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Pool floats under $20 worth lounging in for hours

How to choose the best affordable pool floats

A swimming pool can be a great place to get in a vigorous workout that gets your heart rate up, burns calories and helps keep you fit. But it can also be your sanctuary. Your backyard swimming pool can be a place to relax and forget the stresses, pressures and troubles of the day so you can just float.

A pool float is all you need to do that. The best news is they aren’t expensive. You can treat yourself to a luxury experience for less than $20.

Benefits of floating

In our fast-paced world, slowing down is often frowned upon. The truth is, without a balance, you can’t be your best. Those luxurious lazy days are essential. Floating, in particular, offers many benefits.

Improve sleep

Sleepless nights are often a result of underlying issues, such as the inability to relax and let things go. While you float, you can scrap your problems, so you have a more rewarding sleep.

Lower blood pressure

Besides helping you sleep, forgetting about everything can help you relax. When you relax and breathe, your blood pressure will lower.

Aid in recovery

If you are achy after a tough workout, a relaxing float in the pool can help you recover more quickly. If you are suffering from chronic pain, check with your doctor to see if floating can help. When you are in the water, it reduces the weight and pressure on your joints and may provide you with some blissful relief.

Jump-start your creativity

Some people need to get moving to think. Others find that relaxing in a meditative state opens the mind, so they are better equipped to solve problems and develop innovative ideas. Whether you are an artist or an architect, floating might help you excel in your work.

Not all pool floats are the same

Pool floats come in various shapes, sizes and styles. They can be basic, like a pool noodle, or offer a luxury experience, complete with a drink holder. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a pool float:


Some pool floats are tiny. You have to cling to them to keep your head above water. Others are large enough to let you stretch out and sleep on them, like a bed. Think about how you prefer to relax, and purchase accordingly.

Weight capacity

If you are too heavy for your pool float, you won’t have the best experience. Worse, the float could split along the seams. Make sure you verify the weight capacity before buying.

Age range

Age range is closely related to weight capacity. A float for a child might only be rated to support 100 pounds, which would make it unsafe for most adults. Also, it is important to remember that floats designed for kids may have elements that do not encourage relaxation. For instance, it is not uncommon for a children’s float to be something you sit on, not something you lie back on.

Ease of inflation

In the past, inflating a pool float often required a great deal of effort and a team of inflators. With modern designs, however, blowing up a float can be almost an effortless process. Nozzles feature one-way valves, so the air doesn’t keep leaking out while you struggle to inflate. Some manufacturers focus a great deal on the inflation process, adding helpers such as tiny fans that can reduce the effort involved. Of course, it is also possible to use an electric air pump to have your float fully inflated in seconds.

Comfort features

If you plan on relaxing, you’ll want some additional features. A good pillow is always a solid choice, as it supports your head and neck. If the float is upright, putting you in more of a sitting position, armrests and cup holders will be appreciated. For younger kids, consider a pool float with a tiny built-in canopy for shade.

Best pool floats under $20 for relaxing

Sportsstuff Strawberry Donut Pool Float

A huge pink-frosted donut with multi-colored sprinkles? We all know who would love this heavy-duty pool float. This large 48-inch model can support up to 200 pounds and is rugged enough to take out on a lake or river.

Sold by Kohl’s

Margaritaville Sit and Sip Pool Float

There’s a good reason why this large 60-inch inflatable pool float is called the “Margaritaville Sit and Sip.” Besides its palm tree graphics and “It’s 5 o'clock somewhere” quote, it has a built-in drink holder so you can nurse your favorite beverage while you float. All you need is a cheeseburger.

Sold by Dick's Sporting Goods

Tundra Pool Noodles

For a simple yet versatile option, try this pack of four pool noodles. Each float is 48 inches long and features a relaxing pastel color.

Sold by Amazon

Poolmaster Neon Frost Swimming Pool Float Tube

These three classic donut-shaped floats come in neon colors, so you are easy to spot no matter where you are. Each float has a built-in perimeter rope that you can use for tethering as needed. The two-step valve allows for easy inflation and deflation.

Sold by Home Depot

SwimWays Spring Pool Float

The ingenious design makes this a must-have pool float. It is a large, 66-inch bed with a cooling mesh center and a Hyper-Flate valve that makes blowing up an effortless task. When not in use, this float quickly deflates and folds down to a small disk that can be slung over your shoulder for easy transport.

Sold by Dick's Sporting Goods

Intex 18-Pocket Suntanner Inflatable Lounge

When you think of a pool float, this is probably what you picture in your mind’s eye. It is an inflatable mat that is 74 inches long and 28 inches wide. Just climb on, stretch out and relax.

Sold by Amazon

Aqua 4-in-1 Original Monterey Hammock Pool Float

The modern hammock design makes it easy to get on and off this float because it rests in the water. With support under the neck and knees, it is best for people who are 4 to 6 feet tall.

Sold by Amazon

Wowmazing Bestway H2OGO Fantasy Unicorn Kids Ride-on Pool Float

This fun ride-on float is great for kids. The imaginative unicorn design and bright accent colors make it a winning choice for any child. The float can support up to 99 pounds.

Sold by Macy's


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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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