The best floating mat

Outdoor Toys

Most floating water mats are not meant to be used in salt water. Depending on the material, salt water can deteriorate your floating water mat and decrease its lifespan.

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Floating mats

Summer is quickly approaching, which means we’re all searching for ways to have fun in the sun while remaining cool. Whether you live near a pool, lake, river or the ocean, a floating water mat can provide fun for the entire family all summer long. They’re versatile and can be used by all ages.

Due to its versatility and ability to withstand an assortment of activities, the Rubber Dockie Floating Mat is one top choice. Continue reading to see other quality picks and discover everything you need to know before buying a floating water mat.

What to know before you buy a floating water mat

Why do you need a floating water mat?

Before you’re able to pick out the ideal floating water mat, first consider what activities it’s needed for. If you want to do exercises or yoga on the water, stability and ensuring your water mat won’t sink are essential features. If you need to accommodate many people, finding a bigger-sized water mat is beneficial. Those who have small children should pick a water mat with a softer material and make sure little ones can climb on and off by themselves. 

Foam vs. inflatable

The two main types of floating water mats are foam and inflatable. 

  • Foam mats are generally more expensive since they tend to last longer. You don’t have to worry about inflating and deflating a foam mat, which can be time-consuming. However, foam mats are very heavy and cumbersome to get in and out of the water. You also need a dedicated area to store your rolled-up foam water mat. 
  • Inflatable water mats are a great choice if you’re on a budget. They’re lightweight and easy to store and transport. However, you need to be careful with inflatable water mats since they can be punctured easily by certain activities or rocks. You also need to set time aside to inflate it before and deflate after you use it.

What to look for in a quality floating water mat

Ease of use 

While floating water mats are fun, they require some maintenance. 

  • Cleaning: To ensure no mold and bacteria grow on your floating water mat, cleaning and thoroughly drying your mat is essential before putting it away. A larger water mat requires more cleaning and more space to let it dry.
  • Handling in and out of the water: You’ll be taking the water mat in and out of the water often, so choose a water mat you’re able to manage. While foam mats are heavier, inflatable mats need to be handled with care and not placed on any rocks. 
  • Storage: Do you have a large area to store your water mat or a vehicle to transport it to and from the water? Inflatable mats are beneficial if you have little storage and not much space to transport it. The larger the foam mat, the more storage space you’ll need.


Most mats are between 1 inch and 1 1/2 inches thick, which is sufficient for most water activities. If you plan to bring chairs on your mat or need it to be extremely sturdy, you can find some floating water mats that are over 2 inches thick.

How much you can expect to spend on a floating water mat

Floating water mats start around $100 and can go up to $1,000 depending on size, thickness and material.

Floating water mat FAQ

Can I tow my floating water mat behind a boat?

A. Not all floating water mats can be safely towed behind a boat, so check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Inflatables tend to submarine when towed, while others may have a speed limit.

Can I leave my floating water mat out all night?

A. To protect and extend the life of your floating water mat, always clean and store it when not in use. 

What’s the best floating mat to buy?

Top floating water mat

Rubber Dockie Floating Mat

Rubber Dockie Floating Mat

What you need to know: This fan favorite mat comes in several sizes and is durable enough to withstand all types of water activities.

What you’ll love: The Tear-Stop inner matrix prevents full lacerations and the Tuff-Hide outer layer protects against everyday use. 

What you should consider: It’s heavy and can be hard to get out of the water and roll up.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top floating water mat for the money

WOW World of Watersports Inflatable Floating Water Walkway

WOW World of Watersports Inflatable Floating Water Walkway

What you need to know: Create your own island with the connecting zipper system, all at an affordable price.

What you’ll love: It’s made of heavy-duty 30-gauge PVC to support several people at once. Since it’s inflatable, this water mat is also easy to set up and tear down and needs little storage space.

What you should consider: Some users report air leaking from small holes and broken zippers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Solstice by Swimline Inflatable Floating Dock

Solstice by Swimline Inflatable Floating Mat

What you need to know: A durable inflatable water mat that allows for a variety of activities without sinking.

What you’ll love: It comes in several sizes to accommodate all situations. The durable polyester deflates and rolls up small for easy storage.

What you should consider: It’s a bit expensive.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Bre Richey is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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