Best Bounce House

Updated February 26th, 2020
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Your kids will get both exercise and excitement from these popular jumping castles.

Bounce houses are wild fun. For many people, they bring back memories of birthday cake, a summer day full of ice cream cones, and side-splitting laughter.

Today, bounce houses are no longer delegated to party time enjoyment. Many bounce houses on the residential market are surprisingly affordable… and there’s a stunning variety. You can get one for your kids to laugh and exercise on, every day.

In this article, we’re going to help you pick the most adventurous, exciting, colorful, and ultimately the safest, most durable bounce house for your kids to relish in your back yard.

Here are bouncing castles we’ll be reviewing here:

  1. Intex Jump O Lene 48259EP
  2. Little Tikes Jump ‘n Slide Bounce House
  3. PicassoTiles Bouncing House
  4. PicassoTiles Water Slide Bouncing House
  5. WELLFUNTIME Jumping Castle

Simple and Inexpensive

These toys don’t have any fancy extras, but they cost under $200 apiece.

Intex Jump O Lene 48259EP


This bouce house is wildly popular… and we can see why.

Firstly, the price is ridiculously affordable. Dinner with your family at a local eatery would probably cost more.

The build is simple. There’s a bouncy red floor and four inflatable walls. There’s a colorful tower on each corner, topped with a decorative cap. The back wall has a row of intriguing peepholes. Although there’s nothing fancy here, it’s still imaginative: it looks like a brightly colored little castle. And at six by six feet, it’s small enough that it can fit in a bedroom, living room or play den.

Unfortunately, at this price, you can expect some drawbacks.

The castle can only host kids between the ages of three and six. Any older siblings or guests will be excluded from the fun, and kids who are the appropriate age will outgrow the bounce house fast. And it doesn’t come with an inflator. Even a cheap one may cost around half the price of the actual bounce house.

The Jump O Lene also some quality issues. Some frustrated users report that it split at the seams after just a few uses, or slowly deflated within the first few days.

This bounce house offers loads of fun at a wonderfully affordable price. It’s a good buy if you have small kids that you’d like to keep occupied over the holidays, or for setting up at a party – especially if you already own an inflator or can borrow one.

ProsCons
Really cheap

 Can fit in your house

 Whimsical, castle-like design

 No inflator

 Has some quality issues

 No extra features

 Can only host small kids

Little Tikes Jump ‘n Slide Bounce House


For a larger bounce house, this toy is an excellent deal. There’s nothing fancy about it, but it’s crazy fun at a much lower price than you can generally expect to spend on a full-sized bounce house, and it’s still superb quality.

It has a wonderfully puffy blue base that measures about twelve by nine feet. Then there’s a wide red slide that spans the whole front edge, and four pillars that support a mesh lining that keeps kids safe and contained. There’s a couple of shallow arches, but no roof. There’s no whimsy about the visual design; it’s functional, but kept fun with crayon-box colors.

And happily, when it comes to quality, there’s nothing to complain about. You can expect this inflatable to handle a small crowd of kids and a whole bunch of vigorous use. According to the manufacturers, it hosts kids between three and eight years… but it’s tough enough to potentially be used by older kids too. It comes with a heavy-duty inflator and can be set up or taken down in a matter of minutes.

If you want to enjoy quality at an affordable price (let’s get real… who doesn’t want that?), and you’re happy with the basics, this bounce house will provide your kids with many hours of fun.

ProsCons
Inexpensive

 High quality

 Large enough for several kids

 Comes with a blower

 Easy to set up and take down

 Has a slide

 Visual design is functional rather than imaginative

 No extra features other than slide

Fancy and Inexpensive

We’ve reviewed two basic jumping castles. Now let’s review two fancier toys… which also check out at under $200.

PicassoTiles Bouncing House


This bounce house is quite a surprise. At this price (it’s cheaper than the Little Tikes model), with the extra features, you’d expect poor quality – or at least a small size and restrictive age limit.

But it ticks all the boxes.

At twelve by ten feet, it’s big enough for several kids to enjoy simultaneously: it’s slightly larger than the Little Tikes. And the manufacturer’s recommended age is anything upwards of three years. Having said that, we definitely don’t recommend hosting a jumping party for adults on it (should temptation strike); it’s not advertised as a bounce house for adults.

Overall, users are very happy with the quality, too. It provides many hours of extended use. It’s slightly poorer quality than the Little Tikes model – a handful of users report splits in seams, or slow air leaks – but if you take care of it, you’ll get your money’s worth many times over.

Visually, the design is colorful without any fantasy. It looks similar to the Little Tykes toy; there’s a wide slide, four columns with mesh walls, and a couple of arches. But there’s also a little mesh-surrounded playroom off to one side. This section is perfect for filling with balls, or for keeping a small child safe and happy while the older siblings are going wild in the rest of the castle. It has a roof, too, so it can keep kids shaded on those scorching summer days.

Included in the package are four fun inflatable balls that are modeled after sports balls. Then there’s an ETL certified blower, 6 repair sheets for when those inevitable damages do happen, and a bunch of stakes for securing the bouncer into the ground.

In conclusion, it’s incredible that so much bouncing fun can be enjoyed at this price.

ProsCons
Inexpensive

 Comes with a blower

 Includes patches and stakes

 Comes with 4 balls

 Large enough for several kids

 Can host kids age 3 and up

 Has a slide

 Has an extra, shaded room

 Users report the occasional quality issue

 Visual design is functional rather than imaginative

PicassoTiles Water Slide Bouncing House


This is the only bounce house on this list that features a pool. In fact, this bounce house is built around water play, and is ideal for keeping kids busy in summer, and getting them comfortable with being in water.

There’s a high slide with generous sides. Kids scale the slide via three holes and a handle: a setup that improves coordination and builds muscle tone. There’s a sturdy arch over the top of the slide, with a shower head that spouts water down the slide’s length.

At the base of the slide is a pool that’s four by three feet. It’s shallow, but large enough for several kids to splash around in. Opposite the slide is a magnificent water canon that can be uncapped to shoot a gentle stream of water into the pool.

To use the water features, you simply connect the bounce house to a water source. Of course, you don’t need to do that: you can fill the pool with balls and use the slide dry for tons of a different kind of fun. In this case, though, there won’t be a dedicated bouncing area, as the pool base is quite shallow.

Visually, the Picasso Water Slide has a bright appeal. There’s a bunch of colors, loads of inviting puffiness… and that fantastical cannon.

Quality is surprisingly reliable. One user reports setting this unit up for a birthday party where twenty kids played on it for hours, without any problems. The manufacturers claim that it can host children of any age above three years. Once again, we recommend discretion here. It comes with an ETL approved blower, plus some stakes and patches.

Wet or dry, this unit guarantees many hours of unadulterated revelry.

ProsCons
Inexpensive

 Water slide

 Pool

 Water cannon

 Slide mount builds physical capability

 Large enough for several kids

 Comes with a blower

 Includes patches and stakes

 Reliable quality

 Looks attractive

 No area for jumping on when used dry

Fancy and Expensive

Units over $200 are big, with creative extra features you won’t find on an ordinary bounce house.

WELLFUNTIME Jumping Castle


This bounce house has it all.

There’s a slide with protective edges. There’s a large bounce area hemmed in by mesh walls. There’s an adorable, shaded side room with colorful cloth walls and windows.

And then there’s some surprising extra play features. On one wall of the jumping area is a cloth dartboard. Kids can practice their aim and throwing arm while tossing three light “dart balls” at the board. There are two obstacle columns in the jumping area that will add an extra dimension to a game of tag. The jumping area also boasts a hoop, and just outside, several inflatable rungs form soccer goalposts. A light basketball and soccer ball are included. Fifty plastic balls, which come with the package, can be let loose in the shaded side room.

Visually, there’s lots of whimsy here, too. Two of the units’ columns sport caps with small flags; together with the arches and the drawbridge-sized slide, the bounce house becomes a medieval castle. Even the cloth dartboard looks like a stained-glass window. And the enclosed side room encourages imaginative role playing.

Happily, this unit also boasts reliable quality. There are very few reports of those mood-killing air leaks or seam splits. It comes with stakes, patches and a blower, and is quick to set up or pack away. The manufacturers recommend that children between the ages of three and ten use this bounce house, and no more than three kids should be on it at a time. While this is perfectly adequate for ordinary, everyday use, the bounce house is reliable quality, and can definitely host the occasional kids’ party… or possibly even a parents’ bouncing spree.

Is the higher cost worth it? If your kids will use the ball features, they are going to have crazy amounts of fun, and you won’t regret spending the extra dollars.

ProsCons
Bounce area with obstacle pillars

 Basket with basketball

 Goal posts with soccer ball

 Cloth dartboard with “dart balls”

 Enclosed, shaded side room

 Slide

 Whimsical, castle-like design

 Comes with a blower

 Includes patches and stakes

 Reliable quality

 Expensive

Bounce House Safety Tips

Here’s how to keep your kids happy and safe when they’re having a wildly exciting bouncing spree on their brand-new bounce house.

  1. Stay nearby. Kids on a bounce house need to be supervised… even if you’re just watching from a window while you catch some alone time.
  2. Before using an inflatable house, kids need to remove their shoes, glasses and jewelry, and empty their pockets of anything sharp.
  3. Don’t use the bounce house if it’s windy. The house could blow over.
  4. Teach your kids how to play safely. Other than holding hands, or touching with the fingertips when playing tag, it’s best to severely limit physical contact between kids on the bounce house.
  5. Set the inflatable house up on a flat, even surface. If there are stakes, make sure you’ve secured them thoroughly.
  6. Leave a space clear around the bounce house, and above, too. If it’s on a hard surface, place something soft, like a thick blanket, outside any entrances.

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