A woman sunbathing in an orange bikini and sunglasses on her blue pool float
The Best Pool Floats For Tanning, According To Reviewers

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by Andrea Hannah
Originally Published: 

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. Sunscreen is one of the most important things to bring along when you’re spending time in the water (yes, even when you’re tanning!) but a pool float is a close second, so be sure to pick one that aligns with your preferences. A great pool lounger for tanning will have a properly sized flat surface for you to stretch out on and will have built-in pillows or armrests to provide comfort and support as needed.

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 spread out, and can sometimes be uncomfortable to lie 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. Pool floats for adults will have more space than children’s pool toys, so be sure to check that you’re looking at one designed for your age group. And if you want to tan side by side with another person, consider a larger two-person float. Other nice features that might appeal include cupholders for your drink or bottle of sunscreen, or a soft, breathable fabric construction for extra comfort.

Ready to hit the pool? To help out your search, here's a list of some top-rated pool floats for tanning that will get you that sun-kissed summer look.

The Best Overall Pool Float For Tanning

This two-in-one convertible pool float 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 56-inch float allows you to continually adjust your seat for both comfort and maximum rays. With a separate floating cupholder can hold not one but two drinks, and a soft, “coolweave” fabric that is both comfortable and breathable, 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 floatie. We use it out in our pool. It’s extremely versatile, and the folding back allows you to turn it into a flat raft if you want to lay on your stomach and tan your back - which I normally hate doing, but I could lay like that all day in this thing. The floating caddy is great.”

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 70-inch 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 lie down 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: “Very comfortable, a million times better than any blown up rafts, so nice that we purchased another one. Highly recommend. Worth every penny”

The Most Affordable Float

The suntanner inflatable lounge by Intex is a quality, affordable pool float that won't break the bank. For under $20, 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: “Very easy to inflate. Super comfortable to use for tanning on land or water. Head rest is very comfortable.”

The Best Splurge

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 62-inch 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 pool chaise lounges are excellent quality, sturdy, comfortable and beautiful color. I especially like the adjustable feature.....sit up, lay flat......and the head pillow and floating foot rest. Makes it easier to get into. A beautiful addition to our pool!”

The Best Double Float

Airhead's 80-inch 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: “This float is so comfortable. The holes allow just enough water to stay cool but still allows for perfect tanning. We use it on the lake with our boat it folds up easily.”

The Best Novelty Float

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: “literally so nice to have for our pool! we can fit like three people comfortably. super nice for tanning and laying in the pool!”

The Best Water Hammock

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 52-inch 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 52,000 Amazon reviews and counting, this is one of the most popular pool floats on the internet.

According to one reviewer: “Best for hot pools days, easy to inflate and keeps me afloat so I can get my tan on in the pool! Everyone needs on of these. Especially because it takes up little to no room in the pool AND in the car when taking it to the pool!”

Editor’s Pick

This 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 60-inch 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 is my favorite pool float! It has a hole in it to put your drink, it is thick and super comfortable! Easy to inflate!! Well made and lasts a long time!”

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