With all the choices of indoor, outdoor, and youth volleyballs out there, finding the best one can be difficult. You will want to find a volleyball that meets the requirements for which you are going to use it. We will cover many great options out there, as well as give you tips on what to look for when choosing the best volleyball for you.
Best Indoor Volleyballs
If you play indoor volleyball, there are many choices of volleyballs to choose from. You will want to choose a volleyball that feels right to you when passing, setting, hitting, and serving. Each of the volleyballs below are regulation balls, but could be made of different materials that provide different comfort levels to players.
All indoor volleyballs are molded together and have panels that are glued to an inner lining. Most of them are made of leather because it is a very durable material that helps them last a long time.
We chose a variety of options for our list. We’re sure that you can find the right indoor volleyball for you on the list. However, if you are still wanting to shop around, we have included a buyer’s guide toward the end of this article.
Tachikara Sensi-Tec Composite
- Sensi-Tec colored composite leather competition volleyball
- Patented Loose Bladder Construction (LBC™) method
- Intended for play for all ages
If you are looking for a volleyball that is soft to the touch then the Tachikara Sensi-Tec SV-5WSC is the ball for you. When a player is passing, setting, or hitting, the ball does not feel hard when handled. Because it is softer, it is easier to control during play.
Not only is this ball soft to the touch, but it is very durable as well. These balls are used in a lot of leagues and competitions because they are made with strong materials. One of those materials is the micro-fiber composite leather on the outside of the ball. It rarely loosens or falls apart and stands up to a lot of play.
This volleyball is available in many colors, so you are likely to find the color that is best for you. Many teams are able to choose the color that matches their colors because there are so many options.
- Has a loose bladder construction for better ball control
- Has a soft feel when passing the ball, prevents arms from bruising
- Can be used with youth and adult players
- A very affordable volleyball
Tachikara Institutional Composite
- Woven-fiber 'V100' composite volleyball
- Cotton reinforcement to provide a soft and consistent touch
- Single unit construction
The Tachikara Institutional Quality Composite volleyball is soft to the touch as the above Tachikara volleyball, but is a little more budget friendly. This volleyball is under thirty dollars and is made of high quality materials for which Tachikara is known.
This volleyball is great to use for recreational volleyball games as well as a practice ball for players. It is usually not chosen to use in official games, but is beneficial for practice. The inside of the ball contains a butyl bladder which is a little harder than the SV-5WSC, but it retains air better.
There are about 4 or 5 different colors to choose from including an all white ball. Some reviews said that this volleyball did seem to be made cheaper than the SV-5WSC, but that it was right for the price.
- Soft enough to not hurt arms when passing
- Retains air and resistance well
- Great for team warm ups and practice
Molten Super Touch
The Molten Super Touch volleyball is the official volleyball of the NCAA and USA Volleyball. This ball is made with a high quality japanese leather and has a cotton wrapped construction that helps the performance of the ball.
This volleyball was made with collegiate and elite players in mind. It is very durable and can withstand a lot of competition. Because it is so durable, you may want to “wear it out” when you first get it. Some people have said that it is hard at first and throwing it against the floor a few times can help soften it up to be better for play.
This ball comes in four different colors to choose from and is higher in price compared to some other volleyballs. Even though it comes at a higher price tag, you can’t beat the quality and durability.
- Designed specifically for elite volleyball players
- May be hard when you first get it, but breaks in fast
- The feel of the ball gets better with each use
- A long lasting volleyball
- New 8 panel swirl design allows for more contact area on the surface of the ball, improving passing and control
- Dimpled microfiber material creates turbulence in the air, which allows ball to fly through air
- Blue and yellow color pattern is picked up fastest by human eye allowing for better player reaction time
The Mikasa MVA200 is the official volleyball of the Olympics and FIVB. It has been constructed in a specialized way to optimize play to the fullest. The swirl design is made with eight panels to provide more contact area to improve passing and control.
This volleyball is for the advanced player that is at the collegiate level or above. Many people have said it takes some time to get used to because it seems harder and shanks easier. You have to be precise and experienced in your play to perform accurately with this ball. But once you get used to it, your play should improve because of the advanced aerodynamic engineering.
Blue and yellow is the only color this ball comes in. These two colors together allow the player to have better reaction time. This color pattern is also picked up the fastest by the human eye.
- Easy grip for setters
- The dimpled outside creates turbulence in the air for specialized serving
- An advanced players ball
- Can improve your overall play
Wilson K1 Gold/Silver
- The size & weight used at the pro level, ideal for ages 13 and up
- The K1 is designed to keep players from holding back, so that they can play to their potential with every touch
- Composite Leather cover provides a softer feel for intense training sessions or for younger players looking for softer impacts
The Wilson K1 Gold or Silver volleyball is designed for players to hit the ball at their full potential. The internal lining of the ball helps players give more power to the ball through kinetic energy which results in stronger kills.
The difference between the gold and silver ball is the texture on the outside of the ball. The gold is a little harder and provides more energy to the ball when hit. The silver ball is made of a softer leather on the outside and seems to be better for more amateur or younger players.
Overall, Wilson has made a good volleyball that is durable and has a good bounce to it. It seems to stay in shape even with hard use. It is soft on the arms and allows a player to be aggressive knowing it won’t cause pain.
- Made of quality materials that hold up for a long period of time
- It is the official size and weight of a volleyball
- Flies straight when hitting
- Affordable cost
Best Outdoor Volleyballs
Whether you play beach volleyball or on some other outdoor court, finding the right volleyball for these conditions is necessary. There are many options out there, so we will share our top choices below. You will want to choose the one that is most comfortable for you to use.
Most outdoor volleyballs are stitched together to make them more durable for the exposure of the outdoors. They are also made a little heavier than indoor volleyballs, so they don’t get carried by the wind easily.
We chose a variety of outdoor volleyballs for our list. We’re sure that you can find the right one for you down below. However, if you are still wanting to shop around, we have included a buyer’s guide toward the end of the article.
Mikasa VLS300 Beach Champ
- Reinforce panels for maintain spherical shape
- Official beach volleyball of the fib
- Very durable, supple, water resistant cover
The Mikasa VLS300 Beach Champ is the official beach volleyball of the FIVB. It is also used in the Olympics for the beach volleyball competition. This volleyball is made of a double cloth backing that helps the ball keep its shape and water resistant. It has enough weight to play in a light breeze and feels like an indoor volleyball.
This ball is easy to play with on wet days because it does not retain any water and it is easy on the shoulders when serving or hitting. It keeps a mostly new look after playing in the grass and sand. It’s texture holds up and actually improves setting and hitting.
The colors of yellow and blue make this ball easy to see in any condition. Players say it helps their play because they know when to expect the ball. Be sure to have a ball pump as it may need additional inflation.
- Good feel and durable
- Very water resistant
- Has a soft touch, not a hard plastice feel
- Ideal to use during windy or damp days
- The vibrant color palette and Optic Flow graphics allow for better ball tracking in the dynamic and diverse environments of beach volleyball
- VST uses color variance to allow easier spin detection, so you can read and react to where the game is going
- designed specifically for the beach game and its players, reimaging what a beach volleyball should look like
The Wilson AVP volleyball is specifically designed for the beach and its players. It has a new visual appearance that enhances the human eye’s ability to detect the spin on the ball. It also has a soft feel and is very durable.
This ball holds up to any outdoor play such as grass, beach, and even pavement. Because it is sewn by hand, it is very easy on the arms and hands when passing, setting, and hitting with a soft outer texture.
The color of the ball makes it easier to see in all light conditions including dusk. It does last awhile, but the outside of the ball seems to wear down quicker than other volleyballs.
- Performs well outdoors
- Built for the beach
- A little pricey, but many say it’s worth it
- Has a soft and light feel
Wilson AVP Soft Play
- Soft, Sponge-Backed Leather Feel Takes The Intimidation Out Of Learning The Game, Letting Beginners Enjoy The Sport
- Machine Sewn Construction With Synthetic Leather Cover
- Butyl Rubber Bladder Provides Excellent Air And Shape Retention
Great Budget Option!
The Wilson AVP Soft Play volleyball is perfect for recreational play on the beach or outdoors. This ball helps beginner learners of the game by having a soft, sponge-backed outer layer. The cover is made of a synthetic leather material that can stand a lot of wear and tear.
Many reviews of this ball say that it is very durable for the price. You are getting your money’s worth and the ball lasts a long time so it won’t need replaced very often.
This is not an official volleyball, but many people like to play with it on the beach. It comes in a variety of colors to choose from. It may need some airing up from time to time, so be sure to keep an air pump handy.
- Great for beginning players
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Has a great price point
- Is a good size for beginners, but not an official volleyball size
Best Youth Volleyballs
There are many options to choose from when you are looking for a youth volleyball. Youth volleyballs are lighter than the adult ones, therefore making sure you choose on with the right weight is important.
We chose a couple of youth volleyballs that we highly recommend for our list. We’re sure you can find the right youth volleyball for you down below. However, if you are still wanting to shop around, we have included a buyer’s guide toward the end of the article.
Tachikara Volley Lite
- Sensi-Tech@ soft synthetic cover for just the right touch
- Tachikara SV-MN Volley-Lite designed for 12 and under players
- Sensi-Tec micro fiber composite leather cover provides a soft touch
The Tachikara Volley Lite is great for youth players that are just starting out playing this game. It is intended to use with players that are twelve and under. It is lighter in weight and size to allow youth players to be more successful than if they were playing with an official volleyball.
This ball is very soft to the touch so passing, setting, and hitting should not cause hurting arms and hands. Because the ball is smaller in size and weight, learning to serve the ball is easier for younger kids.
The Volley Lite comes in many colors therefore many options to choose from. It does come deflated so having an air pump ready is advised.
- Use for 12 and under youth
- Worth the price
- Soft exterior so doesn’t hurt arms
- Great lightweight ball to practice setting
The Molten VB-U12 Light Volleyball is another ball that is great for youth players. It is also used for players twelve and under. It has a soft micro-fiber composite cover that is soft to the touch for players. Like the above volleyball, the weight and size is smaller.
This ball is very durable and keeps its shape for a long period of time. Many people say it is comfortable passing the ball and doesn’t hurt or cause bruising. You can play with it outside, but be aware that it can dent easily from rocks and bouncing on the hard ground.
There are two colors to choose from if you decide to purchase this volleyball. You can also use this ball to d0 many repetitions of a skill without getting tired too quickly.
- Soft to the touch
- Use for ages 12 and under
- Lightweight so players don’t become tired
- Great for beginners
Volleyball Buyer’s Guide
When you are looking to buy a volleyball it can be difficult to know which one to choose. There are several options out there, so knowing what to look for can be helpful.
Our guide will help you narrow down your options by giving you things to look for in a good volleyball. That way, if the ones listed above are not for you, you can choose one yourself.
You will want to make sure that you choose the right size of volleyball depending on if you are playing indoor or outdoors and adult or youth. According to USA Volleyball, the size of an indoor regulation volleyball should be between 25.5 and 26.5 inches in circumference.
An outdoor volleyball should be slightly bigger than an indoor volleyball. It’s size should measure between 26-27 inches in circumference. They are bigger to allow the ball to float through the air easier.
A youth volleyball is going to be slightly smaller than both the indoor and outdoor volleyball. It’s size should measure between 25-26 inches in circumference. The smaller size helps young players keep the ball in control.
Volleyball Size Chart
|Type||Circumference (inches)||PSI (per square inch)||Material|
|Outdoor Ball||26-27||2.5-3.2||leather & water resistant material|
|Youth Ball||25-26||4.3||soft leather|
Even though volleyballs can have different sizes, the weight of any regulation volleyball is 9.2-9.9 ounces. The weights stay the same so that players are used to the weight whether they are playing indoors or outdoors. This is also the weight for a regulation youth volleyball so they will become used to the weight as well.
For players under the age of twelve, starting with a volleyball that is under the regulated weight can be helpful. This will help them manage the volleyball without being intimidated by the heaviness of the ball. These volleyballs can weigh as little as 7 ounces or less.
When choosing a volleyball make sure it is made of quality materials. If it is made of lower quality materials it becomes harder to play with and doesn’t move around the court as smoothly. Be sure the volleyball has a good quality outer shell, core, and paneling.
A quality outer shell will be made of leather or synthetic leather. In indoor volleyballs, the panels should be securely glued to the inner lining making the outer shell very smooth. The reason the ball should be smooth when playing on the court is because the ball is less likely to veer off when hitting the floor. The smoothness also allows the ball to move in an anticipated way making is easier for a player to control the ball.
In outdoor volleyball, the panels are held together by threads and not necessarily glued. This allows the volleyball to remain durable in outdoor condtions. Smoothness is not a high priority of outdoor volleyballs, but is still desired by players.
The core of a quality volleyball should be made of rubber. Rubber is a lightweight material and allows the ball to fly through the air easier. A rubber core is beneficial to players because it helps them not strain themselves when playing the ball. The rubber material helps the ball to bounce smoother off of a players arms.
There are eighteen panels on a volleyball that should be durable whether they are glued or stitched together. The panels should be made of a high quality leather that does not come apart easily. Also, these panels should feel smooth to the touch when passing, setting, or hitting. This allows for the ball to be played easier so players are able to show off their talents as best as they can.
A regulation indoor volleyball should be inflated to between 4.26 and 4.61 per square inch (psi). This can be measured by using an air pressure guage that comes with a needle. You can use an air pump to inflate your volleyball, but be sure to check it about every 3-5 pumps as to not go over the recommended psi.
An outdoor volleyball has a psi of 2.5-3.2. This helps the volleyball perform well in sand and gives the ball a slightly softer feel on the arms and hands. A youth volleyball has a lower psi of 4.3 which helps youth players get the ball over the net.
Keeping an air pump and air pressure guage on hand is a good idea. You never know when you will need to fix a deflated volleyball.
What is the difference between indoor and outdoor volleyballs?
The difference between indoor and outdoor volleyballs is that indoor volleyballs are molded and outdoor volleyballs are stitched. On indoor volleyballs you can see the panels are glued to an inner lining. The stitching on outdoor volleyballs makes them durable. Outdoor volleyballs are a little heavier to prevent them from blowing in the wind.
What are the best brands of volleyballs?
The best brands of volleyballs are Tachikara, Molten, Mikasa, and Wilson. These companies have been making sports equipment for years and have done extensive research on materials that make a great volleyball.
Can volleyballs go in water?
Volleyballs can go in water, but it may wear it down faster. Panels may come off quicker along with discoloration. There are volleyballs specifically made for water. They are coated with vinyl or plastic which makes them waterproof.
How much do volleyballs cost?
Volleyballs can range in price anywhere from $20 to just under $100. A good leather volleyball is between $30-$40.
How much air do you put into a volleyball?
According FIVB rules, regulation volleyballs should be inflated to 4.26 to 4.61 per square inch. It should measure between 25.5-26.5 inches in circumference.
Now you are equipped with the information needed to help find the right volleyball that works for you or your child. Any ball on our list would be a great addition.
If you choose a volleyball that is not on our list, be sure to use the buyer’s guide to help find the right ball that meets your needs as a player. After you choose a ball, it is a good idea to have a pair of knee pads and possibly arm sleeves to protect you from those dives to the floor.
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After you have your ball and equipment, you are ready to enjoy the great sport of volleyball. Find a local league, club, or even some friends and practice and play safe!