Pickleball Net vs. Tennis Net 2024

To understand pickleball net vs. tennis net, we used the USA Pickleball Rule Book and Tennis Rules to see if there were more differences. From the height quirks to the middle dips, we’ve made sure to make a complete comparison between pickleball and tennis nets

Tennis and Pickleball are like cousins within the family of racquet sports. Tennis, being the older one, has a taller net (42 inches tall) with 42 widths. At the same time, Pickleball was inspired as an easy-to-play alternative to Tennis. So, pickleball nets are 36 inches high on the edges and 34 inches in the middle with 22 feet width. That being said, there is more to each difference; read in detail to find out!

Pickleball Net vs. Tennis Net

Difference Between Pickleball Net and Tennis Net

Understand the key feature differences at a glance! 

Features Pickleball NetTennis Net
Height 36 inches tall–34 inches middle 42 inches tall–36 inches middle 
Width 22 feet 9 inches 42 feet (33 for singles)
Average weight 13-35 pounds 25-50 pounds 
Support posts Light and portableLarge and sturdy
Net weave Larger or looser weaveSmaller weave
Average cost $50 to $250$120 to $300
Composition Nylon, PVC, Steel, or PolyesterNylon, PP, PE, Steel, or Polyester
Pickleball net vs. Tennis Net Features Table

Pickleball Net vs. Tennis Net Setup 

  • Height 

Let’s talk about the height of the nets. In pickleball, the net is set at 36” on the ends and 34” in the middle. For tennis net, it stays at a steady 3 feet in the center. Now, when it comes to width, pickleball’s net spans 22 feet, extending a foot beyond the 20-foot court for both singles and doubles. Tennis courts are wider, with 42 feet for doubles and 33 for singles. 

Why’s There a Difference? The bounce of the ball matters when it comes to the net’s height. Tennis balls have more spring, so the net is higher. Pickleballs bounce less; that’s why they have a lower net. That’s why the nets are set at different heights–it’s all about playing fair with the physics of the game.

What’s with the Dip in the Middle? Have you noticed that dip in the middle of both nets? In both games, the middle is the lowest point, and the ends are higher. This dip design choice allows for different playing angles and accommodates various spins. The center is the most forgiving, making serves easier, while the sides present more challenging shots.

  • Net Frames and Material 

The official rulebook gives pickleball nets the freedom to be made from mesh materials like nylon, polyethylene, and polyester. The posts for these nets are made from coated steel. At the same time, tennis nets are composed of polyethylene and polyester. Also, tennis net posts come in various materials like steel, aluminum, and wood.

Why’s there a difference? Here’s the inside scoop on frames and materials. Tennis nets need sturdier posts because they’re substantially larger. Pickleball net posts are lighter and easily portable. 

  • Weight 

Pickleball nets are lightweight and portable, ranging from 13 to 35 pounds. Tennis nets, on the other hand, can go as low as 25 or as high as 50 pounds. Tennis nets can also be portable, but sturdier ones are recommended.

  • Weave Matters

Tennis balls are faster and smaller as compared to pickleballs. So, the net’s weave has to be tight to keep them from sneaking through. On the pickleball side, the larger and slower ball means a more relaxed net weave. 

  • Tennis Net Cost vs. Pickleball Net Cost

Pickleball nets are inexpensive, and the cost ranges from $50 to $250. Installing a pickleball net won’t break the bank, and you can even install it by yourself. However, Tennis net setups require professional setup. They can cost you somewhere between $200 to $500.

Similarities Between Pickleball and Tennis Nets

  • Key Function: Pickleball and tennis nets play a crucial role—they’re the barriers where players skillfully hit the ball.
  • Straps and Posts: Both nets have center straps and supporting posts to stay at the right height. These posts provide stability and proper tension for the net.
  • Mesh Material: Each net often uses similar materials and manufacturing techniques. 
  • Dimensions: There’s an interesting similarity in the dimensions of supporting posts. The second set of supporting posts is 3 inches in diameter in tennis singles courts. It matches the main support posts in pickleball.
  • White Tape Finish: The aesthetic touch is also the same. Both nets use a 2-inch white tape to cover the cable. It’s to create a visual marker at the top edge of the net.

Using Tennis Nets for Pickleball and Vice Versa

Pickleball and Tennis Net Height
  • Can You Play Pickleball with a Tennis net?

You can totally play pickleball with a tennis net by making a few changes. As pickleball is a mixture of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, let’s see how its net came to be. Joel Pritchard, one of the people who started pickleball in 1965, used to stand at the net and ensure it was as tall as his waist (36 inches). 

Initially, they played on a badminton court, but they found the badminton net, which was 60 inches high, too tall for their game. So, they decided to use a ” waist-high ” net instead. Do the same as Joel—lower the tennis net to 34 inches in the middle part to play pickleball. You can do this by adjusting the center strap or using notches on the side posts. Ensure the net’s middle is 34 inches high and the net posts are 36 inches tall.

  • Can you use a pickleball net for tennis?

Here’s a heads-up: you can’t use a pickleball net for tennis. Tennis courts for singles need a width of 33 feet; for doubles, it’s 42 feet. These specifications are larger than the 23 feet width of a pickleball net. So, if you’re into tennis, stick with a tennis net for those specific dimensions.


So, that wraps up our pickleball vs. tennis net showdown. It’s more than just measurements; it’s about clever design and careful tailoring. Setting up a pickleball net is more effortless than a tennis one due to portability. 

Pickleball nets are a bit smaller in the middle than tennis nets. They are also 6 inches shorter at the posts. Overall, through this difference, we get that pickleball can be played with a tennis net. But the same can’t be said about playing tennis with a pickleball net. Lastly, we recommend the MacGregor Brand as the best Tennis net brand and the JOOLA brand for pickleball net. 


Can I use a tennis net for pickleball?

Yes, Adjust the net by tightening the center strap to lower the middle point to 34 inches. Also, reduce post height by 6 inches, and you’re set to play pickleball. But keep in mind that you can’t use a pickleball net for pickleball.

How do I choose the right pickleball net?

When selecting a net, consider quality, portability, value for money, and warranty. For outdoors, ensure it can withstand weather conditions, is easy to set up, and has a warranty.

Are there restrictions on touching the net in pickleball?

In pickleball, Players cannot touch any part of the net, including posts. Whether it’s you or the pickleball itself, if there’s any contact with the net, you’re breaking the rules, and it’s considered a fault.

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