Ping pong is a game that many of us remember fondly from our childhood.
Whether it was a game you played in the arcade, or you were lucky enough to own one yourself (or know someone who did), I’m sure you can remember having a good time.
Perhaps you want to relive some of these memories, or you have children who need occupying. Either way, investing in a ping pong table is definitely a great idea.
Finding the best ping pong table can be tricky, particularly if you're working with a budget and space restrictions.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry. Here's all you need to know about ping pong tables and some valuable suggestions for where to best spend your money.
Ping Pong Comparison Table
Different Types Of Table Tennis Table
You may think that all ping pong tables are created equal, however, there are few main types of table available. Which type you select will depend on a few factors, such as where you plan on using the table.
The most common types of tables are outlined below.
This is pretty self-explanatory, these tables are designed for use inside. They don’t need to be weatherproof in any way.
Indoor tables don’t always have to be confined to an indoor environment. As long as they're covered and protected from the elements, such as in a car port style housing, they should be fine.
However, moisture can still be a problem so it might be worth investing in an outdoor table if you think your table will be spending any substantial length of time outside.
Like indoor tables, the outdoor table type speaks for itself. They have specialized waterproof surfaces that are designed to withstand the elements.
This makes them more expensive than indoor tables but if you intend to keep your table outside it's a worthwhile investment, otherwise your table will ruin easily.
These type of tables are only one piece. They can usually be folded away for storage, or partly folded so one person can practice alone, called playback practice mode.
The best thing about one-piece tables are that the net can stay put, no need to fix it to the table each time you set it up.
They are, however, more cumbersome to move around and larger to store. That's something to consider if you don't intend for it to be a permanent set up.
Two-piece tables are essentially split into two parts when stored. This makes them easier to move and more flexible to store, however, if you have no intention of doing either of these this feature becomes irrelevant.
Most two-piece tables require the net to be fixed to the table (where the two pieces join) before play can commence.
These aren't freestanding tables, but rather a folding surface. Usually made from wood, you simply unfold to instantly create a ping pong table surface.
You simply place it on an existing table, such as a dining room table or other games table (like a pool or air hockey table) and you're ready to play.
Conversion tables are, not surprisingly, cheaper and a great purchase if you're new to ping pong and don't want to make a costly investment on something you may not use. They're also great if space is an issue.
Differences between Indoor and Outdoor Tables
To the layman, you may think that indoor and outdoor ping pong tables are probably very similar. But in reality, they have a lot of subtle differences.
Outdoor tables have weatherproof coatings to prevent damage, as well as protection from the sun’s glare. Because of this feature, outdoor tables tend to be more expensive than indoor tables.
Indoor ping pong tables are usually shorter in length, give a greater bounce quality and so better overall playing experience.
Best Ping Pong Table Brands
JOOLA are a world renowned brand who cater for both professional and recreational players. In fact, they were the official table sponsor at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
JOOLA offer innovative tables with high-end technology and have been instrumental in bringing ping pong into the mainstream game stage.
If there's one place you choose to look, make it JOOLA. However, if budget is a major consideration, you may struggle as their products are on the upper end of the price scale.
Nevertheless, the quality is exceptional and will guarantee you years of entertainment.
Stiga is a global company that cater for the evolving needs of players, in all levels of ping pong skill. In operation for over 70 years, Stiga produce high-quality tables for both leisure and competition.
Their tables also come in a range of sizes and a huge abundance of accessories are also available for purchase.
Stiga employs some of the most qualified technicians and you can rest assured that you're buying quality.
Killerspin are a company who endeavor to get people active through the love of ping pong. They do this by providing top quality and durable ping pong tables and accessories.
Unfortunately, Killerspin may not cater for all needs as they are quite an expensive brand. Their tables come in a range of styles, sizes and colors, so there is bound to be something to suit your taste.
Killerspin bring a new intensity, style and character to the game of ping pong.
Butterfly are a leading brand in ping pong tables and accessories. With over 50 years experience, they cater for recreational and professional players alike.
Cutting edge technology and traditional principles combine together to give you high quality at fairly affordable prices.
Top 10 Ping Pong Tables
1. JOOLA Inside Table Tennis Table
This two-piece, competition quality table is ideal for any home recreation room, or other indoor area.
The two halves can be easily moved and stored, yet when the table is set for play the locking devices ensure safety and stability.
The two-piece design also allows for individuals to play on their own to enhance their skills, or simply when nobody else is available to play against.
A sturdy surface helps with consistent ball bounce, allowing you to play just like the pros.
Initial assembly of the table is simple, but you do have the option of paying for someone to assemble it for you.
After the initial set-up, it should only take you around 20 minutes to set the table up for play – possible faster if you share the task with some friends.
You'll need to purchase accessories such as paddles and balls separately. This will add a small cost, but the table itself is quite reasonably priced that the overall total is still well within many budgets.
The JOOLA Inside is truly one of the best ping pong tables you'll find.
2. Stiga Advantage
Stiga have created a competition-style table that even the most recreational players can use.
The table comes with a net and is fairly easy to assemble.
It provides great playability due to the 5/8” thick table top, with a smooth, durable and consistent playing surface.
The table can be left set up, but if space is an issue the two-piece design folds away quickly and easily for storage.
If you find yourself often wanting to practice your skills, but don't have a partner, the Stiga Advantage in the playback set-up, allowing you to practice endlessly on your own.
It's an affordable table that comes with a net, although you'll need to buy the paddles and balls separately in order to be able to play immediately after delivery.
3. MD Table Tennis Set
If you’re on a budget, then this is the best table tennis table for you.
It comes as a complete set so there's no need to purchase balls or paddles separately. You'll be able to play immediately after assembly.
The table is durable, and whilst it may not be as high quality as some other tables on the market, the low price makes it an affordable addition to your games room and will provide hours of exercise and entertainment.
If you don't have the space to leave the table permanently set up, it can be folded away for easy storage.
Moving the table in the folded position may be a little difficult due to the one-piece design, but once again, the low price more than makes up for this small inconvenience.
4. JOOLA Nova Tour DX Outdoor Table
If you intend to use or store your ping pong table outdoors, you'll need to buy a table that’s designed specifically to do so.
The JOOLA Nova Tour DX is the best ping pong table for such a scenario.
It's more expensive than an indoor table, but all outdoor tables are due to the necessary weatherproofing treatment.
The two-piece table can be folded for individual playback mode without needing to remove the weatherproof net.
It can be folded away for easy storage, and you don’t have to worry about the underside of the table being damaged by the elements. It's made from rust-resistant, powder-coated material.
The table is quite heavy and may take a few people to move easily, but if you're keen to play your favorite game outdoors, then this is the table for you.
5. Butterfly TR21 Rollaway Table
Made from imported, compressed wood, the green-colored Butterly table comes with a three-year warranty.
Whilst the table and included net are of high-quality, the table caters more for the beginner to intermediate player.
This is perfect for most users looking for some fun family entertainment. However, it's quite pricey compared to other tables of a similar quality.
Set-up and pack away is quick and simple, and there's no need to remove the net (and therefore set it up again later).
Your accessories such as balls and paddles need to be purchased separately, but you'll be able to store them with your table in the convenient accessory holders so they'll be readily available whenever you want to play.
6. Stiga Space Saver Table Tennis Table
- The small size is great for use in tight spaces.
- Separate tables can be used as tables on their own for entertaining.
- Comes already assembled, you only need to unpack and unfold, and you're ready to play.
- The price is cheaper, albeit by not much, than full-size tables.
- The table may be a little small for adults to play on.
7. Park & Sun Sports Indoor/Outdoor Tennis Table
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
- Can be folded and moved very easily – pack it away and take it to the park.
- Cheaper than full-size tables.
- Paddles and balls are included.
- The small size may make it unsuitable for adults or larger children.
- The table leg design lacks durability and stability.
8. Harvil Insider Table Tennis Table
- A full-size table that comes complete with accessories such as balls, paddles, accessory bag and table cover.
- Folding design allows for storage and playback mode.
- Smooth wood surface creates a professional playing surface.
- Fairly expensive compared to other tables on the market.
- The table comes with a one-year warranty for peace of mind regarding quality.
9. Viper Portable Table Tennis Game Set
- A folding table-top that can be used on any flat surface such as a dining room table, or to convert a pool table to a ping pong table.
- Cheaper and more versatile than a full-size table.
- Net set, paddles, balls and a carry bag are included.
- The folding design may cause erratic bouncing and a less desirable game.
10. Killerspin MyT7 Table Tennis Table
- A professional two-piece table with a high quality playing surface.
- Easily folded away for storage.
- Heavy duty steel frame and legs provides durability and support.
- Can be used in playback mode for individual play and practice.
- It's one of the most expensive tables on the market, so may be out of budget for many consumers.
Buying the Best Ping Pong Table
A ping pong table is a wonderful investment to entertain the family and your friends. To ensure you buy the best ping pong table for you, there are some things you should consider.
Consider where you'll be using your ping pong table. If you wish to use it outdoors, or even store it outdoors, you should fork out the extra money money for a weatherproof table.
Some tables may claim to have a waterproof coating, but this may not be entirely effective, so be careful.
You'll also need to think about whether or not you'll need to store the table. If you intend to leave it set up in a games room, folding, moving and storing won't be an issue, but for those tight on space, it will be.
If space is an issue you could always consider a smaller or mini-sized table. These may not be appropriate if adults are using the table, but perfect for younger children. They're often cheaper too.
Like most items we purchase, there's a limit on how much we can spend. That being said, a higher price tag doesn't always equate to high quality.
Shop around, buy from a reputable brand and buy the best quality ping pong table you can afford and you'll have done your best to buy a table that will last.
Keep your eyes open for tables that come with included accessories such as nets, balls and paddles.
This is especially useful if you're on a budget as you won't have to spend extra money on these items, which are essential to play.
After reading these ping pong table reviews you should be well equipped with all the knowledge you need to make a purchase that's right for you.
Ping pong is a great game to develop hand-eye co-ordination and to socialize with friends and family.
Whether you're a beginner or professional, have a large or small space, or are on a tight budget, there's a table to suit your needs. Buy now to be on your way to years of family fun and entertainment.
To learn more about ping pong, here's a video on the rules along with fun facts about the game.