It’s easy to get excited and rush into getting the first table you see or the cheapest one on the list. Many of us have made at least one disappointing purchase and that is exactly what we want to save you from!
What considerations must you keep in mind when buying a ping pong table? What features are absolutely necessary and what are merely good-to-have?
Here are what you should take into account:
Indoor Or Outdoor? Stationary Or Portable?
The first thing that you should decide on is where you want your table to be set up. Do you have a designated recreation room or do you intend to keep it in the garage? If it is the latter, you have to take note that outdoor tables have certain material specifications to be able to withstand changes in temperature.
You also need to resolve whether you will set up the table permanently or you expect it to be taken down and re-assembled frequently. If you prefer an easily transportable type, there are tables that fold up and have rollers with brakes.
Table Top Material And Thickness
Ping pong table tops can be made of particle board, concrete, metal, or fiberglass, among others. But the best ones are made of wood because they give off a nice bounce. It is not surprising that only wood or wooden by-products are allowed in major table tennis tournaments.
Aside from the material, the table top’s thickness is also crucial. You will find tables with thickness that ranges from 12 mm to 28 mm. If you are into serious and competitive play, 25 mm (1 inch) is perfect for you. On the other hand, 19 mm (0.75 inches) is good enough for beginners or casual players.
Strong Legs And Levelers
While table tennis is not exactly a rough sport, it can get so intense that players, especially the young ones, can bump or budge the table. Therefore look for one that has durable legs and supports that can endure rugged treatment.
A level table is fundamental in table tennis. Look for a table that has levelers that allow you to keep it balanced at the standard height of 76 cm above the floor.
If you want to relieve yourself from the hassle of having to constantly tighten, adjust, and repair table tennis nets, steer clear of the traditional detachable kind. Opt for a fixed net because it does not require much handling to lessen the tendency of scratching or damaging the table.
Smooth And Even Finish
Any patch or rough spot will cause an unsteady bounce so look for a table that has a flawless finish. The edges on top and sides should also be smooth so you will not get cut even if you accidentally rub your arm or leg on it.
You may also bring a ruler to make sure that the ball bounces about 23 cm high when a ball is dropped from a height of 30 cm. This should be uniform across all places on the table.
Top Table Tennis Tables
You already know the factors to consider in buying a ping pong table. Congratulations! Are you ready to buy now? Not just yet!
Given the wide array of choices available on the market, it can be quite tricky to select one. But don’t you worry because we will take you even closer to the product that suits you best.
We took all of them to the test, removed the inferior ones out of the picture and picked the 5 best ones.
1. JOOLA Inside 15
Leading the pack is a bestseller from a highly-regarded table tennis manufacturer, the JOOLA Inside 15.
With its durability and excellent overall quality, this regulation size table is a score.
The surface is made of 5/8 inch professional grade MDF. Despite being thinner than most, it delivers a consistent ball bounce – something that is probably the most desired characteristic of a table tennis table.
The frame and legs also leave nothing to be desired. They are made of 1.5 inch diameter steel that is strong enough to withstand years of passionate play. The powder coating prevents rust and other damage. The stable legs each have height levelers that you can adjust so the table adapts to uneven surfaces.
It can be used in 3-table positions. In the play set up, the table is fully laid out so you can enjoy the game with friends and family. In the solo playback position, one half of the table is folded up, allowing you to practice by yourself in preparation for future matches. Lastly, the storage position makes the separate halves meet so you can conveniently stow the table away.
The two separate halves each have four caster wheels that allow you to smoothly move this 140 pound table. We particularly love the four locking devices in each of the halves because they provide additional stability during play or solo playback positions. While in storage mode, they are also useful in ensuring that the table safely stays in its position.
Staying consistent to its excellent standards, the table also includes a high quality net and post set.
The JOOLA Inside 15 definitely proves that it is not a bestseller for nothing!
If you are aiming for a JOOLA but you really don’t have the space for a regulation table, the JOOLA Midsize Table is perfect for you.
Like bigger and more expensive JOOLA tables, it is also made of high quality materials. While it may be 2/3 the size of a full ping pong table, the table still gives you that competitive feel with its standard height of 30 inches.
The table requires almost no assembly at all. You simply open the attached legs, put the halves together, attach the net and you can start enjoying your new table. How much simpler could that get?
Given its size, the JOOLA offers multi-functionality that makes its friendly price even more reasonable. It comes in two halves that can be used as individual tables. If you are done playing ping pong , you can use it to play cards, chess, or dominoes. You can also use it for other needs as long as you keep it clean and dry.
When it’s time to pack up, you do not need to lift a finger to store this 65 pound table. It is so compact that it easily fits most storage spaces. Some vehicles even have enough space to accommodate it so you can bring it wherever it’s needed.
For its quality and convenience, the JOOLA Midsize Table provides excellent value for money.
Garnering the third spot is another JOOLA table with interesting add-on features – the Rally TL 300.
With easy-to-follow instructions, setting up the Rally TL 300 is a breeze. This two-piece table functions as a full playing table but if you want to work on your moves before facing your opponents, you can also fold the other half to use it in solo mode.
The table top is made of 15mm MDF supported by a strong, powder-coated aluminum undercarriage. The surface has a nice charcoal paint that does not only give the table a stylish look but also provides protection from ball marks and scratches. It also comes with a high quality clip-on net set with adjustable posts.
Its strength is complemented by stability, thanks to its adjustable feet that allow easy leveling even on the most irregular floor surfaces. It also has locking wheels that keep the table from moving in the middle of table tennis action. But when you do need to move this 155 pound table for relocation or storage, the wheels also come in handy.
Tired of chasing loose balls all over the place? JOOLA, given its years of experience, knows this too well. They found a way to keep the balls within reach using corner holders that can each hold up to three 40mm balls.
Another unique feature is its magnetic scorekeepers. Find a spot where it is convenient for you to access and this abacus-style counter can help you keep track of the score.
If you are an experienced player looking to finally play competitively, the JOOLA Rally TL 300 is a good table to practice on.
If you prefer to be around natural lighting and ventilation while playing table tennis, a durable outdoor table suits you best. You should consider getting the number 4 table on our list, the JOOLA Nova.
Despite weighing 121 lbs., setting it up is simple. You will love how the legs fold in and out easily.
The 6 mm aluminum plastic composite surface makes this table very durable. You can be assured that it can withstand outdoor elements without having to worry about rust or other damage. Its multi-layer paint and 40 mm apron work hand-in-hand to resist any warping. As a result, the table maintains its excellent performance with a solid table top that provides consistent ball bounce.
Although the JOOLA Nova is meant to be used and stored outdoors, it is still wise to use a cover for protection. It is a minimal investment that will undoubtedly increase the table’s lifespan.
You will also be impressed by the Nova’s undercarriage and legs. Its frame is made of 30 mm steel that is powder coated for rust protection and overall durability. The table can also adapt to uneven floor surfaces with its adjustable leg levelers.
If you are in the mood to practice by yourself before unleashing your moves in a match, you can set up the table in solo position by simply folding one side up. Each half also features 3-inch casters so you can easily transport, convert, or store the table as you wish. No need to worry about keeping the table in place because all the casters can be locked.
With the JOOLA Nova, your ping pong games no longer need to be restricted to your game room!
Completing the roster of the best ping pong tables is the STIGA Advantage.
One key strength of this table is ease of assembly. No matter how handy you are, straightforward construction is always welcome. It comes completely assembled so it will take you just about 10 minutes to completely set it up.
The table can be set up in three different positions: play position where you can challenge your friends to a ping pong match, playback position where the other half of the table serves as your opponent, or the space-saving storage position where you put the halves together and roll it for temporary safekeeping. On the underside of the table, you will find a spring loaded safety latch to safely keep it in its upright position.
Another bonus? The two halves can be used as separate tables for other needs.
You will also love this table’s flawless finish. Its 5/8-inch table top is UV cured and painted with multiple roller coat for maximum durability. Unlike other tables’ sticker stripes, the STIGA Advantage used smoother and more durable silkscreen prints.
STIGA understands that a strong and stable base is equally important as a good table top. The Advantage is one great example of that principle. Its base is composed of 1.5-inch square legs made of heavy-duty steel with rubber leg levelers for floor-friendly height adjustment. The top is further supported by a 1.5-inch welded tube style apron that also allows the table to remain flat so that the ball bounces evenly. Whether in play or during storage, you can use the locking wheels to keep the table in place.
The net and post are not to be outdone. Considered heavy-duty and tournament grade, the 72″ net and post set is surely an asset. Its clamp-style also makes it easy to remove and assemble.
While it may not be the most affordable, it is still a fine table that can serve you and your family for many years.
We have already mentioned that it is important to identify where you intend to use and store your table tennis table more frequently.
Learn more about indoor and outdoor table differences here:
Indoor Ping Pong Tables
Indoor tables are usually made from wood and as such, they should be kept in room temperature and away from direct sunlight or humid conditions. Otherwise, the top surface can warp and you do not want this major flaw for your table.
Indoor tables are further classified into categories.
If you have limited space to set up a full table, you can opt for a conversion table. Using a separate top section, you can instantly convert a pool table or other similar surfaces into a ping pong table.
Other indoor tables have telescopic legs so you can adjust the height according to player requirements.
A mini table is perfect for the young ones. Because they are certainly not after serious competition, it is easy for them to have a rally because these tables can be slightly tilted inwards. The edges are rounded for safety and the table is foldable for easy storage.
Outdoor Ping Pong Tables
If your table is meant for outside use and storage, an outdoor type suits you best.
They are generally more expensive because they are designed to endure the changing weather conditions for many years. Their table tops are usually made from specially treated wood or melamine, which is a strong type of plastic. Even their legs, net and posts are also weatherproof.
The most durable surface is made entirely of concrete and has a polished surface. Some even give you the option to get one in a unique color, or have the steel nets personalized.
Whether indoor or outdoor, one thing is for sure: the market is teeming with interesting choices!
Top Ping Bong Table Brands
While we have already outlined the factors to consider in choosing your table, there is one more important determinant: brand. More often than not, the brand tells you what to expect, from the materials used to the overall construction of the table.
With a combined experience of 135 years, it is not surprising to find tables from JOOLA and STIGA on the top our best of the best list.
Being the table tennis table provider of the Olympics speaks highly of JOOLA’s quality standards. But to be the official sponsor of the world’s biggest sporting spectacle thrice is undeniably a major feather on any company’s cap.
JOOLA has a rich history of providing tables and accessories to table tennis enthusiasts. Founded in the 1950’s, it is known for maintaining the highest standards of quality and working towards continuous product innovation.
Their tables are easy to assemble and they commonly feature sturdy and smooth table tops, reliable clip-on nets, and convenient leg levelers and wheels. Some of the tables also have additional details like abacus scorers and ball holders.
Their extensive product line also includes rackets, rubbers and balls. They even have head-to-toe apparel specifically tailored for maximum performance.
They aim to provide products for all price levels so whether for recreational or professional use, you will surely find a JOOLA table for you.
For over 70 years, STIGA has been another world leader when it comes to the game of table tennis.
It reached its enviable status by ensuring the highest quality of raw materials, maintaining world-class manufacturing standards, and investing in research and development to come up with exceptional sports equipment and accessories. It also consults and partners with top players and coaches around the world. Once their needs are identified, STIGA goes back to the drawing board to further improve their products.
The STIGA product line now includes table games like hockey and soccer, bikes and scooters, footballs and net goals, floorball sticks and goals, tennis and badminton sets, and basketball systems. Such an extensive product range!
Other Things To Consider
You wanted no less than the best ping pong table for you and your family. You took time to really know your options. You spent a considerable amount to purchase it. Would you let all that effort go to waste? Of course, not!
Here are some tips to help you preserve your table’s condition:
Remember where it belongs
Keep the table in the right place. If you have an indoor table, make sure that you keep it in a place where there is moderate temperature and humidity.
Clean the surface regularly
During each game, sweat and dirt may fall on the table’s surface. Wipe the surface with a clean, dry cloth after every game to avoid these contaminants from accumulating.
Address spills properly
While it is advisable to keep food and drinks away from the table, accidents can always happen. Draw the liquid using an absorptive cloth. No need for soap because it will only alter the appearance and texture of the surface. Wash the cloth in warm water, squeeze, and repeat. Do not to rub too hard or push down on the table.
Don’t forget the net
It deserves just as much attention as the table top surface. If you have a removable net, don’t drag it while putting it on or taking it off. Check to make sure that the tightness is just right.
Use as intended
While most ping pong tables are really sturdy, it is still not wise to use it as a resting place for objects other than the game’s accessories. Sitting on it is also a big no-no!
Best Ping Pong Tables: Conclusion
Whether for recreation with family or friends, or a competitive sport that you can be serious about, table tennis fits the bill. You can practice it anytime without having to leave the comfort of your own home. What’s not to like?
Given the ease of assembly of most table tennis tables today, getting them ready for action is as simple as opening the legs and attaching the net. They even have leg levelers to address uneven floor surfaces. Multi-position settings are also available for play, solo practice or storage.
With fine materials and solid construction, the increased durability makes most tables a worthy investment. Don’t shy away thinking that these impressive tables are expensive because there is a wide range of products at different price points. You will surely find one that fits your budget!
For optimum table tennis experience, trust JOOLA or STIGA for your tables and accessories. They have been in the industry the longest and are trusted by world-class players and coaches.
Better yet, follow our product recommendations and you will not go wrong. Get the action going with out top pick: the JOOLA Inside 15!