Best Soccer Ball Pumps
The Saying Goes…
A popular saying about soccer goes,
And it’s almost true!
The last thing you’ll need if you want to play soccer for any lengthy amount of time is a soccer ball pump. That’s right, most, if not all soccer balls, ship deflated, so if you order one you’re going to need a way to get that thing ready for kicking!
First let’s go over best practices when it comes to how to pump up a soccer ball.
Proper Soccer Ball Air Pump Technique
You order a new soccer ball and a new air pump at the same time. Your soccer ball arrives deflated as expected, but here’s what you can anticipate with your newest pump.
It will typically come in three parts: the pump mechanism, the hose, and the soccer ball pump needle. Pump needles are generally universal, so if you lose the needle you shouldn’t have any trouble easily finding a replacement for your pump.
Before you start pumping you’ll need to screw the needle into the pump. You won’t need a tool or anything, you can simply do it by hand. Once you can no longer screw it should be fully operational.
Here’s a quick list of the next steps, which we’ll elaborate on further below:
- Moisten the ball pump needle
- Insert the needle into the air valve
- Pump until firm.
1. Moisten the Ball Pump Needle
We’ve seen a few sources recommend a dab of vaseline placed on the air valve hole of the ball so that the needle is moist during insertion. While this will certainly work, unless you already carry vaseline in your practice or game bag, it’s not too likely you’ll have it on hand.
What you will always have, which has worked for us at Soccer Handbook for years, is saliva. Use a little spit to moisten the needle, and check the soccer ball for its recommended PSI.
Most soccer balls have their recommended PSI listed around the air valve hole. If the recommended PSI has worn off from use you’ll have to simply pump up by touch, which we’ll go over below.
2. Inserting the Needle Into the Air Valve
This is pretty easy, the only thing to keep in mind is that you want the needle to go straight into the air valve. If you insert the needle at an angle it could puncture the air bladder internally, and the ball will not hold air.
This is a good time to note, if your needle is bent, it’s better to replace the needle than try to use it. The bent needle could puncture the air bladder, or it could break off in the air valve, either way, it will mean the end of the soccer ball.
You will not be happy if you ruin a $50 soccer ball because you did not want to replace a $2 air pump needle. Plus, soccer ball needles typically come in multipacks!
3. Pump Until Firm
Moistened needle, inserted needle, it’s finally time to pump!
You’ll want to hold the ball securely, but not too tight. You can hold it between your knees, between your arm and body, or even let the ball sit on the ground. Remember you’re trying to squeeze it just enough to keep it still while you inflate it.
Once you feel the push back from the air pressure on the pump, you know that you’re getting close to full inflation. If your pump has a pressure gauge on it you can check to see you’re within the recommended PSI guidelines.
If your pump doesn’t have a gauge we recommend pumping until the ball is firm, but you can still indent it slightly by squeezing with the heels of your palms.
More of a visual learner? Here’s a quick video that shows this process in detail:
Now that we’ve broken down how to pump up a soccer ball properly, let’s take a look at some of the best soccer ball pump options there are for athletes.
Our Favorite Soccer Ball Pumps
This ball pump looks like it came from the future, or that it was at least designed by Apple or Tesla!
Featuring a USB rechargeable battery and LCD display this pump is by far one of the most technologically advanced on our list. It also functions as a high-powered LED flashlight in case you’re having trouble lining up the air valve and needle.
The most convenient feature though is that you can set the PSI you’re trying to reach. Insert the needle, select your desired PSI and the pump will stop inflating automatically once it hits that PSI. No need to worry about over or under-inflating!
- LCD Screen
- Preset Pressure
- Automatic Inflation
- USB Rechargeable
- High Price Point
- Full Charge Inflates Approximately 30 Balls
- No Battery Means No Inflation
- Two Hours to Fully Charge
A step back in time from the BOMPOW pump, the eBall Sports Ball looks like an air pump that could have been on the sidelines fifty years ago. It’s all-metal construction and standard needle pressure gauge gives this pump a timeless and classic look.
Conveniently, the pressure gauge is color-coded to give you a quick visual idea of the correct PSI window for whatever type of ball you’re inflating. Over inflate? Not to worry, this pump comes with a quick deflation button!
Due to its all-metal construction, convenient gauge, and shipping with three pump needles, the eBall Sports Ball Air Pump is our Editor’s Choice. You can buy this pump knowing it’s accurate, durable, and will look good for years to come.
- All-Metal Construction
- Convenient Color Coded Pressure Gauge
- Extra Air Pump Needles Included
- Quick Deflation Button
- Hand Pump (You Do the Work)
- Requires Many Pumps for Inflation
You’ll feel the difference in a dual-action hand pump the first time you use one.
Dual-action pumps mean that the ball inflates both as you push and pull the pump. It does twice the work in the same amount of time as a single action pump, which, when you might have 2, 4, or even 6 balls to inflate it’s a real life-saver.
The other feature we love about this pump is the side hose holder. This little feature will help to ensure you don’t misplace your needle, and even if you do this pump comes with five needles total and a nozzle attachment. If you find yourself pumping inflatables as often as sports balls, this is the pump you’ll want to consider.
Due to its compact nature, dual-action, hose organizer, and extra attachments, we consider this pump to be our Budget Choice. Despite its mid-range price, this pump’s features and additions make it the most value per dollar.
- Dual Action Inflation
- Lightweight and Small
- Hose Organizer to Keep Track of Needle
- Extra Needles and Nozzle Attachment
- Mid-Range Price
- Plastic Construction
- No Pressure Gauge
If you were interested in that first electronic pump but weren’t interested in the price, you’re going to want to check this one out. Although it uses lights instead of an LCD screen, this automatic electric ball pump has an easy-to-use one-button system that automatically inflates to the perfect PSI for volleyballs, basket balls, rugby balls, and of course soccer balls.
Easily charged with the USB, this electric pump is a reasonably priced option if you’d like to save yourself the time and energy of hand pumping one or multiple soccer balls. We also recommend it to referees who can have it in a backpack to top off match balls during a day of officiating games.
- Easy Automatic Inflation
- Inflates Balls Within 1-2 Minutes
- Extra Needles and Nozzle Attachment
- Dead Battery Means No Inflation
- Not as Precise – Only measures to whole PSI
- Doesn’t Hold Charge Efficiently
Many soccer journeys have started with the adidas air ball pump. It’s a fundamental option that supplies only what you need in an air pump and nothing that you don’t. Even with its no-frills design, the adidas hand pump is dual action to save you time and effort getting your soccer ball inflated.
It should be noted, the needle for this pump is considered non-standard or a European needle, and that can make replacement a bit more difficult. Keep this in mind if you choose this pump.
Perfect as a backup pump or bag pump, adidas air ball pump is our bargain choice because of its extremely low price point and simplicity.
- Lowest Price
- Dual Action Pump
- Non-standard Needle
- Only Comes with 1 Needle
- Hand Pump (You Do the Work)
Not Just Blowing Hot Air, Our Favorite Soccer Ball Pumps Are…
We have three stand-out ball pumps from our list each with its own strengths.
There is the eBall pump which won Editor’s Choice for its classic design, durable metal construction, easy-read pressure gauge, and quick deflation button.
Then there is our Budget Choice which was the Revivl Ball Pump with 5 Needles and 1 Nozzle, which combined a compact dual-action hand pump with intuitive features like a hose organizer so you don’t misplace your needle. extra standard needles, and a large nozzle help to ensure you’re ready for whatever life calls on you to inflate.
And finally, the adidas Air Soccer Ball Pump which at the far most economical price on the list just can’t be overlooked. It provides dual-action inflation in an easy one needle, one hose, one pump package.
Feel free to bookmark this page to reference what we went over concerning air inflation myths, the steps for proper inflation, and some of the best options available on the market!
And one last thing, enjoy your newly inflated soccer ball!