From inflatable avocados to glittery unicorns.

By Christie Calucchia
May 27, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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Courtesy of Nordstrom

Whether you’ll be hitting the lake, wading in the ocean, or splashing around in a pool this summer, inflatable toys can make any water activity so much more fun. And in case you haven’t heard, inflatable pool floats have come a long way in recent years. While you can still shop traditional rafts fit for laying out in the sunshine, these days, it’s all about the outlandish designs. 

A quick search for the best pool floats drums up images of everything from blow-up avocados to hot pink flamingos. Not only are there animal- and food-shaped pool floats, but there are also plenty of inflatable games and accessories, too. For instance, you can start the party with a floating pong toss table or an inflatable volleyball net. You can even bring your refreshments into the water with this rainbow-inspired beverage tub.

There are inflatable pool floats for the whole family, from babies to teens to adults, and they’ll make any backyard, local beach, or lake feel even more exciting. Keep scrolling to shop some of the best inflatable pool floats from retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Wayfair. Whether you’re in it for relaxation or a day of play, there’s something for everyone.

Best for Games: GoPong Floating Pong Table

Courtesy of Wayfair

If you’re looking for a quick way to gather friends together in the pool, this innovative floating pong table has you covered. It includes cup holders for a secure setup in the water and even comes with six ping pong balls to get the game going. Play with tasty beverages or keep it simple (and mess-free) by filling cups with pool water when it’s time to play.

Buy It: $35; amazon.com

Best Towel Top: Sun Squad Towel Top Big Float Palms

Courtesy of Target

This large, circular pool float includes a soft towel material on top for added comfort. With a relaxing palm tree sunset scene and playful fringe along the edges, you’ll want to float on it all day long.

Buy It: $30; target.com

Most Patriotic: Intex Inflatable American Flag 2-Person Party Island Lake Pool Float

Courtesy of Target

Sturdy enough to support a few people and a couple of drinks, this American flag-inspired floater is the place to be this summer—especially on the Fourth of July! It includes a few cupholders, a rope for attaching to another float, and a mesh footrest to keep you cool.

Buy It: $63 (orig. $88); target.com

Best Inner Tube: Funboy Banana Inflatable Pool Tube

Courtesy of Nordstrom

What could be more fun than a hot pink inner tube covered in a cheery banana pattern? The silly design is sure to brighten your day and encourage everyone to jump in the water on a hot summer day.

Buy It: $39; nordstrom.com

Best Pool: Lilly Pulitzer Fancy Flamingo Pool

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Leave it to Lilly Pulitzer to design a playful flamingo pool float complete with the brand’s signature floral print. It offers plenty of room for little ones to sit inside while you keep watch and doubles as a kiddie pool when used on land. Just fill the interior with a bit of water.

Buy It: $149; potterybarnkids.com

Best for Drinks: TrueZOO Rainbow Floating Bar Beverage Tub

Courtesy of Wayfair

Perfect for a summer party, this pool float is equipped with individual cup holders and a wide tub that you can fill with ice to chill bottles or cans of your favorite drinks. The sweet rainbow cloud design is just a bonus.

Buy It: $24 (orig. $26); wayfair.com

Best Silly Design: BigMouth Inc. Giant Avocado Pool Float

Courtesy of Bed Bath and Beyond

This avocado-shaped pool float is undeniably fun. It may be goofy, but it’s easy to inflate and looks ripe for a good time (pardon the pun). There’s even a cut-out where the pit would be for easy floating.

Buy It: $25; bedbathandbeyond.com

Most Comfortable: SwimWays Spring Float

Courtesy of Target

This comfy pool float is one of the best out there, according to hundreds of Target shoppers. Its hammock-like shape and soft mesh bed allow for stability and comfort, and it will keep your body cool by slightly dipping into the water when you lay down. Use it to relax in the sun without the fear of tipping overboard. 

Buy It: $15; target.com

Biggest Splurge: Funboy Butterfly Pool Float

Courtesy of Nordstrom

This butterfly-shaped raft is certainly a splurge, but its loud colors and playful design will provide hours of fun and countless memories. Bring it along to the lake or use it in the backyard pool to create a resort atmosphere no matter where you are.

Buy It: $128; nordstrom.com

Best for Babies: SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center with Canopy

Courtesy of Amazon

Safe for children from 9 months old up to age 2, this bright floatie is a great way to introduce little ones to the water. It comes with a retractable canopy for sun protection, and its inner spring provides stability. Plus, it features a swiveling octopus that can hold included toys like a rattle and stacking rings. Over 1,300 Amazon shoppers gave it positive reviews, so you know it’s a great option.

Buy It: $30 (orig. $40); amazon.com

Best Value: Sun Squad Pineapple Pool Float

Courtesy of Target

If you’re looking for an attention-grabbing pool float that won’t break the bank, this pineapple-shaped inner tube from Target is a great option. The fruity design is perfect for summer, and even though it will only cost you $10, it’s made of a thick vinyl material that’s fit to last.

Buy It: $10 (orig. $15); target.com

Best for a Group Activity: Sunnylife Palm Tree Volleyball Game Pool Float

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Get the whole crew together for a fun game of water volleyball with this handy pool float adorned with palm trees. When inflated, it creates a low net that floats in the water, and it even comes with an inflatable ball to play with.

Buy It: $40; amazon.com

Best Lounger: H2OGO! Lazy Lounge Sit ‘N Ease Floating Pool Chair

Courtesy of Bed Bath and Beyond

Enjoy some ‘you’ time in this relaxing lounge floatie. A horseshoe armrest and supportive back will keep you upright with the lower half of your body in the water, so you can sit back and rest or read a book while staying cool. There are even cup holders to hold the refreshing beverage of your choice.

Buy It: $8; bedbathandbeyond.com

Most Instagram-Worthy: Funboy Glitter Unicorn Pool Float

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Kids and adults of all ages will have fun sitting on this glittering unicorn inflatable pool float. It comes in a translucent pink hue and has playful details like an ombre tail, horn, and mane. How could you not snap a picture of the outrageous raft?

Buy It: $69; nordstrom.com

Best for Kids: BigMouth Inc. Giant Jellyfish Pool Float

Courtesy of Bed Bath and Beyond

This jellyfish pool float will make any pool or lake day so much more magical for kids. It inflates to over 4-feet wide and features dangling “tentacles” that will sway with the water. It’s sure to make any child's imagination run wild.

Buy It: $25; bedbathandbeyond.com