They said that humans could never walk on water… until now!
Large floating water mats are perfect for kicking back on the water with friends and family keeping cool during the hot summer days.
They’re much better than inner tubes, as you don’t have to let your lower half sit in the water while your upper half cooks.
Instead, you can stay completely dry on your own little personal slice of island paradise.
With all the different shapes, sizes, and materials available in the floating water mat realm, it can be difficult to find the best one for your needs.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best floating water mats on the market so that you don’t have to spend your summer afternoon drudging through the black holes of the Internet. Let’s get started, shall we?
The Top 9
#1 Best Overall Floating Water Mat: Rosso Floating Fortress 18’
The Rosso Floating Water Mat pretty much has it all in terms of shape, size, portability, and durability.
For larger groups, friends, or family, it has plenty of room to hang out. It looks a bit like a large, blue, floating dock, and works well on just about any body of water from lakes to oceans.
The high-grade 2-ply closed cell foam is incredibly durable, nearly tear resistant and 100% fade-resistant, meaning even the sunniest of days won’t have any effect on the vibrant colors.
The Rosso Floating Water Mat can hold up to 8 people or 1,200 pounds, though can roll up into an incredibly portable size and be Velcro-strapped together to store away.
There are also two holes (one at each end) so that you can anchor it wherever you decide to plant yourself.
#2 Best Overall Floating Water Mat: Flotation IQ Floating Oasis 15’
The Flotation IQ Floating Oasis 15’ is another great floating water mat that doesn’t require any sort of inflation.
Simply unroll it on a calm patch of water and get straight to relaxing! Even though it sits a bit shorter than the Rosso Floating Mat at only 15’, it can support up to 1,500 pounds if everyone is distributed evenly across it.
It’s made of a high-quality polyolefin foam that is near tear-resistant. This is thanks to the membrane that is sandwiched between the two pieces of outer core.
The dual metal D-ring tethering system comes complete with a 10-foot bungee line so that you can anchor yourself on your spot.
You don’t have to worry about accidentally drifting off to sea! When you’re all done floating around for the day, simply roll it up, secure it with the two included nylon straps, and store it away.
#3 Best Overall Floating Water Mat: Maui Aqua Lily 20’
If you’re looking to get an insane amount of surface area to enjoy your lake relaxation, the Maui Aqua Lily might be in your future.
At a whopping 20’, it’s large enough for you and your whole extended family to hop on. Unfortunately it only supports up to 1,300 pounds though, so you’ll have to consider who is actually getting on.
Even with that said, the Maui Aqua Lily is incredibly durable with the 2-layer cross linked foam material and patented Flexcore technology.
One of the best things is that when you roll it up, it’s only 25 pounds.
This means that you or one of the kids should easily be able to transport it back and forth from the water, making transportation a piece of cake.
If you like the style of the Aqua Lily, but maybe want to go a little larger or smaller, it is also available in 14’ and 22’ sizes!
#4 Fun Float Water Mat 18’
The Fun Float is the perfect, no-frills floating water mat for all of the lake fun and relaxation that you could ever want. From lakes to rivers to pools and beyond, this floating mat can do it all!
Thanks to the durable, non-inflatable design, you’ll never have to worry about punctures or tears. Just undo the included, heavy-duty buckle straps, roll it out on your favorite spot, and get to chillin’!
The Fun Float is made with a safe, yet tough-as-nails, three-layer foam material with a thick center core that can support up to 1,250 pounds.
The pink, white, and blue colors not only look great on the water, but also remind you that you’re sitting on a mat that is both safe and soft.
We love that Fun Float has included a Mooring device eso that you can anchor your floating mat to your boat or dock.
It’s a nice little addition to have peace of mind that you and your family are safe while it’s in use.
#5 Fedmax Floating Water Mat 19’
Now we’re getting to the big boys!
The Fedmax Floating Water Mat is a super, heavy-duty floating water mat that can support up to a whopping 1,625 pounds, making it perfect for huge groups of adults. It’s actually one of the largest capacity mats on the market.
This is because it is made up of a 3-ply foam for sturdiness and tear-resistance, making it last longer and work better with less evenly distributed weight.
The included mesh layer that is sandwiched between the foam makes it nearly indestructible, meaning it’ll likely last you forever.
Fedmax has included a tether so that you can easily anchor it to the boat or dock so that you don’t drift off into Neverland. The best thing is, when you roll it up, it’s only 30lbs.
It also has an included carrying handle so that you can transport it without hassle and store it away with ease. Lastly, we really dig the bright yellow color.
You can see this thing from a mile away, making it great for staying safe on bodies of water that might be a little bit busier.
#6 Big Joe 1050ABW Waterpad 15’
Ain’t nothin’ better than a Big Joe! This floating water mat is the perfect little desert island that you can literally take anywhere your heart desires. Even at the 15’ size, this thing can support up to 1,500 pounds.
This is all thanks to the ultra-sturdy EVA foam that not only keeps things floating with ease, but is also resistant to harmful UV rays. You can support about 5-6 adults on this mat with no problem.
We love that they’ve included velcro straps to carry it and store it away. There are also little grommets at each end so that you can anchor the mat to your favorite spot.
The little wave designs on the rails of the mat are a nice touch, giving you that tropical vibe while you’re out soaking in the sun or practicing your yoga routine off land.
#7 Island Hopper Water Walk 20’
The Island Hopper Water Walk 20’ is one of the biggest floating water mats on our list and is perfect for lounging or running around on with the whole family!
Thanks to the incredibly buoyant triple-layered XPE foam material with the rip-resistant, mesh inner core, you get a mat that floats sturdily and will last you a lifetime.
You can even let the dog do his thing on the mat without worrying about it being clawed through.
The Tuff Hide outer membrane helps it to resist peeling, even when it comes to super hot days on the water.
At 35 lbs, it is a bit heavier than most mats, though thanks to the two included bungee cords, it is still easy to pack up and stow away without worry!
There are seven anchoring grommets built in to the water mat that help you to secure it to your boat or dock as well.
#8 Redneck Convent Floating Water Mat 18’
The Redneck Convent Floating Water Mat is perfect for all your lakeside, redneck pleasures!
At a large 18’ long with vibrant orange and yellow colors, this thing screams fun!
There’s also plenty of room for the entire crew to hop onboard and hang. Built from a cross-linked polyethylene, this floating mat will pretty much last you a lifetime.
It’s probably one of the sturdiest mats in its price range.
Included with the mat is a 12-foot bungee tether, as well as a high-quality carabiner so that you can anchor it to your boat or dock with ease.
Thanks to the storage straps, you can easily wrap this thing up and store it away in just minutes!
The straps are easily some of the thickest on our list as well, so no need to worry about them breaking.
#9 O’Brien Water Carpet 18’
O’Brien is another great water toys company that has been making these awesome little water mats for a few decades now.
This dark blue personal island is designed with three layers of high-quality foam construction that is perfect for anything from running around to relaxing and soaking in some sun.
Just like many of the other floating mats on our list, they have also added a grommet and rope attachment so that you can easily anchor it to your boat or dock to prevent floating away.
Note that while this water mat can float pretty easily, it is made to be thinner so that you do get a bit wet.
Essentially, if you’re looking for a completely dry time, this might not be your best bet.
At 18’ long and 6’ wide, there is just enough room for about 6 average-sized adults to hang out on.
When you’re all done playing, simply roll it up tightly and carry it away. It may be a bit heavier than some at 35lbs, though it shouldn’t be a major problem for the kids to haul if need be.
Why Do I Need a Floating Water Mat?
Floating water mats are excellent substitutes for water flotation devices and provides tons of summer fun and relaxation! For starters, most floating water mats are non-inflatable devices. This means that you don’t have to worry about hauling around a pump to get it going. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about puncturing one of these big boys, rendering it useless.
For many people, a water tube will suffice, though for other, the idea of staying fairly dry while still being surrounded by water seems like a much better tradeoff. For those people, that is where floating water mats excel.
For families, floating water mats provide a space to make sure that the kids are all staying safe and that they have a “home base” when spending summer afternoons on the water. Parents can always make sure that they’re kids (especially those who maybe aren’t great swimmers yet) have a place to go when they want to hang out.
Many Yogis love floating water mats as well. It provides an interesting platform for you to practice stretches and poses. Doing these things in a different environment than you’re used to can bring a bit of variety to your normal routine!
What To Consider When Buying a Floating Water Mat
Getting a floating water mat that is durable will make it last for many years to come. What’s the point of spending hundreds of dollars on one of these things if you’re only going to get a few uses out of it? The best way to decide whether or not a mat is durable is to look at the materials that they used to construct it. Many companies use high-quality foam with multiple layers to make sure that you have both stability and rigidness. You’ll also want to make sure that you read up on the mat to make sure that it is tear-resistant. Don’t judge a mats durability just by its ability to stay firm, but also its ability to stay completely intact.
Lastly, you will likely want to go for a material that is completely UV-resistant. This is why some water mat companies use materials like EVA Foam, which is resistant to harmful UV rays, as well as other elements. Having a mat that is UV-resistant will not only protect it from craking, but also protect it from losing color.
Stability is a matter of preference when you’re looking at the big picture. Now obviously you want to have a mat that you can stand up and move around on with ease, but how rigid the mat is will be completely up to you. Mats that are more stable are typically going to have multiple layers to combat uneven weight distribution. While they may act as sturdy platforms in the water that act kind of like docks, keeping you completely dry, they will usually be heavier and more difficult to roll up thanks to the extra material.
On the other hand, you might want to go for a floating water mat that moves a bit with the water. These will usually have less or thinner layers of material, will be much lighter, and will be easier to store and transport. With that said, you will also probably get a bit wet when hanging out on these, as they will bend and react to the water with a more malleable character.
Consider both the length and width of your mat when you purchase it. Do note, however, that the size does NOT always correlate with the carrying capacity! The size that you ultimately choose will depend on who is using it and what you are using it for. Obviously if you want to just lounge around, you won’t need a massive mat to walk around on. On the other hand, if you’re planning on getting one for the kids or whole family to run around and play on top of, you may want to get one that has a bit of extra surface area. In our experience, if you can afford to go bigger, we would recommend doing so! It will just make your floating mat experience much more versatile in the end!
Like we said, the size is not always going to correlate with the capacity. You may find that a 20’ mat only supports up to 1,300 lbs while an 18’ mat supports up to 1,500 lbs. A lot of the time, it depends on the materials used, as well as the overall design. Typically, thicker mats will be able to hold more people onboard without them caving in. Be sure to read the manufacturer specs before purchasing to make sure you have a good idea of the capacity. Also, be sure to think about who will be using it. You likely won’t need a 1,600 lb capacity mat for a group of younger kids!
When it comes to floating mats, we feel like the brighter the mat you get, the better. For starters, brighter mats are far more visible in the water. If you decide to lay your mat down on busier bodies of water, it will keep it more visible to boats or other water vehicles in the area. It’s also very helpful if you have kids and you want to make sure that you can keep an eye on them. If someone decides to swim away from the mat for a bit, having a brighter color will make it that much easier to come back to!
Are Floating Water Mats Safe?
Absolutely! They’re actually one of the safest water flotation devices thanks to their non-inflatable design! You never have to worry about them getting puncture or breaking while in use. One of the things we made sure to check out when putting our list together was that all the mats had some sort of safety feature to keep them tether to the dock or boat that they’re next to. All of them come with at least one grommet, as well as some sort of rope or anchoring device, to keep them tied down and anchored for safety. This makes them great for families who want to post up somewhere on the water and hang for the day without fear of their party drifting off to sea.
How Do I Clean My Floating Water Mat?
While most mats are made with pretty tough material, it’s always a good idea to give them a good wipe down after a day on the water to make sure that you get rid of any grime, sweat, and dirt that may have gotten on them. Because many of these mats roll up to store away, it is very easy to trap all of this nasty stuff inside of them, providing a petri dish for bacteria and mold to grow. There’s nothing worse than unrolling your mat in the height of summer excitement just to find out that it wreaks of last summer’s stench. Cleaning your mat is simple. Just give it a good scrub with warm, freshwater and a mild soap, and let it air dry before rolling it back up.
Where Can I Use My Floating Water Mat?
Most water mats are perfect for use wherever the water permits! Now obviously there are some place where you definitely don’t want to use your floating water mat, including rolling rivers or rough sea waters, but anywhere else that gives you a nice, steady platform to lay your water mat down should suffice. Many people even like to use their floating water mat for the pool!
Final Thoughts - Which Should You Get?
Now you have all the information you need to get your floating water mat relaxation on this summer!
From kicking it with your friends to having a splash with the fam, floating water mats provides a little slice of paradise for everyone to enjoy together. Overall, we highly recommend getting the Russo Floating Fortress 18’.
It’s a solid size for larger groups, it’s lightweight to transport, and it is just rigid and durable enough to provide stability on the water without being too thick to roll up!
With all the different floating water mats on the market, finding the right one can be a difficult task. Make sure to use our guide to find the best one for you!