What size hula hoop do I need?

Hoop measurement image

Hoop between hips and belly button

Choosing a hoop can confusing but, put simply, the smaller the hula hoop, the faster it spins and the harder it is to use. This is why you may have had trouble with hula hoops bought from a sports or cheap shop.

When standing on the ground beside you, a hula hoop should generally come to somewhere between your hip and your belly button. Beginners, children and people with larger waists (see below) should aim for belly button height or just above – it is surprisingly easy to use a hoop that is even larger than you are, but this won’t allow you to do much more than spin it around your waist in big slow circles. Experienced hoopers may move down to smaller hoops, which are easier to manipulate and practice on a wide range of tricks, moves and hoop flow.

A special note to curvy hoopers when choosing a hoop:

Technically, it’s not the size of the hoop that determines how fast it spins but the ratio of hula hoop size to waist size. This means that a larger waist requires a larger hoop – sometimes a much larger hoop (if you double the waist circumference, then ideally you would want to double the hoop size, but there is obviously a point where this becomes impractical). We recommend our large travel hoops for people with large waists and we are able to make extra large hoops too – contact us for details.

Which hula hoop tube should I choose?

16mm polypro? 25mm HDPE? What does this all mean?! Does it matter when choosing a hoop?

All of our tube is Australian made and, generally, 19-20 mm is the standard thickness (tube diameter) for a hula hoop. 16mm is super thin and 25mm is super thick, but is about right for larger adult hula hoops. The weight probably matters more than the width, although the two are related. Refer to this table when deciding what’s best for your needs:

16mm Polypro: thin and light.
Recommended for smaller hoops, hand-hooping, numbers/hoop slinky

18mm HDPE: somewhat thin and very light.
Recommended for intermediate-advanced hoopers with smaller hoops/hand-hooping

19mm Polypro: a standard thickness and light.
Recommended for Intermediate-to-advanced hoopers and enthusiastic beginners

20mm HDPE (blue line): a standard thickness and weighted.
Recommended for beginner-to-intermediate hoopers

25mm HDPE: thick and weighted.
Recommended for beginner-to-intermediate hoopers with large hoops

Polypro vs HDPE hula hoop tube

Many hoopers get very passionate about different types of plastic when choosing a hoop but most do not really understand the differences, which frankly are modest.

Polypropylene (polypro) is more rigid than high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which allows you to make lighter hoops without them becoming floppy and can give a more springy feel to the hoop. Rigidity is also a function of the wall thickness though, so an HDPE hoop with a thicker wall can be more rigid than a polypro hoop with a thinner wall.

We use the plastics in different dimensions to make the most of the differences, which means that you cannot make an apples-with-apples comparison using our tube. If you’ve felt a ‘polypro’ or ‘HDPE’ hoop and loved it before, it was probably because the size and weight were right for you, more so than because of the type of plastic used. We suggest choosing your tube based on the recommendations in the table above, rather than on the type of the plastic.

Choosing a Hula Hoop or a Travel Hoop?

As any hooper knows, hauling a hula hoop around can be a right pain in the neck (so can storing it at home). A travel or coil down hoop on the other hand breaks down into sections that will fit into your backpack or sports bag and the smallest of storage areas. A travel hoop also has the added advantage of being flexible in size; you can use your travel hoop with either 5 pieces or with 6 to make it larger or smaller – its like two hoops in one.