15 Cool Pool Floats to Try Out This Summer

Amazon/iStock
Amazon/iStock

Now that it’s finally getting hot out, it’s time to hit the water. Relax in style with one of these amazing pool floats.

1. Ice Pop; $30

A girl stands next to a pool float shaped like a popsicle

Big Mouth Inc, Amazon

What’s better for summer than a pool float shaped like an iconic tri-colored ice pop? Unlike the edible kind, these inflatable pops are 6 feet tall and perfect for even most adults to enjoy.

Find it: Amazon

2. Gumball Machine; $25

A woman stands next to a pool float shaped like a gumball machine

Big Mouth Inc, Amazon

This giant gumball machine is 5 feet tall and comes with a ring in the center to sit in. The bottom part of the machine is perfect for resting feet. The “glass” part is clear plastic to mimic the real thing.

Find it: Amazon

3. Unicorn; $31

A woman sits on a giant inflatable unicorn pool float at the beach.

Jasonwell, Amazon

This 9.5-foot-long unicorn floatie is definitely the most magical thing you can add to your pool. This gigantic creature can hold over 400 pounds and comfortably sits two people. There are handles on the neck, so yes, you can totally live out your dreams of riding a unicorn.

Find it: Amazon

4. Gummy Bear; $38

A pool float shaped like a red gummy bear

Swim Central, Amazon

For a sweet time in the pool, grab one of these large gummy bears to relax in. The sugary float stands at 5 feet tall.

Find it: Amazon

5. Doughnut; $19

A pool float shaped like a pink doughnut with a bite taken out of it

Big Mouth Inc, Amazon

If you’re looking for a dessert-oriented floatie, try out one of these doughnut inner tubes that come in strawberry and chocolate (pink and brown). The sprinkled doughnuts are 4 feet wide and made with durable vinyl. Despite being pretty tough, it comes with a patch kit just in case you hit a snag on the lazy river.

Find it: Amazon

6. Patriotic Bald Eagle; $13

A pool float shaped like an eagle with the American flag on its back

Swimline, Amazon

Ride around the pool in style at your next Fourth of July barbecue with this extremely patriotic float. It’s shaped like a bald eagle with an American flag across the back, perfect for celebrating the United States. The durable PVC material allows for use in a pool, lake, or ocean. It’s 8 feet across so two adults to sit on it without being too squished together.

Find it: Amazon

7. Toucan; $50

A woman in a pool on a toucan-shaped pool float

CoTa Global, Amazon

Turn your pool into a tropical rainforest with a toucan pool toy. The floatie comes with a head, wings, and tail. The neck has handles to hold onto when riding the float around in the water. Despite the dark color of the floatie, it stays cool in the sun thanks to its vinyl exterior.

Find it: Amazon

8. Pizza; $34

Friends on interlinked pizza slice-shaped pool floats

Swimline, Amazon

Ever want to cuddle up with a piece of pizza but without the grease stains? This pizza pool float can make that a reality. It’s 6 feet long, meaning most adults can lay on it comfortably. For a real pool pizza party, there are bungee connectors on the sides to connect the slice to other slices—you can even form a whole pie with eight of your friends.

Find it: Amazon

9. Everything Bagel; $15

A pool float shaped like an everything bagel

Swimline, Amazon

For more New York food fare, check out this everything bagel. Just like the doughnut, the bagel is the perfect shape to be transformed into an innertube. The delicious looking floatie comes with a bungee connector so you can hook up with another bagel lover while floating around.

Find it: Amazon

10. Dinosaur; $20

Kids on a dinosaur-shaped pool float

Swimline, Amazon

The young (and young at heart) will love this intimidating-looking, 6.5-foot-long T.rex that stalks pools, lakes, and rivers. It even comes with some tiny arms that wobble as you move around.

Find it: Amazon

11. Flamingo Cup Holders; 16 for $15

Three flamingo-shaped inflatable cup holders

Home Kitty, Amazon

If your float doesn’t come with a cup holder, your drink is going to need a float of its own. These floating coasters look like pink flamingos, making them perfect for pool parties and luaus. For added fun, you can get a big matching flamingo to ride.

Find it: Amazon

12. Pirate Island; $97

A pirate fort-shaped pool float

Swimline, Amazon

Reenact your wildest pirate dreams with this inflatable fortress. To enter, there’s a a swim-through ring in the center and a working drawbridge. To protect the float from enemy pirates, there are also three inflatable swords and shields included in the box.

Find it: Amazon

13. Serpent; $26

A pool float shaped like a coiled serpent

Swimline, Amazon

This fun spiral-shaped float looks just like a sea serpent. The two-toned toy has a head on either side for double the fun. It stands just under 4 feet tall, making it a good size for children to enjoy.

Find it: Amazon

14. Heart-Eyed Emoji; $20

Text your friends (with a waterproof case, hopefully) on this 5-foot-wide emoji-shaped float toy. The heart-eyed face is the perfect symbol to show your love for the summer.

Find it: Walmart or Overstock.com

15. Sloth, Teddy Bear, and Panda; $35

People relax in pool floats shaped like a panda, a sloth, and a teddy bear

Swimways, Amazon

Relax in the embrace of your favorite animals with these cute Huggables floaties, which come in the shape of a teddy bear, a sloth (our personal favorite), and a panda. Each oversized lounger is just over 4 feet long and features a handy cup holder in the moveable arm.

Find it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

A version of this article first ran in 2016. It has been updated to reflect current availability as of May 2019.

"World's Largest Puzzle" From Kodak Is 28 Feet Long With 51,300 Pieces

Kodak, Amazon
Kodak, Amazon

After more than a month in quarantine, you may start to find that the jigsaw puzzles in your house don't quite meet your needs now that you have a seemingly unlimited amount of time to spend inside. But as Insider reports, this 51,300-piece jigsaw puzzle from Kodak might fit the bill.

At 28.5-feet wide and 6 feet tall, the "world's largest puzzle," as Kodak calls it, requires its own decent-sized room. Instead of one scene, it consists of 27 distinct photographs of landmarks from around the world, including the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal. The 27 components are individually packaged as 1900-piece puzzles, so you can focus on one image at time before stitching them together.

"World's Largest Puzzle" from Kodak.
Kodak, Amazon

According to the photography company, "Each photo was initially taken by a professional photographer, then digitally enhanced and printed in high quality. You'll see the quality in every piece."

There are many puzzles out there that go beyond the classic format. You can find clear puzzles, solid-color puzzles, and edgeless puzzles that will tease your brain for hours. But if you're looking for something to eat up all the extra time you have at home, this 51,300-piece behemoth definitely can't be finished in an afternoon. You can purchase it for $410 on Amazon, but supplies are low. If you want a somewhat comparable 40,000-plus piece Disney puzzle to try your hand at, this one is in stock.

[h/t Insider]

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

9 Surprising Things You Can Make in Your Instant Pot

There might be fresh bread in there. Or wine.
There might be fresh bread in there. Or wine.
Instant Pot, YouTube

For years now, Instant Pot enthusiasts have been spreading the word about the magical kitchen appliance that seems to be able to cook just about anything. If you’ve mainly been using yours for stews, soups, and other traditional pot-related meals, there’s no time like the present to branch out into uncharted territory. From fresh bread to DIY lip balm, here are nine surprising things that you can make right in your Instant Pot ($79).

1. Bread

Everyone seems to be jumping on the bread-baking bandwagon these days, but many have yet to discover the wonders of making it in an Instant Pot. This recipe on the I Don’t Have Time For That! blog calls for just five ingredients—water, yeast, flour, sugar, and salt—and you’ll also need a 6- to 8-inch cake pan (as well as an Instant Pot large enough to fit a cake pan of that size). From start to finish, the process takes about three hours—two to let the dough rise, 45 minutes to bake, and 15 minutes for the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure—but you can cut the rise time to 45 minutes if your pot has a “yogurt” setting. No yeast? Find out how to grow your own sourdough starter here, as long as you have lots of flour and a little patience.

2. Jam

Since you’ll need something delicious to spread on your fresh bread, here’s Tastes Better From Scratch’s recipe for strawberry jam, which requires strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, corn starch, and water. If your jam looks like runny soup before you pour the cornstarch in, don’t worry—it’s supposed to. And if you’re trying to satisfy your sweet tooth without indulging in too much processed sugar, here’s a similar recipe for blueberry jam with directions for substituting honey instead.

3. Dog food

Meal-prepping for your fluffy best friend is as easy as tossing all the ingredients in your pot, cooking for a little over an hour, and ladling the stew into containers. You can, of course, come up with your own recipes based on what you have in your pantry and what nutrition your dog needs in its diet, but feel free to try this chicken-and-vegetable mixture from Rover.com.

4. Vanilla Extract

Normally, making your own vanilla extract entails soaking vanilla beans in vodka for weeks—if not months—but your magical pressure cooker can accomplish the same thing in less than an hour. For this classic recipe from Tidbits, all you’ll need are vanilla beans, vodka, and a Mason jar. It will smell pretty strongly of alcohol right when it’s finished, but that will gradually lessen as it ages, and the vanilla aroma will get stronger.

5. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Boiling eggs on the stove is rarely as straightforward as it seems, but your Instant Pot can make it an exact science. With the 5-5-5 method, as seen in the video above, you cook on high pressure for five minutes, let your Instant Pot naturally release for five minutes, and then give your eggs a five-minute ice bath. If you’re partial to soft-boiled eggs, here’s a recipe for those from A Mind “Full” Mom.

6. Wine

While concocting wine in an Instant Pot definitely takes some time, it’s a lot quicker than founding a winery—and you’ll still get the satisfaction of having turned water into wine, so to speak. This recipe calls for grape juice, sugar, and wine yeast (as The Manual explains, you can technically use regular yeast, but the alcohol content and flavor of your wine will be pretty subpar). It will take 48 hours to cook and at least 10 days to finish the fermentation process. After that, be sure to raise a glass to your incredible Instant Pot.

7. Lip balm

Making your own lip balm gives you the opportunity to customize it with essential oils, vitamin drops, and flavors of your choice, and making it in an Instant Pot turns it into a kid-friendly DIY project that doesn’t involve a child standing on a chair near the stove. The Awe Filled Homemaker blog, run by a licensed cosmetologist, uses beeswax, mango butter, coconut oil, and more in this recipe.

8. Cheesecake

For anyone who has (or is willing to purchase) a 7-inch spring-form pan, Amy in the Kitchen’s Instant Pot cheesecake could be your new go-to crowd-pleaser. To prevent lumps in your filling, make sure you let your ingredients warm to room temperature before you start mixing them, and to prevent cracks, avoid over-mixing. If the center still looks jiggly after it’s cooled on the counter, you’ve done it right—it’ll solidify more once it’s been refrigerated.

9. Humidity

There’s a reason (or rather, reasons) why humidifiers have been a mainstay product on the market for years—a little humid air goes a long way for people with dry skin, allergies, congestion, and more. (And even if you don’t have a chronic issue, a humidifier can help you breathe and ease your dry cough if you happen to catch a cold or other respiratory virus).

According to Ginger Casa, you can use your Instant Pot to add humidity to the air by heating water on the “sauté” setting and then flipping it to “warm” for a while. Just don’t leave it unattended, and make sure you don’t let the water level drop beneath about halfway full, to be safe. If you like the humidifying effect and want to invest in something a little more self-sufficient, check out this humidifier from Amazon—it costs $70, lasts for 50 hours, shuts off automatically when it runs out of water, and even includes a tray for essential oils.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

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