LAST UPDATED: July 14, 2021

Best pool floats: Make a splash this summer with these fun pool toys

Best for pool parties Pink flamingo pool float Intex Party Island Flamingo

This fun model comes with a built-in cooler and four cup holders.

Pros
  • Heavy duty handles
  • Detachable boarding platform
Cons
  • Not the most durable
Best unicorn pool float Girl sitting on a inflatable pool float Jasonwell Giant Unicorn Pool Float

Designed to hold up to 400 pounds, this allows for quick inflation.

Pros
  • Can be inflated with a hair dryer, electric pump, or hand pump
Cons
  • Tips over easily
Best for dogs Blue, plastic paddle paws pool float SwimWays Paddle Paws Dog Raft

This model is designed for small to medium dogs and is reinforced with claw-friendly fabric.

Pros
  • Puncture-resistant
  • Portable
Cons
  • Difficult inflation

As we head into another sizzling summer, many of us are gearing up for our favorite hot-weather activities. One of the best ways to have fun and keep cool is to go for a dip in a refreshing pool. However, no poolside hang is complete without a leisurely float to lounge around on. These days, you can find fun inflatable pool toys in just about any shape or size, and some even come with special features. Considering the many options available, here’s a wet, hot guide to help you find your new favorite swimming pool float. Whether you’re searching for the best pool floats for yourself, your friends, your kids, or even your dog, these are the coolest pool inflatables for every sunbather. 

Factors to consider when shopping for the best pool floats

Imagine yourself on the perfect summer day, dipping your toes in a pool with a frosty beverage in hand and your favorite people by your side. Now, ponder the best pool float to complete this picture. If you’re having trouble visualizing, ask yourself the following questions to help turn this daydream into reality. 

Does the float need to support multiple people? 

First and foremost, you’ll need to decide how many people you’re hoping to pack on. Are you looking for a relaxing tube for one? A double-wide recliner built for two? Or a massive party float to hold a group of friends? Before you buy, double-check the product’s size specs to ensure you’re getting the dimensions you need, that way, you can safely select your favorite design and avoid any surprises when unboxing.

Do you want statement pool toys?

The best thing about pool floats is the veritable feast of eye-catching options. Hello, perfect pool day selfie! While there are several classy, solid-color options, summer is all about fun, and your float should inspire smiles. From llamas to pizza slices, giant pineapples to classic convertibles, there is truly something for everyone—including the fan favorite unicorn pool float. 

Do you want a pool float that can hold food and drinks?

If you’re looking to spend an entire day bobbing along the water, you’re going to need sustenance, which in turn means you’ll need a place to put your snacks. Instead of heading towards dry land to get some grub, grab a reclining pool float chair that comes with a food and beverage holder. That way, you won’t have to waste a second of aquatic fun to replenish and rehydrate. 

Do you need a pool float that is safe for your baby or small child?

If you are headed to the pool with your baby in tow, and you know they aren’t ready for arm floaties, think about grabbing an inflatable ring, so you and your little one can enjoy the water together. Safety is of the utmost importance, so look for a no-flip float made from non-toxic material that’s equipped with safety belts to keep your tiny tot securely above water. In addition, make sure your little water bug has enough mobility to stay comfortable, but not so much room to move that they 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 over inflatable pool floats? 

Most inflatable pool floats are made from 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 that it irritates their skin over time—this is especially true for classic inner tubes and full-body recliners. 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 available. While foam floats tend to be pricier, they don’t require any inflation, are gentle on the skin, and provide soft, squishy support for maximum comfort. Plus, there’s no risk of popping and sinking. Even with an accidental puncture, foam pool floats are not likely to sink.

Will your dog be joining you in the pool?

What’s cuter than a puppy lounging on a pool float? Not much! If your dog enjoys the water but isn’t keen to spend the day swimming, think about giving your four-legged friend their very own float as a special summer treat. Essentially a buoyant dog bed, dog pool floats are a fun way for you and your furry best friend to relax on the water. As long as you select a product made from durable material that can support your dog’s weight, nothing should get in the way of a perfect summer day alongside your canine BFF. 

The best pool floats

While it may seem like a simple purchase, there are a few things to think about before clicking “add to cart.” First, determine how many people might be using the float at once, then make some executive decisions about size, style, and functionality. Afterall, 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, kids, and pets—are a few other very important considerations.

Best pool chair: Aqua Campania Ultimate 2-in-1 Recliner 

The Lounge Aquatic

This 2-in-1 chair features a snack caddy and built-in cup holder.
Aqua LEISURE

Check Price

This reclining lounger from Aqua Campania is everything you need for a perfect pool day. The backrest can be positioned at a 60-degree angle for a little support, or lay the back completely flat to achieve a successful full-body tan. The Campania pool chair float comes with a detachable caddy for snacks, extra drinks, or personal items so you won’t be left wanting on the water. It can support up to 250 pounds and is easily inflated with a two-valve locking system. 

Best foam float: Frontgate Resort Pool Float

Floating Luxury

This head-to-toe-length pool float from Frontgate that will keep you more than comfortable for a full day of relaxation. Frontage

Check Price

This pool float is truly top of the line when it comes to peace and relaxation on the perfect pool day. The 2-inch, closed-cell foam is thin enough to keep you afloat but light enough for easy transport. Unlike traditional floats, this product uses PVC coating on top of the foam to reduce erosion caused by chlorine and sun exposure while keeping things plush. This foam pool float is available in eight solid colors, or be bold and select from two fun prints. While this product might be a bit more expensive than other inflatable pool floats, it will last longer and provide additional comfort. 

Best float for pool parties: Intex Party Island Flamingo 

The Big Island

Intex pool floats are gigantic enough to impress guests and give everyone a comfortable seat.
Intex

Check Price

This isn’t just a pool float—it’s a pool island, capable of supporting 880 pounds and measuring 166 inches by 147 inches by 73 inches. This Intex pink flamingo float comes with four cup holders, a built-in cooler, a detachable boarding platform, and a mesh bottom to let in cooling water. It’s even equipped with an anchor bag, rope, and repair kit just in case you need some extra support and stability. If the giant pool floats are too big for your pool, consider taking them to a nearby lake.

Best unicorn pool float: Jasonwell Giant Unicorn Pool Float

Fantastical Fun

You’ll be the talk of the pool party with this bold, bright unicorn float.
Jasonwell

Check Price

Make a splash with this giant unicorn pool float, designed to support up to 400 pounds (typically up to two people) at a time. It measures 144 inches by 55 inches by 47 inches when fully inflated, which you can achieve using a hairdryer, hand pump, or electric pump. Make sure you bring out the waterproof camera because you’ll definitely be bombarded with picture requests. 

Best baby pool float: Laycol Baby Pool Float Ring

Safe Family Swims

The Laycol Float Ring is a comfortable, secure way to bring your baby into the pool.
LAYCOL

Check Price

Suitable for children under 36 months old, this baby pool float will support your little one’s first ventures into the water this summer. It has a double-layered air chamber, wide sides, a raised front, abdomen/back support, and a five-point safety belt to keep your baby right side up. Buckle-in your guppy on their back or front so they can experiment with different ways to “swim.” You’ll be able to pull them around through the water easily while they kick and splash around. This float ring comes in three sizes and colors—each includes a removable canopy to protect little ones’ sensitive, soft skin from the sun. 

Best dog pool float: SwimWays Paddle Paws Dog Raft

Designed for Dogs

The Paddle Paws raft is made from heavy-duty fabric that won’t pop beneath your puppy’s claws.
SwimWays

Check Price

Keep your fur baby happy with this inflatable dog raft from SwimWays. It’s available in two sizes, supporting dogs under and over 65 pounds. Made from claw-friendly mesh, this dog pool float features inserts that allow just enough water to seep in and cool down your pet. An innerspring design around the edge provides extra stability, and reinforced fabric protects the float from popping. Best of all, Fido’s float folds down flat, easily fitting in your pool bag without any hassle. 

FAQs

Q: What are pool floats made from? 

Most pool floats are made from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Manufacturers can also list this as vinyl, plastic, or naphthalene. Think of any inflatable water toy—baby pool, beach ball, waterslide—and chances are it’s made from PVC. Some products may have an additional layer of polyester mesh to strengthen the material, but this is more commonly used for inflatable pools. The only other material that is often used is foam. 

Q: Why are foam pool floats so expensive?

Foam pool floats are typically more expensive than PVC floats because of their durability, comfort, weight, and ease of use. Creating a foam float requires manufacturers to develop tiny cells within a plastic layer by putting the plastic inside a gas chamber filled with nitrogen and applying high pressure. As a result, it is highly unlikely that a foam float will sink, even when damaged, plus they provide a soft layer of cushion for peak relaxation. 

Q: What are the best foam pool floats?

If you are looking specifically for a foam pool float, in addition to the Frontgate Resort Float, we recommend the TCR Recreation Sunsation and Fun Float Pool Bed. There are many options for foam pool floats out there, and you can use the same list of factors above to help narrow down your selection. 

Related: These are the best patio umbrellas to snag some shade during a day by the pool.

The final word on finding the best pool floats

Finding the best pool float for your perfect summer day shouldn’t be too difficult once you know what you want. First, make sure it can safely support any person or pet who will climb aboard, then think about any additions or aesthetic features. If you’re shopping for kids or preparing for a pool party, look for a silly or fun style. If you are looking for yourself and prioritize comfort above all else, think about purchasing a long-lasting foam float or a reclining pool chair float. Above all, make sure to select the best pool float for bringing a smile to your face whenever you’re ready to take a dip.