The Best Pool Toys of 2022

Liven up your day at the pool with a selection of the best pool toys suitable for a range of ages.

By Brittany Varano | Updated Jun 20, 2022 1:24 PM

BobVila.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

The Best Pool Toys Option

Photo: amazon.com

Life is cool by the pool, especially with the most exciting and best pool toys. From giant pool floats that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to water toys for adults like floating beer pong, there’s a pool toy for everyone.

Whether you are interested in a floating game, a pool float, or even diving toys, there are many options out there to enhance your summer fun. Here are the top water toys for kids and adults to make the pool the place to be for family, friends, and fun in the sun.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Aqua Stingray Underwater Glider
  3. BEST POOL BASKETBALL SET: Hoop Shark Swimming Pool Basketball Set by FLOAT-EEZ
  4. BEST DIVING TOYS: Battat Pirate Diving Set In a Treasure Box 28pcs
  5. BEST MERMAID TAIL: Sun Tail Designer Mermaid Tail + Monofin
  6. BEST FOR ADULTS: GoPong Pool Lounge Floating Beer Pong Table
  7. BEST POOL FLOAT: Intex Rockin’ Inflatable Lounge
  8. BEST VOLLEYBALL SET: Intex Pool Volleyball Game
  9. BEST FOR YOUNG CHILDREN: Swimbobo Baby Swim Float
  10. BEST RING TOSS: 90shine Flamingo Inflatable Ring Toss Game
  11. BEST POOL NOODLES: Oodles of Noodles Deluxe Foam Pool Swim Noodles
  12. BEST POOL BALL: Activ Life Ultimate Pool Ball
  13. BEST WATER BLASTERS: Fun-Here Water Guns
  14. BEST SWIM RINGS: Water Sports Swim Thru Rings
  15. BEST FOR NIGHTTIME: Starlux Games Dive Diamonds: Pool Toys
The Best Pool Toys Option

Photo: amazon.com

Types of Pool Toys

Pool toys come in many varieties and offer different indoor or outdoor pool experiences. Some of the best pool toys are floating games, diving toys, or pool floats. Here is a breakdown of the different types to help you choose the best pool floats and toys for amusement with family or friends of all ages.

Games

For those who enjoy a bit of competition in the pool, a pool game is an excellent option. Choose from a variety of different games designed to float and be waterproof. You can find popular lawn games that have been redesigned for the pool, like cornhole or ring toss, or beloved sports, like basketball and volleyball. Other pool games often involve beach balls or unique sports balls that float and resist water.

Diving Toys

Diving toys are great for more advanced or older swimmers who love to dive deep beneath the surface. Often in the form of sticks, rings, or animal shapes, like fish, these objects sink to the bottom of the pool when thrown. Some diving toys are made to glide quickly and smoothly through the water, mimicking a submarine or sea animal. Since retrieving diving toys is a big part of the fun, they are better suited for older children or adults.

Pool Floats

To enjoy ultimate relaxation in the pool, a pool float (or floatie) is the way to go. Floaties come in all shapes and sizes but ultimately are designed to keep you floating, whether either partially submerged or fully on top of the water’s surface. Popular types of pool float toys include pool noodles, inner tubes, water wings, and loungers.

Some floaties allow you to lie down on them completely to work on your tan, while others are designed with a sit-and-ride style. Inflatable rings, which allow you to sit in or hang through them while floating in the water, are another popular type. To use an inflatable pool float, simply fill the float with enough air for the float to become taut and firm.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pool Toys 

While it’s easy to assume that all pool toys offer similar performance, a number of factors affect their functionality. Durability, safety, and appropriate age range are all essential to keep in mind as you shop. Keep reading to learn about several of the most important features to consider when choosing the best pool toys for your backyard.

Safety

Choosing safe pool toys is paramount, particularly for households with kids. With so many choices available, it can be difficult to determine which ones are truly safe for children and families. Make sure they have no sharp edges or points that could cut someone if they fall on them or bump into them by accident. Look at the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the toy is safely assembled and verify any age or weight limits. Always check inflatable pool toys before using them to ensure there are no holes or tears in the materials. Most importantly, go over pool safety rules with any children using the pool to ensure the toys are used as intended.

Durability 

The best pool toys should last for several summers, so it’s important to look for products that are built to last. Look for products made with fade-resistant material that won’t be damaged by the sun’s rays. Choose durable materials like vinyl or rubber over plastic when possible. Vinyl and rubber can withstand more than just water—they’re also more resistant to punctures and tears than plastic, which means they’ll last longer before needing replacement or repair.

Another thing to take into consideration is how much maintenance these toys require. Pool toys need to be cleaned periodically in order to avoid the buildup of bacteria. You don’t want a toy that’s going to be difficult or time-consuming to clean and maintain.

Age Range

When shopping for fun pool floats or swimming pool toys for kids, it’s vital to consider whether the product is appropriate for the child’s age and ability. Pool toys for kids should always feature a recommended age range to ensure safe use. Look for age recommendations on the packaging or on the product itself. Make sure that any child who uses a particular toy is old enough according to these guidelines. If they’re not, then you might want to choose another toy instead so that everyone stays safe and sound.

It’s also important to know your child’s swimming ability. Age ranges are a general recommendation that don’t take ability into consideration. Some toys require more skill than others, so be sure your child has mastered the basics before using them in the water.

Our Top Picks

Now that the basics are covered, it’s time to hit the pool. Here are the top picks for the best pool toys to make your swimming, sunning, parties, and family time more entertaining and memorable.

Best Overall

The Best Pool Toys Option: Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float
Photo: amazon.com

Jasonwell’s Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float offers a cool and colorful way to lounge in the pool. Measuring 114 inches by 55 inches by 47 inches when fully inflated, this white unicorn with a rainbow mane can hold two adults and four children with ease because of its 400-pound weight capacity. The center of the pool float does not have a hole in it, allowing the rider to sit or lie down comfortably without touching the water. The exterior of the float is made from premium raft-grade material that’s strong and phthalate-free.

The unicorn float can inflate quickly and easily with its fast valves and can be filled using a hairdryer set to cool, a ball pump, or an air compressor. It also deflates quickly when it needs to be put away or transported. If unicorns aren’t your speed, Jasonwell offers the same type of pool floaties in many shapes, including a bold dinosaur option.

Product Specs

  • Type: Float
  • Weight limit: 400 pounds
  • Age range: N/A

Pros

  • High weight limit
  • Several designs available
  • Made with high-grade raft material

Cons

  • Requires inflation

Get the Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float on Amazon.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Pool Toys Option: Aqua Stingray Underwater Glider
Photo: amazon.com

The Aqua Stingray Underwater Glider is made for ages 5 and up, but everyone in the family will enjoy throwing around this mini stingray gilder. Its aerodynamic design means it can travel up to 60 feet, creating opportunities for passing games galore.

The stingray measures 10.75 inches wide and 8 inches long and has fins that can adjust easily to create new and unique swimming patterns. Watch the stingray glide, spin, and boomerang back to you, providing hours of entertainment for the whole family. The wings are made from a flexible and thin PC plastic, and the body is made from rubber-like EVA plastic that is soft and squishy but durable.

One downside is that the material may fade over time after being exposed to sunlight. However, the amusing Aqua Stingray makes an affordable addition to your pool toy collection. The manufacturer also makes a two-pack of mini Aqua Stingrays, which are available in the same listing and are even more affordable.

Product Specs

  • Type: Diving toy
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: 5+

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Suitable for young children
  • Soft yet durable design
  • Doesn’t require inflation

Cons

  • Fabric may fade when exposed to sunlight

Get the Aqua Stingray Underwater Glider on Amazon.

Best Pool Basketball Set

The Best Pool Toys Option: Hoop Shark Swimming Pool Basketball Set by FLOAT-EEZ
Photo: amazon.com

The Hoop Shark Swimming Pool Basketball Set is a durable, inflatable basketball hoop made with thick material, reinforced seams, and a textured finish that locks air in for hours of competition. The hoop has a hole on top for a classic game of basketball, as well as six side hoops with various point values to liven up gameplay and allow users to get creative. When fully inflated, this pool game measures 40 inches tall with a base approximately 46 inches wide. It deflates quickly and easily, making the hoop easy to dismantle to take over to a friend’s house.

Purchase of this item includes a small basketball made specifically for water use, which measures 7.25 inches in diameter, making it just a bit smaller than a size 5 basketball. This item does not include the needle or pump needed to inflate the basketball, but any standard ball pump will work.

Product Specs

  • Type: Game
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: 7+

Pros

  • Water basketball included
  • Features 7 hoops for creative gameplay
  • Made with thick material with reinforced seams

Cons

  • Requires inflation

Get the Hoop Shark Swimming Pool Basketball Set on Amazon.

Best Diving Toys

The Best Pool Toys Option: Battat Pirate Diving Set In a Treasure Box 28pcs
Photo: amazon.com

Grab your treasure map and prepare for an exciting hunt for Battat’s Pirate Diving Set in a Treasure Box that includes 27 little treasures shaped like jewels, coins, bones, sharks, and seahorses. All diving items measure about 1 to 2 inches wide and are brightly colored for spotting underwater. They are also lightweight enough for younger swimmers to retrieve them safely.

While made specifically for the pool, these durable toys would travel for a day at the beach as well. Once you’ve finished diving down and retrieving your booty, safely store the toys in the included chest that measures 9 inches by 7 inches by 7 inches. Diving toys are best suited for ages 8 and up, and adult supervision is recommended. For younger children, this set can also be used in the bathtub. The clear toy chest doubles as a storage container when the toys aren’t in use, making them easy to tidy up.

Product Specs

  • Type: Diving toy
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: 8+

Pros

  • Includes 27 pieces
  • No setup required
  • Lightweight design
  • Suitable for the pool or bathtub

Cons

  • Not suitable for young children

Get the Battat Pirate Diving Set in a Treasure Box on Amazon or at Target.

Best Mermaid Tail

The Best Pool Toys Option: Sun Tail Designer Mermaid Tail + Monofin
Photo: amazon.com

Swimmers can transform into a mythical mermaid or merman with the Sun Tails Mermaid Tail with Monofin. Made of high-quality materials, the swimming mermaid tail is available in a variety of fade-proof colors. The designer tail is stitched with a breathable swimsuit material that stretches and moves with a swimmer. It also comes with a sturdy monofin, which helps propel the user through the water and enables more precisely controlled movements.

The fin is engineered with a soft, neoprene foot pocket for ultimate comfort. This mermaid tail comes in adult and child sizes, so the entire family can experience life as magical merfolk. The elastic waist closure ensures it stays in place while swimming, and four-way stretch fabric allows for a comfortable fit. It can be safely used in a pool as well as in a lake or the ocean. It’s important to note that the tail should be rinsed after every use and is machine washable for easy cleaning.

Product Specs

  • Type: Mermaid tail
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: 6+

Pros

  • Available in both children’s and adult sizing
  • Made with fade-proof fabric
  • Made with a breathable swimsuit material

Cons

  • Must be rinsed after each use

Get the Sun Tails Mermaid Tails on Amazon.

Best for Adults

The Best Pool Toys Option: GoPong Pool Lounge Floating Beer Pong Table
Photo: amazon.com

Nothing says party quite like beer pong, and with the GoPong Pool Lounge Floating Beer Pong Table, adults can get in on the action. This fully inflatable plastic beer pong table measures 6 feet by 3 feet by 6 inches and has holes to fit 10 full-size plastic cups on each end. There are also eight cupholders along the sides for spectators. Six pong balls come with the purchase and four tethering grommets ensure the float stays in place while gameplay is taking place. While the game is designed for adults, it can also be fun for older children—without alcohol, of course.

This pool toy for adults has a one-way inflation valve that fills the float up quickly via an electric or manual air pump and then seals in the air for hours of gameplay. When not being used for playing beer pong, this floatie doubles as a lounger or floating drink table for large pool parties.

Product Specs

  • Type: Game
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: N/A

Pros

  • Multifunctional design
  • Features 8 cupholders
  • Set includes 6 pong balls

Cons

  • Requires inflation

Get the GoPong Pool Lounge Floating Beer Pong Table on Amazon.

Best Pool Float

The Best Pool Toys Option: Intex Rockin
Photo: amazon.com

Lounge in the pool while soaking up the sun with the Intex Rockin’ Inflatable Lounge float. Our pick for the best pool float features a contoured shape designed for optimal comfort, allowing users to repose in a gently reclined position. Use the built-in cupholder to keep a refreshment nearby while relaxing.

Though this float is made from durable material, it’s not totally infallible, so the manufacturer includes a repair patch with purchase in case the exterior becomes punctured. The lounger is 8 feet long, making it appropriate for taller users, and has a weight limit of 220 pounds. When deflated, the float measures approximately 74 inches by 39 inches. This float is recommended for adults only and doesn’t offer an age limit.

Product Specs

  • Type: Float
  • Weight limit: 220 pounds
  • Age range: Adult

Pros

  • High weight limit
  • Features a cupholder
  • Comes with a repair patch

Cons

  • Requires inflation

Get the Intex Rockin’ Inflatable Lounge on Amazon.

Best Volleyball Set

The Best Pool Toys Option: Intex Pool Volleyball Game
Photo: amazon.com

You’ve heard of beach volleyball, but what about pool volleyball? This set from Intex includes an inflatable net and a water-friendly volleyball that provides hours of fun. The framing of the net is made from 10-gauge vinyl, while the ball is made from 7-gauge vinyl. Though the material is durable, the kit does come with a repair kit to be used as needed. The frame can be secured in place with the included grommets or can be allowed to float in order to make gameplay more challenging.

When inflated, the net measures 94 by 25 by 36 inches. While the basic version of this product doesn’t come with a pump, it can also be purchased with one to make setup as easy as possible. The manufacturer recommends this game for children ages 6 and up.

Product Specs

  • Type: Game
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: 6+

Pros

  • Made from high-gauge vinyl
  • Includes weighted grommets
  • Can be purchased with a pump

Cons

  • Requires inflation

Get the Intex Pool Volleyball Game on Amazon.

Best For Young Children

The Best Pool Toys Option: Swimbobo Baby Swim Float
Photo: amazon.com

Teaching kids to swim becomes much easier with the right tools, and this baby float is the perfect thing to help young ones get comfortable in the pool. It comes in three sizes, with options for children as young as 3 months or as old as 6 years. Kids can learn to kick their feet and paddle their arms while remaining safely afloat. The float provides safety and support with inflatable straps and a four-way safety buckle to keep the child securely in place.

The small version is best suited to children between 3 and 6 months old with a maximum weight limit of 20 pounds. The large float is intended for children between 12 and 24 months with a maximum weight limit of 40 pounds. The extra-large float works best for kids between 2 and 6 years and can support a maximum weight of 50 pounds. While this device is designed with safety in mind, it should still only be used under close adult supervision.

Product Specs

  • Type: Float
  • Weight limit: 20, 40, or 50 pounds (depending on size purchased)
  • Age range: 3 months to 6 years

Pros

  • 3 size options are available
  • Includes manual pump
  • Equipped with many safety features

Cons

  • Requires inflation

Get the Swimbobo Baby Swim Float on Amazon or at Sears.

Best Ring Toss

The Best Pool Toys Option: 90shine Flamingo Inflatable Ring Toss Game
Photo: amazon.com

Ring toss is a perennially entertaining activity for people of all ages. This iteration features inflatable flamingos that float, making the game all the more challenging. This ring toss game can be played in two ways: the flamingos can be placed in a pool—or another body of water—but they are also designed to fit on a user’s head.

The kit includes two inflatable flamingos and eight foam rings of varying sizes. Each flamingo measures approximately 11 by 13 inches after inflation. There is no specific age limit provided for this game, but particularly when played out of the water, it’s definitely suitable for young children. The foam rings included with the game may have an unpleasant smell when they’re unboxed, but it should dissipate within a couple of days.

Product Specs

  • Type: Game
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: N/A

Pros

  • Includes 2 flamingos
  • Multiple versions of gameplay
  • Suitable for children

Cons

  • Requires inflation
  • Foam rings may have an unpleasant smell

Get the 90shine Flamingo Inflatable Ring Toss Game on Amazon.

Best Pool Noodles

The Best Pool Toys Option: Oodles of Noodles Deluxe Foam Pool Swim Noodles
Photo: amazon.com

We couldn’t put together a list of the best pool toys without including some pool noodles. These classic pool toys have been around for decades, but they’re perennially popular for a reason. They can be used for countless water games and allow kids and adults alike to get creative and use their imaginations. These ones from Oodles of Noodles are made from high-quality foam that, according to the manufacturer, provides higher levels of buoyancy.

These standard-size noodles are 52 inches long with a 2.5-inch diameter and a 1-inch hollow core. Each set includes six noodles, which can be purchased in five colors: blue, purple, orange, white, and pink. It’s important to note that noodles should not be used as a safety or flotation device.

Product Specs

  • Type: Float
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: 12+

Pros

  • Doesn’t require inflation
  • Affordable price
  • Set includes 6 noodles

Cons

  • Not suitable for young children

Get the Oodles of Noodles Deluxe Foam Pool Swim Noodles on Amazon.

Best Pool Ball

The Best Pool Toys Option: Activ Life Ultimate Pool Ball
Photo: amazon.com

A water-friendly ball can be the basis of countless pool games, and this option from Activ Life is the best on the market. The unique design allows for it to be passed, kicked, and even dribbled underwater. It’s made with thick PVC material, and rather than being inflatable, the ball fills with water from a standard backyard hose and comes with a hose adapter and two filling needles to make the process as simple as possible.

This ball is recommended for children ages 6 and up and comes in six bright colorways. The manufacturer cautions against leaving the ball on any finished wood surfaces, as it can cause permanent damage to the varnished or stained surface.

Product Specs

  • Type: Ball
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: 6+

Pros

  • Comes in 6 colorways
    Can be passed, kicked, and dribbled underwater
    Comes with a hose adapter

Cons

  • May damage finished wood surfaces

Get the Activ Life Ultimate Pool Ball on Amazon or at Activ Life.

Best Water Blasters

The Best Pool Toys Option: Fun-Here Water Guns
Photo: amazon.com

While Super Soakers and other water guns provide plenty of backyard fun, they aren’t ideal for playing in the pool since they’re made of hard plastic and will sink to the bottom. These foam water blasters, however, achieve a similar effect while being made with soft, safe foam that allows for them to float in the water. They come in a pack of six and are easy to use, simply requiring the user to pull back the plastic handle to load the blaster with water.

Since they float, these toys can also be used in lakes or the ocean. These water blasters are recommended for children ages 3 and up since the small pieces can be a choking hazard for younger children.

Product Specs

  • Type: Water gun
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: 3+

Pros

  • Comes in a pack of 6
  • Made from foam that floats
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not suitable for young children

Get the Fun-Here Water Guns on Amazon.

Best Swim Rings

The Best Pool Toys Option: Water Sports Swim Thru Rings
Photo: amazon.com

Make an underwater obstacle course with these swim-through rings. Experienced swimmers can challenge themselves to swim through increasingly smaller rings since the size is adjustable. They can also be used as a tool during swimming lessons for less experienced children. They come in a pack of three with a maximum diameter of 31 inches.

They inflate with air and feature an air chamber for depth adjustment. There’s no assembly required, and the rings collapse easily for compact storage when they’re not in use. The rings come in three colors, each of which has a fun cartoon underwater creature featured at the top. The manufacturer recommends these rings for children ages 8 and up.

Product Specs

  • Type: Game
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: 8+

Pros

  • Includes 3 rings
  • Rings collapse for easy storage
  • Features air chamber for depth adjustment

Cons

  • Requires inflation

Get the Water Sports Swim Thru Rings on Amazon.

Best For Nighttime

The Best Pool Toys Option: Starlux Games Dive Diamonds- Pool Toys
Photo: amazon.com

What’s more fun than swimming at night? Diving for treasure! These Dive Diamonds are designed to be played with after dark since they gleam with an otherworldly glow in dark water. The diamonds sink slowly in the water and are designed to land upright, making them easy to grab. They come in a pack of three diamonds in varying colors.

Replaceable batteries are included with purchase and have a 12-hour duration. The kit comes with three team-based game options, but users can also get creative and make up their own rules. This toy is recommended for children ages 5 and older and is only appropriate for experienced swimmers since it involves diving to the bottom of the pool.

Product Specs

  • Type: Diving toy
  • Weight limit: N/A
  • Age range: 5+

Pros

  • Designed to land upright
  • Comes with long-lasting batteries
  • Includes recommended games

Cons

  • Will require replacement batteries

Get the Starlux Games Dive Diamonds on Amazon.

Our Verdict

After reviewing this guide, you now know more about shopping for pool toys for your backyard. We recommend the Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float for its fun design, high weight capacity, and relatively affordable price. Those on a budget may appreciate the Aqua Stingray Underwater Glider, which provides plenty of fun at an affordable price.

How We Chose the Best Pool Toys

Years of experience covering home and garden products as well as extensive product research went into creating this guide. We explored more than 40 pool toy options and weighed a number of practical considerations before making our recommendations.

We only included toys and floats designed specifically for use in pools. We aimed to recommend toys that offered plenty of room for creativity so that users can enjoy them for years to come. Additionally, pool toys vary widely in type and cost; we ensured that each recommended product offered excellent value when compared with similar products on the market.

FAQs

There’s nothing quite like a day at the pool to help life’s worries melt away. If you still have some questions about pool toys, here are some answers.

Q: How do you inflate pool toys?

The quickest and most convenient way to blow up a pool toy is by using an air compressor or a hairdryer set to cool. However, a manual air pump will work just fine too. Carefully place the compressor’s end over the opening of your pool float and fill with air until the toy feels firm. Be careful not to overinflate.

Q: How do you clean pool toys?

To clean pool toys naturally:

  • Make a solution of 4 cups of warm water mixed with ¼ cup of baking soda.
  • Use a sponge or a soft-bristle brush to scrub off any grime or dirt from the toy.
  • Rinse off your cleaning mixture with the hose.
  • Dry the toy fully in the sun.

Q: How do you organize pool toys?

There are many unique ways to organize pool toys, but the simplest option is to get a waterproof outdoor storage chest. Choose a size that’s most closely aligned with your pool toy needs, and be sure to let all toys and floaties dry before putting them back in storage. Other ideas include a towel or coat rack, a cargo net with hooks, or a simple laundry basket for small diving toys and goggles.