We heard that you’re considering the idea of getting a trampoline for your kids. Not only that, but it sounds like you’re trying to choose between in-ground trampolines and above-ground ones.
With these details in mind, we’re going to give you the full lowdown on everything you need to know about these two types of trampolines. You’ll leave here with a firm grasp of the differences between in-ground and above-ground trampolines, from safety and performance to the costs and maintenance.
From there, you can decide if in-ground trampolines are worth the money for you and your family!
In-Ground Trampoline vs. Above-Ground Trampoline: What’s the Difference?
Before we can dive deep into the pros and cons of in-ground trampolines, it’s essential that we first differentiate between the two most common types of trampolines: above-ground vs. in-ground. To start with, the most obvious difference is the placement of trampolines.
In-ground trampolines are installed below ground so that the bouncing portion of the trampoline is level with your lawn. In contrast, above-ground trampolines are equipment that you securely place on the surface of your lawn so that it sits above the ground. Another key difference is that in-ground trampolines cannot be relocated easily, while above-ground trampolines are simple to move around.
The good news is that in-ground trampolines can be enhanced with a protective safety net to protect your kids from bouncing off of the trampoline and falling onto the ground. However, in-ground trampolines are a lot easier to conceal when not in use. You can place a tarp or other type of coverage on top of in-ground trampolines when your kids aren’t using them.
On the other hand, above-ground trampolines are hard to hide due to their size. They can also make your yard look a lot less cohesive if that’s something you are worried about.
As with anything, there are pros and cons to both in-ground trampolines and above-ground trampolines. But, at the end of the day, the key is deciphering whether or not any of the drawbacks are deal breakers for you.
Which Is a Safer Style of Trampoline?
In-ground trampolines are inherently safer than above-ground trampolines. The reason for this comes down to the fact that falling off of a trampoline that is above ground will hurt more and cause more significant damage than bouncing off of a trampoline that’s level with the ground.
Even so, there are multiple ways to incorporate safety precautions into your child’s experience with above-ground trampolines. It’s crucial that you always monitor your children’s trampoline use and supervise them while they are bouncing on the trampoline.
Never let them get onto the trampoline without you there to watch them. It’s similar to how you wouldn’t want your kids to swim in a pool without a lifeguard on duty. While it is unlikely that your child will fall off an above-ground trampoline, it is always wise to take precautions. Additionally, above-ground trampolines should always be used with safety nets.
These increase the safety levels of above-ground trampolines and lower the likelihood of children bouncing off of them. Last but not least, above-ground trampolines are very stable as long as they are placed on a flat surface. Pay close attention to where you put an above-ground trampoline and prioritize a secure installation.
Speaking of installing trampolines, let’s take a look at the differences between installing in-ground vs. above-ground trampolines.
Which Type of Trampoline Is Easier To Install?
The installation process for in-ground trampolines is a lot more time-consuming than installing an above-ground trampoline, and getting it wrong is one of the most common problems with in-ground trampolines. The main reason for this is that in-ground trampolines require that you dig holes in the ground, which isn’t required for above-ground trampolines.
One of the hardest parts about installing in-ground trampolines is locating a completely flat surface in your yard. From there, you also have to dig a massive hole in the ground. The hole not only has to be wide enough to fit the jumping mat, but it must be deep so that bouncing is possible.
Compared to installing in-ground trampolines, the installation of above-ground trampolines is a walk in the park! Once you find the perfect place to put your above-ground trampoline, you just have to put it down. No digging required!
Keep in mind that the installation of an above-ground trampoline isn’t completely cost-free. You will also need to pay for equipment when installing an above-ground trampoline. Even though this style of trampoline is easier to set up, you will still need to purchase stakes, ties, and anchors if these tools don’t come with the trampoline already.
But still, the prices of these tools will not be as high as the fees required by professional installation and maintenance services for your in-ground trampoline. All in all, there’s no doubt that above-ground trampolines come with an easier installation process.
Plus, above-ground trampolines are more versatile because you can move them around your yard. With in-ground trampolines, once you dig a hole in the ground, you are committing to leaving the trampoline in that position for a long time. I would also caution against installing an above ground trampoline in the ground.
What Is the Cost Difference?
There is a significant price difference between in-ground and above-ground trampolines. You will spend a lot less money on above-ground trampolines. But the costs don’t just apply to the initial purchase of the trampoline.
There are many other costs to consider when deciding between an above-ground vs. in-ground trampoline. For starters, the set-up fees of an in-ground trampoline are much more expensive than hiring someone to help install an above-ground trampoline.
In fact, you probably won’t need to outsource the installation process of an above-ground trampoline. That’s how easy it is to install them! But expert installation services for in-ground trampolines are steep, and those costs will only continue to add up over time.
If you decide to install an in-ground trampoline on your own, it’s definitely doable, but you’ll need to go out and buy a toolkit that will help you with installation. This requires money that you wouldn’t have to spend if you opt for an above-ground trampoline instead.
Also, prepare to pay for an in-ground trampoline with your own time, too. With a DIY approach to in-ground trampolines, you will spend many hours installing the trampoline. On that note, another detail to consider is the cost of maintenance for these two types of trampolines.
Let’s take a close look at the difference in maintenance costs between above-ground and in-ground trampolines!
Does Maintenance Differ Between the Two Types?
There are maintenance differences between in-ground and above-ground trampolines. In general, above-ground trampolines require more maintenance. Does that surprise you? If so, you’re not alone!
Many people assume in-ground trampolines require more maintenance, but the opposite is true: maintenance is a lot more time-consuming for above-ground trampolines. This is because above-ground trampolines are exposed to open air, leaving them at risk for damage from harsh weather conditions, rusting after rainy days, and other environmental factors. However, in-ground trampolines do require more maintenance for the area under the trampoline, which you should keep clean to avoid snakes and other critters in your in-ground trampoline pit.
But don’t let that deter you from considering above-ground trampolines. The major caveat here is that you can always pack up your above-ground trampoline and store it inside when the weather in your area isn’t the greatest. The portability of above-ground trampolines is an incredible perk.
Are There Differences in Performance?
Above-ground trampolines give you a better bounce. Since there’s more distance between the jumping mat and the ground, above-ground trampolines offer more range of motion, meaning your kids can jump higher!
Alternatively, in-ground trampolines are more restricted, not only in terms of the range of motion but also regarding airflow. So now, what does the air have to do with your kids’ ability to jump on a trampoline? Excellent question!
Basically, the airflow directly affects the bouncing abilities of trampolines. More airflow means bouncier jumps, whereas less airflow results in a less exciting bounce and jumping experience overall. Above-ground trampolines are not restricted to minimal airflow the way in-ground trampolines are. For in-ground trampolines, that air has to go somewhere when you’re jumping, and that typically means that it serves as a cushion to your jumping, deadening the bounce. With some proper venting, you may be able to recapture that bounciness, but it may be a struggle.
Instead, above-ground trampolines are literally in the open air, meaning there is plenty of airflow above, below, and on the sides of the trampoline. Your kids will be able to bounce on both types of trampolines, but they will jump a lot higher on above-ground trampolines.
So, Are In-Ground Trampolines Worth the Money?
If you asked us if in-ground trampolines are worth the money, we would say no. It’s not that in-ground trampolines don’t have a lot to offer or are inherently awful. It’s simply that they cost a lot more money than above-ground trampolines, and the benefits of in-ground trampolines don’t justify the price difference for us.
At the end of the day, in-ground trampolines are more expensive than above-ground trampolines. While there is something to be said about paying more money for better quality products, that isn’t necessarily applicable in terms of trampolines.
Your kids will have a blast whether or not your trampoline is built in the ground, so don’t feel pressured to splurge on an in-ground one. Just remember that kids are simple and have quite the imagination.
If your kids are anything like ours, then a trampoline is a trampoline to them! Whether it’s above ground or in the ground matters very little. There’s no reason to feel bad if you don’t have the budget for an in-ground trampoline, either.
Try not to sweat it. Kids have just as much fun on above-ground trampolines as they do when playing on in-ground trampolines. Think about it this way. You will save a lot of time, money, and energy by sticking with an above-ground trampoline in the long run. Making your kids happy while saving money? Talk about a deal!
At the same time, the final decision is yours to make. Think about what your kids would like best but don’t forget to consider what is affordable for you. While it is always fun to surprise your children with the best of the best, there are ways to do this without overextending yourself. We go over a lot of those tips and more in our trampoline buying guide.
If you want to spend less money, especially when it comes to installation, above-ground trampolines are the way to go. In-ground trampolines have their perks as well, like lower maintenance costs and a more aesthetic look. Consider your priorities and make your decision from there!