Out of all the luxury or premium pool accessories you can purchase, the pool float category might not be the first thing that comes to mind. The fact of the matter is they are not created equal. Different materials, shapes, and sizes can make all the difference.
So, what makes one considered premium or luxury? Far too often cheap, unicorn floats or half-inflated beer-branded pool floats you might find at a frat party are the first to come to mind. While there are some top-tier brands like FunBoy floats that make floats in all categories, there are cheap knock-offs as well you’ll want to avoid if you’re looking for something that will last.
In this blog post, I’ll break down what makes a good luxury pool float, and offer a few recommendations to pick up.
Before I get into my favorite pool floats, I wanted to answer a common question about pool floats.
Why are foam pool floats are so expensive?
Simply put, some foam pool floats are much more expensive than their inflatable counterparts simply due to the higher cost of closed-cell foam technology used to manufacture floats capable of high buoyancy.
It really comes down to a manufacturing process in which nitrogen is pumped into cells of PVC plastic to create a material that basically won’t sink. This is the material that life jackets or life rings are made from.
Cheaper foam floats not made of closed-cell foam can sink if punctured since they will take on water and also tend to develop mold or mildew over time when damaged.
1. SwimWays floating chaise lounge pool chair
If you are looking for a solid multi-purpose option, look no further than this chaise lounge float by SwimWays you can check out here on Amazon.
This is actually a deck chair that also doubles as a pool float. Made of rattan, this one folds easily for storage.
While not as pricey as the industry-standard Ledge Lounger you can read about in my blog post on the Best In-pool Furniture Options designed to be used in pools with a Baja shelf, this one is great for in-and-out pool use.
It also stores a lot easier than some bulkier pool floats in this premium price range, so keep that in mind as well.
2. Made in the USA – Texas Recreation floating foam mattress
If you’re looking for a premium foam pool float for adults that will support over 200 pounds, this made in America pool float (or pool mattress in this case) here on Amazon is an excellent choice.
At just under 6 feet, this one is resistant to saltwater, chlorine, and sun, and contains a full roll pillow.
The standard model is nearly 2 inches thick, but if you need something to support more weight, I recommend the 2-inch model here which is specifically designed to float pretty much anyone.
If you don’t want to get wet in the pool, these foam pool floats are for you.
3. Float n’ Thang Zero Gravity floatation device
Branded as the ‘World’s Most Flexible and Durable Pool Float’ this float is pretty unique in its design and manufacturing process. While most people use a pool noodle if they desire to be partially submerged, this is a higher quality option that even comes with a couple of cupholders and is small enough for your hot tub as well.
Like many premium foam pool floats, it uses closed-cell technology throughout (not just on the top layer). You can check it out on their website here.
4. Aqua pool lounger with sunshade canopy
If a pool lounger is more your speed, and you’re looking for something where you can sit and read a book for hours, this inflatable pool lounger with canopy on Amazon is a great choice.
When it comes to inflatables, this one has great reviews, and is constructed of heavy-duty fabric.
Here are few other features this model offers:
- Thicker material than many other inflatables for superior buoyancy
- Breathable fabric
- UPF-50 retractable sunshade canopy
- Cup holder and handles
- Ergonomic headrest design
5. Poolmaster floating chaise lounge chair
If you are looking for something practical, high-quality, yet functional, this model on Amazon by Poolmater is a good all-around pick due to its solid construction.
I like this one because it comes with two study armrests with cupholders, and isn’t an inflatable so you never have to worry about it puncturing.
It also comes with a backrest with a pillow that adjusts, which makes this one a great choice for reading. Your upper body stays dry, while allowing your midsection to be cooled by the water.
6. FUNBOY chaise lounge inflatable pool float
If you’re looking for a high-quality inflatable pool float sure to raise some eyebrows, look no further than the Funboy brand.
This chaise lounge model pictured above is available on Amazon and is one of their bestsellers. It’s also one of the more practical options they have available.
Designed in Los Angeles, Funboy creates a lot of premium and wild-looking inflatables you’re bound to see at parties from time to time.
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill crapper-ware either. This company uses high-quality materials, rigorous testing, and even screen prints their designs by hand right here in America.
If you’re looking to push the envelope, you can check out their entire collection on Amazon by visiting the Funboy Store.
7. Suede 2-person air mattress pool float
If you’re looking for a pool float large enough to spread out on while keeping you cool, this air mattress-style float you can purchase here is a great option. Ideal for couples or more than one person, it also has a removable pillow, which is nice.
Reviewers say the suede material also makes it a lot easier to position yourself on the float than standard plastic floats which can be slippery when wet.
8. FUNBOY Yacht Speed Boat inflatable
Another eye-catching and over-the-top option, this inflatable yacht float is one of the more unique Funboy designs you can check out on Amazon here.
This one actually has a few really awesome features for an inflatable, including:
- a built-in cooler to place champaign bottles or ice in the front
- Speed valves for rapid inflation
- Stringent testing, beyond industry testing standards
9. FUNBOY Pink Flamingo inflatable pink pool float
So I saved the best (or worst) for last, depending on your preference! In all seriousness, if you just want a head-turner, know that anything by the Funboy brand you really can’t go wrong with as I’ve mentioned.
This model here on Amazon is typically a best-seller, includes a cupholder for convenience, and contains glitter in the plastic membrane. While there are dozens of creatures to choose from, the swan remains a popular choice just about anywhere.
The difference between cheap pool floats vs luxury pool floats
In conclusion, the main difference between a cheap pool float you might find at a big-box retailer and an online retailer specializing in floats comes down to several factors, including:
- Durability of materials
- Testing and inflation standards
- Closed-cell foam vs. porous foam
- Artwork and licensing
- Form factor and design
For a company like Funboy, they pride themselves on being the gold standard for inflatables and actually create a bunch of limited releases you’ll not see anywhere else.
If a standard foam floater is more your style, always be sure to look for closed-cell PVC foam that has been tested and highly reviewed.
Looking for a few more pool accessory ideas? Check out these 15 flippin’ sweet gift ideas for pool owners you might also enjoy!