Three best bounce houses
A bounce house is a great way for kids to burn off some of that excess energy they always have in abundance. But beyond that, a bounce house teaches children that an active lifestyle is a whole lot of fun, and, if you get knocked down, just get up again and jump right back into the action.
You'll want to get a bounce house that is large enough to meet the needs of your growing children. Those needs include having ample bouncing space and adequate weight and capacity limits. A brightly colored bounce house that has an additional activity, such as a slide or a basketball hoop, adds another level of fun and interest for your kids. The Bounceland Pop Star is built to last and can safely fit three children at a time.
Considerations when choosing bounce houses
Your most important decision
Before purchasing a bounce house, you need to determine if it will be used inside or outside.
Indoor bounce house
If you're looking for a bounce house that you can use year-round, an indoor model is the answer. This type of inflatable playground has an appreciably smaller bounce area and it is not as tall as an outdoor unit because it needs to safely fit inside a room. Even after the weather turns nice, you are advised to keep your bounce house inside because it is not built as tough as an outdoor model.
Outdoor bounce house
An outdoor bounce house is typically larger than an indoor model. It is also more durable and may have features, such as a splash pool, that make it appropriate for outside use only. Additionally, an outdoor bounce house comes with a thick tarp and ground stakes to anchor the unit to the ground, so it doesn't inadvertently topple over during use.
Knowing if you want an indoor or an outdoor bounce house is the big decision. However, it is not the only decision you will need to make. Following are a few more important considerations that will help you find the bounce house that is best for you.
Size and capacity
Getting the right size bounce house is crucial if you want one that fits inside your playroom. If it's going to be outside, where space is not as much of an issue, you still need to know what the maximum weight capacity is, the recommended age limit, and how many children can safely play in the bounce house at one time.
The blower is the fan that plugs in and keeps your bounce house inflated. A higher powered fan is the best option because bounce houses that are not fully inflated are dangerous and prone to tears. It is important to note that some bounce houses do not come with blowers and must be inflated manually.
To make playtime even more fun, you can purchase a bounce house that has additional activities such as a climbing wall, obstacles, a basketball hoop, slides, a splash pool, and more.
Most indoor bounce houses will be below the $100 mark. These models usually don't include a blower. The price range where you will find the widest variety is between $200 and $400. These models typically support at least 3 kids who are 10 and under, plus they may feature additional activities such as a basketball hoop and a slide. As you move into the $500 and above range, you will start to find bounce houses that can accommodate older children.
Q. What type of maintenance does my bounce house need?
A. With all the running, bouncing, and sweating going on, it doesn't take long for a bounce house to get dirty. The best maintenance involves cleaning and sanitizing. To clean, simply sweep out the solid dirt or use a portable vacuum to suck up debris while the unit is inflated. To sanitize, focus on the areas where kids spend the most time. Use a cleaning solution such as Simple Green or Lysol that has been diluted with water, and wipe down those heavily used areas.
Q. What are the dangers of using a bounce house that is not fully inflated?
A. If you suspect your bounce house is losing air, get the kids out immediately. If the bounce house isn't fully inflated, the risk of injury escalates dramatically. The air is what provides a cushion to help keep your child safe from injury. Additionally, a bounce house that isn't fully inflated will put more stress on the seams, making them prone to tearing.
Bounce houses we recommend
Best of the best: Bounceland Pop Star Inflatable Bounce House
Our take: This inflatable bouncy playhouse features a safety mesh on all sides to keep kids from bouncing out of the play area. It is best for children under ten, comfortably fitting three inside the bounce zone at one time.
What we like: The PVC coating makes this bounce house more durable while the slide has an additional hook-and-loop-secured surface that can be attached for a better experience. A basketball hoop is located inside the unit for added fun.
What we dislike: Despite its appearance, the bounce area is actually smaller than many lower-priced bounce houses.
Best bang for your buck: Intex Jump O Lene Castle
Our take: An affordably priced, smaller-sized option that can fit indoors and is suitable for up to 2 younger children.
What we like: The fun design and bright colors readily engage your child's imagination. The unit does not require a blower, just inflate it like a pool raft and you're good to go.
What we dislike: This bounce house is not as durable as the higher priced options.
Choice 3: Little Tikes Rocky Mountain River Race
Our take: Little Tikes Rocky Mountain River Race is a bounce house and a water slide all rolled into one. This inflatable playground is suitable for up to 4 children.
What we like: Besides having a bounce area, this structure features a climbing wall, two slides, and a splash pool. The maximum combined weight limit is 350 pounds, which is enough to support an adult who wants to give it a try.
What we dislike: The bounce area is not enclosed or sectioned off with mesh so parents must diligently supervise play time.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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