When the warm weather arrives, laying out and catching some rays can be a great way to relax. That’s where the best pool floats for tanning come in, providing a comfortable and secure surface where you can rest and soak up the sun. But, how you prefer to tan will be a factor, and there are a few types of pool floats you can choose from. A great
pool lounger for tanning will have a flat surface for you to stretch out on, be sized to your needs, and will have any built-in pillows or armrests you need to feel comfortable.
There are a lot of options out there for pool floats, but not all of them are great for tanning. For example, while cute novelty floats are fun, they don't always provide enough room for you to truly lay out, and can sometimes be uncomfortable to lay on for long stretches of time.
If you plan on spending a lot of time tanning, it's important to choose something that's comfortable, functional, and offers features to keep you cool while you're catching some sun. Look for floats that allow you to recline when you're laying on your back and lay flat when you want to turn over on your stomach. If you're the type to always keep a water bottle or tube of sunscreen nearby, opt for a float with cupholders.
You should also consider pool floats that are specifically designed with soft, breathable fabrics, or have enough room for two people to lounge and tan together. To help out your search, here's a list of
the best pool floats for tanning that will get you that sun-kissed summer look. 01
The Best Overall Pool Float For Tanning
two-in-one convertible pool float from Aqua was designed to make it easy for you to lounge in multiple different positions to catch some sun. With an adjustable pillow that you can use to wedge the back of the float in two angles (as either a recliner or a flat surface), this float allows you to continually adjust your seat for both comfort and maximum rays. And separate floating cupholder can hold not one but two drinks, and a soft, “coolweave” fabric that is both comfortable and cool, this float is the total package. You can even take the pillow out of the back of your float and use it as a buoy for others to hold onto as they float beside you in the pool. According to one reviewer: “I love this [f]loatie! It's really comfortable for sitting up and the bonus is you can lay on your stomach and tan your back!” 02
The Best Foam Pool Float
Unlike other pool floats that require you to inflate them (and then re-inflate them if they loose their shape), this
foam pool mattress couldn’t be easier to set up. The 1.75-inch thick float is made with chlorine-, sun-, and water-resistant foam that’s comfortable to lay on and 70 inches long (that’s nearly 6 feet in length). The comfortable pillow is built into the design, and because it’s a flat float, you can lay on your stomach to tan your back, as well. It’s pricey, but for a top-of-the-line tanning experience, this is worth the money. According to one reviewer: “These are a bit pricey, but worth it. They are very comfortable and they were out it the HOT Phoenix sun all summer and still look brand new!” 03
The Most Affordable Float
suntanner inflatable lounge by Intex is a quality, affordable pool float that won't break the bank. For just $11, you can get this easily-inflatable, 74-inch long pool float. And, just because it's affordable, doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality. Fans report that they've been able to use these pool floats for consecutive summers, and that they are "sturdy and perfect for those lazy pool days." One downside with this float is that reviewers say that you will likely get pushed around your pool if you live in a particularly windy area. According to one reviewer: “I’ve had these now for over 2 months and they have held up great! I use one for tanning in the pool, and the kids use them both to play on.”
If you're ready to invest in a high-quality pool float, you'd be hard pressed to find better than this
adjustable chair lounge by Poolmaster. Made with a non-corrosive frame that won't fall apart in the weather over time, this recliner chair lounge is sturdy and can hold up to 275 pounds. It also has two cupholders and a tray for your sunglasses or book built into the arms. Simply lean back in this chair to activate the recliner, and recline to your desired angle. When you want to switch to lie on your stomach, this recliner can even lay completely flat. According to one reviewer: “These are the most comfortable floats I have ever owned. You literally can lay in the pool all day.” Airhead's double pool mattress is the perfect pool float if you want to spend an afternoon laying out with a friend. Its quality construction and suede-feel fabric will keep you from slipping or sliding off of this float even if you're already wet from the pool. The mattress also comes with removable pillows that can be taken out on one side or both, so you and your friend can easily switch from tanning on your back to your stomach, without having to both lay the same way. Reviewers also praise the float's durability. With a design that's available in three different colors, you'll be able to find the perfect one for your pool. According to one reviewer: “Very comfortable and supportive. Keeps you well above water so you can tan evenly. Does fade easily. Like that the pillow can be adjusted to your liking. Or can be taken off completely.”
If you're looking for that Insta-worthy pool pic, this
watermelon float by Intex is fun, functional, and a seriously flat float. You'll be able to lie completely flat and easily turn over to tan your back for hours on this watermelon. At 6 feet in diameter, it's big enough to fit multiple people, so you can even tan beside a friend. According to one reviewer: “wanted something I could tan on that was big enough to fully stretch out on and this os the ticket. [It’s] made of good, thick plastic and with the Intex double quick hand pump it inflated pretty fast.”
If you tend to get hot while laying out, this
water hammock is a genius solution, as you are partially supported and out of the water, while some of your body is submerged. It’s a bit more limited when compared to other tanning floats on this list, as laying with your back to the sun is a bit of a challenge. But for sweltering climates, this is a life saver. And, this four-in-one design can be used as a hammock, a chair, a “drifter” where you hold onto the front, or an “exercise saddle,” for kicking and water activities. And, with 41,000 Amazon reviews and counting, this is one of the most popular pool floats on the internet. According to one reviewer: “First time buying this kind of float..I lovee it! [S]o comfortable without being surrounded by plastic! [P]erfect float that i recommend to anyone looking to get a tan but be in the water!”
affordable pool lounger has great features for anyone looking to tan, including a full back and armrest for maximum comfort, a cupholder, and a hole in the foot area that allows you to dip your toes in the water if you want, and gives you a comfortable spot to rest your feet. Like other loungers, this is a bit more tricky for anyone tanning on their stomachs. But for a comfortable spot to sit while tanning, this pool lounge is a great choice. Commerce Editor Kate Miller says, “This is constantly the most fought-over floatie with my family. The upright back is perfect for lounging but also paddling around, and the whole construction feels sturdy. The little hole at the foot area is also a nice detail. You can dunk your feet in when they're getting hot and it makes getting on and off much easier too." According to one reviewer: “This float is comfortable whether sitting propped up to read, or laying back to nap in the sun. I like the pillow compared to other rafts. It's not too rigid and allows different positions.”