Rectangular, Square, Round, or Oval? – Which Trampoline Shape Is Right for You?


There are many different reasons to buy a trampoline. Perhaps you are a training acrobat, or a jumping fanatic, or, most likely, you have kids who have asked you for a trampoline to play on. Entering the trampoline market, however, reveals the multitude of decisions involved in buying a trampoline. The first choice you will be faced with is which shape trampoline to buy. This article aims to provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision.

Trampolines come in four common shapes (and a multitude of sizes, but that’s another conversation) round, oval, rectangular, and square. You will also find novel shapes such as a hexagon or octagon, but they are rare compared to the common shapes, so we did not include them in this comparison.

mama playing with son on round trampoline in sunny day

Outlined below are the pros and cons of each common shapes, and a comparison between them. By the end of this article you should know exactly what trampoline shape to buy for yourself, your bouncing boyfriend, or your jumping juniors.

Round vs Rectangular

In simple terms, the round versus rectangular trampoline conversation boils down to this: for recreational purposes buy a round trampoline, for sports or training buy a rectangular trampoline. For the details as to why this is true, read on.

The advantages of rectangular trampolines

  • Can hold up to 400 pounds of weight, regardless of their size
  • Often have the largest surface area
  • Provide the highest bounce and are therefore best for gymnastics training

The disadvantages of rectangular trampolines

  • Typically cost the most of any kinds of trampoline because of the greatness of their surface area and the need for more support
  • Provide the highest bounce, which means that they are not as safe which may make them less suitable for small children

On the other hand, there are round trampolines. These are the most common household trampoline and below you will see why.

The advantages of round trampolines

  • They are often the cheapest
  • pull jumpers to the center of the trampoline and have a lower overall bounce height possibility
  • they are much safer than other shapes as a result of the previous point
  • these take up less space (depending on the size) than other shapes

The disadvantages of round trampolines

  • are not well suited for gymnastic training because of low bounce potential
  • have a bouncing surface that is restricted to the center (meaning only one person can catch air at a time)

As mentioned above, the information available supports the idea that those torn between a rectangular and a round trampoline should think about what they plan to use the trampoline for. If you are training, choose a rectangle. If you are playing with your kids, choose a circle. That is if, for some reason, you are restricted to choosing between those two shapes, because as you read on you will find two other shapes vying for your attention.


Square vs Round 

Let’s investigate the next two shapes, which is better, a square trampoline and a round one? The temptation to be hasty and declare that a rectangular trampoline cannot be that different from a round one is strong, but that would be a mistake. As you will see, the square trampoline option trumps the round trampoline in almost every point whether you are a single gymnast or a family.

a little girl dancing nicely on single round trampoline

The advantages and disadvantages of the round trampoline are written above, so they won’t be mentioned again here, but it bears repeating that the round trampoline was cheaper and safer than the rectangular one.

The advantages of square trampolines

  • Have a very sturdy frame to support their shape
  • Can hold much more weight than a round trampoline
  • Have a large bouncing surface (more than one person can get air at one time)

The disadvantages of square trampolines

  • Tend to have a higher price point

As you can see, square trampolines take all the benefits of a rectangular trampoline but are safer. This means that square trampolines meet both the needs of an aspiring acrobat AND a young family. Don’t click “buy now” just yet, though, because there is one more trampoline shape to discover and two more comparisons.


Oval vs Round 

Again, it would be easy to write off oval trampolines as just like their round cousins, but it would be unfortunate. It seems, in some ways, oval trampolines take on the advantages of a rectangular trampoline AND the advantages of a round trampoline. See the breakdown below.

The advantages of oval trampolines

  • they offer two bouncing zones, one on each end which is good for multiple jumpers
  • these are safer than rectangular trampolines
  • ovals have higher bounce than round trampolines

The disadvantages of oval trampolines

  • they can be harder to fit in some backyards than a round one

Evidence suggests that oval trampolines may be the best trampoline overall if you expect more than one person to be jumping at a time and you don’t expect to be training as a gymnast any time soon. There is still one comparison left to make before final conclusions are offered.


Square vs Rectangle 

Using the above advantage/disadvantage lists above, we conclude this article by comparing and contrasting square trampolines with rectangular ones. In general, square trampolines are smaller, more sturdy, bigger surface area (more jumpers), and offer a more controlled bouncing experience.

The only disadvantage of square trampolines is that they don’t offer as high of a bouncing experience as rectangular trampolines do, which makes them less of a viable option for gymnasts. Rectangular trampolines are more expensive than square trampolines and are more dangerous for young, unprofessional jumpers.


In conclusion… 

Without getting too repetitive, it seems rectangular trampolines should only be used by those who are interested in acrobatics or gymnastics. For everyone else, there are oval, round, and square trampolines, but among those oval trampolines stand out as the best buy for families and recreational jumpers who don’t plan on jumping alone. Of course, you can't go wrong with any of these shapes -- they are all fun!

Happy jumping!

Susan Lee
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