The Best Pickleball Balls of 2022

Pickleball is the best sport you’ve never played. At least, it is for some of you. Pickleball seems to have exploded out of nowhere, and it’s the hottest sport on the block! As a sort of cross between tennis, badminton, and table tennis, pickleball brings out enjoyable elements of all three.

I, for one, love the non-volley zone (kitchen) element of the game, which really forces you to think tactically!

Today, we are looking at the top pickleball balls on the market. When choosing the right pickleball for your game, we recommend looking for these qualities:

  1. USAPA approved
  2. Highly visible color
  3. Durable
  4. Competitively priced

Each model plays differently, so now we’ll cover each ball in-depth to help you determine which is best for your game.

Featured Products

Pickleball Ball Buyer’s Guide

Color

Pickleball balls are available in a range of different colors which gives you a lot of variety to choose from. We recommend selecting balls that are bright and easy to track while you are playing. You want a ball that is easy to play with under any conditions, be it a blisteringly sunny day or a low-light session.  

Diameter

According to the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), the diameter of a pickleball must measure between 2.784” and 2.972”. We recommend around 2.8” for an indoor ball, and for an outdoor ball, a little heavier at approximately 2.9”.

Cost

Most pickleball balls tend to be well-priced given how long they last. You can expect to pay anywhere from $10 – $25 per pack of three balls. However, we recommend purchasing in larger quantities to decrease your price per ball.

Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleball Balls

Given that you play pickleball both indoors and outdoors, it only makes sense to have a ball that is designed for each. As indoor balls are not exposed to the weather, they do not need to combat the wind. As such, they have 26 larger holes instead of outdoor balls that have 40 smaller holes. This makes it easier to maintain high levels of control.

Spin is another quality where you will notice a discernible difference between the two balls. Indoor balls have a textured surface which makes it easy to produce spin.

On the other hand, outdoor balls have a smooth surface to mitigate damage from the harsher ground.

View the table below for a full list of the differences between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls.

 

Indoor Balls

Outdoor balls

Number of holes

26

40

Weight

Lighter

Heavier

Hardness

Softer

Harder

Control

Easier

Harder

Spin

Easier

Harder

Noise

Quieter

Louder

Lifespan

Longer

Shorter

Our Research Parameters

PingPongRuler is independent and not pressured by manufacturers to recommend products. We were not paid for the reviews in this article. These pickleball balls were selected by our team, who have over 25 years of experience playing sports like pickleball and ping pong and hundreds of hours reviewing products. We may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase something through our retail links.

Best Pickleball Ball Reviews

1. Franklin Sports Outdoor Pickleballs X-40 — Best Outdoor Ball

pickleball balls

Features

Colors: Optic Yellow, Pink, Lava, or Ember

Number of holes: 40

Weight: 26g

Diameter: 2.9”

Indoor/outdoor?: Outdoor

Balls per pack: 3, 12, or 100

USAPA approved?: Yes

Pros

  • Highly visible
  • Superb overall performance
  • USAPA approved
  • Official ball for US Open Pickleball Championships
  • 4 colors to choose from

Cons

  • None

Rating: 9.8

As a well-known pickleball ball manufacturer, it should be no surprise that a Franklin Sports product makes this list. The X-40 is a highly popular outdoor pickleball ball that is USAPA-approved. It’s even the official ball for the US Open Pickleball Championships, which speaks a lot about its quality.

The X-40 is a rotationally molded one-piece ball that ensures it is both strong and durable. Unlike two-piece balls, it does not contain excessive material where the two halves join. Available in 4 bright colors, you’ve got a good selection to choose from. You can also buy the X-40 in quantities of 3, 12, or 100.    

Overall, this is the best outdoor pickleball ball, in our opinion. It doesn’t have any clear negatives: it’s well-priced, plays well, and lasts a long time.

2. Dura Fast 40 Pickleballs — Best for Speed

pickleball ball

Features

Color: Yellow, Orange, or Neon

Number of holes: 40

Weight: 26g

Diameter: 2.94”

Indoor/outdoor?: Outdoor

Balls per pack: 6 or 12

USAPA approved?: Yes

Pros

  • Highly visible
  • Unrivaled performance
  • USAPA approved
  • Official ball for US Open Pickleball Championships
  • *3 colors to choose from

Cons

  • Durability
  • Expensive

Rating: 9.3

The Dura Fast 40 is another elite pickleball ball that has seen heavy use on large stages. It too was used in the US Open Pickleball Championships, but it has also received use at other events such as the USAPA National Championships and the Tournament of Champions.

Where the Dura Fast 40 excels is in terms of performance. It is the favored ball of elite players because it feels the best to play outdoors. It, too, is a true one-piece pickleball ball but feels harder and plays faster. However, it does have a glaring issue, and that is its durability. It only lasts a few games, which makes these balls very expensive.  

Moreover, tournaments are increasingly adopting the X-40 over the Dura Fast 40, which lessens its appeal. Therefore, the X-40 is clearly a better buy, in our opinion. Only players that favor a faster game and don’t mind spending considerably more money should choose the Dura Fast 40 over the X-40.

Currently, you can pick these up in yellow (pack of 6), yellow (pack of 12), orange (pack of 6), and neon (pack of 12).


3. Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleball Balls — Best for Durability

pickleball ball

Features

Color: Yellow

Number of holes: 40

Weight: 27.2g

Diameter: 2.9”

Indoor/outdoor?: Outdoor

Balls per pack: 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, or 100

USAPA approved?: No

Pros

  • Highly visible
  • Unrivaled durability
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Not USAPA approved

Rating: 9.1

Another ball you may be familiar with is the Pure 2 by Onix. Now Onix sells quite a few different pickleball balls, and it can be challenging to differentiate them. The Pure 2, for instance, has two different versions: the indoor and the outdoor.

The outdoor Pure 2 is popular for its durability. In fact, it’s the best pickleball ball available if longevity is your main concern. This is largely because it is much softer than other balls, making it less prone to cracking. However, this means that it is much slower and bounces higher than most outdoor balls do. As a result, it’s far from the best ball for competitive pickleball. It is also not USAPA-approved.

We recommend Onix Pure 2 balls for older players who play more casual pickleball. The slower game and higher bounce give these players more time to react to keep the rally going.


4. Jugs Pickleballs — Best Indoor Value for Money

pickleball ball

Features

Color: White or Lime Green

Number of holes: 26

Weight: 22.96g

Diameter: Unlisted

Indoor/outdoor?: Indoor

Balls per pack: 6, 12, 36

USAPA approved?: No

Pros

  • Lime green is highly visible
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Not USAPA approved
  • Rough seem

Rating: 8.9

Jugs pickleballs are one of the best indoor pickleball balls on the market with stock consistently flying off the shelves. They are rather inexpensive, costing less than $2 per ball in the small 6-ball pack. However, If you play a ton of indoor pickleball and opt for the 36 pack, your cost per ball drops down to a staggering $1.18!

The main issue with these balls is that they are not USAPA approved which means if you are a competitive player you should steer well clear of them. If however, you play casually and are looking for a cost-effective indoor ball, they could be a great option. I would make sure to purchase the lime green balls as opposed to white as they are more discernible indoors – light walls and floors can make the balls easy to lose.


5. Onix Fuse Indoor Pickleballs — Best Indoor Quality

pickleball ball

Features

Color: Yellow

Number of holes: 26

Weight: Unlisted

Diameter: Unlisted

Indoor/outdoor?: Indoor

Balls per pack: 6

USAPA approved?: Yes

Pros

  • Highly visible
  • USAPA approved
  • Plays similarly to outdoor pickleball balls

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some buyers sent the wrong balls

Rating: 9

If you’re a competitive indoor pickleball player, then the Fuse indoor ball is likely the best one to buy. As before, there’s a little bit of confusion surrounding this Onix ball. The Fuse is available in two versions: indoor and outdoor. Both are USAPA-approved. This confusion, it seems, also extends to the seller. Some buyers reported receiving the outdoor pickleball balls instead of the indoor ones. However, this is only for select cases — we recommend using our link to ensure you get the right set.

Besides being USAPA approved, the Fuse indoor also performs similarly to outdoor pickleball balls. This is great for players who dislike lighter indoor balls. And while being quite expensive, they do last for a fairly long time, making them much cheaper than the outdoor Dura Fast 40.  


FAQs

Is There a Difference Between Pickleball Balls?

Indoor balls are very different from outdoor balls. Indoor balls have 26 holes, whereas outdoor balls have 40 to allow them to combat the wind more effectively. You will also find that indoor balls are softer, lighter, and produce more spin than their outdoor counterparts.

How Do You Pick a Pickleball Ball?

Some of the top qualities we recommend seeking in your pickleball are that it is USAPA approved, highly visible, well-priced, and lasts a long time. The best pickleball balls possess all of these qualities, but they are hard to come by.

Can You Use Outdoor Pickleball Balls Indoor?

It is not advisable to use outdoor pickleball balls indoors as they do not have a textured surface. This means they skid on the floor, making their bounce rather unpredictable. They also do not bounce as high, which leads to less exciting games.

How Long Do Pickleball Balls Last?

Outdoor pickleball balls have much lower longevity than indoor pickleballs. This is because of their composition and the fact that outdoor terrain is much tougher. There is also a lot of variation among outdoor balls as some crack while others gradually become less bouncy over time.

Dura Fast 40, for example, lasts for around 2 hours of playtime and tends to crack. Onix Pure 2, by comparison, tends to last for several weeks and gradually develop soft spots. This means you can use these balls for even longer if you need to. But we recommend switching them out as soon as you notice the quality decline.

Do Pickleball Balls Bounce?

Pickleball balls have strict requirements when it comes to bouncing. To be USAPA approved, the ball should bounce between 30” and 34” when dropped from a  height of 78”. Of course, many balls do not make this cut, with some bouncing below and above this requirement. Indoor balls, for example, often bounce higher than 34”.

So Which Pickleball Balls Should I Buy?

For outdoor play, the clear winner is the X-40 by Franklin Sports. Put simply, it doesn’t have any weak areas. It’s approved by USAPA and has quickly become the staple at competitions. It’s also very high-quality and lasts for a damn long time. This makes it a better buy than the Dura Fast 40, which sees less use and doesn’t last for as long as we would like.

For indoor pickleball balls, it’s a tougher call. You have to decide whether you are after quality or value for money. The Onix Fuse easily takes it on the quality front. Being USAPA-approved is a big advantage, and the balls are more enjoyable to play with. However, the Jugs pickleball ball are a great option if you play more casually and want to get more for your hard-earned bucks.

Not yet sure which pickleball paddle you should buy? Check out our guide of the top pickleball paddles!

If you are new to pickleball, we picked the best pickleball paddles for beginners!

You can also consider buying a pickleball set that provides two to four paddles and at least two balls.

Alex Horscroft

Freelance writer. Table tennis enthusiast. Lover of all things online. When I’m not working on my loop game I’m probably binge-watching some fantasy show.