A pool float makes your time in the water even more enjoyable, allowing you to lounge, read, or sip a cold beverage while you soak up some sun.
We spent hours researching the best pool floats on the market for babies, toddlers, and adults, evaluating quality, durability, and value, then rounded up our favorites to beat the heat on summer days.
Aqua Campania Ultimate Two-in-One Recliner and Tanner Pool Lounger
Easy to get in and out
Attachable drink float
Can recline or sit upright
Can be difficult to inflate
If you’re looking for a pool float with maximum versatility, the Aqua Compania Ultimate Two-in-One Recliner and Tanner Pool Lounger is it. The adult-sized inflatable chair has it all, including an attached drink caddy, so you can sip on your beverage of choice while you bask in the sun. (There’s even room for your sunscreen). To use the chair as a recliner, flip the backrest into the upright position, or nestle it down into the hole in the floatie to use the chair as a lounger for resting or tanning.
This isn’t your typical plastic float, either. The super buoyant float (it’s 20 percent thicker than your average inflatable), is made of a soft cool weave fabric—a high-quality mesh that helps create a supportive and cooling seat. Though rather large, the float is relatively portable, too, thanks to convenient carry handles.
We love how easy it is to get in and out of this float and the multiple seating positions possible. One thing to note: inflating may be a bit difficult at first because it has a double valve, but once this is mastered, inflating and deflating is a breeze.
Price at time of publish: $60
Dimensions: 3.25 x 16.5 x 13.85 inches | Weight Capacity: 250 pounds | Recommended Age: 15 years and up
Intex 30-Inch Transparent Tubes
Don't lose air easily
Suitable for kids or adults
Can take a while to blow up manually
If you don’t need anything fancy—just something you can perch in or prop yourself up on—this three-pack of inflatable tubes will do just the trick. At 30 inches in diameter, the trio of tubes is suitable for both children and adults.
Because of their size, the tubes are easy to inflate and deflate, too, making them ideal for a day trip to the town pool or even the lake or the beach. Still, they’re sturdy enough to accommodate those well over 100 pounds. Smooth inner seams mean no scratching, either—just a super comfortable place to float.
Price at time of publish: $14
Dimensions: 11.1 x 7.4 x 1.8 inches | Weight Capacity: Not listed | Recommended Age: 8 years and up
Best for Adults
Aqua 4-in-1 Monterey Hammock Inflatable Pool Float
Included tote for easy travel
Multiple ways to sit or float
Air can leak easily from the pillow
Though it doesn’t look like much and weighs just shy of a pound, this pool float is extremely versatile. Adults up to about 6 feet tall (there’s also an extra-large version for larger, taller people) will love all that the simple vinyl and mesh raft can do. You can use it as a hammock, a chair, a drifter, or even an exercise saddle. Despite the breathable mesh fabric, the head- and footrests are super buoyant to suspend you in the water and contour comfortably to keep you afloat, no matter how you choose to use it.
There are plenty of convenient features, too, including a removable pillow insert and a foldable design that fits in an included tote bag. Perhaps best of all, the float is machine washable, so you can keep it in like-new condition for as long as possible.
Price at time of publish: $13
Dimensions: 12 x 10.5 x 3 inches | Weight Capacity: 250 pounds | Recommended Age: 4 years and up
Best Pool Chair
Frontgate Floating Mesh Pool Chair
No inflating or deflating
Does not fade or fray in the sun
If comfort and support are a priority, try this floating mesh pool chair by Frontgate. It’s a lot like your favorite armchair—just suspended in water. The durable mesh chair has oversized armrests, a well-cushioned back for comfort, and an attached ottoman. Because it’s filled with ultra-buoyant polystyrene beads, even larger adults will stay comfortably afloat.
When it comes time to call it a day, the mesh fabric ensures the chair dries quickly. A handle at the top of the chair allows for easier transport and storage, too.
Price at time of publish: $149
Dimensions: 40 x 38 x 15.5 inches | Weight Capacity: Not listed | Recommended Age: Not listed
Best for Kids
Swimline UFO Squirter Pool Inflatable Lounge Float
Built in ray-gun to keep kids engaged
Water pressure from ray-guns can be weak
This one-person raft provides plenty of opportunities for fun. While it’s perfectly suitable for simply sitting and enjoying the water, it’s also built to provide plenty of interactivity, thanks to the built-in ray-gun squirt gun that has a constant stream of water. If you have more than one child, make sure to get one for each. There’s no doubt the ensuing water fights will keep them occupied for hours.
Because kids can be a bit rough on their toys—especially during outdoor or backyard play—the inflatable lounger is made from a durable 12-gauge PVC material to keep it in tip-top shape for longer. Still, it takes less than 10 minutes to inflate—even faster if you opt to use an air pump.
Price at time of publish: $30
Dimensions: 12 x 10.5 x 3 inches | Weight Capacity: Not listed | Recommended Age: 4 years and up
Best Pool Mat
Frontgate Resort Pool Float
Easy to clean
High weight limit
If you’re satisfied with one of the most classic options out there, the Frontgate Resort Pool Float is your best bet. The 2-inch thick mat is crafted from the highest-quality marine-grade closed-cell foam for superior buoyancy and durability (it won’t sink even if punctured). What’s more, the float is triple-dipped in a vinyl coating that resists cracking, fading, and peeling in both chlorinated pools and saltwater pools. As an added bonus, the mat is extremely quick-drying and easy to wipe clean, too.
Price at time of publish: $169+
Dimensions: 74 x 26 x 2 inches | Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Recommended Age: Not listed
Bestway Hydro ForceTropical Breeze Floating Island Raft
Accommodate multiple kids and adults
Cup holders and cooler included
Takes a while to inflate
For pool parties, nothing beats a floating island—especially one that’s this functional. Though you’ll need a relatively large pool to accommodate the 54-pound float, the investment is well worth it.
Once inflated (use a pump for this one), the pool float can comfortably fit up to six adults (it’s suitable for kids, too) in an array of different seating positions. Sit in the loungers on the exposed side, or pick a seated spot under the retractable, detachable sunshade. With extra-wide pillow backrests and built-in cup holders for each person, one thing is for sure: This is one extremely comfortable way to party in the pool.
Price at time of publish: $200
Dimensions: 153 x 108 x 29 inches | Weight Capacity: 1190 pounds | Recommended Age: Not listed
Best for Toddlers
SwimWays Inflatable Baby Spring Octopus Pool Float
Safe for young ones
Keeps kids engaged
Shades babies from sun
Can be difficult to get all pieces back into the carrying case
Safety is undoubtedly of utmost importance when it comes to toddlers and pools and this pool float delivers in both security and fun, making it the best of both worlds. The floating activity center is like your typical baby seat: It has two leg holes to hold your baby or toddler (ages 9 to 24 months old) securely in an upright sitting-like position. Additional safety features include child safety valves and an innerspring for added stability to keep the float from tipping.
In terms of comfort, the raft has a large removable canopy with mesh sides crafted from UPF 50+ fabric. And, to keep your tot occupied, the adorable octopus accessory turns 360 degrees and includes toys like a squeaker, rattle, stacking rings, and a soft touch star. Despite all of this, the inflatable folds easily into an included carry case for storage and transport.
Price at time of publish: $32
Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 3 inches | Weight Capacity: 30 pounds | Recommended Age: 9 months and up
The best overall pool float is the Aqua Campania Ultimate Two-in-One Recliner and Tanner, which is a very versatile inflatable that allows you to relax in the pool in a flat or sitting position. If you're looking for a more affordable, convenient option for day trips, the Intex Transparent Tubes comes in a pack of three and is easy to inflate and deflate.
What to Look for When Buying Pool Floats
Comfort and Breathability
Pool floats are designed for relaxation, but you’re unlikely to find much peace if the float you’re lazing on is uncomfortable. Look for details that will make your floating experience more pleasant. While most pool floats are made from sturdy PVC, some boast breathable mesh panels that’ll let water seep into and out of the float, keeping you cool as you bask in the sun. Others are designed with hidden inner seams, which ensure that the float’s surface feels smooth, rather than sharp.
If you plan to tote your float to nearby pools, lakes, and beaches, you’ll want something that’s easy to carry. Check to see if the float you’re eyeing is transport-friendly. Some options boast a built-in carry handle or come with a storage bag. Investigate how small your float will be when folded up. Be sure to double-check the float’s weight, as well. Even when deflated, some floats are surprisingly hefty.
Size and Weight Capacity
Before committing to a pool float, double-check its size and weight capacity. The last thing you want is to go through the trouble of inflating a float only to realize it’s the wrong size for you, your kid, or your pool. Also, you certainly don’t want a float to start sinking, moments after being deflated, because it was subjected to more than it could handle.
Many pool floats come equipped with special features, like cup holders, removable pillows, included coolers, and kid-friendly squirt guns. These details may not be must-haves, but they’re certainly nice-to-haves. When already already treating yourself to a pool float, you might as well go all out on something truly luxurious.
How do you blow up a pool float?
There are a few different ways to blow up a pool float. You can keep things simple by using your mouth to slowly blow air into the pool float. Or you can use a standard pump (like a hand pump, a foot pump, or an electric pump) to speed up the process. Some particularly creative folks have noted that you can also use a shop vacuum or a hairdryer to get the job done, though these methods may be more trouble than they’re worth.
What is the best way to store pool floats?
If you want to keep your pool floats in tip-top shape, be sure to clean them off and completely deflate them before stowing them away. Then, fold them up and store them inside a lidded storage container. This should keep your pool floats protected from dirt, mold, mildew, and worst of all, sharp objects.
How do you clean pool floats?
Since pool floats are water-friendly, they tend to be easy to clean. Just grab some mild soap and a cleaning cloth, and gently scrub away dirt and grime. When you’re finished, you can rinse your float with water and let it air-dry in the sun. (Just make sure your float isn’t completely inflated when you leave it in the sun. The heat can cause the air inside your float to expand, making it prone to popping.)
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Brigitt Earley, a freelance writer who has spent the last 10-plus years researching the best home goods for various digital publications, including The Spruce and Good Housekeeping. She has always relied on the Frontgate resort pool float, though she’s also used the Intex transparent tubes and the SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center With Canopy for her children.
Additional reporting was done by Lindsey Lanquist, who has spent years covering home and lifestyle products for a range of publications including The Spruce and MyDomaine, and Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021.