Springfree trampolines are amazing. They are safer, fail less often, and still give excellent bounce. If you can tolerate the more expensive price tag, you will be super satisfied with your choice.
Springfree trampolines are sometimes called springless trampolines. It’s probably more accurate to say they are “steel coil spring” free.
When I first started looking at these, I found the brand called Springfree, which was the original trampoline without coil springs. There are now other brands, such as Vuly Thunder, which also don’t have coil springs.
How does a springfree trampoline work?
There are two types of trampolines for kids without coil springs.
1. Spring free – this type uses composite rods (glass reinforced plastic), to support the mat. The rods run diagonally between the frame and the mat, to support the bouncer. The main advantage is that there are no coil springs, so hair can’t get caught in it. The metal frame is positioned under the rods, so it’s not possible to hit it when you’re bouncing.
2. Leaf spring – this type of trampoline (also known as a soft edge trampoline) uses an older form of spring called a leaf spring. It used to be common on horse drawn carriages and early cars. The leaf springs are placed upright around the base of the trampoline, acting as ‘legs’ to hold the mat in place and give good bounce.
Why are Springfree Trampolines Safer?
I’ve included a picture of the springfree trampoline during assembly. You can see the composite rods clearly here.
These composite rods give the trampoline bounce. They hold the mat well away from the frame below. As there are no coiled steel springs, there are no pinch points where hair or toes can get caught. This is a major cause of injury for other trampolines.
The frame itself is described as ‘hidden’. As it is around a foot under the mat, there’s no way for somebody jumping on the trampoline to accidently hit their head on the frame. It’s just not possible to fall on it and hurt yourself.
Finally, the net has a slightly different design to the traditional coiled spring trampolines. This springfree trampoline has composite rods that curve out from the mesh net. Not only are they not steel (and less hard and stiff), you won’t crash into them as they curve out from the net. When you push against the net from the inside, the rods move outwards as the net moves outwards.
Why are Leaf Spring Trampolines Safer than Regular Trampolines?
Leaf spring trampolines also have no coiled springs. I’ve put a picture here below of what it looks like assembled in a backyard. It looks pretty fancy and space-age, right?
Similar to the Springfree Trampolines described above, these leaf spring trampolines have no coiled springs that can cause injury, the mat has a soft edge with no padding required. Some brands also have the mesh net rods curve out from the trampoline.
They also have a no gap net design that makes it practically impossible to slip out between the net and the mat.
I’m looking at both the Springfree and LeafSpring trampolines – which one do I want?
I prefer the Leafspring trampolines for two reasons:
- As the leafspring bends by compressing up and down, there is no twist on the mat, or on the jumper’s knees. The Springfree trampolines (the brand with the composite rods) do have a slight twist as the rods react to the bounce. This twist is mild, but if you are bouncing for hours on end, it can all add up to put stress on the knees.
- The composite rods in the Springfree trampoline can deteriorate in some rare cases, or over decades in the harsh UV sun. If they crack or snap, the rods are at eye level for toddlers or little kids.
These differences are fairly minor, but it does tend to push me towards the Leafspring.
Is there any downside to a springfree or leafspring trampoline?
- They cost more – It’s fair to say they are more expensive. I’d argue that the increased level of safety is worth the extra dollars.
- Not for gymnasts – Springfree trampolines definitely aren’t for kids who are training to be amateur (or professional) gymnasts. The bounce is good, because they are round or sometimes oval shaped, the bounce zone is in the centre. This means you can’t get as good bounce at the outer edges, and the round shape is restrictive for some of the longer routines your kid will want to practice.
- Not ideal for a very light bouncer – they also aren’t perfect for little or lighter kids. It is slightly harder to get a good bounce if you don’t weigh enough to bend the rods or the leaf springs.
- They can deteriorate over time – most people love their spring-free trampolines for well over a decade. This is generally more than enough time for your kids to grow up. The composite rods are less sensitive to UV sunlight than they used to be. But if they deteriorate or snap, the rods are around 2-3ft above ground level, so you want to watch out for kids and pets running around nearby. Just check it from time to time, and you’ll be able to see any wear and tear early. The warranties are generally fairly generous, so be sure to check this out also.
So, to wrap it up – Spring-free trampolines do not have coiled steel springs, and are safer for your kids. This needs to be offset by a pragmatic approach to your budget, as they do have a higher price tag.
Still trying to decide what size trampoline you should get? Check out How to Choose the Right Size Trampoline for Kids.