The age-old question of what tennis balls are the best and what balls should you be buying in bulk can be a confusing choice for many. Buying the best tennis balls can depend on a lot of factors, the most important of which is the availability and affordability.
Maybe in your area, you might only have a few options available, but the good thing about the 21st century is that you don’t need to worry about going to a physical store and get the new can of balls that you have been craving.
There is such a big variety of tennis balls that you can easily get confused with the number of choices on Amazon. The intention of writing this post is to clear up the fog a little, find the best tennis balls for your money, and also cater to what kind of conditions you are playing in.
Once you start seeing the choices on offer, it will turn this boring looking topic into an extremely fun one. One piece of advice that I always say to all the players that I coach, always test a bunch of different combinations first. Maybe you might find something that you fancy and you just want to play with that particular.
Keep in mind one thing, most of the tournaments at the USTA level might be with one type of ball. So keep an open mind as to what brand you go with, you don’t want to be caught napping when the ball you dislike the most is part of the tennis tournament and you can’t even hit it correctly.
If you just want to look at the list of what I recommend then here it is. Otherwise, if you want to know the reason behind why I picked what ball and placed it where then you can keep on reading
1) Wilson US Open Tennis Balls (Amazon Link)
2) Penn World Tour Tennis Balls (Amazon Link)
3) Penn Championship Tennis Balls (Amazon Link)
Best Tennis Balls Overall
This is based on my user testing, and I have pretty much tested all of these extensively. I’ll be listing the pros and cons and you can decide to buy from Amazon if you would like to.
Wilson US Open
This is my absolute favorite can of balls, I tried these after playing all my life with Dunlop Fort ones, and I kid you not, tennis felt like a different game altogether. Lighter than the cannonballs that the Dunlops are and way better made.
It was love at first sight with these balls, as all the people in the club loved to trial them out and switched to them permanently after hitting with them. They lasted longer than the Dunlop ones and even retained their pressure better than the Dunlop ones as well.
They are an extremely awesome can of balls, you can get the extra duty ones for a little higher of a price and they will last even longer.
You can buy them by clicking the link here
- The most lively and bouncy ball of all.
- Playing with it is extremely fun
- Is used at the US open, so you can bet they are a good brand
- Last way more and the odd chance of them being dead out of the box is extremely low
- Of the millions of Dog Reviews on Amazon, I would say if they are good enough to handle the torture of those beasts, then they can last on the tennis court as well
- They are a little expensive compared to the penn championship ones
- They might not be easily available at the stores and you may have to get them from amazon
Best Runner Up
Penn World Tour Balls
One of the best balls I have ever hit with. If I had to pick between these or any other balls if the Wilson ones weren’t available then I would pick these.
Just because of the way they bounce on the court and their fast nature. Hard hitters love this ball cuz it just flys through and this makes it very fun to play with.
They are also used in a lot of tournaments all across the US, and even though they have great durability and are exceptionally they don’t come with a very high premium.
They are a little more expensive than the regular Championship ones which you can check out here. But the level of play they have compared to the Championship ones is a night and day difference.
They are advertised as the balls that are run in different ATP tennis tournaments. That thing is true or not remains to be proved. But I’m pretty sure the same kind of balls must be being played otherwise it would cause a lot of disparity between amateurs that are looking to climb the pro ladder
You can find them on Amazon by clicking the link here or clicking the picture, whatever you fancy.
Alternative Tennis Balls
I’m gonna list some brands that are widely used, they aren’t the best by any means owing to some problems with their quality or their playability but even if you get them you won’t have a bad time because at the end of the day these are tennis balls.
I would advise you going for cheaper ones if you are just starting and don’t want to pay a ton per can
Pen Championship Tennis Balls
The all great, all available tennis balls that you can find anywhere in America. Most clubs have racks upon racks of these because of their availability.
I believe if you are looking to buy a good can to practice with, then these might be a good fit for bulk buying. Practice those backhands and forehands with these and play the tournament with the ones I have recommended above. That’ll be a good pick
These tend to go bad just after the second day of constant play (two hours each day), you can still keep playing after the third day but they will start dying at a pretty bad rate and unless you are a beginner or you want to keep these for serve practice, I would get rid of them
You can grab a ton of them from this link here or by clicking the picture
Dunlop Sports Championship
All my young tennis years, I was stuck with these little rocks that they call balls. But in a lot of countries, these are the only available choice of balls.
I won’t say that they are extremely bad and you shouldn’t play with them, you can grab them if they are the only ones at your disposal. They last a reasonable amount of time as well.
I have used them in recent years, as a practice ball because of their sheer weight, you start playing with them, and when you switch to normal balls your power will be almost double.
You can check em out on the link here
Wilson Championship Tennis Balls
The cheaper version of the US open balls and I would say that these are okay for the most part. For some reason, they tend to die even on the first days of playing and that can be frustrating at times.
They are among the cheaper cans though, so if you are just starting, these would be a pretty great buy. Just to pack a bunch and hit with them.
The felt on them starts to disappear faster than almost any ball I have played with. Maybe they just want you to buy the slightly more expensive one
You can check em out by clicking the link here.
Best Tennis Balls for Beginners
This is section is more or less for kids starting out but I will get the adults out of the way first because that is the biggest demographic of the website.
As a beginner, you are looking for one affordability two cutting the confusion. To make it easy on both fronts. Getting the Penn Championship balls is going to be the best bet.
They are available almost everywhere, you can order a big box from Amazon and you’ll be set for a long time since I don’t recommend beginners to switch balls all too often until they completely die out.
The Championships last pretty good time for most players and that is one of the reasons why it is sold the most. You can grab it by clicking the Amazon Link Here
Now here is the section for the parents that want to get their children in the game and are confused by the ball choices.
Balls for kids come in three specific categories because of their ages, let’s look into them and then you can decide which one falls into the category that you should buy
Best for ages 3-8, when your kid is starting they can’t handle the normal balls at all. The bounce is just too high to handle comfortably.
These balls are made a little different so they don’t bounce as much and are easier to handle for the little ones. I love them for all the younger tennis stars that we get in our club. It makes tennis enjoyable as well as puts the kids on a faster track to learn.
These are not that expensive as well and will last pretty much indefinitely because kids don’t hit the balls that hard plus they are very very durable and they will last a long while.
You can check em out on Amazon, they are made by a lot of companies but sticking to the main name brands is the best bet
Now the kid is getting better and bigger with time, the height increase, and the increase in muscular strength gives way to being able to handle the balls with a little more bounce.
The orange ball is still pretty low on the bounce side but is considerably higher than the red ones. I say that if your kid is handling the red ones very easily then make them switch to the Orange ones. I believe a lot of kids tournaments are also played with Orange balls so that’ll give your child the advantage of starting young
Still pretty durable and will last a long time compared to the normal tennis balls, and the color is always appreciated by kids more.
Amazon link here
Green Ball with a dot
Now we are getting to the big kids’ balls, the age limit for these is around 11-14 or until the kid gains some height. These look pretty similar to the normal balls but these have a dot on them that signifies that they will bounce lower than the normal ones
For tournaments the official age limit is about 12, so get your child a little bit of experience with these and then just move on to the normal ones so they can get as much exposure to the real thing
By the way, if you are interested in getting your child a racquet and not sure what to buy then, I have written a post that covers just those. You can check it out the best tennis racquet for an 8-year-old.
I think you should skip these balls altogether if I am being honest. Get your kid into the real deal balls because those are being played in almost every tournament and that is the most important bit when it comes to your child’s development as a good player.
You don’t want them thinking they are good with these lower bouncing balls and then when you have to switch to real balls it becomes very very hard for them to transition and they just lose interest in tennis.
You can check them out on amazon by clicking the link here
Keeping children motivated is one of the hardest things to conquer, you have to remain very meticulous about what your child likes and they may like and what motivates them.
Best Tennis Balls For Wet Conditions
Ok so this is a killer for tennis overall, there is no way around being in hot and humid conditions unless you have indoor courts, which are few and far between in most cities. And in most cases, those aren’t even that advisable because the cost of renting those courts is obnoxiously high for the normal player.
Humidity takes a lot of fun out of tennis, with sweat and the shirts getting wet and sticky. It’s a complete mess in most cases. I have written a full guide on how to deal with slipping grips in a detailed guide and you can read it by clicking the link here
The balls for these conditions have to be light and its very important that they are light because the humidity is going to make them heavier and if you are playing with those Dunlop rocks, you will have a really hard time enjoying your shots.
I will recommend either the Wilson US Open balls or the Head ATP tennis balls. Both of these are considerably lighter and offer the same great playability but they come with the added benefit that even if you are playing at peak humidity levels, they will try to keep themselves lighter and you can hit the ball with the same power and topspin that you were hitting with.
The Wilson US Open ones are especially recommended because they are in my top spot as well. They are the perfect all-around the ball in my opinion and you won’t be wrong getting those for any kind of condition.
You can get them from Amazon by clicking the link here.
Best Tennis Balls For Cold Weather
So, any kind of extreme temperature tends to be hard on the balls. Whether it is extreme cold or extreme heat. You should try your best to keep your balls at room temperature.
For cold weather, the regular Penn Championship ones tend to perform the best as well as the Head ATP ones. They generally have a higher tolerance for the cold weather since they are made with every weather in mind. Since the Head ATP balls are played within England a lot, they are better for the colder/humid weather type.
You can check them out on Amazon by clicking the link here
I will say that no matter what company you go for, stay away from Extra Duty ones during the cold times, they get very hard during the cold and will make it harder to hit and they will tend to break your strings as well
In colder climates, you should try and keep all your balls in a room temperature setting and try and avoid leaving them in the car at all times. This will make them last longer and there is another tidbit as well.
You can wrap a warm towel over your tennis ball box as well to keep them fresh and optimal. The balls will thank you and in turn, you will thank them when you are in the tennis court and the balls feel fresh and awesome.
Other than that you ‘ll be mostly fine with the cold weather, the only thing I would avoid would be buying the Dunlop Championship rocks or any Dunlop balls for that matter. They are not the best balls for any condition which I have confirmed from testing all the balls at our club.
Best tennis balls for ball machines
Ball Machines are your perfect friend if for some reason your partner couldn’t join you for tennis. They are also your best friend if you want to do a specific drill because you can program them to hit the ball exactly where you want, and with any kind of spin you want. The machines are designed to hold large amounts of balls so you can have long sessions without having to load them up every 10 minutes.
Ball machines aren’t designed for new balls, new balls have ink on them which can make the inside of the machine slick and then it won’t throw the ball with the same amount of pace that it used to. Getting balls that are specifically meant for the ball machine is the best bet.
Most machines come with the spec of balls that you should put in them, but sometimes they don’t and maybe the balls they want you to get aren’t viable in that situation, either because of their availability or them being more expensive.
Lobster produces some of the best ball machines for any level of play, you can get anywhere from totally cheap models to extremely expensive ones that have all kinds of knobs and dials to play with.
But they are pretty expensive to find and some of them aren’t even available on Amazon
I like one particular one because of its affordability and its ease of use for beginners
Its the Match Mate Rookie, and I fell in love with it, the moment I laid my eyes on it. It’s like quarter the price of those lobster machines and still gets 80% of the job done for the most part.
You can check it out on Amazon from the link here
There are predominantly two ball brands/types that I get or recommend to people buying ball machines, as you want to have those expensive things last a long time while playing like the day you bought them.
Dunlop, okay okay you probably thought that this guy just hates Dunlop balls with a passion and he won’t probably recommend them at all. If they are good for one thing, it would be to put them in the ball machine and fluff out of them while playing
The good thing about the Dunlop balls is that the ink used on them doesn’t melt and get on the machine’s inner workings which might make it slick.
The balls still last a long while because of this and work perfectly with ball machines. Just keep in mind that these balls are harder than normal balls that I have recommended above and might be a little hard on your elbow after you’ve hit with them.
My favorite type of balls to use for ball machines, and I mean absolute favorite is pressureless balls. These are the perfect practice balls in my opinion. Their pros outweigh their cons by a country mile.
The reason that they last almost indefinitely is more than enough of a reason to buy them. They don’t use the ink that might mess up the ball machine and they have the perfect bounce coming out of the machine as well.
The only con that you might be worried about is the feel of the ball, and I will calm you down by saying that they are almost the same feeling as the normal balls. For most people, they won’t even notice a difference and as these are meant for beginners, that is even better.
They are cheaper in the long run since they take a million years to die out and you can keep practicing with them.
The added benefit that a lot of people might not even notice is that they are colored differently as well. It ‘ll be easy to find all the balls because you won’t confuse them with other balls.
You can find a link to buy them on Amazon here.
Best Tennis Balls For Synthetic Grass
Synthetic grass is played on a lot in Australia, some parts of Europe, and England. It has the same properties as that of actual grass but the ball still behaves differently because of its synthetic nature.
For Synthetic Grass, you need balls with the lighter profile since heavy balls are not going to bounce correctly on the court.
I will recommend that you go with Slazenger Hydroguard balls, they have their marketing focused for the synthetic courts and players seem to like them a lot. These balls are designed to absorb moisture better but for some reason, they behave better on synthetic grass.
The Penn Championship balls are also pretty good for the money and value they provide. The availability and affordability are tough to beat in this scenario.
Best Tennis Balls For Concrete
Concrete concrete concrete, the killer of balls, and cause of joint pain and all the bad things in between.
I don’t really get why concrete tennis courts are made, but they are there and people have to play on them.
If you can avoid them, I would advise you to do so. In the long run, they are not good for the body and you will suffer muscle joint pain very easily because of the feedback that they have.
If you have to play on them, you have to get balls that will last longer than the normal tennis ball, and many brands have come with their version of extra duty balls.
I would recommend the Wilson Extra Duty Balls or the Penn Extra Duty Balls. Both the brands have extra felt on them and they last considerably longer than normal tennis balls, but they are a little heavier and harder than the normal ones. For concrete, these are my only recommendations.