Backyard Showdown: Trampoline Vs. Pool?

As a busy parent trying to keep my two rambunctious kids entertained during the long summer break, I constantly debate whether our backyard would be better served with a refreshing swimming pool or an exhilarating trampoline. Which one offers superior fun and value for my active family? I embarked on a journey to determine once and for all: trampoline vs pool – which is the clear winner?

After extensive research comparing costs, safety, physical benefits, aesthetics, weather resistance, and more, I’ve concluded that for my needs, a trampoline edges out a pool by a narrow margin. While pools excel at relaxation and social gatherings, trampolines encourage more exercise and creative play at a fraction of the cost.

Read on to learn more!

Table of Contents

The Great Backyard Debate: Trampoline Vs. Pool

The Great Backyard Debate: Pool vs. Trampoline

The Health Benefits and Physical Demands

As an avid runner and workout enthusiast, the physical benefits played a major role in my decision between a backyard trampoline or pool.

It’s well-established that trampoline jumping provides excellent cardiovascular exercise. Just 10 minutes of bouncing can achieve heart rates comparable to running, but with less stress on the joints (University of Wisconsin La Crosse). Trampolines also improve coordination, balance, spatial awareness, bone density, immune function, and core strength. I noticed clear physical improvements in my kids after just a couple weeks of regular trampoline play at a friend’s house.

While swimming laps is great exercise, pools themselves don’t inherently encourage physical activity without intention and effort. My kids would likely spend more time lazily floating on pool floats rather than swimming. However, pools do facilitate water sports, relaxation, and summer parties.

On the injury front, supervised trampoline jumping is much safer than many believe, while pools pose a constant drowning risk for young kids if left unattended (Royal Life Saving Society of Canada). I’m confident that with padded safety enclosures and netting, ground anchor systems, parental supervision, and reasonable safety rules, backyard trampolines can be very safe. Comparatively, no pool is 100% risk-free no matter the precautions taken.

For promoting frequent and fun exercise for my family, trampolines win this category.

Score: Trampoline 1, Pool 0

Installation, Operating Costs, and Maintenance

From a cost perspective, trampolines absolutely dominate pools. High-quality trampolines generally range from $200 up to around $5000 at most. After installation, the operating costs are minimal – no chemicals or electricity required! Basic maintenance involves inspecting for damage, rust or tears, and occasionally recoating the mat. Replacement parts are affordable if needed.

In contrast, building an inground pool costs a staggering $20,000 to $100,000+ on average, with prices varying based on size, materials and features (Anthony & Sylvan Pools). And that’s not even counting the considerable annual maintenance fees averaging $200 to $2000+ for chemicals, cleaning, electricity, insurance and unexpected repairs (River Pools & Spas). No matter how you slice it, trampolines provide outstanding value and bang for your buck comparatively. You’d recover the costs of even premium trampolines after just a couple years of pool ownership.

While pools allow essentially unlimited simultaneous users, capacity was not a major factor for me with just two kids. And by strategically scheduling trampoline time, my whole family can share it. For families with more kids or hosting frequent large gatherings, however, multi-user capacity favors pools.

Over the 10+ year lifespan of these products when accounting for all expenses, trampolines will save me tens of thousands of dollars versus a full-sized inground pool. That cost efficiency played a big part steering me toward a trampoline rather than pool.

Score: Trampoline 2, Pool 0

Yard Space Requirements

When assessing backyard space usage, pools monopolize real estate, often eliminating room for other amenities. An adequate safety barrier and deck area must surround pools, occupying a large permanent footprint. Standard inground pools span 15′ x 30′ on average (Trident Pools), which carves out a sizable chunk of precious yard space.

Conversely, round trampolines as small as 8 feet in diameter can accommodate users safely. While my family would require a larger 14+ foot trampoline to avoid accidental collisions, that still leaves ample room for other activities. Trampolines can be disassembled during winter months to reclaim yard space as desired too.

For my modestly sized suburban yard, optimizing open space usage favors trampolines. Families with sprawling backyards and acreage may reach different conclusions regarding yard usage.

Score: Trampoline 3, Pool 0

Safety Precautions and Risk Mitigation

As touched on earlier, both pools and trampolines carry safety risks, especially for unsupervised young children. Every year nearly 400 US kids under 15 drown in pools, along with thousands of pool-related injuries (Pool Safety).

My backyard pool would absolutely need 4-sided fencing with self-closing, self-latching gates, in addition to locks, covers, door & pool alarms. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills provides another layer of protection. While helpful, I don’t believe any amount of safety gear can render a pool 100% risk-free.

By comparison, properly setup trampolines with enclosure netting, surface padding, and anchor systems nearly eliminate the most dangerous risks like falls and collisions according to pediatric doctors (C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital). Additional precautions like allowing only one jumper at a time, weight restrictions, avoiding flips, and forbidding horseplay make trampolines acceptably safe in my opinion.

Again, the responsibility ultimately lies with parents to actively supervise kids around water and trampoline play. But when factoring in the efficacy of preventative safety measures, trampolines can often be made safer than pools based on the data.

Score: Trampoline 4, Pool 0

Weather and Seasonal Limitations

One clear advantage pools provide over trampolines is thermal relief on blistering summer days. Even without heating systems, pools maintain moderately cool temperatures for hours due to water’s high specific heat capacity. Just ask my kids – on scorching 100°F+ days, the choice between lounging in the pool or jumping on the hot, sun-baked trampoline mat is no contest!

But how often do those conditions truly occur where I live? Checking historical weather patterns, my region only receives around 12 “extremely hot” days exceeding 95°F annually (National Weather Service). So for the vast majority of summer, both pools and trampolines can be enjoyed comfortably.

And during the 6 colder months here with highs in the 30s-60s°F, it goes without saying that pools become utterly unusable. Unless investing in pricey heating infrastructure, pools are a seasonal-only backyard amenity. In comparison, trampoline jumping still provides vigorous winter exercise to raise heart rates despite the cold air. For households in climates with long, freezing winters, this gives trampolines a huge practical edge.

Considering the limited usefulness of unheated pools for 1/3rd of the year here, trampolines deliver more flexible, year-round activity potential that better justifies the investment.

Score: Trampoline 5, Pool 0


No doubt, a crystal clear pool with an elegant rock waterfall and lush tropical landscaping looks stunning. Pools create a refined backyard oasis and certainly bolster a home’s curb appeal (Zillow).

That said, modern trampoline styles have come a long way in materials and visual presentation. Springfree’s FlexrHoop trampoline uses unobtrusive mat black mat edges and woven netting that integrates beautifully into natural environments. Circular trampolines also double as lush garden beds to nurture flowers and shrubs. And come winter or if boredom eventually sets in, trampolines disassemble for storage or reuse elsewhere.

In contrast, pools create a permanent backyard centerpiece – for better or worse. Their aesthetic impact must be carefully planned in advance. Gaudy above-ground pools in particular can severely degrade backyard aesthetics year-round.

For me, trampolines now offer enough design flexibility, subtlety and customizability to compete head-to-head with pools from a visual perspective. But personal preferences obviously vary.

With the trampoline industry focusing more on aesthetics nowadays though, I happily award this category a tie.

Score: Trampoline 5, Pool 0

Family Entertainment Value and Enjoyment

At its core, my underlying goal is keeping my family happy and healthfully entertained during the few precious months of warm weather annually. Pools inherently deliver relaxation, social bonding, games and splashy fun for all ages. Trampolines similarly encourage playfulness, laughter and quality time through bouncing games, competitions and creative tricks. From pure enjoyment standpoint, both options succeed wonderfully.

That said, trampolines edge out pools when considering entertainment diversity and flexibility. Trampoline games like “Sharks and Minnows”, gymnastics training, dunk contests with basketball hoops, or staging lively bounce parties simply outnumber pool possibilities. Trampolines also better accommodate parents actively playing with young kids.

And during hot or stormy days where pool usage gets disrupted, having a rainproof trampoline underneath a covered patio keeps the backyard fun going. For avoiding boredom and adding whimsical variety to my backyard, trampolines win for family-friendly flexibility.

Score: Trampoline 6, Pool 0

Social Gatherings and Special Events

Without question, pools excel as party central for neighborhood gatherings, holidays, birthdays and celebrations. Both kids and adults flock to pool parties en masse during summer. Pools facilitate mingling and group activities like chicken fights, diving for prizes, synchronized swimming routines, pool volleyball, and Marco Polo tournaments.

Trampolines do enable some group games, but physical safety risks multiply exponentially with each additional jumper. Responsible supervision caps trampoline occupancy much lower than a pool could support. And good luck fitting adults on a trampoline without collapsed springs, broken mats or bounced-off users!

For their unrivaled ability hosting lively summer social events, pools decisively claim this win.

Final Score: Trampoline 6, Pool 1

My Verdict: Trampoline Wins in a Close Race!

Adding up the totals across all comparison criteria, trampolines barely nudge out pools as the best backyard investment for my specific family’s needs and climate. By promoting frequent exercise, requiring minimal maintenance, and providing four-season entertainment diversity, trampolines optimize my goals and limited yard space.

With no clear frontrunner though, personal priorities may certainly tip the scales toward pools or even both amenities for some families. Ultimately you must weigh your budget, yard dimensions, safety diligence, local climate, aesthetic tastes and entertainment priorities. Consider your options extensively, but rest assured no wrong choice exists between trampolines and pools when thoughtfully planned for responsible fun.

As summer approaches this year, my kids are thrilled we’re finally taking the trampoline plunge! I can already picture lively bounce parties with friends, dunk contests using the basketball hoop, pogo stick competitions, and endless silly tricks being invented. Maybe someday we’ll incorporate a small plunge pool too for the best of both worlds!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about choosing between backyard trampolines and pools:

Which is safer for young kids – trampolines or pools?

With proper precautions like padded enclosure nets, surface mats, weight limits, and active adult supervision, trampolines can be safer for kids than pools according to medical research. However, pools may be safer for unregulated play if supervision lacks. Assess your ability to enforce safety rules before deciding.

Are trampolines or pools more affordable?

There’s no comparison – trampolines cost a fraction upfront what pools require in construction expenses alone. And ongoing operation costs for chemicals, cleaning, electricity and insurance also vastly favor trampolines for cost-savings.

Which has higher injury rates – pools or trampolines?

Among children ages 0-14 years old, pool-related injuries requiring ER visits outpace trampoline injuries nearly 6-to-1 (Nationwide Children’s Hospital). Under parental supervision and with safety gear, trampoline can match other vigorous youth activities’ injury rates.

Can trampolines be used comfortably year-round?

In climates with cold, snowy winters, trampoline jumping still provides vigorous exercise to raise heart rates despite the cold air. Pools become utterly unusable for up to 6 months without expensive heating systems. So trampolines deliver year-round recreational value.

What are disadvantages of owning a trampoline?

Trampolines carry some safety risks, consume yard space, can be aesthetically unappealing, require weather-related maintenance, and mandate reasonable supervision for child jumpers. These factors make trampolines less ideal for some families.

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M Waqas Saeed

Introducing M Waqas Saeed, our lead content writer at Trampoline Seeker. With a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Punjab and a deep passion for outdoor activities, especially trampolining, Muhammad expertly crafts detailed product reviews and informative guides for our readers. His professional and personal dedication to trampolining helps us stay current with trends and news. Outside of writing, Muhammad enjoys cricket, reading, and of course, time on the trampoline. His unique blend of expertise ensures our content is engaging, accurate, and truly beneficial for all trampoline enthusiasts.

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