The 9 Best Ball Pits

Updated July 15, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

9 Best Ball Pits
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 37 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Few childhood experiences are as thrilling as diving into a freshly filled ball pit. Not only do these enclosures facilitate hours of fun, they can also help develop motor skills and coordination in your young ones. We've made our selections based on size, durability, versatility, and ease of setup. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best ball pit on Amazon.

9. eWonderWorld Twist Play Generation II

The eWonderWorld Twist Play Generation II boasts an area of 48 by 41 inches, so it easily accommodates two children at once. It features front, back, and top openings for the most interactive play experience, and an entrance flapper prevents any toys from escaping.
  • sets up in seconds
  • includes an instructional video
  • doesn't come with any balls
Brand eWonderWorld
Model CT-412S
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Bestway Helicopter Up In & Over

The Bestway Helicopter Up In & Over provides a fun and safe environment for your little one to play. This kid-friendly unit features bright, engaging colors and includes 50 non-PVC plastic balls that are 100 percent phthalate-free for added peace of mind.
  • ideal for ages 2 and up
  • gender-neutral design
  • small size is best for just 1 child
Brand Bestway
Model 52183B
Weight 7.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. EocuSun Playhouse

The EocuSun Playhouse is made from a soft, waterproof polyester fabric that is a cinch to clean and won't irritate a baby's skin. It's equipped with breathable, mosquito-proof mesh sides that make it easy to keep an eye on kids as they play.
  • decorated with fun animal characters
  • basketball hoop in pen
  • difficult to break down for storage
Brand EocuSun
Model 5505828
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Right Track Toys Tent

Let their imagination go wild with the Right Track Toys Tent. This well-constructed indoor or outdoor play zone includes a tent, a detachable tunnel, and one hundred 2.75-inch balls for a variety of uses that will keep high energy kids occupied and contained.
  • very simple to fold down
  • bpa- and phthalate-free
  • material tears easily
Brand Right Track Toys
Model pending
Weight 6.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Kiddey Blue Playhouse Tent For Boys

Despite its gender-neutral coloring, the Kiddey Blue Playhouse Tent For Boys is, as its name implies, marketed toward male children. Of course, it's equipped with features that a child at any point on the gender spectrum would appreciate.
  • includes ground stakes
  • large entrance opening
  • some pieces bend out of shape easily
Brand Kiddey
Model pending
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Utex Pop-Up Kids Tent

The Utex Pop-Up Kids Tent has a wide tunnel connecting its main enclosure to the ball pit. That extra space allows your kids to fill the passageway with colorful plastic orbs or other toys. One side of the large tent has five holes cut into it for engaging throwing games.
  • made from polyester
  • cleans easily with a wet cloth
  • section ties come loose easily
Brand Utex
Model pending
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. EocuSun Pop-Up Polka Dot

The EocuSun Pop-Up Polka Dot is a generous 3-in-1 set consisting of a tent house and a pool for balls, which are connected by a collapsible tunnel, and there is also a basketball-style hoop that little kids can use to improve their aim and coordination.
  • eco-friendly and durable
  • breathable mesh sides
  • can use each component separately
Brand EocuSun
Model pending
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Mudder Kids Playpen

The Mudder Kids Playpen folds up and deploys in seconds. Its size is just right to accommodate a pair of playful toddlers, or one slightly bigger kid who isn't quite ready to give up the pleasure that these units can provide.
  • holds up to 300 balls
  • polyester and fiberglass build
  • carrying case included
Brand Mudder
Model pending
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. My Bouncer Little Castle

The My Bouncer Little Castle combines a safe, cushioned area for ball play with a large bounce house design. There's even a soft-rimmed little hoop in the corner where your young ones can engage in an impromptu game of basketball.
  • weighs less than 30 pounds deflated
  • comes with 500 balls
  • puncture- and tear-resistant
Brand My Bouncer
Model pending
Weight 50 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Into The Pit

Childhood has certain iconic environments and experiences that span generations, creating a link between parents, children, and eventually grandchildren if the icons are strong enough to last. The long process by which one learns to ride a bicycle immediately comes to mind as a rite of passage that most of us remember fondly. As technological advancements continue, future generations are liable to recall their first smart phones the way some of us remember our first video game systems, or, in generations older still, our first meaningful piece of sporting equipment.

One place that holds a powerful mystery to it, that offers a few generations worth of memories and fun, is the ball pit. I remember seeing my first ball pit at a young age from a distance, and I watched as the kids in it writhed in delight among the colorful spheres. I was sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that there was water in the pit, so fluidly did the balls and the kids among them move.

When I finally set foot in a ball pit, I was amazed to discover that it was a dry environment, that the balls themselves, in all their hollow resplendence, provided just enough support to small bodies to make them seem buoyant. From that moment on, I was hooked.

While that discovery took place in a public arena, the ball pits on our list are decidedly meant for private use, occupied as they may become with your children and their friends (and, if they're big enough, probably with you and your spouse after a bottle or two of wine).

The design of any ball pit is perfectly simple. All you need is a pit with walls of a certain height that can contain the balls at a minimum depth, and then you fill that pit with said balls. The big calamity comes when it's time to put the pit away, and since it's not a great idea to dig a physical pit in your backyard and fill it with balls, the pits on our list set up and collapse by means of inflation or by a kind of collapsible spring-loaded hinge used in nylon clothes hampers. These are not only much cleaner than the mud pit in the back yard, they also don't run the risk of disturbing any ancient Indian burial grounds that might lurk beneath the grass.

How Does It Pack?

As we discussed above, the ability to break down a ball pit into something sized for storage is paramount. There will come times when your kids simply don't want to be in the ball pit, when you'll need the space in your play room, living room, or back yard for some other toys or activities. If the ball pit can't pack away neatly, it'll become an albatross, like a trampoline no one's jumped on in a decade rusting through the neglected seasons.

That fear shouldn't send you on a bee line toward the smallest pit on our list however. Most of these break down with a good bit of ease into smaller components. In fact, the size of the pit you choose should depend more on the age and size of your child than anything else, as well as, perhaps, the size of their friend pool.

If you've got very young children, they can get lost and even become afraid to enjoy some of the larger pits on our list. The sheer depth of the balls could become overwhelming. In case the pit isn't meant to be a surprise for the young one, however, it'd be worth asking if this would freak them out. If someone had asked me as a child how deep was too deep for a ball pit, I wouldn't have had an answer. To me, at that age, they couldn't get deep enough.

The reverse of this is most certainly true, that if you have slightly older or simply larger children, some of the smaller pits on our list wouldn't make the grade. There should be enough space in the pit for two to three kids to feel like they have some room to roam or explore, unless you're only interested in providing a small space to keep a single, small child safely occupied.

Some of the pits on our list have additional features like side doors to easily let kids in and out (these are also big helps when removing the balls into storage), basketball hoops to add an element of competition to the pit, and even detachable tunnels that lead into the pit from without.

The Soft Play Pioneer

The ball pit was born in the late 1970s, out of the mind of a man known as 'The Father of Soft Play,' a title that he earned by innovating play spaces designed for their combination of safety and the engagement of a child's imagination. This man, Eric McMillan, had become disgusted with the state of playground infrastructure throughout the US and Canada, and he sought to change it.

In one fascinating interview McMillan gave to People magazine back in 1979, he said that modern play spaces had become "architectural graveyards–grey asphalt slabs. They've been built by adults who've forgotten how to play."

That last bit is particularly poignant in today's playgrounds, in which a new generation of jaded adults has taken McMillan's notion of soft play and created, in this writer's opinion, a play space so safe that it deprives children of any physical sensation of their world. Ball pits, however, remain a safe, imaginative landscape where sensation and creativity can harmlessly collide.

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Last updated on July 15, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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