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Complete Buyers Guide to the Best Croquet Sets (2020 Review)

Best Croquet Sets

With roots in medieval France, the sport of croquet has evolved into a fun outdoor game typically played on grass. Some sets are even designed to be played indoors, allowing you to enjoy the activity year-round. There are a wide variety of croquet sets available on the market, ranging in quality and type for preferred gameplay.

A View from the Bleachers: the Sport of Life 

We’ve selected the best croquet sets so you can confidently make a purchase that will result in enjoyable gameplay. These sets are chosen for best overall performance, durability, and consider varying budgets. This guide also provides you with important information in choosing a croquet set based on your preferences and playing style, which may impact your decisions.  

What is the Best Croquet Set?

The “best” croquet set is a somewhat subjective measure because it depends on what your goals are for playing croquet. A large factor in determining which set you choose will be the frequency at which you play. For frequent use, you’ll want a durable set, allowing you to play many rounds without damage to the mallets or the balls.

Bestseller No. 1
Juegoal Six Player Croquet Set with Drawstring Bag, 28 Inch
  • Includes 6 x 28" hardwood handles, 6 x 8" hardwood mallets with caps for added protection, 2 x 18"...
  • Easy set-up, hardwood handle and hardwood mallet are easy to install, simply screw the handle into...
  • Easy to carry, with a extra drawing bag, all mallets and balls can be easily stored without...
Bestseller No. 2
ROPODA Six-Player Croquet Set with Wooden Mallets, Colored Balls, Sturdy Carrying Bag for Adults...
  • 【EASY & FUNNY FOR EVERYONE】 - ROPODA croquet set for families/adults/kids is quite easy to learn...
  • 【COMPLETE CROQUET SET】 - ROPODA crocket game set includes 6 handles, 6 mallets with protection...
  • 【UNBEATABLE QUALITY & EASY SET-UP】 - Handles and mallets are made of premium hardwood and easy...
Bestseller No. 3
Juegoal Six Player Deluxe Croquet Set with Wooden Mallets, Colored Balls, Brown Vintage Style,...
  • Vintage styled Croquet Set: Includes 6 x 28" hardwood handles, 6 x 8" hardwood mallets with caps for...
  • Vintage Hardwood Mallets: hardwood mallets with rubber caps, each mallet Is colored-coated and...
  • Easy set-up, hardwood handle and hardwood mallet are easy to install, simply screw the handle into...

Overall, the best croquet sets should meet the following requirements for optimal play performance and quality:

  • Sturdy wooden mallets with reinforced ends
  • Heavier mallet and ball weights
  • Longer mallet shafts

Mallets are typically the most important consideration when choosing a croquet set. They have the largest impact on technique and will wear the fastest with consistent contact on the wooden balls. Looking at their reviews for durability will be one of the greatest driving forces in making your choice.

It is also important to note that sets designed for adults will be more expensive than the standard toy sets that are commonly available for family use. They are designed to be hit harder and withstand harder contact between the mallet and ball.

According to the United States Croquet Association, you can expect to pay between $300-500 for adults sets (Source: Croquet America). Most premium croquet sets need to be purchased from the manufacturers directly.
Hurlingham Croquet Set

Hurlingham Croquet Sets

If you play croquet frequently in your garden, the Hurlingham Croquet Sets are an excellent choice. They became our top choice for their ash hardwood handle construction and brass bindings to reinforce the mallet head. The mallets on are on the heavier side (2 lbs. 14 oz.), and the set comes with regulation size and weight balls to best replicate official match conditions.

The sets are available in both 4 and 6 player options depending on the group sizes you plan to play with. The total length of the mallets is 36,” which can be used by nearly all sized players for versatility and improved performance. They are not only well constructed but maintain a beautiful traditional style.

These sets are recommended for those who want to take their croquet game seriously and make an investment in a great product. The Hurlingham line is made in England and recommended by the Croquet Association (Source: The Croquet Association). The name of the set is associated with the head type, which features a barrel-like cylinder with metal bearings.

What We Like

  • All included equipment is artfully designed and durable for long-term croquet play
  • Octagonal-shaped grips on the shaft are best for improving the feel of the mallet and improved stroke technique
  • Powder-coated hoops are best for weatherproofing and rust prevention
  • The sets come in a nylon carrying case or pine box for easy storage and protection

What We Don’t

  • One of the more expensive brands, this may be out of many budget ranges for casual or infrequent use

Alternative Recommendations for Croquet Sets

While the following croquet sets did not take the number one spot, they are all quality sets at varying price points. The first two options on this secondary list, Amish-Crafted and Wood Mallets, come in a very close second to the Hurlingham set, both in terms of quality and price point. We recommend these sets as an investment in the game for a lifetime of playing.

Consider the following if you do not want to invest in an expensive croquet set or will not use the set frequently to warrant a top of the line purchase. The Franklin and Crown Sporting Goods sets are among the best for budget-conscious consumers. They strike a good balance between quality and price for adult croquet players.

Sale
Amish-Crafted Deluxe 8-Player Croquet Game Set, Maple Hardwood (Eight 28" Handles)
  • Quality Made by Amish Craftsmen in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
  • Deluxe 8 Player Set.
  • Made with Maple Hardwood for Long-Lasting Durability.

Amish-Crafted Deluxe 8-Player Croquet Game Set

Comparing the best quality and highly rated croquet sets on the market, the premium Amish-Crafted Croquet Game Set proves to be one of the best sets for its quality construction and durability. Unlike many of the other sets on the market, it comes with eight mallets made of maple hardwood, which are designed for long-lasting gameplay.

We recommend this croquet set for those looking to play often without damage to the equipment or want to make a one-time purchase rather than pay for the replacement of cheaper sets.

You can choose the length of the mallets, available with either 28” or 32” shafts. Longer mallets are often the safer option to ensure that they are long enough for all players. They also come in a wooden storage holder to keep them well-protected. This set is among the top in price point, but the quality you get makes it well worth the investment.

What We Like

  • Reinforced mallet head with metal bands to prevent cracks or breaks with frequent ball contact
  • Available with eight mallets to allow for more players (also drives per-unit cost down compared to most 4 to 6 person sets)
  • Heavier mallets and balls compared to standard sets allow for greater precision and performance during play
  • Consumers found customer service to be helpful in replacing parts damaged during shipping and responding to customer needs

What We Don’t

  • This set is quite expensive which may not fit the budget for many seasonal or infrequent users

This croquet is also highly regarded among users for its beautiful construction, quality, and performance while playing. This set is designed for adult use with the heavier components. It can be easily stored and transported on the wooden rack.

Wood Mallets Premium Garden Croquet Set

The Wood Mallets Premium Garden Croquet Set is another well-crafted choice for regulation gameplay.

Designed specifically for garden use, the mallets are heavy-duty to ensure that the 1-pound balls can be accurately hit. Wood Mallets prides itself on developing croquet sets that are built for high performance and serious gameplay.

Whether or not you choose to play croquet competitively, these sets will allow you to play casually or for competition play.

The sets are available in 4 or 6 player options and can be easily transported in a nylon or wooden box. This particular set is very popular among users because it is well-constructed and affordable as far as top quality croquet sets go.

We recommend Wood Mallet sets as another top of the line option that is competitively priced compared to similar sets of similar quality. All pieces within the set, beyond the mallet and balls, are solidly constructed for official play.

What We Like

  • Octagonal-shaped handles with ash hardwood improve grip and precision in shots
  • Set comes with powder-coated hoops and a rulebook with Association and Golf croquet rules
  • 36” mallets are versatile for players of all sizes to comfortably hit the ball

What We Don’t

  • Price point may still be high for seasonal and casual players
Franklin Sports Classic Croquet Set
  • CLASSIC backyard set has all you need for hours of fun!
  • INCLUDES (6) 9" by 2" wood mallet heads and 29.5" natural wood shafts
  • COMPLETE SET comes with (6) 3.31" all weather molded balls, (6) 24" painted wood stakes and (9) all...

Franklin Sports Classic Croquet Sets

Franklin Sports offers croquet sets at every price point, ranging from family-friendly budget sets to “expert” level for better adult gameplay. We have two recommendations in their product line, including the Classic Croquet Set and the Expert Croquet Set.

Sale
Franklin Sports Outdoor Croquet Set - 6 Player Croquet Set with Stakes, Mallets, Wickets, and Balls...
  • TAKE your game to a new level with this beautifully lacqured cherry finish set
  • INCLUDES (6) 9" by 2.5" wood mallet heads and 36" wood mallet shafts
  • COMPLETE SET comes with (6) 3.31" all weather molded balls, (6) 24" painted wood stakes and (9) all...

They are both cheaper than the Amish premium product but are in a class above the medium quality products that dominate the market.

The Classic comes with square-shaped mallet heads. They have been touted for increased precision in more difficult shots and are more in line with traditional designs. The set comes with six mallets and weather-coated balls to prolong the life of the equipment. We recommend this set for seasonal or infrequent use as it is not as durable as higher-end options.

The Expert set is superior in quality while still sitting at an affordable price point compared to the standard for most adult sets. This set uses lacquered cherry hardwood (composite) for greater durability as well as brass fittings to prevent cracks with extended use. These sets are designed well but may wear easily with the lack of true hardwood construction.

What We Like

  • Franklin is a trusted sports brand and makes quality equipment across their line of products
  • Comes with a rolling carrying bag to easily transport without having to bear any weight
  • Classic and Expert sets are longer and designed for adult play.

What We Don’t

  • Some consumers found the balls to lack durability and become damaged after consistent use
Six-Player Deluxe Croquet Set with Wooden Mallets, Colored Balls, & Sturdy Carrying Bag - Classic...
  • DELUXE CROQUET SET: The classic backyard Croquet set. Includes everything needed to play 6-player...
  • VINTAGE HARDWOOD MALLETS: 32" hardwood mallets with rubber caps, each mallet Is colored-coated and...
  • BLACK CARRYING CASE: Features black zip-up carrying case for easy transporting and storage. Has a...

Crown Sporting Goods Six-Player Deluxe Croquet Set

Of the budget croquet sets, the Crown Sporting Goods Six-Player Deluxe Croquet Set is our top pick with six mallets and balls. The mallets are made of hardwood with their heads coated in rubber to prevent premature cracking. With a 32” shaft length, they can be easily used by players of varying heights.

Unlike the other budget sets at similar price points, these are more durable and not designed with children in mind. We recommend this set if you want to give croquet a try but are not willing to pay for a premium product. With proper technique, the equipment will stay intact and prevent breaks in the mallet head.

With a vintage style and design, each mallet has a matching colored polymer ball. The mallet heads can be easily screwed onto the handles and securely sit in place. With the carrying bag, the mallets often sit better unscrewed, but this can be a little unpractical. They can easily stick out the side outside of the bag as golf clubs would.

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly set that makes croquet accessible to all groups (can be easily played with adults and children)
  • Comes with a convenient carrying bag to easily store all pieces and transport for on-the-go playing

What We Don’t

  • This set will not be as long-lasting as the others on our list due to the quality of construction and cheaper hardwood

Choosing a Croquet Set

While we have provided you with the best croquet sets to make your purchase, being able to identify the qualities of a good croquet set is helpful in narrowing down your choice or doing additional research. The qualities mentioned are important among great sets, but they also will depend on your playing style and priorities in playing the game.

What to Look For in a Croquet Set

Beyond the overall quality and characteristics in choosing croquet sets, it is important to look at the technical design and make-up of the set to choose one that best fits your playing style and needs.

These are the following factors that should be considered in choosing a croquet set:

  • Durability
  • Mallet Size and Quality
  • Ball Weight and Quality
  • Number of Players
  • Storage Options

In addition to these technical aspects, you will often have to consider the price point and your lifestyle. As mentioned throughout the product reviews, an expensive set may not make sense for you if you do not play croquet often or only plan to do so casually.

If you want to make croquet a consistent activity in your life, investing in a quality set will last much longer than an inexpensive set that may need to be replaced over and over. This investment will often pay off financially. It will prevent the waste of multiple sets, as well as the time spent finding a new one that will work better.

Durability of a Croquet Set

One of the most important aspects of choosing your croquet set is durability. Because you are striking the mallet against the ball, it is easy to wear down the equipment with continued use.

The combination of the two will be crucial in preventing the most common damage: cracks to the mallet. There are various materials that can be used for the mallets and balls, which will have a great impact on how well the equipment will hold up after frequent play

The durability of the set is based on the materials chosen and the construction of the mallets:

  • Hardwood

    Most high-quality consumer sets are made with some form of hardwood to keep the mallet intact when it strikes the ball. For even greater stability, sometimes more than one wood is used. This is commonly seen when ash or hickory is used for the shaft and rosewood for the mallet (Source: Oxford Croquet).

  • Composite wood

    Standard toy sets and inexpensive models will use inexpensive materials in order to provide their product at low price points to the consumer. This often results in composite wood being used in the mallets, which are less durable than natural hardwood. Composite wood is the combination of multiple wood materials that are often combinations of sawdust and wood byproducts (Source: SF Gate).

  • Fiberglass/carbon fiber

    While not widely sold for leisurely consumers, many professional croquet sets are made with a combination of fiberglass and carbon fiber (Source: Big Game Hunters). This is chosen for both durability and performance without changes in the surface material.

  • Plastic

    Less common, but some sets (especially toy sets), may be made with plastic components.

Many of these mallet heads also include some form of bearing or cover to the ends that are used for protection. Metal and rubber are the most common materials used, with metal being common for wood mallets. This not only helps protect the mallet but adds extra weight that can be used to put more strength behind your swings.

Mallet Size and Quality of a Croquet Set

The length of the mallet will matter for player preference and how they feel the most comfortable. Most standard croquet mallets will be found with 32” to 36” handles, which is a good length for most adult play. A general rule is to choose a longer mallet and adjust your hand positioning rather than use one that is too short (Source: Croquet Online). You can always shorten the mallet if needed.

Better quality mallets are also heavier, being closer to 3 pounds. This allows for greater force behind the ball to make shots that require more strength. The weight of the shaft and head will allow for this increase. Mallet’s heads are also more accurate when they are larger. They drive the weight up and are easier to use for both new and experienced players.

In addition to the sizing, the materials used for these mallets are essential. As mentioned in the durability section, solid hardwoods are best to properly strike the ball and keep the mallet intact.

The additional metal reinforcements and proper construction of the mallet will also matter. Make sure the mallet is properly attached at the head and shaft, and any metal components are safely and securely holding the wood.

Ball Weight and Quality of a Croquet Set

With many croquet sets, you may notice denting on the ball after extended play. This should not happen with a quality croquet set. Traditionally most balls were made using wood, which could become damaged over time.

Today’s croquet balls are mostly made of composite plastics that are more durable and easier to play with.

Standard plastics are going to be a challenge to keep intact, so make sure that you take a look at the ball quality and reviews associated with the ball when making your purchase. They are easy to replace but having a quality product from the beginning is better for extended gameplay. Regulation balls should be 3 5/8” in diameter and weigh 16 oz.
(Source: Croquet Association).

Toy sets and those of lesser quality will typically use lighter mallets and balls, which do not abide by regulation standards. You really run into problems when the mallets are light, but the standard balls are used, which leads to premature damage and cracking in the mallet head. Small variations from the standards shouldn’t make a large difference in garden play.

Number of Mallets inside a Croquet Set

When making a croquet set purchase, you will also want to consider how many people you will want to play.

If you are planning on entertaining larger groups, a set of 6 to 8 mallets may be needed. Many standard sets come in increments of 4 to 6. Players can always take turns, but if a larger group wants to play, a larger croquet set will be required.

For official gameplay, croquet is typically played in groups of 2, 4, or 6. If you are playing more casually, increasing the number of mallets is perfectly fine.

Storage Options for a Croquet Set

With many loose pieces, storage for a croquet set will not only keep the items safe but make them much easier to transport. Some storage is well-suited for easy portability while others make for easy access around the home. We recommend keeping your croquet set in some sort of storage device to maximize the set’s life and prevent the loss of any components.

The most common storage options for your croquet set include:

  • Nylon bags

    The most affordable option, nylon bags keep all of the pieces together with heavy-duty material to protect all the equipment. These come in over the shoulder options as well as rolling bags to make them easier to move around. When making a purchase, look at the quality of the bag, particularly the zippers and surface material.

  • Wooden boxes

    Sturdier and more traditional than nylon, wooden boxes have long-held croquet sets. They keep equipment from being damaged, but they are more difficult to transport. These are best suited for a single location where you can access the game when needed.

  • Wooden trolley carts

    For a vintage feel, a wooden trolley cart will hold everything. It can be easily displayed with the mallets and balls exposed. Not only can you easily move the equipment around with a wheeled cart, but it also looks cool to leave out as an accessory. Keep in mind that because mallets and balls are exposed, they need to be carefully stored and out of the elements for extended periods.

If you are looking for easy transport to play anywhere, a nylon bag is the best option. Wooden boxes will best protect the set but are often kept in one place as it is heavier and does not typically have handles for moving.

How to Best Take Care of a Croquet Set

Proper technique will be one of the most important factors in keeping your croquet set in good condition. Beyond that, how you take care of the set will make a difference in extending its life.

These are the best practices for properly taking care of your croquet set:

Using a storage case:

You should keep your set in a storage case (case options mentioned in the previous section) to make sure you don’t lose anything, and it prevents items from being scratched or damaged.

Cleaning your equipment:

Make sure you wipe down the mallets, balls, and all stakes after play. Grass and dirt can become caked on and wear down the paint and surface material. Consider keeping a towel in the storage bag like you would with golf clubs.

Keeping set in a cool place:

Try not to leave your set exposed for longer periods in the sun or rain. We recommend keeping the set inside in a cool and dry place.

After each time you play, taking the time to put away and put extra care into the equipment will only benefit in helping to maintain the set. This may take a bit more time and effort, but it will be worth keeping your croquet set in good shape.

Guide to Choosing Your Croquet Set

Croquet sets have a wide range of quality levels available on the market, making your choice come down to preference and the type of gameplay experience you wish to have. If you are a serious player who wants a quality croquet set, we recommend the Hurlingham Croquet Sets made by Wood Mallets. Their traditional style and durability are a long-lasting investment.

For casual players or infrequent users, a simpler set may be a better option. Keep in mind that many of these inexpensive sets do not provide the same quality of materials or construction, which may cause an earlier need for replacement. The Crown Sporting Goods Croquet Set is among the best in the mid-range line.

The choice in quality will come down to your propensity to spend and how often you hope to play. If you plan to use the croquet set often or will want a quality product that lasts you many years, making a larger initial investment can pay off in the long run. All of the sets on our list will offer you great options according to your needs to play this fun outdoor activity.

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