After more than a year spent cooped up in the house, this summer is all about relaxing outdoors in the fresh air. People everywhere are itching to go for a swim, and it’s no surprise that water floats are flying off the shelves. With so many to choose from, finding the right one can be overwhelming.
Floats have come a long way since I was a kid, and these days you can find what are essentially inflatable pontoon boats, complete with a fabric canopy for sun protection, for sale on Amazon.
Whether you like swimming in pools or lakes, in a group or solo, having a party or reading a book — there’s a float that exists to fit your needs. We’ve ranked hundreds of options and curated this list of the top floats in 10 categories.
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Best All-Around Solo Float
AIRHEAD Designer Series Chaise
This thing is hands down the most comfortable way to enjoy a pool or lake. You’ll have no trouble relaxing because this bad boy is essentially a floating chez lounge, and there’s even a cup holder to keep your drinks within reach. Drinkin’, chillin’, and loungin’ on the water — what more could you ask for?
Best Float For Two
JOYIN Giant Inflatable Boat Pool Float with Reinforced Cooler
Set sail onto the high seas of your pool with this inflatable lounge raft from JOYIN. It holds up to a whopping 400lbs, which will provide ample support for a you, a friend, and a few drinks. Speaking of drinks, this raft has a reinforced storage area in the bow that’s built to function like a cooler, so you won’t be having any warm beer on this voyage (just bring your own ice!)
Best Float For Lake Parties
Bestway Hydro Force Tropical Breeze Floating Island Raft
Have you ever wanted an inflatable yacht? Well, that’s basically what this thing is. The Bestway Tropical Breeze Raft is large enough for 6 grown adults, with enough room for — you guessed it — all your cold bevs. There is also an adjustable canvas canopy to keep your skin protected from the evil star that’s constantly trying to kill us.
Best Novelty Float
Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float
Spice up your next pool party with this inflatable unicorn raft by Jasonwell. Not only will you be the only one bringing a unicorn into the water, but it’ll probably result in you being the coolest person there. It’s also great for kids — actually, it’s most likely made specifically for kids. But who cares? It’s 2021.
Best Float For Relaxing
SwimWays Spring Float Recliner with Canopy
Think of this like the solo version of the Bestway inflatable yacht from before. It has a cup holder and an adjustable/removable canopy; ensuring comfort, protection, and relaxation all day. Very little air is required to inflate this one, so it’s easy to set up without a pump in just a few minutes.
Best Float For Naps
Swimline Ultimate Super-Sized Floating Mattress
I know you like to chill on the water, so why not pick up a super-sized floating mattress? Yup. This floating twin mattress from Swimline was meant to be tossed in the water and relaxed upon. This thing is great for lazy days, lazy dads, and even lazy dogs.
Best Float For Water Fights
Pool Punisher Inflatable Tank Toy with Squirt Gun
This is easily one of the best floats on this list, hands down. It’s a heckin’ tank for your pool with full firepower! That’s right, this thing has a built-in high-powered water cannon to easily take out your enemies or your uncle — whichever is closest. While these buoyant tanks may not have been built for comfort, they were definitely built for FUN!
Best Float For Puppers
PAWCHIE Dog Pool Float
If you deserve a swim, so does your pupperino. Don’t leave your best friend out of the fun — get them a floating sanctuary of their own! This raft from PAWCHIE is perfect for dogs of all sizes, and is durable enough not to pop under their paws and claws. Playtime starts now!
Best Float For Individual Beverages
iShyan Inflatable Drink Holders 15-Pack
You can clearly tell that I associate pools and rafts with drinking. Well, I think it’s not out of the realm of responsible behavior to give those cocktails their own inflatable pool rafts. This 15-pack of tiny floats will serve you well as you get that well-deserved R&R. Everyone is going to love these things, just don’t spill!
Best Water Mat
Max4out Floating Mat 9ft x 6ft
I had never seen one of these things until earlier this year, and I must say: I NEED ONE. I don’t know why these weren’t around when I was a kid, but I’m not going to sit around and watch the world burn without one in my life. This bad boy will keep up to 650lbs afloat, and it’s so stable you can even dive off without soaking your float-mates.
Best Float For Staying Dry
Aqua Premium Convertible Pool Lounger
Do you like bodies of water but hate getting wet? Do you enjoy a good float without being splashed? The Aqua Premium Convertable Pool Lounger might be your best bet. Pop up the included oversized canopy and drift into the afternoon completely dry and fully relaxed. Tell them Hannah sent you.