Buying a new trampoline can either be a pleasant experience or a grueling chore, depending on how much you know about it. Having grown up with a trampoline in my backyard, I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about it. But every time I want to buy a new trampoline, I have to do my research all over again.
One of the major roadblocks of choosing your trampoline is deciding on the shape. For those that don’t know, trampolines generally come in four shapes, round, oval, rectangle, and square. And the shape not only affects the aesthetics but also impacts the overall performance of a trampoline.
Needless to say, you need to go with one shape and stick with it until you are ready to buy another trampoline. And since trampolines typically cost a fair few dollars, you want to make sure you are making the right decision.
If you are struggling between a rectangle and a round trampoline, then allow me to make things easier. What you get from me here is – a thorough comparison between a rectangle and a round trampoline to help you decide which one is the better fit for your backyard.
A Simple Guide to Understand the Rectangle Vs. Round Trampoline Debate
While understanding the difference between round and rectangular trampolines isn’t rocket science, it can be quite tricky. Plus, even a budget trampoline would cost you around $250-$300. So, you should have an idea of what you want from the trampoline. I know – the measures present here aren’t very specific. A generic comparison between two differently-shaped trampolines is difficult because everything can change depending on the model. Still, here’s a quick breakdown of rectangle vs. round trampolines. If you want more details, just read on through to the next section.
|Features||Rectangular Trampoline||Round Trampoline|
|Safety||A Bit Risky||Safer in Comparison|
|Weight Capacity||Can Carry Three or More People||Can Carry Two or More (Ideally One)|
How Do I Pick Between Rectangle and Round Trampoline?
When you look into it, there are a lot of pretty significant differences between a rectangle and a round trampoline. Typically, a round trampoline is designed for casual trampoline enthusiasts who just want to buy a small, safe, and basic model for their kids.
A rectangular model, on the other hand, is anything but basic. These models are larger, made with greater care, and typically cater to enthusiasts and gymnasts. Needless to say, they also cost a lot more. So naturally, it is not the go-to option for a casual user.
But if you want to know deeper about the two trampoline shapes, let me highlight some of the key differences between them.
1. Frame Strength
The frame strength depends more on the quality of the trampoline than its shape. If you spend the dough on a quality round trampoline, the frame should not disappoint. But in typical cases, a rectangular trampoline features a sturdier frame and stronger construction.
There are a couple of things you can check to make sure the trampoline you are getting comes with a good frame. For example, instead of looking for a plain steel frame, you should go with galvanized steel. This material is quite common with large rectangle trampolines, but not that much with an affordable round model.
Another key consideration when buying a trampoline, at least for me, is its bounciness. Personally, I love doing air tricks, and it is extremely hard and dangerous to try and pull it off if the trampoline is not bouncy.
Sure, round trampolines can be bouncy depending on the number of springs and their length. As a rule of thumb, the bounciness of a round trampoline depends on how many springs there are on the trampoline.
But regardless of the spring sizes, round trampolines have a center-focused bounce. This means the closer you are to the center of the trampoline, the better you can bounce. And as you move towards the edge, you cannot jump as high.
With a large rectangular trampoline, though, the jumping height will be the same across all points of the jumping mat. Even if you are jumping on one corner of the jumping mat, you will be able to reach your highest momentum without any issues. This, however, can be problematic if children are the ones using it. The last thing you want is for a child to fall off the edge jumping on a trampoline.
3. Jumping Area
Typically, a round trampoline is much smaller and has a smaller jumping surface compared to a rectangle trampoline. But whether this is a good thing or a bad one depends entirely on your situation.
I, for instance, do not mind a round trampoline since I can fit it quite easily in my backyard. However, if you have a larger backyard and want to jump on the trampoline with a lot of friends, then a rectangle trampoline might be a better choice.
When it comes to the jumping area, the only square trampolines can compete with their rectangular trampolines.
Trampolines, in the wrong hands, can be extremely dangerous. There are hundreds of trampoline-related injuries happening each year, and if you are buying it for your children, you should always consider safety a priority. Typically, a round trampoline, because of its basic design, is considered the safer option.
Rectangular trampolines are also safe if used cautiously. But since it has a higher bounce across all points of the jumping mat, it can be a bit unsafe for children. Regardless of your shape preference, you should put up proper safety nets around the trampoline. That is the best way to minimize the risk of accidents.
5. Weight Capacity
Round trampolines, in most cases, are designed for one or two individuals. Unless you are going overboard with a 20-feet trampoline, it should not be able to handle more than two people. Typically, most people who get round trampolines only have one or two kids that play on them.
Rectangular trampolines, however, are designed for family entertainment and can handle more than four people at once. It does depend on the trampoline model to some extent, but in most cases, it has greater weight capacity than any other trampoline shape.
This is one of the main reasons why gymnasts and acrobats prefer to go with a rectangular trampoline over other shapes.
Round and rectangular trampolines sit at the opposite ends of the price spectrum. Where round trampolines are designed as an affordable choice for recreation and family fun, rectangle trampolines cater to true enthusiasts, gymnasts, and large families.
The cost of a similar quality rectangle trampoline is typically much higher than that of a round model. So, if you are on a budget and do not want to overspend, going with a round trampoline might be the better idea. And since it takes up little space in your backyard, it is much easier to set up.
The springs in a rectangle trampoline work individually rather than all at once in a round model. This is the reason why you get a higher and more consistent bounce across all points in a rectangle trampoline. Because of this design, it is the preferred shape of most gymnasts and trampoline enthusiasts.
On the other hand, the lower bounce of a round trampoline makes it the perfect choice for casual users and children. It is considered much safer for kids, and its price range also makes it a valid choice for casual users.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Rectangular Trampolines
Rectangular trampolines are the go-to option for enthusiasts and gymnasts because of their consistent bounce. For those who want to learn trampoline stunts, a rectangle trampoline is the only right choice out there.
The Major Advantages of a Rectangle Trampoline Are:
- It is perfect for gymnasts and large families
- It has a consistent bounciness across the entire jumping mat
- It typically has a greater jumping area
- It offers greater weight capacity compared to other shapes
There Are Still a Couple of Disadvantages of a Rectangle Trampoline That You Need to Know About:
- It is not the best choice for kids
- It takes up a lot of space
- It is not as affordable as a round trampoline.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Round Trampolines
Round trampolines are the obvious choice for most homeowners because of their safer, more affordable design. Of course, it has a few flaws here and there, but its strengths easily trump its weaknesses.
Here Are the Major Advantages of Going with A Round Trampoline:
- It takes up less space compared to a rectangle trampoline
- It is the best shape if you are on a budget.
- The center-focused bounce makes it safer for children
- It is available in a wide range of sizes
- It is easy to set up
The Disadvantages of Going with A Round Trampoline Are:
- It has less bounce
- It typically has a lower weight capacity
- The jumping area is typically smaller
Some Parting Wisdom
Trampoline shape can confuse a lot of people, but when you break it down, there really is not much to it. Go with a rectangle trampoline if your goal is to pull off stunts or you want to enjoy a good time with a bunch of friends.
If you would rather save money, or buy it solely for the kids, then a round trampoline is a no-brainer. It is a much safer choice for children and also fits most backyards without any issues.
I hope my thorough comparison between rectangle vs. round trampoline could give you enough information to decide which trampoline shape is a better fit for your home. Good luck!