Whether you’re starting out in tennis or are an old hand at it, you’ll know that there are some essential pieces of equipment you need to play. You’ll of course need your racket and the right gear, such as well-made tennis shoes. And then there’s the humble round ball that makes it all possible: the tennis ball. You may not have given too much thought to the tennis ball you play with, but this handy buying guide will show just how important it is to pick the ideal one for your needs.
To help you track down the right tennis ball, we reviewed dozens of tennis balls to find the best ones on the market. We looked at a range of factors when evaluating each one including the level of craftsmanship, materials used, ball type, price, and Amazon reviews.
After evaluating all of these factors, the Wilson US Open (3 Ball Can) clearly stood out. This ball offers all of the critical features a tennis player could want in a ball, including durability and high-quality materials, with a strong reputation to back it up. To learn more about this product as well as our other top picks, keep reading.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Tennis Balls
|Best Tennis Ball Overall||Wilson US Open (3 Ball Can)||4.8|
|Best Non-Pressurized (or Pressureless) Tennis Ball||Gamma Bag of Pressureless Tennis Balls (18 Pack)||4.5|
|Best Budget Tennis Ball||KEVENZ Standard Pressure Training Tennis Balls (12 Pack)||4.3|
|Best Beginner's Tennis Ball||Wilson US Open Starter Balls (3 Pack)||4.7|
|Best Extra Duty Tennis Ball||Penn Championship Extra Duty Felt Pressurized Tennis Balls (2 x 6 Ball Cans)||4.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Tennis Ball Overall: Wilson US Open (3 Ball Can)
If you’re after a tennis ball from a trusted brand that guarantees optimal performance, the Wilson US Open (3 Ball Can) is an easy choice. Tennis fanatics will already be aware that Wilson is the Official Ball of the US Open and the Australian Open Grand Slam Championships. Needless to say, not just any brand can represent the tennis ball brand of two of the world’s most prestigious tennis competitions. That’s why we believe that if you’re after a reliable ball that won’t let you down, it pays to choose one that comes with a strong reputation.
This Wilson US Open can includes 3 USTA- and ITF-approved regular duty balls that are best for clay and indoor surfaces. One of their many eye-catching features is that they’re made with the brand’s exclusive Tex Tech Industries felt, a material that is designed to offer premium performance and long-lasting durability. In terms of how these balls fare with customers, the short answer is that they’re an absolute hit. They’ve achieved an outstanding average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 800 customers. You may end up liking them so much yourself that you go back to purchase a few more cans!
Wilson US Open (3 Ball Can) Key Features:
- Regular duty balls
- Brand is supplier of balls for the US and Australian Open
- USTA- and ITF-approved
- Made with superior-quality felt
Best Non-Pressurized (or Pressureless) Tennis Ball: Gamma Bag of Pressureless Tennis Balls (18 Pack)
The Gamma Bag of Pressureless Tennis Balls (18 Pack) is our top pick of pressureless tennis balls on the market for a number of reasons. Firstly, they’re designed to provide consistent performance. This is a big deal, considering that many other options in this category easily lose pressure over time. These balls, however, offer continual pressure and durability, even after you’ve put them to good use. Moreover, Gamma’s pressureless balls offer great versatility, as they can be used for all skill levels, on both hard and soft courts, and even in ball machines.
We also love that they come complete with a handy mesh bag that you can use to both stores and carry the balls around. And we couldn’t fail to mention the 4 great colors the balls come in! You’ll be able to choose from pink, blue, yellow, and orange. Last but not least, nearly 1000 customers have given this product an very solid average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, so you have the assurance from other customers as well that they’re the real deal.
Gamma Bag of Pressureless Tennis Balls (18 Pack) Key Features:
- Consistent performance
- 4 color choices
- 4.5 out of 5 star average customer rating
- Includes reusable mesh bag
Best Budget Tennis Ball: KEVENZ Standard Pressure Training Tennis Balls (12 Pack)
A price tag of $14 for 12 KEVENZ Standard Pressure Training Tennis Balls is a fantastic deal in our books. That equates to only around $1.17 per ball! So what features can you look forward to if you decide to purchase this 12 pack from KEVENZ?
You can expect them to exceed the standard of durability and pressure you need if you’re just getting into the groove of playing tennis or are teaching novice students to develop their skills. They also boast an easy to control landing point and slower speed which will also help you to quickly progress. And we’d be remiss not to mention their thickened tennis liner, which offers better sealing and long-lasting airtightness.
KEVENZ Standard Pressure Training Tennis Balls (12 Pack) Key Features:
- Only $1.17 per ball
- Best for beginners
- Thickened tennis liner
- Long-lasting durability
Best Beginner’s Tennis Ball: Wilson US Open Starter Balls (3 Pack)
If you’re an aspiring Roger Federer or Naomi Osaka, you will need to put in a lot of hours of practice with the right tennis ball to get to that level—or at least, closer to it! But before you grab a standard tennis ball for your practice, make sure you arm yourself with a high-quality beginner’s ball, like the Wilson US Open Starter Balls (3 Pack).
As the saying goes, “You have to learn to walk before you run.” So if you’ve made a bit of progress in tennis but still have a way to go, you should be using a ball that’s specifically designed to help you advance. The reason we recommend using Wilson’s low compression starter balls is that they’re crafted so well that they’ve even received approval from the USTA. Keep in mind that these are specially made for stage 2 players, and are 50% slower than normal tennis balls.
Wilson US Open Starter Balls (3 Pack) Key Features:
- Low compression Tennis Balls for 10 and Under Tennis. Perfect for ages 9-10
- Designed for Stage 2
- 50% slower than normal tennis balls
Best Extra Duty Tennis Ball: Penn Championship Extra Duty Felt Pressurized Tennis Balls (2 x 6 Ball Cans)
The Penn Championship Extra Duty Felt Pressurized Tennis Balls (2 x 6 Ball Cans) are hands-down the best extra duty tennis balls around. Not only is Penn Championship the Official Ball of USTA Leagues, but it’s also ITF-approved for competitive play. With credentials like that, you can trust that these balls have what it takes to keep up with your tennis skills.
You’ll find these balls perfect for hard court play thanks to their extra-duty felt. They boast numerous other features as well, including interlocked wool fiber for longer wear and deep elastic seams prevent cracking. In addition, the balls’ natural rubber provides a consistent feel and reduced shock. In short, they cover all the bases for what you could hope for in an extra duty tennis ball.
Penn Championship Extra Duty Felt Pressurized Tennis Balls (2 x 6 Ball Cans) Key Features:
- 2 cans x 6 balls
- Ideal for hard court play
- Interlocked wool fiber
- Deep elastic seams
Who Should Buy a Tennis Ball
Anyone who plays tennis should buy a tennis ball, regardless of their skill level. In fact, we should make that plural, because you will certainly need more than one ball to practice and play with! As you’ll be well aware, a tennis ball isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ piece of equipment in tennis; it’s absolutely essential.
While you can always use your tennis school’s balls when you’re there or borrow your partner’s balls, it’s well worth buying your own. Owning your own will give you the freedom to practice when you want, where you want. It’s also considered courteous for each player to bring along their own to a match, so it’s best not to get caught out arriving empty-handed.
Important Features to Consider
A high-quality tennis ball should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a tennis ball.
- Quality of construction and materials. A key consideration that anyone shopping around for tennis balls should keep front and center in their mind is the quality of construction and the materials each ball offers. Needless to say, both of these features will vary from ball to ball. Choosing a well-made ball that uses superior materials will not only provide you with a better playing experience but also a longer-lasting one.
- Type. There are many different types of tennis balls, so you will need to double-check that the options you’re considering simultaneously match your level and suit your playing needs. For example, if you’re new to tennis, you should stick to balls designed for beginners. Likewise, if you’re playing on a clay court, you’ll need to opt for a regular ball, while if you’re playing on a hard or grass court, an extra duty ball is a must.
- Pressurized vs Pressureless/Non-Pressurized: Another vital feature to be mindful of is whether a tennis ball is pressurized or pressureless/non-pressurized. Pressurized tennis balls are the balls that professional tennis players play with. They come in special pressurized cans and are designed to provide greater bounce, spin, stiffness, and speed. If you want to play like a pro and you’re looking for an enhanced playing experience, they’re well worth giving a go. However, keep in mind that they’re more expensive and not as long-lasting as pressureless/non-pressurized tennis balls. That’s why many casual or recreational players simply opt for pressureless tennis balls instead. They offer a more consistent playing experience and they also won’t need to be replaced as often.
- Quantity. Tennis balls come in different quantities. You can buy bags and tubs of tennis balls, tubes of them, and even cases filled with numerous tubes. Be careful to look at how many you’re buying before you click the “Checkout” button. We’ve featured a range of different quantities of balls in our guide so that you can see the sheer variety that’s available. However, many of them also come in other quantities, so you may be able to find the specific quantity you’re after if you double-check. To do so, simply click the link to the product you’re interested in and see if there are any other options offered in the “Size” section of the product listing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a difference between tennis balls?
Yes, there is a significant difference between tennis balls. These differences allow players to find a ball to suit their particular needs and level. For starters, there are 3 main categories of balls based on ability levels: recreational, championship, and professional levels. Beginners are able to choose from 3 main types of balls based on their novice ability level: red, orange, and green. Then there are balls that offer specific qualities, such as pressureless and pressurized balls, as well as regular and extra duty balls.
What do numbers mean on tennis balls?
Many people mistakenly believe that numbers on tennis balls mean something in particular, such as the ball’s bounciness level or the player’s skill level. In actual fact, numbers on tennis balls are used for identification purposes. The reasoning behind this is that if your ball has a number on it, you’ll be able to more easily retrieve it and prevent it from getting mixed up with another player’s balls.
For example, if your ball rolls into another player’s court, you could say something along the lines of, “We’re playing Penn 2!” or “Could you please serve back the Wilson 3?” to get it back.
How long will tennis balls last?
How long a tennis ball will last will depend on a number of factors, including the quality of its construction and the materials used. It will also depend on the ball’s packaging, as well as how you use it and the frequency in which you do so.
According to TennisFocusOn, a pressurized ball that’s used for competitive play will last for 1-3 hours of constant play, while one that’s used for recreational play will last for 1-4 weeks of moderate play. The resource does not provide a guide for how long a pressureless ball will last for competitive play as this type of ball isn’t recommended for it. However, they state that a pressureless ball that’s used for recreational play will last for 1-3 years of moderate play.
Why are tennis balls so expensive?
As you will quickly notice if you compare the price points of the different tennis balls we’ve featured in this guide, tennis balls can vary quite significantly in price. While you can certainly buy cheaper tennis balls, keep in mind that they may break or lose their pressure more easily. Pricier options tend to be made with better quality materials and craftsmanship, so their higher price point will reflect this. When it comes to tennis balls, you usually get what you pay for!
Other Tennis Balls We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other tennis balls. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best tennis balls list, they’re the best of the rest, and are still great options. The information you need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Extra Duty Tennis Balls
These balls not only come in a gorgeous baby pink color, but they also support a fantastic cause: breast cancer research. They boast a controlled fiber release and a consistent feel and reduced shock.
- Reduced shock
- Controlled fiber release
- Portion of sales goes to breast cancer research
200+ customers have given this can of 3 extra duty tennis balls from Wilson a rare 4.7 out of 5-star rating. Simply put, they do the job without a fuss, so you can get on with your game.
- Works on all court surfaces
- Trusted brand
- Standard fluorescent yellow color
This case contains a total of 72 extra duty tennis balls from Penn (24 cans of 3 balls each). Every single ball has been flawlessly crafted for extended play and features Smart Optik felt to enhance visibility. The durability that these balls offer makes the slightly higher price tag worth it.
- 24 cans of 3 balls each
- Built for extended play
- Smart Optik felt for optimum visibility
Just like the Penn Pro option above, these Penn Tour Extra Duty Tennis Balls feature Smart Optik high visibility felt treatment, which is notable for improving visibility by 19% compared to standard tennis balls.
- Approved for USTA and ITF play
- 19% more visibility compared to regular tennis balls
- 24 cans of 3 balls each
Endorsed by the ATP World Tour, these extra duty mid-range balls are perfect for serious and recreational players alike.
- 12 x 3 ball can
- Extra duty felt
- Endorsed by the ATP World Tour
This 6 can purchase contains 18 ITF-approved, extra duty tennis balls made for hard courts. They feature a premium woven felt for brighter visibility and Dunlop’s specialized rubber core. If you’re looking for other quantities, you can also buy lots of 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 18, 24 cans.
- Premium woven felt
- Specialized rubber core
The Championship line of extra duty tennis balls from Wilson is well worth considering given that they use the brand’s Dura-Weave felt. This felt is designed for greater durability and increased performance, so these tennis balls will allow you to play to your best capacity.
- Made for outdoor hard courts
- Superior craftsmanship
- High durability
Another attractive charitable option, you can expect that the 3 balls in this can will stand out on the court due to their distinct pink appearance and high-quality Dura-Weave felt.
- Dura-Weave felt
- Portion of sales goes to breast cancer research
- Ideal for hard courts
Non-Pressurized (or Pressureless) Tennis Balls
Over 2400 customers have given this bag of 18 pressureless balls an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. Their extra durable felt and the fact that they’re regulation size (rather than being on the smaller side like many pressureless balls are) are two particularly stand out features they boast.
- Regulation size
- Extra durable felt
- Resuable mesh bag included
These Gamma balls can be used on any type of court, as well as in ball machines. This makes them an incredibly versatile choice for your practice sessions.
- Can be used on any type of court
- Comes in a reusable sturdy bucket
- Won’t lose pressure
Whether you want to use them in your ball machine or to prep for a big game, you’ll find that you put these 60 two-tone pressureless balls from Gamma Sports to good use.
- Two-tone balls
- Completely pressureless
Made in the UK, the main drawcard of these tennis balls—besides their durability and high-quality craftsmanship—is that they come in 5 color choices. In addition to standard yellow, you can choose from pink (picture above), green, midnight blue, orange, and red balls.
- Made in the UK
- 5 color choices
- Diameter of 2.59″
Beginner’s Tennis Balls
With a 4.5 out of 5-star customer rating and a very attractive price tag, this pack of 3 beginner’s balls is a steal. They’re designed to provide a more controlled bounce and 75% reduced speed.
- 3 balls
- Controlled bounce
- 75% reduced speed
These high visibility green balls meet all specs for USTA “10 under” tennis and ITF “Tennis 10S” programs. They’re made with top-quality materials and offer 25% reduced speed.
- 25% reduced speed
- Best for 10 and under tennis
- Meets all USTA and ITF specs
Designed for under 8 players who are beginning on 36′ courts, these brightly colored yellow and red balls will travel through the air at a 50% slower speed.
- 50% slower speed
- Bright yellow and red felt surface
- For players beginning on 36′ courts
When your child has mastered the 36′ court and is ready to transition to the 60′ court, these orange and yellow balls will be their secret weapon.
- Average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars
- For players transition from the 36′ court to the 60′ court
- Distinct orange and yellow color
The orange and yellow-toned balls you’ll find in this can have some serious cred: they’re approved by the USTA for the 10 and Under Tennis Program. They feature lower compression for a more controlled bounce and a 50% reduced speed.
- 50% reduced speed
- 2-tone: orange and yellow
This ITF-approved option offers two main eye-grabbing features: 25% slower speed and 25% lower rebound.
- 25% slower speed
- 25% lower rebound
- Made of acrylic felt
Tourna’s low compression orange dot balls have a lot going for them. They meet both USTA/ITF Stage 2 Youth Tennis specifications and offer 50% reduced bounce. They’re most ideal for competitive play on 60-foot blue-lined courts.
- 50% reduced bounce
- Low compression
- USTA/ITF Stage 2 Youth Tennis approved
This USTA-approved 75mm felt-covered package of balls is designed with the needs of stage 3 players in mind. They’re 75% slower than normal tennis balls and are brightly colored to support greater visibility.
- 75mm felt-covered balls
- Balls are 75% slower than normal tennis balls
- Designed for stage 3