Are Round or Rectangular Trampolines Safer? (6 Expert Tips)

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Find out which option between round and rectangular trampolines is safer for kids, beginner trampoline jumpers, and seasoned trampoline enthusiasts. 

After deciding to buy a trampoline for yourself or a loved one, the next decision should be on the trampoline’s safety. 

You want a rebounder that will not only serve its purpose beautifully but also keep the jumpers safe. 

You might be wondering: does that trampoline shape affect its safety?

It does, which is why you need to keep the trampoline shape in mind when looking for a new trampoline. 

And speaking of shape, are round or rectangular trampolines safer? 

Generally, round trampolines are much safer than their rectangular alternatives

Read on to find out more about safety in the round and rectangular trampolines.

Round vs. Rectangular Trampolines: Which one is Safer? 

Trampolines come in many shapes, but the most popular ones are round and rectangle. 

Aside from the difference in appearance, there are other distinct variations between the two shapes of trampolines. 

You may find that a round trampoline fits your purpose, or your eyes may be on the unique perks a rectangular trampoline presents.

Either way, you want to choose the safest shape. Let’s compare round and rectangular trampolines on a few fronts to identify which one is safer:

1. Round vs. Rectangular Trampolines: Centre of Gravity

Round trampolines are designed with their center of gravity right in the middle. As jumpers bounce on the round trampoline, they gravitate toward the center of the jumping mat. 

The pull-back effect in round rebounders is a safety feature that pulls trampoline jumpers away from the edges. 

This keeps young and inexperienced jumpers from falling onto or off the trampoline edges where spring pads, hooks, and the ground can inflict injuries.

Here’s an interesting contrast:

On the other hand, rectangular trampolines are designed with their center of gravity spread evenly throughout the trampoline pad. Consequently, rectangular trampolines offer a big and uniform bounce throughout the bounce pad. 

Rectangular trampolines don’t pull jumpers toward the center. Instead, a jumper decides where to land on the mat. 

This makes it easy to fall onto the trampoline pad edges and suffer injury when bouncing.

While the uniform bounce in rectangular trampolines reduces safety, it offers a suitable space for bouncing, running, and performing trampoline stunts. 

2. Round vs. Rectangular Trampolines: Bounce Quality

Typically, round trampolines provide a more powerful bounce at the center, while rectangular trampolines regularly rebound throughout.  

When you bounce on a round trampoline, all the springs act at once. Conversely, the springs of a rectangular trampoline work separately depending on where you jump. 

Further, round trampolines have fewer and smaller springs than rectangular models. Consequently, you’re more likely to jump higher on a rectangular trampoline than on round one

What does that mean?

Soaring higher into the air increases the risk of injuries and falls among kids, making rectangular models unsafe for the little jumpers.

Thus, round trampolines are safer for young children and beginner trampoline jumpers who still haven’t mastered their balance. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recommends round trampolines as safer options for children. 

Rectangular trampolines have more length and bounce height than round rebounders. The extra length offers a safer area for experienced trampoline jumpers to work out and perform tricks. 

Additionally, the higher bounce height and uniform-rebound pad allow athletes and gymnasts to execute stunts such as jumps, flips, and twists and land safely. 

3. Round vs. Rectangular Trampolines: Weight Capacity

Round trampolines are safer for lighter jumpers, while rectangular rebounders are safer for heavyweight trampoline lovers.  

These are the general safe weight limitations for round trampolines:

  • 8 to 10-foot round trampolines have weight limits of between 200 to 250 pounds
  • 12-foot round trampolines can handle between 250 to 300 pounds
  • 14 to 16-foot round rebounders can safely accommodate between 251 to 400 pounds.

On the other hand, most rectangular trampolines typically have a weight limit of between 300 to 450 pounds regardless of their size. 

When you jump on a rectangular trampoline, only some of the springs activate to bounce you back. 

As a result, the springs have more weight-bearing and less stress. This allows the rectangular rebounders to take on more weight, making it safer to jump on.

Jumping on a round rebounder pulls on all springs equally. This translates to more spring stress and more miniature weight-bearing on round trampolines.

If your primary safety consideration is the weight limit, then rectangular trampolines trump their round counterparts

4. Round vs. Rectangular Trampolines: Safety of Trampoline Games

Round trampolines are safer for fun bouncing than rectangular alternatives due to their central pull-back effect. Whenever a jumper bounces on a round trampoline, they gravitate towards the safe center. 

A round rebounder also limits the bounce height, making it safer for inexperienced trampoline lovers. This also makes it unsuitable for advanced trampoline games meant for pros.

On the contrary, rectangular trampolines are built with uniform bounce throughout the trampoline pad. This makes it possible, exciting, and safe to play most trampoline games, such as trampoline basketball, without collisions. 

Besides, the extra length and super uniform bounce allow rectangular trampolines to be easily divided into a court for the safe playing of most trampoline games. 

That explains why rectangular rebounders are safer for training astronauts, athletes, cheerleaders, divers, gymnasts, and freestyle skiers.

5. Round vs. Rectangular Trampolines: Setup Location

Where do you plan to set up your trampoline? Space limitations can also impact the safety of round and rectangular trampolines.

Identifying a convenient and safe setup location for a round trampoline can be challenging.

Remember, you’ll require enough space for the entire diameter of your round rebounder. This means placing it centrally in most backyards.

In contrast, rectangular rebounders fit safely and neatly in narrow spaces and corners of most backyards. 

If you’re strapped for space, opting for a rectangular trampoline could be safer. Nevertheless, a round trampoline is safer as long as you have sufficient space to plant it.  

6. Round vs. Rectangular Trampolines: Frame Strength

A trampoline’s frame strength depends on the material used and the size of the trampoline. It’s a critical safety consideration when looking for a new rebounder. 

Simple plain steel trampoline frames are vulnerable to damage by repetitive use and rust. 

Conversely, galvanized and powder-coated steel trampoline frames are stronger and more resistant to wear by rust and other elements. 

You must be wondering, which between circular and rectangular trampoline frames, is superior in strength? 

Well, the two frame shapes offer equal frame strength and safety as long as they’re made of the same material. 

So, what?

A smaller round trampoline can be sturdier and safer due to a combination of its smaller size and the tension of its circular frame design. 

Still, rectangular rebounders feature stronger T-joints in the frame and inverted legs. This enables rectangular trampolines to measure up to the frame strength and safety of round trampolines.

Bottom Line: Are Round or Rectangular Trampolines Safer?

Generally, round trampolines are safer than rectangular rebounders. They offer limited bounce height and are optimized for safety with gapless spring pads and padded enclosures.

Thus, they’re the safest option for young children and inexperienced trampoline users who are still struggling with balance. 

On the other hand, older children experienced teenagers, and adults can safely bounce on a rectangular trampoline with minimal risk of injury.  

The extra length and jump height in rectangular trampolines allow taller and heavier jumpers to bounce better and execute stunts without the risk of collisions.  

A 2012 publication by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) asserts that using a trampoline exposes you to a high risk of severe injury. However, bouncing on the safer trampoline shape can reduce this risk substantially. 

And whatever your choice of trampoline shape, remember always to observe the safety trampoline code when bouncing on a rebounder.

Shmulik Dorinbaum

Shmulik Dorinbaum

I like to jump, as high as I can, so what else I can do in these days? in these quarantine days? to jump on my large-sized trampoline! (an extreme jumper)