In the age of video games, gadgets and smartphones, getting your kids outside for some fresh air isn’t easy…
However, trampolines are exciting enough to persuade even the most reluctant teens to spend some time in the garden. They provide kids with hours of fun and exercise (plus, who are we kidding, they’re an exciting purchase for us adults too!).
There are a range of trampolines on the market and, of course, safety is a number one priority. To help you find the best trampoline for your garden, we’ve put together the following guide:
The Benefits of Buying a Trampoline
Besides the fact that trampolines are extremely good fun, there are a lot of other benefits to using them at home.
Having a trampoline in the garden is extremely convenient; you’ll be surprised how often you and the kids end up outside on it – it’s a great excuse to be out in the garden.
When your kids have friends round (or even when you have friends round, for that matter!) they’re sure to spend a lot more time outside than they would have done previously.
Not only is trampolining fantastic exercise, it can also improve balance, coordination and strength. Trampolines can be used by kids of all ages, making it a great afternoon activity for siblings.
For adults, trampolines offer a great low-impact cardio workout. Trampolining is much kinder on the knees than running, and there are a lot of different workouts you can do using a trampoline.
For both kids and adults alike, using a trampoline can help strengthen core, leg and back muscles. Having more developed muscles helps with a variety of activities, and also helps prevent injury when doing day-to-day tasks.
Plus, spending a few hours on the trampoline is a great way to bond with your kids. What’s more, you might even develop a new hobby yourself!
Round vs Rectangular Trampolines
Round trampolines generate slightly less ‘bounce’ which can make them a safer option in the garden.
Because of the design of round trampolines, jumpers have to be in the middle of the jumping mat to achieve the most bounce. This is because all of the springs are required to work equally and at the same time on a round trampoline, due to its shape.
With a rectangular trampoline, it’s possible to achieve higher bounces anywhere on the trampoline because there is no ‘central’ point. This means that it’s possible to jump equally as high on a rectangular trampoline, no matter if you’re in the middle or at the edge.
For this reason, I’ve chosen to only recommend round trampolines as the best trampolines for kids. Whilst children can still achieve a reasonably high bounce in the centre, it’s harder to jump high around the edge of a round trampoline compared to a rectangular one. This means children are more controlled when closer to the edge, which is good news for safety.
Safety is by far the most important thing to consider when it comes to finding the best trampolines for kids.
- The trampoline frame needs to be well built and protected with padding on the poles and springs. This stops kids from jumping into the poles by accident, or pinching themselves on the springs.
- You should ideally look to purchase a trampoline with a tall safety enclosure net. These enclosure nets help minimise risk by reducing the chance of children falling off the trampoline. If the net has a top bar to hold it taught, it may offer more protection.
- The importance of using an anchor kit with your trampoline should not be overlooked. There are two main types of anchor kit. Kits that contain U-shaped hooks that go over the trampoline’s stand and push into the ground, securing it in place. Kits that contain auger anchors and straps which push into the ground and attach to the frame of the trampoline (like guy ropes).
- Four-legged trampolines are a lot more stable than those with three legs, and you should ensure that you assemble and maintain your trampoline according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you aren’t confident about assembling the trampoline, you can often pay extra to have an expert do the assembly for you.
- Buying a cover can prevent the jumping mat getting wet and slippery. A cover can help make the trampoline safer to use after rainfall. If the jumping surface is kept dry using a cover, it shouldn’t be slippery. Always check the conditions of the trampoline before kids get on.
The best trampolines for kids will have been built in accordance with European safety standards, and should state which standard specifically so that this information can be checked. Don’t just take the listings word for it – make sure to double check that the trampoline has been properly tested.
Choosing the Right Size
The best trampoline size for you and your family will depend on two primary factors: the size of your garden, and the age of your kids. The maximum weight capacity of the trampoline should also play a part in your decision.
For young children, up to 5 years old, a small indoor trampoline is generally the most appropriate. We have a separate page dedicated to the best trampolines for toddlers.
Smaller trampolines, of around 2.4 m (8 ft), are suitable for children between 6 -10 years old.
3 m trampolines (10 ft) suit children and teens from around 10 – 16 years old.
Larger trampolines, with a diameter of 3.5 m + (13 ft +) are best suited to older teens and adults.
These sizes are estimations, based on the average size of children in each age group, to ensure they have enough space to on the jumping mat without being too near the edge.
Space in the Garden
Trampolines take up a lot of outdoor space – not only do you need room for the trampoline itself, but you should also to leave at least a 2-3 m parameter between the trampoline and any obstacles.
The trampoline also need to be positioned on level ground. If you have any slopes in your garden you will need to measure to see if there is enough of a flat area to accommodate it.
Measuring out the space should be done before buying a trampoline. It’s an annoying and time-consuming mistake to realise, too late, that the trampoline won’t fit!
Maximum Weight Capacity
Trampolines vary when it comes to their maximum weight capacity. This figure isn’t always directly proportional to their size either.
Whilst most large trampolines (10 – 14 ft) have a higher weight capacity than smaller trampolines (8 ft and under), this shouldn’t be presumed or taken for granted.
Checking the specific weight capacity of the trampoline that you’re looking at is the only way to know for sure.
A mini trampoline for toddlers will have a maximum weight capacity of around 30 kg. Small ‘full-size’ trampolines may still have as low a weight limit as 50 kg, whilst larger trampolines can go up to 150 kg.
If you want to use the trampoline yourself, or know that other adults in the family will want to use it, take your weight into account and opt for a higher weight capacity.
Also, if you suspect that more than one child may use the trampoline at a time, this needs to be factored in to which weight limit you choose.
Bear in mind that, if you have young children, they will still want to use the trampoline as they grow older. Therefore, the weight capacity that you choose (as well as the size of the trampoline) needs to reflect this.
As mentioned above, some trampolines don’t come with anchor kits included. These need to be purchased separately to ensure the trampoline is secure.
Not all trampolines come with a netted safety enclosure either, so if you want one, either buy a trampoline with an enclosure included, or make sure that you can add an enclosure to the trampoline that you purchase.
A trampoline ladder is a great option for younger kids, allowing them the independence of climbing onto the trampoline unassisted. Some trampolines come with these, whilst others require them to be purchased separately.
Finally, a protective cover can help protect the jumping mat from getting wet, as well as stop the frame getting too much exposure to the elements.
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