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Published Sep. 28, 2021

If there’s one thing a parent knows, it’s that most toddlers love to play in water. Investing in a well-designed and protective toddler swimsuit ensures water-based activities are fun and safe.

Toddler swimsuits are made of a lightweight material. Unlike other types of clothing, when swimsuits become wet, they don’t weigh down the toddler, and they dry quickly. Swimsuits are designed for wet activities, such as the pool, the beach, running through a sprinkler or water park, and more. Toddler swimsuits tend to err on the side of more coverage rather than less. Little ones’ skin is much more delicate than older kids’ and adults’, which is why toddler swimsuits usually come with sleeves (either long or short).

There are a variety of styles to choose from, either one-piece or two-piece for both girls and boys. Children’s swimwear may come with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating, which illustrates its effectiveness at protecting skin from UV rays. 

We’ve done the research and selected the best toddler swimsuits. Continue reading to see our picks and why we chose them. 

How We Picked the Products

Methodology

Though toddlers fit in the same swimsuit for only a year, maybe two, choosing a quality swimsuit is always worth the money. As a parent of a toddler myself, I know the frustration that comes with poorly manufactured children’s clothing. In my research and recommendations, I’ve selected products that I would feel good about having my little one wear to the beach or pool. I focused on:

  • UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor): As toddler swimsuits are primarily worn outdoors, I made sure to select suits that offer the best protection available. You will find that all of these picks are UPF 50+, giving children excellent protection from the sun.
  • Visibility: Toddlers are still young enough that you want them within arm’s reach at the beach or pool. However, once mobile, children are quick to exercise their independence, which is why I tried to pick styles that are bright or easily distinguished in a crowd.
  • Value: Since children grow quickly, I looked for suits that aren’t terribly expensive, but still durable. Value is especially important for families with multiple children who wear their older sibling’s hand-me-downs.
  • Comfort: Depending on the outing, a toddler can spend all day in a swimsuit. Finding suits made of fabrics that are soft and dry fast are key contributors in this category.
  • Durability: Active children put a lot of wear into their clothing. Running around, climbing playground equipment, or even sitting on rough surfaces add wear to a garment. The products that made this list should stand up to wear from little explorers and also withstand material breakdowns from chlorinated pools (which can damage inferior fabrics).

The Best Toddler Swimsuits: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall Toddler Girls’ Swimsuit: Simple Joys by Carter’s Girls’ 2-Piece Assorted Rashguard

Swim in Style

Cute, budget-friendly, and sun safe, this suit was our clear first pick for toddler girls. Simple Joys by Carter’s

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Why It Made The Cut: This Simple Joys toddler swimsuit comes from the well-known and trusted Carter’s brand. With affordable quality, strong sun protection, and adorable designs, this is an excellent swimsuit for any toddler girl.

Specs:

  • Made of 83 percent polyester, 17 percent elastane, and 100 percent polyester lining
  • Two-piece suit (top and bottom)
  • UPF rating of 50+

Pros:

  • Easy to pull on
  • Rash-guard design for active play
  • Economical price point
  • Long and short sleeves available

Cons: 

  • Only five designs to choose from

The Simple Joys toddler swimwear line by Carter’s appeals to the parent who likes to pair style with practicality. 

Made from a polyester and elastane blend, this two-piece swimsuit offers a flexible fabric that fits well and moves with your little one. This design does away with zippers and snaps, which may dig into or irritate your child’s skin if the swimwear is poorly constructed. Instead, the brand leans on the fabric’s elasticity, making it easy for parents to pull the top over their child’s head, thanks to a large and flexible neck hole. Other perks about the fabric include:

  • An excellent UPF rating of 50+
  • Quick-drying material that keeps your child from being cold and wet after a swim

The top is a rash-guard swim shirt that keeps your little one safe during athletic endeavors in the sand and surf. Not only practical, the designs are cute and feature small frills on the bottoms. Consumers can choose long or short sleeves (depending on how much skin protection they want) and from five different designs. As these are two-piece swimsuits, the tops and bottoms can be mixed and matched with other swimsuits to offer more beachwear options. 

With sizes up to 5T, Carter’s does a terrific job outlining the fit for each size category. Some babies grow faster than others, so they may not necessarily fit into the size for their age-group. Lastly, the price point of this toddler swimsuit is very affordable, given the quality and design. 

Best Overall Toddler Boys’ Swimsuit: Simple Joys by Carter’s Boys’ Assorted Rashguard Set

Fashionable and Functional

This stylish suit checks all the boxes for toddler boys, including comfort, durability, and UPF. Simple Joys by Carter’s

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Why It Made The Cut: Boys’ swimsuits are often difficult to find, but this suit provides terrific sun protection, full coverage with a top and bottom, and fun designs.

Specs: 

  • The rash guard is made from 83 percent polyester and 17 percent elastane; the shorts are 100 percent polyester
  • UPF rating of 50+
  • Mesh lining and functional draw cord built into the shorts

Pros:

  • Easy to pull on and off
  • Quick-dry fabric
  • Rash guard with color-block design
  • Long- and short-sleeve options

Cons:

  • The darker color patterns don’t pop as much as brighter colors

The market for good-looking and functional clothing is smaller for boys than for girls, making it more difficult for parents to find swimwear and other items for their little guys. We like Simple Joys boys’ swimwear line from Carter’s. The company has been a major American designer of children’s clothing for a long time; the business was founded in 1865. 

This two-piece swimsuit set for boys comes with a rash-guard swim shirt and comfortable shorts, giving parents the option to forgo the top on less sunny days. The top is made of stretchy and flexible polyester and elastane fabric, providing a good fit and making it easy to pull over your child’s head. You can select either a short- or long-sleeve design to provide sufficient sun coverage. Both the shirt and shorts are made of quick-dry fabric, minimizing the time a child spends in a wet swimsuit.

As far as style, these toddler swimsuits use color-blocking cartoon images that are playful and appealing. When it comes to the color palette, these patterns are less vibrant than the girls’ designs, making them blend in a bit easier in busy places like the beach. To make your child more visible, you can add a brightly colored hat that draws the eye. 

Best Unisex: weVSwe Baby Toddler Sun Protection Swimsuit

Unisex Design

This stellar one-piece suit keeps things simple, with gender-neutral design and natural materials. weVSwe

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Why It Made The Cut: This swimsuit is one of the few we came across that are designed for all toddlers, no matter the gender. Not only does it offer strong sun protection, it’s made from recycled materials, meaning it’s a more eco-friendly suit. 

Specs:

  • Made from 80 percent polyester (from recycled bottles) and 20 percent spandex
  • UPF rating of 50+
  • Zipper closure at crotch for easy changing

Pros:

  • Full-body sun coverage
  • Durable, stretchable fabric
  • A true unisex design
  • No zinc or other added chemicals

Cons:

  • Fabric may pill if it’s cleaned incorrectly

This weVSwe full-body toddler swimsuit is a favorite for many reasons. Unlike most products available, it is truly a unisex design, which is to say it’s not frilly and doesn’t feature patterns that adhere to gender stereotypes. The polyester-spandex-blend fabric comes from fiber made from recycled bottles, making the suit more eco-friendly than competitor products. And parents can feel reassured that their child has full-body UPF 50+ protection

The lightweight fabric doesn’t take on as much water, enabling it to dry quickly. It feels soft against your toddler’s skin, and even though it has long sleeves and full legs, it keeps your little one cool in the heat. The spandex in the material gives the suit better stretch and flexibility for improved fit, and it’s an appropriate choice for active toddlers. Unlike other fabrics that use zinc and other chemicals to protect from the sun, this suit offers natural protection simply from the tight weave of the fabric.

The design is also quite impressive, using a half zipper in the front to make changing into or out of the suit fast (even if the suit’s wet). The toddler swimsuit also features a full zipper on the inseam of the legs for quick and efficient diaper changing. 

The manufacturer recommends that these suits be handwashed only in cold water, and they’re not meant for the dryer, either. If a suit accidentally finds its way into a load of laundry, the fabric may start to pill. Swimwear typically has different care instructions than other clothes, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Best Value: UNIFACO Toddler Girls Swimsuit Rashguard Set

Affordable with High Performance

Reasonably priced but durable, UNIFACO’s suit is a great choice for girls. UNIFACO

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Why It Made The Cut: UNIFACO’s swimsuits are some of the most economical choices on the market, and despite being budget-friendly, they still provide similar quality and usefulness as the more expensive brands.

Specs: 

  • Made from 80 percent polyamide and 20 percent elastic material
  • Sizes from 2T to 8T
  • UPF rating of 50+

Pros: 

  • Large neck hole
  • Bright colors for visibility
  • Skin-friendly and quick-dry fabric
  • Excellent sun protection

Cons:

  • Slightly thinner material than other brands

With toddlers growing so fast, parents may choose to shop more economically for seasonal items, such as swimsuits. UNIFACO’s two-piece toddler swimsuit offers a rash-guard top and bottoms with a ruffle flourish. 

We like this fabric for a few reasons:

  • It offers some of the best sun protection you can get, with a UPF rating of 50+
  • It’s soft on a toddler’s skin, and due to its thin design, it dries very quickly after getting wet, keeping little ones comfortable
  • With proper care, the pattern never fades (even when used in chlorinated pools)
  • There are many designs to choose from, which feature bright, visible colors

This lesser-known company is wonderful at listening to their consumers and adapting their product based on feedback. The bottoms have been improved from previous versions of this suit, and as a result, now have a smaller waist and wider back for a better overall fit. 

The zipper- and snap-free design are easy to use, and thanks to the polyamide-elastic-blend material, they offer stretch and comfort. A large neck hole makes it easy to pull the rash-guard top over your toddler’s head, simplifying getting dressed for the pool or beach.

Best Value Toddler Boys’ Swimsuit: Amazon Essentials Baby Boys Long Sleeve Swimsuit Set

Budget-Friendly Swimsuit

This toddler suit for boys has everything you need. Amazon Essentials

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Why It Made The Cut: These toddler swimsuits offer practical and toddler-friendly construction with understated colors and patterns for a more fashionable aesthetic.

Specs:

  • Made of 82 percent polyester and 18 percent elastane
  • UPF rating of 50+
  • Machine-washable fabric

Pros:

  • Two-piece suit for more coverage
  • Zipper- and snap-free design
  • Stretchy, flexible fabric for comfort

Cons:

  • Sizes outlined by age instead of measurement

Made from a stretchy polyester-elastane blend, this two-piece toddler swimsuit is an easy cost to justify for a few reasons:

  • Unlike most other swimsuits, this one is machine washable (just follow the recommended care instructions)
  • The quick-dry knit fabric offers comparable sun protection to more expensive brands, with an excellent UPF rating of 50+
  • The shorts and shirt are made from the same fabric, making washing and caring for the fabric much simpler

Since this is a two-piece suit, toddlers have the option to use or forgo the top. The design is button- and zipper-free, making snags and skin irritation virtually nonexistent. Without these additions, the rash-guard swim shirt and shorts can be pulled on without a fuss. 

For sizing, there are age brackets for sizing instead of specific measurements. If your little one is average height for their age, selecting a swimsuit this way works just fine. Should your little one be taller than the median toddler, move up a size when ordering. Just to be safe, always try on the swimsuit before removing the tags in case you need to exchange it for a different size. 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Toddler Swimsuit

Most toddler swimsuits on the market are quite adorable, but that doesn’t mean they’re worth buying. Spend your money on a swimsuit that serves your child’s needs rather than basing your purchase on looks alone.

Color

When choosing a swimsuit for a toddler, color plays a key role in the purchase decision. We all want our little ones to look cute, but there are implications when opting for certain colors. For example, darker colors or prints are less visible in a crowd, whereas brighter colors tend to catch the eye.

Sun Protection

For safe outdoor play, a swimsuit that offers a high UPF rating can lessen your need to cover your child entirely in sunscreen (though some parents choose to double up on sun protection). A long-sleeved, long-legged swimsuit really leaves only the hands, feet, neck, and face exposed to the sun’s rays. The less coverage a swimsuit has, the more sunscreen a toddler needs.

Style

Just like adult swimsuits, toddler swimsuits come in a variety of styles. From bikinis to swim trunks to all-over coverage, there are many choices on the market. When selecting a style, keep in mind how easy it will be to change a diaper or undo straps when it’s time to change their clothes. Additionally, style should come second to comfort, so make sure to choose something that’s good for play on land or in the water.

Print

Toddlers are at an age where they like to make choices and have a say in what they wear. Rather than assume, have your little one point to a design that they like. Having their input in the decision makes it more likely they’ll want to wear the swimsuit.

Potty Training or Diapers

Toddlers still in diapers can wear pretty much any toddler swimsuit. Kids who are potty training likely require a suit with bottoms that are easy to pull off when it’s time for them to go. The time it takes to undo zippers or snaps may make the difference in whether they have an accident.

FAQs

Toddler swimsuits may seem like very basic clothing, but there may be more to them than you realize. To help you decide which swimsuit is best for your toddler, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers for some things you may be wondering about.

Q: How do I choose a swimsuit for my child?

To choose a swimsuit for your child, it’s best to pick something that’s sun safe, suited to the outdoor temperature, built to last, and easy to put on and take off.

Q: What should toddlers wear while swimming?

Depending on whether a toddler is swimming inside or outside, some recommendations for what to wear include a swimsuit, a hat, sunglasses, goggles, a swim diaper, a life jacket, and sunscreen.

Q: Do toddlers need rash-guard swimsuits?

Rash guards are meant to protect skin from athletic activities that may cause abrasion, and to protect from the sun. While toddlers may not need a rash guard for the former, rash-guard fabric is designed to have an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), which protects your child from the sun.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to protecting their toddlers from UV rays, parents can’t be too careful. Any little one looks great and gets impeccable shielding from the sun by wearing the weVSwe Baby Toddler Sun Protection Swimsuit. The lightweight material prevents little ones from overheating while simultaneously blocking out UV without the help of additional chemicals.

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