beach blankets

The Best Beach Blankets For Kids (Buyer’s Guide and Reviews)

When packing up the family for a day at the beach there are few things more important than a good sunblock and an excellent beach blanket!

Technology has evolved giving parents a range of sand-free beach blanket options along with the traditional style beach blanket. When I was a kid we used old bed sheets, and that can still do the trick in a pinch!

But as parents, how do we determine which beach blanket is both the best for our kids and the best value for our family? We have compiled a list of the best beach blankets below.

best beach blankets for kids

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Best Beach Blanket – All Around Best

Our all-around top pick for best beach blanket is the CGEAR Sandlite – Patented Sand-Free Beach Mat. While it’s not the cheapest option on the list, the price you pay is well worth the convenience of this brilliant beach blanket.

The patented sand-free technology enables sand to fall through the blanket through staggered layers of precisely engineered polyester. In English, you don’t need to brush sand off the blanket every time your little one runs through it with sandy feet, rather the sand simply sinks into the blanket leaving a clean surface area.

The beach blanket it super lightwe

ight and cool in the hot sun. It buttons into a small compact package and comes with a carrying handle for easy storage and transport. It’s also extremely durable developed using technology and materials that were initially developed for the military.

Buy it on Amazon here

Manufacturer Specs

Size: Three sizes to choose from. Small: Medium: Large: 78in x 78in (recommended size for families)

Colors: Many colors and patterns available

Material: Patented two-layer polyester technology

Storage: Stores within itself and comes with carrying handle

What We Like

  • If you HATE sand, this is the blanket for you. It’s great for babies as it keeps the surface clear no matter how much sand pets and other children kick up.
  • Easy to transport and store
  • Keeps cool in hot sun
  • Extremely durable and long-lasting

What We Don’t Like

  • Material is not as soft as other options
  • It’s a bit pricy

Best Extra Large Beach Blanket

If you need a blanket that can accommodate an extended family, the Wekapo Sand Free Beach Blanket does the trick. Measuring in at 10 feet X 9 feet, this blanket has room for the kids, the dog, the friends, the beach bags and much, much more.

Made with ultrasoft ripstop nylon, it’s breathable, ultra-lightweight and water and sand resistant. It comes with weightable corner pockets so you can use sand to hold it in place as well as metal stakes for extra windy days.

It’s also machine washable and comes with a small carrying bag for easy transport.

Buy it on Amazon here

Manufacturer’s Specs

Size: 120 In X 108in

Material: Nylon

Storage: Comes with small storage bag

Colors: Several color options available

What We Like

  • Not only does it dry quickly, but it’s machine washable for super easy clean up
  • Even though it’s huge enough to accommodate the whole family, it wraps up very small for convenient transport.
  • The nylon material reflects heat to keep little ones cool on even the hottest beach days.

What We Don’t Like

  • The lightweight Nylon is extremely thin, and does not provide any cushion. The beach blanket is best used at the beach and not for rocky hillsides, camping, etc.
  • It comes with a carrying bag which is great, but it’s not attached so one more thing that can get lost at the beach.
  • Might not be good for very windy days unless you are willing to put the work in staking it down.

Best Thick and Soft Beach Blanket

Some parents may opt for a thicker beach blanket to provide more padding for little ones. This is especially true if you live near a beach with more rocks or shells.  The Sedona House Sandfree Beach Blanket is constructed with three layers including a middle Poly fill layer which provides additional padding.

It’s water and sand resistant and packs up to a small tote bag (which is attached to the blanket) for easy pack up and transport.

Given the thicker material, it can be a little bit warmer on a hot beach day, but that extra warmth also makes this a good multi-purpose blanket for camping trips and other outdoor activities.

Buy it on Amazon here

Manufacturer Specs

Size: 70 in X 60 in

Material: Woven Acrylic top layer, foam layer, waterproof PEVA bottom layer

Color: Several options to choose from

Storage: Stores within an attached tote bag

What We Like

  • The extra thickness is great for little ones who are not yet mobile or just learning to crawl. It’s also great for use at rocky beaches.
  • Machine washable for easy clean up

What We Don’t Like

  • While we like that it folds into an attached tote bag, it is a little bit bulkier to transport than some of its peers
  • Because of the extra layers it can run a little bit warmer, so might not be great for very hot beach days

Best Multi-Use Beach Blanket

If you are looking for a beach blanket that can double as a picnic blanket, concert blanket or blanket you can throw in the car and take camping, this Extra Large Picnic & Outdoor Blanket is a solid choice.

Not only is it a nice-looking blanket, but it comes with a handy carrying strap to make hauling it easy. It also has a waterproof PEVA backing in order to keep out moisture. It’s three layers make it a bit softer and cozier than some of its peers and also a better option to use in colder weather.

Buy it on Amazon here!

Manufacturer’s Specs

Size: 60in X 79in

Material: Woven Acrylic Top Layer

Colors: Various color options to choose from

Storage: Stores within itself and comes with carrying handle

What We Like

  • The three layers provide more cushion than some of the other beach blankets on the market
  • It’s a good multi-use portable blanket that can be used for outings beyond the beach

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s hand washable only, so not safe for washing machines, which can be a bummer when trying to use for babies and small kids
  • It’s not sand-resistant and can be a bit warm for hot beach days

Best Beach Blanket – Value Pick

At just under $10 at time of publishing, the Giverare Sandfree Beach Blanket is our top value pick. This large beach blanket is made of breathable nylon.

It is machine washable and comes with stakes to help secure it during windy days. It also comes with a small carrying bag that is not attached.

There are a few downsides like requiring stakes for very windy days and an unattached storage bag, but overall it will get the job done and won’t break the bank.

Buy it on Amazon

Manufacturer’s Specs

Size: 80in X55in

Material: Nylon

Color: One color option available

Storage: Comes with storage bag (not attached)

What We Like

  • Competitive price
  • Machine washable

What We Don’t Like

  • Separate storage bag is one more thing to keep track of at the beach
  • Lightweight material may need to be staked into the ground on windy beach days
  • Sand and sweat tend to stick to the blanket
  • Some reviewers complain of a strong chemical smell on first use

Beach Cotton Beach Blanket

If you are looking for a more traditional beach blanket, you can’t get much softer than the Wetcat Turkish Beach Blanket. It’s 100% prewashed cotton and incredibly soft to the touch.

The material is also fast drying and machine washable for easy clean up. While these run a bit smaller than a traditional beach blanket (think huge towel size), they are still large enough to comfortably accommodate an adult and a small child or two.

With many cute colors to choose from, this blanket also serves well as a towel for the beach or camping , so no need to tote along additional towels.

Buy it on Amazon here

Manufacturer Spec’s

Size: 38in X 71in

Material: 100% Turkish Cotton

Storage: Does not come with built in storage

Colors: Many colors and patterns available

What We Like

  • The super soft cotton is great for babies and small children
  • It can double as a beach towel or a regular blanket for colder days at the beach
  • Great color selection

What We Don’t Like

  • While it is fast-drying and absorbent, it’s not water or sand resistant
  • Does not come with a carrying case, so you need to bring a separate bag to tote it

Best Traditional Bamboo Beach Blanket

Anyone over the age of 30 will remember the traditional bamboo beach mats that were so popular a few decades ago, but the truth is that bamboo beach mats, like the Rhode Island Novelty Beach Mat still serves a specific purpose at the beach.

Bamboo mats are great at providing a barrier between hot sand and your skin. They are firm and durable so provide additional coverage when visiting rockier beaches and there is just something nostalgic about the traditional bamboo appearance.

Is it practical with little kids – not really, but coming in under $20 it could be good in a pinch.

Manufacturer’s Specs

Size: 32in X 70in (roughly the size of a beach towel)

Material: Straw Bamboo

Storage: Rolls up and fastens

Color: Traditional

What We Like

  • Nostalgic aesthetic
  • Inexpensive

What We Don’t Like

  • Material is not soft or comfortable
  • Rolls up and stores bulkier than peers
  • Not as durable as other options
  • Small

Buy it on Amazon here

What to Look for in a Good Beach Blanket

There are several factors to consider when choosing a beach blanket including:

Material  – Many of the sand-resistant beach blankets are made from thin polyester or nylon. These materials excel at repeling water and sand, but not might be a soft and cozy as cotton or other materials used to manufacture beach towels and more traditional beach blankets.

Some materials also tend to absorb heat and run hotter than others, so it’s important to consider your typical beach climate when selecting the best material for your beach blanket.

Size – When considering which beach blanket is right for your family, it’s important to think about size:

Do you have more than one child?

Do you have an baby or small child that you will have to sit on the blanket next to?

Will your toddlers or older kids be napping at the beach?

Are the beaches you visit typically crowded with little space between groups or do you usually have extra space around you?

The answers to those questions will help you decide how big or small to go.

Portability – Anyone who has ever been to the beach with kids knows well that portability is a big factor. I often seen parents with their arms loaded trying to run after a rogue child while trailing blankets and bags of goldfish along the way.

As parents, our goal is convenience and when packing for a beach trip, the smaller and more portable the better. Many beach blankets like the Wekapo Sand Free Beach Blanket fold up within themselves doubling as a carrying case with a shoulder strap. This is super helpful for parents who need their hands for other things (like wrangling small children, pushing the beach stroller, etc.)

Thickness – This is an often overlooked factor, but if you are looking for a beach blanket that will be comfortable for a small child or toddler, it’s important. If the blanket is too thin it can be uncomfortable for non-mobile little ones to lay on for a long period of time.

It’s not to say you can’t select a thinner option, but you may also want to pack a portable chair or bed for baby. If you do opt for a thicker option, be mindful of the extra space it will take up when carting it to and from the beach.


Do you plan to use the beach blanket primarily for the beach or will you use it for other purposes as well (picnics on the grass, hanging out in the backyard)? If you are specifically in the market for a blanket only for the beach you want to consider how the beach blanket stands up to water and sand.

Water A good beach blanket should be water-resistant. Kids constantly track water and sand onto blankets and if you also plan to eat lunch, nap or hang out on the blanket you want to make sure it is water resistant and/or quick-drying

Sand One of the coolest technological developments in beach blankets is the ability to create sand-resistant material. This is an amazing feature. No one likes sand on their towel/blanket, but if you have a baby or child keeping sand out of and away from their eyes and mouths can be very difficult with a blanket that holds a lot of sand.

By opting for a sand-proof like the CGEAR Sandlite option you are giving yourself a much better opportunity to have a great beach day free of the sand-in-the-eye disaster!

Ease of Cleaning

As parents, we want to create as little work as possible when it comes to unpacking and cleaning up from the beach. You most likely already need to clean 1 or more littles ones not to mention yourself, towels, unpacking the cooler, etc. Many beach blankets are washing machine safe, which makes it super easy to just throw it in the wash along with the towels. Some sand and water-resistant blankets might not need to be cleaned after each use.

How to a Clean Beach Blanket

How to Clean A Beach Blanket

The care instructions for beach blankets vary by manufacturer and you might not need to clean your beach blanket after every use assuming no one smears peanut butter and jelly into the fabric.

Whether you opt to wash your beach blanket after each use or not, one thing to pay specific attention to is whether it’s wet or dry when you fold it up to head home. If it’s a bit damp it’s important to let it air dry completely before storing it or it can develop mold which is both stinky and can cause allergies in little ones.

We usually throw ours outside fully spread out in the sun for an hour and that does the trick.

What is a Sand Blanket?

The term “sand blanket” is used interchangeably with beach blanket and typically refers to a blanket that can be used specifically at the beach.

Beach Blanket Alternatives?

Whether you need a specific blanket for the beach depends on how often you go and the level of convenience you are after. As I mentioned before, and old lightweight bed sheet can work in a pinch as can a number of other lightweight blankets laying around the house.

The cons is that they typically aren’t water or sand resistant, can be hotter/retain heat, and aren’t as easy to store.

Sand Free Beach Blanket vs. Traditional Beach Blanket

While many beach blankets claim to be “sand-resistant” it’s worth noting that this typically means that sand can easily be wiped off. Only one beach blanket, the CGEAR Sandlite – Patented Sand-Free Beach Mat uses patented technology that allows sand to fall through the material.

Sand and water resistant beach blankets are typically easy to clean, but might not be as soft or comfortable as a more traditional blanket made with lightweight, breathable cotton.

Closing Word

The best blanket for your family will be unique based your individual needs. Size, material and ease of transport and cleaning are just a few of the factors to help you make the best decision.

For families with babies and young toddlers, a blanket with a bit more cushion, like the Sedona House Sandfree Beach Blanket might be the way to go while families with older children may prefer the ease of a large sand-resistant nylon style beach blanket, like the Wekapo Sand Free Beach Blanket.

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