What is the difference between a rebounder and a trampoline? 7 things to take note

Rebounders vs trampolines

Rebounders and trampolines are sometimes mistaken for each other, and it is not hard to know why. If you tried searching for one or the other on platforms such as Amazon, you are likely to see the same two words in a listing.

What gives? What is the difference between a rebounder and a trampoline?

The main difference between a rebounder and a trampoline is their size, weight capacity, and function. Rebounders are much smaller, support only one jumper at a time, and are primarily used for exercise indoors. Trampolines are mostly used outdoors for recreation and can accommodate more than one jumper at a time.

In this post, I will share more about their differences and how each can benefit you.

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trampolines vs rebounders

What is a rebounder?

When you think of jumping, you probably picture a trampoline. But did you know that there are actually different types of equipment for rebounding?

A rebounder (also known as a mini-trampoline) is a small, low-profile piece of equipment that’s designed for single-person use.

They’re smaller than trampolines and are made with bungee cords or springs to help provide a little bit of bounce when you land on them.

They are great for indoor use and can be stored easily in a closet or under a bed, so you don’t have to worry about tripping over your legs when you’re walking through your house.

You can do great cardio workouts without putting too much pressure on your body since they are relatively low impact, but at the same time, they can get your heart pumping just like you are out on a run!

Read this too: How to make a trampoline bouncier?

Types of rebounders

Regrettably, not every rebounder is created equal. I would categorize them into two types of fitness equipment: high-quality and low-quality/cheap.

Cheap is defined by the quality of the material used to construct the rebounder, not by its softness, firmness, or price.

Low-cost rebounders are frequently made with bungee cords of poor quality or steel springs that are fragile.

They frequently sink under you when you bounce, making your back and knees feel even worse.

Due to weak spring strength or low-quality mats that do not encourage body balance, inadequately made rebounders can cause injuries.

High-quality cords or steel springs, on the other hand, will ensure a much better experience.

These can either be adjustable cables or steel springs. Some of these springs are designed to last the equipment’s lifetime!

What is a trampoline?

A trampoline is a piece of equipment consisting of a piece of taut, strong fabric stretched over a steel frame using many coiled springs. A person may bounce on the trampoline to exercise or for recreation.

They come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, and are often found in parks, schools, and gymnastics centers. Some people have their own trampolines at home in their backyards.

Most families would use them for recreation, especially with kids who never fail to get amused at the bounce they get from jumping on one.

On the other end of the spectrum, both professional and amateur gymnasts practice on trampolines to take part in competitions.

Types of trampolines

Trampolines have come a long way since the 1930s when it was first created.

They are now available in a variety of styles, colors, and shapes, although the basic premise remains the same.

Trampolines are divided into two categories: leisure and competitive.

Most of us typically buy recreational trampolines for use in our homes.

Oval and circular shapes are common, as are square, rectangular, hexagonal, and octagonal shapes.

Competitive trampolines, on the other hand, are usually rectangular and purchased for certain gymnastic activities.

To bear heavier weight during competitive jumps, they are composed of robust fabric and kept together by multiple strong coils.

Differences between a rebounder and a trampoline

When comparing the two, you can look at a few factors which can help determine which one is right for you.

Here is a summarized table for easy reference:

SizeBetween 36 to 40 inchesBetween 8 to 15 feet
ShapeRound, hexagonalRound, oval, square, rectangle
Weight cap150 to 400 lbs100 to 500 lbs
PortabilityPortableNot portable
UseFitness, aerobic workoutsRecreation, playtime
SafetyLow riskMedium to high risk
Price$50 to $400$200 to $1000+
Difference between rebounders and trampolines

1. Size

The most obvious difference to most people will be the size of the equipment.

Rebounders are mainly used for indoor workouts and are designed to be used by just one person at a time. This means that they are much smaller than regular trampolines.

Rebounders, or fitness trampolines as they are often called, typically measure about 36-40 inches across. Some do go up to 48-60 inches but they are the minority.

On the other hand, trampoline sizes usually start from 8 feet and go up to 15 feet. That means you will require a pretty large area to accommodate one, with backyards being the most common spaces being used.

2. Shape

Both rebounders and trampolines are most commonly made in round circular shapes. I suppose this has something to do with safety as jumping on round trampolines returns the jumper back to the middle even when he or she jumps near the edge.

Besides a round shape, rebounders can come in rectangular (mostly for kids only) and hexagonal shapes (for fitness).

On the other hand, trampolines are available in round, rectangular, oval, and square shapes. Each of them caters to different needs and expertise levels.

3. Weight capacity

Rebounders are designed to be used on one person only, which leads one to assume the weight capacity is much lower. However, that is somewhat untrue as there are rebounders that can take up to 400 pounds! That is a lot!

Typically though, they are able to support at least 150-200 pounds.

As for trampolines, the weight capacities differ widely too. At the lower end of the range, trampolines can support 100 pounds and go all the way up to 500 pounds.

Although they can take on heavier weights, it does not mean that you should get your whole family jumping on one though. Always have safety at the back of your mind!

4. Portability

Needless to say, rebounders are much more portable than trampolines due to their size and weight.

Some rebounders even come with foldable features such as the ability to tuck away the legs or completely fold down the entire set, making them super easy to store away or carry out.

Trampolines do not have that kind of flexibility though. Once you have set up your trampoline, it will require a fair amount of effort to dismantle and pack them for moving. Not to mention that a box of trampolines weigh about 200 pounds!

5. Usage

Trampolines and rebounders both help you enhance your general muscle coordination. They’re particularly helpful if you have back or joint pain.

If you prefer to walk, jog, or bounce throughout your workout, fitness trampolines are a terrific option.

Unlike regular trampolines, they can even come with workout videos that include a variety of exercises. Even if they don’t, there are so many you can find on YouTube too, such as this one which my family loves.

Outdoor trampolines, on the other hand, promote physical activity and playtime.

Extra accessories are frequently available for purchase with these larger components (for an additional cost) such as basketball sets, tent attachments, and bounce boards.

Some trampolines, unlike rebounders, include a safety net, making them an excellent choice for families with young children.

Also, for the more adventurous ones, you can try out lots of cool trampoline tricks too which are simply not possible with a rebounder!

6. Safety

Rebounders are used for indoor exercises and do not bounce as high as trampolines. They are very close to the ground, which means the risk of falling off heights is greatly reduced.

Placing soft pads or rugs around a rebounder can help to provide a soft surface for step offs too, reducing any potential impact on weak knees and joints.

Furthermore, you can also purchase (some rebounders include them) stability bars too. They allow you to hold on to something, which is great for beginners and elders!

Although experts are somewhat divided, rebounding can be a safe workout for pregnant moms too (in the first trimester especially).

Trampolines have gotten a bad rap over the years no thanks to the number of accidents and visits to the ER.

Jumping on trampolines can be dangerous indeed, but that is only if safety precautions are not taken.

Kids need to be well supervised and given clear ground rules when playing on trampolines to ensure their safety, and further precautions can be taken by including a safety enclosure and anchoring the trampoline.

7. Price

The starting price of a rebounder is actually quite low, which makes it attractive for many people who want to try them out. You can find a rebounder for around $50, and on the higher end, the price can go up to $400.

That said, I highly encourage you to invest in a high-quality set right off the bat. The reason is simple: safety. I have come across quite a number of horror stories of people getting injured while using a cheap mini-trampoline.

The main culprits are lousy jumping mats and springs. Can you imagine the mat breaking apart while you land on the rebounder? As you are not prepared for it, an incident like that can easily cause sprained ankles or even broken bones.

When it comes to trampolines, you can expect to spend about $200 for an entry-level set, while higher-end models can easily cost over $1000.

There are other factors that can influence the prices of rebounders and trampolines too such as the type of springs used and the inclusion of accessories.

Whether you go for a rebounder or trampoline, I strongly advise you to spend your money on a reputable brand.

Which to choose? Rebounder or Trampoline?

As you can see, a rebounder and a trampoline are quite different and serves pretty different purposes. To determine which is better for you, there are two key factors that you need to consider. Or why not both!

Amount of space you have

Obviously, not everyone has a backyard or even one that has enough space to accommodate a trampoline.

Even a small trampoline that measures 8 feet requires a fair amount of space as you need to have a safety clearance around it.

Not only that, but you also have to be sure that there is nothing overhanging such as tree branches that can get in the way.

With a rebounder, all you need is about 3-4 feet of space and you are set to go.

Type of activity that will interest you

If you are just looking for something that is recreational in nature, a trampoline is a better option for you.

With a large bouncing surface and bigger bounces than a rebounder, a trampoline can provide hours and hours of fun for the entire family.

My family has actually “camped” on our trampoline before, watching the stars out at night as we lay on the jumping mat. It was a really memorable experience for us.

If however, you are geared towards fitness, or there are people in the household such as your elderly folks who require low impact exercises, a rebounder is an excellent choice.

There are lots of aerobic workouts that you can perform on it for a good cardio session.

In conclusion: Rebounder vs Trampolines

Both a rebounder and trampoline have a lot of benefits that will suit different needs. I personally know of a few households that own both of this equipment and have thoroughly enjoyed using them, just as I do.

Figuring out what you want and how much space you have is the most important first step to take, and once you have decided, be sure to invest in a high quality piece to ensure safety and durability!

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Jacob Mackay
Jacob Mackay

Hi, I'm Jacob Mackay. I work as a structural engineer currently based in Tampa, Florida. Trampolines have brought a ton of fun to my family and now I wish to pay it forward through this blog. You will find a trove of well-researched articles that will help you choose the best trampolines, how to use them safely, as well as pick up a few tricks that will impress your friends and family! Connect with me on LinkedIn or learn more about Trampoline Junction!