Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America for good reason. It’s fun, easy to learn, and can be played by people of all ages. But like all sports, a lot of your success depends on the quality of your equipment. A solid pickleball paddle can give more control over the ball, and the right kind of ball can affect your shots’ speed, trajectory, and accuracy.
But not just any ‘ole set of balls will do. Professional pickleball registry-certified pickleball coach Laurie Coyne advises players to look to the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) to determine which are approved for tournament play. According to the IFP, tournament-approved pickleball balls must meet certain size, weight, bounce, hardness, and durability standards.
While having some guidelines to follow helps, picking a ball is more than just getting the IFP’s stamp of approval. Certified pickleball coach (and self-described “ball snob”) Becky Schaefer says that the conditions of your court also play a huge role.
When looking for a set of quality pickleball balls, it’s important to first determine how you intend to use them, says Schaefer. You’ll want to choose a different set of balls depending on whether you’ll use them mostly for indoor or outdoor play. The type of pickleball ball you choose will also depend on what type of player you are—if you’re an occasional recreational player, you should be able to get away with any quality pickleball on the market. But if you’re a serious player who competes and plays at a specific venue, Schaefer recommends finding out what type of ball your venue uses so you can bring the same ball to help with consistency in your play.
As you can see, narrowing down the top pickleball balls may take some work. To save you time and effort, we’ve scoured the market for what we consider to be the best pickleball balls for every type of play. To ensure accuracy and for further shopping advice, we also had a certified personal trainer from our Review Board review this article.
Franklin X-40 Performance Outdoor Pickleballs
Franklin is a go-to brand for quality products for athletes of all sports, and the X-40 Performance Outdoor Pickleballs are no exception. The low-density polypropylene material and seamless construction make these balls incredibly durable and able to last through even the toughest volleys. Their 40-machine drilled holes are precise and evenly spaced, providing a consistent and balanced flight pattern you can rely on game after game.
At 0.917 ounces, these pickleballs are slightly heavier than the average model, so they’re best suited for outdoor play where you’ll need a stronger bounce. It is also unclear if they are IFP-approved, but with their durability, we think you’ll be just as happy with them as we are.
Plus, with four colors to choose from—ember, lava, optic yellow, and pink—visibility is never an issue. They also come in packs as small as three and as large as 400, making them great for both casual and tournament play.
Price at time of publication: $10
Material: Low-density polypropylene | Weight: 0.917 ounces | Color: Ember, lava, optic yellow, and pink | Number of Holes: 40
Best for Outdoor Use
Tourna Strike Outdoor Pickleballs
The Tourna Strike Outdoor Pickleballs are a great option for players who want to bring their outdoor game up a notch without breaking the bank. For an affordable price, you can get a bag of 12 outdoor yellow balls that come in a reusable mesh bag for easy transport and storage.
Though they are USA Pickleball Approved (and supposedly meet the IFP sanctions), we weren’t able to determine what kind of plastic the balls are made from. Between customer reviews that mention low-quality material and the fact that they are designed with a middle seam, we don’t have much faith in their durability. But if you’re new to pickleball and want a cheap bag of balls to practice with, these will do the job.
Price at time of publication: $15
Material: Plastic | Weight: 0.86 ounces | Color: Yellow | Number of Holes: 40
Best for Indoor Use
Jugs Indoor Pickleballs
Soft plastic works great on most indoor surfaces
Slightly textured surface improves bounce
Average bounce of 37 inches
Only come in white
Indoor use only
If you prefer to pickle in the comfort of an air-conditioned court, you’ll want to add the Jugs Indoor Pickleballs to your arsenal. These balls are made from a soft plastic ideal for indoor surfaces like tile, smooth hardwood, and even cement. The slightly textured surface of these pickleball balls also helps them bounce better—with a bounce of 37 inches high on average, according to the manufacturer—resulting in longer rallies and a higher-quality game overall.
Ball visibility is an issue no matter where you play, but having a brightly colored ball isn’t as crucial when you’re inside. However, some players may not like that these pickleballs only come in white. And while some product descriptions say you can use them for outdoor play, we’d advise against it as they’ll likely be too soft for a proper bounce. But if you primarily play inside, we think these balls are your best bet.
Price at time of publication: $24
Material: Soft plastic | Weight: 0.8 ounces | Color: White | Number of Holes: 26
Only one color option
Outdoor play only
If you’re looking for a pickleball ball set that won’t break the bank, we recommend AMYPUK’s Pickleballs. These balls are USAPA-approved and made from a durable Polypropylene Plastic (PP) material that resists wear and tear from outdoor play. They come in two pack sizes—four and 12—but are only available in yellow, which may not work for some.
We love AMYPUK’s Pickleballs for recreational players who don’t want to spend a lot but want a ball that’s strong enough to withstand the elements. Although these balls are not meant for tournament play and cannot be used indoors, they can still provide a good playing experience at a fraction of the cost of other brands.
Price at time of publication: $9
Material: Polypropylene Plastic (PP) | Weight: 0.88 ounces | Color: Yellow | Number of Holes: 40
Best Bulk Buy
Franklin Sports X-26 Performance Indoor Pickleballs
When you fall in love with the game, you’ll want to stock up on all the necessary equipment—balls included. This bulk buy from Franklin Sports is a great way to replenish your supply without blowing your budget. With this set, you get 100 balls that are approved for tournament play and come in three different colors—blue, lime green, and yellow—allowing for better visibility when you hit the court.
These pickleball balls are designed with an EVA material (an elastic rubber-like material), which Franklin Sports claims will create a better flight pattern and improved balance. The major downside is that these balls are for inside use only, and you’ll have to find a way to transport and store them, as no carrying case or mesh bag is included. We suggest one of our best pickleball bags for an easy (and stylish) way to transport your balls.
If you tend to go through balls pretty quickly, you cannot beat this bulk option.
Price at time of publication: $200
Material: EVA (elastic rubber-like material) | Weight: 0.9 ounces | Color: Blue, lime green, and yellow | Number of Holes: 26
Best for Speed
PCKL Optic Speed Pickleballs
There’s nothing like the feeling of whacking a super-fast ball just out of your opponent’s reach. If you want to increase your speed and skill, the PCKL Optic Speed Pickleballs are just what you need. These balls have a two-toned design that makes each hemisphere of the ball a different color. One side is a bright color, and the other is black, making it easier to track during play.
You can choose from different packs, some with four indoor balls and some with four outdoor balls. The indoor and outdoor balls are designed differently, but they both feature precision-molded holes that PCKL claims improve the ball’s balance and spin.
They’re priced higher than other balls on our list, but the dual-color side design may be worth the extra cost if you have trouble keeping track of the ball during rallies. The only negatives are that these balls only come in packs of four and are not tournament approved. But they are great for indoor or outdoor practice, especially if you want to work on your speed.
Price at time of publication: $15
Material: Plastic | Weight: Not listed | Color: Ice blue, orange, neon green, and yellow | Number of Holes: 40 for outdoor and 26 for indoor
PHYSIZZ Outdoor or Indoor Pickle Ball Set
If you like to switch up your court conditions now and then, this set from PHYSIZZ is a great all-in-one choice. It comes with two yellow indoor balls and two orange outdoor balls, so you can play in any environment and on any surface. It even comes with a drawstring mesh bag for easy storage and transport.
Both types of balls are made with polypropylene and have a middle-seam construction, which many players find less durable and more prone to cracks. However, PHYSIZZ claims that their seam welding technique actually resists splitting the two halves and will last at least 2,000 hits without deforming. That claim can only be tested on the courts, but for the price, these tournament-standard balls are worth a try if you’re looking for versatility.
Price at time of publication: $14
Material: Polypropylene | Weight: 0.88 ounces | Color: Yellow and orange | Number of Holes: 40 for outdoor and 26 for indoor
ONIX PURE 2 Outdoor Pickleballs
Only one color option
While a sunny day with zero wind interference is the ideal pickleball court condition, it’s not always possible. When you have to brave the elements, go with the ONIX Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleballs. These balls are designed and weighted for use in all weather conditions—including rain and wind. They’re made of a durable plastic that’s weighted more than traditional balls (0.92 ounces to be exact) to help them stay on course during gusty winds and showers.
The ONIX Pure 2 balls are not tournament-approved but great for recreational play. They come in one color—bright yellow—which makes them easy to spot during tough conditions, but some people may wish there were other color options to choose from.
Price at time of publication: $20
Material: Not listed | Weight: 0.92 ounces | Color: Yellow | Number of Holes: 40
Best for Competitive Play
Dura Outdoor Pickleballs
Multiple color options
If you’re serious about pickleball and want to compete in tournaments, we recommend the Dura Outdoor Pickleballs. As the official ball for the USA Pickleball Association’s National Championship Tournament, these balls have been designed for competitive play and used by pros nationwide. They feature an aerospace engineer-designed seamless construction for ideal flight patterns and multiple-sized holes for an aerodynamic spin.
These balls are heavier than most other pickleball balls—which also helps them be more durable—so you may need to adjust your playing style when using them for the first time. They’re also a bit pricier than other brands, but if you want the best pickleball performance money can buy, they’re worth it.
Price at time of publication: $25
Material: Hard plastic | Weight: 0.92 ounces | Color: Neon, yellow, white, and orange | Number of Holes: 40
Best for Beginners
EasyTime Pickleball Ball Set
Limited color options
As the name implies, this simple ball set was made with newbie pickleball players in mind. The EasyTime Pickleball Balls come in two varieties—indoor (26 holes) and outdoor (40 holes)—and are weather-weighted to ensure they don’t get blown away in heavy wind. You can choose to get a full indoor or outdoor set or opt for one that includes both kinds of balls.
They’re made of a hard plastic material called PP that’s tough enough to resist weather but still offers excellent bounce. The only downside is that they only come in one color, so you can’t switch to a different hue if you have trouble spotting yellow or orange. These balls are also not tournament-approved, so they’re only ideal for casual play. But if you are just getting started with pickleball, this is a great option for you.
Price at time of publication: $13
Material: Polypropylene Plastic (PP) | Weight: 0.89 ounces | Color: Yellow and orange | Number of Holes: 40 for outdoor and 26 for indoor
How We Selected the Best Pickleball Balls
A lot of research is required to identify the best balls for pickleball. After digging deep and scouring the online marketplace and talking to coaches and avid players about factors like material, durability, weight, bounce, seams, and color, we noted which balls stood out from the rest.
We took what we found and cross-referenced it against customer reviews, expert opinions, and IFP guidelines to come up with a list of high-quality balls that have the potential to improve your play. Two experts that provided a great deal of input include:
- Laurie Coyne, professional pickleball registry-certified pickleball coach at Aqua Lane Pickleball
- Rebecca (Becky) Schaefer, certified pickleball coach, owner of Always Be Picklin’, and self-described “ball snob”
What to Look For in Pickleball Balls
When shopping for the best pickleball balls, there are a few factors to consider. Let’s dive into each of these points so you can pick the right ball for your game.
According to Coyne, the best ball material depends on the kind of court you’re playing on. She says indoor pickleball balls are made of softer plastic than outdoor balls and are designed to bounce less. Keep in mind that indoor courts are typically made of wood or other hard surfaces, and the ball can easily bounce too high if it is too hard. Indoor pickleballs are typically made of a softer plastic material like vinyl, and they are available in different colors.
Meanwhile, outdoor pickleball balls are made of harder plastic than indoor balls, designed to be more durable and withstand the rougher surfaces of outdoor courts, Coyne adds. Outdoor pickleball balls are typically made of a harder plastic material called polypropylene and are also available in different colors.
Schaefer says most balls are made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE). And while manufacturing techniques can vary, the differences are usually minor. The only thing you have to look out for are seams. Schaefer says that an inner seam pickleball will not have a true flight path because the ball will not have a true weight distribution. The ball will be heavier in the middle at the seam, so hitting the pickleball near the seam will cause it to have a different flight path than hitting it away from the seam.
While that may seem like a make-it-or-break-it issue, Schaefer says that only high-level players will notice a seam. If you’re hitting the courts for fun, it shouldn’t impact your game.
Weight and Bounce
The USA Pickleball Standards manual indicates that balls should weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces. However, indoor balls tend to be slightly lighter than their outdoor counterparts, which also influences how high they can bounce.
According to Schaefer, the lighter indoor balls are less dense and do not bounce as high. Indoor pickleball balls are used on softer indoor surfaces like a gym floor. Since they are lighter and have larger holes, indoor pickleballs also have lower wind resistance, making them much more difficult to use outdoors or on hard surfaces, such as tennis courts, says Schaefer.
But don’t bring an outdoor ball to an indoor court and expect it to have the same performance. Schafer says the higher density of these balls will cause them to skid and not have a true bounce like they would on a hard court surface.
The USA Pickleball Standards manual also has very specific guidelines regarding a ball’s bounce, ruling that it should reach 30 to 34 inches. If you want to follow the USA Pickleball Standards to a tee, you can test the bounce height by dropping the ball from a height of 78 inches onto a granite surface plate that is at least 12 x 12 x 4 inches.
Pickleballs are constructed in one of two ways—with a middle seam or without a seam. According to Schaefer, middle-seam balls (also called two-piece balls) are made by fusing two halves together, and seamless (also called single-piece) balls are manufactured via rotational molding.
While both types can be played with, the pros prefer seamless pickleball balls because their flight path is truer, Schaefer says. These balls have a balanced weight distribution and are most consistent during play.
To differentiate between the two balls, just look for the seam. There is a visible seam on the inside of the ball with two-piece balls. Meanwhile, single-piece pickleball balls will still have a line around the middle of the ball, but this is not a seam, she adds.
As it turns out, the color of a pickleball has a function other than just looking bright and pretty. While no one color is necessarily better than another, you want to select a color that you can easily spot while it’s in mid-flight. This preference will vary from person to person.
The ball color can influence your reaction time due to your ability to clearly see the ball, Coyne says. When a ball is easily visible, you can be more prepared for the return shot and quickly adjust, react, or move toward the incoming ball as needed. That said, Coyne has found that lime green is a popular choice, followed by orange and yellow.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls?
Outdoor pickleball balls are denser, heavier, and bounce higher than indoor balls. Additionally, outdoor balls have smaller holes, which makes them more wind resistant when playing outdoors or on hard surfaces like tennis courts.
What is the best color for pickleball balls?
There is no “best” color when it comes to pickleball balls. Instead, the color should be chosen based on your ability to easily spot the ball mid-flight. Bright colors like lime green, orange, and yellow are popular choices.
How often should you replace pickleball balls?
You can keep using a ball for as long as you like until it cracks. Coyne says that some players can tell when a ball should be replaced by tossing it in the air in front of them and watching to see if it rises straight or if it wobbles. This can be a good indicator if there are soft spots forming that could eventually lead to a crack.
How much do pickleball balls cost?
Pickleball balls come in packs of multiple balls that are relatively inexpensive. They can range in price from $7 to $200, depending on the construction of the ball and how many balls come in the set. The most affordable set on our list typically costs under $24 for a 12-pack, whereas our best overall set, Franklin Sports’ X-40 Performance Outdoor Pickleballs cost about $35 for a 12-pack when we published this list.
Why Trust Verywell Fit
Shannon Ullman is a writer who specializes in health, wellness, and fitness. She also has been playing pickleball with friends on the outside courts in her city. Her latest pickleball purchase was a pack of AMYPUK pickleballs. Shannon hopes to improve her pickleball skills on the court this year.