The latest trend in boating is floating water mats,  floating foam mats, and floating inflatable mats. If you don’t already own one, you’ve seen them on the water, and no doubt you want one.  When you go to buy one, you’ll find thousands of options. But then, there are those pesky Facebook ads offering you the ultimate floating water mat for a fraction of the cost. The research alone is overwhelming, and given that all quality floating platforms are pricy, you need to know what you are buying. After all, the average spends on floating water mats and floating foam mats is $250, and some top $1,500.

Want to know the best floating water mats, floating foam mat, or inflatable mat, but you don’t know your needs? Then, use this guide to determine which is best for you based on your needs.

floating water mats 2

Table of Contents

What to Consider When Buying a Floating Water Mat or Floating Water Inflatable Mat

Size

We’ve all heard the expression “Go big or go home.” This may be true for most things, but it’s not necessarily the case for floating water mats and floating foam mats. There is such a thing as too big when it comes to floating platforms. And, the bigger they are, the bulkier they are to lug around. This said the size you need depends on how many people you expect it to hold and where you plan on using it. For example, if you will only use your pool, you need to look at smaller options. Likewise, if you have a smaller boat that only accommodates four or five people, you need to consider a smaller option. For those who want to go big, you need to understand the floating water mat’s dry weight and look at how easy it is to roll up. Finally, if you choose an inflatable floating water mat, you need to understand what setup entails.

Don’t panic; we’ve done all of the work for you and compared the best-selling models side by side.

Weight Capacity

Think of weight capacity as cargo load or maximum weight your boat can carry. The same concept applies here. A rule of thumb for boaters is that your water mat capacity should be somewhere in the range of your boat’s capacity. And, when you evaluate capacity, understand that manufacturers base the maximum weight based on even distribution.

The last thing that you want is to sink your floating mat. If you exceed your mat’s weight capacity or do not distribute the weight evenly, it will sink! Naturally, it will rise, but whoever is on the platform will end up in the water.

Quality

This is probably the most important criteria given the price of floating water mats and floating foam mats. If you spend $300 – $500 on a water toy, you should expect to get more than one season of use out of it. So essentially, you are looking for a floating water mat or inflatable floating mat that won’t rip, tear, or puncture.

Note: You also need to consider dogs! Many people want their dogs to experience the joy of bouncing off a water mat, but dogs have nails! So if you plan to include Fido, you need to ensure that the water mat you choose will hold up against fur ball nails. Most important, if you are looking for a dog friendly float you should look at Inflatable Floating Water Mats – most are dog friendly.

Firmness

Consider the strength of the best water floating mats to support a variety of activities. You can swim, lie down, and even sit without the risk of falling. Some floating foam mats are suitable for playing, running, walking, and other types of water sports. Others only support single activities, such as lying down.

Maintenance

Most floating water mats require little maintenance. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to clean it regularly after use. The longer you leave dust, saltwater, or mud on the mat, the faster it will disintegrate. All floats require cleaning.  Clean it with a sponge and mild soap to remove debris, dirt, and grime. Then rinse with clean water and let it air dry.

Safety Tips

Even the best-designed Floating Water Mats and Floating Foam Mats can be dangerous if not used consciously. Here are some essential tips to remember:

  • Make sure kids don’t play on water mats without supervision.
  • Check your connection security regularly.
  • Do not use the water mat on uneven water.
  • Remove all dirt from the mat to prevent rot.
  • Secure the water mat to the dock or boat or secure it in place.
  • Refer to the mat’s instruction manual for specific safety instructions.
  • Limit alcohol intake while using a water mat.

Foam vs. Inflatable Floating Water Mats

Perhaps the biggest debate in boating and lake groups is which is best – foam or inflatable? Unfortunately, the answer is not simple. It depends on how you plan to use it, the portability, then price and quality.

Inflatable mats tend to be less expensive, but they require inflating and deflating. Inflatables are also easier to transport once deflated.  On the other hand, foam mats do not need inflating and are more durable but bulky to transport.

Note: Some of the best selling premium inflatable mats are anything but inexpensive – some are a lot more expensive than foam pads.

Lastly, before we dive into a review of many mats on the market, it’s worth mentioning that many people rave about the Floating Oasis Water Pad ($249) and the Ultimate Floating Oasis ($449) foam mats from Sams Club. Floatation IQ makes both, and both are available on Amazon.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure and privacy policy for more information.

Floating Water Mats Table Comparison

Name Airhead WATER MAT ROLL ‘N GO 

Aqua Lily Pad Original Floating Water Mat

Big Joe WaterPad

Floating Oasis Lake Pad

Floatation iQ Mossy Oak Floating Oasis

Goplus Floating Water Pad Mat

iFloats Floating Water Pad

SOWKT Floating Water Pad

Maui Mat Floating Foam Fun Pad

Rubber Dockie Floating Water Mat

Airhead WATER MAT Aqua Lilly Pad Big Joe WaterPad Floating Oasis Lake Pad Floatation iQ Mossy Oak Floating Oasis Goplus Floating Water Pad Mat iFloats Floating Water Pad SOWKT Floating Water Pad Maui Mat Floating Foam Fun Pad for Water Recreation Rubber Dockie Floating Water Mat
Price $420  $749  $358 $499 $579 $499 $420 $470 $799 $489
Layers & Material 3 Multi-Density Rubberized Foam Layers with 4 Reinforcement Layers for Optimal Strength and Rollability 2 layers of cross-linked polyethylene foam featuring a dense core in the middle 1 Cross-linked EVA foam 3 UV resistant foam that provides fade-resistance for the vivid colors from the rays of the sun Multi-layered lightweight polyethylene (PE) foam. 3-layer Tear-resistant XPE Foam 1 Patented High Tensile Strength Center Core Material 3 High-Quality XPE Foam 2-layer pad with Patented FlexCore Technology 2 ply closed cell 1 3/8 inch foam
Sizes 11 x 5 20 X 6 15 x 6 15 x 6 15 x 6 18 x 6 18 x 7 18 x 6 14 x 6 18 x 6
Max Capacity 680 lbs 1,980 lbs 1500 lbs 1500 lbs 1500 lbs 1300 lbs 900 lbs 1320 lbs 1050 lbs 1200 lbs
Dry Weight 15 lbs 44 lbs 20.5 lbs 20 lbs 25 lbs 28 lbs 25 lbs 28 lbs 24 lbs 30 lbs
Grommets or Tow Hooks 1 No grommets but has  installed tether system 4 1 1 2 2 1 1 1
Warranty 2 Years None None 1 Year None None 1 Year 1 Year None 1 Year
Colors Marine Blue and Electric Lime Various Various Many solid colors and patterns Blue Yellow or Blue Pink  and Blue Green and Yellow Orange Green and Orange
Where Made USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA
Amazon Customer Rating 4.6 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.4 out of 5 4.3 out of 5 3.9 out of 5 4.2 out of 5 4.3 out of 5 4.4 out of 5
4.7 out of 5
4.6 out of 5

Floating Water Foam Mats 

Airhead WATER MAT ROLL ‘N GO 

Airhead WATER MAT

The Airhead Water Mat prides itself on its portability, so it works as indicated in the ratings. However, if you are looking for water to float and avoid tiring inflation, Airhead floating foam mat is your best choice. Just roll it and take it to the nearest lake or water park, take it out, and you’re ready to enjoy the water activities with your family.

Slightly smaller than a standard floating foam mat, the airhead water mat is ~11 × 5 feet, is lighter than most and more portable than others. It can be rolled up tightly without any problems and weighs only about 19 pounds compared to other brands that weigh around 35 to 40 pounds. Its overall thickness is about 1.2 inches.

Despite its size and weight, it is only suitable for two adults or 4 to 5 children. Still, don’t be discouraged. So It can be used as a platform for kids to walk, run, or jump into a lake or pool. It is sturdy, lightweight, and works well.

Pros

  • It is thin and light – 15 lbs.
  • Portable and easy to store.
  • Diamond finish top and bottom for extra traction, comfort, and durability.
  • 3 multi-density rubberized foam layers.
  • Includes storage staps.
  • Anchoring system – includes grommet, 10 ft. bungee anchor line, and stainless steel hook.
  • High-quality, durable material.
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • It can only comfortably accommodate  2-4 people.

Aqua Lily Pad Original Floating Water Mat

Aqua Lilly Pad

Aqua Lily Pad is a well-known brand known for maintaining the highest quality.  Aqua Lily Pad is an American company based in Willoughby. It’s an ideal opportunity to soak in water in the summer, and this is what the Aqua Lily Pad floating mats do best. It gives your family, friends, and even your pet a chance to get wet and cool off. The Aqua Lily Pad offers one of the biggest dimensions of 6 x 20 feet. The  Aqua Lily Pad is one of the most popular floating foam mats on the market.

Aqua Lily Pads are build of “cross-connect” marine grade materials explicitly designed for marine use. Pay attention to the variety of items that are made only with “closed cell” foam. This type of foam is less intense compared to whole noodles. Crossed linked materials contain additional carbon bonds between the polymer chains that limit moisture absorption and sun damage. The Further grounds the Aqua Lily Pads make with a more prominent life for your enjoyment.

Aqua Lily Pad products provide enough space for the whole family (including pets) to get wet and cold in a comfortable environment. This floating foam mat can accommodate nine adults (1,600 pounds divided by weight) and build a double-layer UV-safe foam incorporating Aqua Lily’s “Flex-Core technology” to be the water mat rolled up. Out quickly. UV treatment combined with “Flex-Core technology” provides years of pleasure.

It’s also worth mentioning that Aqua Lily Pads are a popular choice with dog owners!

Pros

  • Family size 20 x 6 -feet and can accommodate nine adults.
  • Aqua Lily’s “Flex-Core technology” guarantees the highest quality.
  • 2 ply foam.
  • The lily pad has a stretch rope with a hook attached to it already that you can hook to a dock or pontoon, or boat.
  • The product weighs only 44 pounds, making it very easy to transport and store given the size.
  • Best choice for dogs.

Cons

  • No warranty.

Big Joe WaterPad

Big Joe WaterPad

The Big Joe Water pad brings fun to kids on the water. With this mat, you will float on the water—Big Joe on our list of the best floating water mats.

It is not too big or too small. This floating foam mat is enough for most and you, and it’s unique in that it includes four grommets for towing and tie-up. The gromets also double up as cupholders.

It is made of modern materials that increase the durability of the floating mat. You can have four kids on it, and it won’t sink. Due to the grommets on the edges, you can fix the Big Joe onto a  pier or boat. This is a reasonably cheap option for kids but not the best choice for adults or dogs.

All Big Joe products are designed and filled in the USA in a Zero Landfill Certified Facility. And, we donate a percentage of all profits to helping those in need.

Pros

  • Lower cost.
  • Designed and filled in the USA in a Zero Landfill Certified Facility.
  • Big Joe donates a percentage of all profits to helping those in need.
  • Four tie-up grommets that double up as cup holders.

Cons

  • It can be torn easily.
  • Struggles to accommodate anyone over 170 lbs.
  • Not great for walking on.
  • No warranty.

Floating Oasis Lake Pad

Floating Oasis Lake Pad

Enjoy a luxurious beach or lake experience with this reliable floating foam mat in beautiful, bright colors. The Floating Oasis Lake Pad Premium Floating Water Mat is one of the most attractive and most popular floating mats on the market.  In addition to its design, it is made to accommodate many friends and family.

The stainless steel D-Ring mounted tie-up grommet is worth a special call out. I have homes on the lake and coastline and boat weekly. I know hundreds of boaters – many own a floating mat of some variation. Outside of weight capacity and durability the #1 feature that people tell me they wished they had researched is a steel grommet connection. 

And, this one comes in a stunning patriotic version:

Floating Oasis Lake Pad Premium Floating Water Mat

Along with many other jazzy designs like palm trees and pink flamingos.

The 6 x 15-foot floating mat has been created for multiple users and can hold more than 1,500 pounds.  This means no one will be left behind when you use this mat.

Because the material used is high-quality polyethylene (PE) foam and has a multi-layer structure, it provides excellent safety and protection for everyone who rides it.

In addition, manufacturers have confirmed that their products are both leak and tear-resistant. Also, this product has undergone a patented laminating process, which further enhances its durability.

Pros

  • UV resistant foam that provides fade-resistance for the vivid colors from the rays of the sun.
  • Use of high-quality materials.
  • Leak and tear-resistant.
  • Stainless steel D-Ring mounted tie-up grommet. 
  •  Includes a 6′ bungee cord featuring dual steel carabiners for quick and easy tethering.
  • 1-year limited warranty.
  • You can buy a replacement accessory kit should you ever need to replace the cords or grommet.

Cons

  • It can be pretty high priced compared to other products currently on the market.
  • The manufacturer is slow to respond to warranty requests.

Floatation iQ Mossy Oak Floating Oasis

Note: Mossy Oak is one of the brands that Sams Club sells.

Floatation iQ Mossy Oak Floating Oasis

This water floating foam mat is 6′ feet wide by 15′ long, making it a perfect choice for your lake or ocean. The maximum capacity is 1500lb, so you can safely use it even with family and friends. It is made of non-toxic polyethylene foam, safe to use.

This mat is easy to launch and use without delay. It was sturdy and could easily handle the combined weight. It is resistant to tearing as well as a puncture. Lastly, it’s not difficult to maintain.

The stainless steel D-Ring mounted tie-up grommet is worth a special call out. I have homes on the lake and coastline and boat weekly. I know hundreds of boaters – many own a floating mat of some variation. Outside of weight capacity and durability the #1 feature that people tell me they wished they had researched is a steel grommet connection. 

Pros

  • Includes two D-Rings, two velcro straps, and one bungee cord
  • Made of multi-layered lightweight polyethylene (PE) foam. The foam layers are joined together using a proprietary lamination process that ensures products are highly resistant to both tears and punctures.
  • Made of non-toxic polyethylene (PE) foam. 

Cons

  • Colors can run and stain boats.
  • No warranty.

Goplus Floating Water Pad Mat

Goplus Floating Water Pad Mat

If you are looking for a water floating foam mat that is good quality and affordable, you will enjoy the GoPlus Floating Water Mat. It is one of the popular floating water mats on the market due to its low entry price and design. It features high-density 1.3-inch cell foam and uses an unrivaled strong center material for added durability. It also has a unique roll-up pillow for extra comfort.

This floating mat has a non-tear mesh layer sandwiched between the foam layers, effectively preventing tearing. In addition to durability, this mat is easy to roll up and comes with a sturdy storage strap for easy storage and hassle-free transportation.

This product can seat 8 to 10 people and can hold 1232 pounds of evenly distributed weight. The floating foam mat is also easy to clean (soap and water only) and can be secured to another floating pod or docked using a 12.5 bungee tether.

Pros

  • Low entry price.
  • Three-layer tear-resistant XPE foam.
  • Rolling pillow designed for relaxation.
  • Easily dockable.
  • Convenient to roll up and store.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Has two grommets.

Cons

  • Storage straps are known to cut into the mat.
  • Struggles to hold people over 100 lbs.
  • Rips easily despite tear-resistant XPE foam.
  • Many reviews state it does not last more than one season.

iFloats Floating Water Pad

iFloats Floating Water Pad

Floating on water is so much more fun with iFloats Water Pad Party Float. This mat is made of durable materials and is known to last long on water. Pink and blue are a combination of this floating mat which makes it stand out on the water.

The iFloats Water Pad Party Float has D rings on both sides and a tether system that can extend up to 18 feet. It easily attaches to the dock and keeps it in place.

Pros

  • Low entry price.
  • Durability – it’s made from Patented High Tensile Strength Center Core Material, thus increases its strength.
  • Double rolling pillow designed for relaxation.
  • Easily dockable.
  • D Ring on both sides.
  • Stainless Steel D ring straps for storage.
  • Bungee tether for mooring & anchoring.
  • All iFloats are 6 feet wide.

Cons

  • No warranty.
  • Some complaints of ripping from customers. *Note, this seems to be a model issue cited with older versions.

SOWKT Floating Water Pad

SOWKT Floating Water Pad

SOWKT offers one more channel suitable for use in the water of your choices, such as swimming pools or lakeshores. It is large in size and stretches 18 x 6 feet. It can support a weight of up to 1,320 pounds. Of course, it’s on the bigger side, but the included mounting straps help with storage.

SOWKT also includes the equipment you need to attach the mat to the boat so that you can enjoy hassle-free and comfortable. This floating foam mat is available in four color combinations, all of which stand out for added water safety. SOWKT also offers a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, replacement in case of damage, and customer service responds quickly.

At higher weight levels, some water gets on the pad. Of course, it’s not enough to sink, but if you want to stay dry while relaxing, this mat may not be your first choice.

Pros

  • Durability & Storage: 1.3 inches thick and made with High-Quality XPE foam.
  • One-year manufacturer warranty.
  • Includes a grommet, heavy-duty carabiner, bungee tether leash.
  • Extra-long touch fastener straps.

Cons

  • At higher load capacities, it will collect water.
  • Color fades quickly.
  • Does not support adults over 150 lbs standing on it.
  • Know to tear easily.