly effective at keeping sand at bay.
Q: What is a beach blanket?
A beach blanket is typically a large blanket made of various materials, like terrycloth, nylon, polyester, cotton, etc. It may or may not be waterproof or sand-proof but is designed to provide a layer of protection between the sand and you and your gear. On the other hand, beach mats are specifically designed to be waterproof or water-resistant and shake sand off easily and cleanly.
Q: What is the best beach towel?
While there isn’t one stand-out beach towel that makes all others pale in comparison, the best beach towels are made from super lightweight, fast-drying fabrics, like microfiber. They fold up compactly to maximize space in your beach bag, so they’re usually much thinner than typical bath towels
Our pick for the best beach mat is the WELLAX Sandfree Beach Blanket. It is generously sized, and it's easy to brush sand off it when you're done using it. Plus, it's water repellent and has four sand pockets with metal stakes to keep it grounded. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Mumu Sugar Sand Free Beach Mat is a durable and well-priced choice. It’s 100 percent waterproof and comes backed by a lifetime guarantee.