Summer 2021 is officially here. After the year we’ve had, this summer is about to pop off, and we can’t wait. The weather is hot, the drinks are cool and we’re dying to spend our days chilling in a swimming pool. If you’re like us, your swimming trunks are on, your sunscreen is applied liberally and your friends are on the way over for an aquatic vaccine party. But that leaves just one major question. What is the best pool float to maximize your swim time this summer?
Well, that depends on a number of factors, ranging from how you prefer to spend your pool time to who’s going to be joining you in the pool. Plus, if you’re hoping to get lots of “hearts” on your Instagram pictures — or if you’re the designated Instagram boyfriend — you’ll want a photogenic pool float that lights up your social media feeds.
Keep reading to find the best pool floats for summer.
1. Aqua Monterey Hammock Inflatable Pool Chair
If relaxation is at the top of your pool float wishlist, then you’ll definitely want the Aqua 4-in-1 Monterey Hammock XL Inflatable Pool Chair under you. This isn’t just one of the top-rated pool floats on Amazon; it’s also one of the best-selling Amazon products, period. Because it sits slightly in the water, it’s easy to get in and off without any jumping or awkward flip-flopping. The intelligent design also lets you choose between four different arrangements, namely a hammock, chair, drifter and exercise saddle. And, as we’ve chosen the XL model, this pool float is 30% longer and wider than the standard model, which is great for taller and older people, too. Additionally, as the material is thicker than the average float’s, it’s more durable and feels more comfortable in the water.
2. balnore Kids Pool Float 3-Pack
BEST FOR KIDS
This 3-pack includes pool floats designed for kids three and older that come in fun, bright colors and themes. Each float inflates to a size of 29″ long, perfect for a small child. The pack comes with orange and watermelon rings as well as a brightly colored float adorned with suns, dolphins, stars and more. All of the floats are lightweight and durable enough to withstand plenty of cannon balls. They’re all double-protected with leakproof nozzles and come with a double safety guarantee.
3. Intex Giant Gator Ride-On
Intex makes some of the best pool floats in the world, and this one’s a classic. You may have thought that finding an alligator in your pool could never be a positive experience, but the Intex Giant Gator Ride-On is here to prove otherwise. This gator-shaped float includes a head, feet and tail for a realistic feel. It includes detailing on the eyes and scales, too. This pool toy measures 80 inches at its longest point and also features four built-in handles for a more comfortable ride. The float is constructed from a durable, 12-gauge vinyl and has two air chambers to ensure you get that full-of-air feel. It’s big enough for both pool games and laid back sunbathing.
4. Obuby Inflatable Avocado Pool Float
For a dose of the green stuff while you laze about in the pool, give this Obuby Inflatable Avocado Pool Float a try. It’s a two-piece float in the shape of an avocado and avocado pit, and it’s made from a tough PVC material that won’t leak air. For added fun in the pool, the avocado’s ball-shaped pit can be removed and used for all kinds of games, while the hole it leaves behind offers a number of different sitting possibilities. When deflated, the float folds flat for easy transport, making it a great choice for home and vacation use. Plus, the fast-inflate valves ensure a pain-free experience when it comes to filling the float with air.
5. Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float
If you’ve always dreamed of riding a unicorn, the Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float may be right up your alley. There are a lot of unicorn pool floats on the market, and this Instagram-friendly pool toy is popular with kids, teens and adults alike. This super-size, unicorn-shaped float is big enough for two adults and capable of keeping up to 400 pounds afloat. It’s made from a thick and soft, raft-grade material with a matte finish and features a large platform for a secure and well-balanced in-pool feel. The float includes fast-inflate valves for easier inflation which can be done using your mouth, a toy air pump or a hairdryer. At its longest point, the unicorn measures 114 inches. Great for the pool or the lake, you’ll never want to stop riding this unicorn.
6. Inflatables Giant Pool Float Donut
Mmmmm, donuts. And this is a sentiment that seems to be shared by the designer of the Inflatables Giant Pool Float Donut, as someone has taken a large bite out of this donut. This ring-shaped float is ideal for pools of all sizes and users of all ages. It measures over four feet across, providing space for one or more floaters. The design also includes fast valves that let you inflate and deflate your float in a matter of minutes, making this a great choice for home or vacation use.
7. SwimWays Paws Dog Pool Float
BEST FOR DOGS
There’s no reason that humans should get to have all the float fun while your dog remains on the sideline. With this dog-specific pool float from SwimWays your small-medium dog can lounge on the water alongside you. It’s a small raft that can support dogs up to 65 lbs easily. It’s made with a paw-and-claw-friendly fabric that’s puncture resistant and the outer edge is durable so your pup stays stably afloat. The float folds up easily into three circles for easy travel and storage, and is lightweight so packing it for a road trip is easy.
8. Aqua Ultra Comfort Pool Lounger
BEST FOR LAID BACK CHILLING
If you like to CHILL in your lounger, rather than simply float, this pool float is a great option. It’s extra-large, heavy duty and will keep you out of the water and in the sun as much as possible. It’s ergonomically-shaped with a head rest pillow and oversized backrest that’s made for comfort. It has boarding handles to make on and off easier, and has a beverage holder so you don’t have to paddle to the side of the pool for a sip. It’s made with 40% thicker material than your average float for added buoyancy and even has an anchor dock point if you’re using it on a lake, ocean or river.
9. H2OGO! #SummerStylez Inflatable Pool Float
BEST FOR PARTIES
The H2OGO! #SummerStylez Inflatable Pool Float creates happiness. From the float’s giant smiley face to the fact you’ll enjoy hours of water-based fun, this disc-shaped floaty cannot help but put a smile on your face, no matter whether you’re a child or an adult. The float measures 74 inches in diameter and includes an all-around grab rope for easier mounting. It’s constructed from sturdy vinyl and comes with a repair patch just in case the worst happens. Furthermore, for the more tech-savvy out there, this of-the-time float even has its very own hashtag for showing off your #SummerStylez.
10. SwimWays Original Spring Float
BEST IN-WATER RECLINER
Some people prefer to float above the water and some people enjoy being in the water. If you fall into the latter category and still want to enjoy a relaxing time floating around your pool, you’ll want the SwimWays Original Spring Float under you. This oval-shaped float features an inflated wall all the way around with a headrest at one end and a cooling mesh bed underneath. This smart design allows you to remain partially submerged with your head above water, enjoying the benefits of floating and being in the water at the same time. Additionally, when deflated, the float folds flat into three compact circles which is ideal for storage or travel.
11. Joyin Inflatable Pool Float Set Volleyball Net
If you’re less worried about chilling out and more interested in competing and actively having fun, you’re going to want the Joyin Inflatable Pool Float Set Volleyball Net & Basketball Hoop in your pool. This two-game set includes an inflatable volleyball court with two weighted bags, an inflatable pool basketball hoop and both an inflatable basketball and volleyball. The set is made from high-quality, raft-worthy materials which provide durability and puncture resistance. This float choice is great for get-togethers, and it can be used on any flat water, whether that’s a pool or a lake.
12. Intex Inflatable Floating Recliner Lounger Chair
Here’s another great Intex pool float. The popular pool float brand’s Inflatable Floating Recliner Lounger Chair makes things simple. With its high-quality, ergonomic design, you’ll be able to spend your days chilling in the sun while enjoying a drink and just letting the world pass you by. It’s made from a UV-resistant, 18-gauge vinyl which is fade resistant and durable. You’ll also find two included cup holders, two handles and two separate air chambers which help to give your recliner a fully pumped feel throughout the day. And, the chair also comes with a repair patch for any unforeseen accidents.
13. Intex Inflatable American Flag Pool Float With Cooler
BEST POOL FLOAT WITH COOLER
Spending your time on a float is one thing, but spending your time well is a completely different prospect. With the Intex Inflatable American Flag Pool Tube Float in your pool, you’ll have a comfortable seat, a backrest, an easy-grab handle, a drink holder and a built-in drink cooler at your disposal. In short, it’s harder to have a bad time than a good one. Inside each of the rings in the figure-eight design is a mesh bottom which helps keep you cool. The surrounding grab rope makes it easy to climb aboard, and the American flag appearance will bring out your inner patriot.
14. Bestway Rapid Rider Floating Island Raft
BEST FOUR-PERSON FLOAT
Can you imagine a better time than hanging out with three of your friends, floating around and enjoying two coolers full of cold beer? It’s not possible, right? That’s why you need the Bestway Rapid Rider 4-Person Floating Island Raft in your life. This sizable float includes four individual seats for riders, each with their very own cup holder. There’s also two built-in coolers and backrests behind each seat to maximize your chilling out potential. To help with climbing on board, you’ll find a grab-rope all the way around. This raft is an ideal choice for large pools, lakes and lazy rivers.
15. Intex Suntanner Lounge Set of 2
BEST FOR DUOS
If you’ve got a go-to pool day buddy and need a matching set, this is it. These matching colorful loungers are perfect for duos looking for the perfect, temperature-regulated tanning session. The coil-beam-style mattress is both supportive, buoyant and comfortable. The loungers have an 11-gauge vinyl top and bottom for added durability, and the built-in pockets double as cup holders nicely.
16. Chicken Fight Inflatable Pool Floats
BEST FOR COMPETITION
Chicken fight, anyone? Instead of hopping on someone’s shoulders (and risking injury for all parties involved) opt for these fun pool floats instead. They come in the shape of chickens and you can still duke it out on them, if you like. This set comes with two matching ones, each equipped to support up to 250 pounds. They’re made of heavy-duty PVC plastic that’s resistant to tears and punctures, and made to be fun for all adults and children 7+ in age.
17. Inflatable Pineapple Pool Float Raft
HUGE SURFACE AREA
This pineapple pool float has a huge surface area for laying, tanning and relaxing on — 76″ to be exact. It’s got bright, beautiful colors that look great in the pool, and it’s super easy to inflate and deflate as needed. It’s made of thick, durable raft-like material and is perfect for 1-2 people.
18. Big Joe Captain’s Float
Sometimes you want to sit upright while still relaxing poolside! We get that, which is why we included this perfect mesh chair pool float that sits upright rather than lies flat. It’s filled with lightweight and buoyant Megha beans and upholstered with UV-resistant, durable sunmax fabric. It’s got a carrying handle so you can easily transport it from one body of water to the next, and it’s available in a variety of bright, fun, summer-y colors.
19. JOYIN Giant Inflatable Flamingo
BEST FOR THE ‘GRAM
Do it for the gram. This is the perfect pool float for those Instagram-worthy pool pics of just you or a friend, as it’s made to hold up to 2 people. It’s made of durable, raft material and has five different chambers so it’s stays afloat. It’s 5′ long, so it’s only suitable for large pools that can fit it. It’s got decorative design elements like multicolor feathers and black twinkling eyes. It’s got an angled head with handles attached so it’s easy to grab on to, and the raft is UV-resistant so the bright pink color will stay pretty for years to come.
How To Choose the Best Pool Floats
Unsurprisingly, pool floats come in a range of shapes and sizes, from giant over-sized unicorn floats to luxury pool floats and even the miniature kid’s pool float. Questions to ask yourself when it comes to choosing the right pool float for your afternoon of fun in the sun include…
What is the pool float’s main function?
One person’s idea of the best pool float may look very different to their friends’. For this reason, it’s important to ask yourself what you intend to use your float for. Lots of people love to use their pool float as a tool for in-pool water fights or races across the water, while others may prefer made-for-purpose floats that can be used for in-pool games, like basketball or volleyball. Additionally, on the other end of the scale, many pool-goers just love to relax and take in the sun, which is why the best pool floats for tanning tend to look more like conventional beds or chairs on the water.
Who is going to use it?
While this may, in part, be a consideration about whether you’re looking for the best pool float for kids or the best pool floats for adults, the slightly more important question is exactly how heavy individual users are. More specifically, if you are too heavy for the recommended weight limit of your float, it’s going to be less of a float and more of a sink. So, it’s worth checking weight limits or considering floats built for two or more adults if you’re looking for the best pool floats for heavy adults or groups.
Where are you going to use it?
The final consideration worth thinking about is where you will use your float. In general, your pool isn’t likely to be full of rocks or sharper surfaces that may puncture your float. However, trips to lakes and the beach open up these dangers, meaning it may be worth investing more money to ensure your float is made from tougher materials that won’t puncture should they contact a stick or rock’s edge.
After considering these factors, pick your favorite pool toy from our collection above of the best pool floats for summer 2021.