The best mermaid tail

Ana Sanchez

Choose a mermaid tail that’s lightweight, so you won’t get bogged down while you swim. Most fabric tails weigh only one or two pounds.

"Mermaiding" is a thing. Maybe you've caught the flash of a mermaid's tail at your local pool or you've stumbled upon a perplexing pod of women on the beach sporting mermaid tails instead of bikini bottoms. Whether you're serious about becoming a mermaid or just in the market for one to stick on your Ariel-obsessed kid, we've created this shopping guide on all things mermaid tails.

Keep reading for all the considerations you'll need to make before purchasing as well as for our top product recommendations. Our top pick by Fin Fun boasts patented monofin technology for faster swimming.

How do you swim with a mermaid tail?
While mermaid tails make great costumes, many are also designed to be used in the water for swimming and come with a monofin inside the end of the tail (or "fluke"). Users' feet go inside this monofin, which is similar to flippers except that both feet are placed together while your legs are also together in the main body of the tail. Once in the water, pump your legs in a dolphin kick up and down to propel yourself through the water.

Considerations when choosing mermaid tails

Material: Mermaid tails are constructed from nylon, polyester, spandex, or silicone.

Fabric tails (which can also be a combo of the first three synthetic materials) are affordable, lightweight, and easy to swim in -- not to mention get in and out of. They are also machine washable.
Silicone tails are custom-made to fit the individual and offer the best fit. They are also extremely realistic looking. While durable, they are more difficult to swim in, heavier, and significantly more expensive.

Monofin: If you want to swim in your tail, a monofin is a must. They help create propulsion so you won't flounder in the water, so to speak. You can separately buy a monofin if your model doesn't include one; just be sure it'll fit in the fluke (the forked tail end). We recommend a monofin that has adjustable straps to keep it from sliding off your feet while swimming.

Size: Mermaid tails come in sizes for both children and adults. Rather than automatically pick your normal size, we recommend taking your waist and hip measurements and looking at the manufacturer's sizing chart (you'll need to provide these exact measurements if ordering a silicone tail). The wrong size tail can be too restrictive to, or slide off while, mermaid-style swimming.

Mermaid tail features

Color: One of the fun parts of picking out a mermaid tail is the wide variety of colors and patterns available to express your unique mermaid personality. Rainbow hues and watery blues are a couple of color schemes available in addition to one-shade coloring. Scaled patterns are widely available.

Matching accessories: For female wearers, choose a mermaid tail with a matching bikini-style top. Some manufacturers also offer matching bottoms to wear underneath the tail. 

Mermaid tail prices

Fabric mermaid tails for children range between $15 and $30, while fabric tails for adults cost between $90 to $150. For custom silicone tails for swimming, expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,000.


Q. Is swimming in a mermaid tail safe?

A. While swimming in a mermaid tail is easy once you get the hang of it, there is a learning curve. Definitely start with a fabric tail and swim in a supervised pool (versus the ocean) for safety. Be aware that some public pools have started to ban the use of mermaid tails[MH1] .

Q. I have a hard time getting into my tail. Any tips?

A. Try using a mix of hair conditioner and water on your skin or inside the tail to help you slip into it better.

Mermaid tails we recommend

Best of the best: Fin Fun Mermaid Tail for Swimming With Monofin

Our take: Youth and adult fabric mermaid tails from the top manufacturer in mermaiding.

What we like: Top-rated patented design. Fin tips protects tail from damage. Lots of colors to choose from. Monofin technology allows you to glide through water.

What we dislike: On the expensive side.

Best bang for your buck: XonyiCos Sparkle Mermaid Tail With Monofin

Our take: A budget option with lots of features and colors.

What we like: Very affordable for a three-piece set. Includes a matching top and monofin. Adult and youth sizing. Lots of great colors and patterns.

What we dislike: Bikini top only fits kids.

Choice 3: Sun Tail Mermaid Designer Mermaid Tail With Monofin

Our take: A great-fitting mermaid tail in stunning color options.

What we like: Bathing suit material makes for a really comfortable fit. Measurements are true to size. Color options are bright and sparkly. Comes with monofin.

What we dislike: Fabric wears out if not cared for properly.

Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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