Did you know that NASA considers trampolining to be a more effective form of exercise than jogging? The organization made the claim in a 1980 edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology after conducting an extensive study. Trampolining improves balance and dexterity, while also building muscles and bone density.
Why is this important to you?
Your child’s developing body needs at least one hour of physical activity per day to keep it healthy and strong. Trampolining offers children a fun way to get active, and encourages them to get outside. It’s also something they can share with their friends or siblings.
However, a free-standing trampoline may not be suitable for young children. That’s where mini-trampolines, with their big handles, can help.
Finding the Right Mini Trampoline
A good mini trampoline offers stability, longevity, and improves your child’s balance and coordination. After speaking to several parents who’ve tried a range of mini trampolines, I think I’ve discovered some of the best that are currently available.
Table of Contents
- Finding the Right Mini Trampoline
- What to Consider When Buying a Mini Trampoline
1. Gymenist Portable Trampoline
While basic in design, Gymenist’s trampoline has a few advantages over many of its competitors. They’ve focused on portability, as much as stability. As a result, you can fold this trampoline easily, which means you can take it in the car without any trouble.
The 36-inch diameter means there’s plenty of room for basic bouncing, and your child can go slightly off-center safely. The trampoline mat stands 9 inches above the ground, and can bear a maximum weight of 150 pounds. This means there’s almost no risk of your child’s feet hitting a hard surface as they bounce.
It also only takes a few minutes to assemble. You won’t have to mess around with any elastic cords or springs, plus the mat is ready to go out of the box. Just attach the six legs, which each have rubber bottoms for stability, and the 23-inch high handlebar to the pre-assembled mat.
I particularly like the storage bag, which makes it easy to transport. The bag also protects the trampoline’s mat, ensuring it doesn’t get torn over the course of long car journeys.
Gymenist also focuses on safety, as the trampoline carries ASTM certification and complies with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). I also appreciate the one-year warranty, which shows confidence in the quality of the product.
With that being said, I’m a little bit wary of the blue ring that protects the edge of the mat. It has a tendency to move around when the trampoline is in use, which may lead to tears if it catches. The instructions could also be clearer.
- Carries ASTM and CPSIA certification
- Folds easily for transport and comes with its own carry bag
- Holds a maximum weight of 150 pounds
- There’s plenty of space between the mat and the floor
- Rubber grip on the handlebar improves stability
- Blue covering moves too much and may tear
- Unclear instructions may increase assembly time
2. The Original Toy Company Fold & Go Trampoline
Taking only five minutes to assemble, this is another trampoline that focuses on ease of use. The mat comes preassembled, so you need only screw on the six legs and the handlebar to get it ready for your child. It also comes apart easily, with the mat folding up for easy transportation.
The package comes with four bolts and a hex key, so you don’t need any of your own tools. You also only need these for the handlebar, as the legs screw directly into the mat.
Much like Gymenast’s trampoline, this one has a 36-inch diameter and can hold a maximum weight of 150 pounds. It also has thick padding on the handlebar. While this improves comfort, it may also make the bar slightly more difficult to grip for little hands.
It carries ASTM certification and meets CPSIA standards. Just make sure you screw the bolts in tightly, as they represent a choking hazard for young children if they come loose and get swallowed. This, coupled with the 23.5-inch handlebar, means it’s best for toddlers between the ages of two and four.
Unfortunately, I found a few issues with it, too. The blue cover has a habit of slipping off, exposing the harder edges of the mat. There’s also a strange smell that may take a couple of weeks to dissipate, though I don’t think it’s related to anything that could cause your child harm.
- Only takes a few minutes to assemble, and comes with the tools needed
- Six legs ensure stability
- Holds a high weight
- Handlebar has thick padding for comfort and grip
- Carries CPSIA and ASTM certification
- The blue cover may slip off during use
- You may notice an odd smell that takes a while to disappear
3. Sportspower My First Trampoline
Offering more freedom than trampolines with handlebars, this one comes with netting around the edges to prevent falls. The zip seals the net after your child gets inside, and is sturdy enough to withstand the occasional impact. Of course, you shouldn’t allow your child to deliberately jump into the net.
The net also doesn’t wrap around the top of the trampoline. This means that your child can still get the desired height from each bounce, without having to worry about hitting their heads on anything.
I also like the chunky legs, which ensure greater stability and prevent the trampoline from slipping. It has a 100-pound weight limit and 84-inch diameter, making it suitable for kids from the toddler ages up to about 10 years old.
The bars that hold the net up offer some cause for concern, but they have foam padding to dull impacts. This foam also stretches around the trampoline’s edge to protect your child’s feet.
Assembly is a mixed bag. You need a screwdriver, which isn’t included, but it’s not difficult to put the structure together. However, you may need two people to secure the net, as the trampoline stands at 73.5 inches once assembled.
Both the steel tubes and netting contain ultraviolet (UV)-resistant materials, plus Sportspower use galvanized steel to prevent rusting. As a result, you can use this both indoors and outside, and it shouldn’t fall victim to changing weather conditions.
It also meets ASTM’s safety standards. Even so, you may find the netting is a touch loose near the bottom.
- Larger than most mini trampolines
- Suitable for larger children as well as toddlers
- Carries ASTM certification
- Galvanized steel and UV resistant materials make it safe for outdoor use
- Foam padding protects feet and dulls impacts against the poles
- Large net will catch your child if he or she bounces away from the mat
- Some may find the netting isn’t as taut as they’d like
- Assembly may require two people to secure the net in place
4. Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline
The curved balance bar makes this trampoline stand out for me. It’s large, and has padding running across most of its length.
Furthermore, the curve offers longevity. The tip of the curve stands 26.25 inches from the trampoline mat, but gets lower as it goes. As your child grows, they can shift their arms up and down the balance bar to improve stability.
The trampoline combines plastic and metal to ensure durability. I also like the large bases of the feet, which decrease the likelihood of the trampoline tipping over while in use.
This trampoline also has a 36-inch diameter. However, it can only hold a maximum weight of 55 pounds. Unfortunately, this may eliminate the benefits of the curved handle, as larger kids may exceed the weight limit.
There is some assembly required, and the legs may pose a problem in this area. They have a thick coating of paint, which may make them difficult to screw into the trampoline’s base. The handlebar also requires screws, and you don’t get any tools in the package.
On the plus side, it has no springs around the outer edges, which means there’s less chance of your child’s feet getting caught as they bounce. Unfortunately, you can’t take it outside, and the mat doesn’t fold for transport.
- Has a sturdy plastic and metal frame
- Curved handlebar means it grows with your child
- The feet have large bases to keep the trampoline stable
- The mat doesn’t have springs on the outer edges
- The legs may be difficult to screw into place due to the thick paint coating
- Has a low maximum weight
- Isn’t portable or usable outside
5. Bazoongi 48-Inch Bouncer Trampoline
Bazoongi’s trampoline has a 48-inch mat, which means there’s less chance of your child getting their feet caught on the edges. It also features an adjustable handlebar, which you can switch between two heights. As a result, it’s a good choice for older toddlers, and will last until your child reaches around 10 years of age.
The 100-pound weight limit means it is fine for most children. It’s also sturdy, with galvanized steel used for the thirty 3.5-inch springs around the outer edges. The trampoline has six legs which, coupled with the large mat, means there’s little chance of it falling over.
While I like the adjustable handlebar, I don’t think the padding offers many improvements when it comes to grip. It’s also quite thick. Toddlers and younger children may struggle to wrap their hands around the whole handlebar.
The steel frame is also rust-proof, which means you can use it both indoors and out. It also comes with several manufacturers’ warranties. You get one year for the mat, six months for the padding on the frame, and 90 days for the rest of the parts.
Some assembly is required, and it may take as much as half an hour to put together. It also doesn’t fold, so it’s not the most portable mini trampoline. Finally, the instructions aren’t particularly clear, as some of the images look blurry.
- Large mat offers greater safety and longevity
- Handlebar has two height settings
- Carries a maximum weight of 100 pounds
- Has rust-proof galvanized steel springs and frame
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- All parts come with a manufacturer’s warranty
- May take a while to assemble due to the poor instructions
- Thick handlebar may make it difficult for small hands to grasp
- Poor portability
6. Kangaroo Kid’s Trampoline
With a mat that stands about six inches off the ground, this trampoline offers plenty of room for bouncing. However, this is still fairly low, so larger kids may find themselves contacting the floor as they play.
The mat itself has a 36-inch diameter, with padding around the edge. I was pleased to find this padding attaches to the mat, so there’s no risk of it slipping off and exposing the elastic cords underneath. With that being said, you may notice some small gaps under the padding, which may catch the feet of unwary children.
The manufacturers recommend not using it on hardwood floors; however it’s fine on carpet. You can also take it outside, though it’s best to use it on grass rather than concrete.
I like the sturdy handlebar, which has just the right amount of padding for gripping. However, the padding may come off with extended use, which exposes the metal frame underneath.
It’s also easy to put together, though you will need a screwdriver to attach the various handlebar parts.
- Elastic cords ensure no little toes or fingers get caught up
- Padding comes attached to the trampoline mat
- Handlebar padding isn’t too thick for small hands
- Easy assembly, though you do need a large screwdriver
- Usable both indoors and outside
- Some small gaps in the mat padding may catch your child’s feet
- Handlebar padding comes off too easily
- Not suitable for large kids due to low mat height
7. Pure Fun Preschool Jumper
The square mat sets this trampoline apart from the others on this list, but that’s not all it has to offer. I was especially impressed with the thickness of the mesh and padding around the edges, and how it attaches to the mat. There shouldn’t be any risk of your child getting their feet caught under the mat when using this trampoline.
The handlebar leans toward the mat, so your child doesn’t have to lean forward to bounce. This reduces the risk of the trampoline toppling over. The handlebar’s padding extends around the corners too, so it won’t slip while in use.
There’s also an educational slant to the trampoline, as the outer padding features the entire alphabet. A shape surrounds each letter too, so you can use the trampoline to teach your toddler the basics of shape and letter recognition.
It needs no additional tools for assembly, and can hold a maximum weight of 75 pounds. While this is lower than many of the trampolines on this list, it is sturdy enough to handle most children between ages three and seven.
Unfortunately, the wrench that comes with it doesn’t fit the bolts as well as I’d like. I also think the instructions could be clearer, though it’s not too difficult to figure out what you’re doing without them. The surface of the padding around the edge may also tear if your child lands on it.
- Thick mesh and padding around the edges
- Edge padding contains the ABCs and various shapes
- No tools required for assembly
- Carries various safety certifications
- Slanted handlebar reduces the risk of tipping over
- The provided wrench may be difficult to work with
- Poor instructions
- Edge padding tears too easily
8. SkyBound Children’s Trampoline
You have a choice of two designs with this trampoline. One features white polka dots on a red background, while the second has clouds on a sky blue background.
At 40 inches in diameter, the trampoline is large enough for most toddlers and children. It also has a 100-pound weight limit, lending it some longevity. The foam PVC edge padding connects to the trampoline mat too, so your children won’t get their feet caught.
The six feet have rubber bases, which prevent the trampoline from sliding on smooth surfaces. There’s also plenty of foam padding on the handlebar, which is thin enough to allow children to grip it well.
I particularly like the handlebar design, as it bends inward to prevent children from having to lean forward to keep hold of it. The upper part stands 22 inches from the trampoline mat. The steel frame also makes it rugged, with the edge padding providing plenty of protection from the harder parts.
You also get a two-year limited warranty, and the trampoline meets current ASTM standards. Assembly is somewhat bothersome though, with the springs causing an issue. You may find that some don’t stretch as easily as you’d like, which can make them difficult to attach to the frame.
- You get a choice of two design patterns
- Bent handlebar keeps your child centered while jumping
- Meets current ASTM standards
- Tough steel frame
- Plenty of padding on the handlebar and edge
- 100-pound weight limit
- Difficult to assemble due to the springs
- You may find that the provided tool isn’t good enough
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What to Consider When Buying a Mini Trampoline
Mini trampolines offer children the opportunity to get active while having fun. Overall safety is an obvious consideration, so look for any certifications from ASTM, in addition to mentions of meeting CPSIA guidelines.
You also have to consider your child’s size. Each trampoline has a weight limit, plus you have to check the height of the handlebars. Children may bash their heads if the bars are too high, whereas a low bar makes it harder to stay stable, and limits the height of the bounce.
Here are a few specifics that I think you should look out for.
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The Edge Padding
Most mini trampolines use either elastic bands or steel springs to keep the mat taut. The latter can present a problem for children, as it’s easy to catch toes and fingers in springs when they’re exposed. As a result, a good trampoline should have suitable padding around the edges.
Look for any gaps in the padding, particularly where it connects to the mat. They’ll get bigger with extended use, compromising the padding in the process. Do not allow your child to use a mini trampoline with exposed springs, as one wrong bounce could result in injury.
Handlebars and Feet
Mini trampolines absorb a lot of small shocks as children bounce on them. Furthermore, you can’t guarantee that each bounce will hit the center of the mat. Poor aim could result in the trampoline tipping if it’s not stable enough.
Be wary of any trampolines that have handlebars that require your child to lean forward to grab the handlebar. Putting too much weight on such handlebars could cause a trampoline to tip forward.
Also, as a general rule, circular trampolines need six legs to keep them stable. Trampolines with corners should have a leg at each corner.
The Must-Have Features
The above mentioned points are two specific things that I think you should check for before buying a mini trampoline. Now, here are some more general must-have features:
- Padding on the handlebar, as exposed metal offers less grip and may hurt your child
- A weight limit in excess of 50 pounds
- Certification from at least one safety organization
- Easy assembly
- At least six inches of space between mat and floor
- Rubber grips or similar on the bottoms of the feet
- A taut and secure mat
The Final Word
Mini trampolines help children to exercise as they play, and offer an array of benefits. They help muscles and bones to develop, while training coordination and balance skills that your child will use throughout their lives. They’re an excellent tool for helping your child to burn excess energy before bedtime.
Safety is an obvious concern, so supervise your children while they play. I also recommend checking any trampoline you buy regularly for signs of wear and tear. Rips and gaps in the padding create a risk of injury.
The mini trampolines on my list all take safety into account and should last several years before they need replacing, or your child outgrows them. I’ve also tried to provide some useful information about what to look for if you want to explore beyond this list. Consider your child’s needs, paying particular attention to their weight and height, before making a decision.