We’ve seen more and more homeowners installing in-ground trampolines. A do-it-yourself undertaking in most cases, these trampolines provide a lot of benefits and drawbacks compared to their above ground counterparts.
And there isn’t a right or wrong choice for choosing an in-ground over above ground trampoline.
This is more of a preference-based selection when buying a trampoline. Let’s look at both options as well as their respective benefits and drawbacks.
In-Ground Trampolines: The Good and Bad
From the onset, the in-ground trampoline is aesthetically pleasing. These trampolines are placed in the ground (you’ll need to dig the hole), and they’ll lay flush on the turf, allowing the user to jump on the trampoline and easily walk on to the surrounding terrain.
Advantages of In-Ground Trampolines
- Aesthetics: Yards often look nice with in-ground models that flow with the natural landscape. And you won’t block any of your home’s natural views, which is a nice bonus.
- Ease of Use: Ladders or jumping on to the mat is hard even for kids. We’ve come across countless examples of people getting injured just trying to get on their trampoline to have a little fun.
- Safer: In terms of safety, an in-ground trampoline is far closer to the ground than an above ground model. If your child does fall off the trampoline, the falling distance is drastically reduced, which increases their safety. Falling and hitting the hard framing is nearly eliminated as well, allowing the trampoline to be safer.
- Design: When a trampoline is placed in the ground, you can design your landscaping and setup around it. You have the option to place chairs around the trampoline, flowers, etc.
Disadvantages of In-Ground Trampolines
- Drainage: Since the unit is underground, you’ll need proper drainage to ensure rusting and deterioration does not occur.
- Cost: You’ll need to dig a hole in the ground, and this can be done by yourself or someone else. In either case, there is a cost involved with the installation and drainage concerns.
- Mobility: You can’t move the unit around freely since it’s in the ground. If you want to move the unit, you’ll need to remove it from the ground and fill in the hole first.
- Air: A lack of circulation below the unit can alter the bounce of the mat, making performance lackluster in some cases.
Above Ground Trampolines: The Good and Bad
Above ground units are most common, and this is really how a trampoline was designed to be used. But they’re not perfect either. There are advantages and concerns with these units, too.
Advantages of Above Ground Trampolines
- Cost: You don’t incur additional costs. Simply setup the unit and you’re ready to begin jumping.
- Mobility: You have the option of moving the trampoline freely. If you need to move the unit to make room for a patio set or want to cover it in the winter, simply move it.
- Maintenance: A unit that is above ground is easier to maintain and will likely last longer than its in-ground counterpart.
- Removal is Easy: When your child doesn’t use the trampoline any longer, it’s easier to remove and breakdown an above ground unit than it is to remove an in-ground unit.
Disadvantages of Above Ground Trampolines
- Visibility: Even the nicest looking trampolines can be an eyesore when they’re above ground models.
- Safety: Above ground trampolines are less safe due to the height of the unit and the potential to hit the framing.
- Hard to Enter: Depending on the unit, it can be rather difficult to get into the trampoline to play.
In-ground and above ground trampolines both provide their own benefits and disadvantages. From a purely monetary perspective, we would always recommend above ground units because they’re easy to setup and far more flexible than a unit that has been installed in the ground.