Maintaining a clean pool table isn’t the easiest thing out there. The tables’ cloths are dust-magnets that need constant cleaning and if you don’t have the right tools for the job you risk damaging them. Moreover, chalk from the game, pet hair, and other debris can also get stuck in it. That’s why I decided to make a guide on some of the best pool table brushes for this year.
Here, we will discuss the different models on the market, showcase their pros and cons, and dive deeper into what these brushes are made of, how do they work, and what to look for in one!
Pool Table Brushes Comparison Chart
Best Overall – Imperial Genuine Horsehair Bristle Brush
The Imperial Genuine horsehair bristle brush is one of the best-selling and highest-rated models for this year. While its supplies are often limited or even depleted, this brush has everything you need in order to clean your table’s cloth without pulling it or damaging it in the process.
The brush features an ergonomic wooden handle that is made specifically to be held comfortably at different angles. The bristles here are made out of genuine horsehair, making them sturdy enough to clean fine dust but also soft enough to not damage the table’s felt. On both sides of the brush, the bristles are longer to help you clean the underside of the railings easier.
With an overall length of 10 and a half inches, the Imperial brush remains a solid choice for larger regulation-sized pool tables. On the downside, though, it is one of the most expensive brushes out there, even more expensive than some sets of pool table brushes. Apart from that disadvantage, it is a great item to have in your pool table maintenance closet!
- Premium build quality
- Ergonomic handle design
- Horsehair bristles
- Excellent for larger tables
- Can reach under the table’s railings
- 10 and a half inches long
- Very expensive
- Doesn’t come with additional accessories or extra brushes
Best Budget – Hathaway Pool Table Billiards Brush
The Hathaway Pool table Billiard Brush offers a great bargain for your money with a few slight downsides compared to more premium models out there. One of the main disadvantages of this brush is that it has nylon bristles as opposed to horsehair ones. These synthetic bristles are quite hard and will clean your table’s cloth well. Unfortunately, they can also damage delicate felts if pushed too hard. Brushes that use nylon bristles will also shorten the life of your felt, leading to an earlier need for a swap.
Still, if you don’t play on your table often and you just want a brush that will deal with the dust, chalk, and other debris, this is a proper budget option. It is a 10-inch long brush and has a good-looking dark cherry finish handle.
- Very cheap
- 10 inches long
- Dark cherry finish
- Great for very dirty felts
- Good overall design
- Longer bristles at both ends
- No additional accessories
- Bristles are nylon and can damage more delicate felts
Best for Under The Rails – Felson Billiard Supplies Wooden Pool Table Brush
Cleaning your pool table under the rails is always a chore. That is why there are two types of pool table brushes out there – ones for the flat surface and one for these narrow spots. The Felson Billiard Supplies 8-inch table brush is a compact but capable model that helps you clean the accumulated dust under the table’s bumpers.
The brush has an ergonomic wooden handle that lets you hold it firmly when sweeping under the table’s rails. The 1.5-inch long hairs are made out of nylon, which does bring the price down a bit but still isn’t as good as horsehair. As a whole, this is a good addition to any single brush out there but doesn’t do a better job than some cheaper horsehair sets of brushes.
- Ergonomic wooden handle
- Excellent for cleaning under the rails
- The nylon bristles are hard and will clean well
- 1.5-inch long bristles reach hard spots
- Not very cheap for a single brush
- Not ideal for larger surfaces
- Nylon bristles
Best Set – OESS Pool Table and Rail Brush Set
While there are some great single brushes out there, nothing beats a great set at a bargain price. This is exactly what the OESS Billiards Table and Rail Brush Set is. It features a Rail brush and a Table brush that are designed to work specifically for both locations.
The main pool brush is a 9-inch brush with a large and ergonomic wooden handle. The smaller secondary brush is ideal for corners and under the rails. It measures 8.25-inches. Both brushes have lengthy nylon bristles which are great at removing dust but can potentially damage delicate felts if you aren’t careful.
On top of the two brushes, you also get a cloth cue shaft slicker that is excellent at keeping your cue sticks clean of any chalk. That way, the chalk won’t end up on your table’s felt and on your pool balls. As a whole, if you’re looking for a good deal on a complete package of brushes for your table, this has to be on your shortlist.
- Bargain price
- Two brushes and a cue shaft slicker in the package
- Long main brush
- Wooden handles
- Excellent for beginners
- Nylon bristles can be damaging for the felt if pushed too hard
Most Premium – Pool Table Horsehair Oak Brush
The Iszy Billiards Pool Table brush is one of the best-looking and most highly-functional models on this list. While it costs a little more than the rest of the brushes here, it does have a few features that really make it unique.
The first thing you will notice about it is that there are three separate levels of bristles. 5 rows go directly down from the handle and there are two extra rows of bristles on both sides. All the bristles on this brush are 100% genuine horsehair and are perfect for more expensive tables as they won’t damage the table’s cloth. The side bristles are great at cleaning dust off bumpers and can reach harder spots thanks to them being more narrow than the main part of the brush.
The handle is also quite comfortable and can come in either Mahogany or Oak finish. As a whole, despite being a bit pricey, this brush is an excellent go-to choice for anyone looking for a great-looking and practical model.
- Horsehair bristles
- Excellent all-in-one brush
- Wooden handle
- Ergonomic design
- Good for rails
- Doesn’t come with any accessories
Best for the Money – AUEAR Pool Table and Rail Brush Set
The AUEAR set has everything you will need to sweep your pool table at a good price. The set comes with a 9-inch main brush, an 8.5-inch corner brush, and a cue shaft slicker. You can also get the set in two colors – brown and natural. The handles of both brushes are made out of wood but aren’t very ergonomic compared to other similar sets. The bristles are also nylon which is fine for most tables but can damage finer felts if misused.
Even though this set isn’t as good as the OESS Billiards set, it does bring a better overall value, making it a better deal for your money. The quality is comparable and you won’t get any less of this set than you would from the OESS one. So, if you’re on a tighter budget but still want a decent set of pool table brushes, this is a good option to start your search from. And if that set wasn’t already cheap, there is an option to get it without the cue shaft slicker at an even lower price!
- Bargain price
- Comes with a corner brush
- Included cue shaft slicker
- Good looking
- Excellent for entry level tables
- Nylon bristles can damage delicate felts
- The larger brush isn’t very easy to hold
Pool Table Brushes Buyer’s Guide
Cleaning your pool table properly will depend on the tools you have. While it is possible to clean tables with your vacuum and a few damp cloths, these will most likely damage the cloth over time. Moreover, brushes that aren’t specifically designed for billiard table felt will also damage it and ruin its surface over time. This ruined surface will cause the ball’s movement to be irregular. Ruined cloths will also affect the ball’s speed at different spots of the playing surface.
So, how do we pick the right brush for our pool table and what should we look for? Before we find that out, let’s take a closer look at these brushes and what they’re made of…
Anatomy of a Pool Table Brush
These brushes have one special thing about them – they are designed to clean the table’s cloth without damaging its delicate surface. Their bristles are made out of various materials but some of the most common ones are horsehair or a special type of nylon.
Nylon brushes aren’t the best solution and might damage the felt slightly over time. They are a bit harder than horsehair but also cheaper, which is why some people opt to buy them instead. Horsehair brushes are softer although not a lot softer, as that will strip them of their cleaning properties. They are gentle to the cloth while being fairly stable in order to brush off the dust and dirt off the table.
At both ends of the brush, you will have longer hairs. These have a purpose of their own. They are there to help you clean the corners of the table better as well as those pesky narrow spots below the bumpers.
The middle bristles are shorter and are designed for the table’s railings. They are good for general cleaning as well. Make sure you use both sides of the brush in order to keep its bristles/hairs evenly worn out, otherwise you risk creating an angle on the bristles. That can be damaging to the table’s felt even if the brush is expensive.
While in general, the design of these brushes is fairly similar, there are some size variations found in the industry. Most brushes vary in terms of their length. The most common length for a pool table brush is around 9 inches with some models going as big as 12 inches.
Lastly, there are different types of brushes that are made specifically for under-the-railing sweeping. These have a more of a comb-like appearance and are much easier to use on narrow spots. Most brush sets come with these types of brushes in the package, as well as a shaft slicker.
How To Pick A Pool Table Brush
There are a few things that you need to pay attention to when shopping for a pool table brush. Those are:
- Additional brushes and accessories
The materials of a pool table brush vary from model to model. There are two places where materials matter – the bristles and the handle. Most handles will be made out of solid wood. More expensive models will have their handles made out of rosewood, mahogany, or other premium wood types.
As for the bristles, pig or horsehair is a common choice among more expensive models. Cheaper models will have nylon hairs and might even come with plastic handles. While these get the job done, I do not recommend them unless you’re on a tight budget.
While size isn’t as crucial as the materials used in a brush, it does matter. Smaller brushes will be easier to use and also cheaper but will sweep a smaller area when you’re cleaning the pool table felt. That’s why most people prefer going for the biggest possible brush which will cover a bigger area. As a rule of thumb, go for a bigger brush if your budget allows it and if you have a regulation-sized table. The width of the brush isn’t as important as the length, although wider brushes get deeper into the felt and clean it better.
The shape of the brush determines a few of its key features – how practical it will be when used and how easy it will be to hold while you’re sweeping the felt. Most brushes don’t emphasize on the handle’s design, making them a bit hard to use. There are some models, however, that have special ergonomic handles that really make holding them much easier. This allows you to easily sweep the table’s cloth and get in those pesky narrow spots under the railings.
The shape of the bristles (or hairs) also gives the brush additional cleaning capabilities. That is why, as we previously touched on, bristles on both sides of the brush are longer. That helps them get under the table’s bumpers.
Additional brushes and accessories
Having an additional brush in your package is always something nice. This is especially true if the second brush is one specifically designed for brushing under and around the rails. These flat comb-like brushes are excellent for their intended purpose and are very easy to use on all kinds of pool tables.
Since brushes are meant to clean your tables and accessories, most sets out there also come with a cue shaft slicker.
While the price is definitely not a huge selling point in accessories that aren’t very expensive to begin with, it can accumulate to quite a lot if you’re buying all your pool table maintenance gear at once. That’s why there are certain brushes that are geared more towards people on a tighter budget. Conversely, there are brushes that are far more premium and have a fitting premium price tag. These tend to last longer and will be better for your table in the long run, so they are almost always a better long-term investment than the cheaper models.
If you want to learn more about the process of cleaning your pool table’s cloth thoroughly, read my full article on the topic here!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do pool table brushes have more hair on both sides?
The idea of a pool table brush is for it to reach every single part of your table’s cloth. The reason these brushes are shaped like that is to get to those narrow spots under the rails (or cushions).
How often should you brush your pool table?
While it is generally recommended to clean your table thoroughly at least once a month, brushing could be done after each game. The reason for that is to remove chalk and dust that would otherwise get deeper into the felt and be harder to clean later on.
When you’re on the market for some of the best pool table brushes, you have to look at a few key factors. These are the brushes’ hairs, how comfortable the handle is, as well as the materials that are used in it. Some brushes will come in sets with other more narrowly specialized models which will make sweeping your pool table’s felt a much easier task!