We’ve been bouncing our way from one trampoline to another to find out which are the very best ones available.
Well, truth be told, we enlisted some keen juniors to do it for us – and you’re about to find out the results.
These young testers have never slept so well – not just from the sheer bouncing, but through our quizzing on what aspects they liked best and why.
And us adults have had our own tick-lists, too. What’s the quality of the jump like? How robust is the frame? How safe is it? And so on.
Think first and foremost about size, allowing a generous area of grass around the sides – it will mean a softer landing if a child falls off.
And on the subject of safety, always check what features are in place to help prevent accidents – a safety net and crawl tunnel instead of zipped entry are just two examples.
Think about whether you want an in-ground trampoline (less of an eyesore) or overground (cheaper) and whether you want a round (most common), rectangular (good for gymnast enthusiasts) or oval (good for narrower gardens and you get more jumping area).
Don’t forget about the weight limit – some are designed for one user, while others can take the weight of a car. As a general rule, a trampoline with 8ft diameter is ideal for one to two people; 12ft diameter for one to three people; and 15ft diameter for two to three people.
Finally, consider longevity. You’ll want your trampoline to last a long time, so make sure the frame is durable and the springs rust-resistant. Does it have a good warranty? Are spare parts, such as springs or pad, available to buy separately?
You can trust our independent reviews, we may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Jumpking ZorbPOD: From £569, MadFun
We love it when a company takes on board customer feedback. As much as everyone has adored the ZorbPOD since its launch in 2016, it was only available in larger sizes – 12ft (which requires 15ft of garden space) and 14ft (which requires 17ft of garden space). So this year, they’re also selling 8ft and 10ft versions (requiring 11ft and 13ft of space respectively). We love the space-age looks, the rounded net shape to maximise bouncing space and the interlinking base which makes for quicker assembling time. Aesthetically, the yellow foam and sleeve gives a cheery finish too.
TP Hip Hop: from £199.99, TP
Anxious parents can say goodbye to the worry of seeing kids falling out of the zipped entrance (more common than you might think) with this new range of trampolines from TP that have a patented igloo door tunnel, which children have to crawl through to reach the bounce area. Available in 6ft, 8ft, 10ft and 12ft for children aged 6+, there is also a mini size of 6ft suitable for children from 3+. We like the bright blue pads, which are more cushioned than some other trampolines we tried and the bounce performance is impressive. You can buy a cover, anchor kit and ladder separately.
Plum space zones II: From £139, All Round Fun
Trampolines are not known for being the most attractive of outdoor toys, which makes this one a sight for sore eyes with its ability to fold down when not in use – also good for protecting it against the elements. The only trampoline available with this pack-down enclosure mechanism, you push the pins in the poles to fold down all the netting, then cover it – voila, you have a pretty-looking garden once again. This one also gets brownie points for the net being sewn into the jumping mat so fingers and toes can’t get caught. Available in 8ft, 10ft, 12ft and 14ft.
Chad Valley 6ft trampoline: £84.95, Argos
Great for little ones aged around 3+, this has a lower height frame than most, as well as an extra-durable bounce-mat to withstand some serious bouncing. The galvanised steel frame and safety enclosure are sturdier than others in this price range and it’s simple to put together, thanks to the unusual "quad lok" frame with easy-to-link joints. The green and black colouring will appeal to kids and will blend into your garden more easily than some of its brighter counterparts. It’s only designed for one child to bounce at a time, though.
Vuly thunder: From £999.99, TP Toys
These Australian designed trampolines are made to withstand seriously hot weather and all-year-round bouncing. The safety net attaches directly to the mat so you can bounce right to the edge and the mesh is finer than most trampolines to avoid fingers and toes getting caught. The door opens to allow the jumper in, then seals shut when bouncing (no more falling out) and the compact leaf springs gives a higher bounce. We also like the lack of coils and rods, which helps stop strained knees knees, and it’s easy to put together as there aren’t many nuts and bolts. Plus, it can take 150kg of weight so the adults can have a go too. The Australian sizing does not fit exactly into imperial measurements but they are approximately 10ft, 12ft and 14ft.
Berg grand champion oval: From £1,039, Best Gym Equipment
If you’ve got a teenager who wouldn’t be seen dead on a traditional garden trampoline – or you don’t have a garden or the room for one anyway – then cast your eyes on this this bungee-sprung fitness trampoline. A great way for them (and you) to get fit either indoors or outdoors, it comes with fitness aids – including stability bar, resistance bands and weights – as well as a useful DVD to show you how to make the most of them. It can take up to 15 stone in weight and comes with a carry bag that means you can fold it away or cart round a friend’s house.
ELC junior trampoline: £40, ELC
No need for tiny tots to miss out on the fun, with this small, brightly coloured trampoline that you can use inside or out for kids aged 12-months and over. There’s an easy-grip handle for those still finding their feet, a weatherproof jumping area and robust steel frame. The bungee cord is hidden by the padded cover which is also stitched in for safety. There’s a pink one available too.
Capital in ground trampoline: From £645, Capital
In ground trampolines – those with bounce-mats that are level with the ground – are great for those who hate the idea of tall trampolines ruining their view. With this one, you get vented safety padding for extra air flow, which means no annoying slapping sounds, and full, half or corner safety net options. Add-ons include lighting for bouncing after dark and in-ground basketball hoops. The round one comes in four sizes (8ft, 10ft, 12ft 14ft) and the rectangular in three (10x6ft, 11x8ft, 14x10ft). Safety padding is available in either green or grey.
Spring Free oval: From £1,095, Spring Free
The clue is in the name for the USP on this one. Following growing research revealing that springs are one of the main causes of trampoline-based accidents, they introduced their first spring-free offering back in 2003 and their trampolines are still the only ones to be endorsed by RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). Instead, there’s a rod based system which, by the way, doesn’t rust, corrode or make that irritating squeaking nose. There are plenty of shapes and sizes available, but we like their oval ones best as you get more bounce for your buck, with children not automatically being sent back to the middle as is the case with round ones. For instance, with the 8ft x 11ft, it provides a jumping surface equivalent to a 12ft spring-based trampoline. It’s also available in 8ft x 13ft, and there’s even a ‘smart’ version which you connect to your tablet via Bluetooth to monitor bouncing skills and incorporate bouncing games.
Plum create your own trampoline: From £199, Plum
It doesn’t get more personalised than this. You get to decide size (8ft, 10ft, 12ft or 14ft), leg colour (silver or black) and pad colour (black, grey or even a tropical print of pink flamingos against blue background – not to be confused with its "flamingo pink", which is a plain bright pink). Next up, pick between grey, pink and black for the foam, then the net trim and finally the cover colours. Will you make yours a vibrant mix of shades or go for the cool greys or blacks? Plum also stands out for the quality of bounce and patented enclosure design that stops bouncers coming into contact with the springs.
The Verdict: Best trampolines
This year, the Jumpking ZorbPOD is available in more sizes than ever to suit all sized gardens, and it’s a great long-term investment that doesn’t break the bank. If you’ve got deeper pockets, our top recommendations are the Spring Free Oval (for safety) and the Berg Grand Champion Oval and Vuly Thunder (for durability and top-notch bounce).