Croquet is a fantastic outdoor sport for all the family. It provides low-impact, gentle exercise and will keep us entertained for hours. But, if we’re considering investing in a croquet set for the family, we may wonder why they’re so expensive.
Croquet sets are expensive because they are made with high-quality, durable materials that last many years. The mallets are the costliest part of a set because they are made from hardwood or, in some cases, carbon fiber and aluminum.
There are many croquet sets, and choosing the right one for our needs can be difficult. But do we need to invest hundreds of dollars to get a good one? If you want to know the truth about why croquet sets are so expensive, take a look at the crucial information below.
How Much Does a Good Croquet Set Cost?
A good croquet set costs between $200 to $400 (US dollars). People can buy sets for less, but anything under 100 dollars is usually lower quality. At the top end of the scale, consumers can pay over $2,000 for a croquet set.
Croquet sets are expensive because they come with many items – they include everything needed to play croquet. This includes balls, mallets, hoops, winning posts, corner flags, yard markers, and sometimes a hoop mallet and drill.
Mallets are the most expensive thing in the set because they’re made from durable hardwood – ash is the most popular. High-quality mallets also have protective materials on the head for extra durability. Please note that all prices in this article are accurate as of publication.
What Materials are Croquet Sets Made Out Of?
Croquet set materials vary according to their price. High-quality sets use stainless steel, brass, hardwood, and carbon fiber. Low-cost croquet sets are made from basic materials such as plastic coated wire for the hoops and cheaper hardwoods such as eucalyptus.
To better understand the different croquet set materials, we’ve listed them according to their price range below.
Best croquet sets ($400 – $2000)
The best croquet sets have heavy mallets constructed with hardwood such as ash, carbon fiber, or aluminum. The heads are protected by metal, such as brass or a polymer composite. Premium sets come with durable, heavy, poly resin balls and strong steel or iron hoops.
The mallets in high-quality croquet sets weigh around three pounds and have a strong shaft which causes less jarring in the arms when hitting the ball. The handles are made from hardwood or carbon fiber, with a comfortable grip, and are often octagonal to help deliver a precision hit.
The heads on expensive mallets are usually square and made from either hardwood or carbon fiber. They are protected with stainless steel, brass, or Tufnol cloth impregnated with resin, making them almost indestructible.
The balls in high-end kits are heavy to suit the mallets – usually sixteen-ounce regulation. The hoops are thick, strong, and usually made from cast iron.
The best croquet sets are made with durable, high-quality materials and are super durable and more comfortable to use – they also come with a luxury storage bag or box.
Good croquet sets ($200 – $400)
Average croquet sets are well-made with durable materials, but the mallets and balls are usually lighter. Heavy balls are perfect for a manicured lawn, but consumers usually get lighter twelve-ounce balls with average sets because they are better for recreational use in longer grass.
Traditionally, croquet balls were wooden, but now they are mostly made from composite materials and have a durable poly-resin plastic finish. The balls in average sets are long-lasting but will scratch and dent more than top-of-the-range ones.
The mallets in average croquet sets weigh around two pounds, usually have a round head, and often have comfort grips on the handle. Players must use light mallets with light balls because using hard balls can damage the mallet.
The hoops in average sets are steel or tubular steel; the whole kit will come in a durable box or bag. An average croquet set is durable and can last many years.
Low-cost croquet sets ($50 – $200)
Low-cost croquet sets are essential and are less comfortable or precise than more expensive kits. The mallets in low-cost croquet sets are simple – they do not have comfort grips or head protection and usually weigh less than two pounds.
The balls on low-cost croquet sets are light, usually less than twelve ounces, and are more prone to dents and scratches. The hoops are usually thin and made from plastic-coated wire, and the kit usually comes in a simple nylon bag.
Low-cost croquet sets are not very durable, especially ones that cost under $100.
Vintage croquet sets ($100 – $2,000)
Vintage-style croquet sets come with high, mid, and low-quality materials. An expensive vintage croquet set is made from long-lasting, high-quality materials, while a low-cost one is made from cheaper, less resilient materials.
Vintage croquet sets are traditional Victorian style and usually come with a wooden stand or trolley. A genuine antique croquet set can cost over $1,000 and comes with wooden balls and cast iron hoops.
Regulation croquet sets ($400 – $2,000)
Regulation croquet sets are made from high-quality, durable materials, and the mallet, balls, and hoops must meet regulation standards. They have heavy-headed mallets, which must weigh a maximum of three pounds, and they come with sixteen-ounce balls with a 3 ⅝ diameter.
People who compete in croquet usually invest in high-quality sets. Competition mallets are often square with an octagonal handle and comfort grips. They are made from hardwood or carbon fiber, and the head is protected with solid metal or a resistant polymer composite material.
The hoops in regulation sets are square and made from solid metal. They have long anchors, around ten inches – to hold them firmly in the ground with carrot-shaped wedges on the ends for extra security.
Regulation sets also contain a hoop drill, mallet, and a high-quality storage box or bag for easy transport.
Which is the Best Croquet Set?
The best croquet set is one which suits the consumer’s needs. Regulation and top-end croquet sets are the most well-made and durable but are more suited to country clubs or competitive croquet.
Depending on their budget, if people want to play croquet at home with their family, the best setting would be a low to mid-range croquet set.
After all, if you’ve never played croquet and want to try it – a low-end set won’t last long, but it should last long enough to let your family decide if croquet is something you’d all like to do more. Then you can invest in a solid mid-level set.
Who Makes Good Croquet Sets?
The Croquet Association, Hurlingham, and Oakley Woods are leaders in the croquet world. They produce high-quality, long-lasting products for recreational and competitive croquet.
The Croquet Association has garden sets starting from $300, and prices go up to $1,800 for premium sets. Oakley Woods garden sets start at $450, and customers can customize items, such as the mallet and balls, for an extra fee.
Hurlingham is another well-reputed, high-end brand with prices starting at around $400. Their sets come with regulation-size balls and mallets but are also suitable for recreational use. Baden and Franklin Sports have a good reputation for low-cost croquet sets, which cost between $100 and $200.
How do you Pick a Croquet Set?
To pick a correct croquet set, consumers must consider several things, such as size, purpose, and budget. Players should consider its durability if they plan to use it a lot.
To better understand how to pick a croquet set, we’ll take a closer look at the things to consider below.
Consumers must choose the correct size croquet set to accommodate the number of players. They usually come with four, six, or eight balls and mallets. If it is a family of four, having a few spare mallets is good so friends can play.
If people play croquet a lot, they should look for a set that contains durable items. Hardwood, like ash, is the most durable, while softer hardwoods, such as eucalyptus, are more prone to breaking.
Hardwood mallets are incredibly durable but can break, so to prolong their life, look for ones with extra protection on the mallet head. Heads are much more durable when protected with steel, brass, or composite resin.
If consumers want the ultimate durability, they should choose carbon fiber mallets – expensive but pretty indestructible. For durable hoops, choose ones made from steel or iron.
We must set ourselves a realistic budget when we buy a croquet set. We’ve learned that they can be expensive but are a worthwhile investment if we play a lot. Don’t be tempted to buy a cheap croquet set – ones that cost under 100 dollars won’t last very long.
If our family enjoys playing croquet, saving up and investing in a more expensive set is better. Mid-range croquet sets are made from durable materials and will last many years.
Consumers must choose a croquet set fit for their purpose. We don’t need a high-end regulation set if we only play at home in our backyard. The best recreational sets are mid-range ones with lighter balls and mallets, which are more suited to long grass.
We should invest in a regulation set if we want to play in official tournaments. If we have never played croquet and want to try it out, it’s good to start with a budget set, with the view to investing in a better one if we all enjoy playing.
If we want to take our croquet set with us on trips, it’s worth investing in a high-quality storage box or bag to transport it.
Best Products For Croquet
Need help finding the best croquet gear quickly? We’ve got you covered. They’re listed in order of cost to make things easier for you.
- Decent croquet set: This Baden lawn croquet set is for 6 players and, while not in the usual price range for mid-range croquet sets, is still decent-looking. It should last longer than a set on sale at a big box store.
- Good croquet set: This Franklin vintage set is a good mid-range set. It comes with everything you need for up to 6 players. They also have other options in other budget ranges.
- Better croquet set option 1: This Garden Games 4-player set is a solid choice for croquet fans who play a lot and want quality gear.
- Better croquet set option 2: This Oakley Woods set is for 6 players and is a great choice for fans who want quality gear.
Key Takeaways and Next Steps
Croquet sets are expensive because they’re made from durable materials, such as hardwood, brass, and iron, and will last a long time. The prices vary a lot among sets, and consumers can get a budget set for as little as fifty dollars. When we first tried croquet, we got a budget set from Costco near the holidays. We tried it several times and had fun, although the set did not last long.
Low-cost sets aren’t durable, but they are a good way to try croquet before investing in a more expensive set. If you enjoy croquet and play regularly, it’s worth saving up and spending a few hundred dollars on a durable, high-quality set.
Learning from your own experiences is important, but learning from others is also smart. These are the sources used in this article and our research to be more informed as a family of sports nuts wannabes.
- Big Game Hunters. (n.d.). Croquet Equipment Explained | Your Croquet Set – Big Game Hunters. https://www.biggamehunters.co.uk/pages/croquet-equipment-explained.
- Butterworth, W. (2022, December 9). Why Are Croquet Sets So Expensive? (10 Reasons). The Cold Wire. https://www.thecoldwire.com/why-are-croquet-sets-so-expensive/.
- Croquet Buyers Guide. (2016, September 21). Croquet Online Ltd. https://www.croquetonline.com/blogs/news/first-post.
- Equipment – Mallets. (n.d.). http://www.oxfordcroquet.com/equip/mallets/index.asp.
- Oakley Woods Croquet. (n.d.-a). Croquet Ball Specifications. https://oakleywoods.com/pages/croquet-ball-specifications.
- Oakley Woods Croquet. (n.d.-b). Croquet Hoop Specifications. https://oakleywoods.com/pages/croquet-hoop-specifications.