Best Balance Balls

Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for best balance balls

The biggest changes happen in small increments. If you want to live a healthier, more robust life, those changes come about gradually through lifestyle choices. But those changes don’t have to be difficult; they can be as simple as sitting still. A balance ball engages your core and helps you burn calories as it tones your body, all while you remain stationary.

Of course, you can do far more than just sit still on a balance ball. If you incorporate a balance ball into your exercise routine, you may experience positive results from everyday exercises such as crunches, push-ups, and squats. However, for a balance ball to be the most effective, it needs to be the proper size and have a sufficient level of firmness.

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Many exercises on a balance ball involve some degree of rolling. Make sure you have a large enough clear space so that you can properly execute the exercise.

Key considerations


The best balance ball for you is the proper size for your height. If you choose a ball that’s too large, you may have difficulty staying on it and could end up injuring yourself. If you choose a balance ball that’s too small, you won't be able to properly execute your exercises, and, again, you could end up in a painful situation.

In most instances, there are at least four diameter options available when choosing a balance ball: 45 centimeters (cm), 55 cm, 65 cm, and 75 cm. (Some manufacturers do not offer a 45 cm balance ball, while others have an extra-large 85 cm ball.) Every individual has slightly different proportions, so the sizing charts may have an inch or two of variation from manufacturer to manufacturer, but in general, the size recommendations are fairly uniform:

45 cm: Individuals shorter than 5.0’

55 cm: Individuals between 5'1” and 5'7"

65 cm: Individuals between 5'8" and 6'2"

75 cm: Individuals over 6'3"

The way to test for a proper fit is to sit on the balance ball with your knees bent at a 90° angle. If your feet rest comfortably on the floor, the ball is the right size for you.

Balance ball features

After you decide which size balance ball is best for you, there are a few more considerations that may enhance your use of the equipment.

Durability: The best balance balls are designed so that if they sustain a puncture or tear, they won't burst like a balloon, which would drop you to the floor with a jolt. Instead, a punctured anti-burst balance ball leaks air more slowly to give you a little more time to react and lessening the chance of injury.

Weight capacity: Most balance balls support a minimum of 250 to 300 pounds. If that isn’t enough for you, look for a heavy-duty balance ball that can meet your needs.

Surface: A balance ball with a textured surface that prevents slipping is highly desirable. This will not only help keep the ball from skittering across the floor but also help to keep you from sliding off the ball.

Materials: You want your balance ball to be manufactured using safe, non-toxic materials that will hold up with frequent use. Many balance balls initially have a rubbery smell, but that should fade. If the smell is a problem for you, you can seek low-odor balance balls.

Pump: All balance balls come with some sort of inflating device. Most have a small handheld pump while others feature a foot pump. The one that’s best for you is merely a matter of preference, but most come with a handheld pump.

Color: If you’ll be using your balance ball at a gym or other public facility, pick a distinct color so it’s easy to tell from all the others. If you’re using your balance ball in the privacy of your own home, choose your favorite color, something that is fun and motivates you.

Instructions: Some balance balls come with a handy sheet or pamphlet of starter exercises. If yours doesn't, there are plenty of online videos that can help you get started. Additionally, your doctor or physical therapist may be able to prescribe some specific exercises for you.

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Improperly using your balance ball or using it when it’s visibly worn or damaged can result in personal injury.

Balance ball prices

Balance balls are available in diameters ranging from 45 cm to 75 cm, and occasionally 85 cm. The larger the balance ball, the higher the price.

Inexpensive: Budget balance balls cost in the range of $8 to $15. These models may not be as durable as you’d like, so be careful.

Mid-range: Balance balls that cost around $12 to $20 are a little more durable and feature a better pump, but they aren’t the most prevalent option.

Expensive: In the higher range, from $20 to $30, is where you’ll find the largest selection. Many of these balance balls have a nonslip surface and are made of anti-burst material, so they often represent the most advantageous choice.


It's called a “balance” ball because, in order to use it, you need to learn how to balance yourself on an unsteady object. This is a feat that may take some practice for many individuals and could lead to some frustration. In order to get the most out of your balance ball, here are a few tips to help you find that balance point.

  • Start with an underinflated ball. The bottom of an underinflated balance ball is flatter and provides a larger, more stable surface for you to find your balance. As you become more comfortable on the ball, gradually increase the air inside until it reaches the recommended size and firmness.
  • Steady your balance ball. Don't just straddle your balance ball when mounting, place your hand on it to steady it, then carefully sit down.
  • Wear shoes and position feet correctly. It’s very easy for your feet to slip out from under you during certain exercises. In order to be able to do what you need to do, wear shoes that provide some grip. And if the heels of your feet are too close to the ball, it could be impossible to stay on. Move your feet forward at least six inches to have a more stable foundation. If you find yourself struggling to maintain your balance while sitting on the ball, spread your feet apart a little more than hip width.
  • Spread out your arms. If you find it difficult to stay stable, spread out your arms into a "T" position. The farther your hands are from the center of your body, the easier it will be to find and maintain your balance.
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The easiest way to see if your balance ball is fully inflated is to make a small mark at the proper height on a doorframe. When the top of the balance ball reaches that mark, you'll know that it’s fully inflated.


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