Swimming Arm Floaties

Swimming Arm Floaties

The pool can be a very scary place for a parent with young children. A parent overlooking young children with limited swimming abilities can be a daunting task. Swimming arm floaties are a great tool to place on a young child in order to keep them above the water while still maintaining supervision.

What are arm floaties used for?

Swimming arm floaties are a great way to help a child or new swimmer become acclimated in the pool. These are designed to help a new swimmer float in the water safely. Many children are afraid to get in the water and once they do, they hold onto a parent or a skilled swimmer's arms which prevents them from gaining any confidence. Arm floaties are designed to help bridge the gap to becoming a proficient swimmer by giving a child confidence to swim on their own while staying safe above the water.

Floaties can be inflated and placed on each of the child’s arms. Arm floaties are also made out of foam with a chest attachment that looks a bit like a lifejacket. These are not a replacement for a lifejacket, especially when in a lake or the ocean. It isn’t always easy to keep an eye on all of the kids in a busy pool, so the floaties give an extra layer of security for a parent.

Things To Consider

When looking for arm floaties, you'll want to consider the following:

  • What are you going to be using the arm floaties for?
  • How experienced are you at swimming?
  • What size arm floaties do you need?
  • How much money do you have to spend on arm floaties?


Flotation devices for children and adults learning to swim can be worn on their arms, as well as detached from the body with the use of a noodle.


Armbands are a very common way to acclimate a new swimmer to the pool. Inflatable armbands typically come separately with one for each arm and need to be manually blown up before use. Armbands are also made in larger sizes for adults that are learning how to swim.

Chest Vests

Chest vests feature two armbands that are connected at the chest and resemble more of a lifejacket. These are typically made out of polyester and foam. Chest vests are generally only offered in youth sizes.



Pool noodles are not worn but are still used to help a person float on the water. Pool noodles should not be used by young children who do not know how to swim, but rather by a more experienced swimmer who wants to hang out in the deep end of the pool. Noodles are commonly made of foam, while more advanced noodles are made out of vinyl and can withstand more weight.


PVC and polyester are the most popular materials used to make swimming arm floaties due to the durability and floating abilities that they possess.

  • Polyester: Polyester is a popular material that is used for both armbands and chest vests. Polyester is a durable material and can also serve as an extra layer over the PVC armband to help with gash resistance.
  • PVC: PVC is also a very common arm band material and requires to be blown up before use. These are very durable, but when they come in contact with sharp edges a hole can form which damages the floaty.


There are lots of different swim brands that produce arm floaties, and these three companies all have their own design that makes each brand unique.

  • TYR: TYR makes polyester floaties as well as PVC floaties. They are sold in a set of two, one for each arm. They need to be blown up with air and come in bright colors to help parents keep an eye out for their children.
  • Puddle Jumper: Puddle Jumper produces arm floaties with a chest attachment to ensure that the floaties cannot fall off in the water. They come in lots of different designs to make swimming fun and safe for children.
  • Speedo: Speedo is one of the leaders in all swim gear. They produce high-quality arm floaties made out of polyester with cool designs to look stylish while learning how to swim.


When purchasing arm floaties, be sure to purchase the proper size as well as understand that they are relatively inexpensive and should last the duration of the time that it takes to learn how to swim.


Swim arm floaties are made of polyester and PVC. These are very durable and strong materials. As long as they are kept away from sharp objects that can puncture the floaties, they will last the duration of time it should take for the user to learn to swim. If the floaties are deflated after every use, this should help prevent any chance of them being punctured.


Swim floaties are inexpensive and affordable for anyone trying to learn how to swim. The prices range from $5-$20. The PVC based floaties tend to be a little less expensive than the polyester floaties. The chest vests with the arm floaties are a little more expensive and tend to range from around $20-$30.


Most arm floaties are designed for toddlers and children, but there are arm floaties designed for adults as well. The sizes are based on age and a common size is for kids aged 3-6. The chest vests are sold based on a child’s weight. The sizes are designed for a toddler who is 20-30 pounds and a young child who is 30-50 pounds.


Can arm floaties be a substitute for a life jacket?

Arm floaties are not a substitute for a life jacket. Arm floaties are supposed to help someone who is learning how to swim. They can help individuals become comfortable swimming on their own by preventing them from drowning. Floaties should not be used without adult supervision and also should not be used in a lake or ocean. Arm floaties are a great way to help timid swimmers become comfortable in the pool and learn how to kick and use their arms. They do not substitute a life jacket which should be used when in a lake or ocean.

How much do arm floaties cost?

Most arm floaties are very reasonably priced and are affordable for anyone looking to help teach someone how to swim. The arm band floaties range from $5-$20 depending on the brand. As long as they are kept away from sharp objects, they should be able to last until the user learns how to swim, so this is most likely a one time purchase. Chest vests that come with arm floaties attached are a little more pricey as they range from $20-$30.

What are the types of arm floaties?

There are two distinct types of arm floaties. The first type is the PVC or polyester-based individual armbands. These must be blown up and they should be worn on both arms. The other type of arm floaties come with a chest attachment. These look a bit more like a life vest or chest vest and are made out of polyester and filled with foam to help with flotation. The advantage of the chest vest is since there is a buckle in the back, it won’t slip off of the body like the armbands can.