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.

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.

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

The Home Depot

Walmart

Lowe’s

Ace Hardware

Sears

Kmart

Menards

Sandtastik

The Safe Sand Company

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