Whether you have your own pool or just enjoy frequenting others, floats are a fun addition to your activities.
Pool floats come in a ton of different shapes, sizes, and colors, and they’re no longer just for kids. In fact, some of the coolest ones out there were designed just for adults, and come complete with cup holders, headrests, and other desirable features.
But before you head out on your own to pick one out, there’s something you should know. You’re about to find out that the options are overwhelming.
But hey, we’re always here to help.
No matter what you’re looking for in a pool float, you’ll find something here that meets your needs. Or, at the very least, you’ll have a good jumping off point to lead you in the right direction.
The 10 Best Pool Floats
#1. Aqua 4-in-1 Monterey Hammock
- PATENTED THICK, NON-STICK PVC: Our special PVC laminated material is 50% to 70% thicker than most other “sticky PVC” pool hammocks and water hammocks
The Aqua 4-in-1 Monterey Hammock is one of our favorite pool floats because it’s so versatile. It easily converts to a hammock, chair, drifter, or saddle.
This float is super buoyant so it’s harder to get flipped off. In fact, customers love it because it’s so easy to get on and off of, as well as being safe for seniors and pregnant women.
It comes with its own tote bag and takes no time at all to inflate and deflate. And the strong mesh supports anyone up to 250 lbs.
#2. Intex King Kool Inflatable Lounge
This inflatable lounge is one of the most comfortable floats you’ll find. Not to mention, it has some pretty cool amenities you won’t see anywhere else.
This float encases your whole body so that you can float right on top of the pool without ever getting wet. And it comes complete with a cup holder, armrests, and backrests.
You’ll truly feel like you’re in a recliner made for the pool.
#3. Intex Rockin’ Inflatable Lounge
Okay, we lied. Maybe this is the most comfortable float you’ll ever see. Its contoured and transparent design gives it a little bit of a futuristic vibe.
It’s literally a rocking chair you can put in the water, complete with a cup holder. And it’s extra wide and long so it stays afloat without flipping.
It doesn’t get much more relaxing than that!
#4. GoFloats Unicorn Pool Float
Don’t think for a minute that this cool unicorn raft is just for kids. It’s actually made extra-large so adults can enjoy it too.
It’s also not just for swimming pools. It’s made of premium raft grade vinyl that’s durable enough for all types of water, including lakes and rivers.
Rapid valve inflation allows you to inflate and deflate this float extra fast. And it’s made in the USA by a company you can trust.
#5. Intex Tote-N-Float
- Built in pillow chamber
The Intex Tote-N-Float is made for swimmers on the go.
The simple design takes up little space and can be rolled up and tucked in your beach bag, even after its inflated.
Customers love this mat because it’s a little wider than other so it’s comfy and easy to get onto in the water. And its brightly-colored vinyl makes it attractive as well as practical.
#6. Intex Tube
- You get 2 tubes with assorted colors. Recommended for ages 9 years and older
If you’re looking for a simple tube that’s attractive enough to leave in your backyard or tote to the local pool, this one might be exactly what you need.
The Intex tubes are bright and cheery with floral designs printed on a colorful background. They’re constructed from sturdy 9 gauge vinyl that’s tough enough to take to the beach or leave out in the backyard.
These are recommended for ages 6-10.
#7. SwimWays Mesh Float
- SwimWays Spring Float Papasan made with patented inner spring for greater comfort and stability
SwimWays Mesh Float is a big ol’ Papasan chair made just for the water. And before you imagine it folding you up like a taco, let us tell you about its unique construction.
This float is the only one we’ve seen with innerspring construction around the outside edge to provide greater stability and ultimate comfort. That means it keeps its shape in the water and won’t likely flip you over.
When it’s not in use, it folds completely flat into compact circles so you can stuff it in its own bag for handy travel.
#8. Intex Sit N Float Inflatable Lounge
This inflatable lounge keeps the idea of a tube, but with a much more comfortable design. Instead of having to balance yourself on a full innertube, this one is sort of a half tube for back support and a seat that allows you to stretch out more comfortably.
There are cup holders by each arm so you never need to get out of the pool for a drink. And the handles on each side help keep you steady while getting on or being rocked by the movement of the pool water.
#9. GoFloats Flamingo Pool Float
- FUN IN THE SUN: Upgrade your pool party to a tropical getaway with the fun and affordable GoFloats Flamingo Party Tube
If you thought the unicorn we suggested was fun, wait till you see this pink flamingo. In fact, you might have to get both so you never have to decide between the two.
The cool thing about this float is that it’s large enough for adults as large as 500 lbs. It’s also made out of raft grade vinyl so it’s safe for rougher waters than just a backyard pool.
All GoFloats are made in the USA and come with 100% American customer support. Oh, and by the way, this one’s also super Insta-worthy.
#10. Intex 18-Pocket Suntanner
For summertime tanning, your needs for a float are a little bit different than others. You need something that lays flat so it allows you to get full-length exposure.
That’s where this Suntanner lounge comes in. It’s constructed with 18 pockets with coil-beam construction so it’s sturdy and comfortable to stretch out on in the pool. And its open design at the top provides a window or contoured headrest.
Benefits of Using a Pool Float
Pool floats come in all shapes and sizes, so you’re sure to find one to fit any of your needs. They’re designed mostly for fun and playing, but they can certainly have a few other benefits as well.
Portability — not all pool toys are portable, but floats can be deflated and neatly packed in the car for a trip to the beach or local pool.
Safety — while you should never rely solely on a pool float for the safety of a non-swimmer, it’s a good helper. Helping a child float on a raft is a good way to get them used to the water.
Tanning — soaking up the rays on the side of the pool isn’t always a lot of fun. But floating on a comfy raft is pretty enjoyable.
Relaxation — after a long day at work, what’s more relaxing than floating in the pool while sipping your favorite beverage? And soaking up that vitamin D is known to combat depression and many other health issues.
4 Considerations for Choosing the Best Pool Floats for You
Where will it be used?
One of the most important things to ask yourself before you buy a pool float is where and how you will use it. This is because they come in different grades of vinyl and some are just made sturdier.
For use in your own pool, you can likely go with a cheaper float without much concern. But if you’re planning a trip to float a rocky river, you’ll want something made a little stronger.
The size of your pool
If you’ll be using the float in a pool, you’ll have to consider the space available for it. This is especially true if you’re planning to take it to a public pool where there are other swimmers and possibly other inflatables.
Who will be using it?
Not all floatation devices are made for all swimmers. Some are made strictly for small children and others are constructed for heavier adults.
It’s best to always check the packaging for weight and height requirements.
If your goal is to float in the pool, drinking margaritas all day, you’re obviously going to want to go for comfort. Sometimes there’s no real way to test this before you buy other than to check online reviews on the product.
Pay attention to what other customers say about it before you make a decision. But also look for features like multiple air chambers, headrests, and extra width.
Features to Look for in the Best Pool Floats
As you can see, there are a lot of different types of pool floats. So choosing your features really comes down to personal preference.
You’ll have to decide for yourself what important to you and a lot of that depends on who is using it and where.
Some floats have built-in cup holders, some have headrests, and some even have steering wheels or other fun baubles for toddlers. But some of the most important features people look for are:
Multiple air chambers — Multiple air chambers add safety, support, and comfort to your pool float. They also help keep it afloat even if one of them gets damaged.
Ease of assembly — First of all, make sure your float will be easy to inflate. You’d be surprised at how far the industry has come with this feature.
Secondly, if you’ll be taking it with you a lot, make sure it’s just as easy to deflate to tuck in your bag.
Ease of use — We’ve all tried to get on a pool float that keeps flipping over or won’t stay put. The best way to combat this is to get one that’s wide enough to stretch out on and short enough above water that you’re not having to climb.
Easily repairable — You’ll notice that many of the pool floats we recommend come with their own patch repair kits. This is a good feature because it takes the guesswork out of how to fix tears or holes in that device.
Durability — Some pool floats are made to last and others won’t. Unfortunately, in this arena, you definitely get what you pay for.
Cup holder — Of course cup holders! Having to balance your drink just distracts from the relaxation you’re trying to achieve while catching rays.
Support — If your desire is to float around in the pool comfortably, you’ll want a device that can easily support your entire body. This means being able to stretch out and relax rather than straining to hold yourself up.
How to Clean Your Pool Float
Anything that hangs out in the water too long is subject to mold, mildew, and certain germs. Not to mention the dirt and grass that can stick to it from backyard play.
Cleaning pool toys is not hard, but it definitely shouldn’t be neglected. This is especially true if you happen to tote it around a lot.
The first thing you can do is simply hose your float off outside the pool. Then it’s usually safe to throw back in the water.
If your float gets particularly dirty, however, or starts to grow mold, you’ll have to get a little more aggressive if you want to keep your pool clean.
In these cases, you can usually use bleach water to wipe it down. Or for particularly stubborn spots or stains, use a baking soda scrub.
Always wash any chemicals off well before returning your float to the water. And let it dry completely before putting it in storage.
Pool Float FAQs
How should I store my pool float?
How you store your pool float will depend a lot on how and where it’s used.
If you use it in your own pool and just want to keep it from blowing away, dry it completely and toss it in the garage or storage shed. Of course, always rinse it off before putting it back in the pool to prevent dragging dust or debris in with it.
If you take it with you to other pools or bodies of water, dry it and deflate it before putting it in your car.
Most importantly, keep it away from sharp objects. You can most easily do this by putting it in a storage bag or plastic container.
Should you leave pool floats in the pool?
As long as your pool chemistry stays balanced, it’s usually no big deal to leave pool floats and other toys in your pool once in a while. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
First of all, the chemicals from the pool could shorten the life of your float if it’s kept in constant contact with them. And secondly, a strong wind could blow it over the fence.
Can I use my pool float as a life-saving device?
You should never rely on a pool float to save someone from drowning. But it can provide an extra measure of safety for someone who is not a strong swimmer. That is, as long as adequate supervision is available.
Unlike true life-saving devices, pool floats are not tested and certified for that purpose.
How do you get air out of pool floats?
Some floats are designed to be easily deflated, but others are stubborn and seem to hang on to their air.
Most of the time, you can just use both hands to press all the air out. Or some can be rolled up tightly toward the air valve until it’s all gone.
No matter where you swim or who you take with you, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a pool float. Just remember to read the specs and get the right size for the person using it.
Also, check for quality materials and sturdy construction. The best-made floats can last several years as long as they’re taken care of.