What kid doesn’t love a good water fight, especially when the sun is shining? Our MadeForMums families have put a whole stack of water soakers to the test (and got thoroughly drenched in the process), for toddlers through to teens - and, yes, even for adults – getting our child testers to try them out and their parents to rate them for everything from price, to features, to spray capacity.


A good, old-fashioned water pistol fight is a great way to keep active, share some quality, family time, and keep kids off screens for a while. “Children develop great hand-eye co-ordination skills through having to aim their water soaker and fire out the water at the same time,” says Early Years specialist and founder of education consultancy My Mummy Teacher, Ruth Lue-Quee.

“The excitement, the fun, the play! Children are just getting to ‘be children’ when they use a water soaker. They still have to be safe, but actually – it’s now OK to spray Mummy and Daddy with water, which they wouldn’t normally get to do! It’s great for bonding and a fun way to be playful with our children."

With so many different water soakers out there, each with their own funky features, and all at different price points, how do you know which is the best water gun for your brood?

Through our testing and parent feedback, we’ve found the best of the best water soakers and compiled a list of all the things to consider when buying a water gun.

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Best water soakers for kids at a glance

  • Best for long-distance blasting: Nerf Super Soaker Dartfire, £34.99
  • Best budget buy: Zuru X-Shot Typhoon Blaster Water Gun, £10
  • Best for toddlers: HydroStorm Water Blaster, £5.49
  • Best fun feature: Zimpli Kids Slime Blaster, £14.73
  • Best for older kids: Nerf Super Soaker FreezeFire 2.0, £19.99
  • Best for water capacity: Nerf Super Soaker Hydra, £29.03
  • Best small soaker: Nerf Super Soaker DinoSquad Dino-Soak Drench Water Blaster, £12.99
  • Best no-frills soaker: Storm Blasters Jet Stream Water Blaster, £3.50
  • Best multi-pack: Joyin 2 Pack Water Pistols, £17.99
  • Best water balloon soaker: Zuru Buncho Balloons Neon Splash Slingshot, £17.50

Things to consider when buying a water soaker

  • Age of your child – Water soakers come with a range of features, some of which are aimed at specific ages. All soakers will have an age suitability suggestion on the packaging, so use this as a guide. Then look at how complicated it is to use, what kind of shooting action it has, how heavy it will be when filled with water and how easy it is to shoot.
  • Size of the water soaker – You can find water soakers as small as a palm-sized little pistol, or as big as a full-on bazooka blaster. Large feature-filled soakers may look like the most fun, but if they’re too big for your child to handle they might feel frustrated and upset that they can’t control it.
  • Water capacity – Soakers are made to hold different capacities of water and small water tanks will need to be constantly refilled. If you’re just looking for a simple, fun game to play around a paddling pool, then a smaller water capacity could suffice, but for epic water fights choose one with a larger tank.
  • Blast Distance – Whether it’s a gentle blast or a full-on soaking, you can find water guns with various blast distances. We've listed the blast distances for each soaker, but remember these are the maximum possible distances, not all kids will be able to reach those max lengths, especially if strong pumping is required first.
  • Firing action – There are two types of release action: trigger action, where you fire a trigger and which might be easier for smaller fingers; and pump action where you vigorously pump first to get a powerful stream of water, which requires more muscle power and can suit older kids.
  • Features – Fancy a soaker that does more than blast water? Some shoot slime, Nerf bullets as well as water, or water balloons.

The best super soakers and water guns for children - tested by kids

1. Nerf Super Soaker Dartfire, £34.99

– Best for long-distance blasting

Nerf Super Soaker Dartfire

Age suitability: 3 years+ | Size: 50.8 cm (H) x 6.5 cm (W) x 31.2 cm (D) | Weight: 0.69 kg | Blast Distance: Up to 38 feet | Water capacity: 1100 ml

The Nerf Super Soaker Dartfire not only soaks your opponent from a long distance but also lets you blast them with Nerf darts. Our child testers LOVED this novel double shot of blasting action.

With a blasting distance of up to 38 feet (the furthest in our list along with the Nerf FreezeFire and Joyin 2-pack), the Dartfire features snap-fire trigger technology, and there’s no pumping required. It holds an impressive amount of water in the tank (1.1 litres), so will potentially keep your child water-armed for longer than their opponents.

The Nerf bullets are a lot of fun but it only comes with 5 bullets, and as parents know, it's exceptionally easy to lose them.

Pros: Super-long blasting distance, good water capacity, no pumping required

Cons: Only 5 bullets - so you're likely to need to purchase more separately, pricey (but good play value), heavier than others

Available at: Amazon

2. Zuru X-Shot Typhoon Thunder Blaster Water Gun, £10

– Best budget buy

Zuru X-Shot Typhoon Thunder Blaster Water Gun

Age suitability: 5 years+ | Size: 24 cm (H) x 40 cm (W) x 7 cm (D) | Weight: 0.46 kg | Blast Distance: 30 feet | Water capacity: 550ml

This handheld water blaster packs some serious wallop for a tenner.

The Typhoon Thunder has an impressive blasting distance of up to 30 feet, which beats some of its more expensive competitors. To get the soaker ready to blast, you need to pump it a few times and then squeeze the trigger to release, and so is best suited to older kids (it has an age suitability of 5+.

With a capacity to hold 550 ml of water, it may also require a fair amount of reloading water, so great for playing near paddling or splash pools.

Pros: Great price, long blasting distance

Cons: Smaller water capacity

Available at: Argos and The Range

3. HydroStorm Water Blaster, Pack of 4, £5.49

– Best for toddlers

HydroStorm Water Blaster

Age suitability: 3 years+ | Size: 26 cm (H) x 4.2 cm (W) x 18.6 cm (D) | Weight: 0.18 kg | Blast Distance: Up to 19.5 feet/6 metres

These Hydroform water blasters are a simple and good value introduction to super soakers, plus small and light, so easy to pack on days out or holidays. Fully immerse these foam blasters into water and toddlers and pre-schoolers can draw up the pump then push it in to release a healthy blast of water.

We love how squishy and soft these water blasters are. Unlike the other soakers in our list, these are made from a soft, foamy fabric rather than plastic, making them an easy and safe water toy for your toddler to handle.

Victoria, mum to our child tester (pictured above), agrees, saying: “Foam water shooters are so easy for little ones to hold and use; my child love loves them.” Though no toy is completely accident-proof, the fact that it’s soft might help limit potential accidents."

Pros: Available in multi-packs, easy for young children to use

Cons: Not as long-lasting as plastic soakers, need to be fully immersed in water to fill up

Available at: Amazon and Pound Toy

4. Zimpli Kids Slime Blaster, £14.73

– Best for fun features

Zimpli Kids Slime Blaster

Age suitability: 3 years+ | Size: 23 cm (H) x 8.5 cm (W) x 46 cm (D) | Weight: 0.45 kg | Blast Distance: Up to 23 feet | Water capacity: 400ml

What do you get when you mix a water blaster with slime? Oodles of gooey green fun.

But before your mind immediately jumps to messy slime being blasted all over your garden and clothes, we can reassure you that the slime used in the Zimpli Kids Slime Blaster is non-stain, washable and skin- and drain-safe.

“I love that it shoots real slime! It goes really far and I could squirt my brother from the other side of the garden,” said child tester, Tyler, 6.

The blaster comes with 12 sachets of powder (making 200+ slime shots) to make the slime, and you can buy more separately. Simply add the powder to the water in the canister, shake it and wait for 5 minutes. The Slime Blaster has a pump action, which can take some time for younger children to get the hang of, and if it’s not pumped fully, it won’t reach its maximum blasting distance.

Pros: Slime is biodegradable, washable and non-staining, can also be used as a regular water gun

Cons: Pump action so may be trickier for younger kids, smaller water capacity, likely to need to buy additional slime sachets

Available at: Amazon and The Shop of Toys

5. Nerf Super Soaker FreezeFire 2.0, £19.99

– Best for older kids

Nerf Super Soaker FreezeFire 2.0

Age suitability: 6 years+ | Size: 29.8 cm (H) x 6.5 cm (W) x 25 cm (D) | Weight: 0.4 kg | Blast Distance: Up to 38 feet | Water capacity: 591ml

There's a clue in the name of the Nerf FreezeFire - your child can not only soak their opponents, they can freeze them too. An oversized filler cap means you can add ice cubes to the cold water, to turn the blast into an icy shower. This soaker is pump operated, with a fantastic reach and produces a strong and steady stream of water when released.

Our child testers loved the compact size of this soaker, which made it easy to conceal when going for a sneak attack.

Pros: Super-long blasting distance, takes ice cubes as well as water, compact for its power

Cons: Pump action so may be trickier for younger kids, tank size on the smaller side

Available at: Amazon and On Buy

6. Nerf Super Soaker Hydra, £29.03

– Best for water capacity

Nerf Super Soaker Hydra

Age suitability: 7 years+ | Size: 66 cm (H) x 6.7 cm (W) x 28.6 cm (D) | Weight: 0.85 kg | Blast Distance: Up to 20 feet | Water capacity: 1900ml

This super soaker really is a SUPER soaker. It produces cannon blasts of water and thanks to its huge size, it also holds an impressive amount of water (1.9 litres). This is a hefty water blaster and not surprisingly aimed at 7 year+ kids. who can better handle the size and weight.

You activate the water blaster by pumping the handle back and forth (although some of our parent testers found if you pump it too hard it could cause the handle to not work as well) and set loose a powerful stream of water.

Fans of the traditional Nerf gun will love this, as Debbie, mum to our family of child testers, says, “My boys and daughter all love Nerf guns and particularly the Nerf water super soakers in the summer. They really are fantastic!”. Be warned though, the stream is pretty strong so best to encourage a safe distance.

Pros: Large water capacity (nearly 2l), powerful water stream

Cons: Heavy particularly with full tank, pump action so may be trickier for younger kids

Available at: Amazon

7. Nerf Super Soaker DinoSquad Dino-Soak Drench Water Blaster, £12.99

– Best small soaker

Nerf Super Soaker DinoSquad Dino-Soak Drench Water Blaster

Age suitability: 6 years+ | Size: 26.7 cm (H) x 43.2 cm (W) x 6.7 cm | Weight: 0.68 kg | Blast Distance: Up to 25 feet

Our child testers loved the unusual dinosaur design of the Dino-Soak blaster and found it easy to hold and handle.

But don’t let its size fool you, it may be compact, but it still packs a great soaking wallop, with water shooting out of its mouth to a decent blasting range. What made this really stand out – apart from the cool dinosaur look – was just how easy it is to use. Our testers found the pump to be smooth and simple to operate.

Pros: Easy to fill, simple pump action, fun dino design

Cons: Pump action so may be trickier for younger kids, water capacity smaller than some

Available at: Amazon and Argos

8. Storm Blasters Jet Stream Water Blaster, £7 but on sale for £3.50

– Best no-frills soaker

Storm Blasters Jet Stream Water Blaster

Age suitability: 5 years+ | Size: 15.4 cm (H) x 28.5 cm (W) x 4.4 cm (D) | Blast Distance: Up to 19.5 feet/6 metres | Water capacity: 500 ml

Affordable enough to buy in bulk (they seem to be on a fairly permanent 50% price reduction), these Storm Blasters soakers are great for kids' birthday parties or epic family water fights.

This easy-to-use blaster is operated with a pump action and has a reasonable blasting distance of nearly 20 feet. It comes in a range of colours but you are sent them at random and can’t choose the colour you want. and they’re affordable enough to buy in bulk.

Pros: Great price, easy to fill up, effective blast

Cons: Smaller water capacity, pump action so may be trickier for younger kids

Available at: The Entertainer

9. Joyin 2 Pack Water Pistols, £17.99

– Best multi-pack

Joyin 2 Pack Water Pistols

Age suitability: 3 years+ | Size: 20.2 cm (H) x 39.8 cm (W) x 14.4 cm (D) | Weight: 0.825 kg | Blast Distance: 36 feet | Water capacity: 740 ml

Packing a mighty blasting distance and reasonable water capacity, this pack of 2 Joyin compact soakers offers a good value option for duelling.

Our testers loved the smooth, pumping trigger to release streams of water and found them simple and easy to use. A couple of our testers found they leaked a little bit after using them for a while, but, on the whole, we were impressed with their performance and durability, especially for the price.

Pros: Good value 2-pack, super-long blasting distance, easy pumping action

Cons: Can leak a little after extended use, pump action so may be trickier for younger kids

Available at: Amazon

10. Zuru Bunch O Balloons Neon Splash Slingshot, £17.50

– Best water balloon soaker

Zuru Buncho Balloons Neon Splash Slingshot

Age suitability: 3 years+ | Size: 32 cm (H) x 44.2 cm (W) x 7.7 cm (D) | Blast Distance: Up to 130 feet

A different option to the traditional water blaster, this slingshot water soaker launches water balloons over super-long distances (up to 130 feet if you're really adept).

It’s surprisingly simple and quick to use as the design of the balloons allows you to fill 105 balloons in minutes by attaching multiple balloon stems to a hose. Better yet, you don’t have to tie them yourself, thanks to their self-seal design.

Although age suitability is from 3 years, the slingshot action is a little tricky for young children to master. While our child testers adored the bright, neon colours of the balloons, our parents loved how the balloons are made from natural rubber, making them sustainable as well as fun.

Pros: Biodegradable, ultra blasting distance, self-tying balloons

Cons: Need to purchase more balloons separately, better for older children

Available at: Tesco and Toy Street


How did we choose our 10 of the best?

When choosing and testing these water soakers we considered size, weight, price, water blast distance, water capacity, ease of use, special features, style and play value.

Out 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our testing during the MadeForMums awards and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club.

Each year, 1000s of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, but instead a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we aim to help you discover what is best for your family.

About the author

Claire is mum to Elijah, Teddy, and Lottie, and has worked as a content writer and copywriter for 10 years. She has written product reviews and articles for MadeForMums since becoming a mum for the first time in 2013 as well as parenting articles and other content (in industries ranging from fashion to wellness to sustainability) for national and international newspapers, websites, and blogs.