The Best Picnic Blankets and Beach Mats for Every Need

Gear up for fun in the sun with these top-rated buys, from sand-free mats to foldable blankets that turn into a bag.

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Updated on May 29, 2024

Our Top Picnic & Beach Blanket Picks

There's just something about eating outside that makes food taste better, even a simple picnic with PB&Js. Whether you're planning a park visit, beach day or lunch in the backyard, you need a sturdy picnic blanket to bring along. We've rounded up the best styles for any outdoor activity, from waterproof to washable blankets. Shop our favorites below.

What to Look for in a Picnic Blanket

When shopping for a picnic blanket, consider which material best fits your needs. Nylon and polyester are ideal for lightweight blanket options and are usually waterproof or water-resistant perfect for the beach, park, festivals or camping. Fleece is a great material for warmth at sporting events or fall festivities but opt for blankets with a water-resistant backing to avoid sogginess when in use on wet or damp ground. Also, consider the size of blanket you would need, from solo-sized to family-sized. Durability and portability are other factors to consider if you plan on taking your blanket on the road and out in nature.

Best Beach Picnic Blanket


The worst part about coming home after a day at the beach is the sand. It's the glitter of nature. It gets everywhere. If you hate sandy car seats or a tote full of sand, you need CGear's Sandlite Sand-Free Beach Mat. This blanket features interlocking, "one-way sift" technology that allows sand to fall through the blanket without being able to come back up. The mat comes in three different sizes, from solo to family-sized, and is available in cute prints and coastal colors.

Best Grass Picnic Blanket


Bring the classic gingham print of a picnic tablecloth to the ground with the grass-friendly Picnic Time Zip-Up Blanket Tote. It features a water-wicking polyester material that's ideal for sporting events, picnics, camping and more. Best of all? The blanket folds into a petite tote (complete with a pocket) to make transporting and carrying a breeze.

Best Waterproof Picnic Blanket


Most outdoor blankets are treated with a water-resistant coating, but that won't be enough to keep wet grass and mud from seeping through. Invest in a 100 percent waterproof blanket, and you'll never have to worry about wet or stained clothes. The YETI Lowlands Blanket is $200, a lot for a mat, but like other YETI products, it's tough and long-lasting. The bottom features a thick waterproof layer, and the quilted top is surprisingly soft and cozy for a sporty brand. Plus, the blanket comes with a carrying case that makes it perfect for travel.

Best Camping Picnic Blanket

$125 $93.74

While YETI's outdoor blanket is perfect for camping, it's fairly large and heavy. So, if you plan on backpacking, you'll need a lighter, more pack-friendly option. Meet the Rumpl Original. It's like a puffy jacket but in blanket form. The 100 percent recycled 30D ripstop polyester fabric is durable and resists snags and tears, while a DWR finish makes the blanket weather- and stain-resistant.

Best Towel Picnic Blanket


Tapestries and extra-large towels make great picnic blankets because they're lightweight and don't take up much space when packing. Sand Cloud towels are big enough to use as blankets, are sand-resistant and dry much faster than normal beach towels. They're also available in a wide selection of trendy patterns and bright colors. Read our in-depth review of the towel below.

Best Lightweight Picnic Blanket

$39.95 $29.95

Adventure is calling, and this portable lightweight blanket is the perfect item to bring along. A parachute nylon material makes it quick-drying, water-resistant and won't rot or mildew over time. The versatile blanket is large enough to fit multiple people, making it ideal for the beach, music festivals, picnics or sporting events. The best part? It's backed by a lifetime guarantee.

Best Machine-Washable Picnic Blanket

$69 $54.99

No need to worry if you spill a drink or accidentally place your blanket in mud. This versatile outdoor blanket is 100 percent machine washable and dryable. The top is made from polyester fleece that's super soft to the touch, while the nylon bottom blocks and keeps moisture at bay.

Best Kid-Friendly Picnic Blanket


Sticky juices and muddy hands are no match for this durable indoor/outdoor blanket designed to handle messes. The water-resistant polyester fabric easily wipes clean, with snack crumbs and debris shaking right off. The inside is lightly padded for comfort, while an easy-to-fold shape, carry handle and shoulder strap make the blanket ideal for any activity.

Best Packable Picnic Blanket

$39.98 $28.98

Picnics with bottles of rosé, fresh fruit and cheese plates sound romantic in theory, but in reality, it's a hassle to lug a heavy cooler around — especially if you parked far away. Free up a hand and lighten your load with this super lightweight, packable blanket. Not only does the blanket fold into itself for compact transporting, but it's also sand- and water-resistant.

Best Personalizable Picnic Blanket

From $129
Mark & Graham

Great for gift-giving, this cheery striped blanket is made of a soft wool blend and features a tassel fringe and a convenient leather carrying handle. The waterproof bottom layer makes this blanket ideal for grassy picnics, muddy sporting events and sunny hangouts on the beach. Personalize the throw with an embroidered initial or monogram.

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