Mini Trampoline Buyer’s Guide

Almost every child has played on a trampoline at some point. The memories that are forged on these simple yet incredibly exciting toys are some of the fondest moments of childhood that people remember for their entire lives.

We think no child should be without a trampoline in their lives, it’s a part of being a kid

However like many other parents who have come to the same conclusion, finding the right trampoline for your children (and your home) can be a little bit daunting. There are so many things to take into account like size, shape, price, netting, materials and much more.

But the most important thing is safety. This is a device your children are going to be jumping up and down on as high as they possibly can without a care in the world.

It’s up to you to make sure they are safe while they do it.

While younger smaller children can usually use larger trampolines, it is far from an ideal situation. The elastic is often too strong to provide bounce for someone their size, and they are usually too dangerous to be used by younger children too.

However don’t despair. The joys of trampoliing can be experienced by people of any age, including babies and toddlers. But the functionality that makes a good full-size trampoline is very different to the functionality that makes a good mini one.

Here is our buyer’s guide to give you a comprehensive overview of the things you should be looking out for, and a few of our top-rated mini trampolines.

 

Safety First!

This should be your first, second and third consideration when buying a trampoline for toddlers or young children. Our children are some of the most delicate and precious little beings in the entire world, and trampolining can be dangerous without the proper precautions.

But this being said, trampolines can be a very safe and exciting way for your kids to have fun and stay healthy at the same time. All you need to do is arm yourself with the proper knowledge, and follow all recommended safety procedures (which are mainly common sense).

Here are some features to look out for when shopping around for the perfect mini trampoline for your family.

Safety Enclosures – For When You Get A Little Too Excited!

For children that are just above toddler age, it is very important to ensure any trampoline you consider buying has a safety enclosure. We all know how easy it is for children to get a little carried away with excitement sometimes and not really concentrate on what they are doing. When this inevitably happens on a trampoline the consequences can be quite painful without a safety net.

Because the elastic energy generated by mini trampolines is reasonably small, and young children are reasonably light the maximum possible force exerted on the safety enclosure netting is going to be minimal. As such, you do not need to worry about the material that the netting is made from too much, what you should be concerned with is the stability of the entire enclosure.

Check that the poles that hold the netting of the enclosure to the frame of the trampoline are strong and sturdy. A little bit of wiggle is OK, but a good rule of thumb is the sturdier they are – the better the trampoline is.

Make sure you pick a trampoline that has a good amount of visibility through the safety enclosure. Some trampolines can cover the majority of it in solid polyurethane and only provide a small netted window for you to keep an eye on your kids through. (Trust on this one, it’s going to make your life a lot easier).

The smallest mini trampolines designed for toddlers do not really need safety enclosures as the amount of height that can be gained from them is very small (and a parent should always be within arms reach of any child of this age when on a trampoline to catch any little accidents).

Elastic Bands – Cheap and Nasty

Larger trampolines always use a configuration of numerous springs to attach the jumping mat to the frame and provide elasticity. This is because springs are reliable, hard-working, and most importantly – they don’t snap.

Some cheaper models of the trampoline are attempting to cut costs by using elastic bands or bungee cords instead of springs. While they will attempt to tell you that they are the ultimate material for trampolines and they are better than springs – the truth is that they are not.

As best, elastic bands will degrade much faster than springs and the usable working life of your trampoline will be significantly reduced compared to a spring version. The worst case scenario (which happens more often than you would think) is that one of the bands snap.

I am sure most have us have felt the sting of a normal-sized elastic band snapping on our skin at some point in our lives – imagine the pain felt by a toddler from an elastic band that is as thick as a ruler breaking under the pressure of body weight.

It might cost you less to get a version with elastic bands (only slightly), but they are inferior products that in all honesty should not be on the market.

Covered Springs – Watch Your Fingers!

Providing you make the sensible choice and decide to get a trampoline with springs instead of elastic bands, you will need to ensure the springs are adequately covered.

Sometimes a child will not land on a trampoline as expected (which is half the fun) and their hands could end up near the springs. Fingers regularly get caught in trampoline springs, it is the most common cause of trampoline-related accidents.

Any good trampoline will have its springs covered and out of reach of inquisitive children and accidental landings.

Padding – Controlled Crash Landings

Crash landings are a fact of trampoline use, it is almost inevitable at some point a landing will not go as expected.

To ensure a crash landing does not result in a bump or bruise trampolines are usually covered in large amounts of soft foam that encases the hard and dangerous moving parts.

Look for trampolines that have good, impact-resistant foam of a decent thickness. It is essential to have foam covering the entire frame and springs up until the start of the jumping mat. Foam on the poles of safety enclosures is not essential but is an added bonus.

Safety Bars – Hold on Tight!

Safety bars are only found on trampolines designed for use by toddlers who are not ready to be jumping out of arms reach of their parents.

They are horizontal bars that reach across the front of a trampoline that are designed for a toddler to hold on to while they jump up and down. They dramatically reduce the chance of falling over and injury and are an absolutely essential feature.

The only things you need to concern yourself with when it comes to safety bars are stability and padding.

Ensure the bar does not wobble by choosing a trampoline that attaches it firmly to the frame so your child will be able to maintain balance easier. And also ensure the bar has enough padding to protect against a hard impact – falling forward is just as common as falling backward for toddlers!

 

Why Should I Get My Child a Trampoline?

There are numerous long established benefits associated with trampolining that have been proven by researchers. Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits your child will encounter by growing up in a home with a trampoline.

Hours of Fun

This is probably the best reason to get your child a trampoline. I am sure most people reading this have fond memories of using a trampoline as a child. You may have been a little older than a toddler, but the enjoyment is real at any age. The excitement is easily visible on a child’s face the moment they set foot on a trampoline and start jumping around.

While in reality, they may only be jumping a foot or two off the floor at most – to them it will feel like they are almost touching the stars. It is a healthy, active way for your child to enjoy countless hours of their precious youth.

Exercise

Getting a child accustomed to exercise in the early years of their life has been proven to be a factor that determines the healthiness of the lifestyle, they lead when they are an adult.

People of any age benefit from exercise, but the amount of activity a toddler can undertake is limited. Jumping on a trampoline is fun, and is great exercise that will get their heart beating strong and healthy from a young age.

Great Way to Release Energy

As any parent will already know, toddlers seem to have a seemingly endless supply of energy that needs to be expended – wind, rain, or shine. It is useful for parents to have a way for their young children to get the activity they need within their own home. Trampolines are perfect for those rainy days you and your children are stuck inside the home because of bad weather or other commitments.

 

Best Mini Trampolines for Kids

These are trampolines that are designed for use by children who are aged 5 or 6 and above. They provide more jump height than mini trampolines for toddlers (which we review at the end of this article) and are usually designed for both indoor and outdoor play.

Skywalker 8

Skywalker is probably the most well-known and respected trampoline manufacturer in the world. They mainly have experience in creating high quality full-sized trampolines for older children and adults – but their 8 ft trampoline is ideally suited for use by younger children too.

One of the best features about the Skywalker that it has a very high maximum weight limit for a trampoline of this size. It is rated to withstand a huge 175 lbs. Some 14 ft trampolines designed for use by adults are only rated to 200 lbs – so you can see just how high quality this product is.

This is a trampoline your children will not outgrow and can be used right up until they leave home (and mom and dad can use it too!)

Because Skywalker are trampoline experts they envisioned their 8 ft model being used by children and adults of all ages. This is why they have performed extensive research and testing to find the absolute perfect resistance for their jumping mat.  It is stretchy enough for a 6-year-old to play on, while still being firm enough for a fully grown man to jump up on down too.

The frame is made from the strongest galvanized steel that is incredibly rust resistant, the safety enclosure is made from high-quality polyurethane and it is all covered in thick, dense foam for protection.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Can be used by parents and kids
  • Long-lasting
  • Excellent build quality
  • Very safe
  • Reputable brand

Cons

  • A little more assembly time is required than some other mini trampolines

Why We Like This Trampoline

One of the biggest dilemmas parents face when thinking about getting a mini trampoline is trying to calculate when their child will outgrow it. With the Skywalker this becomes a nonissue and parents can buy with confidence (and use it themselves too when the kids are not looking!)

Is It Right for You?

This is the trampoline for you if you want to invest in a product that will still be usable right up until your kids are teenagers.

My First Trampoline

My First Trampoline takes a slightly different approach to Skywalker, As you might have guessed from the name, this is a trampoline that is specifically aimed at young children and can be outgrown.

However, this model is significantly cheaper than the Skywalker (by about 30%) and is a very good mini trampoline with its own long list of benefits.

We really like the way this trampoline looks, it is a beautiful construction of blue and green that is unforgettable. This is the kind of purchase your kids will grow up with fond memories of. When they are older they will reminisce about the times they used to jump up and down on the blue and green trampoline.

Despite its child-friendly and bright appearance, this is a serious trampoline that boasts some very impressive features and capabilities – which surprised us. We almost dismissed this when we first looked at it assuming it was going to use elastic bands and low-quality materials… But we were wrong!

My First Trampoline uses a configuration of galvanized steel springs around the perimeter of the jumping mat which attaches to the galvanized steel that makes up its frame. This means it can be used for both indoor, and outdoor play without any risk of degradation. The steel is enclosed in a soft child safe plastic outer casing that gives this trampoline its interesting appearance.

The safety enclosure is supported by the same thick galvanized steel as the frame and is strong enough to stop any child (and possibly even an adult) from falling off accidentally.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Indoor and outdoor usage
  • Reasonably priced
  • Galvanized steel springs

Cons

  • Kids will outgrow it when they hit teenage years

What We Like About This Trampoline

We love this trampoline because it really fooled our usually intuitive first impressions. It looks like a plastic toy instead of a fully functioning trampoline. But life is all about living and learning, and My First Trampoline certainly taught us a lesson. This is a serious trampoline packaged in kid friendly wrapping paper. Guaranteed fun.

Is It Right For You

This is the trampoline for you if you want to provide a beautiful bright and fun environment for your child to enjoy safely while jumping around.

Little Tikes 7 – Editors Pick!

I think it would be safe to assume that every parent in America is familiar with the little tykes brand. They are one of the oldest children’s play companies in the world and have earned a worldwide reputation for quality, safety, and fun. The Little Tykes 7 is one of the companies first few ventures into the trampoline world and we think they have hit the nail on the head with this excellent product.

The Little Tykes 7 is the smallest trampoline on our list at 7ft at diameter, but don’t let think that makes it any less fun than the others. All of these mini trampolines for kids are only designed for use with one person at a time – and difference between 7ft and 8 ft is negligible in reality.

Like My First Trampoline, the Little Tykes 7 is based on a steel frame that is covered in durable and brightly colored polyurethane. Like all good trampolines the jumping mat is supported by a series of strong and durable metal springs which means the unit can be used outdoors (it is actually only recommended for outdoor use – but we see no reason why it can’t be used indoors too).

Little Tykes know a thing or two when it comes to safety and they have pulled out all the stops on this trampoline. There is durable thick padding all around the safety springs, and covering the entire bottom half of every single pole that supports the enclosure. The enclosure is made from high quality netting and is incredibly stable thanks to its unique arched design.

Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Very reputable company
  • Attractive appearance
  • Comes with shoe holder
  • Arched strong safety enclosure

Cons

  • Slightly smaller than the other trampolines on this list

What We Like About This Trampoline

We love the overall quality of this trampoline, it is clear it has been made by a company that has been designing products for kids for many years. Its eye-catching colors, combined with its incredible performance, safety, and durability make it a worthy winner of our editors pick award.

Is It Right For You

This is the right trampoline for you if you want to invest in a product made by one of the worlds largest and most reputable toy manufacturers who are known for high-quality maximum fun products.

 

Best Mini Trampolines For Toddlers

 Little Tikes 3 trampoline

This is the second entry by Little Tykes on our list, and this one is just as good as the first (if not better). This compact little trampoline is only 3ft in diameter, but can provide hours of fun to toddlers with its bright colors and bountiful bounciness.

Little Tykes have squeezed every inch of jumping space into this trampoline they possibly can. The frame is made from super strong steel and several small springs are attached around the edges. The springs used are smaller than other brands, but more numerous – which results in more elasticity, and most importantly more jumping space without becoming too big to store.

The entire unit is a bright blue color that children will be automatically drawn to for hours of fun. The unit is incredibly safe with an excellent sturdy steel safety bar that is securely attached to the frame of the trampoline.

The padding that covers the frame and the springs is thick and plentiful and covered in a super soft velvet style material. This does mean the trampoline is only suitable for indoor use, but with it being as portable and small as it is – we don’t realty see this being a problem.

Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Large jumping surface area
  • Soft padding
  • Bright colors
  • Excellent safety bar

Cons

  • Only suitable for indoor play

Why We Like this Trampoline

We love the way the space of this trampoline has been utilized. For a 3ft trampoline you really need to get as much jumping surface area as possible. By using the smaller springs Little Tykes has made a worldclass mini trampoline for toddlers that gets the thumbs up from us.

Is It Right For You?

This is the right trampoline for you if you are limited by space but want to give your child the best bouncing experience possible.

 Bazoongi Bouncer

You can probably already tell from the name of this trampoline that it is going to be all about maximum fun.

The design of this trampoline is what has mainly earned it one of the tops spots in our list. Adding a little bit of design and fun into trampolines is something we advocate. They are supposed to be the pure essence of fun, so why not make them look fun too!

Just because this product looks fun does not mean it is just for show. This is a well designed and well built trampoline that will stand the test of time. It has strong galvanized springs instead of cheap (and dangerous) elastic bands, and the frame is also made from strong steel. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor play.

The 6 leg configuration of the Bazoongi means it is strong and stable regardless of the size of the toddler that is using it (and it is rated up to 100lbs for safe and stable use!).

We really like the way the safety bar on this product is adjustable to two different heights. Occasionally safety bars can be slightly too high or low depending upon the age of the child using it. By having an adjusting bar toddlers of any height will be able to enjoy hours and hours of safe fun.

Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Fun design
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Steel springs
  • Adjustable safety bar

Cons

  • Does not fold

What We Like About This Trampoline

We really like the adjustable safety bar, it is a simple feature we would like to see more manufacturers take into consideration. But more than anything we love the design. The fun factor is something that is often overlooked in many reviews, so we are giving this one top marks!

 Is It Right For You?

This is the right trampoline for you if your child is growing fast and you are worried about them outgrowing the essential safety bar.

The Original Toy Company Fold And Go Trampoline – Editors Pick!

Assembling this trampoline really is a simple as “fold and go”. Open the box, screw on the legs, unfold the handle and you are ready to start jumping! Many other manufacturers now sell folding trampolines, but these guys were the first to come up with the idea – and they are still the best in our opinion.

This 36-inch diameter trampoline is over engineered every step of the way. To give you an idea what we are talking about, take a look at the weight limit recommended by the manufacturer – 150lbs. An adult could use this trampoline safely if they wished (although we don’t recommend it).

The thick safety bar that is perfectly positioned provides a great way for children to stabilize themselves while bouncing up and down with joy (and it is of course padded for extra safety).

The solid steel frame of the trampoline is also padded with high-quality foam which will prevent any misjudged jumps from becoming serious accidents. The steel springs that secure the jumping mat are hard working, long lasting, and also covered by protecting foam to ensure no fingers can get trapped.

Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Brightly colored
  • Very well made
  • Sturdy safety bar
  • Well priced

Cons

  • Safety bar is not adjustable

 Why We Like This Trampoline

The original makers of first folding trampoline are still the kings of the niche. This brightly colored, safe, and exceptionally high quality unit will bring hours of active healthy fun to any home. Highly recommended.

 Is It Right For You?

This trampoline is so good that at the moment we think it is the best option for any family. Period.