DIY Ideas & How-To GuidesHoopmakers University

HDPE + Polypro Tube Sizing Guide

  • All the sizes preceding the descriptions are measured by the outer diameter.
  • OD = Outer diameter
  • ID = Inner diameter


3/8" - About the size of a pencil, this tubing is primarily utilized for insert material for 1/2" tubing. It is also near the size of tubing you'd see used in a hospital, though the plastic is much thicker and sturdier. It can be found in HDPE and polypro for hoop making.

1/2" - This tubing is about the size of a pinky finger, and while primarily used for insert material for 5/8" tubing, it can also be used to craft thin hula hoops. It can be especially useful for small juggling hoops. It can be found in HDPE and polypro for hoop making.

5/8" - This size tubing is comparable to a thumb or nickel and remains one of the most popular sizes for making hula hoops. It can also be used as insert material for 3/4" tubing and can be found in HDPE and polypropylene.

11/16"" - This size tubing is is slightly larger in diameter than 5/8", but slighly less in diameter than 3/4". WE MAKE THIS TUBING WITH A THICKER WALL, therefore it is HEAVIER and STURDIER than 5/8" tubing. We recommend polycarb inserts and the size you need is 1/2". The INNER DIAMETER IS 1/2" for this tubing.

3/4" - Comparable to a quarter, this tubing is also one of the most popular sizes for crafting hoops. It can also be used as insert material for 7/8" tubing and can regularly be found in HDPE and polypro. This tubing can also be found in polyethylene, but it will be labelled as 1/2" because it is measured by the ID of the tubing instead of the OD.

7/8" - This tubing is just slightly bigger than 3/4" and slightly smaller than 1" tubing. It is a great size if you feel like goldilocks and like something a little bigger, but not as big as 1". It can be found in HDPE, and can also be used as insert material for 1" tubing.

1" - This tubing is bigger and most commonly used for beginner hoops or for people who just like heavier and bigger hoops in general. It can be found in HDPE and polyethylene, but when found in polyethylene, it will be labelled as 3/4" since it is measured by the ID instead of the OD.

1.2" - This tubing is very large and generally utilized for making weighted/workout hoops. Some people choose to fill them with sand or water, but that can also be done to any size tubing. This size can only be found in polyethylene and will be labelled as 1" because it is measured by the ID instead of the OD.

Additional notes about polyethylene tubing: Every size polyethylene tubing that can be found also comes in many different PSIs (pressure per square inch), usually varying from 80psi-200psi. The higher the psi, the heavier the tubing will be, so therefore, tubing that is only 80psi will be much lighter than 200psi tubing. Make sure to find a fit that is comfortable for you and your desired customers. For instance, you may want a higher psi if you are making workout hoops that are primarily meant for waist hooping. For general beginner hoops, the most used psi varies from 100-150 typically.

Selecting a size for a hoop: When selecting a size for a hoop it is important to decide whether you want the hoop to be measured by the ID or the OD, especially when you are selling hoops to other people. Hoops measured by the OD will be slightly smaller than ones measured by the ID. If, for instance, you want a 34" OD hoop, you simply need to multiple 34 x 3.14 (pi). The result will be what you measure on the outside of the tubing. Keep in mind that measuring with a soft tape measure is much easier and quicker on the outside of the tubing versus the inside. If you wanted a 34" ID hoop, you could again multiple 34 x 3.14 and the measure the inside of the tubing instead of the outside, but if you want to be a bit more efficient and quicker, you can simply use this sizing chart that we've made. Simply go to the line of the size you want to make and find the correlated measurement so that you can measure from the outside of the tubing!

Polypro vs. HDPE: The two most common tubing types in the industry are polypro and HDPE. Polypro, the most popular, is harder/more stiff, more sturdy, and less pliable than HDPE. It has a little more weight to it (a negligible amount) and has the potential to make certain types of hooping feel a little smoother. While it is the most common type of tubing used for hoopers who have grown past the beginning stage, it is not to say that it is necessarily better than any other type of tubing. Personal preference is a huge factor when deciding which type of tubing to use, and we recommend trying all kinds to find what feels best for you. One downfall with polypro is that it can crack and break more easily in cold weather. It shouldn’t be too big of a concern, though, as we have only experienced a broken polypro from cold weather in -15 degrees Fahrenheit, but it may be something to keep in mind. HDPE is great for thinner/lighter beginner hoops and more advanced hoops alike. It is a little lighter than polypro and slightly softer to the touch, but is more robust and reliable when it comes to breakages as it doesn’t react to the cold the same was polypro does.

The PSIs for the polypro and HDPE Hoopologie stocks: 

  • 3/4" Polypro – 71 PSI
  • 5/8" Polypro – 87 PSI
  • 3/4" HDPE – 105 PSI
  • 7/8" HDPE – 105 PSI
  • 5/8" HDPE – 151 PSI

Hoop Size Tables

Outer Hoop Diameter