While overseas beach vacations seem uncertain again this summer, garden summers with paddling pools and barbecues or occasional trips to the coast are equally appealing. And storefronts are filling up with summer wardrobe offerings, including an abundance of toddler swimsuits.

This selection of girls’ swimwear will focus on style, fit, quality and sun protection benefits. We wanted to see fun yet comfortable clothes that would make long days playing in the wading pools, lido or on the beach even better. We also took a close look at how easy it would be to put it on for girls who are old enough to dress up but may not be used to navigating elaborate suspenders or zippers.

We have carefully considered the seams and accessories – not only for the comfort factor, but also because swimsuits need to be resistant: chlorine, sun exposure, and sea salt all cause more wear than normal clothing.

As always, we’ve tried to include swimwear to suit all budgets, lifestyles and tastes, with everything from nods and retro swimwear to sporty sets.

Some swimsuits use materials that have built-in sun protection and others are made with longer sleeves. However, this does not eliminate the need for sunscreen or sun hats. No matter what swimsuit your little one wears, it should always be smeared with high-grade cream.

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The best swimwear for girls are:

  • Best overall – Next long-sleeved swimsuit: £ 16, Next.co.uk
  • Great for baby girls – JoJo Maman Bebe swimsuit with diaper: £ 18, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
  • Best two-pieceFrugi tidal tankini: £ 20, Welovefrugi.com
  • Ideal for surfers – Joules shoal rash vest set: £ 27.95, Joules.com
  • Best eco-friendly swimsuit – UV Mini Rodini cherry lemonade swimsuit: £ 50, Minirodini.com
  • Ideal for a discreet style – Kidly long sleeve swimsuit: £ 14.50, Kidly.co.uk
  • Best quality price report – Lindex swimsuit with lions: £ 9.99, Lindex.com
  • Ideal for retro style – Cath Kidston gingham ladybird basque swimsuit: £ 14.08, Cathkidston.com
  • Ideal for comfort – M&S crepon swimsuit: £ 14.50, Marksandspencer.com

Next Long Sleeve Pink Flower Swimsuit

Better: Overall

With sleeves up to the cuffs, it looks more like a leotard than a traditional swimsuit and means parents can be more relaxed to let little ones play in the sun, not least because it also contains more. 50 UV fabrics.

It zips up the front, and while our seven-year-old tester found it easy to put on and take off on her own, we think young girls would find it a cinch too. The pattern is really elegant and sophisticated.

JoJo Maman Bebe swimsuit with diaper

Better: For baby girls

Not only does this swimsuit feature a really soft pattern, it also works really hard – there’s a built-in layer, which eliminates the need for a regular diaper or swim diaper underneath. It will contain all accidents and all you do is wash it thoroughly after use. We found him to be true to size and our little tester seemed a lot more comfortable and free than when he was in diapers.

It’s also available in a selection of fun prints, making it a cute option for babies and toddlers. Not only that, but it’s UPF50 +, a welcome helping hand in preventing sunburn.

Frugi tidal tankini

Better: Two pieces

Inspired by the minke whales found in the waters surrounding Scotland, this tankini is playful, fun and, thanks to its stretchy nylon and elastane (UPF40 +) material, it is also very comfortable.

We’re totally here for crossover straps, which means they won’t constantly slip off the shoulders – a common problem with straight straps in young children. Not only that, but the mesh lining and flat seams ensure easy wearing without risk of chafing or irritation.

We really rate this kind of two piece when it comes to kids’ swimwear because it has a sporty shape that prevents it from growing too tall.

Joules Rash Vest Set

Better: For surfers

Our six-year-old tester fell in love with this set on sight – and we can see why. It has all the ingredients to be a summer staple, from the stunning color combo – bubble gum pink and baby blue – to the long sleeve gilet (UPF40 +) with its high collar, which helps prevent sunburn. and to make surfing, bodyboarding and other beach activities based on the least stress possible.

The quality is remarkable – the seams are beautifully rendered and appear to be built to last – there’s no chance this will collapse before summer is over.

Mini Rodini Cherry Lemonade UV Swimsuit

Better: Ecological swimsuit

We understand the price is hardly modest, but for a garment from a cult designer with top-notch ecological credentials, we think it’s worth it. The only thing that saddens us is that there is no adult version. And be warned – everyone will ask where it came from!

As is always the case with Mini Rodini, the pattern of this costume is fantastic and there is a wider range of matching pieces if you feel like doing it all.

But besides being a feast for the eyes, this swimsuit has a lot to recommend including the fact that it is responsibly made with UPF50 + Econyl yarn, which is basically old fishing nets, rugs and production waste. For anyone concerned with the well-being of the world’s oceans and marine life, this is a little ointment.

Kidly long-sleeved swimsuit

Better: For a sober style

Made from recycled nylon, this costume is a brilliant choice for eco-conscious buyers. It has a nice smooth finish – with UPF50 + protection and a zipper on the back – the neckline is high, which is great for sun protection. We loved the ruffle detailing on what is otherwise a totally understated swimsuit.

Lindex swimsuit with lions

Better: Value for money

At less than £ 10, this swimsuit is nothing short of a steal. It has an offbeat and unusual pattern of palm trees and lions, and despite the low price, it appears to be beautifully made and of decent quality. Not only that, but part of it is made from recycled materials, so anyone keen on contributing to fast fashion or putting pressure on the environment can rest easy. We love the cross back that keeps the costume in place and comfortable.

Cath Kidston gingham ladybug peplum swimsuit

Better: For a retro style

Gingham is always a great idea when it comes to swimwear – it brings a chic, retro vibe that never looks out of fashion. We also love the repeated ladybug pattern, which ensures a playful touch to any little girl’s beachwear.

The shoulder straps are thin and the back quite low so make sure you pay attention to the waistline as it may fall off if too big. Our four-year-old tester loves this costume – it even wore it to the supermarket on a rainy day.

M&S swimsuit in crepon

Better: For comfort

The seersucker – a textured stretch cotton – is always a nod to sunny summers. This jumpsuit is so soft and tactile it’s just what little ones need for long days at the beach or by the wading pool. It has a lot of yield without being baggy and it is also perfectly breathable.

Our tester, who is almost five, was delighted with the ruffle straps and lower back which are accents that make you grow taller without being overripe.

The verdict: Girls’ swimwear

The best all-rounder is the Next Long Sleeve Suit: it’s comfortable, pretty, protective and inexpensive. We were also delighted to discover the Lindex jumpsuit – what a good deal, especially since she is also eco-conscious. And the integrated layer on the Jojo Maman Bebe costume is a must-have for all the little ones who are not yet toilet trained.

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For the latest deals on kids’ clothing and vacation essentials, try the links below:

While they are having fun in the sun, make sure your child’s sensitive skin is protected with the best sunscreens for kids

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions we earn income if you click the links and purchase the products, but we never allow this to change our coverage. Reviews are compiled from a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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