Best Pressureless Tennis Balls of 2020 Reviewed

Posted on October 14, 2020 by Daniel Renfro in Tennis Balls

As the preferred choice for tennis trainers, learners of all ages, and tennis pros getting in some extra practice, pressureless tennis balls are popular for training with and without a ball machine.  The solid nature of pressureless balls gives them a longevity that can not be equaled by its pressurized or compression cousins.

Selecting the best pressureless tennis balls for your needs is easier when you have an understanding of what makes them different. There are many ball brands available, each with different pros and cons. Read on for a breakdown on what makes for the best pressureless tennis balls.

Table of Contents

What Are Pressureless Tennis Balls?

Simply put, a pressureless tennis ball has a solid core of rubber. Whereas a standard pressurized tennis ball is filled with air. From the outside, pressureless and pressurized tennis balls look the same and you would be hard pressed to distinguish between the two types if they lay side by side on a court.

How Are Pressureless Tennis Balls Different?

Other than the solid core and the way that they are made, pressureless tennis balls are different in how they feel and how they play.

As you would expect of a ball that is solid vs a ball with a hollow core, a pressureless ball will feel heavier in the hand. This then impacts the way it plays in that you will feel that extra weight it has when you hit the ball. You might experience an extra jarring of the shoulder when you first start using these ball types since it will impact your racket with more power and require more power to return.

Pressureless balls also bounce for longer than the air-filled variety which eventually loses air and therefore loses bounce. This is one of the things that makes pressureless balls great for practicing. There will be less cause to replace your practice balls as often.

How Long Do Pressureless Tennis Balls Last?

One of the best things about pressureless balls is that they improve with age. Whereas, as we touched on already, a pressurized ball will lose its bounce, its speed, and its spin relatively quickly.

With a pressureless ball, the felt will wear down over time which only improves its speed as it gets lighter and more streamlined. The more a pressurized ball is used the quicker it will lose its air. Therefore regular use prevents them from lasting as long as the pressureless type.

Now, how long the best pressureless tennis ball will last will of course depend on how often and how hard you use them. They have been known to last up to 20 years for amateur tennis players using ball machines and storing them carefully during the off season. On the flip side, a tennis coach using a set of pressureless tennis balls for several lessons a day, 4 – 5 times a week is unlikely to have them last as long.

Pressureless vs Low Compression Tennis Balls

A huge part of learning to play tennis is growing confidence. Junior players especially need this which is why a softer hitting tennis ball is a better option. This is where compression balls come in.

As I mentioned, pressureless tennis balls are hard. Which makes sense, they are after all pretty much solid rubber. For this fact alone, they are not always favored for kids’ tennis lessons. Compression balls bounce lower than both the pressureless and pressurized types. They also fly much slower making them better suited to learners and young players.

Compression balls come in three options, levels 1, 2, or 3 to suit the level of the tennis student. Level 3 being the easiest and 1 the most like a regular tennis ball but not quite the same.

Things to Consider


When it comes to bounce only you know what you are looking for. If you are looking for the best type of tennis balls to practice with, then the pressureless ones are a great choice. They lend themselves well to volley and stroke practice and because they don’t lose their bounce they won’t tire out before you do.

However, if you are at an advanced level and want to practice with a bounce that is similar to a competitive match ball then you might find the pressurized balls more to your bounce preference.

A pressureless ball will play consistently on all court types too. Whereas a pressurized ball tends to lose its bounce on grass and clay courts.

Compression tennis balls have varying bounce heights depending on the level. Overall they have been doctored to have a much-reduced bounce rate.


For anyone looking to invest in good tennis balls as a one off or only once a year, then pressureless tennis balls could be a fit. With even heavy use, this durable style of tennis balls tends to last past the 12 month mark. Even longer with occasional use.

Even if you are a regular player then pressureless balls have more durability than pressurized as they keep their best attributes (speed, bounce, and spin) longer.


For a set of 3 pressureless tennis balls, you are looking at an average cost of around $10. best pressureless tennis balls. For better value, buy in bulk which could see you bag an average ball cost of below $1. Pressureless balls are available in large quantities and often with a bag to carry them in. Expect to spend around $40 -$50 for 40 pressureless tennis balls.


There are a number of brands and every tennis player has their preference. Over time, you may also develop a preference as your technique develops. Until then look for brands that you recognize or that the more seasoned players at your club are using.

Some of the more common brands that you might recognize are Penn, Dunlop, Gamma, and Tourna. That’s not to say that lesser known brands shouldn’t be considered. It all depends on if you want to experiment and don’t mind buying more than one type until you can find the best pressureless tennis ball type for you.


Even the more experienced players reading this might be surprised to learn that the altitude that you play at can affect the performance of the tennis ball. So, if you are a tennis enthusiast in Fort Davis Texas, or in Bringham City in Utah, or any other town in the US that’s higher than 4000 feet you might find that using a pressureless ball helps you control the play better.

A pressurized ball in a high altitude game can seem out of control, bouncing higher than expected and whizzing past you as you scramble to return a serve. This is the effect of the altitude on the air within the ball. There are some tennis balls that are specifically designed for high altitude tennis game.

In Summary

The best pressureless tennis balls can be judged on durability and felt. The latter is an important feature for many players despite it (or the lack of it after it has worn down) having little or no negative impact on the performance of the ball.

For tennis players of any level of experience who are looking for sone knock-about balls that they can use time and time again then pressureless balls tick a lot of boxes for versatility. Start out with a brand at the lower end of the cost bracket to see if you are comfortable with the heavier weight before progressing to the pricey pressureless tennis ball options.