I know, I know, we’re way too busy these days as parents and as professionals. If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what’s the best overall bounce house for your kids, we’d recommend Little Tikes Inflatable Jump ‘n Slide Bounce House.
Bounce houses come in many different sizes and flavors. Who doesn’t like jumping around in such houses? Even many adults might be able to try it out if their weight is supported. It has a number of benefits for kids who are most of the time full of energy. I sometimes struggle to find activities where they can find an outlet for their surplus energies. Inflatables on the other hand give a great opportunity to serve as outlet and a source of fun.
Actually, there are many ways to refer to a bounce house: bouncy castle, jump house, inflatable bouncer or simply inflatable have the same meaning. This also means we’ll use these expressions interchangeable with one another.
My Top Picks:
- Best Overall – Little Tikes Inflatable Jump ‘n Slide Bounce House with heavy duty blower
- Best for Sports – PicassoTiles KC102 12×10 Foot Inflatable Bouncer Jumping Bouncing House
- Best for Many Kids – Little Tikes Rocky Mountain River Race Inflatable Slide Bouncer
- Best for Young Toddlers – Little Tikes Jr. Jump ‘n Slide Bouncer
- Best Budget and Small Size – Intex Jump O Lene Castle Inflatable Bouncer
Why to buy a bounce house
You could get a bounce house in the past more by renting it. This used to happen typically when there was a special occasion for your kids, e.g. a birthday party, wedding. Since the cost of a bounce house has dramatically gone down in recent years, many parents nowadays rather buy one instead of renting it. Owning a bounce house obviously means that kids can enjoy its benefits on a regular basis, not just every once in a while.
When children move, it can be an endless source of fun for them. Especially when it’s bouncing around in random ways. Fun for them has most of the time the highest priority. Another side effect of jumping around is that they actually do some physical activity which develops their muscles. It can be a great cardiovascular activity. Parents can also benefit from letting their loved little ones get some high intensity activities: kids will simply sleep better afterwards. This is a huge benefit for me as I have the experience that many times my kid is just simply not tired to fall asleep. However after some exercises, she’s more than ready to take a nap or sleep through the night.
How often do you see kids being occupied with electronic gadgets of all kinds? When they are constantly glued to the screen, it can be harmful for their eyes and lack of movements will definitely cause many different problems. A bounce house can be an excellent alternative to staring at the screen motionless or at least with little movements.
Jumping around in an inflatable on the other hand could be a safe environment where they can enjoy themselves to the fullest.
How to select a bounce house for your toddlers
Indoor and Outdoor use
Some bounce houses are made only for outdoor use, whereas others work fine both indoors and outdoors. Therefore check always the intended area of use of your purchase. If you want to use it indoors, you might want to consider obviously the space you have as you might run into some limitations. Outdoors this might not be such a big issue, especially if you have a big garden. If you want to use it outdoors though there might be other factors to consider, such as if it comes with a sunshade to protect you from some harmful radiation or also how much water it can withstand. When you’re under the sky, you might have light rain or kids might play more with water in such an environment.
Actually a bounce house shouldn’t be too airtight as if no air can escape through the seams, pressure will build up which can destroy the seams over time. Therefore don’t be scared if you see or hear the sound of air leaking out. Everything is alright, there might be no need to carry out some repair. Of course if you discover some bigger holes where a lot of water escapes, that might be more of an issue since the house will deflate, making it unusable.
Since you need a blower as described before, which needs to operate using some supplied power, you need electricity somewhere nearby. Many times the bounce houses have long electrical cables. If they don’t, you might want to get an extension cord.
Many inflatables are made of water resistant material which is the lowest level of water protection. Nonetheless it typically withstands light encounters with water. it doesn’t mean though that you should soak it in water for a long time. They might be ok though when you’re playing with water, splashing it around outdoors.
Safety and material
You might ask: are my kids safe if they jump around in a bounce house? Well, since inflatable houses are made of soft material, they are inherently safe. Kids land soft instead of hard otherwise when they play on the ground. Most of the risk of children getting hurt lies actually instead on the shoulders of parents who might not pay attention all the time.
As for the material, check if possible if it is non-toxic. Most of the time the best bounce houses come with PVC or with oxford cloth tarpaulin. The material is puncture-resistant so that it can last long under heavy duty usage.
A brand is a sign of guarantee of good quality. If you want to go for a safe bet, you might want to consider established brands. This way, you have lower chance of a malfunctioning product so you get to spend more time on what matters: spending time with your kids. The most common top brands are Little Tikes, Blast Zone, YARD, Intex, PicassoTiles.
Size, portability, capacity, and storage
Many of us unfortunately don’t have unlimited space available. You might want to do some measurements around your available size for accommodating the bounce house. Size closely relates to capacity. If you want to let kids share the fun with other kids or with you, that might have an influence also on the size of the inflatable house. It would be sad to get a small inflatable and then end up bouncing into one another more often than bouncing off the surfaces of the bounce house.
Once deflated, bounce houses can be stored efficiently in small spaces. In such a state they have a size of a rolled up sleeping bag. This makes them very much portable and easy to store. All our recommendations here have such a compact size for easy storage and portability.
Since air naturally escapes through the seams, you might want to check if your inflatable comes with a blower. This device can supply enough air to compensate for its loss through the seams. If your bouncey house doesn’t come with one, you might want to buy right away.
There are some other accessories that could increase the fun factor. These range from ball pit balls, basketball hoops to slides, pools for using it with water. Possibilities for a wide range of fun is endless.
Price you’re willing to fork out depends on your budget. Even a basic bounce house could provide a lot of fun for your loved ones. This is why we’ve included a Best Budget option in our top picks. If you have a higher budget, you could go for a more sophisticated product with accessories which will surely give even more laughter when jumping around.
5 Best Bounce Houses
Best Overall – Little Tikes Inflatable Jump ‘n Slide Bounce House with heavy duty blower
This inflatable house has been chosen as our overall best for a number of reasons. It is a best seller product with happy users. It is suitable for kids above 3 years of age so it’s not for the tiny toddlers. But for the bigger kids, this could be an endless source of fun. The mesh walls are high enough to protect them from falling out of the house, slides to let them come out of the bouncer with a big smile on their face. They can use the slides also for climbing into the bounce house on their own. It’s made out of puncture-resistant material so it can last for a long time. And did we mention it comes with a blower so you don’t have to buy this extra as accessory?
- From a reliable brand
- For outdoors but also for indoor use
- Supports a whopping total weight of 250 lbs
- Includes a blower, repair patches
- Inflates in minutes
- Large area for jumping: 12′ x 9′
- For up to 3 kids
- Integrated shoe pockets with a mesh
- Only for kids above 3 years
- Balls for playing have to be purchased separately
Best for Sports – PicassoTiles KC102 12×10 Foot Inflatable Bouncer Jumping Bouncing House
Do you have kids who love playing with balls? Or do you love ball sports and you’re thinking about showing your children the entertainment they can get out of these? There’s a bounce house for that. This product from the manufacturer of creative toys comes with 4 types of balls: basketball, football, soccer, baseball. On top of that this inflatable has a built-in basketball rim. It has a retractable cover design which provides shade so that kids can play outside without getting too much exposure to the sun. It has a truly multifunctional design: the inflatable can act as a traditional bouncy house and as a sports center for kids.
- Large playing area of 12′ x 10′
- For up to 3 kids
- Includes a basketball rim with 4 different balls
- Mesh walls give visibility from the outside
- Multiple entrances for easy access
- Comes with a heavy duty pump (blower) which has somewhat higher power consumption than more simple inflatables
Best for Many Kids – Little Tikes Rocky Mountain River Race Inflatable Slide Bouncer
This is a large bouncy house from the reliable toy producer brand, Little Tikes. If you’re looking for an outdoor only solution for the warm months of the year, you might want to consider this option. 4 kids can easily be climbing up or sliding down at the same time on this construction and it can accommodate even 5 children if they’re considerate of one another, respecting who’s climbing and who’s sliding. It has a splash pool at the bottom which should definitely increase the amount of fun the group of kids can have. If I could go back in time to the time I was a child, I’d probably go for this kind of fun. Also the parents can benefit from it, as there’s no need to go to the playground with a slide nor to a water park anymore.
On the other hand if you have even more guests that you need to entertain by jumping around, you might want to consider visiting the world’s biggest bounce house. I have never been there but it must be truly amazing.
As for the Little Tikes Rocky Mountain River Race bounce house we’ve found the following pros and cons.
- For max 4 kids but you might want to enjoy it even with 5 kids
- Has 2 slides, splash pool
- Essentially a water park in your backyard
- Minimum recommended age of min 5 years so not really for small toddlers
- Rather big in all dimensions so you need space for it – 161 x 169 x 103 inches
Best for Young Toddlers – Little Tikes Jr. Jump ‘n Slide Bouncer
This bouncy house is a great one for you if you have a young toddler of at least 2 years old who besides running around the house wants to also test his bouncing skills. It’s ideal even for 2 kids when they want to play inside the inflatable and also when coming down the slide since the slide has an extra wide construction. The slide is not very steep, and it means that kids can feel safe that they won’t slide down at a high speed, then landing hard. It’s intended to be used only outside which for many of you is probably not a bad limitation if you use such a product mainly in good weather conditions, in fresh air.
- Recommended minimum age of 2 years
- Mesh walls give visibility to children from the outside
- Can ordered with or without a ball pack
- Comes with a wide slide
- Large jumping area of approximately 7′ x 7′
- Only for outdoor usage
- Only for up to 2 kids
Best Budget and Small Size – Intex Jump O Lene Castle Inflatable Bouncer
It’s a truly affordable option for many. Believe me, its price will be convincing, which you can check out when you click on the button below. It works equally well indoors and outdoors. It’s a great option when you want to test if this kind of activity would meet your expectations. Quality might not be amazing, but you get to test the idea thoroughly before you decide to invest into a more sophisticated, more durable solution. Due to its low footprint when set up it doesn’t have a high space requirement and therefore it’s a very good choice when you care about space. It has a built-in crawl-thru door and nontransparent walls so kids can use it either as a bounce house or as a hiding place in a castle.
- Good option for small spaces (69″ Length x 69″ Width when inflated)
- It doesn’t need a blower so it’s silent to operate and cheap with virtually no electricity usage
- Anti allergy due to its PVC material
- Its quality might not be great
- Only for max 2 kids
- Only for kids above 3 years
Inflatable houses can be a great activity for kids with a number of positive benefits both for the kids and the parents. My favorite part is that intense physical activities for kids mean better sleep which brings some relaxing moments for the usually sleep-deprived parents, too. Sleep-deprived like me most of the time.
My overall best recommendation could be great product to consider. It is the Little Tikes Inflatable Jump ‘n Slide Bounce House. It is both for outdoors and indoors usage. The latter means that when the weather is bad, there’s still a chance to enjoy inflatable indoors, such as with this bouncy house. For the more adventurous, creative, sporty kids there are certainly other options, too in our review.