Trampolines conjure up the euphoric feeling of soaring through the air. Imagine capturing that feeling with a trampoline in your yard! The joy of a trampoline is easy to remember, but actually deciding what kind of trampoline to get can be tough since they come in all different shapes and sizes, not to mention with a ton of different features. The frame strength, bounce quality, safety features, price, weight limitations and more vary depending on the shape of the trampoline.
What is the best shape for a trampoline?
We compare two of the most commons trampoline shapes — rectangular and round — to help you make an informed purchasing decision. Here’s to happy bouncing!
- Round vs. Rectangular: Frame Strength
Frame strength is a critical feature of any trampoline. The first consideration when researching frame strength is not actually the shape of the trampoline but rather the material used to make the frame. Some trampolines use simple steel in their frames. These frames are more likely to suffer from rust and are more likely to be damaged from regular use.
When thinking about frame strength, look for galvanized steel rather than plain steel. Galvanized steel offers a higher resistance to rust. Plus, the strength of this material means your trampoline will probably come with a longer warranty. Some other trampolines offer a powder-coated steel frame. This coating is designed to prevent rusting and other degradation of the frame. Selecting a high-quality trampoline will give you more for your money in the long-run.
You might be wondering, while considering whether to buy a circular vs. rectangular trampolines, if one frame shape offers more strength than the other?
The two different trampoline shapes come out on equal footing when it comes to frame strength. As long as a round trampoline and a rectangular trampoline have frames made of the same material, their frames should be of equal strength.
- Round vs. Rectangular: Bounce Quality
This is probably going to be the feature kids care the most about. How high can you jump on the trampoline? Bounce quality will depend in part on size. A smaller trampoline is going to offer a much smaller bounce. If you have young children, you might want to consider a smaller model that won’t send them soaring too high.
When it comes to shape, rectangular trampolines are going to offer a higher bounce than a round trampoline. A rectangle shape allows all jumps to rebound equally. No matter where you jump on a rectangular trampoline, you can expect your bounce to have equal height and power. This happens because not all of the springs on a rectangular trampoline are used when you jump. Instead, the springs work separately depending on where you jump on the trampoline’s surface.
As a result, the springs of a rectangular trampoline experience less stress.
On the other hand, a round trampoline works differently. When you jump on a circular trampoline, each one of the springs works at the same time. The center of gravity is right in the middle of a round trampoline. This means when someone jumps, they will be pulled back toward the middle. As you move away from the center of a round trampoline, the bounces will be smaller. Jumping in the center of a round trampoline will propel you to greater heights than jumping on the sides.
Since all springs on a round trampoline work at once, the springs are likely to experience stress faster than the springs of a rectangular trampoline.
While your kids might be clamoring for the highest bounce, you have more to consider. Do you want the highest bounce? Do you prefer the more controlled bounce of the round trampoline that makes jumpers gravitate toward the center?
- Round vs. Rectangular: Safety
Safety is probably the most important feature on parents’ minds when trampoline shopping. Kids will love the exhilaration of bouncing on a trampoline, but you want to make sure they don’t sprain an ankle or bounce off the trampoline. Here are the biggest circular trampoline safety benefits and rectangular trampoline safety benefits.
Round trampolines’ reduced jump height is actually a great safety feature. Jumps on the sides of a round trampoline will be much weaker. Kids can still get a good amount of height in the center of a circular trampoline, but they won’t be soaring too high around the edges. Additionally, the circular shape draws jumpers back to the center. The safety benefits of a round trampoline are clear.
If you are concerned about safety, you can always add a safety net to your trampoline, be it round or rectangular. Safety nets help catch wayward jumpers and keep them safely on the trampoline.
- Round vs. Rectangular: Price
Price is another big consideration when trampoline shopping. Several factors can affect the price:
- Size:The larger the trampoline, the more it will cost. This is true of both round and rectangular models.
- Material:The material the jumping surface is made of will affect the price. Common materials include woven nylon or polyethylene.
- Age:You can buy trampolines new or used. A new trampoline will typically cost more than a used model but will have a much longer life-span, giving you a stronger return on investment.
- Shape:Different shapes will correlate with different prices, but typically, round trampolines will be more affordable due to their popularity and market density.
When simply considering round vs. rectangular trampolines, rectangular trampolines are generally the more expensive option. Round trampolines are the more common trampoline option, which means there are more options on the market. Since the round shape is so common, it tends to be more affordable than the rarer rectangular trampoline.
Rectangular trampolines are more expensive than round trampolines because they generally take longer to make. Rectangular trampolines also require more support. Additional care also has to go into fitting the mat to the frame to avoid tearing at the sharp corners of the rectangle shape. More intensive labor translates into a higher price.
- Round vs. Rectangular: Weight Limitations
Weight limitations are another important consideration. Will you have more than one child jumping on the trampoline? Do adults want to jump on the trampoline? Ensure you select a trampoline that can handle the weight requirements you have in mind.
How much weight a trampoline can handle depends on its size and shape. Here are the weight limitations for some standard round trampoline sizes.
- A round, eight-foot or 10-foot trampoline can typically handle 200 to 250 pounds.
- A round, 12-foot trampoline can typically handle 250 to 300 pounds.
- A round, 14-foot or 16-foot trampoline can typically handle 250 to 400 pounds.
Regardless of size, most rectangular trampolines can handle between 300 and 450 pounds. Rectangular trampolines can take on more weight because of how the springs work. The rectangular shape means that each time someone jumps, only some of the springs are pulled. That means less stress and greater weight bearing. All of the springs are pulled equally each time someone jumps on a round trampoline, which translates into less weight bearing.
The type of jumping pad, frame and springs will also affect a trampoline’s weight bearing limits. A higher-quality pad, frame and springs will mean a trampoline can hold more weight.
- Round vs. Rectangular: Usage
Why are you buying a trampoline? Is it going to be used purely for fun? Or will your kids be using the trampoline for athletic reasons? Round trampolines are the clear choice if you plan to use it solely for recreational purposes. A round trampoline limits how high bounces go and where bouncers land. The circular shape draws jumpers back to the center. This is a great feature for younger children and people who simply want to experience the fun of bouncing.
- Round vs. Rectangular: Location
Where do you plan to put your trampoline? Your space limitations will play heavily into your final decision to purchase a round vs. rectangular trampoline. Finding a convenient space for a round trampoline can be tricky. You need sufficient space for the entire diameter of a round trampoline. This usually means you will need to place the trampoline in the center of your yard.
On the other hand, rectangular trampolines can fit more neatly into a corner or a narrow space on the side of your home. This may not be the ultimate deciding factor, but you will need to take measurements and pick a place for your trampoline before making a purchase.
Please contact us for any further information.