Which Tennis Ball Brand Tops Them All?


Benjamin Hoppe '24

A display of the four tennis ball brands, Wilson, Penn, Babolat, and Dunlop before they are put through their test.

Benjamin Hoppe, Reporter

Which Tennis Ball Brand Tops Them All?

All tennis players have faced this predicament. There they are, the beautiful, glorious array of tennis balls: Wilson, Penn, Babolat, Dunlop. So which one do you choose? Well, that question will be answered after the tennis balls are put through a series of tests. Those tests will include bounce, how high the ball bounces; weight, how heavy the ball is; feel, how the ball feels off the strings of the racket; smell, all tennis players know how important the smell is; the price, what the balls cost and finally the overall score. Each section will get a score out of 10, and then the scores will be totaled up and placed in the overall score section. 

The Results of the tests:

Wilson Tennis Balls:

Bounce: 7/10

Weight: 7/10

Feel: 8/10

Smell: 9/10

Price: $3.99 per can (three balls) 6/10

Overall Score: 37/50

Penn Tennis Balls:

Bounce: 9/10

Weight: 5/10

Feel: 6/10

Smell: 8/10

Price: $3.49 per can 7/10

Overall Score: 35/50

Babolat Tennis Balls:

Bounce: 8/10

Weight: 8/10

Feel: 8/10

Smell: 5/10

Price: $2.99 per can 8/10

Overall Score: 37/50

Dunlop Tennis Balls:

Bounce: 6/10

Weight: 9/10

Feel: 9/10

Smell: 4/10

Price: $2.19 per can 10/10

Overall Score: 38/50

Final Rankings (Based on the scores):

  1. Dunlop 38/50
  2. Wilson and Babolat (Tie) 37/50
  3. Penn 35/50


Should you buy Dunlop tennis balls?

At this point, the test to see which tennis ball is the best could be considered over. Dunlop got the highest score, so it must be the best brand, right? Yes and no. Dunlop certainly has a good, solid weight and feel to it. It isn’t too heavy or too light, and it feels really clean off the racket. The Dunlop brand also has a phenomenal price compared to the other three brands. This is the point where it could be taken either way with this brand though. The durability of the ball isn’t nearly as good as the Wilson and Penn brands. It can be seen in the experiment that the durability of the balls was not tested due to lack of time, as it would take four months to fully figure out a more accurate depiction of the durability. However, after I finished putting the tennis balls through the tests, the Dunlop ball already had fuzz coming off, which is not great. This may not be a big concern if you are not someone who would be playing almost every day or every other day, but if you do play almost every day, the Dunlop brand may not be the best choice. In that case, I would recommend either Wilson or Penn, just because they are much more durable. I don’t say Babolat because it has a similar, if not worse, durability compared to Dunlop.

My Personal Rankings:

  1. Wilson
  2. Dunlop
  3. Penn
  4. Babolat

Why I think the Wilson brand is the best over the other brands:

So why do I recommend the Wilson tennis balls? Well, these tennis balls have a beautiful feel off of the strings of the racket, and they also bounce really well. They are a very durable brand that will last a long time. Yes, they are the most expensive brand on this list, but I thoroughly believe that the price is very appropriate for the quality you get out of this brand. These tennis balls are also a little bit heavier than the Dunlop and Babolat brands, but that really won’t be the make or break factor in how good your tennis game is. Also, you are still probably wondering, what about Penn and Babolat? Well, Penn is similar to Wilson, except it is really heavy for a tennis ball, which can lead to strings breaking if you swing the racket fairly hard, so I think that is where the Penn brand falls short. With Babolat, it is even lighter than the Dunlop brand, which can be bad, especially on windy days. The Babolat balls are also less durable than the Dunlop balls and more expensive than Dunlop, so that is another reason why I ranked it in last place.

The Smell (You can skip this if you don’t care about how a tennis ball smells):

Ah, the glorious smell of a tennis ball. This is just something that tennis players enjoy when opening a new can of tennis balls. Obviously, the smell doesn’t affect the quality of the ball, but sometimes the smell of new tennis balls just brings you joy.


Take this information as you will. I think all of these brands can be the right choice depending on your tennis lifestyle. I do think though, that Wilson and Dunlop are the best choices. Wilson is the highest quality ball, in my opinion, on this list, but that does come at a price. Dunlop is also high quality, just with a few shortcomings, but it is much cheaper and might be better if you aren’t a hardcore tennis player like I am. I hope this helps the next time you are buying new tennis balls.