Where to Buy Sand for Sandboxes (White, Colored, Play, etc): 10 Places

A sandbox can be a great addition to a backyard playground set, and it can be a fun and creative way for kids to burn off some energy. There are several places, both in-store and online, where you can buy sand in quantities needed for a home sandbox. Below, we’ve compiled the list of places to buy sand, what types are offered, and general prices.

We’ve Done the Comparing for You — Here’s What We Recommend

If you’re looking for the convenience of online ordering, fast delivery, as well as a wide range of sand types (including silica-free) and prices, Amazon is always a good option for finding sand for your sandbox. However, if you’re looking for the cheapest options for standard play sand that you can find online or in-store, consider places like The Home Depot or Walmart. Keep in mind, though, that these inexpensive play sand brands will likely contain silica.

Places to Buy Play Sand

In addition to play sand, some stores also sell all-purpose sand, which can be used for sandboxes but is slightly more coarse than play sand and may come unwashed (you can check the product description or packaging for this information). We specify below which stores sell which type(s) of sand, ordered starting with the best overall options.

Amazon

  • In-store or online? Online only
  • Types of sand offered: Play sand and all-purpose sand in tan, white, green, pink, purple, and blue colors.
  • Silica-free? Yes (most options)
  • Price: Around $30 to $40 for natural-colored 25-pound bags, and $15 to $50 for colored 10- to 25-pound bags
  • Order online (paid partner link)

The Home Depot

  • In-store or online? Both
  • Types of sand offered: Tan play sand and all-purpose sand
  • Silica-free? No
  • Price: $3 to $4 for a 50-pound bag of sand
  • Order online or find a store

Walmart

  • In-store or online? Both
  • Types of sand offered: Play sand in tan, white, green, pink, purple, and blue colors.
  • Silica-free? Yes, most options.
  • Price: About $23 for a 20-pound bag of colored sand, $20 for a 25-pound. bag of tan sand, and $30 for a 25-pound bag of white sand. About $2 to $7 for 50 pounds of play sand containing silica in tan and white.
  • Order online or find a store

Lowe’s

  • In-store or online? In-store only
  • Types of sand offered: Tan play sand and all-purpose sand
  • Silica-free? No
  • Price: Around $3 to $4 for a 50-pound bag of sand or $76 for 1000 pounds of all-purpose sand<
  • Find a store

Ace Hardware

  • In-store or online? Both
  • Types of sand offered: Tan play sand and all-purpose sand
  • Silica-free? No
  • Price: $6 to $7 for a 50-pound bag of sand
  • Order online or find a store

Sears

  • In-store or online? Both
  • Types of sand offered: Play sand in white, tan, and various colors.
  • Silica-free? The colored sand is silica-free, but the white and tan play sand are not.
  • Price: About $2 for a 50-pound bag of white/tan sand; about $50 for colored sand
  • Order online or find a store

Kmart

  • In-store or online? Both
  • Types of sand offered: White play sand
  • Silica-free? No
  • Price: About $3 for a 50-pound bag of sand
  • Order online or find a store

Menards

  • In-store or online? In-store only
  • Types of sand offered: Tan and white play sand
  • Silica-free? No
  • Price: Around $2 to $3 for a 50-pound bag of sand
  • Find a store

Sandtastik

  • In-store or online? Online only
  • Types of sand offered: Play sand and therapy sand in white, floral, and nearly every color of the rainbow.
  • Silica-free? Yes
  • Price: Around $20 for a 25-pound bag of white play or therapy sand, $24 for a 25-pound bag of colored play sand, and $30 for the floral (eco-friendly) play sand. For a bulk order, it will cost upwards of $700 for 1,200 pounds of white play sand, and $1,000 for 1,200 pounds of white therapy sand. For higher quantities or bulk prices on the colored/floral play sand, you can request a quote online.
  • Order online or request a quote

The Safe Sand Company

  • In-store or online? Online only
  • Types of sand offered: White and tan play sand
  • Silica-free? Yes
  • Price: Around $24 for a 25-pound bag of white sand if you pick it up in San Francisco; around $29 for the same order with delivery. A bulk order of 1,000 pounds will cost you approximately $875.
  • Order online

Places That Don’t Sell Sand

In the course of our research, we found that the following retailers don’t sell sand for sandboxes:

  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Costco
  • Dollar General
  • Dollar Tree
  • Family Dollar
  • Publix
  • Supervalu
  • Target

 

How Much Sand Should You Buy?

The amount of sand you need to purchase will vary depending on the volume of your sandbox. In general, for a small outdoor sandbox, you’ll likely need a few hundred pounds of sand. For larger sizes or odd shapes and sizes, Sandtastik offers a helpful sandbox calculator to help you calculate the exact amount you need. Depending on the type of sand you choose (all-purpose sand is generally much cheaper than play sand), you can expect to spend as little as $20 or less to fill up your small sandbox, or nearly $500 to fill up the same sized box with play sand.

Health Concerns Related to Play Sand

In the process of searching for play sand, you may come across some alarming health concerns related to sand. Note that all play sand is child-friendly in that it has been thoroughly washed; however, it often will still contain quartz sand grains (also known as crystalline silica), which is the same as what is found in any beach sand. Silica can have potentially detrimental effects if inhaled in excess. Keep in mind that warnings about these effects are typically meant for people like industrial workers who experience prolonged daily exposure for years — not short periods of play in a small sandbox.

To mitigate any potential danger, some play sand brands will advise that you keep the sand damp, which helps prevent children from breathing in dust or bits of silica from the sand. Other brands remove all silica and quartz, which dramatically increases the price of the product.

If you have concerns about the brand of sand you are considering, note that the state of California requires health warning labels on sand. If a bag of sand says “Not labeled for sand in California,” you may want to avoid that brand.

In Summary

You can find play sand and all-purpose sand for an at-home sandbox at several nationwide retailers. If you prefer silica-free sand, Amazon is likely the best option for price and convenience. If you don’t mind using all-purpose sand for your sandbox, you may also want to consider buying it from The Home Depot or Walmart, both of which sell sand for low prices online and in-store. While all play sand and most all-purpose sand is safe for young kids to play in, you can always check the product labels to see what is contained in the sand. Depending on the size of your sandbox, you can expect to buy a few hundred pounds of sand or more to fill it.

If you are unable to find sand for your sandbox, as a last resort, you can check out our list of stores that sell sandbags.