Is there anything better than spending a lazy day at the pool, beach, or lake? Probably not — unless you upgrade the fun factor with one of the best floating water mats. Made of durable foam or vinyl, they come in a range of sizes, so you can drift on a single lounger or hang with a group on a generously sized mat that can hold up to 1,650 pounds. And, for convenience, they easily roll up for storage when you’re not using them.
When buying a floating mat, you’ll want to consider how many people are going to be using it at once. A larger water mat made with two layers of durable foam can handle several adults, but these options tend to be more of an investment money-wise. Nonetheless, if you’re planning to float with a group, it may be worth the extra cost. On the other hand, if you’re just floating alone, you can get away with a cheaper, single-layer mat that holds approximately 275 pounds.
Most floating mats are made of closed-cell foam or polyethylene — materials which result in a fairly high price tag, so if you’re looking to save some money, you can go with an inflatable floating water mat made from vinyl. They’re significantly less expensive, but you will have to spend time blowing them up, and you might want to limit their use to calmer waters (like a pool) where the mat will be less likely to get punctured or damaged.
Last, when it’s time to pack up, you’ll want a water mat that easily rolls up into a compact size. Many mats come with their own storage straps, so you can conveniently carry them back home, but longer mats will be a bit bulkier, taking up more storage space in the off-season. At the end of the day, the perfect water mat for you will be the right combination of size and affordability. Here are some of the best floating water mats, all available on Amazon.
1. The Overall Best
The Rubber Dockie is a sturdy, reliable floating foam pad that has over 800 five-star ratings on Amazon. It’s made of two layers of closed-cell foam with an added nylon “tear-stop” matrix that increases durability, so it will last you for many summers to come. The mat is available in two sizes, and while the exact weight capacity of the smaller mat isn’t mentioned by the manufacturer, several happy reviewers stated that the 9-foot mat can hold approximately three adults at once. It comes with a 12-foot bungee cord, so you can keep it tethered to the shore, and the bright, eye-catching colors provide extra visibility. Plus, once it’s rolled up, the hook-and-loop straps secure the mat for compact storage.
According to a reviewer: “This is perhaps the best water toy ever!! Great quality product - fun colors, terrific texture. Perfect amount of float! Kids love it and so do the adults. Can't say enough about it.”
- Available sizes and weight capacities: 9 x 6 feet (capacity not listed), 18 x 6 feet (up to 1,400 pounds)
2. The Best Inflatable Mat
Floating water mats made out of dense foam can be pricey, so if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, this inflatable floating mat from Intex is a great option. Unlike the other options on the list, you have to inflate and deflate it every time, but according to reviewers, it only takes about 10 minutes to blow up without a pump. (If you want a pump to speed up the process, you can get an affordable one on Amazon.) Once it’s inflated, you’ll find that there’s space for two to three adults to fit comfortably, and the four connectors allow you to attach it to other Intex floats, so you can hang out with friends. Per the brand, the float can hold up to 660 pounds, and when deflated, this mat can be folded up small and stored just about anywhere, but it doesn’t come with straps or a tether. Also, keep in mind that inflatable mats are susceptible to punctures, which may make this item less durable than the other options.
According to a reviewer: “I love it. If you are like me and do not want to pay hundreds of dollars for the mats you've been seeing, THEN ORDER THIS. It has exceeded all of my expectations. I like laying in the middle of it when I sunbathe on the lake.”
- Available sizes and weight capacities: 9.5 x 7 feet (up to 660 pounds)
3. The Best For Lounging Solo
If you plan to use your water mat solo, this 70-inch-long floating pool mattress will do the trick. It comfortably fits one adult, and the compact size is perfect for a swimming pool. The mat is made with a single layer of sun-resistant, vinyl-covered foam that’s super easy to clean, and there’s a full-roll head pillow at one end for optimal comfort. While the exact weight capacity isn’t listed by the manufacturer, one reviewer reported that it can hold at least 286 pounds. Choose from five splashy colors, including white, bronze, and Bahama blue.
According to a reviewer: “Very comfortable, a million times better than any blown up rafts, so nice that we purchased another one. Highly recommend. Worth every penny.”
- Available sizes and weight capacities: 5.8 x 2.1 feet (capacity not listed)
4. The Best For Large Groups
This massive 20-foot floating foam pad is the way to go if you plan on swimming with a large group and don’t mind making an investment to do so. The Maui Mat is made from cross-linked polyethylene foam with a strong core that resists damage and tearing, and the 20-foot mat can hold up 1,650 pounds of distributed weight. Despite its enormous size, it rolls up tightly, thanks to a set of Velcro straps, and it comes with a tether system, so you can attach it to to a dock. This mat may have a higher price tag, but it’s worth it if you’re going to the beach or lake with extended family or a crowd of friends. This option is also available in a smaller 14-foot size that can hold up to 1,050 pounds. There are no reviews for this option yet, but you can be the first to add your thoughts.
- Available sizes and weight capacities: 20 x 6 feet (up to 1,650 pounds), 14 x 6 feet (up to 1,050 pounds)