/>
X
Why you can trust ZDNet ZDNet independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNet Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNet's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

The 5 best pool floats and lounges: Relax on the water this summer

What is the best pool float? ZDNet chose the Aqua Campania Ultimate 2-in-1 pool float. We researched and compared pricing, reviews, and features such as weight capacity and seat type to determine the top pool float as well as some other honorable mentions.
allison-murray-2.jpg
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

Enjoying the water is great, but sometimes, you don't always want to be swimming. If you'd rather lounge around the pool or lake, a pool float is the way to go.

The best pool floats allow you to read, tan, or sip a cold beverage comfortably while enjoying the water and the sun. So, we've rounded up the best of the best pool floats to elevate your next pool or lake day.

Must read:

Woman lounging on her back on a float in the pool
Aqua Campania

Features: 250 lbs weight limit | Soft mesh | 3 cupholders

The best pool float is the Aqua Campania 2-in-1 float lounge since it offers multiple ways to relax and is the highest-rated pool float on Amazon. You can lounge on your back with an adjustable backrest or turn the float over and lay on your stomach to tan. There is also plenty of room for beverages or sunscreen since there are three cupholders and a separately attached caddy.

Pros:

  • Adjustable backrest to customize how you lounge
  • Separate caddy for extra storage
  • Can flip lounge over to a flat float position for tanning

Cons:

  • Taller folks might find this float to be on the shorter side 
Woman smiling and laying on pool float in a pool
Intex

Features: 220 lbs weight limit | 2 air chambers | 1 cup holder

You may want to float in a pool but not necessarily get wet. In that case, this Intex Rockin' Inflatable lounge is a sturdy option that won't flip over. Its two air chambers provide that durability and allow you to float about a foot above the water, ensuring you won't get wet.

Pros:

  • Two air chambers make it super sturdy so that it won't tip over in the water
  • Long and wide float

Cons:

  • Hard to paddle around because of its height
Man sitting on pool float smiling in a pool
Sharper Image

Features: 300 lbs weight capacity | 66W motors | 3-blade propellers

This product is for you if you're ever floated away from your group because of a pool float. Sharper Image's Motorized Pool Lounger allows you to control exactly where your pool float is, thanks to a 66W motor and 3-blade propellers. The joystick controllers let you cruise at a rate of up to 3 Mph to go forward, backward, left, right, or spin 360 degrees.

Pros:

  • Control where your float goes
  • Cushioned and comfortable

Cons:

  • It can be a bit difficult to set up
  • Very expensive for a pool float
Two kids laughing on pool floats with squirt guns in a pool
Swimline

Features: 250 lbs weight capacity | Attached squirt gun | For ages 4 and up

The kids in your life will love this Swimline Inflatable Pool float that's shaped like a UFO. And, it has a water squirter they can control while they are in the float to squirt people with water, making pool days much more fun (maybe not for the adults, though).

Pros:

  • Fun UFO design kids will love
  • The water squirter is perfect for kids

Cons:

  • The squirt gun doesn't squirt water very far 
Woman smiling and sitting in a pool float in a pool
Summer Waves

Features: 2 cup holders | Included repair patch | 2 handles

The Summer Waves pool float is an extremely budget-friendly option since it's only $7. While it's cheap, it's also easy to blow it up yourself without a pump, and when properly stored and cared for, it lasts multiple summers. This float lets you effortlessly float in the water in numerous ways and has two convenient cup holders for whatever beverages you may be enjoying.

Pros:

  • Super inexpensive
  • Easy to blow up -- no pump needed

Cons:

  • The bottom part is prone to ripping
  • It can get uncomfortable after hours of use

What is the best pool float?

The best pool float is the Aqua Campania Ultimate 2-in-1 Pool Float Lounge since it's a versatile pool float that will keep you and your beverages/belongings comfortable all day long. 

Pool Float

Price

Weight Capacity

Seat Type

Aqua Campania Ultimate 2-in-1 Pool Float

$60

250 lbs

Sit upright or lay on back or stomach

Intex Rockin' Inflatable lounge

$30.93

220 lbs

Lay on back

Sharper Image Motorized Pool Lounger

$230

300 lbs

Sit upright

Swimline Inflatable Pool Float

$20

250 lbs

Sit upright

Summer Waves Pool Float

$7

N/A

Sit in water or lay back in water

Which pool float is right for you?

Before purchasing a pool float, it's important to consider a few factors, such as who will be using it, how big you need it to be, where you will be using it, and what price you're willing to spend. Any options on this list are great picks -- it just depends on if you're looking for a pool float to lounge in or for fun.

Choose this pool float...

If you want...

Aqua Campania Ultimate 2-in-1 Pool Float

The best overall option

Intex Rockin' Inflatable lounge

A sturdy pool float that won't tip over

Sharper Image Motorized Pool Lounger

To be able to control where your pool float goes

Swimline Inflatable Pool Float

A kid-friendly pool float with a fun water squirter 

Summer Waves Pool Float

A super cheap pool float

How did we choose these pool floats?

We chose these pool floats by research, and some of our team even used the products themselves. We compared factors like pricing, reviews (both good and bad), different features that make each pool float stand out, and various styles to sit/lay.

Can you use a pool float in a lake or ocean?

Pool floats are great for a pool or a calm lake, but we don't recommend using a pool float in the sea or ocean since they can be swept out. Instead, stick to more tranquil waters with little waves like pools, lakes, ponds, and rivers, and you'll be able to enjoy your pool float fully.

How do you store a pool float for the winter?

If you don't plan on using your pool float for some time, it's best to deflate it thoroughly and store it in a lidded container. This will keep your pool float safe from things like mold and sharp objects until you're ready to use it next. 

Are there alternative pool floats to consider?

Here are a few other options to look into:

Related

The 5 best inflatable kayaks of 2022
Woman in an inflatable kayak on a lake with mountains in background

The 5 best inflatable kayaks of 2022

Yard & Outdoors
The 5 best USB hubs of 2022
USB hub charing a mouse, a laptop, and an iPhone on a wooden table

The 5 best USB hubs of 2022

PCs
The 5 best burr coffee grinders of 2022
Coffee beans being poured into a coffee grinder on a kitchen counter

The 5 best burr coffee grinders of 2022

Kitchen & Household