Getting your first backyard trampoline as a kid is a very exciting experience. Endless hours of fun with your friends and family without a single care in the world. Nothing could go wrong right?
Unfortunately, kids constantly jumping and fooling around is sometimes a recipe for disaster.
There is always the danger that kids could fall off the edge of the trampoline apparatus which could result in serious injuries. So that begs the question, what do I need to put under my trampoline to stop this from happening?
Whether you just got a new trampoline or are looking to improve the safety of your backyard trampoline, here are some initial points to consider before deciding the best solution for you.
Types of Trampoline
Before you decide what to put under your trampoline, it’s important to consider the type of trampoline.
This article will focus on what to put under and around the legs of your trampoline, particularly above-ground trampolines.
However, in-ground trampolines can also benefit from a soft surface around the jumping area for added safety.
If your trampoline is placed on hard ground like a concrete pad—as opposed to grass, for example— you will most definitely want to create a soft surface under and around it.
Consider the options provided here to find the best solution for you and your family.
A trampoline can be an eyesore if not properly maintained and care for. So while safety must come first, the aesthetics of your backyard should also be taken into consideration when deciding what to put under your trampoline.
Trampoline Safety Net
Although this article does present to you things that you should put under your trampoline, a safety net will stop people from falling off in the first place.
Some trampoline models do come already fitted with a safety enclosure. But if yours does not, then consider getting one.
A trampoline safety net will effectively stop people from falling off of the trampoline, in particular young children. The trampoline safety enclosure will drastically improve the safety of the trampoline.
Related: Are Trampolines Safe For Toddlers?
When deciding what to place under a trampoline it is also important to consider what sort of groundwork needs to be completed for this to happen.
Groundwork also helps you understand how much of each product you will need to cover the area of the trampoline, depending on its size.
What to Put Under a Trampoline
After these initial considerations, here are some of the best things to place under your trampoline to make sure you, your family, and your friends have an enjoyable, safe experience.
Rubber mulch is durable, bouncy, and soft. It is also aesthetically pleasing which makes it an excellent playground material that you can use also under your trampoline.
With rubber mulch, you won’t have to worry about what grows underneath your trampoline since when the material placed under the rubber mulch during the installation process prevents weeds from growing.
The installation is simple but it does require digging the area to about 3-inches and adding a rubber border before you apply the rubber mulch. This can make rubber mulch quite expensive in comparison to some of the other options listed here.
Poured in-place rubber feels like soft rubber granules that are stuck together. Unlike rubber mulch, which are individual pieces of rubber that resemble regular mulch.
If you have a generous budget, poured rubber is the way to go to create a safe landing surface without compromising the aesthetics of your backyard. The product is long-lasting and comes in a variety of colors to choose from.
The installation must be done by a professional who can help you determine the right safety and fall height requirements.
Artificial turf is one of the best outside fall surfaces. This is because it requires zero maintenance while still offering a cushioned landing.
Additionally, artificial grass is visually appealing and blends in well with natural surroundings, unlike rubber and sand which would stand out in the back of your garden.
Although artificial grass can often be quite expensive, it is worth the investment with its visual appeal within your garden and also its safety aspect as it still offers a cushioned landing for your children.
Crash mats can be a good option if you’re looking for something less permanent.
Gymnastics crash mats or landing mats can be placed under and around your trampoline to provide a very soft and safe surface.
The downside of crash mats is that you will need to store them when not in use. This will prolong their life and maintain the integrity of the material, which can be damaged when exposed to the elements for long periods of time.
Crash mats come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. Their price will vary based on how big and how much padding the mat offers.
A crash mat is not expensive on its own, but keep in mind you will likely need more than one to create a safe landing zone around your trampoline.
Crash mats also tend to move a bit. So the best way to position crash mats around your trampoline is to slide them under the trampoline and its legs a couple of feet. This way the crash mat will offer greater protection in the event of a fall.
While play sand is relatively cheap and soft enough to offer a cushioned landing if someone falls off the trampoline, there are some points to consider before your settle on this as an option.
Additionally, sand can become an issue if cats and dogs decide to use it as their potty area. That would not be safe around young children.
Furthermore, sand is the messiest option on this list. It can be very difficult to enclose and keep neat. So you will need rubber borders to keep the sand from getting into unwanted areas.
Another drawback of sand is that it sticks to clothes and skin, especially if you’ve are sweaty! Also, depending on how a person falls on it, sand can be quite abrasive on the skin.
What NOT to Put Under Your Trampoline
Mulch or Wood Chips
You will probably have seen mulch or wood chips at parks and playgrounds and might think those would be a great option to put under your backyard trampoline.
Sure, mulch is cheaper and easier to install than rubber mulch, however, it is not the best of landing materials.
While a thick layer of mulch can create an energy-absorbing ground under and around the legs of your trampoline, landing on mulch or wood chips could result in further injury, including cuts and splinters.
This does not provide a safe landing for young children and would not allow you to feel comfortable when your family and friends are using the trampoline.
In terms of what you should put under your trampoline, there are plenty of options.
Choosing which one you want all depends on your budget, what you think will look best within your backyard, and what will provide the most cushioning in the event of a fall.
Rubber mulch is the best option for a reasonable budget—it’s soft, clean, durable, and requires no maintenance.
The most important factor in your decision-making should be ensuring your kids have the maximum amount of fun!