Among the myriad of sports available, there are a few that are universally loved. Ping pong is one of those sports and most people will never turn down a quick game. That being said, having an actual table in your house is a great way to stay in shape and have fun with your family and friends. Knowing how to scan through the best ping pong tables, however, takes a certain level of knowledge. That’s why I’ve dedicated this guide to show you some of the most important features you need to look for, as well as the top models for this year along with their advantages and disadvantages.
Below, you will see all the models that I’ve selected compared by their size, tabletop, net, and overall rating.
Best Overall – JOOLA Inside 15 – Professional Indoor Table Tennis Table
Out of all the ping pong manufacturers out there, few stand out as much as JOOLA. They’ve been making products for more than half a century and bring some of the best price-to-value products currently. Their “Inside” line of ping pong tables is ideal for any game room, easy to set up, and comes with lots of different options at different price points. The Inside 15 is the middle option that has incredible value and even better build quality all around.
The tabletop on this model is 15mm thick which is good enough for everyday use. However, there are 18mm and 25mm models, as well as a 13mm one. Of course, the 25mm tournament size is the best for bounce and precision but it also is the most expensive and not the best bang for your buck out of the 4 JOOLA Inside versions. The top is supported by a steel frame with 1.5-inch legs that end with rubber leg levelers. Not only will those not scratch your floor but will also allow precise leveling of the table for an even playing surface. Between the 8 legs, there are four sets of two wheels that support and help the table move around. Unlike with the JOOLA Inside 13, the wheels here are 3 inches big.
In terms of its assembly, this table is relatively easy to set up and it takes no more than 20 minutes to do that. Weight-wise it isn’t the heaviest out there, making it easy to flit over with the help of a friend once you are done installing the frame to the tabletop. Folding and storing it is also quite easy and it takes a few moments to completely fold it. In that state, it takes up 23 by 61 by 63 inches of volume and is incredibly easy to move around thanks to its 8 wheels. Each of those wheels has a locking mechanism for added safety and stability during play.
You can also fold just one side for a single-player playback mode that is ideal for exercising on your own or training different techniques. The table can also be used as an outside ping pong table only if the weather is right, as it doesn’t have all the necessary weather protection to prevent any potential damage from rain, moisture, or extreme heat. One thing that I don’t like here is that it doesn’t come with any accessories and for that price a pair of paddles would’ve been a good addition. As a whole, this table does provide all you need to be able to enjoy playing ping pong with your friends and family at home. There is room for improvement but for the money, this 15mm model is one of the best on the market currently.
- Great bang for the buck
- Excellent stability
- 15mm thick
- Tournament grade net
- Steel legs
- Allows for playback
- Wheel locks
- Easy to set up and store away
- Not great for outdoor plays
- Sometimes the wheels start dragging
- The metal frame is prone to rust if used outdoors
Best Indoor – STIGA Advantage Competition-Ready Indoor Table Tennis Table
STIGA is another brand that is well-known in the table tennis world for its good overall quality, wide range of products, and practicality. The STIGA Advantage Competition-ready indoor table ping pong table is a great option for people that want to spend a little extra and get the most out of their investment. While it isn’t great for an outdoor table, it will bring a nearly professional feeling to your game room.
Just like other tables in this price class, the table uses a 15mm thick top that is made out of laminated MDF. This makes it great for indoor use but it still won’t give you the feel of an 18 or 25mm table. The installation process is fairly simple and doesn’t take much time, although the table is a bit heavy.
Just like the JOOLA Inside 15, the STIGA Advantage uses an alloy steel frame with 1.2-inch self-opening legs. Additionally, there is a 1.5-inch steel apron wrapped around the whole table. The overall weight of the table is also around 50 pounds heavier than the Inside 15. Other than that, both tables are pretty similar in terms of their usability, dimensions, and construction. The Advantage can also be put in a storage position which takes much less space and is super easy to transport thanks to the 3-inch wheels. You can also put it in a Playback position relatively easily for added training benefits.
One thing that I particularly enjoy about this table is that both halves can be separated and used independently as multi-game tables for board games, cards, and more. The tournament-grade clamp-style net and post 72-inch setup is fairly similar across all JOOLA and STIGA models and is excellent for both beginners and pros. Also typical for these types of tables is that they don’t come with any ping pong accessories which is a downside even when compared to much cheaper competition.
- Good price-to-value ratio
- Durable steel frame
- Easy to install
- Easy to fold and store
- 5/8″ thick table top
- Tournament-grade net and post set
- Doesn’t come with ping pong accessories
- A bit heavy
- There are thicker options for the table
Best Portable – GoSports Mid-Size Table Tennis Game Set
Ping pong tables don’t always have to be massive, hard to move, and even harder to set up at a certain location. Sometimes people prefer playing in their yard, while at other moments you might feel like doing a quick game in your living room. For those occasions, you can get a portable ping pong table that can be easily moved around when folded and can be deployed anywhere just as easily. The GoSports Mid-size table tennis game set is the ideal solution for people that don’t want to spend too much for a tournament-grade table and are also limited in terms of interior space.
Although small, this table has a surprisingly bouncy surface that makes sure that you get the maximum authenticity out of your gameplay. Moreover, the whole frame is made out of lightweight aluminum which isn’t very sturdy but does bring the weight down. That reduced weight is one of the main reasons this table is so easy to lift, fold, and store away in almost any space. The main surface on which you play is made out of laminated MDF which adds to the bounce but since it isn’t very thick, it doesn’t do a great job at mimicking the real bounce of a high-grade table. When folded, there is a handle on one side that allows you to easily lift it up and move the table around.
One cool thing about this table is that you get a full set of accessories with it. That set includes four ping pong balls, a net, two paddles, and a carrying case for all of these. That, combined with the low price makes this one of the best bangs for your buck when it comes to such a portable ping pong table.
- Very cheap
- Lightweight aluminum construction
- Easy to fold and store away
- Comes with free accessories
- Great for tight spaces
- Can be played outdoors
- Comes in two colors
- Very easy to set up
- Doesn’t do a perfect job at mimicing a real ping pong table’s bounce
- Feels flimsy if you lean on it
- The net isn’t great
Best Mid-Sized – Butterfly Junior Ping Pong Table
If you don’t want to get a full-sized ping pong table but also don’t want to settle for a mini table, there is always a midsized option. While Butterfly is a brand that specializes in high-end tournament tables, they also make some of the best mid-sized models out there. Their Junior Ping Pong Table is an excellent space-saver for people dealing with room restrictions.
Since the most important feature of this table is its size, let’s start with that. It measures 6.75 ft in length, 3.75 ft in width, and is 2.5 ft high. That is exactly 3/4 of the size of a real regulation ping pong table making it ideal for kids that are still young and want to learn to play ping pong. It is also a great beginner’s table before you move on to a bigger, more expensive JOOLA or STIGA model. The top is 12 mm thick which isn’t great and won’t provide a ton of bounce to the ball but is decent enough for casual play. There are protective pads on each corner to keep the table from getting damaged and to keep the kids safe.
Another thing that I like about this table is that it comes fully assembled and you don’t have to do anything apart from adjusting the net and deploying the legs. It can also come in two different colors – blue and green. The whole table can be separated into two different tables that can be used for other games. On top of that, it can be folded into a 5-inch thin form factor. With the table, you also get a free clamp adjustable net set. As a whole, the price of that table makes it a serious contender in the midsize ping pong tables segment and if you’re looking for something practical and easy to use, this should be on your shortlist.
- Very practical
- Can be separated into two halves
- Easy to fold and store
- Relatively lightweight
- 3/4 of tournamet table size
- Comes assembled
- Side wheels for easy transportation
- Can be used outdoors
- The size can feel a bit too small
- The legs and frame are flimsy
- There are some misalignment issues with some tables
Best For Kids – Pick-Up-And-Go Ping Pong Table
Ping pong tables are some of the best gift ideas for kids as they are fun, engaging, and will make the kids fall in love with the sport. The Pick-Up-And-Go Ping Pong Table is an extremely practical small table that can be easily stored away when not in use thanks to its small dimensions.
When deployed, this table is 59 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 26 inches high which really excludes it from being useful for adults unless you want to have a bit of casual fun at a party. The size makes it perfect for kids and is a great table to get them into the sport of table tennis! The thing that makes this table highly portable and very convenient is that it folds into a 30 x 27 x 5-inch size which weighs less than 30 lbs and is extremely easy to carry around and store away. That makes this table relatively easy to take with you on vacations or trips if you want your kids to have fun when you’re visiting relatives, for example. And since you get all the necessary accessories here, there won’t really be any need for anything extra to buy. The only thing that lacks here is for the table to be factory pre-assembled, so you will have to spend a few minutes doing that on your own first.
The overall frame is made out of aluminum which keeps the weight down but makes the table rather flimsy. The top is MDF painted green and blue on both sides for added effect. In conclusion, if you’re looking for a great gift idea for your kids, this is one of the best choices out there. The table is practical, easy to set up and use, and most importantly – the kids will love it!
- Aluminum frame
- Easy to set up
- Packs in a small form factor
- Easy to carry around
- Perfect for kids
- Comes with accessories
- A bit expensive for such a small table
- The construction is flimsy
Best Luxury – Butterfly Centrefold 25 Table Tennis Table
The Butterly Centerfold 25 is one of the best tables on the market for a wide range of reasons. It is the only one on this list to have a 1-inch thick top, as well as the only one to be tournament-ready, ITTF Approved, and ITTC wheelchair compliant. It is a table for the true ping pong lover or people that aren’t limited by a budget for their game rooms. If I have to point my finger at one single table that does everything just right, it has to be that one.
The top of this table is what truly sets it apart from the rest of the models on this list. It is a scratch-proof wooden top that is 25mm thick and creates a perfectly consistent bounce for ITTF-approved ping pong balls, especially when compared with thinner 15 or 18 mm tops. The table itself is 9 ft by 5 ft by 2.5 ft which is on par with the official regulations. Assembly-wise, it is quite bulky and heavy but it does come fully assembled.
The frame, as with most other tournament-approved tables, is alloy steel with thick 1.5-inch bars that support the weight of the top. There are also 4 wheels on all corners of the 280 lbs table. These wheels are 5-inch in diameter which is twice as much as regular ping pong table wheels. All of them have locking mechanisms that keep things safe and stable when you’re playing. The feet next to the wheels have adjustable mechanisms that allow you to easily level the table.
Maybe the only disadvantage that this table will have against similarly priced outdoor tables is that it won’t be able to stay outside if the weather isn’t good. The wood top won’t last long under humid circumstances and that’s an actual reason for installing a good moisture control system in your game room as well. As a whole, if your budget isn’t an issue, this is the ultimate table you can get for yourself and your friends. One piece of advice from me would be to opt for the “tournament used” table as that will have little to no signs of usage and can often be a way better deal than a brand new one.
- Great all-rounder
- 5-inch wheels
- Easy to fold and store away
- 1 inch wood top
- ITTF approved
- Will come assembled
- 5 Year warranty period
- Not ideal for outdoor use
- Very expensive
- Very heavy
- Doesn’t come with accessories
Best Budget – JOOLA Midsize Compact Table Tennis Table
While most JOOLA tables have the ITTF approved 9 by 5-foot size, there are some midsized options to pick from. On top of that, most of them are surprisingly cheap while maintaining a decent level of quality. The JOOLA Compact Table Tennis Table is an ideal choice for people that are dealing with tight interior spaces and want something that will feel authentic but will have a smaller footprint and will be easier on the budget.
Materials-wise, this table uses a familiar combination between an MDF top and an aluminum frame. While the top is 1/2 inch thick it still has a decent amount of bounce and is fairly consistent with what we’re used to seeing out of the bigger JOOLA tables. And while the aluminum frame and legs are lightweight, they are a bit flimsy and don’t provide a ton of support when you’re leaning on the table. The table is easily separated into two 36 by 36-inch halves which are easy to store and can also be used independently as game tables.
In your package, you get the preassembled table along with a regulation-height net and post set. It attaches to the table with a screw clamp just like other models from the brand. If you’re looking for something practical and budget-friendly, this is a great place to start your search from!
- Ideal for smaller rooms
- Comes preassembled
- Can be easily stored
- Decent size for both kids and adults
- Flimsy construction
- The bounce is just a hair above average
- Can feel small for bigger adults
JOOLA Rally TL Professional Indoor Table Tennis Table
One last table that I wanted to add to this list is the JOOLA Rally TL. It is by far one of the most expensive models from the brand and it is fairly similar to the Inside 25 series due to its 1-inch thick top parts and solid steel frames. The Rally TL features some of the brand’s latest technologies and is an excellent addition to anyone that isn’t on a tight budget and is looking for a professional-grade ping pong table for their game room.
Two features that I absolutely love about that table are the corner ball holders and the abacus scorer. This is the only table on this list that has such additional features and its price surely reflects on all of that combined with the added build quality and tournament-grade durability. Each of those ball holders can hold up to three 40mm balls. Attached to those ball holders are the 1.5-inch aprons that hold the 15mm MDF top in place. That top has multiple layers of paint on its surface in order to provide consistent bounce and professional looks.
The whole table sits on a 30x30mm steel frame that adds a ton of durability but also adds a bit of weight. Luckily, the table comes almost fully pre-assembled from the factory and requires less than 30 minutes to complete. When you want to store the table away, it folds in two halves that have 4 wheels each and make transporting the table a breeze.
Along with the table, you get a tournament-grade net that has a clamp design for easy attachment and adjustments. Unfortunately, there are no added accessories to the package, meaning you will have to get paddles and balls separately. If you want to use the table outdoors you will also have to get a good ping pong cover that will keep it protected against nature’s elements.
- Superb build quality
- 1 inch thick top
- 30x30mm steel frame
- 3 inch wheels
- Easy to assemble
- Relatively easy to store
- Has corner ball holders and abacus scorer
- Not great for outdoor use
- Very expensive
- Somewhat heavy
In this section of the guide, we will discuss some of the main things you need to learn before making your final decision on a ping pong table that checks all your boxes. While the features of each individual table are important, knowing the different types of ping pong tables and their distinct features is also crucial when it comes to making an educated choice.
Types of Ping Pong Tables
There are quite a lot of ping pong table types out there primarily based on their sizes and functionality. The main types you need to know are:
- Full-size tables – These tables are the most common ones among people that are looking for the full table tennis experience. They are your best bet if you’re serious about playing ping pong and are sized according to the official regulations at 9 ft (length) by 5 ft (width) by 2.5 ft (height). While they are the obvious choice for people that have lots of room to spare, they are also the most expensive, making them a less-than-ideal option for people on a tighter budget.
- Midsize tables – Midsized tables are in the golden middle. They aren’t as big as the full-sized ones but offer more playing surface than the kids and mini tables. They are also more budget-friendly and are often sized at around 7ft (length) by 4 ft (width) by 2.5 ft (height).
- Conversion tops – These are an excellent choice if you already have the table but it isn’t the right kind. People with pool tables in their homes and not a lot more room to spare often get ping pong conversion tops that can be put on top of the pool table without sacrificing any stability. These are also quite budget-friendly but you need to be careful with the sizing of the conversion top and your pool table.
- Mini ping pong tables – Mini tables are primarily used for apartments and gifts for kids as they are much smaller in size. However, they are far more practical and can be folded and stored away pretty easily until the next time you have guests you want to have fun with.
- Adjustable tables – Nearly every ping pong table has some sort of adjustability to it. Still, there are some full-sized or midsized tables that can have their height adjusted. This is ideal for taller (or shorter) people that don’t want to use the official height of ping pong tables (2.5ft).
- Others – These include novelty ping pong tables and floating ones. Novelty tables are smaller than mini tables and usually offer a very detached experience from the real thing. They are, however, great gift ideas for ping pong aficionados and kids. Floating tables are quite nice and there are some pretty fun models that are average-sized and can be
You can also separate most ping pong tables based on whether they can be used inside, outside, or at both places. We will discuss the various differences between the two in a moment.
Ping Pong Tables Features
While most ping pong tables appear similar at first, there are, in fact, quite a lot of features that need to be considered before buying one. Some of the most important ones are:
- Materials & Build Quality
- Net & Accessories
- Portability and Practicality
- Safety features
- Additional features
In order to learn how to compare tables better based on these particular features, let’s dive a little bit further into each of them and see what exactly you need to keep your eyes open for…
If you’ve gone through the previous section of this guide, you probably already have a pretty good idea of what type of ping pong table you need for your house. One of the most common choices people have to make is whether to get an indoor or an outdoor model. There are quite a lot of differences between the two, making the choice a bit hard. First of all, outdoor tables are thinner and offer a different experience when it comes to the ball’s bounce. Additionally, they are made out mostly of aluminum with a synthetic layer on top combined with resin or another UV-resistant material. They also have anti-glare properties that aren’t needed as much in indoor models.
Speaking of the indoor tables, they are thicker, heavier, and less resistant to moisture, sunlight, heat, or another one of nature’s elements. And while outdoor tables can be good to play inside, indoor tables won’t be perfect for all-year-round use in your yard. If you’re looking for a table solely for a game room, then indoor models will provide a better ping pong experience but if you plan on playing outdoors get a hybrid or special outdoor model.
The official size of a ping pong table is 9 feet long by 5 feet wide by 2 feet and 6 inches high. While these are the dimensions of the official full-sized tables, there are midsized ones and others that are even smaller. Still, you will need to have free space of at least 20 by 10 ft in your room in order to comfortably play that table.
The net is another thing that is included in a table’s dimensions and most official nets are 6 inches high and has 6 inches overhang on both sides of the table where the clamps attach.
Another thing you have to take into consideration when thinking about dimensions is how big or small the table is when folded and ready to be stored. In addition to that, you have to figure out how much storage space you have on your hands and whether the table will fit in there folded.
The table’s thickness is one of the main factors that impacts the gameplay. Thicker tables will have better and more consistent bounce while thinner ones will kill the ball’s bounce and will make it much more inconsistent. Outdoor tables are usually thinner but have a layer of weatherproof resin on top that will add to the thickness and negate the effects of the thinner surface.
As a whole, look for a thickness of no less than 16mm with an ideal thickness of around 19-25mm (25mm being the ITTF standard). Most average-priced and midsized tables will have a thickness of around 3/4″ or 19mm. Tables with anything less than that will have bad or even terrible bounce. Outdoor tables typically have a thickness of around 7-10mm which is good enough for a decent bounce when combined with the resin top layer.
Materials & Build Quality
The top part of a ping pong table can be made out of a handful of materials including plastics, wood, MDF, aluminum, and more. However, nearly every material will end up being covered by synthetic layers that are there to protect the table, give it a better finish, and make the ball’s bounce better. The majority of indoor tables are wooden or MDF with finishing layers on top that create a better and more consistent bounce. The lines are also drawn on the table instead of taped to it, as that might create issues with the bounce’s consistency.
The legs and overall frame of ping pong tables are made out of metal – either aluminum or steel. Aluminum legs aren’t as sturdy but aren’t prone to rust and are lightweight, making the table easy to move around and store. Steel legs, on the other hand, are much sturdier but also heavier and aren’t as durable in the long-run. Most tables nowadays have alloy steel legs that are supported by cross-bars and reinforced wider sections.
Net & Accessories
The net of a ping pong table is one of its most important components. Almost all ping pong tables will come with some sort of net and post system in place. There are a few different types of nets, however, based on the way they are attached to the table. These are:
- Nets that are permanently attached to the table
- Nets that use a spring-loaded adjustment mechanism
- Screw-clamp nets that can be taken on and off the table
The last type is the most common as it is the easiest to use. Those typically have a set length and only work on tables that are of a single size. Some nets are far more adjustable and will work with almost all ping pong table sizes. Most competition-rated nets use a cotton blend and have a traditional 72″ inch width with a tension adjustment system.
Apart from the net, some tables will also come with other accessories such as paddles, balls, or even a table cover. These can all cost quite a bit of extra money, so having them come with your new table is great. Also, if you don’t have a place where you can store all your ping pong gear, look for tables that have built-in paddle holders or other places you can put the items in.
Portability and Practicality
If you plan on moving your table around or store it in order to make more space in your game room, having the ability to fold and move the table around is quite important. Most tables will have a training mode where you can fold half of the table in order to create a wall-like surface after the net that will bounce your ball back to you. Additionally, most tables can fold in half and remain on their wheels in order to take as little space as possible when you’re transporting them to their storage location. Tables with such mechanisms tend to cost more and a bit harder to use but are well-worth-it if you plan on using your game room for more than just ping pong games.
Another thing that adds a lot to a table’s practicality is its ability to hold your accessories while you’re not using them. Such storage compartments are usually found beneath it the tabletop.
There are quite a lot of features that a ping pong table can have in order to make things a bit more safe for the players. Having wheels, for example, make it much easier and safer for a single person to fold and move the table around the house. Another thing that helps with that is having wheel brakes that prevent the table from potentially rolling away. The legs of the table can have horizontal bars or bracing struts that will keep things sturdier and more secure, while the addition of locking systems can prevent the table from unfolding when it’s stored.
Some tables even have their corners slightly rounded off or protected by a softer material in order to prevent painful accidental bumps as well as to protect the table itself from potential damage.
In terms of the table’s assembly process, most models are going to be pretty easy or at least relatively straightforward. The ping pong tables that will be hard to set-up are the ones that don’t come already pre-assembled from the factory. Those might even require you to call an extra buddy to help out, as some bigger tables can weigh as much as 200 lbs. Most companies offer free installations or at least phone support if that isn’t possible, so make sure you check the instructions and potential sources of information before you buy a specific model.
There are a few features that will add a ton of value to your ping pong table. One thing that I find handy is a storage department (or holder) for your paddles and balls. Some multi-purpose are perfect for playing other games like poker or other boardgames once you remove the net. Quick levers for easier folding is a great feature to have, as well as handles to move it easily once it is folded. And even though table tennis tables don’t need a ton of leveling, having leg levelers is great if you won’t put them on a completely flat surface.
Also, look for models that come with all the needed accessories for you to start playing the day you get the table. Those are balls, net, ping pong paddles, and more!
Price-wise, ping pong tables vary heavily ranging from super cheap kid’s models to professional budget-destroyers. Midsized tables usually offer the best combination between practicality and usability without costing you an arm and a leg. If you already have a pool/billiards table in your game room and want to use it for its base, look for ping pong conversion tops that are quite cheap and very easy to use. Moreover, they are surprisingly good to play ping pong on and combined with a good net almost make you forget you’re playing on a pool table.
If you want to take a more in-depth look into table tennis rules, make sure you read my full article on the topic by clicking here!
Brands To Look For
While there are countless brands out there, two are the ones that have been around for decades and are currently dominating the ping pong industry. These two brands are STIGA and JOOLA and they have more than a century of combined experience in making ping pong tables and accessories.
Both brands use MDF for their indoor models and both have comparable models with table thicknesses from 15 to 25mm. Also, they both have a superb build quality and quality control for their products. Their tables also come almost fully assembled from the factory and aren’t very hard to fully set up in your game room. Warranty-wise, they have great coverages, mostly for around 5 years, as well as good support over the phone.
Other brands that make superb indoor (and outdoor) models are Butterfly and Donic, which are more on the expensive side of the price spectrum but are well worth the money.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ideal thickness for a ping pong table?
As I already mentioned earlier, the ping pong ball’s bounce depends on the playing surface. If it’s too thin or thick it will create irregularly high or low bounce, thus making the game unenjoyable. The ideal thickness should be around 3/4 inches which translates to around 19mm.
Can you make a ping pong table on your own?
Ping pong tables are relatively easy to produce, assuming you find a good DIY guide and follow the process. In fact, click here if you want to learn more about how to make one on your own.
How much room space do you need for a ping pong table?
Assuming your ping pong table is one of an official size, you will need at least 20 feet in terms of room length and about 12 feet in width in order to comfortably play on a table that is sized 9 by 5 feet.
Finding the best ping pong tables will depend on a lot of their features and on a few additional considerations regarding the location in which you will put it. If budget isn’t an issue, look for full-sized tables with a thickness of 25mm (1″) that have sturdy frames and legs. Things like a folding design, wheels, locking mechanisms, and folding for easy storage add a ton of value to the table. Lastly, consider whether you will need an indoor or an outdoor model as there are a lot of differences between those two types.