Thanks to shade-providing canopies and top safety features, these are the best baby pool floats on the market today to ensure your infant can splash around safely with the rest of the family.

By Nicole Harris
April 14, 2021
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Infants and swimming don't seem like an obvious match, given the risks of drowning and sun exposure. But if you use a well-rated baby pool float—especially one with a UV-blocking canopy and added safety features—your little one can splish and splash all day long. Here, we break down important considerations for buying a baby pool float, then we recommend five smart options for babies today. Save this guide for your next summer pool party

Baby Pool Float Considerations

Given the wide range of baby pool floats on the market today, you might be tempted to choose one based on cuteness—we get it's hard to resist an inflatable float shaped like an exotic animal! But in reality, parents should carefully consider four important factors: type of pool float, safety features, sun protection, and convenience.

Type of Float: You might've seen the pool floats that circle a baby's neck, letting their arms and legs tread water. These products might promote motor development by increasing range of motion, but many experts recommend avoiding them because of drowning and suffocation risks. Young babies also shouldn't wear swimming vests, which should be reserved for older toddlers. Instead, set your sights on inflatable floats that secure around your baby's chest or waist. 

Safety Features: Baby pool floats aren't foolproof. Your little one could still drown if the float capsizes, and they could suffocate by getting caught in the material. Choose a pool float with added safety features, such as high-quality material that fights against leaks, inner springs for stability, seat straps, and child safety valves. Double check weight and age limits before using a float, and always supervise your baby in the water!

An image of a baby in a pool.
Credit: Getty Images.

Sun Protection: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says babies under 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight. It's also smart to limit sun exposure in older babies, whose delicate skin is prone to burning. Considering these facts, pool floats with UV-blocking shade canopies should jump to the top of your list (alternately, you can dress your little one in lightweight full-coverage clothing and wide-brimmed hats).

Convenience: While safety features are top priority, parents shouldn't sacrifice functionality as well. Look for baby pool floats that inflate/deflate easily, either by mouth or hand. They should also fold for convenient transportation and storage.

Finally, it's important note that parental supervision is non-negotiable whenever your baby is near water. Even if they're using a baby pool float, you should never let them out of your sight!

The Best Baby Pool Floats

Ready to introduce your baby to the water? Consider these five pool floats, which help protect infants from sun exposure and drowning. When used along with close supervision, they're perfect for baby's next pool party. 

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SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

1. SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center

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This pool float gives parents peace of mind, thanks to features like child safety valves, a patented inner spring for stability, and dual inflation air chambers. It also has a rotating interactive octopus with a few playful toys—stackable rings, a fish teether, a soft touch star, and a squeaking fish. A detachable canopy provides UPF 50+ sun protection, while mesh siding lets you watch your baby closely. As a bonus, the pool float is easily portable with a convenient carrying case.

LAYCOL Baby Pool Float with Removable Canopy
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2. LAYCOL Baby Pool Float with Removable Canopy

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Marketed for kids ages 3-36 months, this baby pool float is made with non-toxic and leak-proof PVC material. A raised front and widened sides help keep the baby afloat—and so does the dual-layered air chamber, shoulder straps, and secure fit. Buckle your baby two ways for different swim methods (breaststroke and backstroke). The removable canopy also provides UPF 50+ sun protection, even with the see-through mesh sides. 

SwimWays Infant Baby Spring Float
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3. SwimWays Infant Baby Spring Float

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Introduce your baby to the water with this fabric-covered pool float. Built-in handles let parents supervise their child as they kick, splash, and play in the pool. Your baby should stay safe in the fabric seat, thanks to a three-point adjustable harness, child safety valves, a patented inner spring for stability, and dual inflation chambers. Attach the canopy for UPF 50+ sun protection, and fold the float for transportation and storage. 

iefoah Flamingo Float
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4. iefoah Flamingo Float

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There’s no doubt about it: This inflatable flamingo pool float is absolutely adorable! It’s made from non-toxic PVC material and boasts added safety features, like dual air chambers and a leak-proof air valve. Choose between full-cover or half-cover sun protection with the adjustable sunshade, which you can also remove for nighttime dips in the pool. 

Intex Kiddie Float
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5. Intex Kiddie Float

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While sitting in this float, your baby will be protected by an inflatable sunshade and safety features, like two air chambers. Smooth leg holes increase the comfort, while an activity bar with three balls (one rattle and two plastic ones) will keep them entertained. This product is ideal for babies ages 1-2 years old.