Mini trampolines are smaller than full-size outdoor ones with protective netting and other features. They’re also known as a rebounder in fitness circles because this exercise equipment is sometimes used in home and professional gyms for low impact routines as part of a complete exercise program.
What many people may not appreciate is that trampolines take up a considerable amount of floor space. Their diameter is large and eats up space in a room very easily. There is a need to leave space on all sides of the equipment to be able to mount and dismount safely. A higher ceiling is also useful when planning to use a trampoline indoors because depending on the rebounding ability, a person can jump higher than expected when taking a few bounces on a trampoline to gradually increase their elevation. Therefore, there needs to be high enough ceiling to ensure anyone using a trampoline indoors won’t hit their head and injure themselves.
For adults, using a trampoline may bring some long-forgotten childhood memories back to the surface. Alternatively, a stuffy adult may find using a mini trampoline to be a very freeing experience that’s unlike anything else in their average, pedestrian day. Who gets to bounce high in the air, get a workout in, and relieve some tensions all at the same time? Or, they might just feel like a big kid again. People react differently when they try a trampoline.
For someone looking to stay in shape, tone up muscles or lose some excess weight, using a trampoline as one part of a comprehensive exercise program is an excellent idea. The supportive surface takes much of the impact out of the movement, unlike with street jogging. A good 15-30-minute session is a very good cardio workout where many muscle groups are used to bounce, reach maximum elevation, and come back down again. Running in place is supported by the springs or cords that provide the responsiveness. Jumping on a trampoline uses many of the same muscles as performing jumping jacks or skipping rope, but without the subsequent problem with joints. People with bad knees may wish to take it a little easy on themselves, but they’re by no means ruled out when trying a mini trampoline as it’s far gentler on the joints than a treadmill or other exercise equipment in the gym.
Benefits of exercising on a trampoline:
- Makes exercise more fun than a gym
- Reduces stress and impact to legs, ankles, and feet
- Better balance and increased endurance
- Improves healthy blood circulation
- Increase bone density
- Adds greater flexibility and better posture
- Better mental health and sense of wellbeing
Each mini trampoline is rated for its maximum pound capacity. Some models carry a 200-pound limit, others 300 pounds. It is important to check the individual specifications to ensure that the right kind of trampoline is purchased to fully support the weight of the people who’ll use it.
Types of Mini Trampolines
There are a few types of mini trampoline to choose from and here are the options.
The mini trampoline is a small cousin of the full-size models that let people bounce high into the air, enjoy views over their neighbor’s garden and have fun jumping around without a care in the world.
The smaller version offers a smaller bounce to it, but it also comes with some fitness benefits. The health and fitness industry found a use for these rebounders because they make exercise less wearing on the joints while still managing to work the muscles, get the heart rate up, and burn off the pounds.
Mini trampolines are mostly designed for adults to use, but they’re also kid friendly too (only adults should be allowed to set them up though).
Anyone over the age of 40 begins to notice that physical exercise has gotten tougher. Their joints don’t want to put in the effort, and their muscles sometimes refuse to cooperate. It takes longer to get going in the morning, and the idea of physical exercise is anathema to many older people’s lifestyles. The use of a small bouncy surface takes the pain out of the body’s movement, relieves the boredom often associated with exercise, and puts a smile on the face too.
Mini Trampoline with Handrail
Mini trampolines with handrails are becoming more popular. The handrail is attached to one side of the mat or across the center. It is useful for performing different types of bouncing moves, stretches, resistance actions, and perhaps even ballet-like leg stretching exercises.
With handrails that are adjustable, it’s possible to let different people in the house use the same mini trampoline by adjusting the handrail to their height. For young ones in the home, using the attached handrail makes it safer to bounce on the trampoline because it ensures that they can only go so far or bounce so high.
Using the handrail by holding it while running on the spot is a good use of it. It’s certainly easier to maintain your balance this way. The handrail is not intended for climbing or other purposes other than described above.
Mini trampolines often come in models without a handrail, or with a handrail when they’re focused on the health benefits of the product. It’s also possible to buy a separate handrail designed specifically for the trampoline model already owned. Using a handrail designed for a different model is not safe.
Mini Trampoline with Resistance Bands
The mini trampoline that perhaps is most focused on the health and fitness benefits is one that comes with built-in resistance bands (or resistance tubes).
With resistance bands, they usually have straps sewn to the side of two of the fold out steel legs. A foam-filled handle, for comfort, is added to the straps for easy gripping and pulling for increased tension. Rather than using weight lifting to build up muscles, a resistance band workout while using the mini trampoline is an excellent way to get in some aerobic exercise at the same time as get the muscles burning
Depending on the manufacturer, some product models have one SKU without the resistance bands and an identical model with the resistance bands. The buyer then decides whether the higher price is worth it for the model with the resistance bands or whether they’d like the trampoline without them.
Mini Trampoline with Enclosure
A mini trampoline with enclosure is a similar product that includes a mesh fabric netting running almost all the way around as a protective border to try to avoid accidents. The protective netting essentially catches the person using the trampoline if they’ve managed to bounce away from the center of the mat and are in the air heading for a hard landing off the matt.
Usually, a mini trampoline doesn’t come with an enclosure. The reason is that the amount of bounce is less than with full-size trampolines. It’s also true that when one uses the product for fitness, then the enclosure netting is likely only to get in the way. It will also likely obstruct getting onto and off the elevated platform in the first place.
For parents who have found a suitable kid’s mini trampoline with an enclosure, then their goals are different. They would like their young child to have fun using the trampoline but eliminate the risks. In this case, do please bear in mind that children need to be properly supervised when using this type of product. A kid’s mini trampoline won’t support a parent’s weight along with the child’s.
Folding Mini Trampoline
Many mini trampolines are foldable ones. Some products have fold down legs, but other than that you’re talking about storing and later transporting a large, covered metal disc, essentially, which is no joke. A folding version can fold down in two sections (sometimes four corners), or it will collapse into itself to minimize its total size for storage or transport. Either solution is fine, but the folding process usually requires 2-3 people to complete it.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Mini Trampoline
There are a few factors that are worth consideration when looking at purchasing a mini trampoline. Let’s look at those now.
Adults or Kids
There are mini trampolines designed expressly for children and ones for adults. The carrying capacity, design, and durability are all different with the kids’ trampolines vs. the ones for adults.
The adult-oriented trampoline is also quite likely partly designed with fitness in mind so that it may come with a handrail or resistance bands too.
Durability & Construction
A rebounder must be safe to use in all situations. For this to be the case, high-quality components must be utilized. A stable circular metal frame, smart design, a durable mat, springs that rarely break, and elastic cords/bands that don’t snap at inopportune moments are all factors with construction to consider.
It’s fair to say that a rebounder that gets a lot of use will eventually have problems with support springs and its elastic cords/bands. Nothing lasts forever. Depending on the manufacturer, these items are replaceable with spares to get the product back on its feet and the person back in the air again.
Little extras like foldable legs with rubber feet to avoid leaving marks on the floor, a padded skirt covering the springs and elastic bands, and frame, and a high-quality polypropylene jump mat matching the type used with large rebounders all matter.
Trampolines are made up of bands that require tension, springs and have several potential pinch points all around. The mat covers the tension bands, and the springs get their own separate cover to avoid cutting a finger when landing near the edge. Look for products that use a protective design to prevent injuries during use.
A trampoline usually doesn’t need much assembly. The more compact the product is when boxed up, the more assembly is often required. With that said, assembly is not difficult or time-consuming. However, don’t consider letting the kids do it for you as it’s really an adult’s responsibility and may require 2-3 people to complete it.
Folds Down or Collapses
Do you need a product that allows the mat to be folded in two or folded into four sections to reduce the size? Alternatively, one with edges that collapse in to minimize both the diameter and height of the product after use is also useful.
Another option is a trampoline that doesn’t appreciably reduce in size. The legs may either detach or fold back, but the large circular mat canvas stays the same and forms most the bulk.
These smaller versions don’t have the same carrying capacity as the wider outdoor trampolines. Their appearance may look similar, but weight capacity is something that varies widely between models and brands.
Some mini trampolines hold 200 pounds. Others will carry 350 lbs. It depends on the structure, build strength, springs, mat, and numerous other factors that affect how much weight is supported.
What’s critically important is that the weight limit is not exceeded. Really, you want to be well below the stated maximum weight limit to be safe. Serious accidents can and do occur when heavier people jump on trampolines that were never designed to support their weight level. Springs give way, mat fabric comes apart, and this leads to unpredictable results.
Choose a product that matches the needs of the people who will use it. Make sure they know the carrying limit of the mini trampoline and don’t exceed it.
It’s also worth pointing out, exercises that require the right amount of stability should not be conducted while on a trampoline unless an appropriate handrail attachment has been added.
Mini trampolines are perfectly circular or oval when setup. Their width and height are usually somewhere between 36 inches and 40 inches. Their height is often around 3 inches, perhaps a little more.
A handrail, handlebar or stability bar (choose your favorite term) is a safer way to exercise with a rebounder. In fact, some activities that require too much dynamic movement shouldn’t be attempted at all with a rebounder that lacks a handrail.
It’s sometimes possible to buy a handrail for a rebounder later, but it’s also best to either buy both at the same time or to choose a rebounder that includes a handrail.
When thinking about price, one needs to appreciate that quality doesn’t come cheap. The cheaper the product, the more corners have been cut with the quality of the springs, the cords, the mat, and other parts. Lower priced models also tend to have a lower weight carrying capacity and their durability is in question too. At a certain point, it becomes unwise to purchase a trampoline at a budget price.
Features of Mini Trampolines
There are a few exciting features to consider with mini trampolines. Here we aim to guide you towards the best ones.
The circular or oval frame is usually made of steel for added strength. Flimsier materials like aluminum simply won’t stand up to the rigors of long-term use.
Jump mats are usually made of woven polypropylene or another equally tough material. The mat is fixed to the frame and is supported by the tension beneath. Polypropylene is most often used because of its durability while not being too rough on the skin.
A handrail or stability bar is either attached to two sides of the mini trampoline or fixed to a single side. The bar offers increased stability to perform additional exercises that require greater safety. Many handrails have foam padding included on part of the bar to make them more comfortable to grip; this is a feature to look out for. Some handrails are adjustable between 2-3 different height levels whereas others are fixed height only. When taking exercising with a mini trampoline seriously, then a handrail is a must-have feature.
A good protective covering is necessary for the polypropylene jump mat. The cover is rugged and runs over the edges of the metal frame, the springs and initial tension cords pointing towards the center. When touching near the edge of the mini trampoline, one doesn’t want to get fingers caught in the spring or the tension cords. A padded skirt must be made of sturdy material to remain durable over the months and years of use.
Depending on the design of the padded skirt, it should extend the usable surface area by covering over some of the internal parts of the product, rather than be only decorative or protective.
Up to 30 tension cords are used with the design of a mini trampoline. Pulled tight, they clip on to the spring which is connected to the edge of the metal frame. The better the tension, the more springier that part of the mat will be. Some models now use elastic bands that have completely replaced metal springs; these tend not to offer as much bounce but may be considered safer to use.
The legs sometimes clip on to the metal frame, or they are attached and fold under the springs when putting the trampoline away after it’s been used. They tend to be made of heavy-duty steel, up to one inch thick, and sometimes have an arched design to deliver greater stability to avoid the trampoline tipping over during use. The addition of rubber feet on the bottom of each leg prevents scratches on the floor and increases floor grip.
A few mini trampolines also include a set of two resistance bands. These are medium length elasticated cords with handles that act as resistance bands to add weight-training results to a workout. The bands either attach around two of the sturdy legs or the handrail and bring a new element to any exercise routine.
Travel & Packing Options
Many models of mini trampolines fold down to a smaller size to be packed away or to transport it. Mats either scrunch down or fold inwards and legs either detach or fold back neatly. Portability is a key benefit of mini trampolines to take them on the road as exercise equipment. A carry bag is often included too.
Electronic Fitness Monitor
Some rebounders focused heavily on exercise routines include an electronic fitness monitor that tracks how many jumps were performed every minute, total jumps, workout time, and an estimate of the calories burned per session.
Many brands thoughtfully include a workout DVD demonstrating how to use their product by demonstrating a series of exercise routines. With manufacturers that won’t do this, they may have a mini product manual with a few examples and exercise examples on their website.
Best Mini Trampoline Brands
A few brands are competing in the mini trampoline market. Most of the names will be familiar to anyone who already owns a full-size trampoline.
JumpSport, founded in 1997, is a prominent producer of many types of trampoline from mini ones right up to large outdoor trampolines with enclosures that support multiple people using them at the same time. Pioneering the idea of enclosures for trampolines to protect kids from accidents, the company later also reinvented their product line to add a softer bounce to avoid leg injuries when landing and jumping off.
Stamina Products is not afraid to reinvent the wheel when it comes to their products. Rather than sticking with the tried and true round mini trampoline, they offer several oval-shaped ones with colorful resistance bands and blue optics around the edge of the mat. Started in 1997, their range of fitness products is now huge. The company offers trampolines, rowers, steppers, ellipticals, bikes, treadmills, and many other fitness products.
Urban Rebounder is focused on producing a rebounder trampoline for indoor fitness routines suitable for children and adults of virtually any age who wish to exercise safely. The inclusion of rebounder legs at different heights lets exercisers adjust the height on each side of the rebounder to create exciting new leg routines. A stabilizing bar is also a useful item that works with their rebounder. Their product is sold directly on Amazon.com.
MaXimus Life, now part of Rebound UK, offers their rebounder, training DVDs, accessories, and spare parts to a global market. The company actively promotes the use of their rebounder in gyms with their website providing information on how to setup and structure classes. They also offer their own certification program for gym class instructors.
Sunny Health & Fitness
Sunny Health & Fitness is an LA-based company that produces many lines of fitness equipment. Their product lines cover fixed position gym equipment, dumbbells, strength training, and wellness. The company tends to focus in the middle of the market regarding pricing and features.
Pure Fun embrace the sense of fun that kids have when going out to play. Their trampoline products, especially the kids’ trampolines combine Racer and Ladybug themes with small trampolines and handrails ideal for children who are initially a little scared. Larger trampolines with enclosures, including some huge outdoor models are also available. Additionally, they offer a broad range of playground equipment and boxing toys for kids too. Spare parts for their products are also available.
Little Tikes is a growing company focused on little kids. Founded in 1970, bought out by Rubbermaid in 1988, the company now makes products for babies, preschoolers, and little kids. Outdoor, riding and furniture are their three main categories for children. Their indoor and outdoor toys are inventive, full of scary creatures and bright colors to captivate small children. Their Little Tikes 3-foot mini trampoline with central handrail is another example of clear product design choices for kids.
Merax, founded back in 1995 and based in LA, makes products in the sports & fitness, toys & games, home kitchen, travel, and office furniture categories. Among their many products is a mini trampoline and handrail with a foam handle.
What Consumers Say
Not all legs clip on or fold under the elastic cords. Some only screw on and off which involves getting on hands and knees to unscrew each leg one by one. Not a lot of fun each time getting the trampoline out to use it when not having enough storage space to leave it assembled all the time.
The more flexible the elastic cords/straps, the bouncier the mat feels. A softer feel is always preferable over a firmer surface with less bounce to it.
Springs and Cord vs. Elastic straps
The latest innovation is stretchable elastic straps instead of springs and cord for mat tension. The elastic straps are supposed to be safer vs using springs. However, the elastic loses tension and the straps around the metal frame come apart quite quickly. Trampolines with elastic straps are still a work in progress for many manufacturers.
Folding the mat in half sometimes takes two people to accomplish it. Taking apart a mini trampoline is more time-consuming than one realizes, so it’s a good idea to plan to have it setup permanently in the home.
Mini trampolines don’t offer anywhere near as much bounce as a full-size outdoor trampoline with an enclosure. The product is designed to provide enough bounciness to be exciting without overdoing it.