Top Swim Aids for Adults and Children

Top Swim Aids for Adults and Children

Swim aids come in all types. They can be used for swim lessons, water safety, or recreation, depending on your need. It doesn’t matter if you want to help your child learn to swim, if you’re a person with disabilities who needs a little extra support in the water, or if you want to float over reefs while snorkeling—there’s a swim aid for you.
All swimmers need a little help with flotation from time to time. So we created a short guide to the benefits and drawbacks of the top swim aids for adults and children.


Armbands (or arm floaties) are mostly intended for children in the pool (though some armbands are made for adults). The bands fit around a child’s upper arm to keep their upper body above the water. Bands can be either inflatable plastic or buoyant foam material. They support the body above water; however, they aren’t great for swimming.

arm floaties
  • Inexpensive
  • Provides varying degrees of flotation
  • Doesn’t allow for natural movement when swimming
  • Armbands can fall off or deflate
  • Not recommended for the open water
  • Questionable reliability 


Belts are swim aids for adults and children who want to improve their swimming technique in the pool. The belt fits snugly around your waist and supports your torso with two to four blocks of plastic foam, which can be removed or added as you determine your buoyancy needs. There are also solid belts, but these are not adjustable. 

float belt

  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Adjustable
  • Inexpensive
  • Doesn’t insulate the body from cold water
  • Can be difficult to use in the open water, such as the ocean
  • A tricky center of gravity, if the wearer is unconscious could end up face down

Flotation wetsuits

Flotation wetsuits are a swim aid for adults and children that can be used in the pool or open water for all recreational water activities. Designed like a regular wetsuit, the flotation wetsuit (or flotation swimsuit) is manufactured with additional buoyant material sewn into the chest area to create extra flotation. Like regular wetsuits, they come in spring suits and full suits.

Airtime Watertime Floater wetsuit

  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Helps you float effortlessly
  • Provides confidence and mobility for all swimmers
  • Provides warmth so you can stay out in the water longer
  • You can swim farther with half as much energy
  • Amount of flotation is not adjustable
  • More expensive than an armband, belt or noodle (price comparable to a wetsuit)


Noodles are long tubes of colored polyethylene foam used for flotation support for adults and children. Most noodles can support between 100-300 pounds of weight. Noodles can be used for swim lessons or snorkeling above reefs.


  • Inexpensive
  • Allows freedom of movement
  • Able to support all sizes from kids to adults
  • Can easily get lost in open water conditions
  • Provides a false sense of security, and can slip away since it is not worn by a swimmer
  • The plastic from the noodles can break off and remain in the ocean

Read More Here