In-Ground vs. Above-Ground Trampoline: Which Is Better?

in-ground trampoline in backyard

So, you’ve decided that your backyard needs a new trampoline for the family. Now you just need to determine if you want it to be an above ground model or an in-ground model.

If you’re wondering what the heck a in-ground trampoline is, then you’re probably not alone. The above ground model is what is most commonly seen and used by families everywhere.

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But the in-ground models do have their benefits. So, let’s compare each type to help you find the right type of trampoline for your family’s backyard.

Bounce Height

You’re buying one of these for the jumping right? Then you want the best bounce height that you can get, and that is what you get from an above-ground trampoline.

For maximum bounce, you need airflow between the ground and the trampoline mat (that thing you’re jumping on). And with an in-ground model, that airflow can be restricted, which means less bounce.

Presentation

If you live in a neighborhood with strict HOA rules, or if you just prefer to keep your yard looking posh, then the presentation is what you’re concerned about when comparing these two types of trampolines.

With an in-ground trampoline, you can make the trampoline part of your landscape. It’s a ground-level trampoline, so if aesthetics if your concern you will love this look.

And with above ground models, they are large and often unsightly.

Setup

Both types of trampolines require some installation that can take you a while to get it all setup and ready for jumping. But it’s definitely a faster process with an above ground model.

With one of the in-ground models, you first need to find a spot in the yard that is level and then dig a hole to accommodate the trampoline. And in some locations, you need a permit from the local authorities to dig the hole.

But it’s not as simple as digging a hole and putting the in-ground trampoline in it. You’re going to need a retaining wall, and you’re going to have to fill the hole a bit so that the trampoline is secure and doesn’t move around.

If you’re looking for the easiest trampoline to setup, then you definitely need one of the above-ground models.

Safety

While you should not let any children under age six on your backyard trampoline, many people feel safer on an in-ground trampoline.

This is because above ground models have ladders that you can fall off of. Plus, the added height means a further fall to the ground.

If you are buying the trampoline for your children (over the age of six), then you may prefer the below ground trampoline style for the added safety peace of mind and better accessibility. But for adults, the above ground models are the better choice.

Maintenance

If you’re concerned about upkeep and maintenance, then you should know that there are some differences between the two styles of trampolines.

Since the below-ground models do not have their frames exposed, you do not have to worry about rust degrading the frame.

However, you do have to worry about snow piling up on top of it. If this happens, it will damage the trampoline.

Snow piling up can also be problem with above ground trampolines – it will also damage them. However, this type of trampoline is ultra portable and you can just move it inside when there is snow in the weather forecast.

You’ll actually want to move it indoors when the weather is bad to extends its useful life and prevent rust damage. Plus, on windy days an above-ground trampoline can get picked up by those wind gusts and blow away.

Price

As you might expect, the average cost of these two types of trampolines is different. In fact, the cheapest trampolines are always going to be the above ground models.

Not only are they cheaper, but the installation is cheaper because you don’t have to dig hole.

However, with below ground trampolines, you don’t need things like anchors or stakes, so you save a little bit on those costs. But at the end of the day, an in-ground trampoline is the most expensive type vs above ground models.

Verdict

As you can see, these two types have some similarities and some differences. Ultimately, you should decide what’s important to you when it comes to buying a new trampoline and choose the style that best meets your needs.

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