Scroll down for the Best Trampoline Buying Guide!
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I grew up with a trampoline. It certainly wasn’t the best trampoline, or the safest trampoline, but there were not many options then. People simply went to a sports store and purchased the only trampoline they had. The pads wore fast in the sun and the springs rusted and rarely did the have nets. I knew a lot of people that fell right off them. Actually, it was pretty common to get injuries from a trampoline back then!
Luckily, trampolines have come a long way in the last 20 years! Now, we get options on where to buy a trampoline, and what trampoline to buy. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of unsafe trampolines on the market so I have narrowed it down to the best trampoline to buy that will keep you happy and safe!
Are the Best Trampolines for Adults the Best Trampolines for Kids?
Some trampolines are designed for kids. The best trampoline for kids would need to be safe and have other kid-friendly options. A ladder is one item that is normally only needed for kids. Kids’ trampolines often also have a lower weight limit than adult trampolines. Often they are made more bouncy since a child’s low weight is more difficult to bounce than a heavier adult.
The best trampoline for adults should be larger, but offer less kid-friendly perks, like a ladder or basketball hoop. Adult trampolines also can be more firm, so the adult doesn’t sink so low when jumping. Always watch the weight limit if you are looking for a trampoline for an adult or whole family. Some are very low!
The Best Trampoline for Gymnastics and Tumbling
If you are looking for the best trampoline for gymnasts, or the best trampoline for tumbling, look for a tighter surface. Sure, a bouncy one will allow for more height, but it also offers less control. Trampolining has become a popular sport (named Trampoline and Tumbling at gyms) and regulation trampolines are more bouncy than the usual backyard trampoline. This is so the trampolinist can get plenty of height and do multiple skills in a jump. A gymnast does not need the same kind of height, and actually can hinder their skills, making it almost impossible to correctly do skills they may already be doing on a gym floor.
Most gymnastics coaches do not encourage their gymnasts to practice skills on the trampoline outside of the gym. A good idea is to talk to the coach about what skills should and should not be practiced. Sometimes safety is the main factor, other times it’s because their coach does not want them to get into a habit of doing a skill wrong.
If you or your child is learning gymnastics at home, a trampoline is a fun tool! Keep in mind, though, that it is much different from the floor. Doing a back tuck on a trampoline is so much different than being able to do it on the floor. Trampolines mostly help by correcting your body position. In essence, they slow down the skill, giving you more time to get your body in the correct position.
Trampolines are a crutch – one that you may or may not want to rely on, depending on your goals. If your goal is to get some exercise and have fun, great! If your goal is to learn natural body gymnastics, I recommend sticking with the ground, and maybe some mats.
Because of the injuries I have seen, both as a child and in the gym setting, I always recommend weighing your safety options before purchasing a trampoline.
Trampolines are much safer than they were in the past. The added security of nets, stability, and padding goes a long way to ensure more safety. Even with the safety precautions, injuries can easily happen and owning one requires diligence.
Teach your child trampoline safety by practicing safe jumping yourself and helping them.
Trampoline Safety Rules
- Stay in the middle when jumping high or performing any tricks
- If the net has a closure, make sure to close it before jumping
- Remove any objects from the trampoline before jumping
- Jump barefoot. Shoes make ankle injuries more common and socks are too slippery for a trampoline’s surface.
- One person on the trampoline at a time.
- I know – #5 is not a fun rule! One way around it is to learn to respect each others’ space and if someone wants to do a trick or jump really high or crazy, ask everyone to get off first. We used to take turns doing two or three tricks each turn before switching.Younger kids are often fine to jump together. When people of disproportionate weight jump at the same time, it can get more dangerous. Use your best judgment and make sure you and/or your kids are familiar with the trampoline (and how easily you can bounce on others) before jumping together.
Safety Check for Your Trampoline
- Check for signs of tearing on the surface (this is common and if left unchecked, you can bounce right through!).
- Check the springs to make sure they are all firmly attached.
- Make sure the trampoline is sitting level and does not move around while jumping. Never keep a trampoline on an uneven surface.
Air Mats – A Safer Alternative to Trampolines
Bounce houses are popular with children’s birthday parties and fairs, but did you know there are many for home use? Indoor, outdoor, thin, thick, they come in several options. Normally, when referring to inflatables, bounce houses are the thick ones with walls or a roof of some sort. Air Tracks are longer and designed for tumbling. Air mats are also for tumbling, but less bouncy and much thinner.
For young children that just want to jump, bounce houses are a hit. Many can be indoors, where trampolines would be too bouncy (unless you have extremely high ceilings!). They can also be deflated for easier storage.
For kids or adults interested in gymnastics, a longer air track or air mat is ideal. Most air mats do not provide enough bounce to have a fun jumping session – they really are more for skills and no cheaper than the bouncier bounce houses.
Trampoline Buying Guide
Use the Trampoline Buying Guide as a quick reference for the best trampolines to buy. Each of them is easily available on Amazon, most with free shipping! Below the table is a more in-depth look at each trampoline listed in the buying guide. Or, click on the name or picture in the guide to find more information and the current price.
|Name||Picture||Total Size(s)||Jumping Surface||Weight Limit|
|Acon Air 16 Trampoline||10'x17', 10.5' high||14.5'x7.5'||800lb|
|Zupapa Trampoline||12', 7.8' high|
14', 8.5' high
15', 8.5' high
|ORCC Trampoline||15', 8.9' high|
12', 8.9' high
|86 York Air Mat||10'x3.3', 4" thick||10'x3.3'||none|
|Acon Air 1.8 Small Trampoline||6', 19" high||5.5'||220|
|Stamina Mini Trampoline||40", 9" high||38"||250lb|
Acon Air 16 Trampoline
This is the trampoline you want if you are into tricks! It is very high quality and has a bounce similar to that at professional gyms. The price reflects the construction of this trampoline.
The Acon Air 16 is not hard to get a high bounce on so will be easier to learn tricks. The rectangular shape is a plus for any type of skills. If your budget allows, this is one of the best trampolines for home use you can buy. It will also make you the most popular family on the block!
It is a popular trampoline and they sell out often – get yours here!
The Zupapa is the best trampoline for a mid-range budget. They just came out with their 2019 model which has no exposed springs. The mat covering the springs is stitched right into the trampoline, making it the only trampoline that does this that I am aware of.
Zupapa makes a strong trampoline with a generous warranty. They have excellent customer service, should you need to contact them. Check out the size options and prices here.
If you are on a budget ORCC trampolines are a great option. They are made well and last, according to reviews. Their weight limit of 330 and 550lbs (depending on the size) exceeds other trampolines in the same price range (often only 200lbs). ORCC also is reported to have great customer service in several reviews! Click here to see for yourself.
Air Track Mat
Air mats are not trampolines, but I wanted to include this air track mat here as an option for tumbling. The air mats to buy for home are normally four inches. It is enough to give them spring without going so high you need vaulted ceilings. So, depending on the height of the user and the ceiling height, you may be able to use them inside.
Air mats are not a good alternative if you are getting a trampoline for fun jumping. To reiterate – air track mats are for extra bounce in tumbling and gymnastics skills. They are also fun for babies and toddlers to walk and explore on!
The 86 York is a great air mat for several reasons. First, it is a great price compared to other options online. Some cost five times as much for the same materials! A big reason for the price differences is that air mats are new to the home gymnastics world. They have only become available (and now becoming popular) in the last few years. The 86 York comes with an electric pump (most don’t or come with a hand pump – who has time for that?!), allowing it to inflate and deflate in one minute. It also includes a 1-year warranty.
See the current prices and buy here.
Acon Air 1.8
The Acon Air 1.8 is another small trampoline, but so much different than most “minis”. It’s still pretty big and only OK indoors if you have very high ceilings. Don’t let its size fool you! True to the brand, it has an amazing bounce – comparable to a trampoline twice its size (and the price reflects this!).
Because of its size and ability to catapult its user like a rocket, it’s great for gymnastics tricks, landing off of the trampoline. I do not recommend it for younger children, as the surface isn’t big enough they’re bound to uncontrollably bounce right off.
This is a good, semi-portable trampoline for older kids and adults to practice skills when there’s not enough room for a full-sized trampoline. See more pictures, reviews, and price here.
Stamina Mini Trampoline
Mini Trampolines have become popular (and, of course, more expensive) due to the trend of “rebounding”. Many have even changed their names to rebounder as opposed to a mini-trampoline. But, really, they are what they are – miniature versions of full-sized trampolines, so I claim the right to continue calling them mini trampoline!
The mini trampolines are great for quick workouts. The extra height it gives your jumps makes it easier to practice straddle, tuck, or whatever other types of jumps your working on. The convenience of them can’t be beaten – the Stamina can probably fit under your bed (I can’t test it since I have no beds!) and it doesn’t offer enough bounce to hit your head on the ceiling.
I have had the Stamina mini trampoline for over three years and, after three kids and several more in gymnastics classes, it’s still going strong. It is great for restless kids and sensory seekers. My 8-year-old son used to bounce on it while watching a show or listening to audiobooks. He’s the type that can’t sit still! My kids use it to jump over obstacles they create or right on to pillow mountains. It has stretchy bands instead of springs so there’s no pinching fear, making it much safer. Buy yours here!
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