Here's Where to Buy the Best Bathing Suits for Your Pint-Size Swimmers

Gap has the most reliable selection of cute and practical kids' swimwear

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Whether your child is a casual splasher, beach bum, camper, or swim team star, there are plenty of shops to find them the perfect swimsuit. The best places to buy swimsuits for kids offer a variety of styles and sizes, fast shipping, and an easy return process.

Reviewed & Approved

Gap Swim Kids is our top choice because they have a variety of styles with UPF protection. If you're shopping on a budget, we recommend shopping at Amazon Essentials Kids Swim.

When it comes to buying your kids bathing suits, the fit is everything, according to Jennifer May, Certified Lifeguard, Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, and the Founder/Owner of LifeCycle Swim School, and practical design comes in a close second. “​​Bathing suits should be comfortable—not too tight and not too loose," she tells Verywell Family, adding, “Fun, playful, on-trend prints and designs can help kids get excited for swim lessons.” 

While we considered styles and trends when choosing the best places to buy bathing suits for kids, we also considered quality, affordability, and size range availability for all kids from infancy to tweens. Since bathing suits aren’t just for the summer months, we also considered the retailer’s year-round availability of cute suit options, return policies, and shipping.

Here are the best places to buy bathing suits for your kids.

Best Overall: Gap Kids Swim

4.6
Gap Kids Swim

Source: Gap

Pros
  • Sizes range from baby through teen

  • Suits provide UPF 50+ protection

  • Ship to store option

Cons
  • $50 minimum for free shipping

Gap Kids is a well-stocked shop that could outfit your kiddo’s entire wardrobe, and their swim section is no different, which is why it's our top pick. They offer many styles ranging from one-piece, tankini, two-piece, rash guard, swim trunks, and much more.

The easy-to-navigate site always features user reviews and a size chart, which is helpful when determining the right fit. Kid sizes are between XS (4/5) to XXL (14/16) and teens can choose between sizes 8, 10, 12, 14/16, and 18/20.

Environmentally conscious families should take note: Nearly all of the Gap swimsuits are made from 100 percent recycled polyester that provides UPF 50+ protection. Your kids will look stylish and stay protected in these choices. We couldn't resist this brightly colored tankini made of 82 percent recycled materials and 18 percent spandex.

We also love that the brand runs frequent promotions on the site to help to sweeten the deal. They also offer free returns and exchanges in-store or online, allowing you up to 60 days to return your purchase if it doesn't perform well. However, take note that for swimsuits, the original tags and hygienic lining must still be intact, and online items marked mail only can only be returned through the mail.

Best Budget: Amazon Essentials Kids Swim

Amazon Essentials Kids Swim

Source: Amazon Essentials 

Pros
  • Budget-friendly option

  • Wide range of sizes

  • Free returns

Cons
  • Limited styles and color options

Kids' swimsuits from Amazon Essentials are a terrific budget-friendly option. For families that need multiple bathing suits for camp, this can be especially helpful. If you find a style and size that fits, Amazon makes it easy to stock up with fast and free shipping for Prime members, free returns, easy-to-read reviews. 

We love that these suits come in a wide range of sizes from 2T up to XX-Large, so it’s easy to match siblings. This playful yet simple watermelon printed Amazon Essentials Swimsuit is adorable and we think it'll be an instant favorite. The only drawback is there are limited color options in some of these styles, especially for the swim trunks.

Best for Big Kids: Rockets of Awesome Swim

Rockets of Awesome Swim

Source: Rockets of Awesome

Pros
  • Unique styles

  • Free returns

  • Discount with 6+ items

Cons
  • No product reviews

  • $50 minimum for free shipping

Bigger kids may be more style-conscious and want to be in charge of picking out their own unique swimsuit. We love Rockets of Awesome for stand-out styles at affordable prices. The site once only offered a subscription service, but now caregivers have the option to purchase individual items. If you do choose to stock up, there’s a 15 percent total order discount when you buy six or more items. This pair of floral trunks from Rockets of Awesome will add a burst of vibrant color to your kiddo's swimsuit collection.

Like most caregivers buying clothes online, we really appreciate the helpful sizing guide. When you click on the size, detailed measurements come up, so it’s easy to see where your kiddo fits. We’ve found sizing tends to run small, so use that chart prior to ordering.

Best for Babies: Hanna Andersson Swim

Hanna Andersson Swim

Source: Hanna Andersson

Pros
  • Gender-neutral styles

  • Sun protection

  • Easy diaper access

Cons
  • $100 minimum for free shipping and no free returns

Protect your baby’s delicate skin from the sun’s rays with this sweet, full-coverage rash-guard suit by Hanna Andersson. Made from a recycled poly/spandex blend, the long sleeve suit features a full-length zipper for easy on/off and diaper access. Parents will love that the sizing ranges from 0-3 months all the way to 3 years old, and the sweet gender-neutral prints are adorable on all kids. 

With quality that is designed to be handed down from one kiddo to another, Hanna Andersson is committed to utilizing the best of the best materials like organic cotton without compromising on sustainability. If you're not familiar with Hanna Andersson sizing, use the helpful chart on the site or the online chat feature will clear up any questions. Check the site often for frequent discounts or sign up for emails for a discount code.

Best Splurge: Maisonette Swim

One-piece gingham bathing suit from Minnow

Maisonette

Pros
  • Unique swimsuits 

  • Range of sizes 

Cons
  • $75 minimum for free shipping

For summertime birthdays, a warm-weather gift, or if you’re just in the mood to splurge, the kids’ swimwear from Maisonette features a wide array of beautiful options that’ll likely turn heads at the next pool party. Their suits include a range from baby through big kid sizes. Not all styles are available in all sizes, so the size filter on the site comes in handy. We can't get enough of this classic gingham pattern on this vintage-style rash guard by Minnow. Maisonette doesn’t feature user reviews, so measure your kiddo and use the size chart before you buy. 

Best for Rash Guards: SwimZip Kids Long Sleeve Rash Guard

SwimZip Kids Long Sleeve Rash Guard

Source: SwimZip

Pros
  • Full-zip for easy on/off

  • Affordable

  • Range of sizes

Cons
  • Kids may prefer styles with graphics

Sun safety is easy to practice with rash guards from mom-owned SwimZip. Founded by a skin cancer survivor, the company was featured on SharkTank and creates stylish sun protective clothing that is also functional and affordable. We love that SwimZip tops have a fabric-backed zipper flap, so your child can wear the rash guard alone and not worry about chaffing on their belly. The full zip makes it easy to take on and off, fits over a bathing suit, or can be worn alone. 

Highly rated, this rash guard comes in a wide range of unisex colors and sizes. In addition to kids' sizes, SwimZip features sun protective suits, clothing, and accessories for adults and has family matching options all year long. 

What Experts Say

“Make sure rash guards fit properly, not too tight or too big or loose. A too big rash guard could cover the face of a swimmer and disorient them as to which direction the surface is; loose textiles could also get caught by other swimmers, lane lines or drains. If the rashguard is too tight, a swimmer may simply want to take it off, exposing them to the risks of the sun,” — Jennifer May, Founder/Owner of LifeCycle Swim School for Premium Swim and Water Safety Lessons in New Jersey.

Best for Swim Trunks: Fair Harbor Kids Swim

Fair Harbor Kids Swim

Source: Fair Harbor

Pros
  • No mesh liner

  • Matching adult options

  • Free returns

Cons
  • $100 minimum for free shipping

Many kids who spend hours in their swim trunks may complain of skin irritation from the mesh lining in suits. Fair Harbor trunks make it easy to banish the burn since there’s no mesh lining in their suits. 

Made with a super soft boxer brief liner, these swim trunks are designed with comfort in mind. While on the expensive side, the quality craftsmanship includes a zip-back pocket, quick-drying fabric, an elastic waistband, and drawstrings, so kids can get a secure fit. For a matching duo, all the styles match with adult men’s sizing.

Best for Teens: Nordstrom Junior Swimwear

Nordstrom Junior Swimwear

Source: Nordstrom

Pros
  • No minimum on free shipping and returns

  • Wide variety of styles

Cons
  • Range of brands will require using different size charts 

Picky teens may feel ready to show off their ever-changing body one day and the next day, they’ll want to cover up in a super modest suit. No matter the style, Nordstrom’s junior’s swimwear offerings provide a huge range for any teen in your life. We love that the site has free shipping and returns, with no minimum. This makes it easy to stock your shopping cart, let your teen try on all the suits in the comfort of their own home, and then ship back what doesn’t work.

Best Tankini: Old Navy Swim

old navy ribbed tankini

Courtesy of Old Navy

Pros
  • Mix and match styles

  • Built-in sun protection

  • Free returns

Cons
  • $100 minimum for free shipping and no free returns

Tankinis are two-piece suits that provide more coverage than a bikini. May says that for active kids, covering up is helpful. “Kids play a lot in the water and bikini bottoms and tops slip too easily creating embarrassing moments.” Old Navy's two-piece suits are much easier for bathroom breaks too, and this four-piece option provides plenty of coverage for a kiddo. The set comes with one long-sleeve top, one tankini top, matching swim shorts, and bathing suit briefs. We love that they all mix and match, and with Old Navy’s easy-to-navigate site and free shipping with a $50 minimum spend, this set is a good bang for your buck.

Best for Cover Ups: Pottery Barn Kids Swim

Pottery Barn Kids Swim

Source: Pottery Barn Kids

Pros
  • Simple style

  • Wide range of sizes

Cons
  • $99 minimum for free shipping 

  • No free returns

A cozy cover-up like this cute striped one from Pottery Barn is a great addition to any kids’ wardrobe. They’re so useful if the sunny day turns cloudy, to warm up after a swim class, or for a cozy cuddle following a long day at the beach or pool. These coverups are available in long sleeve and short sleeve options and we think adding your kiddo's name or initials is a cute little touch. Little kids have trouble keeping towels on their bodies, so why not just wear one! 

Pottery Barn requires a $99 minimum purchase for free shipping but does offer a discounted “ship to store” option. While the returns are not free, you can avoid the pesky charge by returning items directly to nearby locations. Pottery Barn is well known for their personalization options but you should keep in mind that this will cause a delay in shipping time and the item can't be returned or canceled. With three size options to choose from, you can find a cute cover-up for your kiddo from 2 to 10 years old. Since Pottery Barn Kids doesn’t feature user reviews, check the size chart prior to buying.

Final Verdict

For easy shopping options, great reviews, and a range of sizes, we love both Gap Kids (view Gap) and Amazon Essentials (view at Amazon) swimsuits. Both sites offer free shipping which makes it a breeze to stock up and try on lots of options at home. Super active boys will benefit from the comfort of the mesh-free Fair Harbor Kids Bayberry Trunk (view at Fair Harbor). While pricey, they hold up well and will keep your kiddo in the water longer.

How We Selected

To choose the best kids' swimwear, we reviewed popular shopping sites for highly rated suits that were comfortable, easy to ship and return, and affordable. We avoided suits that have adornments or extra features that can detach while in the water. Certified Lifeguard Jennifer May reminds parents, “Swimsuit adornments such as fringe or bow ties that are sometimes on girls' swimsuits can pose pull or entrapment risks, getting caught in drains or jet holes.” 

What to Look for in Swim Brands for Kids

Design

One of the deciding factors when it comes to picking out swimwear for kids is the design, pattern, and color. Including your kiddo into the selection process can help them get excited about rocking their new bathing suits. While opting for bright, neon colors can help your tot standout while they swim, Certified Lifeguard Jennifer May says caregivers should still prioritize safe swim practices. 

“Bright or neon-colored swimsuits may make it easier to spot a child in a pool or aquatic environment," May says. "Variables such as sun or lighting reflection, shadows, water refraction, obstructed views, murky water, and even distracted lifeguards can counteract any advantage of a bright-colored swimsuit. A bright swimsuit cannot be depended on to save a child.”

Sizing

Some swimsuit sizing can be confusing. Most children’s sizing is age-based, but your child may be on the larger or smaller end of that age range. Always check a size chart that includes measurements and take the time to measure your kid. The last thing anyone wants is a swimsuit that is too tight or too loose.


Sun Coverage

Sun protection is so important, especially for kids who are playing outside and possibly hopping in and out of the water over and over again. Look for fabric with a UPF rating of 50 or more to protect your little ones against the sun's harmful UV rays. In addition to applying lots of sunscreen, the added sun coverage will ensure that they enjoy safe play on sunny days.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What color swimsuit is the safest for kids?

    Children can wear any color of swimsuit. However, the safest swimsuit colors are brights like red, orange, and neons, which will keep kids more visible. Picking vivid colors lets you see your child more clearly in the water and track them better in a crowd when on land.

  • How many swimsuits does my kid need to have?

    The number of bathing suits your child needs depends on how much time they'll be spending in the water and what activities they'll be doing. A child who rarely swims may need just one swimsuit. A child that swims a few times per week may want two to four swimsuits. They may need more if they need different types of swimwear, such as if they are on a swim team and need a few swimsuits for races.

  • What is the best way to wash a swimsuit?

    For best results, follow the washing instructions on the swimsuit's label. Generally, hand washing or machine washing on the gentle cycle will work for most swimwear. Hang dry, if possible. Avoid putting swimsuits in the dryer to extend the life of the swimsuit. High heat can degrade the materials used in most swimwear.

  • How often should swimsuits be replaced?

    The life of a swimsuit will depend on how often it is used and washed, how quickly your child grows, and the quality of the swimsuit. Replace a swimsuit when it becomes too tight and/or when the material loosens or its elasticity begins to lose its snap.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of an 11-year-old son, 8-year-old son, and 4-year old daughter. Maya’s boys are super, super active and can stay in the water for hours. The only thing that’ll get them out is irritated skin, so she’s moved away from mesh-lined bathing suits for them and has seen such a difference. Her fair-skinned girl is a fan of the long sleeve tankinis, which provide great sun protection and easy bathroom access—a win-win in Maya’s book.

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