Best Basketball Hoops for Kids of 2023
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Hoops for kids of all ages and skill levels, from toddlers to advanced players
Medically reviewed by Lyndsey Garbi, MDFact checked by Rich Scherr
Basketball is a wonderful sport to keep kids of all ages (and adults) active and engaged. If you want to play a quick game of “HORSE” with your kiddo, practice jump shots, or have fun as a family shooting 3-pointers on a sunny day, a basketball hoop is a perfect addition to your home. There are many types of hoops on the market, including indoor and outdoor options, basketball hoops made for young kids, and adjustable hoops for more advanced players. To save you time and money, we’ve done the research to help you find the best option for your budding NBA star.
To select the best basketball hoops for kids, we interviewed Alex B. Diamond, DO, MPH, director of a youth sports health center, who emphasized the importance of safety and the qualities of a good basketball hoop. According to Dr. Diamond, in addition to finding a quality product, parents should make sure players have proper clearance between the basketball and surrounding structures, like garages, poles, or lights. The court (or whatever surface functions as a court) should also be free of obstacles, debris, or anything else that might pose a hazard to kids.
Following Dr. Diamond’s guidance, we researched dozens of basketball hoops available on the market and narrowed our list down to age-appropriate picks made of high-quality materials that are also portable, durable, highly rated, and affordable. And since basketball hoops are usually placed outdoors, we focused on sturdy options that can withstand the elements and won’t topple over in windy weather. In addition, a pediatrician on Verywell Family's Review board reviewed our content to ensure the accuracy of our information and address safety concerns related to the use of basketball hoops by kids of all ages.
Best Overall: Lifetime 48-Inch Basketball Hoop
Weather resistant materials
Adjustable from 8 to 10 feet
The base can be filled with water or sand
Cannot go lower than 8 feet
Adjusts in 6-inch increments
Our pick for the best overall basketball hoop for kids is the Lifetime 48-Inch Basketball Hoop. A well-priced option that is easy to set up, this durable hoop can withstand the outdoor elements and will provide years of fun for kids of all ages. The height-adjustable hoop moves in 6-inch increments from 8 to 10 feet high, so it’s suitable for beginners or seasoned players. The heavy-duty portable base features two wheels, so you can move it around your driveway, yard, or play space quite easily.
This set also comes with everything you need to play basketball—the steel pole and pole pad, all-weather net, portable base, shatterproof backboard, rim, and height adjustment mechanism. The 28-inch polycarbonate backboard is sturdy and provides a strong surface for excellent rebounding. Older players will appreciate the all-weather net and “slam it” rim with double horizontal springs, which give them lots of flexibility for those dunks.
Made in the United States, this set does require assembly to get it ready for gameplay—plan for a few hours, but no additional tools are required. Assembly is easy, but there are many steps, so be sure to lay out all the pieces in order and read the entire instruction manual beforehand. The 31-gallon base needs to be filled with water or sand before using the hoop. If you use sand, it’ll take about 350 pounds to fill the base.
One drawback to note is the rim adjustment—it only adjusts in 6-inch increments, so if you want a custom height, this hoop set might not work for you. It also cannot go lower than 8 feet. This set comes with a five-year warranty and is made of high-quality materials proven to last outdoors for years.
Price at time of publication: $330
Recommended Age: Not listed | Type: Portable | Height: 8 to 10 feet | Backboard Size: 48 inches
Best Budget: PEXMOR Basketball Hoop
Seven levels of height adjustment
Adjustable from 5 to 7 feet
Suitable for indoor or outdoor use
Maximum height is 7 feet
Too small for bigger kids
An appropriate budget-friendly option for younger kids, the PEXMOR Basketball Hoop is suitable for indoor or outdoor use. The set comes with a PVC backboard, pipe constructed hoop, a steel pole, molded base, two nets, and two wheels on the base for easy mobility.
The hoop adjusts from 5 to 7 feet high, with seven height levels available. However, since it maxes out at 7 feet, this option may not be high enough for bigger kids (or adults) who want to continue playing basketball.
While it gets filled with either sand or water to support the basketball hoop, there’s no volume requirement listed, so it’s hard to know how heavy this set will be or how much sand or water is needed to keep it sturdy. While it won’t cost a lot, this hoop has a more limited use and is best for younger kids who are just testing out the sport.
Price at time of publication: $90
Recommended Age: Not listed | Type: Portable | Height: 5 to 7 feet | Backboard Size: 32 inches
Best Portable: Best Choice Products Kids Height Adjustable Basketball Hoop
Height adjustable without set increments
The base has a designated spot to store the ball
The volume of sand or liquid required to fill the base is not listed
White backboard may get dirty
The Best Choice Products Kids Height Adjustable Basketball Hoop is a portable option that lets you easily move the set around your driveway, in and out of a garage, or anywhere else you want to play. The kit comes with everything you need to set up a great basketball game, including the steel pole, all-weather nylon net, and a base with two wheels. Assembly is required—according to the product manual, it takes two adults about 20 minutes, and all the necessary materials and tools are included.
Easily adjustable from 5.8 to 6.8 feet (70.5 to 82.3 inches), this hoop is shorter than the regulation size, so it is best suited for younger kids. We appreciate that, unlike other height-adjustable hoops, this one can be set to any height between the maximum and minimum heights.
The base can be filled with either water or sand to provide a counterweight and sturdiness to the hoop. To fill it, you’ll need 38-40 liters (10-10.5 gallons) of water or about 200 lbs of sand. In addition to the easy-rolling wheels, the base features a special divot that’s perfectly sized to store your ball. As a safety precaution, only adults should move this portable basketball hoop around.
Price at time of publication: $110
Recommended Age: 8 years old and up | Type: Portable | Height: 5.8 to 6.8 feet | Backboard Size: 28 inches
Related: The Best Outdoor Toys for Kids of All Ages, Even the Screen-Obsessed Ones
Best for Toddlers: VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
Comes with two balls
Volume high/low switch
Three AA batteries needed (not included)
Sounds and lights work in tandem
Introduce your toddler to a love of sports at a young age with the VTech Smart Shot Sports Center. This interactive, multifunctional toy features a toddler basketball hoop, a soccer net, and two balls—a basketball and a soccer ball, though it also works with other smaller balls you may have in your home.
The fun starts when the scoring begins. A light-up LED scoreboard counts baskets or goals up to 10 and plays encouraging animation and sounds. Interactive buttons and gears—all with a sports theme—are featured all over the base of the toy.
While they’re playing, your tot can learn numbers and shapes through the 50+ songs, phrases, and sounds that play from the toy. Parents or caregivers will appreciate that there’s an off button and two volume levels. The toy runs on three AA batteries, which are not included. While this hoop can be used indoors or outdoors, it should not be left outside overnight or during inclement weather.
Price at time of publication: $45
Recommended Age: 12 to 36 months | Type: Toy for toddler | Height: 22 inches | Backboard Size: Not listed
Related: The Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers to Get Moving
Best for Younger Kids: Little Tikes TotSports Easy Score Basketball Set
Comes with three balls
Six height settings
Option to add sand to the base
Weighted base may make it heavy to move
You may feel nostalgic when you consider the Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set—especially if you had your very own version of this hoop when you were a kid! This time-honored toy is well-loved for a good reason: This hoop helps your child develop social skills, motor skills, coordination, and sportsmanship. Designed for kids from 18 months to about 5 years old, the hoop can be adjusted to six height settings, ranging from 2.5 feet to 4 feet high.
This classic toy comes with three plastic junior-size basketballs. Kids will enjoy playing with this hoop indoors or outdoors, and the oversized rim and net make it more likely their shots will make it into the basket. Parents have the option of filling the base with sand, which will provide more stability but will also make it heavier. This could pose a challenge if you plan to move it around a lot. A bit of assembly is required, so plan ahead if your kiddo is ready to shoot some hoops as soon as the box arrives.
Price at time of publication: $36
Recommended Age: 18 months to 5 years old | Type: Small, portable, and adjustable | Height: 2.5 to 4 feet | Backboard Size: Not listed
Related: The Best Balls for Kids to Play With in the House or on the Field
Best for Older Kids: SKLZ Pro Mini Hoop Basketball System
Adjusts low enough for pool play
Comes with a 7-inch ball
Adjustable to any increment
Standard-size basketball too big for the net
Ideal for growing athletes, the SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball System is a fully adjustable set that can be positioned anywhere between 3 and 7 feet high, with no set increments to abide by. And if it’s too hot outside but the kids still want to play, the 3-foot height is perfect for playing basketball on the side of a backyard pool.
The set comes with a 33-inch clear polycarbonate backboard, a net, an adjustable steel pole, and a mobile base with two wheels that make it easy to move the whole hoop around. The base, which measures 31.6 x 20 x 6.3 inches, can be filled with sand or water so that it’s sturdy and can withstand gameplay.
Assembly is required, and the hoop comes with a one-year warranty. One drawback is that since the hoop is on the smaller size, a regulation basketball won’t fit in the net (you’ll need a 6- or 7-inch ball). The set does come with one 7-inch basketball, so your kids can start playing right away
Price at time of publication: $150
Recommended Age: Not listed | Type: Portable | Height: Adjustable from 3 to 7 feet | Backboard Size: 33 inches
Related: The Best Pool Toys to Splash the Days Away
Best Adjustable: Lifetime 90040 Adjustable Basketball Hoop
Adjustable from 7.5 feet to 10 feet
Easy-to-use height adjustment
Two wheels on the base for easy movement
Height adjustments in 6-inch increments
Specific backboard design
Get ready for some family basketball games with the Lifetime Height Adjustable Portable Basketball System. We love that this one can adjust from 7.5 feet to a regulation height of 10 feet. Plus, the adjustment mechanism is pretty easy to use—it's positioned a bit higher than others, so kids can't always reach it (but that's OK since adults should be the only ones adjusting the height of basketball hoops). The adjustments must be made in 6-inch increments, so you'll have slightly limited options for height increases or decreases.
The set comes with a 44-inch polyethylene backboard, a round pole, a classic rim, a nylon net, and a heavy-duty base. The base has two wheels and holds 27 gallons of water or 350 pounds of sand, which should be used to keep the hoop sturdy in both inclement weather and gameplay.
Made in the United States, the backboard has a specific style—mostly black with a printed basketball motif. While it's not garish, it is a bit different than some of the more plain backboard looks.
Price at time of publication: $199
Recommended Age: Not listed | Type: Portable | Height: 7.5 to 10 feet | Backboard Size: 44-inch backboard
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Best Indoor Basketball Hoop for Kids: Pop a Shot Official Pop-Up Arcade Game
10 game options
Audio synced with LED scoreboard
Includes four balls
No height adjustment
Folding for storage is not very compact
Don’t let rainy days or cold winter months put a damper on your game—the Pop a Shot Official Pop-Up Arcade Game helps you keep the action going indoors. While this game is a slightly more expensive option, if your family really is into basketball and you live in an area where you can’t be outdoors for part of the year, this could be a wise investment. The full-size game isn’t just for kids—parents or caregivers will love beating the clock, too.
The set comes with steel tubes, a nylon ramp, a backboard, a net, and four mini balls. Assembly is required but it’s not too hard. You’ll need to place this game in an area with plenty of room and access to an electrical outlet. Fully assembled, the game measures 88 inches long and 82 inches tall, and needs to be plugged in for the lights, sounds, and LED screen to work. Once it’s set up, there are 10 different basketball games to play—all are fun and will improve your skills while the LED screen keeps track of the score.
When playtime is over, the hoop game can fold up for storage, although it doesn’t fold very flat. It also weighs 44 pounds, so moving it around your house is a bit tricky. And because there’s no way to adjust the height, younger kids may find the size too challenging.
Price at time of publication: $230
Recommended Age: Not listed | Type: Indoor game | Height: 82 inches | Backboard Size: 29 inches
Related: The Best Indoor Toys and Games for Active Play
Best for the Driveway: WIN.MAX Portable Basketball Hoop
Base is smaller than other options
Adjustable from 4.9 to 10 feet
Height adjustments in 4-inch increments
If you’ve got limited space but want an outdoor basketball hoop for your driveway, the WIN.MAX Portable Basketball Hoop is a great option. It boasts a portable base that’s significantly smaller than some of our other picks. However, the small size doesn’t mean it’s not sturdy—the base can be filled with either water or sand, and there’s an easy-to-use port on the 13.1-gallon base. Plus, two wheels on the base make it a breeze to move the basketball hoop around your driveway, in and out of a garage, or anywhere else you need.
This pick features a wide range of height options, so it’s perfect for kids (and adults) of all ages. Choose from 4.9 feet up to regulation size at 10 feet high. At its lowest height, this hoop works great for a pickup game in the swimming pool. Height adjustments must be made in 4-inch increments, but with that vast range, you’ll have 15 different height options.
The set comes with steel poles, a polyethylene base with two wheels, a PVC backboard, a metal rim, and a polypropylene net. All materials are weather safe, so if you plan to leave it out in your driveway all year round, the materials are durable and can hold up to the elements. Assembly is required—the process should take about 90 minutes, and the manufacturer has an assembly video that’s a helpful resource, especially for people who learn better by seeing rather than reading.
Price at time of publication: $180
Recommended Age: Not listed | Type: Portable | Height: 4.9 to 10 feet | Backboard Size: 44 inches
Best Over the Door: Franklin Sports Over the Door Basketball Hoop
Engineered to fit most doors
Protective foam keeps the door safe
Comes with right-sized ball and pump
Price varies based on colors and styles
With the Franklin Sports Over the Door Mini Hoop, basketball doesn't have to end when the sun sets or it's time to go indoors. This sturdy and well-made over-the-door basketball hoop comes with a plastic and steel 17.75-inch backboard, a metal rim, a 5-inch diameter rubber ball, and a pump to inflate the ball. It's also easy to assemble with simple, clear instructions, so older kids can likely put this set together themselves.
Once assembled, the hoop simply loops over a door frame—it's made to fit most standard doors. Parents or caregivers will appreciate the built-in protective foam on the bottom of the metal hook specifically designed to protect the door and minimize extra noise from the backboard.
Kids (and adults) will have tons of fun shooting baskets, making trick shots, and even dunking on this hoop. The dual-spring rim is made for safe dunking and quickly springs back into place without getting bent or broken. When purchasing this hoop, there are a few options with various colors and styles, including one set with an LED light and digital scoreboard (and a higher price tag).
Price at time of publication: $40
Recommended Age: Not listed | Type: Over the Door | Height: Variable based on door height | Backboard Size: 17.75 inches
How We Selected the Best Basketball Hoops for Kids
To find the best basketball hoops for kids, we went right to the source: youth sports experts, parents, and kids who love the game. We started our research by interviewing Alex B. Diamond, DO, MPH, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and pediatrics and director of the Vanderbilt Youth Sports Health Center. We also spoke to Paul Anton, CEO of huupe, a smart basketball hoop with a high-definition screen backboard and access to on-demand training. Both experts provided insights on what to look for in a basketball hoop for kids, from safety concerns to features designed to improve a child’s abilities.
Then, we researched and analyzed dozens of basketball hoops for kids available on the market, focusing on their durability, quality, size, adjustability, portability, and safety features. We narrowed our list down, taking into consideration affordability and the needs of different age groups and skill levels.
What to Look for in a Kids’ Basketball Hoop
Type of Hoop
When selecting a basketball hoop, it is important to consider what type best meets your needs. Here are some of the more common types of hoops.
Portable: As the name implies, a portable hoop can be moved around. This type of hoop includes everything from a small toy hoop that lives in a playroom to a larger basketball hoop on a weighted base. If you are looking at a portable basketball hoop that will remain outdoors, buy one made of durable materials and make sure to properly fill the base with water or sand so it’s stable for inclement weather and lots of play. Most of the basketball hoops in our list fall into this category because they are the most practical for kids. We particularly like the Lifetime 48 Inch Basketball Hoop because it’s weather-resistant, durable, sturdy, and affordable.
Mounted: Wall-mounted hoops get securely attached to a wall and can be a good alternative if you have less space. When mounting a basketball hoop, factor in the size, height, backboard material, rim type, overhang, and mounting requirements.
In-ground: A permanent option, in-ground basketball hoops are connected to a pole that’s installed in wet concrete. When the concrete dries, the pole (and hoop) are permanently placed. This type requires lots of work (digging a hole, pouring concrete, etc.) and plenty of space to play. Although they imply a permanent commitment, have specific space requirements, and are more complicated to install, in-ground basketball hoops are the sturdiest type of hoop, according to Dr. Diamond.
Over-the-door: Made to be played indoors, over-the-door basketball hoops have a looping or hook mechanism that secures them to a door. They can easily be removed when not in use. Most basketball hoops in this category are small and flimsy, but we found one much more sturdy that will provide a more realistic experience, the Franklin Sports Over the Door Mini Hoop.
It’s best to choose a basketball hoop that fits the age and stage of your child. If you’re buying a toy hoop, always follow the age guidelines on the toy. For younger kids, a lower hoop is better than a high one. Lower hoops allow kids to develop solid fundamental skills, gain confidence, and succeed at making baskets.
A height-adjustable hoop is key to longevity. By being able to adjust the hoop’s height, you can ensure it’s at the right size for your child’s age and skill level. This way, they will use the hoop properly to develop good skills. Most of the basketball hoops on our list are adjustable, but the SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball System, our best for older kids pick, offers the widest range: from 3 to 7 feet.
From a safety perspective, Dr. Diamond indicates that adults should be the only ones adjusting the height of the basket to avoid injury from the basket itself or the tools used to make the changes. Even if your kids know how to adjust the height, make sure an adult does this job.
There are three main backboard materials:
Polycarbonate: Virtually indestructible and shatterproof, these are durable backboards that limit the bounce after a shot, so they are helpful for beginners.
Acrylic: These backboards are quite durable and provide more bounce than polycarbonate. They also have a near-glass look but are not as fragile as tempered glass.
Tempered Glass: This type is the closest to professional backboards and provides exceptional rebounds, but they require extra care and can crack or shatter if not maintained and cared for properly.
The type of base you select will depend on the kind of basketball hoop you choose to purchase for your child. Any portable base should be properly filled with the right amount of sand, water, or other material to ensure it stays upright during play and inclement weather. If your hoop is secured with a pole and concrete base, you may want to use a wrap-around foam pad to make the pole softer and safer.
There are two main types of rims
Breakaway: This is a type of rim that flexes when a player hangs on it. The bit of leeway or give from the rim helps prevent it from just breaking off.
Fixed rim: A heavy-duty fixed rim will not move or flex and can be used over and over again, without showing any wear and tear.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a kids’ basketball hoop cost?
When it comes to cost, basketball hoops can run the gamut. Indoor play hoops can cost less than $50 but have a limited age range and are best for young kids. Portable and freestanding hoops for older kids can cost $300 or more. While they are expensive, if your kiddo is using the hoop regularly, they’ll be worth the investment, as they are a great source of exercise, fun, and learning.
The basketball hoops in our list range in price from $329 for the Lifetime 48 Inch Basketball Hoop, our best overall pick, to $80 for the PEXMOR Basketball Hoop, our best budget suggestion. If your kiddo is just beginning to explore basketball as a hobby, the Franklin Sports Over-the-Door Mini Hoop ($40) or the WIN.MAX Portable Basketball Hoop ($190) might be good options.
How tall should a basketball hoop be for kids?
A good rule of thumb is that a hoop for kids up to second grade should be 6 or 7 feet high. A regulation 10-foot hoop might be appropriate starting at around sixth grade. According to Paul Anton, huupe CEO, if you lower the hoop to 8 or 7 feet, kids will make more shots and have more fun seeing the ball go in the basket. An adjustable hoop is great for longevity and will allow your kiddo to progress and level up their game.
What is the best age to start basketball?
Young toddlers will enjoy playing with a basketball and learn cause-and-effect by putting the ball in the basket. Some more formal youth programs begin as young as age 5, when kids can begin skills training on lower baskets.
According to Dr. Diamond, sports readiness will depend on the child. When they are ready to start playing a sport, they will exhibit the physical, mental, and social skills to meet the demands of the game. “Children develop at different rates and times but are more likely to enjoy and be successful in sports when they have reached that level of readiness,” he says.
Remember: Playing sports is about having fun. The second a parent makes it too serious, too soon, the kid usually falls out of love with the sport, Anton says. Support your child athlete in having fun and success will follow.
Why Trust Verywell Family
Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of a 13-year-old son, a 9-year-old son, and a 5-year-old daughter. When Maya moved into her home 10+ years ago, it came with a basketball hoop mounted on the garage. At first, her kids were too little (or short!) to enjoy this relic, but now family basketball games are one of their favorite activities. As her kids get bigger, the game scores are getting closer and closer.
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