As we head into another hot summer, many of us gear up for our favorite hot-weather activities. One of the best ways to have fun and stay cool is by taking a dip in a refreshing pool. However, no slope by the pool is complete without a comfy float to rest on. These days, you can find fun inflatable pool toys in just about every shape and size, and some even come with special features. With so many options available, here’s a wet, hot guide to help you find your new favorite pool swimmer. Whether you’re looking for the best pool floats for yourself, your friends, your kids, or even your dog, these are the coolest inflatables for any sunbather.
On a perfect summer day, imagine dipping your toes in a pool with an ice cold drink in hand and your favorite people by your side. Now think about the best pool swimmer to complete this picture. If you’re struggling with visualization, ask yourself the following questions to help make that daydream a reality.
Does the float have to carry several people?
First and foremost, you need to decide how many people you want to pack. Are you looking for a relaxing tube for one person? A double-width recliner for two? Or a giant float for a group of friends? Before purchasing, please check the product sizing information to ensure you are receiving the dimensions you require. This way you can safely choose your favorite design and avoid surprises when unpacking.
Do you want statement pool toys?
The best thing about pool floats is the true celebration of flashy options. Hello, perfect pool day selfie! While there are several classic, monochromatic options, summer is all about fun, and your float should raise a smile. From llamas to slices of pizza, giant pineapples to classic convertibles, there really is something for everyone – including the fan-favorite unicorn pool.
Want a pool float that can accommodate food and drinks?
If you plan to bob along the water for a whole day, you need food, which in turn means you need somewhere to put your snacks. Rather than head towards dry land for a bite to eat, grab a lounge chair that comes with a food and drink holder. That way you don’t have to waste a second of water fun to replenish and rehydrate.
Need a pool float that is safe for your baby or toddler?
If you’re headed to the pool with your baby in tow and know he’s not ready for armbands, consider grabbing an inflatable ring so you and your little one can enjoy the water together. Safety is paramount, so look for a no-flip float made of non-toxic material and equipped with safety straps to keep your little tot safely afloat. Also, make sure your little water bug has enough range of motion to be comfortable, but not so much range of motion that it can accidentally fall out of the float. Products with raised edges and multiple straps are a great way to let your water baby splash around safely.
Are you about inflatable pools?
Most inflatable pool floats are made of PVC plastic, which is great for buoyancy, dry time, and easy inflation. However, some find that the material in inflatable pool floats can get too hot if left in the sun or irritate their skin over time – this is especially true for classic tubes and full body loungers. Luckily there are a few solutions. Some companies offer custom covers made from nylon or waterproof fabrics. Also check out some of the amazing foam floats that are available. While foam floats tend to be more expensive, they don’t require inflation, are gentle on the skin, and offer soft, squishy support for maximum comfort. In addition, there is no risk of popping and sinking. Even with an accidental puncture, foam floats are unlikely to sink.
Does your dog come with you in the pool?
What’s cuter than a puppy lounging on a pool? Not much! If your dog likes the water but doesn’t want to spend the day swimming, consider giving your four-legged friend their own swimmer as a special summertime treat. Essentially a buoyant dog bed, dog pools are a fun way for you and your furry best friend to relax on the water. As long as you choose a product made of durable material that can support your dog’s weight, nothing should stand in the way of a perfect summer day with your four-legged best friend.
The best swimming pools
While it may seem like an easy purchase, there are a few things to consider before you click Add to Cart. First, determine how many people could use the float at one time, and then make some executive decisions about size, style, and functionality. Finally, there are pool chair floats, unicorn pool floats and giant pool floats just to name a few types. Quality, price and safety – especially for babies, children and pets – are some other very important considerations.
Best lounger: Aqua Campania Ultimate 2-in-1 armchair
This relaxation lounger from Aqua Campania is everything you need for a perfect day at the pool. The backrest can be positioned at a 60 degree angle for a little support or lie flat on the back for a successful full body tan. The Campania Swim Chair comes with a detachable caddy for snacks, extra drinks or personal items so you don’t leave anything to be desired on the water. It can carry up to 250 pounds and is easy to inflate with a two-valve closure system.
Best Foam Swimmer: Frontgate Resort Pool Swimmers
When it comes to rest and relaxation on a perfect pool day, this pool float really is the ultimate. The 2-inch closed-cell foam is thin enough to keep you afloat but light enough for easy portability. Unlike traditional floats, this product uses a PVC coating on the foam to reduce erosion caused by chlorine and sun exposure while keeping things plush. This foam float comes in eight solid colors, or be bold and choose from two fun prints. While this product is a little more expensive than other inflatable pool floats, it will last longer and provide extra comfort.
Best swimmer for pool parties: Intex Party Island Flamingo
This isn’t just a pool float — it’s a pool island that can support 880 pounds and measures 166 inches by 147 inches by 73 inches. This pink flamingo float from Intex comes with four cup holders, a built-in cooler, a removable boarding platform and a mesh bottom for letting in cooling water. It even comes with an anchor bag, rope and repair kit should you need extra support and stability. If the giant pool floats are too big for your pool, consider taking them to a nearby lake.
Best Unicorn Swimmer: Jasonwell Giant Unicorn Swimming Pool
Splash around in this giant unicorn pool that can support up to 400 pounds (usually up to two people) at a time. It measures 144 inches by 55 inches by 47 inches when fully inflated, which you can achieve with a hair dryer, hand pump, or electric pump. Make sure you get the waterproof camera out because you’ll definitely be bombarded with image requests.
Best Swimming Pool For Babies: Swimming ring for baby pools from Laycol
This baby float is suitable for children under 36 months and will support your little ones with their first attempts at water this summer. It has a double layer air chamber, wide sides, a raised front, tummy/back support and a five point harness to keep your baby right side up. Strap your guppy on its back or front so it can experiment with different types of “swimming.” You can easily drag them through the water as they bounce and splash around. This swim ring comes in three sizes and colors – each includes a removable canopy to protect little ones’ delicate, soft skin from the sun.
Best Dog Swimmer: SwimWays Paddle Paws dog raft
Keep your fur baby happy with this inflatable dog raft from SwimWays. It comes in two sizes and supports dogs under and over 65 pounds. Constructed from claw-friendly mesh, this dog pool float features panels that allow just enough water to seep through to keep your pet cool. A spring core design around the rim adds stability, and reinforced webbing protects the swimmer from bursting. Best of all, Fido’s float folds flat and fits easily in your pool bag.
frequently asked Questions
What are swimming pools made of?
Most pool floats are made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC. Manufacturers may also list this as vinyl, plastic, or naphthalene. Think of any inflatable water toy – baby pool, beach ball, water slide – and chances are it’s made out of PVC. Some products may have an extra layer of polyester fabric to reinforce the material, but this is more commonly used for inflatable pools. The only other material commonly used is foam.
Why are foam floats so expensive?
Foam floats are typically more expensive than PVC floats due to their durability, comfort, weight, and ease of use. To create a foam float, manufacturers must engineer tiny cells within a layer of plastic by placing the plastic in a nitrogen-filled gas chamber and applying high pressure. As a result, a foam float is very unlikely to sink, even if damaged, and they provide a soft layer of cushioning for maximum relaxation.
What are the best foam floats?
If you are specifically looking for a foam pool bed, we recommend the TCR Recreation Sunsation and Fun Float Pool Bed in addition to the Frontgate Resort Float. There are many foam pool options and you can use the same list of factors above to make your selection to limit
Related: These are the best parasols to snag some shade during a day at the pool.
The final word on finding the best pool swimmers
Finding the best swimming pool for your perfect summer day shouldn’t be too difficult once you know what you want. First, make sure it can be safely carried by any person or pet that is going to climb aboard, and then think about additions or aesthetic features. If you’re shopping for kids or getting ready for a pool party, look for a silly or fun style. If you are looking for yourself and value comfort above all else, consider buying a durable foam float or a lounger float. Above all, make sure you choose the best pool float to put a smile on your face when you’re ready to take a dip.