Best Basketball Hoops

Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for best basketball hoops

Basketball is the perfect game. Although it has a simple goal – put the ball through the hoop – you can play every day and continually face new challenges. Whether you want to refine your own shooting or have a place for neighborhood pick-up games, purchasing a basketball hoop can provide many years of active happiness.

However, you must decide if a portable, in-ground, or wall-mount hoop is best for your situation, an acrylic backboard offers the best bang for your buck. Remember, regulation includes rim height, rim size, and backboard size. If you have young children, an adjustable model might be best. If your games get aggressive, an effective breakaway rim will save you money when it comes to purchasing replacement parts.

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There are stories about Hall of Famers who slept with their basketballs. Some rising stars wouldn't go anywhere without dribbling two basketballs at once, one in each hand.

Size and materials

Although most rims are regulation size and can be raised to 10 feet when required, backboards vary widely. There are also different materials for the frame and base, each having a significant impact on rigidity and durability.

While most in-ground hoops have a steel frame and support, when it comes to the backboard, there are many options: wood, molded plastic, and tempered glass, to name a few.

Tempered glass

Far and away the best material for a backboard, tempered glass is the choice of the NBA. The material is glass that has been strengthened through a thermal and chemical process. As the one the pros use, it is the most expensive option available.


A highly regarded backboard material known for its true rebounding effect and durability, this synthetic polymer is on the expensive side.


Backboards made of this material have many of the same qualities as backboards made of acrylic fiber, but they’re even more durable than other synthetic materials. Priced approximately the same as acrylic backboards, polycarbonate provides the truest rebound and is suited for highly competitive (and combative) games.

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Did you know?
The last thing you want in a basketball hoop and backboard is shattered glass or wood chunks when a superstar decides to slam dunk. If you’re into high competition, consider a basketball hoop with a polycarbonate backboard; these provide excellent rebound.


Wooden backboards are inexpensive and relatively durable. Wood is also a good choice for games that might get extremely physical. In addition to not offering a consistent rebound, one major con is that, since wood is opaque, those seated behind the basket will miss some of the action.

Molded plastic

Ease of installation and a lower price make molded plastic a good backboard material choice. However, this material is less durable than some other options.

Let’s not forget the basketball net — the rope-like feature that hangs down from the rim.

Without a net, players would never hear that wonderful “swish” sound!

The official NBA net, which also is used by the NCAA, is made of 100% polyester with polypropylene in the tips for extra strength.

Nets also can be made of chain-link metal or a braided cotton/nylon material.


When shopping for a basketball hoop, ask yourself what you’re truly hoping for. Do you just want a bit of backyard fun, or are you looking to create a nearly professional experience for yourself or your young star?

We encourage potential buyers to give this decision a lot of thought!

The purchase of a basketball hoop, as well as its installation, can be costly. You undoubtedly want a hoop that will last you many years. And if the player’s talent grows and develops, you will want something that can grow with him or her.

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Did you know?
In 2014, the number of participants (aged six years and older) enrolled in some sort of basketball activity amounted to approximately 23 million. In 2016, wholesale sales of basketball backboards amounted to about $182.6 million.

Basketball hoop assembly

Assembling a basketball hoop is a daunting job. If you’re unsure how to go about it or just don’t want the hassle, you needn’t worry. There are plenty of for-hire installation technicians who would be happy to assist you.

If you decide to assemble your basketball hoop without the aid of a professional installer, follow these tips:

  • Because of the hoop’s size and weight, it’s best to have at least two adults on hand to help with assembly.

  • Assemble the unit either outside or in a garage. The area you choose will need at least 11 feet of overhead clearance so you can get the system completely upright.

  • Read the instructions for each step carefully.

  • Before you begin a step, figure out which pieces you need, and have a game plan for how you’ll tackle the work.

Basketball hoop installation costs

So how much does a professional basketball hoop installation cost, you ask? Installation of an in-ground system could cost $450 or more. This includes several visits from your technician, labor, and materials.

Certain factors can impact your total bill when hiring a professional installer.

  • If the technician must use a jackhammer to break down existing concrete, this can increase the price.

  • If the technician must take down an existing hoop, this can increase the price.

If you go the DIY route, one of your largest costs will be the price of concrete. The instructional manual will tell you how much concrete you need. Tools needed for DIY hoop installation include the following:

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Did you know?
Lots of consumers opt to have their basketball hoop professionally assembled and installed.

Basketball hoop prices

Under $100

Squeaking in at under $100, you’ll find portable basketball hoops with sand- or water-filled stability bases.

The rims of these low-cost hoops are generally made of steel, and the backboard is typically a composite material of decent durability.

Under $250

This is the entry point for in-ground basketball hoops that require professional or expert DIY installation.

Hoops in this range will vary in the size of the shatterproof backboard (48 or 50 inches in diameter) and feature easily adjustable height up to regulation 10 feet.

Over $1000

In this upper pricing tier, you will find options that are as close as you can get to an NBA or college setup.

These high-end models feature larger pro-style backboards, rust-proof steel poles, and a safety pad to protect players when they run into the pole that holds up the hoop.

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A regulation basketball in the NBA is 29.5 inches (52 centimetres) in circumference.

Basketball hoops FAQ

Q. How do I maintain my basketball hoop?

A. In order to prevent rusting, keep lawn trimmings and other unnecessary materials away from the in-ground pole. Occasionally clean the backboard with a damp cloth (cotton preferred) or, if the backboard is clear, with a glass cleaner. If rust begins to form on any of the parts, carefully sand that area and paint it with outdoor gloss paint.

Q. What was the most points scored in an NBA game?

A. Wilt Chamberlain of the then Philadelphia (now Golden State) Warriors scored 100 points on March 2, 1962, against the New York Knicks during a game played in Hershey, PA.

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