Everything You Need to Know About Trampoline Sizes
If I had the power, I would line the sidewalks with trampoline mats so that we could all bounce our way around town. Whatever age or environment, trampolines simply make things a little more fun and exciting.
Finding the right trampoline for your home is worth doing a little research; that’s why I’ve put together this post (and its related series) on the best trampoline sizes and who they will benefit most.
- 1 The Bottom Line?
- 2 The Basics: Round versus Rectangular
- 3 Round Sizings
- 4 Rectangular (Square) Trampoline Sizings
- 5 Standard trampoline sizes
- 6 Let’s take a look at some standard sizes then:
- 7 The Takeaway
If you don’t have time for the details, just know that capacity, size and yard space are the major factors in choosing the right trampoline.
Let’s break it down like this:
Full sized trampolines
Full sized trampolines will cover all of your bases, but they may not fit in your yard and they are total overkill for younger children.
Medium sized trampolines
Medium sized trampolines are ideal for recreational family use (recommended in most circumstances); and
Mini trampolines serve almost another purpose altogether. They are mostly for younger children, indoor use and fitness purposes.
Prices will vary considerably, though you can generally expect to pay more for full sized trampolines as opposed to smaller designs. At the lower end we have mini trampolines for less than $40, while at the high-end you can find Olympic trampolines going for $1000+.
See what I mean about doing your research? In the five minutes it takes to read through this post, you might just learn enough to save yourself $900!
Well, maybe. The point is that there’s no need to overdo it. Trampolines may be a symbol of fun and free-spirits, but that doesn’t mean we need to be reckless in our buyer decisions.
The Basics: Round versus Rectangular
Trampolines come in two standard forms: round and rectangular (sometimes called square trampolines). Yes, there are hexagonal and all other shape designs on offer, but let’s stick with the tried and tested for now.
Round trampolines are measured by diameter.
That means the size you see in feet (or sometimes in meters) is the length taken directly through the middle, from one edge to the other. They usually begin at 8ft and work their way up in 2ft increments (8ft, 10ft, 12ft, etc.); some being as large as 16 feet across.
Round trampolines are popular for their friendly and practical design. With rounded mats, you have a true center to the trampoline. For young children, this can be an important factor when starting out. It makes them feel more secure while bouncing, since the room for error is equal on all sides.
These designs tend to take up more space than rectangular or square trampolines. That’s just basic geometry: when you push a circle up into a corner, you have a section of wasted space. Round trampolines are also better suited to larger buffer zones.
Buffer zones are the space directly surrounding the trampoline. This is where people will enter and exit the trampoline. For the best safety preparations, wide (and preferably grassy) buffer zones are recommended in case you fall from the trampoline by accident.
Rectangular (Square) Trampoline Sizings
Rectangular trampolines are somewhat more official and serious-looking than round trampolines (maybe that’s just me though).
Olympic trampolines, for example, follow a strict rectangular sizing scheme that must be followed to a point.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t just as much fun. In fact, the design of rectangular trampolines actually allows for a more precise and powerful tension on the trampoline mat. This is what allows for the highest bouncing (and the most dynamic tricks and stunts).
It comes at a price, though. Remember how I said that round trampolines are great for kids who are just getting their bearings on the trampoline? Well, rectangular trampolines are (naturally) much skinnier than their round counterparts. That means that while you may be bouncing in the center of the trampoline lengthways, you may still be very close to its horizontal edge.
Generally speaking, what does all this mean? I like to think of rectangular trampolines as being in the ‘teenager plus’ category (or else younger kids who are already familiar with trampolines and intend to do some flips and tricks). That is a very basic way of thinking about it, but if you and your family are entirely new too trampolines, then you may be more comfortable with a round sizing.
Standard trampoline sizes
While you may have been like myself, thinking that trampolines must have just one standard size, there are actually many.
The word standard, in this case, simply means that it has the appropriate dimensions to meet official safety and quality requirements.
You can have standard mini trampoline sizes as well as standard full size trampolines. Arguably the most official sizing is the Olympic sizing, but this is hardly necessary for the average household.
Let’s take a look at some standard sizes then:
Best trampoline size for smaller backyards and households with young children.
Medium sized and suitable for most backyard spaces
Full sized and usually capable of holding a lot of weight. Ideal for families with multiple kids or adventurous adults.
14×8 feet trampolines
Medium sized and perfectly suitable for individual bouncing, tricks and flips.
16×10+ feet trampolines
Full sized and capable of holding multiple bouncers.
Ideal for indoor usage and exercising.
Trampoline sizes and yard space
First thing’s first (and apologies for needing to spell this out):
most full-size trampolines are intended for outdoor usage. Unless you have oodles of ceiling and floor space, or you happen to own an indoor gymnastics center, you’re going to want to find a nice piece of grass or backyard space to house your trampoline.
Once you’ve found your ideal trampoline spot, it should be easier to decide upon a round or rectangular design.
Round trampolines are ideal for larger backyard spaces, while rectangular sizings can be useful for fitting your trampoline to meet space demands. For example, rectangular trampolines can be placed neatly against a neighbor’s fence, with easy access from just one or the other three sides.
Round trampolines, on the other hand, are typically better when they can be accessed from all sides. Hence requiring a little more space around the trampoline itself–large grassy backyards are ideal for this.
What is the best size for a trampoline? It’s the sizing that meets your household needs. The best size trampoline for adults won’t necessarily be the best size trampoline for 4 year olds or larger families.
If you are new to the trampoline scene, then focus on the basics:
How many people do you want bouncing at the same time? How old are they?
And how much space do you have to accommodate your trampoline?
From there, it’s a matter of style, safety and aesthetic preference. For more information about trampoline safety and other useful tips, be sure to follow the rest of this series.