Anyone who’s read David Foster Wallace’s comprehensive mid-nineties tome Infinite Jest knows just how much the weight of expectation can sink even the most talented and ambitious tennis players. From recreational enthusiasts to professionals, tennis requires incalculable hours of intricate practice which demands the best tennis balls to master one of the most physically strenuous sports you can play.
Whether you’re someone who could have gone pro but now just enjoys a casual game, or a parent of a budding tennis prodigy, ensure that you do everything you can to turn dreams (vicarious or not) of being the next Federer, Djokovic, or Nadal into a reality and finally knock them off their perch. This means investing in the highest quality tennis accessories, balls and all. So, let’s see what we’ve got to serve you today in today’s game.
The Best Tennis Ball
If you don’t want to be continually shouting for new balls and need a set that has been designed to last, then look no further than these Penn extra duty tennis balls. With over 100 years of testing and playing behind this brand, when it comes to performance, Penn balls have it the bag. Whether you prefer to play indoors or out, these are an excellent choice and are hard-wearing enough to withstand repeated use on hard court surfaces. An official ball of choice of the USTA leagues and approved for professional use by both the USTA and ITF, these high quality felt balls deliver consistent bound and speed for reduced impact and perfect playability. Manufactured using an interlocking process, the elastic seams are woven securely in place to reduce cracking caused with wear and tear while the felt fibers add to the balls overall longevity.
Controlled fiber release reduces shock
Extra duty construction ideal for hard court surfaces
Official ball of the USTA leagues
Manufactured using interlocked wool fibers and woven elastic seams
- Weight2.8 pounds
The Wilson Prime All Court Tennis Balls are an excellent, versatile, and durable option for touring tennis lovers who love to try their backhand on all playing surfaces. Using exclusive Duraweave felt, they’re some of the most enduring tennis balls that maintain superb performance wherever you serve.
These features make for a premium ball that’s ideal for both training and competition, for both casual players and professionals. Wilson offers them in a range of different-sized cases, so if you want to stock up on tennis balls you can trust, why not try these out?
Hard-wearing, traditional performance ball with Duraweave felt construction
Three balls provided in this set
Ball is industry approved by both USTA and ITF
Deliver excellent performance and durability on multiple court surfaces
Premium woven nylon blend for consistency and exceptional performance
- Weight3.52 ounces
Another excellent recommendation from US #1 best selling tennis ball manufacturer Penn, these QST 36 balls are ideal for youths and beginners. Featuring lower compression for a more manageable and controlled bounce, these unique balls deliver a 75% reduction in speed compared with traditional balls. That makes them an ideal choice for novices to the game or training sessions. Designed in a red and yellow two-tone felt they also happen to be much easier to see and track in the air, which helps younger players to really master their game and experiment with ball control techniques. They’ve been USTA approved for the 10 and Under Tennis Program. They’re durable, long-lasting and available in 12 ball polybag making them ideal for practice sessions.
Lower compressions balls ideal for practice sessions
75% reduced speed for more controlled bounce
Yellow and red two-tone felt easier to detect mid-flight
Approved by the USTA for the Under 10 Tennis Program
Durable, long-lasting and ideal for use on all court surfaces
- Weight1.21 pounds
The chosen Wilson tennis balls of the primary North American tennis tournament, these Wilson US Open Extra Duty Tennis Balls are made using premium Tex/Tech felt which assures optimum performance on hard courts both indoors and outdoors.
They last much longer than other, perhaps cheaper options available, but still come at what many would consider a fair price, and the quality gives you more confidence in your game, providing a comfortable, satisfying hit. As a pack of four, they’re likely to last you a couple of weeks at the least. Those with dogs will also be happy to learn they’ve received rave reviews from man’s best friend, too. If you like sports, check out our guide to the best basketballs.
Approved for competitive play by both USTA and ITF
Constructed from hard-wearing and durable premium quality Tex/Tech felt
Extra duty balls perfect for hard and clay courts
Official ball of the US Open since 1978
Responsive ball with good bounce and feedback
- Weight2 pounds
Boasting space-age technology, you’d hope the Viking Sports Extra Duty Platforms are the best tennis balls you’ll see this side of the Milky Way. Luckily for them and you, they more than just this claim, bringing you the softest, most consistent bounce available, while also providing advanced flocking to achieve perfect spin and control.
The extra duty design gives you an advantage on hard courts, and while you might first struggle with the vicious bounce back – trust us, nobody expects it – it will at least improve your reaction times, even if you may have to explain a few awkward black eyes at first. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best golf balls.
Space age technology and materials in construction
Rubber compound proven to provide softest and most consistent bounce
Advanced flocking for perfect ball spin and control
3 tennis balls per container
- BrandViking Sports
- Weight8.8 ounces
The tennis community reveres Penn tennis balls for their high quality and durability and these Championship Extra Duty High Altitude Tennis Balls – available in a can of 3 – is just one example of this. The natural rubber design provides a consistent feel and reduced shock while the deep elastic seams minimize cracking potential for hard hitters.
Besides this, the interwoven fibers further promote long life, and the high altitude construction means you can tackle low air pressure courts and rally and smash all day long in places like La Paz, La Rinconada, or even Everest, just don’t forget your gloves, wooly hat, and oxygen mask!
3 tennis balls included
Natural rubber for consistent feel and reduced shock
Deep elastic seams minimize cracking potential
Interwoven fiber ensures long life
A case of tennis balls which are perfect for conquering hard courts and mammoth practice sessions, the Pro Penn Extra Duty Tennis Ball set comes with 72 balls in 24 cans of 3 – for those of you who don’t like doing quick math.
Penn developed the LongPlay construction to ensure longevity during intense games while the Smart Optik design provides the maximum visibility on the court and make anticipating the flight of the ball much easier. If you’re at the club more than your own home, having a reliable, consistent backup of quality tennis balls means you never need to call it a day, and true tennis lovers will know how hard that can be, even when you’re having an off day. If you don’t have a partner for tennis, you can use one of the pitching machines from our list and enjoy playing nevertheless.
One case of 72 tennis balls
LongPlay felt for extended play
Smart Optik offers maximum visibility
Ideal for hard courts
- Weight12.34 pounds
These Dunlop tennis balls give you the best of both worlds and ensure excellent performance and durability whether you play on hard or clay courts. It’s finely woven felt construction contributes to this long life, while the MaxGlo color gives you great visibility, even if your opponent is hiding a rocket in his arm.
Despite the cheap price, Dunlop Sports Championship Tennis Balls are still good enough quality for practice and casual games every now and again. It’s unlikely they’ll transform you into a champion overnight, but they’ll at least make you feel like one until you get there, and that’s all you can really ask for. Now stop slacking and get back to your serve!
All surface MaxGlo color for easy visibility
Fine woven felt construction
Excellent performance and durability
Tournament and League play approved
- BrandDunlop Sports
- ModelDunlop Sports Champ – parent
- Weight4 ounces
The ace, the advantage point, the pick for the best tennis balls available are the Wilson Championship Extra Duty. Available in a case containing a massive 72 balls, they’re the perfect choice for anyone serious about upping their tennis game.
The pressurized core helps each ball hold up well through several sets of play, and you’re likely to go through around just one tube per week. They’re capable of performing well on the hard ground and can maintain their pressure no matter how furious your serve ensuring a satisfactory bounce. An ideal option for both practice and competition and the price is excellent value for money you’re unlikely to find anywhere else, especially for such quality. So put on your favorite tennis shoes and start playing tennis.
Full case of 72 tennis balls
Long-lasting through several sets of play
Each ball set numbered 1 – 4
- Weight12.8 pounds
Our final set of tennis balls is the 15 can Penn Tennis Ball Case. including 45 balls crafted with natural rubber, you get a consistent feel which reduces shock on the wrist when striking, while the interlocked woven fiber ensures long life, which is especially useful for beginners.
Assigned as the official ball of the USTA Tennis League, you know you’re getting your hands on a quality ball which comes vacuum-sealed for product assurance and makes us finally realize why Penn is ‘America’s #1 Selling Ball’, which is impressive when you consider the competition.
Case includes 45 tennis balls
Natural rubber for consistent feel and reduced shock
Interlocked woven fiber for long life
Official ball of USTA Tennis League
- Weight7.5 pounds
The Slazenger Wimbledon Official Tennis Balls are available with a special offer (for now) of 24 balls, bringing you plenty of opportunities to practice on your home court. Covered in felt that offers long-lasting fuzziness, they also remain hard, making them one of the more durable options for you.
Because of this, you could argue they’re the best tennis balls for hard courts around. We don’t like to play favorites (not all the time, anyway), but we think you may have a point. As a nice aesthetic bonus, they have Wimbledon printed along with the felt, which may strike some as a little too All The Gear But No Idea, yet could work as a great gift for potential tennis masters. We’ve reviewed the best beach volleyballs so check them out!
Special offer of 24 tennis balls
Reliable hard court design
Long lasting fuzziness
Official Wimbledon tennis ball
A simple set of tennis balls, the Babolat Championship range won’t wow you with futuristic construction nor associations with world-famous tournaments, but who said they had to? If you’re looking for a reliable addition to your tennis practice, this highly visible, ITF-approved set should do that trick.
The Babolat is modest, unassuming, and ready to help you improve like other, perhaps more expensive balls won’t allow. Don’t get confused by the wide price range, as this just shows the different-sized cases, ranging from 18 to 72 balls. Make sure you combine this ball with one of the best tennis rackets on our list.
Bright yellow felt for visibility
3 tennis balls per pack
Multiple size cases available
ITF approved construction and design
Constructed using technical rubber, the Penn ATP World Tour Regular Duty Tennis Ball Case provides a precise bounce and is both USTA and ITF approved for your benefit. Its tournament-grade felt is not only fuzzy, but it also gives you better visibility on soft and clay courts, which the regular duty design demands.
They also come with a great bounce that some have mentioned may be too much at first. However, this soon rights itself after a game or two and still ensures longevity and makes them perfect for stalemate games where you can’t seem to crack your opponent (and vice versa). Our handy guide to the best bowling balls features more great products like this.
Technical rubber for the precise bounce
USTA and ITF approved
Tournament grade felt provides better visibility
Case contains 72 tennis balls
- Weight12.5 pounds
The Tourna Mesh Carry Bag isn’t just a handy and reusable storage solution. It comes with 18 tennis balls which are possibly the best pressureless tennis balls you’ll find for such an awesome price. By never losing their bounce, you can feel confident they’re also some of the best tennis balls for practice, too, and will help you perfect your serve without feeling the need to smash your racket on the net.
They’re extra durable, lasting much longer than typical pressurized balls, and are also suitable for all surfaces, and are regulation-sized, so should you ever make it to a tournament, you won’t be at a disadvantage. Be sure to also check out our list of the best golf club sets for more great items like this.
18 tennis balls included in reusable mesh carry bag
Pressureless balls which never lose their bounce
Extra durable, long-lasting construction
Regulation size suitable for all surfaces
- Weight1 pounds
Tennis Ball Buying Guide And FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection of Tennis Balls
Brand - Everyone knows the best tennis brands out there, so first we focused on those and identified the best products and deals before moving onto slightly lesser-known, but just as reliable brands to help give you a more well-rounded selection.
Quality - Finding the best quality tennis balls meant searching through hundreds of results before making our final decision. To determine this quality, we looked for consistency, durability, control, fuzziness, and bounce.
Reviews - We’re no tennis pros so we didn’t have the chance to have a quick set with Roger Federer. Instead, we looked at reviews from tennis enthusiasts (and some pet owners) to trim the fat and pick out the best reviewed and most widely lauded products.
Price - People who aren’t into tennis may not understand the difference between expensive tennis balls and cheaper practice tennis balls. We do and so we found a range of prices to serve all your tennis needs from a quick warm up to a proper competition.
Features To Look For In Tennis Balls
Tiers - Not just any tennis ball can suit any player or purpose. Practice balls differ from competition balls as they help you focus on certain aspects of your game such as serves, lobs, or returns.
You can compare these tiers to Driving Range vs. Full Course golf balls. You wouldn’t use a driving range ball during a proper round of golf, and so you shouldn’t use a practice ball during a competitive game, recreational or not.
Playing Surface - You must make your tennis ball decision based on what kind of surface you play on. Hard ground requires Extra Duty balls while soft clay ground or grass demands Regular Duty.
If you play on a variety of grounds, then All Purpose balls will save you looking for both types.
High Altitude - If you play tennis at high altitudes (anything above 4000 feet), invest in High Altitude balls, which are usually around 6% bigger than your average tennis balls. This counterbalances the drop in air pressure, so you’ll have no excuse for having a bad game.
Pressurized vs Pressureless - Pressurized tennis balls are perfect for professionals and those who play more seriously than a casual game here and there. They provide better bounce, speed, and spin than pressureless, but because they are pressurized, they will lose this effectiveness over time.
Pressureless tennis balls are more common with recreational players and for practicing. Unlike pressurized balls, they don’t lose their bounce (they bounce better the longer you use them) and last much longer, but they aren’t considered ‘proper’ balls for competitive play.
Durability - A long-lasting tennis ball means you won’t have to keep buying new packs every other week and allows you to get comfortable with a certain ball. If your tennis ball splits after every fast serve, it’s not much use to you, is it?
Types Of Tennis Balls
Professional Level Balls - Professional tennis balls are typically identifiable by the word PRO emblazoned on the can. They are the most carefully constructed and offer the best spin, bounce, and speed. You’ll find these are most commonly used by professionals and in tournaments as they yield the best, most competitive results.
Intermediate Balls - An intermediate tennis ball is somewhere between professional and beginner. It’s not yet as fast-paced as pro balls, but also not as slow as a beginner. They are good for games between proficient friends who want to play competitively but aren’t skilled enough to get a good game out of a professional ball.
Beginners Balls - The best tennis balls for beginners are designed to slow the game down to make it easier for newbies to get to grips with the game. New players use them to work on their service, returns, and shots. They are especially good for encouraging rallies.
Balls Classification Based On Your Kids Age
Colored tennis balls are not just to spike kids' interest in tennis. Instead, they distinguish the level of the player and what court they should play on.
Stage 3 - Red balls used in mini tennis
Stage 2 - Orange balls used on a 3/4 length court
Stage 1 - Green balls used on a regular court with less bounce than a normal tennis ball
Tennis Ball FAQ
Q: What are tennis balls made of?
A: Tennis balls used to be made of leather and stuffed with wool and a stuffed sheep’s stomach and similar animal parts (and putty and human hair) in some parts of the world. Now though, they are made of a rubber casing filled with air, pressurized, and covered with woven, durable felt.
As the technology and science behind tennis balls have evolved, the manufacturing techniques have become more sophisticated to ensure the most precise and consistent performance and provide players with the best opportunities for an exciting game and, hopefully, victory.
Q: How are the tennis balls made?
A: Tennis balls are made over several steps before they appear at your local sports store.
- Rubber is prepared over three days before being rolled into thin strips, split, and then crafted into half-shells.
- These half-shells are cured and solidified by heating them up to 316℉ at pressures of 160 kg per square kilometer.
- Sandpaper buffs the sides and glue is applied to the seam
- The half-shells are combined to create the ball shape you know and love. It is then pressurized, and the core is both heated and cooled.
- Felt is applied to the whole ball following an adhesive coating. It is specially cut to slot together like a jigsaw.
- The felt is flattened to remove wrinkles
- Final curing takes place with that bonds the felt together, which results in the rounded seam pattern you find on every tennis ball.
- Finally, the batch of balls is given a steam bath to get it ready for sale.
- The company stamps the ball with their logo so you know where it came from.
Q: Why do tennis balls come in cans?
A: They used to come in paperboard boxes, but in an effort to better keep their pressure and bounce, they are now sold in sealed pressurized cans. Pressureless balls do not need this pressure retention though so you’ll likely see those sold in bags.
Q: Why do tennis balls have numbers on them?
A: Tennis balls have numbers on them to distinguish them from a set of balls of the same brand when used on a nearby court. This is to ensure rogue balls do not end up being played by different players which - some would argue - could impact the fairness of the game. Aren’t tennis players a superstitious bunch?
Q: Pressurized Vs Pressureless Tennis Balls?
A: Pressurized tennis balls are better for competition and professionals while pressureless ones are preferred for practice or casual matches between friends.
Q: What are the best Tennis Ball manufacturers?
A: The best tennis ball manufacturers are considered to be:
- Viking Sport
Which brand you use is a matter of preference, so we can’t tell you which of these is the best.