Ultimate Tennis Strings Buying Guide

Which tennis strings are right for me? Choosing the right tennis string for you can be a confusing and daunting task. With literally hundreds of options available to players, being able to find the right blend of power, spin, comfort and control to suit your game can be a bit of an ordeal. At Tennis HQ we want to make the customer experience as enjoyable and helpful as possible, so we have created the ultimate tennis strings guide to help you make the right decision when it comes to selecting your perfect strings. So whether your a player with lots of power that need a polyester string to gain back control or a begginer seeking a synthetic gut string for a bit more pop and comfort this guide is for you.  

Do tennis strings effect the performance of my racket? Not a lot of people know that tennis strings and their tension contribute to at least 50% of the performance of your racket. All tennis strings lose tension over time, some quicker than others. All tennis rackets will have a recommended tension for the strings in order for the user to get the most out of their racket. When this tension falls below the recommended tension the racket does not perform at its peak and can quickly become difficult to control. 

As we take you through this guide we are going to look at the different types of tennis strings, how they are constructed, their playing properties and also some pros and cons of each. We will also discuss how to tell when your tennis racket needs to be restrung and how often you should be changing the strings. If you would like to know more about tennis string tension and gauges then take a look at our seperater guide "Getting the correct tennis string tension and gauge." First of all let's look at the different types of strings:-

Synthetic Gut Tennis Strings

Synthetic gut is often made from nylon and is constructed of a thin solid core with a wrap of fibres surrounding the core. It is more often than not the string that is found in factory strung tennis rackets as it is fairly inexpensive and can offer reasonable playability for the price. Synthetic gut is suitable for beginner and intermediate players as it offers good access to power and is comfortable to play with. It is not overly durable especially for players of a higher level who have a reasonable amount of spin in their game but it does hold its tension pretty well and will lose tension relatively slowly over time.



  • Inexpensive 
  • Maintains tension well
  • Good access to power 
  • Comfortable to play with


  • Limited playability
  • Little access to spin 
  • Not very durable 

Polyester/Monofilament Tennis Strings

Polyester tennis strings are a string made up of one solid core, they are typically made of a polymer and are a much stiffer string. Over the last decade polyester strings have dominated the pro tour and have become the go to string for more advanced players who want to have more control and access to spin. They come in various shapes from round to shaped (hexagon, pentagon or square) to offer the user more access to spin as the edges are able to grip the ball as the racket brushes up the back of the tennis ball. Polyester strings are not a good option for beginners or players with arm problems as they provide little to no power and are much stiffer meaning there is more shock that goes through the strings and into the arm. Polyester strings are incredibly durable but they lack tension maintenance and often lose their tension before they break.



  • Good access to spin 
  • Excellent control
  • Very durable 


  • Very low powered 
  • Stiffer so harsher on the arm
  • Lose tension faster than other string types

Multifilament Tennis Strings

Multifilament tennis strings are constructed of hundreds of tiny fibres woven round each other. They can range hugely in price and are typically viewed as the closest thing a player can get to natural gut without the heavy price tag. They offer great playability with good access to power and are incredibly comfortable to play with so perfect for players with existing arm problems. They also maintain their tension very well, losing tension much slower than polyester strings. Multifilament strings are a good choice for players looking for power and comfort but will not suit players who frequently break strings as they are not very durable.



  • Excellent power
  • Very comfortable to play with and soft on the arm
  • High tension maintenance 
  • Good range of different price points
  • Closest thing to natural gut


  • Less control 
  • Not very durable and can break easily if you are a big hitter

Natural Gut Tennis Strings

Natural gut is the ultimate string for power and comfort. It has been around since the 1800s and so far no artificial string has managed to produce the same properties. It is constructed of tightly woven fibres of cow intestine; it maintains its tension and playability better than any other string. Often it is used in a hybrid set up by professional players. It offers big power and comfort for those that have sensitive joints. The other benefit of natural gut is that it is able to be strung at a high tension for those that want more spin and control without losing its comfort characteristic. Unfortunately this ultimate string is very expensive and can often be 5x more than similar multifilaments. It is more durable than multifilaments but less than polyester strings.



  • Ultimate playability 
  • Great tension maintenance 
  • Comfortable on the arm
  • Can be strung at a very high tension


  • Most expensive of any string
  • Not as durable as other strings

Hybrid Tennis Strings

Hybrid strings are simply a combination of two strings often from different categories that we have mentioned before. The most popular hybrid setup is natural gut and polyester, in this setup there is a boost in durability from the polyester and a boost in playability from the natural gut. Hybrid set ups are great for players that want a little bit of something from each of the different types of string. More often than not the more durable control string is put into the mains and the power and comfort string put into the crosses. There are not many drawbacks to a hybrid setup apart from the player not receiving the complete benefits of any of the one chosen string types. A hybrid set up can also be a bit more expensive, especially if a high priced multifilament or natural gut is chosen as the second string.


  • Combination of properties from different string types 
  • More of a personalised setup 
  • Can increase durability and playability 


  • Not best performing in any category 
  • Can be more expensive depending on chosen strings

When should I restring my tennis racket 

There are a few things to look out for when thinking about restring your racket. Firstly and most obviously is when the string breaks. This can be from just general wear and tear if in the centre or from a big miss hit if on the edges. Another reason for the strings to break which can often be overlooked is on the outside of the frame and contact with the ground if the head guard has been damaged or worn down. Other signs that might tell you its time to restring is if the tension has dropped too low and the racket starts to lose its playability. Or in the case of multifilament strings, if the strings have started to fray a lot which would also cause the tension to drop. 

How often should I restring my tennis racket

The general rule of thumb is the number of times you play per week is the number of times you should restring your racket per year. But we would also recommend that all types of strings should be changed at least every 3 months. Tennis strings still use tension even when the racket is not being used so very recreational players should be changing the strings at least every 6 months.

We hope you have found this guide helpful. If you need help selecting your tennis string tension and gauge then visit our Getting the Correct Tennis Racket String Tension and Gauge guide. If you have any questions about tennis strings or other tennis equipment please check our other guides or get in touch with someone from the Tennis HQ team.