The best ping pong table can provide you and your family with hours of entertainment, right in the comfort of your own home or backyard. These tables are bigger and better than the table tennis tables of the past, and offer many new and exciting features that will enhance the user’s gaming experience.
Considering how many models are available to choose from on the market these days, buying the best ping pong table isn’t an easy decision. You have to know what features to look for and how to determine whether or not a particular model you’re interested in can meet your needs.
Are you a serious ping pong player and need a table you can practice on? Are you looking for a table tennis table the whole family can use? The answer to both of these questions can help you to determine which model is right for you and your family.
Choosing the Leading Models
These days, ping pong is more popular than ever. And with this rise in popularity came dozens of new models, each of which claims to be the best.
We carefully researched each of the best-selling tables available, and took a deeper look at the features, bounce quality, durability, stability during use, and the overall design, to determine which models to include in our top five list.
Each of the models we have chosen has something special to offer, whether it has the best pro-quality setup, most responsive surface, easy to use playback mode, or it comes with some great extras. We even found a top of the line model that’s available at a lower price, making it a great buy for the family on a budget.
We’re dedicated to bringing you only the best indoor and outdoor ping pong tables on the market. Below you’ll find a comparison chart that features our five top choices. We’ve compared their rating, style, price, playing surface thickness, and whether or not a table includes the popular playback mode.
Top Ping Pong Tables Comparison Chart
|Kettler Champ 5.0|
|JOOLA Inside Table|
Our Top Models
Best Ping Pong Table-STIGA Advantage Competition-Ready Indoor Table Tennis Table
This indoor table tennis table by Stiga features a foldable design and the playback feature that allows you to pull up half the table and lock it in place for a stable backboard you can use to practice your serves. The table can also be easily split in two, so you can enjoy two miniature ping pong tables, a feature that’s perfect for the kids. This competition-quality ping pong table earned high marks for durability and overall quality.
Best Choice for Tournament Use-Butterfly Centrefold 25 Table Tennis Table
Need a durable, versatile ping pong table that can withstand regular use and one that can also help you train for your upcoming tournament? Then look no further than the Centrefold by Butterfly. This table is a great choice for the family rec room, but it really shines as a training tool for the serious player. It’s also a great buy for commercial or tournament use. This table is TTF certified and comes with leg levelers, safety locks that keep the table tightly secured when in the folded position, and a top of the line table tennis net and clamp system.
Best Outdoor Ping Pong Table-Kettler Champ 5.0 Outdoor Table Tennis Table
If you don’t have room in the home to accommodate a full-sized ping pong table, the Champ is the answer. This large outdoor table also features a foldable design that allows you to easily collapse it and store it when not in use. The table’s waterproof playing surface and corrosion-resistant frame allow you to leave the table outside during the winter months so you and your family can enjoy table tennis matches year-round.
Highly Portable-JOOLA Inside Table Tennis Table
This regulation size ping pong table is loaded with all the features the serious player is looking for. This table can easily be collapsed, transported, and stored, making it a great addition to any family room, or it can be easily stored away if you don’t have the space to leave the table set up permanently. Even better, this tournament quality table arrives ninety-five percent assembled, so you can avoid a lengthy assembly process and get right to playing.
Best Value-Hathaway Victory Professional 9’ Table Tennis Table
This regulation size ping pong table not only features the perfect one-inch playing surface, which offers a more consistent bounce, but it’s also priced incredibly low for a table of this size and quality. The playback mode is perfect for beginners or serious players who want to work on their serves, speed, and technique.
Ping Pong Table Buyer’s Guide
When you’re shopping for the best ping pong table for your family there are many factors to consider before you hit that buy now button. First off, consider where you and your family will use the table.
- Do you have room in your home for an indoor ping pong table or would an outdoor model be the best option?
- Do you need a table that can be used daily, on the weekends only, or for special occasions only?
- Who is the table for? will the entire family use the table or is it just for the kids?
Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll have a better idea of what type of table you’re looking for.
Fortunately for you, we’ve reviewed dozens of the leading models of ping pong tables on the market, narrowing it down to five models that are built tough, versatile, durable, and offer endless hours of entertainment.
Many of these tables will meet the needs of players of all skill levels, however, not all of these models are deemed pro-quality.
Portability Versus Fixed in Place
Do you need a ping pong table that you can easily collapse and store away when not in use? A model that’s lightweight and easy to transport? Or do you want a model that you can set up permanently in the basement or family game room?
Before you buy, determine whether you plan on leaving the table permanently set up or if you plan on storing the table when it’s not in use. If you’re going to put the table away immediately after a game, then you need a model that’s designed with portability in mind.
If portability is key, you’ll also want to look for a table that comes equipped with rollers, which will allow you to move the table easily. Many models with roller wheels will also come with brakes, so you can lock the table in place during a game.
Regardless of where the table is going to go, make sure you take careful measurements of the designated space outside or inside the home in order to ensure you and other players will have plenty of room to move around during a match.
Surface Thickness and Quality
Skilled ping pong players often prefer a playing surface that’s one-inch thick. A one-inch thick playing surface will provide an even bounce, however, lower priced models that offer a surface thickness that’s three-quarters thick will perform in a similar manner and will cost a fraction of the price. If you play in pro competitions then you’ll want to go with a one-inch thick surface since this is what is commonly found on tables used in competitions.
Whether it’s a portable table or a fixed in place model, make sure the table you choose has strong legs and doesn’t shake during use. A ping pong table goes through plenty of wear and tear from regular use, which means it’s must have strong, well-built legs that can handle an intense match.
Leg levelers are a nice addition to any table. The levers are found on the bottom of the legs and can come in handy when the table is placed over an uneven surface. The leg levelers will allow you to independently adjust the height of each of the legs, so the table will not shake or move at all during use. This is a must-have feature if you decide to purchase an outdoor ping pong table.
Ping Pong Net
The net attachments should have a soft covering at the spots where they grip the table in order to prevent scratching the surface. You’ll also need to ensure that the clamps on the net don’t dig into the underside or the surface of the table.
Indoor or Outdoor Ping Pong Table?
An outdoor ping pong table comes in a wide variety of sizes and styles and typically features a playing surface that’s weatherproof and rustproof. The surfaces on an outdoor table are usually made out of wood or metal and come with a type of synthetic laminate or waterproof coating. But even tables that are rated for outdoor use will need to be protected against the elements, especially if you live in a part of the country that receives a lot of rain and/or snow. Fortunately, most ping pong table manufactures sell table covers for each of their models.
If possible, store your outdoor ping pong table in your garage or cover it with a thick tarp if you don’t plan on using it during the winter months. Even with a waterproof coating and cover the table can still get damaged if left out regularly in freezing temperatures.
During the summer months, you should also use a table cover when the table is not in use. Being left out in the sun all day can potentially cause the table’s surface to warp.
Many outdoor models come equipped with built-in wheels and leg levelers. The wheels will allow you to roll your table to the perfect spot in your yard or driveway and can also make it easy to store your table in the garage or another designated space, once you’re finished playing for the day.
Indoor tables offer many of the same benefits as outdoor models, but they’re not nearly as durable and tend to take up a lot of space in the home. A fixed in place ping pong table can be a bad choice for your home if you don’t have much room to work with. It can limit a player’s performance in terms of freedom of movement, causing them to alter their swings and serves in order to avoid bumping into a wall or furniture. If you’re short on space, go with a foldable model or an outdoor table.
A ping pong table with a playback position allows you to raise up half of the table so one player can practice. Raising half the table will create a backboard that you can use to perfect your game. This is a great feature for beginners and kids. Tables that can be put in the playback position are often easier to store since both sides of the table can fold up, allowing you to fit the table into a tight storage spot.
Separating the Table Halves
Newer, leading models now allow you to use your home table tennis table like never before. Do your kids want to have one on one competitions with their friends, but they don’t want to wait for their turn to play? Then choose a model that allows you to basically split the table in half and enjoy two miniature games of ping pong. The ability to split a large table in half and turn it into two smaller tables is a huge selling point for buyers with more than one child, or people interested in tables for commercial purposes or school use.
These tables often come with a higher price tag, but they’re also usually more durable than lower priced models and typically feature the ideal one-inch thick playing surface.
If you have kids in the home, then a ping pong table that comes with built-in safety features is a must. Some of the safety features you should look for include locking wheels, brakes, and rounded corners.
Ping Pong Tables Based On Skill Level
Not only do you have to consider whether or not to go with a model designed for indoor or outdoor use, whether the table will fit in your home or in the intended spot in your backyard, but you should also choose a table based on skill level. It’s true like with anything you buy, you get what you pay for. But when it comes to ping pong tables, you really don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on a pro-quality table for the kids.
Now, let’s learn about the differences between tables designed for beginners, intermediate level players, and pro-quality tables.
Newbie Ping Pong Tables
Ping pong tables that are designed for newbies are much different than tables designed for pros. To start, a table for beginners is designed more for light recreational use. Since they’re not built for performance, they often don’t have the one-inch thick playing surface that most professional players are searching for. These tables also typically have the playback feature, which, as we mentioned earlier, allows one player to play against themselves for much-needed practice. These tables are a great choice for children or beginners who need all the practice they can get.
Ping Pong Tables for the Intermediate Level Player
These tables will usually have more of a focus on durability, compared to tables designed for newbies. If you have children that enjoy playing ping pong year-round, then this type of table can be a great investment. This tougher table can also handle more use and abuse than tables designed for beginners, however, the surface of the table isn’t quite pro-quality, yet it offers a better bounce than lower-priced models.
Tables Designed for the Ping Pong Master
These are the tables that are competition-worthy. Pro-quality tables follow the regulations put in place by the International Table Tennis Federation. This means they meet both the size and surface thickness requirements. If you or a member of your family plays competitively, then this is the type of table to buy. It can make all the difference in how you play and it’s a great investment if you or someone in the home plays competitively. However, if you’re merely searching for a durable ping pong table for some family fun, then this type of table is definitely overkill.
Ping Pong Table Benefits
For many years, ping pong tables could be found at the gym, at schools, and even the YMCA. But just five years ago the cost of a pro-quality table was set pretty high, making it difficult for the family on a tight budget to afford a good quality table for their rec room.
- These days, major manufacturers have come out with models that are still top of the line, they’re just priced more affordable.
- Ping pong may not be a high-impact sport, but it’s still a great way to get active.
- Ping pong isn’t just a fun game for the kids. In fact, there are many health benefits associated with regular use, some of which, will surprise you.
Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
Did you know that regularly playing ping pong can do wonders for your hand-eye coordination? Not only that, but playing a game of ping pong can also improve cognition, mental focus, tactical strategy, and concentration. It’s a great choice for people who want to sharpen their reflexes and for people who want to improve mental clarity and focus.
Because of the short distance and fast pace of the game, ping pong can help improve both fine and gross motor skills. This game often requires sudden bursts of energy, followed by a brief recovery period. It’s also very gentle on the joints, making it a great choice if you want to be more active, but have arthritis or you’re recovering from an injury.
One challenging game a day can also help to improve core, leg, and arm strength, while also allowing you to burn up to two hundred calories per hour.
Family Bonding Experience
Nothing could be more fun than a game of ping pong with the family. Playing ping pong in teams of two allows you and your family members to challenge each other to a friendly game that offers benefits for both the body and mind. If you have an indoor model, playing a game of ping pong is also a great way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Did you know that playing ping pong can also stimulate different parts of the brain? A player will use the prefrontal cortex to strategically plan when anticipating another player’s shot. Additionally, the physical exertion that comes with it can also stimulate the hippocampus, which is the portion of the brain that’s responsible for retaining facts.
Improving Your Ping Pong Skills
If you’re totally new to the game, don’t expect to become a pro overnight. Playing ping pong isn’t as easy as it looks and it requires both refined gross and fine motor skills, balance, coordination, and strategic planning.
If you’re determined to beat your family and friends or you want to train for an upcoming tournament, practicing is everything. We recommend taking one hour a day to hone your ping pong skills and improve your balance and coordination.
If you’d like to learn how to win your next ping pong match, click here to read our article on how to spin ping pong, and learn about the importance of adding some spin to your serve.
You can also check out our article on table tennis tips, to learn more about killer serves that will blow your opponent away and allow you to dominate any match.
Our reviews of the best ping pong tables, combined with our buyer’s guide, are designed to help you choose the perfect table for you and your family. Now that you know you must check out the size, table surface thickness, leg design, and style before you buy, you should be prepared to find a table that’s a perfect match, and a model that’s designed to last year after year.