Best Bubble Balls

Updated October 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

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

10 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
133 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Buying guide for best bubble balls

Last Updated October 2019

Perhaps your kids have reached peak excitement with their everyday activities and favorite sports. But fun shouldn’t be hard to find, especially during the warmer months, and bubble balls are a new way for both kids and adults to enjoy outdoor fun.

Bubble balls are inflatable toys that are used for simple bumping games as well as highly competitive matches in established bubble soccer leagues. Kids can charge at their friends and fall down laughing without anybody getting hurt when wearing bubble balls. With these easy-to-use and highly portable toys, children and adults alike can enjoy bouncy fun in the backyard, at the field, or poolside.

However, you probably don’t have much experience shopping for this newer toy. For everything you need to consider, from size to inflation to price, our buying guide has you covered. Or if you’re simply ready to start having fun, you’ll find our five favorite bubble balls in the matrix above.

Bubble balls can be incorporated into sports like soccer and dodgeball. However, since you should only bounce against other bubble balls, make sure you avoid accidentally kicking your opponent’s bubble ball.

Key considerations

Size

Bubble balls are not one-size-fits-all, but they are limited to only a few sizes. Smaller models are for players up to approximately 4’0” tall, so they’re ideal for children and teens. Larger models are for players between 4’0” and a little over 6’0” in height. Bubble balls also have recommended weight classes, which can be tricky when purchasing for teenagers, so pay attention to the weight recommendation as well as height when selecting a size.

Inflation

Bubble balls require inflation, which means you’ll need an air pump. Manual pumps take longer to inflate. Electric air pumps can blow up bubble balls in minutes, so consider purchasing an electric pump if you’re interested in saving time.

Sets

Since you never want to bounce alone, it’s a good idea to purchase bubble balls in pairs. Bubble balls are more fun with friends, and it’s advisable to only bump against other bubble balls. Generally, bubble balls are sold individually, but there are some manufacturers who package multiple bubble balls together in sets.

CAUTION

Definitely avoid playing bubble ball games around pets. They might think you’re playing with them and accidentally puncture the ball with their teeth or claws.

Features

Materials

Bubble balls are made of durable plastic, and the more you spend, the better the plastic. The PVC grade varies between models, though higher-quality bubble balls are ultra-thick, non-toxic, and odorless. There are some bubble balls produced with a mix of eco-friendly recycled materials as well.

Construction

Bubble balls are generally either threaded or honeycomb in construction. Threaded models feature a series of strings inside the ball that aid in the distribution of air and pressure. This design feature prevents crushing or collapsing of the walls on impact, so you can bounce away from another player instead of absorbing the shock.

The honeycomb style, on the other hand, has a series of interlocking pockets gathered at the seams, so there is less of a bounce-back reaction when players bump into one another. These bubble balls are less popular as they provide inferior cushioning and gameplay experience.

Shoulder harness and handles

Some bubble balls are equipped with a shoulder harness, which helps keep the ball secure when running and bumping. These harnesses resemble seatbelts with adjustable straps, and they either loop or snap together for a secure fit. Opposite the harness is usually a pair of rubber or plastic vertical handles to secure the front of the bubble ball. This unique setup minimizes excessive jostling and shifting of the bubble ball around your body, especially if you are on the smaller side and have more space inside the ball.

Style

With swaddle-style bubble balls, your arms are completely enclosed. These models also usually cover your head since they’re designed for more intense gameplay. Swaddle styles also tend to be longer, providing some hip and upper leg protection.

Free-arm models are smaller than swaddle styles. These bubble balls are designed to allow for the full range of motion of your arms. They look a bit like over-inflated vests, especially since your head and hips are generally exposed as well. These bubble balls offer less protection, so they’re usually intended for light play.

Bubble ball prices

Bubble balls range in price from $40 to $200 per ball. Bubble balls between $40 and $80 are cheaply constructed and are rarely as large as their more expensive counterparts. They’re recommended for light or occasional use.

Bubble balls between $80 and $120 are made with high-grade PVC that holds up to a fair amount of contact and usually inflates evenly. These bubble balls are usually threaded models.

You’ll find the best-quality bubble balls between $120 and $200. They’re generally geared toward competitive use, so they often come in a range of colors to designate teams.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re giving bubble balls as a gift, throw in an electric air pump as well. That way the recipient can start bouncing right away.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you’re claustrophobic, bubble balls may not be for you. You could feel overwhelmed by the tight fit, especially with bubble balls in the swaddle style.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Bubble balls can be incorporated into almost any sport if you’re willing to make modifications.

  • If you’re bringing bubble balls into your gym class or youth center, it’s a good idea to have parents sign waivers in case of any injury.

  • For bubble balls with shoulder harnesses, make sure you’re properly adjusted before starting a game. The shoulder harness will keep the ball from shifting during movement, which could get distracting or even be dangerous.

  • Even though they’re plastic and durable enough for outdoor use, bring bubble balls inside if it’s going to rain. Rain will bead off the plastic exterior of a bubble ball, but the interior may have crevices that are hard to dry out.

  • Bubble balls make great foundations for Halloween costumes. You could simply dress up as a bubble or take your costume to the next level and become a disco ball, gumball machine, planet, or pumpkin.

  • Have some fun with your wedding registry by including a pair of bubble balls. You might find you use them more than that food processor or blender!

Other products we considered

We love the Hurbo Inflatable Bumper Ball, especially since it fits players up to 6’2” and 200 pounds. This regulation-size bubble ball is perfect for bubble soccer, bull rush, or bubble tag. Thanks to its unique materials and durable construction, you can enjoy this bubble ball in the summer and winter months. It also inflates quickly. Depending on your electric air pump, you could be ready to play in less than five minutes. If you’re looking to get a beach ball-themed model, the Keenstone Inflatable Bumper Ball is a fun pick. This bubble ball is eco-friendly and made from non-toxic, colorless, and tasteless PVC plastic. It has undergone stringent weather and temperature testing, and it’s heat- and cold-resistant between 5°F and 104°F. With quality construction and high-grade materials, you’ll enjoy this bubble ball for years, and you can expect excellent customer service if you experience any issues.

With a recreational bubble ball league, it’s important to establish ground rules and safety procedures. Bubble ball sports are technically contact sports and require some regulations to ensure safety for all players.

FAQ

Q. Will my bubble ball come with a pump?

A. No, you’ll need to purchase your own air pump if you don’t own one. You can use a manual pump, like those used for bicycle tires, but it will take significantly longer to inflate your bubble ball than if you use an electric pump. Don’t try to blow up your bubble ball by mouth – it’s too strenuous a job for your body.

Q. Are there bubble balls for toddlers and preschoolers?

A. Generally, bubble balls are age eight and up for safety reasons. Younger children may not have any experience competing in contact sports, so there is the potential for sustaining an injury due to inexperience. Keep in mind that this recommended age is based on a rough estimate of height and weight, so make sure your older child is tall enough and weighs enough to use a particular bubble ball as well.

Q. Do I need to deflate a bubble ball after each use?

A. If you play infrequently, it’s recommended that you deflate bubble balls and store them between use. If you’re playing on a daily basis, you can keep bubble balls inflated for a few days at a time, provided they’re kept away from sharp objects and corners.

Q. What do I do if I puncture my bubble ball?

A. Some bubble balls come with puncture repair kits to patch holes. However, whether or not a puncture can be repaired depends on how much damage your bubble ball has sustained. If you happen to use up your patch kit, you can contact the manufacturer to get another one.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey