A trampoline may accomplish the unthinkable in your household: It could actually draw the kids off the couch several times a day for exercise, fun and fresh air in the backyard.
But a trampoline is usually a big purchase — in both the physical and financial sense. They can take up a lot of space in your yard, and their prices can often go up into the thousands. There are also legitimate concerns about the safety and durability of trampolines, and even how they may affect home insurance.
What trampoline is right for you? What steps can you take to avoid accidents and injuries?
Here's our comprehensive guide to help navigate the purchasing decision, with our picks for the best trampolines to buy. In addition to classic outdoor trampolines, we're including recommendations for indoor models that are great for kids, and also for those who want a sturdy, reliable little trampoline for exercise.
Trampoline buying guide
Among the factors and specifications you should consider while shopping for a trampoline, take a close look at the following:
• Materials and overall quality. There's a wide range of prices for trampolines — and quite a wide range of quality to match.
You can find plenty of cheap full-size outdoor trampolines (10' and up in diameter) sold online in the range of $200 to $300. But if you're buying a basic low-price trampoline, you shouldn't expect it to be the safest or longest-lasting product. Cheaper trampolines are notorious for being shipped with missing parts, or with factory-made screws or poles that are bent or that don't quite fit during assembly. They're also lightweight and prone to wobbling when people are bouncing or the wind picks up. And the materials used tend to be lower quality, so it shouldn't come as a surprise when the mat or safety netting shows signs of wear and tear after a winter or two.
If you want a trampoline that's as safe as possible and will have a long lifespan, it's best to pay more than the bare minimum. Good outdoor trampolines, which generally run $500 and up, feature heavy-duty rustproof steel frames (typically galvanized with a layer of zinc), lots of strong springs for a nice, consistent bounce, plenty of padding over the springs and frame poles, and a tough safety netting around the bounce area. It's particularly important to get a higher-quality, more durable trampoline if you live in an area with lots of wet weather or long, cold winters, assuming you plan to keep the trampoline outside year-round (which is what most people do).
• Shape and size. The classic round trampoline is the most popular among owners, and it's generally considered the strongest and simplest shape.
In most cases, though, jumpers get the best bounce in a relatively small spot at the center of a round trampoline. Jumpers are also nudged toward the center of a round trampoline every time they bounce.
If you like the idea of getting a more consistent bounce spread throughout the trampoline, consider an oval or rectangular model. Bear in mind that non-circular trampolines are usually a bit more expensive, especially when you're buying a high-quality model.
• Weight limit. Most if not all trampolines state a maximum weight limit allowed, typically ranging from 250 pounds to 550 pounds. But it's not exactly a straightforward measurement that can be compared across all trampolines.
Some trampoline makers list a maximum user weight — often around 200 pounds — rather than a maximum weight limit overall. Staying under this max user weight will allow for an optimal bouncing experience. But most trampolines are tested with much higher weights (sometimes in the neighborhood of 1,000 pounds), and they're usually safe and fully capable of handling much more than the cited maximum user weight. It's just that, when you go above the user weight, there is a decline in bounce performance.
Confusing things further, trampolines usually advise that they should be used by only one jumper at a time. What's more, some people may not want the highest weight limit possible. Why? Trampolines with substantial weight limits feature stronger, thicker springs, which require a fair amount of weight to depress and use for bouncing. That means it can be very difficult for kids and lightweight people in general to get a good bounce off of them.
• What's included? In addition to the trampoline itself, take a look at the extras included. Safety nets are usually (but not always) part of the package, and we definitely recommend having one. (Some home insurance policies even require it; see below.)
Some trampolines come with soft basketball hoops, which can add to the fun, as well as a ladder to help with getting in and getting out of the trampoline. Stakes or anchors might be included, and you may or may not need them depending on the trampoline design and how it sits in your yard. Any accessories or extras that aren't included in the main price can usually be purchased separately.
• Assembly required. The difficulty of assembly is probably the biggest source of grumbling in online trampoline reviews. These are not the easiest products to build, and the task is made more difficult too often by poorly written instructions or parts that are missing, bent or slightly off in their fit.
When the time comes to assemble your trampoline, be sure to have two or three people handy to help out. Read the instructions carefully and patiently, and take your time. Many problems with trampolines stem from a mistake during assembly, like a spring that was attached incorrectly.
And if you're the type who isn't good with assembly or gets frustrated with such projects easily, it's wise to look into outsourcing the job to a pro. You can search for a general handyman or trampoline assembler in your area at sites like HomeAdvisor, or by posting on Facebook or Craigslist.
• Warranty and customer service. When you're shopping, it's often hard to tell how well a product will hold up in the long run. That's why it's important, particularly with a big-ticket item like a trampoline, to look for a good, long-lasting warranty.
Top trampoline makers offer 10-year warranties (or even longer) on their metal frames and springs; with cheaper brands, it's often hard to tell how long the warranty lasts at all.
When things do go wrong, it's key that the company offer good, responsive customer service. You can look into comments on trampoline manufacturer social media accounts to see how quickly (or slowly) they are to respond to questions and complaints. Another way to get a sense of a company's service is simply calling up and asking questions. If no one answers or gets back to you, or if the agent you speak with is rude or clueless, those obviously aren't good signs.
Are trampolines dangerous?
We're not going to lie: Trampolines can be dangerous. Some of the most common trampoline injuries that send kids to the emergency room, according to the Mayo Clinic, are broken bones in the wrist, radius or ulna, as it's natural to try to brace yourself if you're falling. Trampoline accidents can also result in fractures in the ribs, sternum and even the head.
What can you do to make trampolines safer? For one thing, be sure to use a safety net. That alone may cut the rate of fractures in half, the Mayo Clinic estimates. Also, while this may seem like it's killing the fun, it's best to allow only one person to bounce at a time, because many injuries occur due to collisions between jumpers. "A significant mismatch in size and weight, such as a teen and a toddler, is especially dangerous," the Mayo Clinic says.
Beyond that, many trampoline injuries are the result of risky, poorly thought-out behavior. Trampoline instruction safety warnings — yes, you should read them! — often point out that you should never bring objects into the bouncing area (especially large, hard or sharp things). It's also a very bad idea to jump off of something high, like a roof, ladder or tree, onto the trampoline.
To be as safe as possible, all jumpers should learn to bounce properly. Keep your knees bent slightly when making impact with the mat, jump as vertically as possible, stay toward the center of the bouncing area, and always bounce while barefoot or with socks or gymnastic shoes (no sneakers, shoes or sandals).
Finally, take care of your trampoline. Make sure it's built correctly, and inspect it periodically for wear and tear. Tighten up bolts and make other adjustments as needed. Trampolines are usually left outside in the sun and cold for years, and even the strongest materials and designs can dilapidate over time.
Homeowners insurance and trampolines
Having a trampoline on your property can affect your homeowners insurance — and might cause your policy to be canceled or not renewed, or be subject to a price increase. So before you buy a trampoline and assemble it in your yard, it's important to contact your insurance agent or closely review your policy to see what's allowed.
"Homeowners insurance coverage for trampolines may vary by state and by insurance company," Allstate explains.
In some cases, trampolines are allowed by insurance companies with no restrictions or requirements, and you'd be able to file a claim if someone was hurt using the trampoline. In other sets of circumstances, though, insurance companies will cover such trampoline-related injuries only if the homeowner takes certain safety precautions — often, this means the trampoline needs to be encircled with a safety net.
And then there are the situations in which trampolines are simply not covered at all by a homeowners insurance policy. If that's the case, the homeowner would be entirely responsible for costs of any injuries or damages related to a trampoline on the property. The insurance company could also use the presence of a trampoline as a reason for not renewing the policy.
Again, the rules and insurance consequences of having a trampoline on your property can vary widely. So before buying one it's wise to look into your particular situation to see how a trampoline would impact your home insurance.
1. Best overall: Berg Champion Trampoline
Berg is a premium trampoline brand, with high-quality products that are safe, offer great performance and are built to last. The company's trampolines are expensive — our Best Overall pick is a 17' x 11' oval-shaped model that costs around $1,800 — but you get what you pay for.
Most trampoline springs extend straight between the frame and the bouncing mat, creating a fairly small spot at the center that's optimal for jumping. Many Berg trampolines, including those in its Champion line, are different. They utilize more springs than a typical trampoline, and they attach diagonally in a "V" shape between the mat and frame. The result is a better, more consistent bounce, with a larger area on the mat that's perfect for jumping.
As you'd hope in a pricey brand, Netherlands-based Berg doesn't skimp when it comes to materials and design. The company's trampolines incorporate rustproof springs and a sturdy steel frame that's powder-coated and galvanized with solid zinc to withstand all weather conditions. They also come with thick padding (nearly 1") covering the springs that's encased in a UV-resistant material, plus a thick layer of foam padding around all of the safety net poles. There are even fiberglass poles (covered in padding, of course) looping around the top of the 7' high safety net, which is very unusual for trampolines and provides additional stability and safety.
Berg's warranty is excellent. The frame is covered for 13 years, the springs are under warranty for 5 years and the protective and jumping edges are covered for 2 years.
The one specification that may cause you to pause is the oddly low weight limit for Berg's trampolines. The maximum user weight is listed at 120 kilograms, or about 265 pounds, whereas many other trampolines say their weight limits are 300 pounds or even over 500 pounds. Berg explains that its stated weight maximum is based on offering the optimal jump experience for one person. The trampolines are plenty strong — they're tested to hold over 1,000 pounds — but the company says that bouncing will be best if the jumper(s) are at or under that 265-pound mark.
2. Best overall runner-up: Happy Trampoline
We like Happy Trampoline, based in California, because the brand puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to the strength and durability of its products, offering a lifetime warranty on its trampoline frames and springs. There's a 2-year warranty on the mats, nets and spring covers as well.
Happy Trampoline's products, which come in a variety of round and rectangular shapes and sizes, have over 100 heavy-duty galvanized and rustproof springs, as well as thick steel frames that are galvanized inside and out. As a result, the company's trampolines are capable of handling an above-average maximum weight of 550 pounds.
With such a high weight limit, these trampolines can easily handle adult jumpers. In fact, one complaint some users have lodged is that the mats and coils are so strong and stiff that kids and smaller jumpers are too light to get a good bounce.
It's also notable that some reviewers complain about the quality and durability of some of Happy Trampoline's parts. Nets and mats have been known to get tiny tears in them after a year or so, the zippers at the entrance have broken, and the ladder's hooks can bend, making it unusable. In some cases, users say bolts were missing or slightly off in size when their trampolines arrived.
These problems may be the result of a recent slip in quality control — like many other outdoor products, trampolines were very hard to find at the height of the pandemic, as overseas factories shut down and manufacturers scrambled to meet consumer demand — and hopefully the company addresses these issues soon. For what it's worth, these kinds of complaints are common among many trampolines, as are grievances about the difficulty of assembly. But they're the types of problems you'd hope you wouldn't encounter when buying a product in the Happy Trampoline price range (usually starting at $1,400 for a round 14' model).
3. Editor's pick: Jumpflex FLEX150 Trampoline
Jumpflex is a newer company, launched in New Zealand in 2009, and it makes very good quality trampolines that come with solid warranties and pricing that's more affordable than the top-tier brands.
Jumpflex offers round trampolines in a choice of three diameters — 12', 14' and 15' — with prices usually ranging from $699 to $899. They all feature 42-gauge high-tensile steel frames with zinc coating to avoid rust and handle the elements well. The trampolines are rated to hold up to a hefty 550 pounds, and Jumpflex promises the frame poles won't buckle or lose shape. As for the warranty, it lasts for 10 years on the frame, 5 years on the springs and mats and 3 years on safety padding and nets.
Before buying a Jumpflex trampoline, take note of a few potential hiccups. One is that shipping typically costs extra ($49), even if you're ordering via Amazon and you're a Prime member. Another source of confusion for customers has been that Jumpflex trampolines are shipped in multiple boxes, and sometimes the boxes arrive on different days. The good thing is that Jumpflex customer service has a strong reputation for being fair and responsive.
4. Best for low prices: Skywalker Trampolines
There are many mid-size backyard trampolines priced at around $300 or less, and for the most part their durability and quality is suspect.
When you buy a cheap trampoline, you get just that: a cheap trampoline. It shouldn't come as a surprise when it arrives and the assembly instructions are mystifying or parts are missing or don't fit just right. Or when, soon after it's assembled, nets or mats tear or frame poles bend. The point is: Buyer beware when it comes to ordering a low-price trampoline from an unknown brand, with a warranty that doesn't offer much help if and when there are problems.
All that said, a cheap basic trampoline may be a good fit if all you're looking for is some inexpensive short-lived fun for a younger child, and you're not particularly worried about durability or the fact you may have to hit the hardware store for DIY fixes. Just be sure to look closely at the one- and two-star reviews of any trampoline before you buy, to know what you're getting yourself into.
Skywalker makes very popular trampolines, including the 12-Foot Jump 'n Dunk Trampoline, which comes with a basketball hoop and a safety net. This model is often the overall best-selling trampoline on Amazon, likely because it's fairly large, comes with a fun accessory (the basketball hoop, plus a foam ball), and is available at a low price — usually around $275 to $350.
Skywalker also makes smaller and even less expensive trampolines. We've seen an 8' Skywalker model that comes with a net and soft basketball hoop starting at under $200. A trampoline like this would really only be good for small kids, mind you.
Skywalker says its products meet all international safety standards for trampolines, and it offers a 3-year warranty on the frame and a 1-year warranty on the parts. The Skywalker gets an overall 4.6-star rating at Amazon, based on nearly 5,000 reviews. Among the complaints from reviewers are that it is lighter and less sturdy than one might hope, so it's prone to wobbling and may feel unsafe with a lot of weight bouncing on the mat. (The maximum recommended user weight is 200 pounds.) Some buyers have also been upset that assembly was very difficult because the instructions were confusing or parts were missing, bent or didn't line up properly.
5. Best in-ground trampoline: Berg Champion In-Ground Trampoline
If you want an in-ground trampoline and quality is top of mind, Berg is probably the way to go.
Berg's in-ground trampoline features all of the same traits that its excellent traditional above-ground trampolines have. That includes a very strong, rust-proof frame and special V-shaped springs, outstanding and consistent bounce, ample padding and safety features, and an above-average warranty. (The frame's warranty is 13 years, plus 5 years for the springs and 2 years on the padding and jump mat.) The only difference with the in-ground model is that it's designed to rest just above ground level — so you have to dig a hole as big as the frame, and deep enough for jumping, to use it.
In-ground trampolines are great because they remove the danger of a jumper falling from an extra-high distance. (This model comes with a safety net too, which also helps decrease the chances of injury.)
But in-ground trampolines are not for everyone (or every yard). For one thing, there is some extra work involved, in the form of digging a hole and planning for adequate drainage. If the hole isn't big enough or drainage isn't planned for properly — or if the ground in your yard is simply too wet — water may accumulate periodically under the trampoline mat. That can cause more problems than just wet feet if someone is bouncing above.
Berg's 17' oval in-ground trampoline costs around $1,800, the same price as its above-ground counterpart. For another option that's cheaper but still very good quality, check out Happy Trampoline, which has a 14' round in-ground trampoline for about $1,300.
6. Best trampoline for exercise: JumpSport PRO Indoor Fitness Trampoline
While most trampolines are designed purely for fun, some have fitness in mind. To give your at-home workout some bounce, consider a mini exercise trampoline, such as the models made by JumpSport.
Instead of using springs like big trampolines, mini trampolines like the JumpSport get their bounce from elastic cords stretched beneath the mat. JumpSport's trampolines are gym-quality, and prices aren't cheap, ranging from around $200 to over $500.
At the low end is JumpSport's 200 series of Fitness Rebounders, which usually come with 30 elastic cords, a weight limit of 225 pounds. JumpSport's pricier mini trampolines are generally bigger (frame diameter up to 44", versus 39" for others), with 36 cords that can be adjusted for bounce preference, and weight limits up to 325 pounds. The legs of some (but not all) of JumpSport's fitness trampolines are foldable, which can come in handy if you're cramped for space.
Which JumpSport fitness trampoline is right for you depends a lot on who you are, what kind of workout you're hoping for, and whether you want to be able to fold it flat and stash it under the bed or couch.
7. Best indoor trampoline for kids: Skywalker Trampolines Mini Trampoline with Enclosure Net
Trampoline fun doesn't have to be limited to the outdoors. If your child loves to bounce year-round, regardless of the weather, check out Skywalker's mini trampolines.
They come in a wide variety of colors and styles — some feature astronauts or spaceships — with diameter frame sizes ranging from 40" to 60". The larger the model, the more it costs, with prices from around $70 to over $200.
Like fitness trampolines, the mini trampolines from Skywalker use elastic stretch bands rather than springs. They're recommended for children ages 3 to 7.
Another indoor trampoline for kids that's very sturdy and offers added convenience is the Original Toy Companys Fold & Go Trampoline. It has no safety net, but the bouncing surface is mere inches off the ground, and it features a padded safety bar that kids can hold onto while bouncing. Like the name indicates, the Fold & Go can be folded up into a small, flat shape for storage or travel. It's designed to accommodate one child at a time, ages 3 and up, with a maximum weight allowed of 150 pounds.