Pickleball is fast becoming one of the most popular and widely enjoyed sports in the United States, and it’s also getting serious attention from around the world.
It’s a great sport to play with your friends or family - but it requires some specific equipment.
Indeed, if you want to get involved in real pickleball, you’ll either have to find a premade court, or you could set up your own - but in order to do so, you’re going to need to buy yourself a good pickleball net.
The only thing is, there are so many out there on the market that you’re going to need to know what exactly you’re looking for.
Believe it or not, there’s lots of things to consider with a pickleball net from the size, compliance to USA Pickleball regulations and a whole lot more.
So we’ve made things a little easier for you.
We’ve written this complete guide to show you the best pickleball nets on the market today, a buyer’s guide so you know what to keep an eye out for and some frequently asked questions so you’re not in the dark about anything!
Ready to find out a lot more? Then read on and discover the answers!
What Are The Best Pickleball Nets?
We’ll kick off this guide by looking at some of the best pickleball nets on the market, along with their pros and cons. All of our picks have been tried and tested and extensively reviewed by many previous buyers.
OUR TOP PICK
If you’re hoping for the best pickleball net for beginners and advanced players alike, then look no further than this absolute gem from Franklin Sports.
It’s one of the most trusted names in the game, so you know you’re going to be in good hands too.
It’s easily portable and does not require any special tools to set up either, meaning anybody can quickly get this up and running for a game.
It’s compliant with USA Pickleball regulations and is made with tension straps to prevent any drop, so you’re going to get a fluent game.
It uses a steel frame which is powder coated, so you’ve also got a high quality and protective net - but it weighs 23 pounds so it’s not super heavy.
While this makes it easily portable, it’s not guaranteed to stay in place in heavy winds.
- Protective steel and powder coated
- USA Pickleball compliant
- Easy to set up
- Not the heaviest
This is probably going to be the best choice in terms of being value for money. The net is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use and it is easily adjustable for each use.
It’s heavier than the previous selection we’ve included in this list, but it’s not the easiest to set up.
However, it comes with wheels and this makes it easy to move around and you won’t need more than two people to do so.
As we said though, its best quality is the fact it is value for money. You’ll get a great net that looks the part and it has plenty of playtime life.
- Excellent value
- Long life
- Easy to move around
- Not easy to set up
If your main concern is the net being portable, then we have a beauty here for you. This pickleball net weighs only six pounds, which makes it super simple to move around.
However, it does mean that it’s not ideal for outdoor use.
You can get this up and running in under five minutes though, so if you’re looking for a net to set up in your backyard - then this is one for you.
Perfect for games with the kids throughout the week and a warm weekend!
- Lightweight makes it easy to move
- Quick set up time
- Looks brilliant
- Not the best for outdoor uses for a competitive game
Finally on our list, we have one of the best selling nets on the market. It’s relatively heavy for outdoor use but still simple to move around.
It comes with a carry case and it’s made from good quality materials. Essentially, you’re going to get a versatile net that is perfect for most uses.
- No special tools needed
- Quick set up
- Carry case included
- Not clear if it is compliant with USA Pickleball regulations
As we said earlier, there’s a lot of things that you’ll need to look out for, because there’s some important factors to remember when it comes to using a pickleball net, along with some personal preferences to consider.
So, let’s explore these a little more.
Compliance To USA Pickleball Regulations
If you’re looking to play real pickleball, you’re going to need to ensure that your pickleball net meets the needs required by the USA Pickleball (the regulatory body for United States pickleball).
Therefore, you’re going to need to check the dimensions of your proposed net purchase.
The net must comply to the following requirements:
- 22 feet wide from within the one strut to the inside of the other strut
- Poles cannot exceed 3 inches (in diameter)
- The pickleball net must be 36 inches in height at its edges and 34 inches in the center of the net (straps and bars can help with this)
- 2 inches of white tape should cover the top edge of the net
Of course though, these are only the requirements for players who are definitely going to play real pickleball.
In other words, players that wish to take the sport a little more seriously and wish to hone their skills further should always pay attention to these diameters.
However, if you’re someone that just wants to have a little game of pickleball in name only, maybe with your family, kids or friends - then you do not necessarily have to keep these dimensions in mind.
In fact, you can find a whole host of multi-sports nets on the market that you can theoretically play pickleball with, but they will not be the right dimensions for a “true” game of pickleball.
So, if that sounds more like you - then you might even be able to save a few bucks.
Pickleball Set Or Just The Net?
You’re likely going to run into the question if you’ve been looking online for a pickleball net.
This is because there are lots of pickleball sets that include the net within their pack, and many of these ensure that the net is compliant to USA Pickleball rules.
As a result, you may wonder if it is worth buying a complete pickleball set, rather than just buying the net.
The truth is, there’s no real right answer here - however, having extra pickleball balls and paddles aren’t necessarily going to be a bad thing. What we would suggest is that you consider your own game.
If you have a set of paddles (like graphite paddles) and you’re completely comfortable with using them, either look for a set that includes similar paddles, or just go for the net alone.
This is because it’s common for a lot of pickleball sets to include paddles, but they’re made from plywood, and these are much heavier to use and can significantly reduce the speed of your game.
Once again and as per the previous point, if you’re just starting out in the world of pickleball and you’re not overly concerned about getting the best quality of a pickleball set - then you might be better off going for a pickleball set like this.
In fact, you’ll likely find that the sets that include plywood paddles tend to be a little cheaper than those with graphite paddles.
Generally speaking, pickleball nets are a pretty standard design with two struts at both ends and a crossbar which keeps the net upright. However, there are some differences with a few pickleball nets.
For example, some nets can come fitted with a ball catcher. However, this won’t be the main area for you to look at here. One of the key things to consider is ease of assembly.
Some manufacturers will number each component so anybody can put them together easily, and therefore one of your focuses will be on a net that does not require special tools to put it up or something that is too complicated to erect.
On top of this, you will also want to look for a tension belt system. This allows the net to remain taut - and this is very important.
Without this, it’s likely for the net to drop slightly and this can seriously interfere with play.
While this might not be a massive problem for players who do not care too much about being serious with pickleball, it can ruin a more competitive game.
Therefore, try to look for a central strap which can help to adjust the net accordingly and help maintain play.
It’s also important to check if the net comes with wheels. If it does, it can make it a whole lot easier for you to move the net when you need to.
Nets without wheels will likely require at least two people to move it - and this can be really frustrating.
Whilst there are no strict USA Pickleball regulations regarding a net’s weight as such, there are some things you have to bear in mind when it comes to the net’s weight.
For example, there are many places in the US (and the world) which are extremely windy.
If you are playing outdoor pickleball, you will want to look for a heavier net to prevent the wind from taking the net with it and ruining the game!
However, you could opt to use a stake instead - but this will play into the design consideration.
A general rule of thumb for the weight of pickleball nets is that they’ll be offered around 14 to 50TL, so there’s some room for maneuver there.
As we said though, there’s no significant consideration here for the rules, but it’s best thought of for outdoor games.
In order to have a solid net, you’re going to need to get yourself a steel frame, but you have to be sure that these are powder coated. This is important because this will help to prevent rusting and avoid corrosion.
You will also want to look at the durability of these nets. Generally, meshes will be durable and some will use nodes, but others do not. The networks that have nodes implemented generally are far more robust.
The net’s fabric is important because if you have a particularly vulnerable material used, the ball can quite easily go through it.
Not only can this affect the gameplay, but you’re essentially buying a net which quickly can be full of holes and appear damaged.
The best quality nets are made using carbon fiber which makes the nets strong enough to fight against net stress, which is caused by both the impact from the ball, general wear and tear and even the weather.
As with a lot of other purchases, you will also want to pay attention to your own personal budget.
The best thing to do here is to have a figure in mind for how much you are willing to spend and then check the average costs for a net.
You can save some money by opting for a net alone rather than buying a full pickleball set. Of course, typically, the better brands and the higher quality nets will likely set you back a few extra bucks.
It depends on what you’re going for. If you want to have a competitive game of pickleball and you do not want delays to the game, you should always invest a little more in the quality of the net.
However, if you’re just going to play a couple games with your kids or friends and you’re not taking it too seriously, then you can save a few dollars by getting a net a little lower quality.
On top of this, if you generally attend a premade court, you might not need a high quality net for practice sessions.
It’s entirely down to you, but we would urge you to check the average costs and try not to venture too far astray from this figure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Of course, with purchases like this, there’s going to be a number of frequently asked questions. So we’ve included some of the most commonly asked questions about pickleball nets right here.
Can I Use A Tennis Net Instead Or A Multi-Sports Net?
Pickleball dimensions will differ from tennis, along with the layout. You will also find that multi-sports nets will detract too much from the pickleball requirements.
As a general rule, you should not use a tennis net or a multi-sports net for pickleball, especially if you’re going to play the game as it was intended.
However, if you’re just going to have a joke around, then it’s going to be up to you.
This is also the case if you’re planning to use premade courts instead, because the dimensions will already be correct in line with USA Pickleball regulations.
Are Indoor And Outdoor Nets Different?
There’s not a great deal of difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball nets. The dimensions are the same and compliant with the game’s rules. However, you will find that outdoor nets are heavier.
This is because of what we spoke of earlier. Outdoor nets need to be heavier to deal with the weather factors, such as high winds.
Can I Play Pickleball In Windy Conditions?
Yes, but it’s a real annoyance. Aside from looking at heavier outdoor pickles, you will need to ensure you have a heavier net to avoid consistent movement from the net in the wind.
On top of this, it’s been known for nets to literally fly away because they were not fit for outdoor use! Be sure you’re choosing the right net to avoid this sort of problem.
Should I Buy A Pickleball Set With A Net Included?
This is something we briefly discussed earlier. If you’re going to play real pickleball, you need to ensure the net is compliant with the game’s requirements as set out by the USA Pickleball.
However, it’s possible to find pickleball sets with nets that fit this criteria. Generally, a good pickleball set that has everything you need might be a little more costly than just the net alone.
Really, you will need to consider what you need, how often you plan to play, where you’re going to play it etc. and then think about your own budget and how much you’re happy to spend on this.
Pickleball is a really fun sport to play and it can be a great way to socialize and stay active, but of course you’ll need the right equipment.
We hope this guide has been useful for you to be able to find the best net available.
Good luck and happy shopping!