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Updated November 2022
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Buying guide for Best mermaid tails for swimming

If you’ve ever wondered why Ariel got herself turned into a human for some guy, rather than staying in her awesome underwater kingdom, then a mermaid tail for swimming is probably your kind of product. 

Should you choose spandex or silicone? Do you need one custom-made or off the rack? You’ll find a wide range of mermaid tails on the market, so how do you pick the best one for your aquatic needs?

Please note: As fun as they are, use extreme caution with mermaid tails, especially with younger children and adults who aren't strong swimmers.

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Some mermaid tails come with a matching swimming top or have matching tops available for purchase separately.

What is mermaiding?

Mermaiding is a recent trend that more and more people are becoming interested in. Essentially, mermaiding refers to the act of dressing up like a mermaid. However, for some people, it’s much more than just dressing up for fun.

You’ll find mermaiding groups and conventions all over the world, where people get together as mermaids. Some people are also professional mermaids, providing their services at events and parties.

How do mermaid tails for swimming work?

Mermaid tails are fairly straightforward to use once you get the hang of them. Most mermaid tails designed for swimming come with a monofin, which sits inside the forked end of the tail, also known as the fluke. The monofin is a bit like diving flippers but with both feet joined together.

The wearer puts her legs inside the main body of the tail, then fits her feet inside the monofin. Once in the water, the user propels herself by pumping her legs up and down in a dolphin kick.

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Did you know?
The print quality is important on fabric mermaid tails. Some feature realistic-looking scales, whereas some appear cheaply printed.

Types of mermaid tails for swimming

Fabric mermaid tails

Fabric mermaid tails are generally made of spandex, nylon, polyester, or a combination of these synthetic materials.


  • Fabric mermaid tails are lightweight and relatively easy to swim in.

  • It’s much easier to get in and out of a fabric mermaid tail than a silicone mermaid tail.

  • Most fabric mermaid tails are affordable.

  • Most fabric mermaid tails are machine-washable, so you can easily clean them with the rest of your laundry.


  • If you want an extremely realistic-looking mermaid tail for swimming, fabric options aren’t the best choice.

  • Fabric mermaid tails aren’t as durable as silicone models.

Silicone mermaid tails

Silicone mermaid tails are the ultimate option for those serious about mermaiding. They’re high quality and custom-made to fit the wearer.


  • Silicone mermaid tails look extremely realistic, so they’re ideal for making your mermaid dreams come true.

  • Since they’re made to order, your silicone mermaid tail will fit you like a glove.

  • With a custom-made silicone mermaid tail, you can select the exact color, scale pattern, and fluke type.

  • Silicone is durable and hard-wearing.


  • Silicone mermaid tails are relatively heavy and aren’t as flexible as fabric types, which means they’re more difficult to swim in.

  • Because they are custom-made, silicone mermaid tails are expensive.

What to consider when buying a mermaid tail for swimming


If you want to swim in your mermaid tail, a monofin is essential. The monofin creates the necessary propulsion to get you moving; without it, you’d just be floundering. Most mermaid tails come with a monofin, which should perfectly fit in the fluke. If your chosen tail doesn’t come with a monofin, you can buy one separately, but make sure it’s the right size and shape to fit inside the fluke. Some monofins come with adjustable straps, which help you get a good fit. This stops the monofin from sliding off your feet while you’re swimming.


Mermaid tails come in a range of both child and adult sizes. It’s important to get the right size because too small a tail will feel restrictive, but a tail that’s too large might slide off while you’re trying to swim. We recommend taking waist and hip measurements and comparing them to the manufacturer’s size charts. Not all mermaid tails fit true to size, which is why it’s better to find the right size using your measurements rather than just purchasing the size you normally wear.

If you opt for a silicone mermaid tail, it will be made to order. You’ll need to provide the manufacturer with your exact measurements, and they’ll craft the tail accordingly.

"A mixture of hair conditioner and warm water can be used as a lubricant to help you get inside a silicone mermaid tail."


The weight of your mermaid tail is important. If it’s too heavy, it can make it difficult to swim, especially if you’re not extremely confident in the water. Fabric tails tend to weigh no more than one or two pounds, including the monofin, so the weight shouldn’t cause any issues for most users. Silicone tails can weigh anywhere from 15 to 60 pounds. This sounds like a lot, but since silicone is naturally buoyant, it won’t feel as heavy in the water and shouldn’t weigh you down.


Looks are important when it comes to your mermaid tail, so you should select one in a color that you love. Although some mermaid tails have flat coloring, with just one shade all over, most use a range of hues to create a more realistic-looking effect. Once you’ve chosen the mermaid tail you want to buy, you can generally choose a color family, from watery blues to bright rainbow hues.


You can find basic fabric mermaid tails in kids’ sizes starting at $15 to $30. High-end fabric options in adult sizes cost $90 to $150. Expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,000 for a custom-made silicone mermaid tail for swimming.

"Some fabric mermaid tails have an opening at the bottom of the fluke, so you can quickly and easily access your monofin if needed."

Tips for swimming with a mermaid tail

  • Stay safe while swimming with your mermaid tail. Since mermaid tails are tricky to swim in, you should never go for a dip alone. If your child is swimming in a mermaid tail, be sure to supervise her closely.

  • Select a mermaid tail that’s easy to swim in. It should be flexible and lightweight enough for you to swim easily.

  • Look for a mermaid tail with reinforced tips. This protects your mermaid tail from scraping on the bottom of the pool, which can damage the material.

  • Decide whether you want matching tops and bottoms. Many manufacturers offer bikini-style tops that match the tail for the full mermaid look. Some also offer matching bottoms to wear underneath your tail.
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If you have issues with your feet escaping from your monofin, try wearing neoprene socks.


Q. How do I wash my mermaid tail after use?
Most fabric mermaid tails are machine-washable, so they’re easy to wash after use. Be sure to check the washing instructions, as some are cold wash only or have other specific requirements. Those that aren’t machine-washable will need to be hand washed. Silicone mermaid tails obviously can’t go in the machine, but they do need to be cleaned after every use. Check with the manufacturer for cleaning instructions.

Q. Can I get lessons in mermaid swimming?
If you don’t feel confident in your mermaid tail, some pools offer classes in mermaid swimming. While these lessons aren’t widely available, you may be in luck and find a class in your area.

Q. Where can I use my mermaid tail?
As soon as your new mermaid tail arrives, naturally you’ll want to hit the water. But you need to decide where to go swimming. Some public pools have banned the use of mermaid tails due to safety concerns. If you plan to go swimming in a public pool, check the pool’s policies before you dive in. Though mermaids are creatures of the ocean, we recommend sticking to pools at first. Wait until you’re confident swimming in your mermaid tail before heading into open water.

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