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Choosing a Trampoline

Choosing a Trampoline

Before you start shopping for a trampoline, it’s important to make sure that you have a safe place to set it up. Once you’ve determined that you have a good place to put it, the next thing to decide is which size, shape and type of trampoline will be best suited to your jumpers.

Trampoline Placement

Make sure you have a good place to set a trampoline up before you buy one. Using a trampoline in an unsuitable area can lead to injury and damage the trampoline.

  • Ground: Trampolines must sit on level ground, since placing a trampoline on an uneven surface may result in it tipping over. Using a trampoline on a hard surface such as concrete will stress its frame, so soft ground such as a grassy area is preferable.
  • Clearance: A clearance space of at least 24 feet above a trampoline is necessary. In addition, there should be a clearance of at least 6 feet on all sides of the trampoline. The trampoline should be a minimum of 6 feet from objects such as buildings, fences, electrical lines, swimming pools, and tree branches. The area below a trampoline should be clear. Do not place any object underneath the trampoline.
  • Lighting Trampolines should always be used in a well-lit area so that both jumpers and those supervising them can see clearly.

Enclosure Type

Using an enclosure net increases the safety of your trampoline by preventing jumpers from falling off of it and reducing the chances of hitting the springs or frame. Enclosure nets are held up with poles that encircle the trampoline. The more poles, the more stable the trampoline and its enclosure net. Enclosure poles should always be covered by foam safety pads.

Some enclosure nets attach to the inner side of the trampoline springs and some attach to the outer side, near the frame. A net that is attached on the inner side does a better job of keeping bouncers off of the springs and prevents close contact with the poles.A net that attaches to the outer side allows more space to jump and comes with strong sleeves that cover the poles to reinforce them and make them last longer.

Enclosure poles come in different types. Some are straight and others curve inward at the top, where they are connected to a ring. Curved poles are used only with nets that attach to the inner side of the trampoline springs. While both types of poles support nets that improve trampoline safety, the top ring used with curved poles enhances the strength, stability and durability of the whole trampoline.

An enclosure with straight poles that attach to the net with straps

An enclosure net supported by curved poles

Upper Bounce trampolines have nets that attach to the inner side of the trampoline springs.

Gap-free enclosures that attach directly to the jumping pad are safest for young children. All Upper Bounce enclosures are gap-free.

A gap-free enclosure is safest for young children.

Shape

The shape of your trampoline affects not only the jumping area available, but also the quality of bounce. Choose the shape best suited to your jumpers and the space available, always making sure there is adequate clearance [link to clearance section] around and above the trampoline.

  • RoundThe most common shape on the market is round. Round trampolines have an equal amount of jumping distance from the edges to the center, and are mainly used for backyard jumping. They are available in many sizes and are often more affordable than rectangular models of similar size.
    A round trampoline’s even spring distribution pulls jumpers back to the center, which is desirable for safety reasons. Round trampolines are also better for home use because they provide a lower bounce than rectangular models, making them safer for children.
  • RectangularRectangular trampolines are known for their massive bounce, which is due to independently functioning springs that work at different rates. That gives jumpers the highest lift, as well as better control over their height and landing. Rectangular trampolines offer more even bounce across the whole jumping surface, as well as a longer jumping area. For these reasons, rectangular trampolines are the choice of gymnasts, competitive jumpers, and other trained athletes.

Size

There are many sizes of trampoline to choose from. Consider the age and size of your jumpers; the area available to set up your trampoline, including clearance space; and whether the trampoline will be used for gymnastic training.

Trampoline sizes are equal to their edge-to-edge diameter, so a trampoline jumping area will be smaller than its listed size.

  • 36-48 Inches: Mini trampolines without nets are designed for adults who want to add a low-impact aerobic activity to their fitness routine. Some have handrails that attach to the frame to increase safety and stability while exercising. Many mini trampolines are foldable to make transporting them easy.
  • 55 Inches: This size trampoline is best for young (6+) children. (Children under 6 years of age should not use trampolines.) Its size and round shape produce a moderate bounce so that smaller, less experienced jumpers can have adequate control of their jumps. The mat is low and close to the ground, making it easy for them to get on and off safely and without a ladder. Trampolines higher than 1.5 feet from the ground are not recommended for young children.
  • 7–8 Feet: This size trampoline is good for families with children over the age of 9. The mat is low and close to the ground, making it safe and easy for children to get on and off without a ladder. Trampolines over 1.5 feet in height are not recommended for young children.
  • 10–11 Feet: Recommended for adults and children over the age of 9, this size fits in smaller yards but provides more space to jump on, and thus more opportunity for a higher and more enjoyable bounce.
  • 12–13 Feet: This is the most popular size among all jumpers. It provides a larger area to jump on and a higher bounce, but requires a larger yard with open flat space.
  • 14–16 Feet: A trampoline of this size requires a greater amount of space, but its large jumping area makes it the most popular option for gymnasts, acrobats and other trained athletes.

Which Trampoline Is Best for You?

Types of JumpersSizeShapeEnclosureHeightSpecial FeaturesURL
Young Children
(6–9 years)*
55 inchesRoundGap-free net enclosure< 1.5 feet
  • No-spring bungee system
  • Net skirt to prevent children and toys from getting underneath
Kids
(9+ years)
7–8 feetRoundNet enclosure< 1.5 feet 
Adults
(recreational use)
8–16 feetRoundNet enclosureAnyTrampoline ladder
Adults
(fitness use)
Mini (36–48 inches)RoundNoneAny
  • Foldable model
  • arrying case
  • Handrail
Families8–16 feetRoundNet enclosureAny (lower is better for children)Trampoline ladder
Gymnasts, acrobats14–15 feet (length)RectangularNet enclosureAnyTrampoline ladder

*Children under 6 years of age should not use trampolines for safety reasons.