Most of us first heard of croquet while reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. However, if you’re looking for the best croquet set that will provide you with hours of fun at a reasonable price, don’t expect any hedgehogs, flamingos, or playing cards here!
Of course, for a game as old as this one, it’s no wonder the market is overflowing with all sorts of options and price points. That’s precisely why we decided to create this detailed buying guide.
After 23 hours of online research and extensive field testing, I’ve concluded that the Harvil 6 Player Croquet Set is the best choice for most casual Croquet enthusiasts. The decision was based on my own personal experiences with the 9 sets and the reviews of hundreds of unbiased reviews from dozens of trustworthy sources.
The Harvil set strikes the perfect balance between quality and price and is sure to supply you and your family with many hours of fun in the sun!
Best Use Quick Links
- Amish-Crafted Deluxe 8-Player Croquet Set – Editor’s Choice
- Harvil 6-Player Croquet Set for All Ages – Best Value
- GoSports Six Player Croquet Set for Adults & Kids – Best Seller
- Himal Premium Wooden Six-Player Croquet Set – Best on a Budget
- The Baden Deluxe Series Croquet Set – Best Mid-Range Set
- Franklin Sports Croquet Set – Professional-Grade at an Affordable Price
- Play N Laughter 6-Player Croquet Set – Best for Kids
- Oakley Woods Extreme 6-Player Croquet Set – Best for Extreme Croquet
- Wood Mallets Premium Garden Croquet Set – Best High-End Set
Best Croquet Sets Reviewed
Just one glance at the AmishToyBox croquet set is enough for you to realize that it is an incredible investment.
First of all, it oozes quality and craftsmanship, which makes it the best croquet set we’ve ever seen. It’s a wooden set made from top-quality maple hardwood (apart from the nine vinyl-coated metal wickets and the balls), so you can expect it to last you a very long time.
This wood is quite durable in and of itself, but since there are also brass rings at the ends of the mallets, don’t expect them to crack or break any time soon.
The plastic polymer balls (3 5/16-inch diameter) are sturdy and can handle plenty of whacking, which is something you’ll prefer if you love spending summers in the garden, hosting extreme croquet championships.
The level of detail the best croquet set on our list offers is beyond compare as well. Every mallet and ball are color-coordinated, and you can bet each piece of the set is hand-painted.
That should make the game all the more enjoyable; with a beautiful set such as this one, inspiration should engulf you and make you superbly competitive!
The set is available in a couple of options. You can pick the length of the handles you’d most prefer (28 and 32 inches), and even get a set with two of each size.
Also, the set comes with a superb wooden stand that should look rather luxe in your basement, for example, and will allow you to keep the equipment tidy in between games.
What We Like:
Best Value Set
Available in dark gray, light gray, and light wood, the Harvil set is the best croquet set for you if you don’t have much money to spare but want more value. That’s the main selling point of this set, actually!
Even though it may not be as luxe-looking as the previous contender, it is still going to last you a while, and you won’t have to pinch pennies for it.
Of course, there are some downsides to it. Unlike the AmishToyBox set, we’d mostly recommend the Harvil one to casual players. Do you like spending the summer outside, hitting a ball here and there, but not paying much attention to the score? This is the set for you!
Still, don’t worry if you are a lot more competitive and serious about croquet. Just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean this set will last you only a few months.
In fact, most users agree that it’s superbly durable, with mallets made from maple wood (handles) and bamboo (heads).
This set comes with nine steel wickets, perfect for hours upon hours of fun in the garden.
The one major downside, though, is the ball quality. We don’t know about you, but most people love hitting quite hard to ensure a better shot. The balls in this set are, unfortunately, made from average-quality polymer, so they could suffer quite a few dents if you become too eager to win.
Overall, though, this is an amazing and rather colorful value set that’s perfect for both novice and veteran users. Best of all, the assembly is quick (just screw the mallets in), and you also get a convenient nylon bag for easy storage.
What We Like:
Best-Selling Croquet Set
The next entry on our list is a real fan-favorite, as you can easily find many testimonials that claim it’s the best croquet set on the market today.
As a clear best-seller, the GoSports croquet set is a popular choice of many newbie players who are still learning more about the game and wouldn’t want to invest in an expensive set just yet.
That said, you have two options here: the deluxe and the standard set. The former is best for adult players, as it features 35-inch handles most kids wouldn’t be able to use.
The latter, of course, comes with shorter handles of 28 inches. It would be perfect for families who love getting competitive outside.
Overall, we’d stay that this is an excellent option for users who aren’t looking for all the bells and whistles. Quality-wise, the set is rather durable, with hardwood mallets and nine steel wickets. The same cannot be said about the balls, though.
Just like in the case of the previous set, the balls in this one are lightweight and soft, making them more prone to dents.
As far as the design goes, we love how minimalistic it is yet still quite striking. However, the mallet heads are a bit worrisome.
They aren’t as big as they ought to be if you are looking to play some serious croquet, and according to some users, they tend to unscrew when you hit the ball. You may need to use some wood glue to ensure you don’t lose the game!
What We Like:
Are you afraid that your croquet love might cost you a few dollars more than you planned? There’s a good solution for that — just put your money toward this Himal set.
One of the best things about this set is that it’s quite cheap and thus suitable if you have small kids who are just learning the ropes. There’s no need to worry about it lasting forever, as it’s a starter set you can play around with before investing in a deluxe one.
Still, don’t think that it’s a low-quality alternative. Surprisingly, it’s pretty durable, at least when it comes to mallets. Since they’re made from premium hardwood, they can take quite a beating and should provide you with hours of gameplay over the summer.
The set packs some value as well, as it comes with nine wickets and a large storage bag you can use to pack away the equipment without disassembling it.
But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, unfortunately. One of our biggest peeves with this set comes down to the balls. Like in the case of our previous entry, they could suffer some dents if you hit them too hard.
The mallets have protective plastic heads, which is a good idea overall. But the plastic used here isn’t durable enough. Some users report that these covers crack rather easily.
Overall, though, we wouldn’t recommend this set for serious, hard-handed players. If you have children or are just starting out and would like to check whether you’re even good at croquet, this set is a sound (and rather cheap) investment.
What We Like:
Best Mid-Range Set
For players that aren’t sure whether the quality or the price matters more, we have the perfect mid-range option — the Baden Deluxe Series six-player croquet set.
In general, users say that this set is rather durable for its price point. The wood, albeit somewhat lightweight, should let you hit the ball just right, so the mallets are excellent if you’re still working on your skills.
The set comes with nine steel wickets, which is essential if you want them to stay put, and there’s even a carrying bag you can use to store the set away.
Mind you, there are some downsides, as you cannot expect a mid-range set to be of the same superb quality as the AmishToyBox set.
This contender comes with lower quality balls than the more expensive sets, which, over time, could crack when you strike them. And although the mallets are 27 inches long and lightweight — thus perfect for children and shorter adults — they may be too weak for serious (and taller!) players.
In the end, this set is a compromise many newbie players might want to make. It won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and it will let you enjoy the game fully.
Just don’t expect it to last forever.
What We Like:
Best Professional-Grade Set at an Affordable Price
Now, each entry on our list could be an excellent choice for most players. However, if you’re looking for a professional-grade set but would like not to overpay, the best croquet set for you could be the Franklin Sports one.
This set is available in three options: professional, family, and standard. The one we were most interested in is the most expensive one, which has over 29 inches long mallet handles.
Clearly, the manufacturer has covered all bases, making sure adults and older children could have plenty of fun hitting the balls left and right.
Still, the handles might be a bit too long for smaller kids. They would be better off with one of the other two sets. The family one has 26-inch mallet handles, whereas the starter is a combo of 24 and 26-inch handles.
You’ll be happy to know the mallets are made from rather bulky wood, making them less prone to chipping and better at letting you win the game.
The balls are a bit heavier than what you’d expect. You could be ruthless while playing and still keep them in one piece.
For added longevity, the mallets in the professional set come with metal locking joints. At the same time, consider the fact that it comes with all-weather molded balls; rain or shine, it’s likely you’ll make a good shot each time.
However, the set isn’t without any issues. The color from the mallets rubs off a bit. Also, the wickets are a bit flimsy and easy to knock down.
On top of that, although we love that the set comes with a carrying bag, it’s pretty useless. Made from thin nylon, there aren’t any pockets or straps you could use to organize the set well and ensure it doesn’t get damaged in transport.
What We Like:
Best Croquet Set for Kids
Although you could get a kid-friendly foam croquet set and call it a day, that would mean you’d have to play with it as well. We, adults, like to be more heavy-handed with the mallets and balls.
Therefore, if you want to play the game with your little ones with a real wooden set, the Play N Laughter one is the best croquet set for children — but adults can use it too!
To ensure kids could easily handle the mallets, the manufacturer has made the handles only 26 inches long.
To provide some extra protection in case some children decide to use these as “weapons,” there are caps on the mallets that could somewhat soften the blow and protect the heads.
According to users, this set could be used by the smallest of children (even four-year-olds), but it does make the adults have to lean toward the ground more.
However, if you were looking to keep the children focused, the design of the mallets should help you out big time — the colors are gorgeous!
The only trouble is that you might need to invest in better wickets. The ones you get in the set are fragile, so you probably won’t be able to use them much.
Though the manufacturer has tried to make this a value set by including a bag, you will have to disassemble the mallets each time you want to store them away.
What We Like:
Best Croquet Set for Extreme Croquet
Feeling a bit adventurous and would like to turn your relaxed croquet sessions into something more extreme? Look no further than this Oakley Woods set; it has everything you may need to go out into the wild and play the game of your life.
Of course, since you can play extreme croquet anywhere you set your mind on, you can bet that this set is of superb quality and offers much more than the regular kinds we’re all used to.
For one, the mallets come with indestructible polyethylene heads, and because of the Taper-lock fastening system, you can customize them.
The balls are rather sturdy as well; they’re hybrids, meaning they have a cork center and a solid urethane jacket, ensuring just the right momentum, no matter where you are.
The stars of the show, however, are the nine wickets. They’re 18 inches high and have a rather narrow opening, making the game all the more challenging.
On top of that, they’re made out of steel and finished with a chip-resistant powder coating, ensuring they last you through thick and thin.
Overall, if you ever fancy a more extreme game, this is the best croquet set for you. It has shown that it can handle it all due to its superb sturdiness.
It comes with a heavy-duty storage bag, so you’re all set for the most challenging croquet adventures!
What We Like:
Finally, if the price is not an issue at all and you would like to invest in a set that not only works great but feels like a piece of art, the best croquet set for you could be the Wood Mallets one.
This premium garden set is surely going to enhance your game and let you hone your skills. For one, it’s handcrafted from the finest materials, making sure the quality matches the high price tag.
The mallets are made from robust hardwood and are 36 inches in length, so they are perfect for seriously competitive adults.
The composite balls feature a lightly milled surface and are made from molded plastic, which makes them a bit heavier than what most regular croquet sets offer.
The diameter on these is 3 5/8 inches, and each weighs a whopping 1 lb. Expect them to last you a long time and stay in top-notch shape for longer, without any dents or chips.
As for the wickets, they’re made from durable tubular steel. It’s unlikely they’ll crack or bend any time soon.
Also, unlike some other brands on the market, the manufacturer has made sure to include a durable nylon carrying bag in the set. Wherever you go, you’ll be able to bring your set with you, set it up quickly, and show everyone your croquet mastery!
There are also some extra bits, such as six metal clips and four corner pegs.
The one major downside is the length of the mallets. Adults may have a better time with it, as kids won’t be able to handle the weight or the length.
The Premium Garden Croquet Set is also pretty expensive, so it may cost a bit more than the casual player wants to spend.
For Ballers Only
If you don’t mind spending an arm and a leg on a croquet set you may want to consider purchasing one of Wooden Mallets Signature sets. They are the Cadillac of croquet sets and will set you back almost $1600 bucks!
These sets are all hand-made to order and come with a beautiful oak storage box laser engraved with your name.
It didn’t make my list of best croquet sets because it is not exactly what I would consider practical.
While you certainly can play a rousing game of croquet with this set, it is more suited to giving as a gift to the man, or woman who has everything.
These sets really are incredibly beautiful and if you ever have the good fortune to play with one you will feel like you are inside a Ralph Lauren print ad.
You need to custom order this one directly from the manufacturer and it will take more than a month to arrive at your doorstep. You can check them out HERE.
What We Like:
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Croquet Set for You
As you can see, the market is overflowing with some fantastic options, but to make matters a bit more cost-effective, it’s essential to truly consider all factors when choosing the best croquet set for you. At first glance, it may seem as if you should pick a set by considering your price range and the design only. But as always, the devil is in the details.
The Number of Players and Their Ages
The first thing to take into account when on the hunt for the best croquet set is who will be using it. The market offers quite a few options, most of which could make both adults and kids quite happy.
If you’re a total novice or have small children, it’s best to look for more lightweight sets. The mallets can be anywhere from 24 to 29 inches long, depending on the children’s ages. They shouldn’t be too heavy — aim for less than two pounds — and the balls can weigh about eight ounces.
Of course, if you want to spend quality time with the kids, and they are still quite young, the shorter mallets may make you bend over a lot. That may lead to some back issues, depending on how often you play the game.
But, if you’re buying the set for your kids to learn how to play, surely you can adjust to their needs!
The shorter handles will let them swing without much effort, and if the balls are lighter than the standard 16 ounces, they won’t have to hit them too hard to make them fly greater distances.
The Greater the Expert, the Greater the Set
Still, if your kids are old enough to handle longer mallets and heavier balls, or you are only going to play with other adults, the best croquet set for you should be a bit more luxe.
Most brands make these from heavier, finer materials and include sturdier balls that aren’t too prone to dents and bumps.
On top of that, they come with longer mallets (over 32 inches long), which are more suitable for adults overall. Aim for the greatest length if you’re extra tall, though!
Four-Player vs. Six-Player Sets
The final consideration when it comes to who’s playing the game comes down to the number of mallets and balls.
Most families could use the four-player set for some good old recreational croquet on lazy summer afternoons, but if you’re serious about honing your skills and are on the competitive side, the best croquet set for you is the one for six or more players.
In most cases, these sets, depending on the manufacturer, come with color-coordinated balls and some extra features, such as corner pegs and boundary strings. That makes them a great value for money, as you’re essentially getting everything you need to play both regular croquet and some variations.
The Mallets’ Build Quality
When looking for the best croquet set for either recreational or more competitive use, the mallets’ build quality is the most important consideration. The mallet will serve as an extension of your arms and is your most powerful “weapon” for winning the game.
Material and Weight
Low-quality, lightweight wood is not an option when it comes to your mallets. The perfect weight is three pounds, which isn’t something most recreational players or children can handle. So, if you cannot invest in heavier ones, opt for quality wood that doesn’t make the mallets weigh less than two pounds.
Technically advanced mallets are often made from carbon fiber or metal, but if you’re just looking for some recreational fun, there’s no need to invest in those. Overall, high-quality types of wood, such as ash, tawa, and hickory, will serve you quite well.
For a more advanced pendulum motion of the mallet, though, it’s worth considering lightweight handles and heavier heads. Additionally, aim for rigid handles, as they allow for more control.
Head Size and Shape
The heavier the mallet is, the better chance you’ll have of making a precise shot. However, the head of the mallet is an essential factor here as well.
A length of 9 to 9.5 inches is an excellent option for newbie players. If you’re more confident, though, and want to make your shots as accurate as possible, there are 12-inch heads as well.
Another consideration here is the shape of the head. Round shapes are rather popular these days, and most of the sets we’ve talked about feature them.
However, serious players mainly opt for square cross-section heads. There are some definate advantages to square heads, opting for this shape will allow you to hit the ball correctly when you cannot perform your normal swing, e.g., when the wicket is too close for you to swing properly.
But honestly, unless you are in a competition, the differences in head shape are minor and mostly depend on your preferences.
In most cases, croquet sets come with mallets that have rounded handles. This doesn’t mean that they are of low quality; most players can swing quite easily with these, especially if they’re made from top-notch wood.
When honing your skills, you ought to work on your instincts, and the best way to do that would be to invest in mallets that have an octagonal or hexagonal cross-section. With these, you’d be able to determine where the mallet is pointing more easily and make sure each shot is a resounding success.
Finally, since mallets are the most expensive part of the set, it’s good to pick those that have some sort of protection on them. Brass rings at the ends of the heads will pinch the wood so that it doesn’t split open, no matter how hard you swing.
Another option is to go for tough plastic ends, which should cover the heads completely.
The plastic bits at the end are a good idea, but only if the brand uses robust, laminated plastic. If they are thin and cheaply made, they could crack rather quickly, leaving the heads exposed. Plastic also changes the shots a bit, making you lose on precision.
Because of that, brass rings may be a better idea for some players, though they aren’t without fault either. They don’t protect the head from wearing down, even though they may increase the durability of the mallets overall.
Wickets and Stakes
Since the stakes are the targets and you ought to swing the ball well to hit them, it’s a must for them to be made from high-quality materials. They have to be sturdy enough not to break during the game and stable. Most of the time, the manufacturers use the same wood they used for the mallets.
Wickets, on the other hand, are a bit more complex.
Depending on the width, the game will be harder or easier. If you’re looking to teach the kids how to play croquet and are not super competitive, that may not be a factor you’ll want to consider too much. However, you do have to pay attention to the material used to make these.
Flimsy wickets are, obviously, rather cheaply made, so you would have to replace them pretty soon if a game of croquet is your favorite pastime. Therefore, to save yourself some coins, aim to get sturdy steel, wood, or plastic wickets.
Make sure they’re thick enough to stay in one piece during the game, as it’s likely you’ll hit them with your mallet or the ball. Wire wickets, albeit popular, aren’t going to last you a long time unless the manufacturer reinforces them with some other material, such as vinyl.
When looking for the best croquet set for you, you’ll see that the balls are often plastic. Back in the day, wooden balls were the jam, but since they aren’t as durable as some types of plastic and can easily split open, they aren’t as easy to come by.
Size and Weight
As said, in kid-friendly sets, the balls will be somewhat lightweight, weiging about eight ounces. More advanced sets will try to match croquet regulations.
To that end, the best croquet set should have balls that weigh at least 12 ounces (regulation balls weigh 16 ounces) and have a 3 5/8-inch diameter. The former is a great option for kids, whereas stronger adults will easily hit the latter.
Do note, however, that the more exclusive adult sets will feature larger balls (3 5/16 or 3 5/8 inches). The children’s sets may have smaller ones.
Finally, there are features that could add more value to your set and make the price more appealing.
We’ve already mentioned two: boundary strings and corner pegs. However, since these aren’t necessary when playing in your backyard, aim to get another add-on instead — a storage bag or case.
Even the best croquet set is going to consist of many, many parts, so storing those away could be a real nightmare. It’s best to pick a set that comes with some kind of a bag so that at least you can transport it more easily.
As you can see from the reviews above, manufacturers don’t pay much attention to the quality of the bags. Most of them use nylon, which is often rather cheap and prone to rips.
However, some companies, such as Wood Mallets and Harvil, know that convenience is everything.
We especially like Harvil’s approach, as you can neatly organize your set within the bag.
AmishToyBox offers another option in the form of a wooden frame. Although this adds to the classic look of the set, making it seem as if it has been in your family for generations, it’s not the most convenient option.
As it turns out, choosing the best croquet set requires plenty of research, especially if you’re looking to get your money’s worth.
Sure, some of the cheaper sets are a good option for recreational croquet when you just want to entertain the kids or yourself for a while.
But all the signs point to the fact that the Amish-Crafted Deluxe 8-Player Croquet Game Set is the stuff dreams are made of.
With a higher number of mallets and balls, sturdy metal wickets, brass mallet rings, and made from premium maple hardwood, it’s the ultimate choice for true croquet enthusiasts who want it all: superb quality, value, and design!