people's choice

The Best Pool Floats on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Dennis Hallinan/Getty Images

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. We’re still soaking in the last of summer, so while you might’ve already picked up your beach tent and beach umbrella, there’s still time to accessorize your pool. So we’ve collected the best pool floats on Amazon (there are currently some available at the Nordstrom sale, too) for your final sunny Instagrams. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

Instagram Floats

Best unicorn

GoFloats Unicorn Party Tube Inflatable Raft

4.5 stars, 231 reviews

“Best decision I’ve made this summer! I bought this float and was planning on just using it at the pool. However, I was going on a river trip and my friend had a pineapple float, so she convinced me to take this along to the river, too. And it was amazing. We floated for five hours and the pineapple didn’t make it, but the unicorn rocked it! We went over some rapids, bumped on rocks and branches, and it’s still in perfect condition. Highly recommend this. You do want to use a pump to blow it up, though.”

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Best doughnut

Inflatables Giant Donut Pool Float, Pump Included

4.9 stars, 543 reviews

“Bought this for vacation in the pool and it was a big hit! It’s huge and easily accommodated my fat self as well as my 6-year-old niece for a nice snuggle-time float in the pool. It survived a week of hard use from five kids ages 6 to 10, so it’s durable. It was super relaxing to float around in and was comfortable even for me, being a fatty. Overall, would buy again and very much recommend you do.”

Best alligator

Intex Giant Gator Ride-On

4.5 stars, 428 reviews

“Great alligator! I originally bought it because there were ducks getting inside my pool and I read getting one of these gators would help. I have to say, there are no more ducks in my pool! And my kids love riding on it. I have a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old. This alligator is the star of all playdates.”

Best parrot

Inflatables Parrot Float Lounger Raft

4.7 stars, 82 reviews

“This is an awesome inflatable pool float. I bought it for my kids and it’s huge. My three kids have plenty of room to do whatever they want while they’re on it. All three of them love it. It also has handle bars at the neck, so you can hang on for extra security. I love how thick and durable this float is, too, because my kids can get rough with things from time to time. It definitely is an amazing-quality pool float, and my kids are extremely happy with it, so I am as well.”

Best flamingo

Inflatables Giant Pink Flamingo Pool Float, 3 Flamingo Beverage Holders, Pump Included

4.9 stars, 640 reviews

“Very elegant, very comfortable, very easy to inflate and deflate, color is solid, no discoloration. So far, very satisfied; it’s a bit more expensive than the average float, but well worth it. It’s very relaxing. My pool is not even that big, either.”

Best drink holder

GoFloats Unicorn Drink Float, 3 Pack

4.5 stars, 87 reviews

“I recently purchased these as a fun surprise for a celebratory girls’ weekend and they were a huge hit. These cute floating drink holders were one of the highlights of our beach day, and we were definitely the envy of many people on the beach. They held up really well on the water, and didn’t topple at all (even in the tame waves). I highly recommend as a fun and unique addition to your next day on the water.”

Practical Floats

Best for lying with your toes in the water

Intex King Kool Inflatable Lounge

4.3 stars, 1,162 reviews

“Really great raft at a great price. Floats me (110 pounds) and my husband (175 pounds), separately, of course, without letting water on the raft like flimsy ones do. The upright recliner part is great for comfortably lying back on, and I can lie face down on it for 15 minutes or so before it gets too uncomfortable and awkward, which is when I just flip back onto my back. They are holding up to the kids playing rough with them as well. I would definitely recommend them.”

Best for lying with your tush in the water

Kelsyus Chaise Lounger

4.3 stars, 2,084 reviews

“I’ve been using this for a year now and it’s my favorite float. The backrest is comfortable, easy to blow up, and it’s easy to carry on a short hike to a swimming spot with the carrying case on your shoulder. I bought a small hand pump that fits inside the carrying case with the float, which makes it super quick to blow up. The float takes on water and that surprised me the first time I used it. I always rinse it and hang it up to dry when I get home, then fold it and store it in the bag. I have a few other floats, but this one is the most comfortable and easy to transport.”

Best for sitting upright

Intex Floating Recliner Inflatable Lounge

4.1 stars, 1,592 reviews

“I first used this float in a friend’s pool and fell in love. It is so comfortable to recline on. You don’t have to get wet unless you want to, and even if you do jump off, it is easy enough to climb back on. The material does get hot, so be careful of that. If you keep splashing water onto it, it’s fine. I bought it for a float trip that lasted eight hours exactly. There is a cup holder and handle on each side. I tied a cooler to one handle and had drinks in both cup holders. It was easy to maneuver and paddle away from trees. It aired up quick and never lost air during the full eight hours. I had many people commenting on how nice and comfortable it looked, and they said they would be purchasing one for next year.”

Best for easy transport

Kelsyus Floating Hammock

4.3 stars, 1,180 reviews

“I purchased this hammock float for my mother. She tried one when she was on vacation in Mexico and ‘had to have one.’ She takes it everywhere with her when she expects to be in a pool or on a beach. She considers it a necessity on vacation. She specifically likes the fact that she is immersed a bit in water, as it keeps her cool. She loves the fact that it is lightweight, easy to pack, and easy to blow up. She said that the air stayed in, and she did not have a problem with it slowly deflating. The product is well-made and durable, and so far it has lasted through two seasons. She swears you won’t regret buying one of these.”

Best for two-person tubing

Intex River Run II Sport Lounge

4.2 stars, 896 reviews

“This thing is a monster! We bought this for a trip down the Guadalupe along with the Mega Chill II Floating Cooler Tube. We are not small people. I weigh 255 pounds and my wife weighs around 150 pounds. This tube held that, plus beverages in the onboard cooler. I do recommend using half-length paddles with this tube, as it is hard to steer. I’ve been in some extreme rafting situations with this tube and it’s never leaked.”

Best for gaming

Intex Pool Volleyball Game

4 stars, 721 reviews

“We love this volleyball-net game. We originally put midsize pebbles in the bags, but quickly found that a large rock (a little bigger than an adult’s hand) works far better. Once we get it set into place, it stays there (or at least within a couple of inches of that area) and we have hours of fun … and good exercise, too. We have played many games in our pool, but this one ranks as No. 1 by far. The price can’t be beat, either. When our current one reaches the end of its life, we will definitely be buying another one.”

Best for babies

SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center With Canopy

4.4 stars, 794 reviews

“This float is perfect and my daughter loves it. Even though it states it’s for 9 months and up, I purchased this for my 3-month-old to use while we are at our lake camp. She is able to lie back and float around, with us holding on to the float at all times, of course. This toy is wonderful for getting her acclimated to the concepts of floating and swimming. She is all smiles as she lies back and kicks her feet. I love that it has two inflated rings, which makes the float very stable. We plan on using this many times in the future, both at the lake and in the pool.”

Best for if you don't have a pool

71” Suntan Tub

4.2 stars, 524 reviews

“Completely obsessed. This is the perfect solution for my desire to lie out and soak up some sun without dying from the heat, or from being baked alive on the concrete. I place it on our driveway, fill it with water, and voilà! Perfection. This thing is such a good solution for those of us wanting to enjoy the sun without sweating our lives away that I recommended it to my mother, and she bought one, too. Well worth the money, especially since we can’t afford a pool!”

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The Best Pool Floats on Amazon