What Is The Difference Between Indoor And Outdoor Pickleballs?

Don’t fret if you have ever been in a situation where it is confusing whether the type of pickleball balls you are seeing is inside or outside. Many different reasons mislead us to think that the ball we are seeing is inside when it actually isn’t.

Then, What is the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs?

They come in two types from different materials and have some key differences in size, weight, bounce, durability, etc., resulting in their variation in playing conditions.  

We’ll explore all of these differences to give you a full picture of what each type is like. Let’s get started!

Quick Look: Indoor Ball Vs. Outdoor Ball

Outdoor Indoor
Number of Holes 40 26
Weight Heavier Lighter
Hardness Harder Softer
Noise Louder Quieter
Control Harder to control Easier to control
Spin Harder to spin Easier to spin
Lifespan Shorter lifespan Last longer
Uses Both conditions Both conditions
Notes Preferred by serious players Preferred by casual players

What Is The Difference Between Indoor And Outdoor Pickleballs?

Quite a few factors distinguish them, including material, size, weight, bounce, colors, durability, and cost. This section will give you a brief comparison of each criterion.


Balls for playing this game without any roof come at a wide range. In general, outdoor pickleball is made of rubber or smooth plastic.

With the material being more durable and not as slippery, they can withstand harder hits on concrete or asphalt. Although they may feel heavier than an indoor one, it won’t be too much for you to handle!

Indoor variants are typically made out of softer plastic. However, this material makes them slippery when exposed to moisture or rain. Before you play a real game, they need to be broken in. This ensures that they have enough grip and can bounce properly.

If you want to use them outside on asphalt or concrete, remember they can get damaged. So, it’s best to use them inside only.

Size, Weight, And Bounce

Image of two types of pickleball

As you can see, the holes of indoor balls are larger and lesser in number (about 26) than the other version. These are softer, lighter (0.8 ounces), and a little bit less bouncy. This means that there’s more control over shots with power behind it, and the user gets to enjoy some powerful slams without feeling too much pain!

Still, it has a lightweight body which makes it highly susceptible to wind. To prevent it from flying out of control, you should only use it inside the playing room.

The outdoor one is generally the opposite. This set has a more complex design with smaller holes and more (about 40). Thus, using them for harder hitting and faster shots is perfect, though with less control.

It would help if you were careful with them since they might pop off your paddle more often than their rival would do. Be mindful of a hotshot coming at you. It could really hurt because these balls weigh about 0.9 ounces.

Besides, you can see that many players enjoy using them outside because they are more forgiving and allow for longer rallies.

They are rarely used inside because they skip off the smooth floor and can not bounce as high. They will also leave black marks on your floors, so it is best to only play with them outside.


You can find indoor balls in nearly every color of the rainbow: lime green, red, orange, yellow, blue, or even white. This aspect enables players to freely choose any color they like.

Outdoor balls are often yellow

Nevertheless, outdoor variants vary more than their counterparts as they only come in two colors: yellow or white/orange combinations. Yellow is by far the most popular, but it’s easy to see why–it stands out beautifully against any backdrop, making it more visible for players during the match.


People are playing pickleball indoor

The life of the ball depends on multiple factors, such as the brand, weather conditions, and how hard you are hitting it with your paddle.

Even though outdoor ones are built to last longer, they will need regular replacement since the sun, and other elements can make them less durable.

They might crack or go out of round during hard play. When it is no longer perfect, it’s not as predictable in flight or landing points. Temperature can make a huge impact on them. The colder it is, the more likely for it to crack. 

Meanwhile, indoor balls last longer and won’t get soft spots after extended use.

Every player knows that plastic injection molded materials are not always of good quality. Some might just end up cracking earlier than others due to poor manufacturing or material defects.

Besides, the pickleball court affects its longevity. If it is used outside or when transporting on rough surfaces, its condition will deteriorate much more quickly than normal. The same goes with outdoor ones being played inside. They won’t wear out as fast but just aren’t very fun to play with!


The cost of a soccer ball varies significantly depending on the type, but you can generally find an indoor ball for $60-$100. Its competitor is much cheaper and varies from as low as $15 to around $50.

If you’re a beginner and looking for a cheap pickleball that can be used both inside and outside, you should try the outdoor version. They will provide you with more flexibility because they won’t be damaged when used inside.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many differences between indoor and outdoor pickleballs. It’s important to choose the ball that best suits your needs when playing on different surfaces.

Remembering these differences will help make sure you enjoy a successful game wherever you play! If you have any questions or want to chat more about your needs, please feel free to email us anytime!

Further reading:

Indoor Pickleball – RaleighNC.gov

How to Play Pickleball: Tips For Getting Started

4 Ways to Play Pickleball – wikiHow

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