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fall surface under a swingset
Do I really need a fall surface under my swing set? Isn’t dirt or grass enough?

One of the questions we hear often is, “Do I really need to put a fall surface under my swing set? I have a friend who just has their swing set on the grass in the backyard.”

Installing additional padding under your swing set might seem like a costly waste. After all, sand, pea gravel, various mulches, and rubber padding can add up and put an extra dent in your wallet that you may not have budgeted for.

A fall surface is, pure and simple, insurance. Sure, some people don’t use it and by luck, no one gets hurt.

But when it does happen, it really happens. Why put your child at risk?

We recommend using a fall surface under your swing set in order to prevent falls for your kids and their friends.

rubber much playground swing sets
We prefer rubber mulch for a fall surface.

A variety of options include:

  • Rubber mats
  • Wood chips
  • Rubber Mulch
  • Pea Gravel
  • Sand

Here is a list of pros and cons for the variety of options for a fall surface. We recommend using rubber mulch or wood chips.

A fall surface can prevent major traumas like a broken limb, but they are also useful for preventing harsh bruises.

Aside from the physical wounds, using a fall surface can prevent emotional trauma. It’s scary when kids fall. We can’t prevent all the falls, but we can make it softer for them when they land.

Making your backyard play equipment safe will keep your children feeling safer in general, and avoid paranoia or fear if accidents are less traumatic.

Another reason to use a fall surface is to ensure to your friends that your backyard is safe.

When parents let their children play in your backyard you wouldn’t want them to feel unsafe. Having a fall surface under your swing set lets them know you are aware of safety hazards and that you are keeping watch on their little ones.

So, even if you’ve never had an accident on your swing set (and I hope you never do!) it’s wise to consider investing in some sort of soft fall surface to keep those arms and legs safe.


4 responses to “Do You Need a Fall Surface Under Your Swing Set?

Posted by Ritesh Shah

Good Morning,

I was wondering if you provide your installation service for Swing sets that are not bought from this site. For example: Toys r Us swing sets?

Thank You for your time


Posted on April 7, 2013 at 11:42 am

Posted by Brennan

Hi Ritesh,

We do not offer swingset installation services for swing sets bought at other retail stores such as Toys R’ Us.

Online Customer Service

Posted on April 16, 2013 at 10:55 am

Posted by Reggie

How thick should the fall area be?

Posted on December 14, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Posted by Brennan

Hi Reggie,

Thank you for visiting our blog. That is a great question. According to, a 12 inch depth is a good guideline for equipment up to 8 ft. in height. You can view the document here.

Posted on December 15, 2014 at 8:42 am

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