For many fans of literature or Johnny Depp/Tim Burton films, croquet will be the game they associate with the evil and outrageous Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Perhaps you see it as a game for the privileged. Whatever, the case though, it is far more than just a silly game mentioned in some books. The game has existed in some form since 1851, when the game was first played in England on Lord Lonsdale’s lawn.
Croquet is actually a very fun game, that when played in its most basic form is very simple to learn and play, even for rank beginners. Particularly compared to some other games that get bogged down with rules. All you need for a good old fashioned game of croquet (or one of the many revised and alternative versions of the rules) is a lawn, some croquet mallets, wickets (generally 6 is enough, though if you want to play by tournament rules, you need 9), stakes and balls. Fortunately, you will find that any of the best croquet sets mentioned in this guide feature all you need to get started.
So, what really is the best garden croquet set? Let’s look at the 9 we’ve highlighted as being the best.
Best Croquet Set 2019
Quickdraw 4 Player Wooden Croquet Set
The first croquet set in our guide is this 4-player set from a company called Quickdraw. Considering it’s relatively love price; you get everything you need. Although it’s nothing special, if you’re looking for the best garden croquet set, that the whole family can use to play together, then this is worth thinking about investing in. As it’s for 4 players, playing simultaneously, it includes 4 croquet mallets and coloured balls along with 10 croquet hoops and 2 target sticks.
You’ll notice with many of the croquet sets on the market, that you get coloured balls. These colours usually match up with the same colour used somewhere in the design of each mallet. This makes it easier for players to keep track of which ball is theirs. As such, you get a red ball and red mallet, blue ball and blue mallet, yellow ball and yellow mallet, black ball and black mallet all in this kit.
We really love the mallets and sticks are made from the traditional material of wood as it gives the whole kit an authentic look and feel. The metal hoops make for a more robust option than those you might find made from plastic. Everything in this set has been designed for the use of the whole family, including young children.
Guaranteed4Less Kids Croquet Golf Set
This is an extremely cute and fun variation on a traditional outdoor croquet garden set. It has clearly been made with families, and in particular, children, in mind. As all the animal goal posts are designed to resemble wild animals. The set is very simplistic, but as you and your buddies from the pub are unlikely to be playing with this kit and it’s more likely to be something you’ll play with a young child.
Croquet, in the form of croquet golf, is a great game for training children and help them sharpen their hand-eye coordination and ability to control things. What better way to help make this even easier than with a set that has such vivid characterisations and colourings? There’s Frog, Giraffe, Lion and Elephant goals with numbers, 2 vibrantly coloured balls and one mallet.
Although other sets feature more than one mallet, we appreciate that this is quite a budget croquet set. Further to that, though, we think it’s a great way to teach children to be better at sharing. Because everyone must wait their turn. Like the set above, the mallets and goals are both made from a nice wood, which is a lot more kid friendly.
Express Trading Hillington 4-Player Complete Wooden Outdoor Croquet Set
Another great croquet set we wanted to discuss was this awesome one from Express Trading. The Hillington 4-player kit includes, like the others we’ve featured so far, and the rest after this one for that matter, everything you need to have a fun and competitive game of croquet. One of the things that makes croquet the perfect garden sport during summer is just how quick and simple it is to set up a game.
With this kit, it’s very easy because you get four mallets with different coloured bands on the handle towards the end. These colours, again much like other croquet sets match the colour of the balls included with the set. Along with the mallets and the balls, you also get the game field markers and the 10 croquet hoops.
We’re big fans of croquet sets that have metal and wooden accessories and this is a great example of that. The mallets are made from some attractive and sturdy enough wood, as are the perimeter markers. While the croquet hoops are metallic. As if that wasn’t enough, for a very reasonable price you also get a nice mesh bag with drawstring closure to neatly store everything away in one place.
The Magic Toy Shop Children’s 4-Player Wooden Croquet Set
Another extremely low-price product is probably the best croquet set for the money. From The this is another kit squarely aimed at younger players, whether they’ve been playing croquet all their relatively short life, or this will be the first summer they’ve hit a ball with a mallet, it doesn’t matter. While there are plenty of similarities between this and one of the products we’ve already discussed, the downside with this one we could find that the croquet hoops are made from steel but covered in plastic, though I can see why this might have been decided upon.
Everything else is very much the same in a lot of ways, it’s got four mallets, four balls and 10 hoops. The balls and mallets are colour coded and match with each other.
Evidently, the main source of inspiration for this kit was the whole family, and it’s worth remembering that when it comes to choosing a croquet set. Though you may be looking for the set that will suit the whole family, if you’re not especially big fans of croquet, you may want to just look for a functional, robust and durable option, rather than worrying about buying the best of the best.
Wondertoys Wooden Animals Croquet Set
This set from Wondertoys we have next looks very familiar to the other wild animals one we’ve already featured in our guide. However, despite it having a lot in common, this is a larger set. Along with the animal wickets, made to resemble a fun frog, giraffe, lion and elephant, there two mallets rather than one and two balls in green and red, to match the mallet heads on each handle. So, although if your children play with you or with some of their friends, they may still have to learn the art of sharing if there’s more than two, it at least makes it all a little less stressful.
As they are intended for children under the age of 3 and more, it’s worth noting that they have been made free from Phthalates, BPA and Lead. We all know what kids are like for sticking things in their mouth. So, although you ay not want them to do that, at least you know they’re not in trouble if they do momentarily.
Jaques of London Croquet 6-Player Set
While we stand by the inclusion of the other sets we’ve discussed so far, we feel it’s worth noting that this set from the well-known and highly reputable Jaques of London is perhaps the best. Especially if you are looking for a set of a higher standard and require more than just 4 mallets and balls.
Not only does this set have 6 intermediate-size croquet balls, 6 wooden mallets and 6 croquet hoops made from electroplated enamel-steel, but it comes with just one marker post, for the winning end and a rules book. So, there’s no need to make up your own rules or own objects, you can follow the most traditional form of the game easily, without fights breaking out.
With a brand like Jaques of London and their name associated with quality, the set is as good as you’d expect. Finished off in true Jaques of London style with a nice waterproof storage bag with zipper closure. The wood used in the mallets, the acrylic balls and even the hoops have all been made to a high standard.
Jaques of London Reigate Full Size Croquet Set
Staying with Jaques of London for the next item in our guide, this is a rather special product. Although it’s made to the same high standard of quality and workmanship as the above, there are some differences between the two sets. The mallets, for one thing, are full-size Richmond croquet mallets, so although there’s only 4 in this kit, they are going to be easier for adults to use.
Similarly, to the other set though, there are 6 hoops made from the same electroplated enamel-steel, and a winning peg for marking the end zone of the croquet playing area. Alongside these you get 4 balls and 4 colour clips. Oh, and similarly to the other set, you also get the benefit of a rulebook and an improved (and therefore more robust) storage bag to keep everything in.
The Jaques of London branding is always a sure-fire sign of quality and this croquet set does not let the company down or do anything to change this viewpoint.
Crystals Traditional 4-Player Croquet Set
Last on our list is a slightly more affordable option compared to the Jaques of London sets. Following the standard protocol, they have included 4 mallets with splashes of colour around the handles that match up with the colours of the included balls. Alongside these you also get the 10 metal croquet hooks you need and two wooden market pegs.
The balls are fashioned from a nice and smooth wood. Whereas the mallets are also made from a good quality wood. Although it’s never going to be come the go-to set for professional or high-ranking croquet tournament players, it fulfils the purpose it was invented for. You can have everything set up in no time and at all and enjoy a fun game of croquet with the whole family. The only things we would suggest that let this kit down is the lack of rule book or storage bag. However, for the reasonable price it retails at, this is a great cheap croquet set.
Best Croquet Set – Buyer’s Guide
At Internet Eyes, we know how frustrating and confusing it can be, when you are trying to decide which product to buy from several very similar items. That’s why, in addition to the reviews above, we’ve also put together this handy buyer’s guide. It will provide you with all the information you need to arm yourself, ideally before you even start seriously considering a croquet set.
Before looking at some of the features that are the most important to consider when choosing and buying a croquet set, we want to just discuss how the surface you are going to play the game on can affect the game. The length of your grass, if you’re playing it in your garden should be short. If it’s not, players will have a hard time controlling the balls and they won’t roll as smoothly.
Age and Number of Players
Just as you wouldn’t buy a full-size snooker table if you were hoping to play the game with the whole family, including young children, you need to give special thought to who will be playing croquet. If it’s going to be a game for adults, then a full-size set will be okay. However, if some players are going to be shorter and have smaller hands, you will want to buy a more kid-friendly set.
The number of players you will have for games will also impact the set you buy. You’ll noticed from our look at the best croquet sets, some only come with 2 mallets, whereas others feature a 4-player or even 6-player configuration with mallets and balls to suit.
Features That Are Important
There are some features that all croquet sets need to have, including:
Used to hit the balls in a game of croquet, the mallets consist of a long handle and a round head. They are obviously very significant. Depending on how long you are intending to play for and whether you are worried about playing to a tournament or official standard or not, should be factored into your buying decision.
For instance, if you are going to play lots of tournaments with a kit, you will want to ensure the mallets are of a high quality and are comfortable to hold for hours. You also will need to ensure they are going to stand up to the test of repeated use, as their main function is to hit the balls.
Although the sets above feature only wooden mallets, there are some sets out there that are made from materials diverse as aluminium, fibreglass and carbon fibre. Obviously, if you are just looking for something to pass the time as a family, the quality of the mallets is only important because you don’t want them to break within one game of use. The same goes for the length of the handle too.
The balls are another important component of any croquet set. The balls are normally very brightly coloured, the colours of which match up with the mallets included in the set. If you opt for a tournament-standard set, you will find the balls are much heavier than those you would find in a fun-for-all-the-family in the back-garden set.
We would not recommend getting a set with heavy balls if you are going to play with young children, as they could cause injury otherwise. As with most things, it just depends on what you are looking for from your croquet set.
As the stakes or pegs are normally used to mark out the croquet playing area and provide the starting point and finishing point, they are another vital element of any set. Durability and robustness are priorities when it comes to the stakes/pegs in a set. You want to ensure they are big enough also that when they are pressed into the ground, they are easy enough to see by all involved in the game.
With some very cheap sets you may find there are plastic stakes. However, if you are looking for a set that’s going to last longer, wooden and metal are better materials. That’s why you’ll not find plastic pegs/stakes in any of the sets we highlighted.
As wickets are directly involved in the points aspect of the game, they are a crucial part. Regardless of what rules you play by, all forms of croquet involve hitting the balls through the wickets (often called hoops or arches). You will find, like the stakes, there are sometimes wickets in sets made by plastic. However, this is not necessarily the best option and in the sets, we highlighted, the wickets featured tend to be made from either wood or metal.
So, there we have its folks, a look at the best croquet sets available for 2019. We tried to really take an impartial look at the available choice, which is why you will find such a diverse range in terms of the quality and price of the sets we picked out. We know there are many of you out there who are possibly big fans of croquet and therefore want a quality set, whereas many others who are just looking for a fun family game to play together.
That’s why we feel, although the Jaques of London set was singled out, there’s no real right or wrong choice – pick the best that suits your budget, needs and the people you are going to play with, and you’ll not go wrong!