LAST UPDATED: July 12, 2021

The best cornhole boards: The fun outdoor yard game for the whole family

Best cornhole set overall Two square wooden shapes with a blue and red stripe each of them and with a circular hole in their upper part, as well as a big black bag and some small square shapes red and blue in the shape of pillows. GoSports Classic Cornhole Set

With a range of designs and sizes, these high-quality cornhole sets can suit any space and come fully equipped with all-weather  beanbags.

Pros

The bags are very durable and a great weight.

Cons

The boards themselves don’t withstand weather well, and may warp over time.

Best cornhole set for all-weather Two square wooden shapes with blur color on them and with the brand name written on them and some small square shapes of yellow and gray color in the form of pillows. Triumph All-Weather Aluminum 2×3 Cornhole Set

Endure any weather with this waterproof and welded steel set that comes with a carrying bag and eight bags to help you score.

Pros

The hinges and legs are strong and supportive for durable play.

Cons

The boards are fairly heavy, so they may not be as portable as other options.

Best portable cornhole set Two portable Cornhole toss games, one red and the other blue and a blue bag underneath. GoSports Portable PVC Framed Toss Game Set

Whether you want to play beachside or  on the next camping trip, this lightweight set allows you to bring the game with you just about anywhere.

Pros

The setup is simple and only takes 5-7 minutes.

Cons

The bags don’t easily slide on nylon.

You might be thinking: What is cornhole? The simple answer is that it’s a lawn game that entails two teams or individuals competing to see who can throw a bean bag into a hole. You may have grown up calling it “bean bag toss,” “bag toss,” “tailgate toss,” or something similar. Members of the American Cornhole League, whose games are broadcast on ESPN (yes, really), would no doubt describe it in greater detail, but that’s the gist. 

That said, not all cornhole sets are created equal. The best cornhole boards for you might not be the right one for your neighbor. For example, if you like to play cornhole at night but don’t have a particularly well-lit yard, perhaps an LED board is in order. Or, if you like to bring the fun with you wherever you go, you’ll want a lightweight portable set to always be the life of the party, whether on the beach, in a park, or at a friend’s backyard barbecue. Maybe you’re so dedicated to your cornhole craft that you play come rain or shine—in that case, a weatherproof cornhole set has your name written all over it. Perhaps you or someone you love is so particular that custom cornhole boards are desired, possibly even one that you can get monogrammed. Fancy! Well, there are a lot of great outdoor yard games on the market, but if you’re looking for the best cornhole boards, you’re in the right place. Follow our guide to one of the best backyard games for adults and kids alike, and get ready to get corny!

What to consider when shopping for the best cornhole boards

First, the great news about buying the best cornhole boards: It’s a can’t-lose proposition. No matter what kind you end up with, good times are afoot, because cornhole is straight-up one of the best outdoor games around. This is due to the fact that it can be played by those with no particular athletic skill—who, perhaps, like to balance a hot dog or slushy drink in their non-throwing hand—as well as those who lack the capacity to treat any game (lawn or otherwise) as anything less than a cutthroat competition. The most important factors to consider before you select a particular cornhole set are your basic preferences in order to maximize the fun—and the likelihood you’ll crush the competition.

Are there regulation specs for a cornhole board?

Yes, there are regulation specs for a cornhole board—if you’re a professional cornhole player. The American Cornhole League requires that boards be 4 feet by 2 feet, made by an ACL-approved manufacturer, and that cornhole bags “are within the ACL general bag parameters and…go through a proprietary coefficient of friction and flexibility testing process.” What this means for you is that your board will likely be around the same size, and your cornhole bags will have a similar feel. But unless you’re competing for real, there’s no need to get hung up on the particulars. At the end of the day, you need two movable boards with holes in them, plus some bean bags that will fit through the holes.

Is cornhole portable, or does it just live permanently in your backyard?

The answers are yes and yes. If portability is a priority, you want to look for an option that packs up and stores easily, comes with a carrying case, and isn’t so heavy that it’s hard to tote. If you want cornhole to be a permanent fixture in the wonderland of your yard, you can opt for something sturdier and heavier—that way there’s no danger of it getting knocked about in the wind. If you’re planning to plant your cornhole and leave it there in perpetuity, make sure to choose a model that’s weatherproof.

Is design important to you?

If beauty is important in every aspect of your life, including your backyard shenanigans, guess what: There’s a cornhole set for that! If you’re willing to spend a few hundred bucks, you can get a custom design cornhole set—monogram and everything—made of spiffy driftwood and with durable cornhole bags in a range of colors, so there’s sure to be something that coordinates with your overall lawn lewk.

Are you a cornhole night owl?

If you come alive when the sun goes down, you need all of the lights! You can purchase boards that come with lights or separately buy LEDs—for the hole, the board border, the bags, or all of the above—then affix them yourself. It’s a simple upgrade that changes the game, literally, because you can keep playing way into the wee hours of the night. 

Related: Playing outside on a sunny summer day? Purchase a parasol to help protect your skin.

The best cornhole boards and sets

Close your eyes and envision yourself at play, kicking back with your friends and family, and playing some of the most fun outdoor games imaginable. What does that look like, exactly? Are you in your own yard, or somewhere else? Is it daytime or after supper? Consider just what you want your cornhole experience to look and feel like, then it’s time to go shopping.

Best cornhole set overall: GoSports Classic Cornhole Set

Classic Design

Pick from a multitude of sizes and designs to fit your particular outdoor aesthetic. GoSports

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This set screams “Americana.” These rustic cornhole boards come in two different sizes—regulation 4 feet by 2 feet, and tailgate-friendly 3 feet by 2 feet. These are what you picture when you imagine cornhole during summer camp and barbecues of yore. You get eight regulation 16-ounce cornhole bags (four red, four blue) and a board in a range of designs from chevron to football to striped. It’s also UV- and water-resistant.

Best cornhole set for all-weather: Triumph All-Weather Aluminum 2×3 Cornhole Set

Tough as Nails

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can deter this set from delivering the game of your dreams. Triumph Sports

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Rust isn’t a worry with this 36-inch by 24-inch bonded, power-coated, and welded option (to prevent wear and tear). Locking leg hinges keep these aluminum-surfaced, steel-frame boards in place when in use, and they fold up easily when it’s time to pack up. You also get six professional-grade, 6-inch by 6-inch cloth bean bags and a carrying case. 

Best cornhole boards with lights: Triumph LED Lighted Cornhole Set

Perfect for Night Play

These two moisture-protected wood boards come with lit-up targets and glow sticks to slip inside the beanbags for all-weather play at any time of night. Triumph Sports

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The LED lights require batteries (not included), so you don’t have to depend on an outlet for fun. The glowsticks are exactly what you’d expect: the kind you crack in half to activate, which you can then use to illuminate your bag. LED-lit cornhole boards are few and far between, so if you can’t find something you like, buy whatever set speaks to you and instead invest in light-up accessories.

Best cornhole portable set: GoSports Portable PVC Framed Toss Game Set

Travels Easily

At just 10 pounds, this lightweight fold-up set—which comes in a fuss-free oblong carrying case—assembles fast, then breaks down just as quickly. GoSports

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A PVC frame is responsible for the lightweight nature of these boards, which measure 3 feet by 2 feet and are covered in tearproof fabric. The tradeoff in a portable model is that you could find yourself chasing your board down the beach on a gusty day, but it’s worth it if you plan to take it loads of different places (and want to save your back from the strain).

Best cornhole budget set: EastPoint Sports Bean Bag Toss

Total Steal

Despite its friendly price tag, you get everything you need with this easy-to-store waterproof set. EastPoint Sports

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Though it’s not a particularly high-tech function, this set (two boards, eight bags, and a convenient carry pack) does include a helpful bean bag return (i.e., a sloped extension from the board hole) that allows for continuous play. Two team colors—red and yellow—make it easy to keep track of who’s winning, even if you’re just down for a nice, non-competitive afternoon. 

FAQs

Q: Why is it called cornhole?

Legend has it that the game is called cornhole simply because the bags were originally filled with corn: hefty and ponderous enough to throw at holes, but safer than, say, pebbles.

Q: How far apart are cornhole boards?

The answer to this question depends on how seriously you take your outdoor yard games. If the answer is “not so seriously,” then put them wherever you want (and if you’re playing with younger aficionados, consider moving them closer together). If you’re playing among corn-stars, official regulation rules per the American Cornhole League say boards should be “27 feet apart from front edge to front edge.” It also recommends “decreasing the distance in three-foot increments to find a comfortable beginning playing distance,” then work your way up.

Q: Who invented cornhole?

There’s no definitive answer, but many believe the honor goes to 14th-century Bavarian cabinet maker Matthias Kuepermann. Others credit Illinois’ Blackhawk tribe, while some say we have Kentucky farmer Jebediah McGillicuddy to thank for the best outdoor game. The origins of cornhole may never be officially established, but what seems to be beyond dispute is that its surge in popularity is due to the Midwestern U.S. states embracing the game wholeheartedly to this day. 

The final word on shopping for the best cornhole set

The most important things to consider when investing in a cornhole set are: Will you be traveling with it? Will you want to play in all sorts of weather? How much do you want to spend? Do you need a nighttime option? Beyond that, you’re golden, because what you’re basically investing in are some beanbags and a couple of boards with holes drilled out of them. Sometimes the simplest things are the most fun, and when it comes to the best outdoor games, there’s nothing more fun than grabbing a drink and pummeling your friends and family in a few highly competitive rounds of tossing cornhole bags at a board.