Croquet is the quintessential British summer sport which is fast catching up in America and the world. A laid-back classic lawn game, which guarantees fun for players of all age groups and skill levels. This simple to play but challenging to master ball-and-mallet game will put your accuracy and strategy skills to test. Moreover, it's a great game to play with family and friends whilst sipping your favorite beer or wine.
The game requires minimal setup and equipment to get started - A Croquet set, decently large backyard or lawn (preferably manicured), few friendly people and some good food and wine. While we can't do much about the food or the wine, but if you're looking to get yourself a quality Croquet set, we've got you covered.
After 20 hours of research and playing with over 8 sets in the process, we conclude that the Harvil 6-Player Croquet Set is the best for most recreational players. This set comes with everything to get you started with the game, sturdily built and priced reasonably.
Our Top Picks for Best Croquet Sets
1. Amish-Crafted Deluxe 8-Player Croquet Game Set
We kick start things off with the Classic all-wooden Amish Croquet set. If you're looking for a traditional set which offers the same feel and touch, just like the old times, this may be the set for you. Also, it wouldn't be wrong to say, this is best the professional Croquet set and there is a strong reason behind it - The Amish craftsmanship. For centuries the Amish community is known for their handcrafting and woodworking skills. This set is no different!
The set includes eight wooden mallets, two stakes, eight balls, nine wickets, and wooden storage to keep the whole setup organized.
Only the best quality maple hardwood is used for the construction of the mallets, which are further carefully lathe-turned, resulting in durable and beautiful mallets. Solid brass rings are fixed at each end of the mallet which not only prevents chipping or breaking of the wood but also adds to the aesthetics. Each mallet is further hand-painted and color-coordinated with the corresponding ball in the set. The ball measure 3-5/16" in diameter and are extremely durable to take continued whacking from the mallets. A wooden stand holds the mallets, the balls, the metal wickets that accompany the set, and is fitted with a brass handle to carry it around easily.
This set caters to beginners all the way to more advanced players. Available in 6/8 mallets variants or 28''/32'' handle length, this set has something to offer for every type of player.
While the price is definitely on the higher side but if you're looking for a set which not only plays good but also lasts a long time, this set won't disappoint you.
What we Love
+ High-quality craftsmanship; Durable
+ Solid wood construction
+ Built as per regulation specs
+ Looks stunning
Watch out for
2. Harvil 6-Player Set
Best Value Pick
Next in the list is the wallet-friendly Harvel 6-player Croquet set. This natural wood set boasts a simple yet reliable design. Available in three color options - Dark grey, Light grey and Light wood, this set is tailor-made for casual players looking for some summertime fun. But competitive players won't be disappointed either; the set is built as per regulation specifications and does a pretty good job for serious play.
This all-inclusive set comes with 6 two-piece mallets, 6 color-coded balls, two 24'' stakes, 9 wickets, rule book and a storage bag.
The durable mallets come in two-pieces - 30'' strong Maplewood handle which screws into the chip-resistant bamboo head. While the bright colored matte balls are made of polymer material and measure 2.9'' in diameter (as per regulation specs). The heavy steel wickets come with vinyl coating and don't bend easily.
Setting up for the game is as easy it gets. Just screw in the mallets, install the wickets and you are all set. When the game is done, the whole set fits right into the provided storage bag for convenient storage.
The only downside is that the balls are a bit too soft and may get deformed during heavy hits.
Taking into account the 90-days warranty against manufacturing defects or breakage, the value for money pricing and durable build quality, the Harvil 6-player Croquet set is definitely worth buying.
What we Love
+ Value for money
+ Above average build quality
+ 90-days warranty
Watch out for
- The balls are a bit soft; may deform
3. Himal Premium Wooden Set
Best Budget Pick
On a tight budget? Looking to get a feel of the game of Croquet? Then the Himal Wooden croquet set with its inexpensive price tag may suit you perfectly. An ideal set for kids, first-timers, and recreational players.
This 6 player set comes with everything to get you started with the game. It includes six 28'' mallets with anti-slip soft grip, six color-coded balls (2.75'' diameter with 0.4lb weight each), two end stakes, nine vinyl-coated wickets, and a large-size carry bag.
The 28'' mallets are perfect for most players be it, kids or adults, while the lightweight polymer balls are durably built. The unique feature of the set is the soft anti-slip grip which makes it super comfortable to hold the mallet. The mallet heads are further fitted with plastic cover, protecting the underneath wood from chipping and wear and tear. It all comes in a branded nylon storage bag and weighs just 8 pounds making it easy to transport if necessary.
Priced under $35, this set comes at truly steal of a price and is an excellent choice for beginners!
What we Love
+ Bang for the buck
+ Excellent starter set
+ Decent build quality
+ Anti-slip mallet grip
Watch out for
- The ball quality isn't the best
4. GoSports Croquet Set
GoSports is a reputable brand, known for its high-quality and affordably priced lawn game sets. The Gosport 6-player croquet set is certainly no different - A top seller on Amazon with hundreds of raving reviews. This set comes in two variants - Standard with 28'' handle and Deluxe with 35'' handle fitted with additional grip for better comfort and control.
If you're going to play with kids, then choose the standard model as the 35'' handle would be too big for the kids. And don't worry 28'' handle would do just fine for adults. But if only adults are to play, it would make more sense to choose the deluxe model.
This 6-player set comes with 6 two-piece detachable mallets, six balls, two end stakes, nine plastic coated steel wickets all of which fits neatly inside the compact storage bag.
The overall look of the set definitely opts for a minimalist tone. No etchings are found in the mallets, and the head is noticeably rounder and thinner than most other models. The mallets are made out of hardwood for increased durability.
However, the included balls could have been better built. They are light and prone to dents.
If you are looking for a model with little flash so you can learn the ropes of croquet and understand the game at its core, this is without a doubt a set that is worth putting money towards.
What we Love
+ Lightweight and durable
+ Decent build quality
+ Excellent support
Watch out for
- The build quality of the balls isn't the best
5. MR CHIPS Croquet Set
This colorful Croquet set from Mr Chips is sure to become the centre of attraction at your backyard gathering. The mallets particularly are more colored than the average and have durable plastic ending for protection. The handle measures 28'', making it ideal for kids and adults alike.
The balls are heavy-duty and better than the balls found in similarly priced sets. In addition to the essentials, the set comes with nine metal wickets, two wooden ending stakes and three Neoprene drink koozies to keep your beverage cold throughout!
This pick has all the makings of being a good investment in the world of Croquet, and the company itself touts how well rounded the set is for all age groups. A unique feature in this set specifically is that the mallets can be taken apart from the handle and the head, allowing for a compact storage inside the durable bag the set comes with.
While this set might not be one of the most expensive or impressive on the market, it more than makes up for it with the quality and craftsmanship.
What we Love
+ Colorful and modern looking set
+ Decent build quality
+ Suitable for kids and adults alike
Watch out for
- Few buyers complained about the QC issues
6. Kettler Children's Croquet Set
Best for Kids
For kids, this Kettler Croquet set definitely is worth taking a peek at. The wooden mallets come with 25'' handle and are not too heavy. There are only four mallets in this set, and along with four solid plastic balls. There is nothing to brag about in this set in particular; this is a basic set meant for children and is strictly for learning the ropes. It does still include two wooden ending stakes and ten plastic wickets.
The price may be steep, and there are not many reviews to go off of, so beware with this set. This is truly meant to be a beginning purchase; an investment to see if your kids will enjoy the game and get them a set of higher quality and craftsmanship later on.
What we love
+ 25'' mallet handle is easy for kids to hold and play with
+ Excellent gifting option for kids
Watch Out for
Buyer’s Guide to Croquet Sets: Take It One Whack At A Time!
With remnants in London dating back to the late 1850s, croquet is one of the long-lasting recreational games available in the world. While at first glance croquet may not be the whirlwind of excitement you can find in lawn games like Cornhole or horseshoes, it has its own unique thrill to it and can satisfy the mind, body, and soul with one swing of the mallet. There are many different shapes and forms, Croquet can transform into, and it can be seen in a variety of settings, from a stranger's backyard to some of the most prestigious and vibrant strips of land the world has to offer.
Croquet can seem quite intimidating to learn about, which in turn makes finding the correct set to purchase all the more challenging. In our list below, you will find how extravagant these sets can be, and how necessary it all is. As we explore the world of croquet together, you may even find the latest edition to your gaming collection!
The market is flooded with croquet sets of across different price range and specifications. So, how do you judge the quality and choose the Right Croquet Set for yourself? To ease out the process, we have compiled a list of essential factors you should consider while buying one.
Things to Look For When Buying
<No. Of Players>
Croquet sets usually come with 6 to 8 mallets which means 6 to 8 players can play at a time. Depending on how many players you intend to play with, you need to make a choice.
<Mallets Build Quality>
Croquet is a game of angles and wit; not brute force. If you intend to play competitive, you need a well-crafted mallet. This is where the main difference lies between the sets on offer. A high-quality set, ideal for serious players comes with mallets made out of solid maple wood with brass rings on the head for protection. The Amish set in our first pick showcases the ideal mallet, with full-on maple wood making up the mallet, and brass around the head to prevent cracks.
The other sets are usually made out of solid wood with bamboo head. Although not as sturdy and durable but they play quite decent, good enough for recreation purpose.
While there is no restriction on the handle size but longer handles may post hindrance for the kids. Most sets comes with the option of 28" or 35" handle. A 28" handle is ideal as it's not too long for kids and neither too short for adults to play, making it a perfect choice. A 35" handle is the preferred option among adults.
The mallet head takes quite a beating during play and may result in chipping or breakage. That's why manufacturers include brass end ring or rubber/plastic end cap for protection. While the brass ring is mainly used in the higher quality set, the rubber or plastic caps are found in mid-grade sets. One downside of using plastic or rubber end cap is that it changes how the ball reacts to hit and may result in loss of accuracy.
Throughout the game of croquet and after, balls are at the receiving end of lots and lots of hard hits. Its natural these balls need to be not only perfectly round for easy rolling but also very sturdy. Polymer plastic balls with 2.5" to 3" diameter is the preferred option and most commonly used.
Wooden balls were used in old times, but these balls are difficult to get now and also don't offer any better performance. Plastic balls must be avoided at all costs.
The rest of the stuff is pretty standard and isn't as crucial as the above factors. Look for at least 24" end stakes, vinyl-coated wickets for longevity and a bag for easy storage.
Croquet can be played with anywhere from two to upwards of eight players, although the common range is between six and eight. It is more of a strategy-based game than anything else. Yes, you have to have the muscle to deliver the shot you are lining up, but you do not need much of it. Similar to short puts in golf, the game of croquet boils down to preplanning the shot. Angles outweigh power by a vast majority, and the most skilled players can attest to it.
For a beginner, some of the sets mentioned above cater to an 80" by 30" playing field, although the dimensions of a standard playing field is 100' by 50'. Nine wickets and two stakes are typically used and are aligned in the shape of two diamonds or a figure of eight. Two wickets are shared between the team in the course. The endpoints have two vertically aligned wickets which each player must pass the ball throw to complete the game.
Two to four players require four croquet balls while six and eight players require a ball per player. The player or the team must share the same color of croquet balls, and the players must hit the ball through the wickets in the predetermined order. The player must use the ends of the mallet, commonly referred to as the striking end or the head of the mallet.
To score, a player must successfully hit their ball through the correct wicket at the time of the shot. The ball must go through the wicket completely and end past the wicket with no rollbacks, or the point is invalid. A player may earn a bonus shot by scoring through a wicket, scoring on one of the ending stakes, or even by making their ball come in contact with another player's ball. If an opponent's ball is driven out of the field of play, it is then moved to the edge of the field closest to where it was originally knocked out from. These are the typical rules for a standard outdoor croquet game, which is best played on short, freshly cut grass. For non-competitive variants, the field can be the aforementioned eighty-feet by thirty-feet, or any dimension that your personal backyard allows for.
Mallet size depends on player to player, and there are different variants of heads available ranging from round to cube. There are also many different variants of competitive play, but the above is the most common form of Croquet found in the United States.
Indoor croquet is less common than the outdoor counterpart, but it is still a thing. The wickets have a form of pegs on the end so they can be placed firmly on the floor, although there are variations of indoor Croquet where a special field is used, so typical outdoor wickets can be utilized and stuck into the floor itself. The mallets and balls are where drastic changes occur as the mallets appear to be smaller, with heads much rounder and no protective coverings commonly found on them.
Although the popularity of indoor croquet is not wide, that does not mean it is non-existent. A common household or small gymnasium isn't big enough to properly play the game and even if you do, there are safety risk or chances of damage to the property. There are few "carpet croquet" sets sold online, and some fields have even been made in a makeshift way out of empty hotel lobby floors and the likes, but it is much easier to play outside on an open field and much safer in terms of potential damage.
To Wrap It Up
As you've already seen, our list of recommendations offers a great choice for wide-range of players across several price range. We hope that our buyer's guide, and in-depth reviews could help you make an informed decision.
Best of luck with your hunt for the Best Croquet Sets.