Are you looking to buy a new trumpet and considering getting a plastic one? Whether it’s for your child or yourself, there are a number of great reasons to opt for plastic over traditional brass. They’re lightweight, incredibly inexpensive, easy to play, and hard to break they make a great trumpet for beginners and those looking to dip their toes in.
In this post, we’re going to cover the 6 best plastic trumpets currently on the market and also walk you through what you need to know to choose a good one. Let’s get started.
Quick Answer: The Best Trumpets Made out of Plastic
The Best Rated Plastic Trumpet Reviews
Before we get to our buying guide, here are our reviews of our favorite plastic trumpets currently on the market.
#1. pTrumpet Plastic Trumpet
- Pitched in Bb
- 4.75 inch Bell
- Unique fully plastic valve system
When it comes to plastic trumpets our favorite has to be the pTrumpet brand. This plastic trumpet is ideal for both adults and kids and is very user-friendly and easy to use even for beginners.
Incredibly lightweight, it’s an ideal choice for young kids who aren’t used to carrying a trumpet or for adults to play on long gigs.
It comes with two mouthpieces that both have Biocote antimicrobial protection which makes it safe for use even if several people are sharing it. Another reason we like it is that it comes with a gig bag which makes it possible to carry it around and you don’t have to purchase another one.
#2. Tromba TF-SL Pro Professional BB Flugelhorn
- Color: black
- Tone: BB, bore: 0.459
- Ultralight, seriously fun
Taking the runner-up spot on our list is the Tromba TF-SL Pro Professional BB Flugelhorn, our top pick for the best plastic flugelhorn. The flugelhorn is a cousin of the trumpet and a popular alternative instrument for many musicians.
While the Tromba TF-SL Pro is a lightweight, portable, and inexpensive plastic flugelhorn, it’s made to work just like the brass varieties. It has all the working parts you might expect, all made from high-quality ABS. You could drop this thing from a couple of stories up, and it would probably come out the other side OK—more than you can say for a brass flugelhorn.
This plastic flugelhorn comes with a Denis Wick style mouthpiece that most players would find suitable, but you may want to replace it with the one you prefer. Overall, a fantastic gift for the budding trumpet or flugelhorn player in your life who needs something to practice with.
#3. Tromba Bb Plastic Trumpet
- Polished & machine honed yellow brass sleeves
- High quality stainless steel pistons with ABS core
- Damage resistant and easy clean surfaces
If you’re looking for a plastic trumpet that is customizable with interchangeable parts but also extremely durable, then look no further than the Tromba Bb Plastic Trumpet. Not only does it come in a variety of colors, making it perfect for kids, but you can swap out the parts for different colors to mix and match as you please!
One thing about plastic trumpets is that it’s tough to tell if they will play well in cold weather. Sometimes the plastic doesn’t heat up quick enough, or the parts become rigid. The Tromba Bb Plastic Trumpet’s high-quality ABS and stainless steel pistons ensure it will be ready to play no matter what the weather might be.
The Tromba Bb Plastic Trumpet also comes with an exquisite cleaning kit that you can start to use out of the box. Also, the two plastic mouthpieces that it comes with are fine, but you may want to swap them out for something more attractive.
#4. pTrumpet 2.0 Plastic Trumpet
- MUSIC TRANSFORMS: The affordable plastic pTrumpet comes in energizing colors and is as fun as it is functional! A standard .460-inch bore pitched in...
- LIGHTWEIGHT: Half the weight of a brass trumpet, the pTrumpet is easy to play and hold, promoting good form and allows for an enjoyable practice or...
- QUICK ASSEMBLY: Maintenance free! The pTrumpet has a unique antimicrobial design and works straight out of the box! Includes two acrylic mouthpieces...
The bold and affordable pTrumpet 2.0 Plastic Trumpet is a welcome addition to the market, with a couple of unique features that help it stand out from the rest of the pack. Plus, you get free trumpet lessons included with your purchase. What other plastic trumpet offers that?
The pTrumpet 2.0, like other high-quality plastic trumpets, is made from a robust and durable ABS material. It can actually take a similar beating compared to expensive brass varieties, saving you money on replacement parts or even a full instrument in the long run.
This plastic trumpet has a better grip than most, making it a good choice for children just learning to hold their trumpet properly. Also, they can choose their favorite color to play with! While you can’t mix and match colors like other models, the available options are sure to make them want to pick up their instrument and play!
#5. Tromba Pro Professional C Plastic Trumpet
- Polished & machine honed yellow brass sleeves
- High quality stainless steel pistons with ABS core
- Damage resistant and easy clean surfaces
Our budget plastic trumpet option, the Tromba Pro Professional C Plastic Trumpet is anything but cheap. While relatively inexpensive, it’s still tough enough to handle band camp or marching band season without a hitch.
The Tromba Pro has stainless steel pistons and an anti-microbial ABS body. Other trumpets might be hard to clean, especially when you consider how kids can be. This model wipes down easily and stays clean for longer, saving you time and keeping your kids safe.
Also, the inclusion of a lead pipe raises the sound quality above the average plastic trumpet. You can play a wider variety of music without worrying about the parts caving to the pressure.
However, it’s worthwhile to mention that the Tromba Pro Professional C Plastic Trumpet plays in C, not Bb, like all the other models we’ve mentioned. If you’re looking for a trumpet that can play in Bb, then you need to check out one of the models above.
How to Choose a Plastic Trumpet: A Buyer’s Guide
The plastic trumpet was invented in the 1990s by a company called Jiggs in an attempt to create a fun, durable, lightweight, and affordable version of the popular brass instrument.
These goals were all successfully accomplished, and now many trumpeters, from the youngest novice to the most seasoned, seek to find the best plastic trumpet to meet their needs.
To help you choose the right plastic trumpet for you, explore this guide on the differences between plastic and brass trumpets and how to decide the level of durability, playability, and sound quality that you need.
Plastic vs Brass Trumpets: What’s the Difference
Compared to the classic brass trumpet, the plastic trumpet offers a few distinct advantages.
Plastic trumpets are much lighter in weight, which makes them a great alternative for children, trumpeters in marching bands and field show ensembles, and for traveling with the instrument.
Plastic also does not conduct heat and cold the way brass does and is less sensitive to water which is very handy for those who play outdoors in more extreme weather conditions.
It is not only easier on the hands, but the tone quality does not fluctuate as much on account of temperature.
The plastic used in plastic trumpets can, surprisingly, actually be as sturdy or more sturdy than the metals used in traditional trumpets.
Another added benefit of plastic trumpets is that they can cost quite a bit less than brass trumpets making them a good option if you’re looking for the best trumpets on a budget.
If you choose the right one for you, you will not have to sacrifice as much in tone quality for the price difference as you might think.
Below are some other features you’ll want to consider when choosing a plastic trumpet.
Weight of Plastic Trumpets
Although most plastic trumpets you find will definitely weigh less than their brass counterparts, the exact difference depends on many factors that you need to consider.
While the body of the plastic trumpet may be plastic, some are constructed with other parts that are made of other materials which can be heavier.
The mouthpiece is almost always made of metal for the sake of maintaining a good tone.
Other parts like the pistons and valves and some of the moving slides can sometimes be made of metal as well which helps to reinforce their durability, as these parts are constantly under friction.
The type of plastic used also makes a difference to size and weight, with more durable plastics weighing a bit more.
Given this variability, plastic trumpets range between 1 and 3 pounds, while most metal trumpets weigh 2 to 5 pounds.
It sounds insignificant until you try holding the trumpet as a trumpeter does for the duration of a song, or especially for an entire gig!
Like brass trumpets, plastic trumpets also come in a range of sizes but most are the same as a regular Bb trumpet’s size.
Their bells vary in size just like brass trumpets do, as well, in accordance with the type of sound you most want to produce.
In both cases, the larger the bell, the heavier the instrument, and the further your sound will project.
The length of tubing in plastic and brass trumpets are the same, as well.
The aspect that deters most people from going down the plastic trumpet route is the sound quality.
If you were to take a plastic trumpet and a brass trumpet of equal price and size, you will likely always find the brass version to have a clearer, warmer, and as obvious as it sounds, brassier sound.
This is because sound waves reverberate more with metal versus plastic.
Because plastic absorbs more sound than brass, articulations on plastic trumpets are often less crisp, and the overall sound quality is more muted.
Some of this can be mitigated with skill, a high-quality mouthpiece, and the addition of metal pieces to the plastic body.
When considering these differences in sound quality, it is important to weigh the pros and cons as they pertain to your needs.
Are you looking for a practice instrument that you can toss around, bring anywhere, and hold for hours on end without your arms getting tired?
Are you purchasing the instrument for a child or a very new beginner who just needs to get used to holding it, learning the different notes, and developing their trumpet embouchure?
Do you have a gig coming up where you would really love to have a fun crazy color, and you will likely not use that instrument much in the future, so it will be more of an accessory piece, and you have the chops to make it sound like you need it to sound for this particular gig?
In cases like these, you are probably not overly concerned about sound quality, and the lightweight, durability, and affordability of plastic trumpets are probably more valuable to you.
These aspects will help you find the good plastic trumpet that will not only last for a long while, but you’ll actually enjoy playing.
Plastic trumpets are highly playable for a number of reasons.
Firstly, due to the durability of plastic, they are very easy to maintain.
Their sound quality and physical condition is less sensitive to temperature and water or humidity.
The smoothness and durability of plastic require less maintenance, such as valve oil, on the pistons and valves, and slides to keep them from eroding and sticking.
The lighter weight makes them easier for transporting and playing for long periods of time – especially for children.
Compromised sound quality can mean compromised playability in situations where you need to do extra work with embouchure and breath control to produce a clearer, more articulate sound that comes more naturally on a brass trumpet.
The durability of plastic trumpets depends mainly on the type of plastic used.
Most plastic trumpets are made of ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) plastic, which is one of the most durable plastics made.
It is thermoplastic, which means it will ultimately melt in the heat, but not until over 200 degrees Fahrenheit – much hotter than any plastic trumpet will ever endure under normal play!
ABS plastic is highly resistant to other substances and to damage on impact, making it a great product for trumpets, which are exposed to moisture through playing.
It is even more durable than metal, which will easily dent or scratch, making it ideal for children who aren’t quite as careful with their expensive instruments as they should be.
Moving parts, such as valves, pistons, and slides, can be reinforced for added durability with stainless steel.
This might reduce playability because those metal parts will need to be maintained with trumpet valve oil and will also increase the weight of the instrument slightly.
One of the biggest advantages of plastic trumpets is that they are quite a bit more affordable than any other type of trumpet.
To give you a rough idea of price, a basic beginner plastic trumpet can cost between $60 and $80.
In this price range, the plastic will be less durable, and the sound quality will be the least clear and robust, but you can’t beat that price for a starter instrument that still allows new players to get the feel of holding the trumpet and foundational fingering and embouchure techniques.
These cheap models are also going to be the most lightweight options if that is something you’re looking for.
At the other end of the spectrum, the highest-end plastic trumpets can cost between $700 and $800.
These are engineered with the most durable plastics and metal accents for the best sound quality that can be produced with a plastic trumpet.
Plastic trumpets in this price range have been treated to look more polished and professional.
Are Plastic Trumpets for You?
Whether you are looking for a solid practice instrument or a trumpet in a wild color, there is definitely a plastic trumpet to meet your needs.
At a wide range of prices and levels of sound quality and playability, you will find this lightweight member of the trumpet family to be either the perfect starter instrument or a great accessory to your musical options.
Conclusion: Which One Should you Buy?
While every plastic trumpet on our ranking is an incredible instrument that can compete with full-fledged brass trumpets, we believe the pTrumpet The Plastic Trumpet should be your top pick too. It has an unbeatable sound quality, easy construction, and extremely durable materials. Overall, the best plastic trumpet available today by a long shot.
However, if you’re looking for a flugelhorn, then we can also highly recommend the Tromba TF-SL Pro Professional Plastic Flugelhorn. Another fantastic instrument, you’ll get lost in the richness and roundness of the sound it makes.