If you’re just getting into badminton, you might not think about shuttles much. Perhaps your friends always bring extras, or you use the ones that came with a beginner badminton set. But if you plan to play badminton often — or you’re already an avid player — investing in good shuttlecocks can make a big difference in your game.
Not only do quality shuttles zip off your racket with more speed, but they also create a better trajectory in your shots. And if you’re ever planning to compete, they will be more comparable to the ones you’d use in real tournaments.
But what should you look for when buying badminton shuttles, and which brands offer the best quality? Here’s everything you need to know.
Types of Badminton Shuttles
As a first step in buying your new shuttlecocks, it’s important to understand the different types you can choose from.
Here are the main options you’ll see on the market:
Feather shuttles consist of a round cork and 16 goose feathers. These are more popular among intermediate-to-advanced players, as they produce excellent spin and a sharper trajectory in smashes.
Compared to cheaper nylon shuttles, their feathers make them more aerodynamic and better for tournaments. However, they can be more expensive and may not be as durable as nylon material.
Nylon shuttles are cheaper and longer-lasting, making them more popular among beginners. At the same time, they’re typically less aerodynamic than feather shuttles — which means it can be harder to create clean smashes or net shots with them.
Still, they are more resilient to mishits and damage. And if you’re a newer player who’s still working on your technique, a solid set of nylon shuttles can offer a great bang for your buck.
Hybrid shuttles are essentially nylon shuttles with goose feather tips. Because they’re a mix of materials, they’re often a bit cheaper and more durable than feather shuttles. That being said, they do tend to be a bit less aerodynamic than full feather options.
Best Badminton Shuttlecock Brands — and Where to Find Them
Now that you know which types of shuttles are out there, here are three of the best brands to choose from (and where to find them):
If you’ve been looking for aerodynamic, durable shuttles, Yonex won’t disappoint — in quality or selection.
As a go-to brand in the badminton space, they have plenty of excellent options, including:
- Yonex Mavis 350: These are built to be as aerodynamic as a nylon shuttle can be — making them great for beginners and casual players. Find them on Amazon or Badminton Warehouse.
- Yonex Aerosensa-30 (AS-30): Since these are goose feather shuttles, they lean slightly on the pricier side. However, their high-quality design can help bring better stability and sharpness to your shots. Find them on Amazon or Badminton Alley.
- Yonex Aerosensa-40 (AS-40): A step up from the AS-30s, the AS-40s are tournament approved with increased durability. They can be expensive, but they’re well worthwhile for advanced players who want the best possible performance. Find them on Amazon or Badminton Warehouse.
Victor is another brand known for creating high-quality badminton gear — including shuttles. Here are some of their best options to pick from:
- Victor 2000 Gold: This nylon shuttle offers medium speed and long-lasting durability for its price point. Find on Amazon.
- Victor Master Ace: These goose feather shuttles have been approved for international tournaments by the Badminton World Federation. They come with a softwood cork along with full goose feather material, which helps them produce incredible speed, flight, and stability. Find them on Badminton Warehouse.
3. Ling-Mei Sport
Although Ling-Mei is a lesser-known brand, their badminton shuttles offer top-notch quality for a slightly more affordable price than Yonex’s high-end options. Some of their best models include:
- Ling-Mei 80: These goose feather shuttles have medium flight speed and excellent durability for their price point. Find them on Badminton Warehouse.
- Ling-Mei 90 Pro: This model is approved by the Badminton World Federation for international play due to its excellent speed, durability, and aerodynamics. Find on Badminton Warehouse.