If you’re looking for an entertaining addition to your basement or game room or trying to brush up on your ping pong skills, you need a ping pong table that delivers high quality. But you probably don’t want to break the bank if you’re not competing professionally.
We’ve broken down the elements to look for when you’re buying a ping pong table and detailed the pros and cons of three of the best ping pong table options.
Key Features in The Best Ping Pong Tables
Before making a purchase, you’ll need to know what you’re looking for and you’ll also need to make sure you have enough space!
Where Will It Be Located?
The first thing to consider is where you’re going to set up your ping pong table. This determines its size and portability. It will also guide you toward an indoor or outdoor table.
Many ping pong tables fold up for storage. If you will need to put it away when it’s not in use, this is a convenient feature. You’ll also want to take into account the ease of assembly. If it’s too complicated to put it together when you’re ready to use it, you might not get your money’s worth out of it.
If you’ll be playing outdoors, you’ll need a table that stands up to the elements. You can use an outdoor table inside. However, that might not be ideal. Outdoor tables may not provide the same bounce quality as indoor tables.
You might be better off bringing an indoor folding table outside on a nice day. Keep it in the shade to protect its surface from becoming damaged by the sun’s rays, and don’t leave it outside for an extended period of time.
What Size Should You Look For?
Unless you plan to play solely on your own equipment, you’ll probably want a regulation size ping pong table. Compact tables seem versatile, especially if you don’t have room for a full-sized one.
However, you’ll get used to playing on the unique size, and you might pick up some bad habits. You may even have trouble when you get together with your colleagues from the office to play on a traditional surface. Smaller tables are handy and fun, but they’re not ideal for someone who is serious about competing.
If you’re really strapped for space and already have a pool or billiards table, getting a convertible top that installs on top of your existing equipment may be the only option. This isn’t ideal, though, especially if your current table deviates greatly from the standard table tennis size.
For international events, world championships and Olympic Games, a ping pong table must be located in a space that’s 48 feet long and 23 feet wide. However, you probably don’t have that much room in your home. Technically, as long as you can fit the table in your space, you can play table tennis. However, just know that you’ll have to adapt your style of play for the limited space.
What Is A Standard-Sized Table?
A traditional table tennis table is 9 feet long, 5 feet wide and 30 inches tall. Some players say that a table with a 1-inch thickness is the best for a consistent, even bounce. A .75-inch-thick top delivers a similar experience, though.
The net should be 6 feet long and 6 inches high. It overhangs the table by 6 inches on either side.
Additional Features To Look For
Gameplay is dramatically affected when the table isn’t level. Look for a product with leg levelers to maintain the proper height across the surface. This is essential when you’re playing outdoors, where the ground is more likely to be uneven.
The net attaches to the table using clamps. Clamps that have a soft surface protect your table. Make sure that you don’t gouge the table when you’re fastening the clamps.
The Best Ping Pong Tables Reviewed
Joola Indoor/Outdoor Tennis Table
This competition-level ping pong table is ideal for any outdoor or indoor space. It’s not the most expensive outdoor table, which makes it an enticing buy.
The surface is made from a plastic/aluminum composite. It’s resistant to warping and chipping.
One reason that the price is more affordable than some other options is that the table top is only 6 mm. This makes it lighter and more portable than some other options. Users say that this table provides excellent bounce and feels like a professional product. Some say that the ball feels faster on this product than an indoor table.
The undercarriage is powder-coated and resistant to rust. The net set is also weatherproof. The legs are 2 inches thick and sturdy.
The separate halves fold individually for compact storage. You can keep one side vertical to provide a backboard for solo play.
Each half of the table has four caster wheels. The wheels lock to prevent the table from moving when it’s being stored or played with.
You can separate the table into two halves, which makes it easier to transport. You can also use each half as an outdoor table for entertaining when you’re not playing ping pong.
The net locks the tables together; they don’t have a locking connection. You can adjust the leg levelers if you’re having problems butting each side of the table together.
When it’s stored, the table is about 63 inches tall, 60 inches wide and 24 inches deep.
- Four locking casters on each half
- Table separates into two halves for portability
- Regulation size
- Net occasionally comes loose
- Table can shift apart during use because the halves don’t lock together
STIGA Advantage Indoor Table Tennis Table
The STIGA Advantage ping pong table sets up just as easily as the JOOLA indoor/outdoor table. It employs a similar design, with each half folding and moving separately. Each half has four locking caster wheels. The independent design lets you nest the tables against each other when they’re stored in the vertical position.
The heavy-duty net and post set is of better quality than the one that comes with the JOOLA indoor/outdoor table. The clamp lets you easily attach the net, and tension adjusters allow you to set up the net in the ideal position.
The table surface is made of 5/8-inch thick medium-density fiberboard (MDF). It is cured with a UV process that creates a consistent surface that resists chipping and fading. The stripes are screen printed, giving them a smooth feel. The edges are banded with PVC for extra ruggedness and protection.
This product also features a 1.5-inch welded steel tube apron. This supports the table top, prevents warping and ensures an even bounce on every spot along the surface.
When the table is in the storage position, it is 63 inches tall, 24 inches deep and 60 inches wide.
- Safety latch keeps tables vertical when stored
- Casters lock for safety and stability
- Adjustable leg levelers
- Net is better quality than the JOOLA indoor/outdoor table
- Adjusts for solo use
- Narrower legs than the JOOLA indoor/outdoor table
- Not intended for outdoor use
MD Sports Table Tennis Set
This is the least expensive table that we reviewed. It’s a regulation-sized table that comes with two paddles and two ping pong balls.
The 5/8-inch table top is comparable to that of the more expensive STIGA Advantage. It features a 1 1/8-inch apron for added support.
The table top comes in four parts, which are connected underneath with brackets. The seams don’t interfere with gameplay. This table doesn’t separate into two separate tables as the others do. However, you can still fold up one side for solo play.
Users say that the initial assembly is fairly complicated, and the instructions aren’t very descriptive. Once you have assembled it, however, it folds and unfolds easily for storage and quick play.
A frame with legs and four casters sits in the center of the table. The legs at the edges of the table fold in when the sides are stored in the vertical position.
When it’s folded for storage, the table measures 72.5 inches tall, 60 inches wide and 16 inches deep.
- Lighter in weight than the others
- Locking casters
- Inexpensive price point compared to the other tables
- More extensive initial assembly required than the other tables
- Not designed for outdoor use
- Not water-resistant
- Doesn’t separate into two halves
All of these tables fold up for easy storage. They have locking wheels and aren’t extremely heavy, although the MD Sports table is the lightest option.
If you’re willing to spend a little more money on a high-quality table, the JOOLA indoor/outdoor table is the best all-around option. It won’t be affected by damp weather outdoors, in a basement or on a porch. The surface won’t be damaged if you spill water on it either. Those who won’t be using the table outdoors can save a little money by purchasing the STIGA table.
If you are just getting into table tennis and want a less expensive recreational option, the MD Sports table tennis set is a great value. However, it might not stand up to years of heavy use.