These round beach towels are sweeping the nation but with prices as low as $12 to prices as high as $120, what is going on? The Australian born round beach towel is the single-most sought after merchandise for boutique stores to carry so it’s crucial to understand what these items are. The round beach towels, also known as roundie, come in different materials and different weights causing a wide range of price points.  Although online, these items look the same and will have the same description identifiers, these small details set each towel apart.  These towels come in polyester, microfiber and cotton materials.

Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic fiber made out of plastic.  Polyester holds color and shape well so your colors will stay vibrant and shrink free.  Polyester is not absorbent so it is not the material of choice for towels or mug rugs.  Lastly, polyester is not a breathable material so wrapping yourself with polyester may make you sweat.

Microfiber

Microfiber is also a synthetic fiber made out of ultra-fine fibers of various materials including polyester, nylon and polypropylene. Unlike polyester, microfiber is somewhat absorbent so it can be used for light wear towels and beach wraps.  Microfiber will wick moisture away from the body, keeping the wearer cooler and drier than polyester.

Cotton

Cotton is a natural fiber, making it softer but strong fiber.  Cotton will give a super soft feel on your skin and even those with sensitive skin can tolerate 100% cotton as opposed to polyester.  Cotton also holds color really well giving deep vibrant colors.  Cotton decomposes over time so with prolonged use, the colors will start to fade.

Apart from material, the thickness of the material plays a big part in the price.  Fabric is graded on GSM (grams per square meter) standard that measures how heavy one square meter of fabric is.  An average shirt is roughly 130 – 150 GSM while lightweight hoodies are 200 – 250 GSM.  A heavy sweatshirt or hoodie will range from 300 – 400 GSM.

Round beach towels come in a wide array of thicknesses ranging from 120 GSM that are great for tapestries and home décor to 450 GSM that serve as premium quality towels.  The 120 GSM round beach towel will be the thickness of a low quality shirt and will not function as an actual towel.  Most items found on eBay from Chinese vendors tend to be just this item.  They will have descriptions and pictures that show the size and front with little or no information on the thickness.  These thin towels work great for tapestries and table covers.

The next tier in thickness is the 200 – 250 GSM beach towels.  These work well as beach covers to sit and sun bathe on.  Additionally, they can be used as yoga mats or other sports related rugs.  Lastly, the premium round beach towels are made of 300 – 450 GSM material that is thick enough to function as a beach towel.  The 300 – 450 GSM towels tend to be produced in 100% cotton, which further aids in creating the towel like qualities of being super soft and extreme absorbent.

A common mistake most consumers fall into is assuming that GSM is the same as gm.  Gm is designated as grams which is weight of the full material while GSM is just the weight of one square meter of fabric.  For a large item such as the 150cm x 150cm round beach towels, the material that goes into it is roughly 2 square meters.  This means that a towel advertised as thick 450gm beach towel is in fact a 225 GSM thin material.

All of our items advertised as “towels” are of terry cloth which is the same feel and texture of regular household bath towels.  These work best to dry yourself at the beach after a swim.  The versatility of the Terry Cloth towels can also be used best as a mat to accent the carpeted floor, at a patio, deck, and many other areas.  At homes, this can also be used as a throw on chairs, ottomans, and beds.  Some, however, do use these as a wearable.

There is news that a new style of roundies are going to be made soon out of Chiffon or Rayon material that will be even cheaper and thinner than products that are currently in the market.  Don’t be fooled into buying beach towels that look the same in pictures but are actually thin knock-offs of the real round beach towels.  Because of the non-absorbing nature of the chiffon and rayon, they can’t be used to dry yourself off, but because they are so light and thin, they work better as throws.  Also because they are made of same materials used to make scarfs, they can be worn and styled as you would any scarfs.