Opinions on the Best Pickleball Balls for All Types of Play in 2023

The Rapid Growth of Pickleball

Pickleball has become one of the fastest-growing sports in America, with its number of participants reaching nearly five million. In the last two years, it has gained the title of the “fastest growing sport in America.” This surge in popularity has led to innovation in the game, resulting in high-performance paddles, responsive shoes, and precision-cut balls.

The Importance of Pickleball Balls

In pickleball, the paddle and the ball go hand in hand. You cannot play the game without both, and if you’re particular about your gear, having the right paddle and ball is essential. With that in mind, we have reviewed the best pickleball balls available on the market in 2023, including options for indoor and outdoor play, as well as competitive play.

What to Look for in a Pickleball Ball

When choosing pickleball balls, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, you should check the material the ball is made of. A good ball should be firm and resistant to denting. If you can easily press an indentation into the ball, it is likely to have dead spots and won’t bounce properly.

Secondly, you want to ensure that the holes in the ball are evenly dispersed and cleanly made. The holes play a crucial role in delivering balance to the ball. If they are not properly aligned, the ball may waver or “waffle” in the air, affecting its flight.

Lastly, it’s important to inspect the seam of the ball. Most balls are made in two halves, which are then molded or glued together. If the seam is weak or unevenly placed, the ball has a higher chance of splitting during play or producing unnatural bounces on court surfaces.

Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball Balls

Pickleball is played both indoors and outdoors, and the playing surfaces differ significantly. Indoor surfaces are smoother and more polished, resembling a gymnasium floor. Outdoor courts, in contrast, are rougher and harder, typically made of concrete.

Due to these differences, indoor pickleball balls are usually softer and lighter. They may also have larger holes to ensure a higher bounce, as indoor floors are typically less sturdy than outdoor courts.

On the other hand, outdoor pickleball balls are slightly heavier and made with stronger materials. They are designed to withstand weather elements like wind and humidity. Outdoor balls are also made with abrasive-resistant materials to handle scuffs and impacts that may occur during outdoor play.

The Selection Process

To determine the best pickleball balls for 2023, we consulted with editors and writers at Men’s Health. Our team, including our gear and commerce editor, John Thompson, tested numerous pickleball balls for performance, durability, and color. We also considered customer ratings on trusted e-commerce websites.

John Thompson, the gear and commerce editor at Men’s Health, has extensive experience in covering fashion, grooming, gear, and technology. With a background as the style and gear editor at Brobible.com and as a commerce writer for TheManual.com, Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the selection process.


Finding the right pickleball balls is crucial for a satisfying and enjoyable game. Considering factors such as material, hole dispersion, and seam quality can significantly impact the ball’s performance. Additionally, understanding the differences between indoor and outdoor balls ensures a suitable choice for the playing surface.

With the rapid growth of pickleball and the increasing availability of high-quality gear, players can now enjoy an elevated playing experience. The best pickleball balls for 2023 have been carefully selected and are ready to be embraced by players of all skill levels.

Leave a Comment