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Updated March 2017

Best Bounce Houses

Updated March 2017
Bounceland
Royal Palace
Blast Zone
Crocodile Isle
Intex
Jump-O-lene
Little Tykes
Rocky Mountain River Race
Happy Hop
Castle Bounce House w/ Slide
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Bottom Line

This is a very versatile bounce house, and large enough for 5 children at a time. Worthwhile investment for several families to share.

Children will enjoy it on hot, summer days. Smaller children, however, may need some assistance and supervision.

A great alternative to a larger bounce house for those with limited space or a limited budget.

Younger children will definitely enjoy this, but older kids may find it limiting. We recommend this bouncer for those with patience and strength to maintain it between uses.

An affordable alternative, but bounce action might not be as impressive as other models. The rugged construction and inclusion of safety items is an added advantage.

Good

Multiple play features, including enclosed bounce area, slide, and climbing wall. Double to quadruple stitching on vital seams, and a repair kit is included. INflates in less than 1 minute.

Well-constructed dual water slide and splash pool design. Continuous air flow provides better support for multiple users. Straightforward set-up and deflation process.

A compact bounce house suitable for a couple of toddlers or younger kids with no blower required.

Features dual racing slides, a climbing wall, and a splash pool. Minimal water requirements during use. Can be enjoyed wet or dry.

Very generous 12'x9' interior dimensions allow for multiple users. Anchoring stakes and patch kit are included. Fast inflation and deflation. Dry use only, so minimal mold issues during storage.

Bad

Long-term sun exposure can weaken the nylon fabric. Some customers have reported seam leakage straight out of the box. Users may need stakes to tie the castle down to improve safety.

Not a traditional bounce house with wall enclosure. Requires significant amount of water for maximum enjoyment. Drying process between uses is challenging.

Doesn't have the quality of larger models. Air pump will have to be purchased separately.

Drying and storing processes are time-consuming, and mold can form if stored wet. Must be anchored securely to the ground. No enclosed trampoline area. Limited weight capacity, as compared to other models.

Users have reported quality control issues with the blower unit. Users have also complained of minimal bouncing action. There isn't enough clearance for taller children to bounce upright.

Best of the Best
Bounceland
Royal Palace
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Bottom Line
This is a very versatile bounce house, and large enough for 5 children at a time. Worthwhile investment for several families to share.

Bad
Long-term sun exposure can weaken the nylon fabric. Some customers have reported seam leakage straight out of the box. Users may need stakes to tie the castle down to improve safety.

Good
Multiple play features, including enclosed bounce area, slide, and climbing wall. Double to quadruple stitching on vital seams, and a repair kit is included. INflates in less than 1 minute.
Blast Zone
Crocodile Isle
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Bottom Line
Children will enjoy it on hot, summer days. Smaller children, however, may need some assistance and supervision.

Bad
Not a traditional bounce house with wall enclosure. Requires significant amount of water for maximum enjoyment. Drying process between uses is challenging.

Good
Well-constructed dual water slide and splash pool design. Continuous air flow provides better support for multiple users. Straightforward set-up and deflation process.
Best Bang for the Buck
Intex
Jump-O-lene
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Bottom Line
A great alternative to a larger bounce house for those with limited space or a limited budget.

Bad
Doesn't have the quality of larger models. Air pump will have to be purchased separately.

Good
A compact bounce house suitable for a couple of toddlers or younger kids with no blower required.
Little Tykes
Rocky Mountain River Race
Check Price

Bottom Line
Younger children will definitely enjoy this, but older kids may find it limiting. We recommend this bouncer for those with patience and strength to maintain it between uses.

Bad
Drying and storing processes are time-consuming, and mold can form if stored wet. Must be anchored securely to the ground. No enclosed trampoline area. Limited weight capacity, as compared to other models.

Good
Features dual racing slides, a climbing wall, and a splash pool. Minimal water requirements during use. Can be enjoyed wet or dry.
Happy Hop
Castle Bounce House w/ Slide
Check Price

Bottom Line
An affordable alternative, but bounce action might not be as impressive as other models. The rugged construction and inclusion of safety items is an added advantage.

Bad
Users have reported quality control issues with the blower unit. Users have also complained of minimal bouncing action. There isn't enough clearance for taller children to bounce upright.

Good
Very generous 12'x9' interior dimensions allow for multiple users. Anchoring stakes and patch kit are included. Fast inflation and deflation. Dry use only, so minimal mold issues during storage.
How We Decided
  • 116 Models Considered
  • 8 Hours Spent
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 95 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for Best Bounce Houses

    Whether you're planning a children's party or just want something fun to occupy your little ones, you can't go wrong with a bounce house.

    A quality bounce house might be a bit of an investment, but if you pick the right one, your children will play on it for years to come, and you just might win the Parent of the Year award.

    But how can you tell a good bounce house from a shoddy one, and how do you pick the right one for your family?

    At BestReviews, we strive to help you find the perfect products for your needs. We researched the consumer market and analyzed owner feedback to determine which are the best bounce houses on the market. Next, we created this guide to help lighten your load.

    You can read about our top five bounce house recommendations in the matrix above, and you can learn more about bounce houses in the shopping guide below.

    This buying guide focuses on residential bounce houses designed for home use. The products you see here aren’t quite as large or durable as commercial bounce houses, but they don't include their giant price tags either.

    Residential vs. Commercial Bounce Houses

    Some bounce houses are designed for home use, whether inside your house or in the yard. Others are designed for commercial use. The latter are the huge kind of bounce house you might see at a fairground or other event.

    Comparison of bounce houses

    Residential Bounce Houses

    Residential bounce houses are designed for just a handful of kids to use at one time. And although they're quite durable for this purpose, they're not designed to withstand the rigorous life of a commercial bounce house.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Most private citizens choose to buy a residential-grade bounce house rather than a commercial-grade one.

    Comparison of bounce houses

    Commercial Bounce Houses

    Commercial bounce houses are typically purchased by people who want to rent them out or take them to events as a business venture. They tend to be much larger than residential bounce houses, and the material is more durable in order to withstand daily use from hundreds of bouncers, big and small.

    Most private citizens shopping for a bounce house will choose a residential one.

    There's no rule against buying a commercial bounce house for home use, but they're large (even when deflated) and consume lots of storage space. Plus, they tend to cost far more than the residential bounce houses seen on this page.

    Scott
    EXPERT CONSULTANT

    Scott completed his first woodworking project in the 5th grade, and he’s been an avid woodworker ever since. For the past 46 years, Scott has enjoyed remodeling homes, building custom cabinets and mantels, installing hardwood floors/trim work, and many other unique projects.


    Scott  |  Do-It-Yourself Guru And Carpenter

    To Buy or to Rent

    Since you could probably rent a bounce house for several hundred dollars, why would you want to buy one?

    Here’s a look at several reasons why you might want to own your own bounce house:

    • You and your family can use the bounce house any time you wish.

    • Bouncing provides great exercise for kids, and it can keep them entertained for countless hours.

    • They're great fun at parties or when your children have friends over.

    • Smaller bounce houses can be used inside as well as outside. So, no matter what the weather, your children have something fun to do.
    EXPERT TIP

    If you think your children would frequently use and enjoy their own bounce house, it makes financial sense to buy one instead of just renting it.


    Scott  | Do-It-Yourself Guru And Carpenter

    Bounce House Features

    You’ll face a variety of feature choices when shopping for a bounce house, including the following:

    Features

    Materials

    Many residential bounce houses are made from woven Oxford cloth. Not only is it durable, it's lightweight, too — an ideal material for bounce houses designed for in-home use. High-density vinyl and nylon are also fairly common materials.

    Commercial bounce houses tend to be crafted from PVC tarpaulin. While it's not completely unheard of for residential bounce houses to be made of this material, it's relatively rare, as PVC tarpaulin is particularly heavy and unwieldy.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some bounce houses are suitable for children up to 12 years of age. If you buy one when your child is young, he or she could get many great years of use out of it.

    Features

    Bounce Floor Size

    The term "bounce floor" refers to the area of the bounce house in which it's possible to bounce.

    The larger the bounce floor, the more room your kids will have to jump.

    But don’t assume that a bigger bounce house will have a larger bounce floor. A bounce house with large external dimensions might still have a smaller bounce floor if the walls are thick or the layout makes it so.

    EXPERT TIP

    Floor size isn’t based solely on a bounce house’s external dimensions. The layout and thickness of the walls also determine how much floor space kids will have to jump.


    Scott  | Do-It-Yourself Guru And Carpenter
    Features

    Capacity

    A bounce house’s capacity relates directly to its floor space. And while some manufacturers don’t provide precise floor space dimensions, they do tell you how many children can bounce in the house at once and/or how much passenger weight it can withstand. (Note: a unit’s floor space dimensions may be different from its overall dimensions.)

    The capacity you select depends on your individual needs. Think about how many children, and of what age and approximate weight, will regularly use your bounce house.

    You might be satisfied with a compact house that holds a maximum of two children or 120 lbs at once. Or, you might prefer a house that can hold a maximum of five children with a combined weight of up to 500 lbs.

    Most bounce houses have a recommended capacity in terms of both weight and number of children.
    Features

    Dimensions

    Here we're talking about the external dimensions of the bounce house. Bigger doesn't necessarily mean better, but it's important to know the dimensions if you're planning to fit your bounce house into a particular space.

    For example, if you know you want to be able to inflate your house in your living room, you'll need to compare the unit’s external dimensions to the size of your home’s free space.

    Staff

    You can find a bounce house’s external dimensions (height, width, and depth) in the product specs.

    Features

    Inflation Method

    The best residential bounce houses are inflated with a continuous flow of air from an air blower, just like you'd find with commercial models.

    Small pinprick holes around the seams let the air escape so that the house doesn't burst, yet it remains constantly full of air.

    However, some budget bounce houses are inflated with a regular air pump. The inflation of these units work in a similar manner to that of an air mattress.

    EXPERT TIP

    A residential bounce house that inflates with an air blower is more akin to a commercial model than a bounce house that inflates with an air pump.


    Scott  | Do-It-Yourself Guru And Carpenter
    Features

    Other Additions

    If you don't think your kids would be content with plain old bouncing, consider a bounce house with “extras” for added fun. Some houses include inflatable slides, basketball hoops, tunnels, and other challenging obstacles.

    Features

    Appearance

    Some bounce houses center around a theme; others exude a more neutral appearance. You may prefer a bounce house that looks like a castle with turrets and flags, or you may be drawn to a simple house with primarily colors and no discernable theme.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Should you buy a themed bounce house? The choice is yours, but keep in mind that kids' likes can change in the blink of an eye. They can go wild over a sports theme today and prefer a pirate theme on another day.

    Bounce House Safety Tips

    While bounce houses can provide hours of fun, you should follow these safety tips to keep everyone free from harm:

    • Always supervise children when they're using the bounce house.

    • Don't exceed the maximum weight or capacity recommendations from the manufacturer.

    • Don't let anyone wear shoes or take sharp/hard objects into the bounce house, as a puncture could cause it to deflate, posing a potential suffocation risk.

    • Don't inflate or deflate a bounce house with anyone in it.

    • Always make sure the house is staked or weighted down when used outside.
    EXPERT TIP

    Bounce houses are safe when used sensibly and when the jumpers and supervising adults exercise common sense. If it doesn't seem like a great idea, don't do it!


    Scott  | Do-It-Yourself Guru And Carpenter

    Price

    You could spend under $50 for a basic “air pump” bounce house for toddlers. Likewise, you could spend several thousand dollars for a large, commercial house.

    However, if you want a residential air blower model of a reasonable size, you're looking at anything between $200 and $500. On the higher end of that spectrum, you'll find larger bounce houses suitable for kids up to age 12 or so.

    On the lower end, you'll find smaller bounce houses best suited for children under eight years old.

    Staff

    Think “futuristically” when deciding what bounce floor size you want to buy. Sure, a bounce house with a compact floor might be fine for your three-year-old. But that three-year-old will require a lot more space in just a few short years.

    Tips

    • Are you hoping to entertain multiple children at once with your bounce house? If so, the bigger the bounce floor, the better. For example, a house with a 12’ x 12’ floor space could be ideal.

    • Bounce houses that are powered by a continuous-flow blower need to release some air so the unit won’t burst. Often, the manufacturer includes tiny “pin prick” holes at the seams for a small amount of air to escape.

    • Allot an extra four feet of space behind your bounce house site. You’ll need this space for the blower and the air tube that links it to the house.
    Bounce houses definitely aren’t “one size fits all.” Before investing in a bounce house, ensure that the product’s floor size, dimensions, capacity, additional features, and appearance all cater to your needs.

    FAQs

    Q. How should I store my bounce house?

    A. To avoid mold, it's important that your bounce house is completely dry when you put it away. Once deflated, the bounce house can be folded or rolled up and packed away. Most bounce houses come with a storage bag, but if you plan to store it in a shed or garage, we recommend investing in a hard plastic storage box to protect it from damage.

    Q. Air is escaping from the seams of my bounce house. Is this normal?

    A. Some people grow concerned when they notice air escaping from the seams of their bounce house. Assuming that you have a house powered by an air blower, this is completely normal. The air blower continuously pumps the bounce house with air to keep it at an optimum level. Tiny holes at the seams allow a bit of that air to escape so it doesn’t become over-inflated and burst.

    Q. Where can I set up a bounce house?

    A. Bounce houses can be inflated either indoors or outdoors. However, if you're setting it up outdoors, it will need to be properly secured.

    Most bounce houses come with stakes. If you set yours up on the lawn, use the stakes to secure the bounce house to prevent it from blowing around (or even away) in strong wind.

    You could also set up a bounce house on hard ground, but you'd need to use sandbags as weights, and that process gets more complicated. If possible, we recommend setting up your bounce house on grass.

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