If you don’t have room in the home for a full-sized ping pong table, or you don’t have the cash to invest in a new table, then a ping pong conversion top may be the answer. The best ping pong conversion tops are versatile and can turn your pool table or kitchen table into a sturdy, stable, full-sized ping pong table in a matter of minutes. But you don’t want to waste money on a model that’s flimsy, thin, and unable to survive the kids.
That’s why I’ve created this guide which includes important information that explains what features to look for and how to tell good conversion tops from bad ones.
I’ve also tried out several of the top-rated models that have a reputation for their responsive, durable surfaces. After several practice sessions, I created a list that includes 10 models that are crushing the competition for 2022! These are the best of the best, the tops that actually do offer that solid, responsive playing surface that will let you show off your paddling skills and trick shots. Below, you’ll find the comparison chart, which features each conversion top, how it rated among its competition, and information on each top’s most important features.
Ping Pong Conversion Tops Comparison Chart
JOOLA Tetra Ping Pong Top
When it comes to sports brands, few are the names that come close to the stardom of JOOLA. Their products always feature top-shelf features and quality. The Joola Tetra is no exception to that rule and is still one of the best-selling and best-built models out there. The combination of build quality, ease of use, practicality, and good price make this one of the top products on the market currently and it would’ve been wrong not to start my top 10 list with anything other than this particular model.
This conversion top allows you to convert any type of table into your own home ping pong setup. It comes in at 1/2 inch thick and has a regulation size design of 9 feet by 5 feet. To set and use this table correctly, the table underneath must measure a minimum of seven feet long and three feet wide. This is both a bonus and a downside depending on the size of your current table. For instance, most pool tables are already at least 7 feet long and 3 feet wide. However, if you’re thinking of converting a living room table into a ping pong one, this might not be the ideal solution.
If storage is an issue for you, then you’ll appreciate the table’s four-piece design. The design allows you to store the table easily, in a compact space, unlike tops that feature a two-piece design. Aside from ease of storage, the four-piece design also makes the top easier to set up. The top arrives almost fully assembled, so assembly is a cinch. On the back, you’ll find protective padding that’s designed to prevent scratches and scuffs on the table underneath. One particular thing I don’t like about this model is that it doesn’t come in more than one color option or size variation.
- Fast set up
- Arrives 99% assembled
- Four-piece design
- Easy to store
- Regulation size
- Responsive playing surface
- Very good bang for your buck
- Good for beginners and advanced players
- A bit on the heavy side
- The net isn’t of the best quality
- Only 1 color option
This model is regulation size, 1/2 inch thick, and features the popular four-piece design that makes setting up and storing the table a breeze. This is one heavy top, weighing in at 85 pounds. Fortunately, its four-piece design can allow you and one other person to set the table up with minimal effort. The table’s biggest drawback is the low-quality net, which is smaller than the regulation size. Fortunately, this type of upgrade is very affordable and it’s a common one most conversion top owners make, so it’s not a deal-breaker for buyers!
Viper 3-in-1 Portable Table Tennis Top
Viper is another brand that is well-known and one that produces quality sports products. Their darts and ping pong departments have always excelled and have always been at the top of most top 10 lists. The 3-in-1 portable table tennis top is one of the most flexible and convenient models money can buy in 2022. It features a slim and practical design that can easily fold and be carried anywhere with you. On top of all that, the board also comes with plenty of other games you can play on it, including checkers, backgammon, chess, and others!
This highly portable conversion top features a trifold design that allows for faster assembly. The top can be used on pool tables, other types of game tables, dining room tables, and more. As I mentioned earlier, the set comes with a checkers and backgammon board, adding the type of versatility that most parents are looking for. It also includes two ping pong balls, a couple of paddles, a post set, and a net. Buyers will also appreciate the included carrying case with pockets. All that means that you will get all the accessories you will ever need to fully enjoy your time spent on the table!
The carrying case will allow you to store and transport your top safely, protecting it from damage, dust, and debris. The top itself is made out of MDF and measures in at 84 inches long, 42 inches wide, and 1/4 of an inch thick. This type of material is very durable, more so than particle board, which will be a big selling point for any buyer. Also, MDF is perfectly capable of handling outdoor weather, so you can use this in your backyard if you want to.
- Includes other games
- Great for people on a budget
- Highly portable
- Carrying case included
- Comes with all the accessories you need to play ping pong
- Fairly durable
- Cheap net and posts
- The lighter frame can feel flimsy
This top weighs just twenty-eight pounds, which may have some buyer’s questioning how durable and stable this table really is. However, it’s made out of MDF material, which has a reputation for being much stronger and more durable than particle board. Although, a thinner design can indicate that this table will show signs of wear and tear much faster than a heavier model. The top itself will remain securely in place and includes all of the accessories you’ll need to play ping pong, checkers, and backgammon!
Martin Kilpatrick Conversion Table Tennis Top
This model by Martin Kilpatrick features a two-piece design, complete with locking halves. The locking halves will prevent sliding during gameplay. The dovetail connecting system works to prevent the table from separating, providing more stability. The top comes in three colors including green, blue, and gray. The protection rails on the table are removable and help improve the top’s stability and protection.
The top itself is nineteen millimeters thick, offering a very responsive playing surface. This top comes with a three-year product warranty, which gives shoppers a huge incentive to buy. It also comes with a net, which slides into the sides of the top. The protective padding found on the underside is stuck in place with adhesive and designed to protect the surface of the table underneath.
- Nineteen millimeters thick
- Removable rails
- Dovetail connecting system
- Two-piece design
- Three-year product warranty
- Easy to assemble
- Comes with minimal padding
This is one massive conversion top. It’s heavy, but that shouldn’t be a drawback. The 140 pounds this top weighs will offer the type of stability you need during an intense match. The top itself is made out of particle board, which isn’t known for its durability, however, the innovative dovetail design and the protective rails more than make up for the lower quality material used. Overall, this board offers the type of responsive playing surface that players of all skilled levels will appreciate.
Butterfly Pool Table Conversion Top
This conversion top by Butterfly includes a net and foam backing. The playing surface measures in at ¾ inch thick, so the surface is very responsive. This model features a two-piece design that makes it easy to store and transport. The foam backing on the top will protect the surface of the table underneath, preventing scuffs, gouges, and scratches. The table is regulation size, measuring in at nine feet by five feet. It’s compatible with tables that are at least eight feet in length.
This model is covered by a three-year warranty, which shows the manufacturer stands behind their products.
- Available in two colors
- 19 MM thick
- Two-piece design
- Foam backing
- Regulation size
- Includes a net
- Playing surface has no protective coating
- Scratches easily
This model offers decent bounce back and includes protective metal rails. These rails can be removed if you’re placing the top on a surface that’s nine feet long. The top is durable, with a solid feel. Its heavier weight will require a couple of people to set it up. Aside from the set up being a two-person job, the process is fast and simple. This conversion top earned high marks for ease of use, playing surface quality, and a solid design.
East Point Sports Ping Pong Conversion Top
East Point is one of those companies that has a reputation for producing great products that are reasonably priced and designed for users of all ages. Their latest top offers the type of durability you need, at a price that’s reasonable.
This regulation sized ping pong top measures in at nine feet by five feet. The top itself doesn’t require any assembly, so it’s ready for gameplay, straight out of the box. This model comes with foam back padding, a set of clamps, a net, and net posts. If you’re looking for a model that’s highly portable, then you’ll love the top’s four-piece design, which makes setting up and storing this top a cinch. The playing surface measures in at twelve millimeters, which is slightly below average and may be a deal breaker for some potential buyers.
- No assembly required
- Moderate weight
- Four-piece design
- Includes net
- Regulation size
- Parts of the table are difficult to insert into the joining sleeve
- Playing surface thickness is twelve millimeters
The durable design is one of the biggest reasons people are drawn to this model in particular. Unfortunately, it has a thinner than average playing surface, which can have an impact on how responsive the surface is and how the ball will bounce. So, it’s definitely not tournament worthy, but if you’re looking for a model you can use for the whole family, this top is a great by. The foam pads included in this set are designed to protect the surface of the table that the top is resting on. This helps to prevent scuffs, gouges, and scratches. Additionally, the four-piece design makes setting up, breaking down, hauling, and storing this top convenient and easy.
Indoor Table Tennis Conversion Top with Net Set by Rally & Roar
Weighing in at one hundred and three pounds, this top features a durable construction with a playing surface that is 5/8’ thick. The space saving design is perfect for homes that are short on space. The top’s board can easily be disassembled, then folded down and stored. This is a full, regulation sized top, measuring in at nine feet by five feet, when set up. The two-piece design makes this model very easy to assemble and disassemble for storage. Overall, while this model doesn’t offer the type of pro setup that some players are looking for, the board itself is durable and perfect for players of all ages.
- Easy to assemble
- Regulation size
- Space-saving storage design
- Includes net
- Plastic posts
- Decals begin peeling off after a couple of weeks of use
- Low-quality paint job
Considering the price, you would think the top had a pro-quality looking paint job, but some models arrive out of the box with a splotchy looking playing surface, which is definitely a deal breaker for most. Additionally, the included clamps and posts for the net are made out of a cheap plastic, so it will definitely need an upgrade, sooner rather than later. This is a good budget-friendly buy, especially if you want a top you can use to teach the kid how to play, but I don’t recommend this model if you’re looking for a durable board with a pro-quality look.
Ping Pong Conversion Tops Buyer’s Guide
A conversion top for ping pong tables consists of a playing surface that doesn’t have an undercarriage, foldable legs, or other bulky hardware. These tops can be placed over the surface of a large dining table, or even your pool table. The tops are designed to instantly transform a table into a ping pong table, so you can enjoy your favorite game, without shelling out hundreds of dollars on a full-sized table, or spending time and money to make your own ping pong table.
If you’re a seasoned ping pong player, then you may be a little skeptical about these tops. Do they offer the same type of responsive playing surface that a true ping pong table does? Are conversion tops durable? Are they hard to set up? I’ll go over all the important features you need to look for to ensure you end up with the best top, one that offers a comparable playing experience to that of a standard table, and why this top can be a great addition to your family rec room.
High-quality models can offer a better playing performance compared to low-priced standard tables. The best models will offer a responsive playing surface that promotes bounce quality and consistency.
These ping pong tops feature a simple design that makes them easy to assemble, store, and transport. They’re a more affordable option than a standard table and a great choice if you’re short on space in the home and can’t set up a table permanently. But there are many different models to choose from these days, which can make it even more difficult to find a top that features a responsive playing surface, a thicker design, and the type of durability that’s essential in a model that you’ll play on regularly.
You’ll come across several models of conversion tops on the market that is flimsy, thin, and cheap. Which makes it so hard to weed through these low-quality tops to find models that actually do offer the type of playability that all ping pong lovers are looking for. Below, we will go through the features that you need to look for that can indicate quality, durability, and a responsive playing surface. Some of the most important ones are:
- Surface thickness
- Playing surface
- Weight & Durability
- Price & Warranty
- Indoor/Outdoor use
Just like a standard ping pong table, the material the playing surface is made out of is important. The most common material used is MDF, also known as medium-density fiberboard. This type of wood is the same material you’ll find in standard tables. The material offers a decent bounce. You will also come across tops that are made out of particleboard. This material is not as dense or as strong as MDF and it’s also much lighter.
Size & Height
The size of the top will be important since you want to make sure that it will be compatible with the table you’ll be placing it on. Avoid buying a top that’s way too big for the table you’ll be using. This can make it impossible to play a game since the top will not be stable.
Pay attention to the top’s dimensions and measure your table. You will also need to measure how much space you have available in the room where the top will be set up. Make sure you have enough room for both players to move around, without hitting a wall or having to change up their swing to accommodate for a lack of space. Ideally, you should have at least three to five feet of extra space on each side of the table.
The biggest drawback of a conversion top is its lack of adjustability. You will not be able to raise or lower the playing surface, so how high your ping pong setup is will solely depend on the height of the table you’re placing it on, whereas most models of standard tables offer height adjustment options. This allows you to lower the table for shorter players or raise it for taller players. This isn’t a deal-breaker for most buyers, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind if you have small children.
Playing Surface Thickness
If you’re an experienced ping pong player, then you already know that the thickness of the top will be crucial. How thick or thin the playing surface is mattered since it will impact the ball’s bounce. According to table tennis rules, tables that are used in tournaments much be at least one-inch thick. These conversion tops are not as thick as a standard ping pong table and are not designed for competitive play. Instead, they’re designed for the recreational player.
You’ll come across many different styles and types of conversion tops, with varying thicknesses. I recommend looking for a model that’s at least 5/8 of an inch thick. Anything lower will significantly affect the bounce of the ball and not for the better.
On most models, you’ll find some type of backing. The backing can be made out of EVA or PVC foam. This padding is designed to protect the surface of the table you’ll place the conversion top on. A thicker backing can prevent damage such as scuffs and scratches.
Not all tops will come with this type of padded backing or they may have padding, but it’s very thin and doesn’t offer much protection. These tops are very heavy. If they move around during gameplay, they can easily scuff or damage the surface of the table underneath. Because of this, it’s important to only purchase a model that comes with a heavily padded backing.
If you’re going to place the top on an expensive dining room table or a pool table, then make sure the top you choose has sufficient padding. You do not want to risk purchasing a low-quality top that can end up scratching or seriously damaging the table it’s resting on.
Most conversion tops will come with a net. Just keep in mind, that some of these nets are low quality and lack in adjustability. Fortunately, this is a pretty affordable upgrade and definitely one that you’ll want to make if the top you buy comes with a poor-quality net.
Playing Surface Size
Tables that are used in tournaments measure in at nine feet by five feet. Most conversion tops are also regulation size, however, you’ll also come across mini conversion tops. If you want a standard size playing surface, check the dimensions before you buy to ensure the top you purchase is regulation size.
One of the biggest reasons buyers choose a conversion top is because they don’t have the space to permanently set up a ping pong table. So, it makes sense that when folded down, the top itself should be very easy to store, not requiring much space.
Most tops are designed with ease of storage in mind. Look for a model that has a space-saving design, such as foldable joints. Models that are easy to dismantle are a better choice for homes that are short on space. A top should be stored with the playing surface folded so that each side is facing the other, with only the underside of the top exposed. This helps to minimize damage to the playing surface.
Weight & Durability
Many of these tops are surprisingly heavy. The weight of a top can indicate just how stable or unstable it is. Some models can weigh anywhere from eighty pounds up to one hundred pounds or more. Due to their heavier design, these tops will require a couple of people to help with setting it up. Of course, a heavier design can make these tops more difficult to fold and store. If you’re looking for easier setup and storage, look for a model that features a four-piece design. This design can make it easier to set it up if you don’t have any extra help.
Durability-wise, these tops are very prone to wear and tear, more so than a regular table, because of their thinner design and because the surface will get handled a lot, folded, and unfolded. The lifespan of one of these tops can depend on many factors, including how often it’s used, the type of material it’s made out of, thickness, and how it’s stored. If the top is propped up against a wall when stored, you’ll notice there are signs of damage around the outside perimeter.
However, a damaged perimeter won’t have any impact on the top’s performance, but a damaged playing surface can. A playing surface can get scratched or scuffed during a game. As I mentioned above, these tops usually experience more wear and tear because of the thin design. Basically, a top isn’t going to last as long as a full-sized table. However, it can last for years if you store it and care for it properly.
Price & Warranty
These tops will vary in price depending on size, the type of materials used, and how thick the playing surface is. You can find some great budget-friendly models made by some of the biggest names in the ping pong game, such as Joola. The tops you’ll come across will have a price that ranges from just under $130, up to $400. Higher-priced models will come with a thicker playing surface, which equals a better bounce. They’ll also feature a more durable design, so it’s wise to invest in a conversion top that won’t quit on you after just a season or two.
Some models will come with a six to twelve-month warranty. Higher-priced models may come with a two to three-year warranty.
These tops come in five standard colors:
This allows you to choose a top that will go with the rest of the décor in your game room.
Some models will come as a set, one that includes the net, some balls, and a couple of paddles. This is a great option if you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to purchase all the gear you’ll need to play. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that in many cases, the included accessories aren’t usually high quality, so upgrades may be needed, later down the line.
You can find tops that are designed for indoor use only and some that are labeled as indoor/outdoor. Tops that are designed for outdoor use should have some type of protective coating that helps to minimize damage if the top comes into contact with moisture, or protection from sun damage.
Most tops are pretty low maintenance. All you need to do is wipe the surface off using warm water and a microfiber cloth, to remove dirt and dust. The top should be stored with a cover to avoid dust buildup. It should also be wiped down before a game and at least once a month.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are ping pong tables the same size as pool tables?
Generally speaking, you can get both pool and ping pong tables in almost any dimension. This is because there are kids’ models as well as models for amateurs and pros. Pool tables in particular come in 7, 8, and 9 feet variations. On the other hand, a typical ping pong table is usually measured at 9 by 5 feet and that’s pretty much standard across most models out there.
This question is important if you’re looking for a conversion top for your pool table. If you want to save some space, you can invest in a pool table that will match your desired ping pong conversion top. That way, you can install the top without too many issues when it comes to the overall dimensions.
Can you play ping pong on a dining table?
One of the best aspects of ping pong is that you generally need two paddles and a ping pong ball to start playing on basically any flat surface. However, dining tables make for a surprisingly good playing surface, especially the ones that are built better and have a thicker wood top. And even if your table isn’t ideal, you can always get a conversion top that will fit on top of it!
If you don’t have room in your home to set up a standard-sized ping pong table, then purchasing the best ping pong conversion tops can be the next best thing for you. They’re more affordable and can easily be folded up and stored when not in use, or you can take one with you on the next family camping trip.
A quality top will offer the type of responsive playing surface that you’re looking for and will include padded backing to prevent damage to the surface of the table that you’re placing the top on, in addition to the right level of thickness that promotes ball bounce. The products I’ve included here offer the type of quality all buyers are looking for and the durability and responsiveness that the true diehard ping pong player knows they need.