Reviews

Best Beach Mats (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Love the beach, but hate the sand? These beach mats are just what you need.

Entering our 7th season of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, and with millions of YouTube and Facebook followers, The Drive is a leading authority of all things automotive.

The Drive on NBC The Drive on YouTube The Drive on Facebook

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED 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.

Best Overall
 WELLAX Sandfree Beach Blanket
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

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.

Pros
Pros
  • Sand brushes off easily
  • Water repellent and breathable
  • Sand pockets included
Cons
Cons
  • Easily stains
  • Included metal stakes not as effective as plastic stakes
Best Overall
 WELLAX Sandfree Beach Blanket
Best Value
Mumu Sugar Sand Free Beach Mat
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

This 82 x 79-inch mat is constructed from 100 percent waterproof nylon and is large enough to fit 4-6 adults comfortably.

Pros
Pros
  • Super affordable
  • Comes with four stakes and a carrying bag
  • Fully waterproof
  • Lifetime guarantee
Cons
Cons
  • Material may be uncomfortable on bare skin
  • Waterproof material is not very breathable
Best Value
Mumu Sugar Sand Free Beach Mat
Honorable Mention
Wekapo Sand Free Beach Blanket
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

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.

Pros
Pros
  • Super durable
  • Fabric is breathable and comfy
  • Triple-stitched edges
  • Comes with extra stakes and four corner anchor pockets you can fill with sand
Cons
Cons
  • 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
Honorable Mention
Wekapo Sand Free Beach Blanket
Beach Mat Close Up
Amazon

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.

Learn more

Benefits of Beach Mats

  • They’re comfortable. No one likes sitting directly on the sand when spending a day at the beach. A beach mat keeps the sand out, so it’s less likely to get stuck on your body, particularly after a swim. Plus, the sand can get hot, so a mat keeps you cooler.
  • They’re versatile. Beach mats and blankets can be used for a variety of different activities. You can use them while traveling, camping, or hiking. They’re also great for concerts and music festivals.
  • They come in various colors and designs. You can let your personality shine through by choosing a beach mat that’s brightly colored or whimsically designed.

Types of Beach Mats

Family-Sized Beach Blanket

The most common type of beach mat is an oversized family beach mat. These blankets are often made of nylon and come in a variety of sizes. They are generally designed to fit at least four people but as many as 10 or more. Many of these beach mats come with sand pockets and stake loops to keep them securely anchored to the ground.

Solo Beach Mat

If you want a mat that accommodates just one person, you may want a solo beach mat with an adjustable backrest. These mats are much smaller than beach blankets but have the added convenience of tilting up or down. While they’re foldable, they don't compress down as small as beach mats and are slightly less portable.

Top Brands

WellaX

WellaX is a leading manufacturer of lightweight, ultra-compact sleeping pads, sleeping bags, and outdoor blankets. The company uses innovative designs and technology to create durable, lightweight, and state-of-the-art products like the WellaX Single Sandfree Beach Blanket.

Scuddles

Scuddles is an online manufacturer specializing in selling breathable, washable, and lightweight picnic and beach blankets and gardening accessories. The company sells direct to consumers as well as on Amazon. It’s known for high-quality products such as the Scuddles Picnic Outdoor Blanket.

Eccosophy

Eccosophy was founded in 2018 by a former flight attendant and beach lover to create lightweight, super compact, stylish products that travel easily and encourage people to get outside. The company sells high-quality items, such as the Microfiber Beach Towel.

Oniva

Oniva is under the Picnic Time umbrella. Established in 1982, Picnic Time traces its roots to Woodland Hills, Calif., after its Italian founders started a wine and cheese business before branching out to picnic supplies. One top product is the ONIVA - a Picnic Time Brand Beachcomber Portable Beach Mat.

Beach Mat Pricing

  • Under $20: Some beach mats are very inexpensive, which is good for the casual beachgoer. However, they may not be very large and likely don't have sand pockets or stake loops to keep them in place.
  • $20-$40: Most beach mats fall into this price range. They come in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs, so you have a lot of options to choose from. Look for features such as storage bags, carrying handles, sand pockets, and stakes.
  • $40 and up: Premium beach blankets are typically more durable, longer-lasting, and available in extra-large sizes. These products are built to last and are a great option if you frequently spend time at the beach or go camping.

Key Features

Size

Beach mats come in a variety of sizes, so you must determine how many people will use the blanket before you make a purchase. It's better to overestimate the size because one that's a little large is better than one that's too small. Also, factor in whether you want to keep your belongings on the mat as well as people.

Anchorage Points

Some beach mats come with anchorage points, and others don't. The reason why they're desirable is because they will keep the mat or blanket in place in windy conditions. Nothing's worse than coming back to your spot on the sand and realizing your blanket was blown halfway across the beach.

Material

Many beach blankets are made of parachute nylon because it is lightweight, sandproof, and water repellent. It's also durable and long-lasting. Other products feature material that is thicker and more padded, which can be a bit more comfortable, particularly if there are rocks or shells on the ground that can poke into your body.

Other Considerations

  • Portability. Many people love large and oversized beach mats and blankets, but some are easier to compress and fold than others. Look for products that fold into a small size without much issue. Also, make sure it's lightweight, so you can carry it without a problem. Finally, check for carrying handles on the bag or blanket itself.
  • Cleaning. Some beach mats can be cleaned in a washing machine, while others require hand washing. Make sure to look at the specs ahead of time, so you know what to expect. Also, some mats are made of a material that stains easily. This may not affect its performance, but it can be unsightly.

Best Beach Mats Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
WELLAX Sandfree Beach Blanket

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.

Best Value
Mumu Sugar Sand Free Beach Mat

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.

Premium Pick
Wekapo Sand Free Beach Blanket

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.

Most Comfortable
Scuddles Extra Large Picnic & Outdoor Blanket

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.

Best for Solo Beachgoers
ONIVA Beachcomber Portable Beach Mat

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.

Honorable Mention
WildHorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket

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.

Honorable Mention
Roebury Beach Blanket Sand Proof & Outdoor Picnic Blanket

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.

Honorable Mention
Eccosophy Sandproof Beach Blanket

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.

Tips

  • 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.

FAQs

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

Final Thoughts

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.