Ask anyone with a trampoline in their garden and they’ll tell you it’s the most fun you can have on your doorstep.
Kids just love to bounce, and a trampoline helps any child over the age of three keep fit and active while having fun. And if you don’t have kids, there’s no reason why you can’t invest in one yourself. Trampolining is not only good for those endorphins but it’s considered to be one of the best forms of exercise for adults, helping you to lose weight and keep fit while jumping for joy.
But whatever the reason for buying one, there’s a lot to think about when getting a trampoline. What size and shape do you need? Should it be in-ground or overground? Read on to find our recommendations to suit all budgets and needs, as well as a guide to the features you should consider before making your purchase.
Deal alert: 50% off all trampolines at Tesco
As one facet of its huge closing down sale, Tesco Direct has knocked 50% off its entire stock of trampolines. While stocks last, this sale includes the Jumpking Zorbpod, which we named ‘the best all-rounder’ in our buyer’s guide. It’s come down in price from £460 to £230.
How to buy the best trampoline for you (and your kids, too)
Should I buy an in-ground or overground trampoline?
In-ground trampolines – that is, trampolines which are set into the ground – are increasingly popular, both because they are more discreet (no eyesore in the garden) and safer (nothing to fall off). But you’ll have to dig a deep hole to fit it in, and organise proper drainage to prevent rusting. Above-ground trampolines are easier to set up and maintain – but they entail more safety risks and can be a blot on the landscape.
Round is the most popular shape – it’s the cheapest to make, and the bounce is light and easy in the middle. Hexagonal designs are a fun alternative and offer the same kind of bounce. A rectangular trampoline will suit those more serious about gymnastics, as they offer the best quality of bounce to achieve high jumps, while oval trampolines are great for narrower gardens – and for multiple jumpers, as bouncers don’t all tend to gravitate towards the middle. Octagonal trampolines also give a more predictable vertical bounce.
What size should I get?
The most common sizes for trampolines (the diameter of the jumping surface, not the surrounding springs and padding) are 6ft, 8ft, 10ft, 12ft and 14ft, with oval and rectangular ones coming in a whole different set of sizes. Generally speaking, it’s a case of the bigger the better: more jumping space allows for bigger tricks, or more people jumping at once – and it will last you longer as the kids grow.
Be warned, though, it’s very easy to underestimate just how much space you’ll need for a trampoline. Before investing, be sure to measure out the area where you want to put it – and make sure it’s surrounded by grass or AstroTurf rather than hard concrete, to reduce the risk of injury if your child falls off. You should also ensure there’s enough space either side for the kids to get on and off and make sure it’s not near obstacles like branches.
Do I need an enclosure?
It depends on who will be using it. If you’re a beginner, or a parent of a beginner, and want to be extra cautious, you might decide to go with a protective netting around the trampoline. However, you won’t really need one if the person using the trampoline is quite experienced. Also consider that trampoline netting does not last forever as it can be torn rather easily or simply rot over time when exposed to direct sunlight, so best not to spend much more on a trampoline because it comes with a fancy enclosure. They can easily be bought at a later date, or replaced.
What accessories are available?
While it isn’t a neccessity, there’s a variety of add-ons available to trampoline buyers, including ladders to help kids climb in and out safely, as well as stakes and anchors to ensure that the trampoline stays securely in place. There’s even sports equipment available to help make trampolining more competitive, and so young athletes can work on their pitching and throwing accuracy.
What else should I consider?
The frame should be made of galvanised steel (ideally with weld-free construction) to ensure that it won’t rust, and will cope with the stress of people jumping on it day after day. The enclosure should be strong and weather-resistant and fit securely to the trampoline frame using padded poles – these prevent jumpers from landing on the springs and frame without compromising on the amount of jumping space. Springs, if there are any, should be zinc-coated to cope with all weathers, and pad covers should have a thick layer of UV-resistant and all-weather padding to give even more protection. Check your trampoline’s warranty – and, if you plan to keep it a long time, make sure that spare parts will be available to buy should you ever need them.