10 Best Floating Water Mats and Pads for Lakes (2022)

best floating water mat

A floating water mat is this summer’s must-have water accessory. It may look like an oversized yoga mat but once unfurled on the water, you have a floating walkway that can handle the antics of a whole family or group of friends. 

There are plenty of these floating islands on the market but which is right for you? 

I’ve spent hours researching the most popular floating mats and pads to find out which are worth your money. My top pick is the iRocker Floating Swim Mat. It’s big enough for most families and is the only mat I’ve found with a 2-year warranty.

Not convinced? Read on to find out how I rate other popular floating water mats.

Floating Water Mats Compared

Best Overall
iRocker Swim Mat

iRocker Swim Mat

High-Capacity Mat with Multiple Tie-Down Points

This 12-foot mat has enough space and weight capacity for most families. It has 4 tie-down points, comes in 2 colors, and its durability is backed by a 2-year warranty.

For Big Families
Rubber Dockie Mat

Rubber Dockie Mat

18-Foot Mat with Scratch-Resistant Coating

Rubber Dockie’s mat has a Tuff-Hide coating and tear-resistant foam for durability. It’s big enough for large families and groups and the bright orange color is great for visibility.

Best Inflatable
WOW Walkway

WOW Walkway

Affordable Inflatable Mat That’s Compact to Store

The WOW inflatable mat floats on the water, making it easier to stay dry. Connect multiple mats to create an inflatable walkway! This mat is affordable and packs down small once deflated.

Best Budget
Intex inflatable mat

Intex inflatable mat

Cheap Inflatable Mat for Small Families

This is the smallest mat I’ve reviewed and the cheapest—by a long way! It can take three adults and is great value for money, just don’t bank on the customer service.

 
SOWKT Mat

SOWKT Mat

Huge Capacity Mat in a Variety of Colors

The SOWKT is an 18-foot map with a 1,350-pound capacity. It’s surprisingly lightweight and comes in a range of bright colors.

 
Aqua Lily Pad

Aqua Lily Pad

Durable Mat with UV Protection

A great choice If you want a mat that’ll stand up to several years of regular use in sunny climates. The Lily Pad is expensive, though, and you don’t get a choice of colors.

 
Max4out Mat

Max4out Mat

Affordable Mat with a Rolled Headrest

The Max4out is my favorite 9-foot mat. It’s reasonably priced and you can roll the edge over and secure it to create a headrest. Perfect for lounging in the sun!

 
Goplus Water Pad

Goplus Water Pad

Brightly-Colored Mat with Tie-Down Points

The Goplus mat comes in two sizes: 11.5 feet and 18 feet. Both are brightly colored, but I prefer the 11.5-foot model as it has an anchor point in each corner.

 
Floating Oasis Pad

Floating Oasis Pad

15-Foot Pad with Funky Designs

The Floating Oasis is a great mid-sized pad that’s large enough for family use but not too unwieldy. The pretty designs mean your mat will stand out from the crowd!

 
iFloats Water Pad

iFloats Water Pad

Large Mat with Fun Accessories

iFloat’s water pads come in 7 lengths, from 12–100 feet, and you can even convert the mat to a water ski platform!

Best Floating Water Mats Reviewed

1) iRocker Floating Swim Mat – Best Floating Water Mat

irocker swim mat

The iRocker Floating Swim Mat is the best water mat I’ve found. It’s not the biggest, but it has a fantastic size-to-capacity ratio, with a maximum capacity of 1,102 pounds. That makes it a great option for heavier folk.

At 12-feet, the mat is plenty big enough for most families. Remember, bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to storing and transporting your mat.

Two other things set this floating foam mat apart from the rest. Most foam mats come with a single tether point, but the iRocker has four loops—one on each corner—that you can use to tie the mat down.

This means you can anchor it firmly in place without it drifting, and you don’t have to worry about the wind flipping over the edges of the mat. The loops also make it easy to move the mat around.

The foam seems denser than other mats, and I reckon it’ll stand up to rocks, punctures, and other abuse better than most. Its durability is backed by a 2-year warranty—the longest of any mat on this list. I’ve been a fan of iRocker’s SUPs for years and I really rate them as a company.

Get the iRocker mat in blue or lime green.

What I Like
  • High weight capacity: The 1,102-pound capacity makes this a great mat for families of all shapes and sizes.
  • 4 tether points: Use the corner loops to anchor the mat in place and prevent it from flipping in the wind.
  • Hard, durable foam: The triple-layered foam is thin but durable. You can drag it over a rocky beach without damaging it.
  • 2-year warranty: The best warranty of any mat I’ve found.
What I Don’t Like
  • Doesn’t come with a tether: You’ll have to buy a rope to tie it down.

Check Price of the iRocker Swim Mat

2) Rubber Dockie Floating Mat

rubber dockie mat

The Rubber Dockie comes in two lengths: the 9-foot version weighs 16 pounds and the 18-foot version weighs 30 pounds.

Despite its name, the Rubber Dockie is not made of rubber. Like many floating water mats, it’s constructed from two layers of closed-cell foam. It also has a nylon inner rebar matrix. That sounds pretty fancy! Put simply, it means that if you puncture or rip your mat, the tear shouldn’t propagate through the mat. This makes it more durable than other water mats.

The mat has a reversible design. I love the bright orange color—it means you’ll stand out on the water. That’s important for safety if there are boats or other water users and it means you can easily keep an eye on your kids from dry land.

It’s a good firm mat that doesn’t crumple when you jump onto it. I recommend the 18-foot version for large families who want something bigger than the iRocker.

What I Like
  • Scratch-resistant: The Tuff Hide treatment protects the mat from scrapes and scratches. Good news if you have dogs on board!
  • High-visibility color: Green isn’t the best color for lakes but flip the mat over so the orange side faces up and you’ll have no trouble spotting it.
  • Tear-resistant: Rubber Dockie’s tear-stop technology prevents punctures from ripping the mat apart.
  • Great customer support: You get a 1-year warranty and Rubber Dockie is quick to respond and deal with any issues you may have.
What I Don’t Like
  • Single tether point: You can’t secure both ends of the mat, but fortunately, it’s not as prone to rolling up as other pads.
  • Color fades quickly: If left in the sun, the orange color fades to yellow.

Check Price of the Rubber Dockie Mat

3) Wow World of Watersports Inflatable Walkway – Best Inflatable Floating Water Mat

wow walkway

If you want an inflatable floating water mat, the WOW Water Walkway is my top pick. The basic mat measures 10 x 6 feet (there’s also a smaller 6 x 6 feet version), but the unique thing about these mats is that they have a zipper connection, so you can join them together.

That means your floating island can be 10 feet long or 100 feet—it’s up to you!

A foam mat supports your weight at or just below the water level. The WOW inflatable mat lifts you up slightly, so you lounge on top of the water. This makes it a better choice if you want to stay (mostly) dry, for example, if you’re creating a walkway between two docks or boats. If you want to stay cool, then push the edge of the mat down to let some water on. 

The pad is constructed from heavy-duty PVC and many users have taken their dogs on it without any issues (not having a furry friend to hand, I haven’t personally tested this). That said, like any inflatable, there’s a risk of puncturing the plastic or seams leaking.

The WOW mat packs down small and is less than half the price of most foam mats.

What I Like
  • You can zip mats together: Make your floating island as big as you want!
  • Stable enough to walk on: The WOW mat is firm enough to walk across. Its buoyancy keeps you floating on the water rather than in the water.
  • Two tie-down points: There’s one grommet at each end of the mat to attach it to a boat or dock.
  • Packs down small: This is a great mat if you’re short on storage space or room in the trunk of your car. 
What I Don’t Like
  • Garish design: This is more of a personal preference, but I’m not a fan of the huge “WOW” logo on the mats.

Check Price of the WOW Walkway

4) Intex Giant Inflatable Floating Mat

intex inflatable mat

The Intex is the mat I’d take on vacation. It packs down smaller than a foam mat and it’s cheap enough that you won’t be too distraught if it doesn’t make it home.

It’s so cheap that you might overlook it when shopping thinking that it’s too good to be true. While it’s not perfect, you do get a lot for your money.

The Intex floating mat is 9.5 feet long and 7 feet wide (deflated). Inflated, it’s slightly shorter, but there’s still plenty of room for three adults. It has a capacity of up to 600 pounds and you can use the connectors at each corner of the mat to join mats together. The connectors also double as anchor points.

The downsides are you don’t get a real warranty (just Amazon’s 30-day return window) and by all accounts, the customer service is pretty poor. Still, you can buy a lot of these mats for the price of a foam mat, so you may decide the risk is worth it!

What I Like
  • Great for vacations: The Intex mat is relatively compact and lightweight, so it’s handy for traveling.
  • Cheap to buy: This is a great budget buy, though it may not last you as long as other mats.
  • Four connector/anchor points: The connectors don’t join mats as securely as the zips on the WOW mats, but I like that they can be used to anchor the mat.
What I Don’t Like
  • Poor customer service: If you get a puncture or have any other issues with the mat, be prepared to deal with them yourself!

Check Price of the Intex Inflatable Mat

5) SOWKT Premium Floating Mat for Lakes and Pools

sowkt mat

The SOWKT is a big mat with a huge 1,320-pound capacity. It can easily handle 7-8 adults lying down, though you do need to make sure you distribute the weight evenly. Given its size (18 feet) and capacity, it’s surprisingly light, weighing just 28 pounds.

The mat is constructed from three layers of XPE foam with an inner “net” that, along with the heat sealing, helps prevent tears. That said, I don’t think it’s as durable as the iRocker or Rubber Dockie mats.

You get a choice of 4 designs, all with bright colors. The mat comes with a bungee tether leash and a heavy-duty carabiner for securing it to a dock or boat.

What I Like
  • Large capacity: There’s plenty of room for your entire family—and their friends!
  • Relatively lightweight: The SOWKT weighs less than other mats of a similar size.
  • Choice of colors: Choose from 4 different color combinations.  
What I Don’t Like
  • Questionable durability: This mat seems less resistant to wear and tear than my first two picks.

Check Price of the SOWKT Mat

6) Aqua Lily Pad

aqua lily pad

The Aqua Lily Pad comes in four sizes, from 12 feet up to 20 feet. The weight and capacity vary accordingly, but for comparison, the 18-foot version weighs 36 pounds and has a capacity of up to 1,500 pounds.

Overall, the Lily Pads are a bit heavier than other models, but they have a high weight capacity.

The mats are constructed from cross-linked polyethylene foam. The FlexCore technology adds strength and is supposed to help the foam flatten out when you unroll it. It’s a durable mat, but the ends do curl up a little when you unroll it. You can’t do much about this as there’s only one tether point.

The Lily Pad has a UV stabilized film that protects the foam from sun damage and fading. This means the colors won’t fade as fast and it’ll last longer in hot, sunny climates. 

It’s not the cheapest mat, but if you spend a lot of time on the water and want a pad that’ll last more than a summer or two, I’d recommend the Aqua Lily Pad.

What I Like
  • Durable and long-lasting: Many floating water mats only last a season or two, but the Aqua Lily Pad has proven longevity.
  • UV protection: The Lily Pad’s colors won’t fade as quickly as other mats.
  • Good range of sizes: The 12-foot mat will suit most families, but the 20-foot mat is great for parties!
What I Don’t Like
  • Expensive: The Lily Pad is one of the more expensive floating water mats, but it’s also one of the most durable.
  • No choice of colors: The design of the Lily Pad is pretty, but it only comes in yellow and green.

Check Price of the Aqua Lily Pad

7) Max4out Water Floating Mat

max4out mat

If you’re put off by the prices of most foam water mats, then Max4out’s range of pads may catch your eye. They’re a lot more affordable than mats such as the Aqua Lily Pad. You get a choice of three sizes (9, 12, or 18 feet) and they’re very lightweight.

The mats are constructed from three layers of XPE foam. This stands up reasonably well to light use, but it’s not as durable as other mats. If you start jumping around it, you may find your foot goes straight through the foam.

On the 9-foot version of the mat, you can roll the end over to create a pillow for your head. I love this feature as it makes it more comfortable to lie flat on your back. If I was buying a floating foam mat just for me, this is the one I’d go for!

Overall, the Max4out mat is an affordable mat for couples or small families who won’t give it too much abuse. If you want a larger mat that can handle kids (and adults!) bouncing around, or you want to take your dog out on the water, I’d choose a more expensive, durable mat. 

What I Like
  • Optional headrest: The 9-foot mat has a rolled headrest—perfect for snoozing in the sun!
  • Lightweight: These mats are some of the lightest I’ve come across, so they’re easy to transport and not cumbersome to carry to the water.
  • Reasonably priced: The Max4out mats are cheap for foam mats. If you take care of it, it co
What I Don’t Like
  • Prone to damage: This mat is easier to puncture and tear than others. If your kids want something to jump on, you may need a more durable mat.
  • Hard to return: Some users have reported difficulties returning the mat, including being asked to pay postage back to China.

Check Price of the Max4out Mat

8) Goplus Floating Water Pad

goplus water pad

At first glance, the Goplus floating water mat looks very similar to the Max4out pad. They’re both lightweight and made from 3 layers of XPE foam, however, the GoPlus is more expensive.

Is it worth the extra money? I do think the Goplus is a better mat. I particularly like the 11.5-foot version, as it’s a bright orange color (good for visibility) and comes with 4 tie-down points. As long as you have something to tie it to, this keeps the ends of the mat from curling up.

Of course, you may prefer to let the mat float freely, in which case this feature may not be worth the extra money!

In terms of durability, the Goplus fares a little better than the Max4out pads, though I would still recommend treating the mats more gently than a Lily Pad or iRocker mat. However, the Goplus mats do come with a warranty, so it may be easier to resolve any issues you have with the mat.

What I Like
  • Four tether points: I like that you have the option to tie down all four corners of the mat. Unfortunately, the 18-foot version only has a single tether point.
  • Bright colors: The 11.5-foot mat is bright orange and the 18-foot pad has a pink side and a blue side, so you’ll easily be able to spot your mat on the water.
  • Easy to roll up: Unlike some mats, the Goplus is easy to roll up and secure with the provided straps.
What I Don’t Like
  • Pricey for the quality: It feels like you’re paying a high price for an average quality mat. If you want a 12-foot mat, I’d go for the iRocker instead!
  • Ends tend to curl up: You may need to roll the ends back after unrolling the mat to straighten them out.

Check Price of the Goplus Floating Water Pad

9) Floating Oasis Lake Pad

floating oasis pad

The Floating Oasis Lake Pad measures 15 x 6 feet, so it falls between the 12-foot and 18-foot mats offered by other companies. I really like this size of pad. It gives plenty of room for a family or larger group of kids, but it’s less unwieldy than an 18-foot mat.

It also has a huge capacity of over 1,500 pounds—that’s more than a lot of 18-foot mats!

Perhaps the best thing about the Floating Oasis pad is the designs. In addition to plain colors, you can choose from a multi-colored wave (my favorite!), botanical leaf, or football touchdown line design!

The downsides are that it’s expensive and the quality isn’t amazing. It’s easily scratched, so I wouldn’t advise taking dogs out on it, and lots of people have had problems with the tether carabiner breaking. This is a pretty easy fix though, so it may not be a deal-breaker for you.

What I Like
  • Huge capacity: You’ll be able to fit all the family on without sinking this mat.
  • Nice designs: Get a beautiful mat that’ll stand out on the lake.
  • Easy to buy replacement accessories: If your bungee, D-rings, or straps break, you can buy replacements rather than having to return the mat.
What I Don’t Like
  • Easily scratched: The surface of the mat gets easily beaten up, so keep sharp objects away! 
  • Poor-quality tether system: Some users have found the carabiner clip on the bungee tether breaks. I’d suggest replacing this with a sturdier carabiner.

Check Price of the Floating Oasis Lake Pad

10) iFloats Floating Water Pad

ifloats water pad

If you want a huge mat, iFloats is the brand for you. They offer 7 lengths of mat, from 12 feet up to 100 feet. The bigger mats will be impractical for most families but might suit a commercial enterprise.

The bungee lanyard is one of the better tethering systems I’ve seen. It stretches from 7–18 feet and attaches to the mat using a metal D-ring.

You can also convert the mat to a platform for water skiing with the add-on towing system. I have to admit, I haven’t tried it, but it looks fun! If you prefer more laid-back activities, then the iPong floats may be right up your alley.

While you get a good choice of sizes, unfortunately, there are no color options, so if you want this mat, you better like blue and pink! I’ve also come across quite a few reports of poor customer service and the mat doesn’t seem to have a warranty. 

What I Like
  • 7 sizes: With mats from 12 feet to 100 feet, you can’t complain about 
  • Unique accessories: Convert your float to a water ski platform or set it up for a game of beer pong with iFloat’s custom accessories.
  • Extendable bungee tether: The iFloat’s bungee lanyard extends from 7–18 feet.
What I Don’t Like
  • No color choices: You can have blue and pink… Or blue and pink.
  • Poor customer service: Hopefully, it shouldn’t be an issue, but if you do have problems with your mat, you may struggle to get your money back.

Check Price of the iFloats Water Pad

What to Consider When Buying a Floating Water Mat

As you can see from this comprehensive list of floating water mats and pads – the products available are more diverse than one might assume. There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when making a decision about what to purchase.

If you want to do your own research, here’s what you need to look at when buying a floating mat.

Foam vs. Inflatable Water Mat

The first decision you need to make is whether you want a foam or inflatable mat.

Closed-cell foam mats don’t need to be inflated. They’re quick and easy to get out—simply unroll your mat and you’re good to go. They also can’t be punctured, which may be an important safety consideration if you have kids or dogs around.

However, foam mats are pretty big and heavy once they’re rolled up. Imagine lugging a roll of carpet from your car to the beach—that gives you an idea of what you’re tackling!

Inflatable mats typically pack down smaller. This makes them easier to transport and store. The downside is that you’ll need a pump to inflate your mat. Once you’re done for the day, you’ll need to deflate your mat and make sure it’s dry before you pack it away.

When it comes to cost, foam mats are more expensive. However, they’re also a lot more durable, so if you calculate the cost per year of use, it may not seem such a bad deal!

Which would I choose?

I’d go for a foam mat unless I wanted something light and compact to take on vacation.

What Size Floating Water Mat Do You Need?

This depends on how many people want to pile on board. Larger mats have a bigger weight capacity but they’re more expensive and more cumbersome to transport.

There are two things you need to know about the weight capacity of floating water mats.

Firstly, the maximum capacity is based on the weight being distributed evenly across the surface. That means most adults will need to lie down. Unlike inflatable floating docks, water mats are flexible. If you weigh 200 pounds and you jump on the center of the mat, it’ll dip under the water. 

Secondly, most mats aren’t designed to keep you dry. They will keep you afloat, but depending on the weight distribution and capacity, you’ll either get a bit wet or very wet. That’s why they’re perfect for hot summer days!

If you’re really reluctant to get wet, then the WOW inflatable mat does sit higher in the water, so you have a better chance of staying dry.

What Features Do You Need?

At a minimum, you need an attachment point for a leash to tether your mat to a boat, dock, or anchor. Some mats have tie-down points at each end or all four corners. These can help prevent the mat from floating around and are useful if it’s windy, as they keep the edges from blowing up in the wind.

You want to make sure the attachment points are secure and won’t rip the foam if tugged. A bungee leash gives you more flexibility and helps absorb any sudden tugs, which can protect the foam.

UV protection should be a priority for foam mats if you live in a hot, sunny climate and want your mast to last. A non-slip coating on the surface of the mat can make it easier for kids to run around without slipping, but it may make the mat less comfortable to lie on. 

If you’re buying an inflatable mat, I’d recommend investing in an electric pump so you can quickly inflate it with minimal effort.

Cleaning and Storing Your Water Mat

Floating water mats don’t require much maintenance. The main thing you need to watch out for is mildew and mold. To protect your mat, don’t leave it out in the water for extended periods (such as overnight) and make sure it’s completely dry before you roll it up and store it. 

If your mat gets dirty, just wash the dirt off. I wouldn’t recommend using any harsh chemicals on your mat, but you can use a light soap if needed. 

FAQs

Why are floating mats so expensive?

This depends on what you might define as ‘expensive’ – but for what they are, floating mats can seem pricey, because of what they are designed for. Closed-cell mats tend to be more expensive than inflatable mats. Although the design is simple, mats use a lot of material and they have significant transport costs.

How do you secure a floating water mat?

Floating mats come with one or more tether points. You can secure your water mat by tying one end of a rope or bungee lanyard to the tether point and the other end to a dock, boat, or anchor.

Where can I use my floating water mat?

You can use floating water mats in large pools, lakes, or on calm seas. It’s not recommended that you use a floating water mat or pad in water with a current or waves. They are designed for leisure, so calm water is a must.

Conclusion

I hope you found this round-up and buyer’s guide useful! I think the biggest risk you take when buying a floating water mat is longevity—many mats only last a couple of months. That’s why I recommend the iRocker Swim Mat. It’s reasonably priced, has all the features you need, and comes with a 2-year warranty.

If you want a bigger mat, I really like the look of the Rubber Dockie. For traveling, an inflatable floating mat may suit you better.

Now, get out and enjoy the water!

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