The 5 Best Swim Floats

Get Your Water Wings

The earlier a child is introduced to water, the more confident and competent a swimmer they will be. (With close parental supervision and appropriate safety precautions, of course!)

Human beings are drawn to spending time in, on, and near water as a form of relaxation, so swimming should really be considered a vital life skill.

Give your little water baby the best start possible; give them their (water) wings, and keep them safe as they discover aquatic independence.

Why Wings?

Water wings, or flotation sleeves, offer safety in indoor and outdoor pools, while still allowing the comfort and freedom of movement that children crave.

Sitting tightly but gently on your child’s upper arms, water wings give your child buoyancy and support as they gain confidence and ability in the water.

Ideal for backyard pool parties and days at the local swim centre, flotation sleeves are not lifejackets, and should not be considered an adequate safety precaution in open water, including inshore waters, lakes, and reservoirs, etc.

Water Wing and Swim Float Reviews

Where possible, we’ve included a recommended age range for each of the swim arm bands we’ve reviewed here, to help you make the best choice.

1. Stearns Puddle Jumper

Stearns Puddle Jumper Basic Life Jacket

(intended for older infants/young toddlers: ideal age, around 2yrs)

Stearns offer a range of fun, child-friendly designs. Their Puddle Jumpers are specifically designed to keep a child’s head above water, making them the ideal flotation sleeve choice for those experiencing the pool for the first time.


  • Child friendly
  • Keeps head above water
  • Durable


  • Bulky, especially for smaller children

Value For Money?

  • For an older infant or toddler who’s just getting used to water as something to play in, rather than just a fact of bath time, the Puddle Jumper flotation sleeves are ideal, as they ensure your child’s head is kept above water.

Many children dislike putting their head under water at first, so this provides them with safety and security as they learn new ways to have fun, and gain confidence in the pool.

2.Stearns Puddle Jumper Basic Life Jacket

TopSung Water Sleeves

Topsung Inflatable Water Flotation Swim Waist Belt Swimming Vest and Arm Bands Floatation for Adults

(range of sizes, from children to adult)

These swim arm bands, intended for those who are learning to swim, rather than encountering the pool for the first time, offer a feeling of freedom, whilst providing complete protection in the pool.

They come in a choice of red or blue, and are easy to put on – children towards the top end of the age bracket can often manage for themselves, as, obviously, can most adults.

However, they don’t seem to last very long, which is disappointing, especially given the price, which isn’t at the cheaper end of the market.


  • Bright colors
  • Feeling of freedom
  • Easy to put on


  • Not very durable

Value For Money?

These aren’t all that durable, and there are better options available for the price.

They are also not suited to children who are nervous of putting their head under water, as they are not designed to keep a child’s head raised above water.

Topsung Inflatable Water Flotation Swim Waist Belt Swimming Vest and Arm Bands Floatation for Adults

  • The design of hole (include Swim Belts and Arm Bands Sleeves) is one-way inflatable to prevent air leak,if you want to vent the air, please…
  • Double airbag design,more safety,more comfortable and more buoyancy for can use Swim Belts and Arm Bands Sleeves separate or…
  • Non-toxic environmental protection of PVC material, thickening made to long time use. If you want to store away, just outgoing gas and fold.

3. Hello Kitty Deluxe Inflatable Arm Bands

Hello Kitty Deluxe Inflatable Arm Bands Floatation Sleeves,for Ages 3-6

(intended for children aged 3-5yrs)

It seems that, unlike most felines, every little girl’s favorite kitty simply loves water! And, with a reassuringly recognisable character, your child can love the pool, too.

Combining fun and safety is the best way to encourage children to swim, and with the Hello Kitty arm bands, you can be sure your child will want to try them out, and will be safe while wearing them.

As with all arm bands designed for slightly older children these flotation sleeves will not keep a child’s head above water automatically, although they will give them the necessary buoyancy to be safe whilst starting to swim.


  • Child-friendly design
  • Easy to inflate
  • Durable


  • Can rub against skin

Value For Money?

  • These are very affordable, and good for a child just starting to swim in a backyard pool.
  • Hello Kitty Deluxe Inflatable Arm Bands Floatation Sleeves,for Ages 3-6
  • Help kids learn to swim with the easy to use Intex Deluxe Hello Kitty Arm Bands

These swim aids are designed with adorable Hello Kitty graphics that are very appealing to kids

4. Made with two air chambers for added safety

2. Speedo Begin to Swim Fabric Arm Bands

Speedo Begin to Swim Fabric Arm Band

(flexible fitting for children from 2-12yrs)

Coming from one of the leading names in swim wear and water gear, these fabric arm bands come in a range of bright designs and colors.

Offering support and buoyancy as children become more confident in the water, they have the added advantage of being suitable for older children.

These arm bands can be quite tight, which could be an issue, as swimming does require freedom of movement.


  • Suitable for older children just learning to swim


  • Tight
  • Difficult to get on and off

Value For Money?

These are a mid-price item, but some value is definitely lost through them being uncomfortable and difficult to wear, which is not what you want in the pool.

  • Speedo Begin to Swim Fabric Arm Band
  • Dual chamber heavy duty inflatable arm band for added safety and durability
  • Soft polyester material provides added comfort

5.Great for helping young swimmers build confidence in the water

1. ZWZCYZ Floaties

ZWZCYZ Floaties 1 Pair/2pcs Inflatable Swim Arm Bands Floatation Sleeves Swimming Rings Floats Tube Armlets for Kids and…

These are suitable for children and adults, meaning that everyone, of any age, can learn to swim safely.

While these are not intended as a lifejacket, and are not suited to those swimming in open water, they are ideal for pool environments, from the basic backyard pool right up to Olympic standard swim centers.

These come in hi-vis orange, which, while not the most attractive color for children, are not going to make an adult who needs them feel overly foolish.


  • Suitable for children and adults
  • Hi-vis orange – can clearly be seen, and appropriate for adults learning to swim


  • Don’t stay inflated for very long
  • Can be uncomfortable for an adult

Value For Money?

These are reasonably priced, and a good buy for an adult learning to swim.

  • ZWZCYZ Floaties 1 Pair/2pcs Inflatable Swim Arm Bands Floatation Sleeves Swimming Rings Floats Tube Armlets for Kids and..
  • Two air float design safer and more comfortable,Inflatable The Swim Rollup Arm Bands made for children and adult,Double airbag design,more…
  • Safety inflatable swimming bands without toxic, perfect tool for learning swimming

The product made for children,but can be used by adult also,some customer feedback it is difficult roll-up to arm,maybe cause by gasing too.

Best Buy?

For children, we’d recommend the Stearns Puddle Jumper. Adults would be best suited to the ZWZCYZ Floaties, as these are not overly childish in design

Things to Know

Water wings are not intended as lifejackets. They are intended for use in pool environments, where there will be supervision and, ideally, qualified lifeguards.

The 5 Best Swim Floats

  • Best Stearns Puddle Jumper.
  • Best TopSung Water Sleeves.
  • Best Hello Kitty Deluxe Inflatable Arm Bands.
  • Best Speedo Begin to Swim Fabric Arm Bands.
  • Best ZWZCYZ Floaties.

Also, some swim centers require children, and novice adults, to wear certified flotation sleeves, so check with your local pool or swim center as to their requirements before purchasing.

Marimar Montero

Marimar Montero is professional Kayaking and his hobby is Kayakers! He has been Life Jacket Company for the last 5 years and he loves using Kayaking while outing as well. Based on his experiences with the different types of Life Vest Jacket; he is sharing his opinion about various latest lifevests so that a beginner can get started right away. Find him on Twitter here. Happy study!

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