The 12 Best Ping Pong Tables: Reviews + Buying Guide [2019]

The Best Ping Pong Table To Buy in 2019 (And which to Avoid)

Best Ping Pong Tables

Expert: Kevin James, Last updated: 15th Oct, 2019

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood were the fun, yet intense ping pong contests with my family members. Back then, we didn't own a Ping Pong table. We usually drove down to the local clubs or played at my mom's office.

But seeing my enthusiasm, one fine day, dad got me an indoor ping pong table. I actually cried out of sheer joy, and I couldn't thank him enough! 

And the rest is history. Years later, I went on to play table tennis professionally (career-high USATT rank: 2445).

So as you can imagine, nothing beats the joy of owning a personal Ping Pong table. You can play with your kids, invite your friends over and yes, practice whenever and however you want. And the best part is, no more driving down to local clubs and waiting for your turn.

But how do you go about choosing one? With so many options available in the market, it's a tough decision to make.

Don't worry! In this guide, I will try my best to help you choose the BEST Ping Pong table that accurately matches your needs.

Let's start:

There are four factors to account while shopping for a table tennis table:

1) Location (Indoor or Outdoor)?

2) Space?

3) What are your Goals?

4) Budget?

I hope by now you've got a rough idea on what type of table you should choose. Now, let's proceed with the actual selection:

How does our Rating System Work?

The Best Ping Pong Tables 

Beginner Level (Under $450)

Product
Top Thickness
Our Rating
Price
16mm
Top Choice
15mm
Budget Pick

Intermediate Level ($500 to $750)

Product
Top Thickness
Our Rating
Price
19mm
Top Choice
19mm
Budget Pick
19mm
Pro Pick

Professional Level ($750 to $1500)

Product
Top Thickness
Our Rating
Price
22mm
Top Choice
25mm
Pro Pick
22mm
Budget Pick

Outdoor Ping Pong Table

Product
Top Thickness
Our Rating
Price
22mm
Top Choice
22mm
Pro Pick
6mm
Budget Pick

In the next section, we'll be discussing in-depth about each of the recommended tables, including the pros and cons of each.

Beginner Level


1. Stiga Advantage 

{Stellar build quality, great support, and spare parts are readily available}


Stiga-Advantage Indoor Table Tennis Table

Product Specification:

  • Top thickness: 16mm
  • Table Size: 9' x 5' (Regulation)
  • Frame: 30x30mm
  • Weight: 154 lbs
  • Storage Dimension: 60'' (L) x 28'' (W) x 64'' (H)
  • Warranty - 90 days replacement
  • Color - Navy Blue

Pros
+ 16mm thick table top
+ Responsive top with good bounce and adherence
+ 95% pre-assembled, easy to set up
+ Warp and chip resistant paint
+ Safety features - wheel and anti-tilt lock
+ Sturdy construction

Cons
- Average Net & Post set

Stiga Advantage Review:

STIGA is a popular manufacturer of table tennis equipment worldwide. True to its reputation, the Stiga Advantage (read in-depth review) is no exception - A fantastic table by all means.

The Stiga Advantage is perfect for beginners and casual players who're looking for a high-quality table which is easy to store, occupies low-storage space and offers competitive gameplay experience at home.

It features a two-piece, 16mm thick, navy-blue color table top, which is made out of with MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). The top is UV cured and painted with multi-layer matt paint which offers consistent ball bounce and prevents warping and chipping.

Undercarriage: The table top sits on top of a sturdy undercarriage which is built with 30x30mm thick powder-coated steel tubes. Also, a 30x30mm steel apron is attached to the table top to prevent warping and provide extra stability to the structure. Each half is attached with self opening legs which fold during storage, four heavy-duty wheels and two height adjustable legs. The table stands on eight 3'' wheels and four sturdy outer legs. Each wheel is individually lockable, which helps to keep the table stationary during play or storage. As an additional safety measure, each halve comes with an anti-tilting lock which prevents it from opening up accidentally during storage. 

Net & Post: The table comes with a standard 72'' clip-type net with tension adjustment mechanism.

Set up & Storage: Setting up and storing the table is quite easy, thanks to its lightweight, innovative design. The eight large wheels make it easy to move the table around. In storage, the two-halves nest next to another, occupying minimal space. When set up for play, the table measures 60'' x 108'' x 30'', and it can go down to 60” x 28” x 64” for storage.

Solo Practice: Don't have a partner to play - No worries! Simply slide the table in playback position, by keeping one half of the table upright and other horizontal. And you are all set to practice alone.

Warranty: Backed by 90 days replacement warranty and a 3-year warranty against manufacturing defects, this table will last you for many years to come. Also, the spare parts are readily available and can be ordered online. Overall, the table is professionally designed and built with high-quality parts.

To summarize: The Stiga Advantage offers a right balance between performance, portability, and pricing. An excellent table for home users who play recreationally as well as those who're looking to play occasional serious matches. 

You would be hard-pressed finding a better value table than the Stiga Advantage.

More...


2. JOOLA Rally TL Professional Grade

A.K.A - Joola Motion 15 or Joola Rally TL 300. 

{stylish, elegant, sturdy build quality + bonus features!}


JOOLA Rally TL Professional Grade Table Tennis Table

Product Specification:

  • Top Thickness: 15mm
  • Table Size: 9' x 5' (Regulation)
  • Frame: 30x30mm
  • Weight: 155 lbs
  • Storage Dimension: 60'' (L) x 30'' (W) x 64'' (H)
  • Warranty: 6 months
  • Color: Charcoal grey
  • Approval: USATT

Pros
+ Great aesthetics, the charcoal grey top looks classy
+ Scratch and chip resistant table top
+ Built-in ball holders
+ Magnetic abacus scoring system
+ Easy to set up, comes 95% pre-assembled
+ ​Superior and sturdy build quality
+ USATT approved

Cons
- The top is slightly thinner than our top pick - Stiga Advantage

Joola Rally TL Review (Read more....)

{Simplicity of design, excellent price point, easy to store}


Butterfly Compact Table Tennis Table

Product Specification:

  • Top thickness: 16mm
  • Table Size: 9' x 5' (Regulation)
  • Frame: 16x16mm
  • Weight: 147 lbs
  • Storage Dimension: 60'' (L) x 30'' (W) x 56'' (H)
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Color: Navy Blue and Green
  • Approval: USATT

Pros
+ No assembly required
+ 16mm thick MDF table top
+ Simple design, easy to move and set up
+ Occupies less storage space
+ Lightweight, yet sturdy
+ 3 years warranty

Cons
- No playback position for single player practice
- No height adjustment levelers

Butterfly Compact (16mm) Review

If you're looking for a table which plays well, is easy to set up, and occupies less storage space, you should definitely consider the Butterfly Compact 16.

Available in two colors - Blue and Green, the 16mm thick MDF table top offers excellent ball bounce and great overall playability. The top sits on a lightweight yet sturdy 16x16mm thick steel frame. Each frame leg comes with a lock to prevent the table from accidentally closing down during play.

The table features a two-piece design, each half is mounted with two 2'' wheels at the center and two steel legs. The lightweight design (147lbs) and sturdy wheels, makes maneuvering the table an easy task. The table lives up to its name, occupying the least amount of storage space in this category, measuring - 60'' (L) x 30'' (W) x 56'' (H). A butterfly clip-type net and post is provided with rubber cladding which prevents any damage to the table.

The best part about this table is that it requires no assembly and you can start playing right out of the box. Plus, the 3-year warranty guarantees you a trouble-free ownership experience.

To summarize: Butterfly Compact 16 is the best value for money table in the Beginner's category. The pricing is spot on, and the design is ridiculously simple, offering easy maneuverability and compact storage.

Intermediate Level


1. Butterfly Easifold 19


Butterfly Easifold Tennis Table 19mm

Product Specification:

  • Top thickness: 19mm
  • Table Size: 9' x 5' (Regulation)
  • Frame: 40x40mm
  • Weight: 177 lbs
  • Storage Dimension: 63'' x 30'' x 63''
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Color: Navy Blue and Green

Pros
+ 19mm thick top delivers excellent ball bounce and traction
+ Suited for both casual as well as serious players
+ Simple design, easy to ​maneuver
+ Sturdy undercarriage
+ USATT approved
+ 3 years warranty

Cons
- None

Butterfly Easifold 19 Review

The first table in the intermediate category is from the brand none other than the Butterfly. You may have heard about this brand already. They are the top sponsor of almost all major ITTF events and are known for producing high-quality equipment.

Butterfly Easifold 19 is a competitive quality table which offers excellent ball bounce, traction, and superior overall performance. Whether you're a beginner or an intermediate level player, this table will serve you well. The best part is, although the table is quite heavy it's still easy to store, set up, and requires minimal assembly time.

The 19mm thick MDF top offers competition-level ball handling and consistent bounce. The top is mounted a robust undercarriage which is built out of 40x40mm thick powder coated square steel tubes.

The table comes in two halves which nest next to one another during storage. Each half is attached with four 3'' caster wheels and two height adjustable legs to level the playing surface. The inner wheels come with a break to secure the table during play or storage. Plus, the table comes with playback mode for single-player practice. Coming to the net post, it is quite durable and of exceptional quality.

Also, being a USATT approved table, you can also use it for hosting tournaments/leagues.

To summarize: Butterfly Easifold 19 is our top pick for players who are looking for a competitive table at an affordable price. And finally, backed by a 3-year solid warranty, makes this table an excellent investment for those looking to up their game!


2. Butterfly Spirit 19


Butterfly Spirit 19mm Table Tennis Table

Product Specification:

  • Top thickness: 19mm
  • Table Size: 9' x 5' (Regulation)
  • Frame: 40x40mm
  • Weight: 206 lbs
  • Storage Dimension: 63'' x 25'' x 66''
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Color: Navy Blue and Green

Pros
+ 19mm thick tournament quality top
+ Innovative single-piece centerfold design for easy setup and movement

+ Additional safety features
+ Paddle and Ball holder
+ USATT approved
+ 3 years warranty

Cons
- None

Butterfly Spirit 19 Review

The Butterfly Spirit 19 features a single-piece centerfold design ensuring easy setup/storage and making it an ideal choice for home, clubs, and schools. The two halves fold into one central undercarriage and roll away as one unit. This makes the process of setting up the table and putting in storage, a cakewalk. Additionally, the single-person pulley system allows one person to set up/fold the table quickly and easily.

This sturdy table comes with a 19mm thick scratch and termite resistant top, which is fast, responsive and offers excellent bounce. Overall, the performance of the table is quite close to what the professional tables offer.

The top is supported by four 40x40mm thick steel legs and four 4'' heavy duty wheels. The large wheels make moving the table an easy task while the wheel-break ensure the table remains safely secured and steady when playing. Height adjusters are provided all the four legs to level the playing surface. The table is supplied with a butterfly clip-type net post set and comes with an accessory holder to store paddles and balls.

The table is USATT approved and can be used to host tournaments.

Lastly, the installation is straightforward and requires attaching just the four wheels to the frame. The assembly takes about 20 to 30 minutes and requires two adults.

To summarize: The Butterfly Spirit 19 is ideal for serious beginners and intermediate players, who're looking for a pro-quality table. Top quality performance, add-ons, and innovative design - justifies the price tag and makes it a solid pick.

3. Butterfly Compact 19


Butterfly Compact Table Tennis Table 19mm

Product Specification:

  • Top thickness: 19mm
  • Table Size: 9' x 5' (Regulation)
  • Frame: 40x40mm
  • Weight: 175 lbs
  • Storage Dimension: 57'' x 20'' x 60''
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Color - Navy Blue and Green

Pros
+ Cheapest 19mm table
+ No assembly required
+ Excellent performance, good bounce, and spin
+ Lightweight, yet sturdy
+ Compact storage
+ 3 years warranty

Cons
- No playback mode.
- No height leveling mechanism. Instead, you need to use rubber pads.

Butterfly Compact 19 Review

Are you looking for a compact tournament quality table that not only plays well but also offers value for money? Then we'd recommend that you check out the Butterfly Compact 19. The table comes 100% pre-assembled and requires no installation. Just unpack and start playing - Easy-Peasy!

There are two variants of the table -16mm and 19mm. We recommend intermediate players to go for the 19mm version because thicker tops offer better ball bounce and support competitive gameplay. Also, the 19mm version comes with a more robust undercarriage, and the price difference between the two is just ~50 bucks.

This table weighs under 175lbs, making it the lightest in the category. But don't just go by the weight, the table is well-built, sturdy and yet is very easy to maneuver/set up.

The top is mounted on a sturdy undercarriage. Each table half is attached with two large wheels for easy movement, adjustable legs for leveling the playing surface and two corner guards. The table comes with a butterfly clip-on net and post set. The spring clip of the net is rubber cladded to prevent the table from getting damaged. In storage, the table folds down to 4'8" x 5' x 6".

Additionally, the table comes with a standard 3-year warranty which covers manufacturing defects. Also, the spare parts are readily available.

To summarize: The Butterfly Compact 19 is ideal for anyone who is looking for a compact and easy to store tournament-level table. However, the thing that really seals the deal is the price. At less than $500, it's a truly affordable option.

Professional Tables


1. Butterfly Space Saver 22


Butterfly Space Saver 22 Table Tennis Table

Product Specification:

  • Top thickness: 22mm
  • Material: Single-piece wood
  • Frame: 50x50mm
  • Weight: 215 lbs
  • Storage Dimension: 60'' x 25'' x 60'’
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Color - Navy Blue and Green
  • Approval: ITTF

Pros
+ 22mm thick top produces true bounce
+ The top is constructed with a single continuous piece of wood
+ Ideal for clubs, hosting tournaments, and players looking for a professional table
+ Single-piece centerfold design for easy storage and maneuverability
+ 5 years warranty

Cons
- No playback position

As the name suggests, the Butterfly Space spacer 22 is a compact professional-grade table tennis table. Being ITTF approved, you can also use the table to host international matches.

Designed to meet the competitive demands of the players, the 22mm thick table top offers consistent and true ball bounce with perfect spin reception. Each half of the table top is constructed with a single piece of wood, unlike cheaper tables, which use MDF or HDF material. The top is well-built and durable and is available in blue and green color.

A strong and sturdy undercarriage supports the heavy top, ensuring exceptional strength and stability, while the centerfold design makes it easy to set up and move the table around. The undercarriage sits on four 5'' lockable wheels and four height adjustable legs. The large wheels make it easy to maneuver the table while the wheel-locks keep the table stationary during play or storage.

The frame is powder coated to prevent rusting and painted with scratch resistant paint. The frame legs are made out of 2''x2'' steel tubes while the rails are made with 2" x 3/4" rectangular steel tubes.

The table is supplied with a screw-type Butterfly National League T31 net and post set which is both height and tension adjustable.

To summarize: Butterfly Space Saver 22 isn't the cheapest table on this list but for serious home players, clubs, schools, and recreational centers, this is one of the best options. 

Priced under $1400, the quality, performance, and convenience this table offers is the best in the category.

2. Butterfly Centerfold 25


Butterfly Centerfold 25 Table Tennis Table

Product Highlights:

  • Top Thickness: 25mm or 1''
  • No assembly required
  • Designed and manufactured in Germany
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • ITTF approved table

Pros
+ The very best tournament grade table
+ 25mm thick table top offers true bounce and spin
+ Super sturdy build quality
+ Official USATT tournament table
+ No assembly required.
+ 5 years warranty
+ We use the same tables in our club

Cons
- No playback mode (who even uses it?)

Butterfly Centerfold 25

We choose the Butterfly Centerfold 25 as our Pro Pick in the Professional tables category. Not only this is the costliest table on the list but also the best tournament quality table currently available.

Approved by both ITTF and USATT, it was the official table of the 2014 world team championship and 2001-2011 U.S. Open & U.S. National Championships. ​This table is built to meet the requirements of international tournaments, and this highly speaks about its quality and performance.

There is a strong reason for the widespread popularity of this table - Simple design, Excellent performance, and relatively lower price. A typical tournament grade tables cost upwards of $3000, and in almost half the price, the Butterfly Centerfold 25 offers similar performance minus the aesthetics.

The 25mm thick table top is constructed with a continuous solid piece which offers superior playability, and the top is finished with a high-quality scratchproof matt-finish paint. The undercarriage is built out of 2" thick steel frame, and the top is supported by 2.75" steel rail.

The table can be folded up, locked shut, and rolled into storage on the 5" rubber wheels. The wheels come with a break to secure the table in place while the legs come with height adjustment levelers to keep the playing surface even.

Despite the hefty price tag of ~$1885 (at the time of writing the review), the product quality speaks for itself and is worth every penny. Not to forget it also comes with a Butterfly Europa T32 net set valued at $90.

Finally, backed by a 5-year warranty, and easy spare parts availability, you can be sure this product is going to last for many years to come.

Personal Review:
"I can personally vouch for the quality of the Butterfly Centerfold 25 as I have six of them at my club with the oldest one being four years old. We use them for both practicing and hosting local tournaments, and I have no complaints about them whatsoever!"

The Butterfly Centerfold 25 is ideal for serious home players, clubs or schools, who're looking for a top-of-the-line professional table tennis table.


3. Butterfly Easifold Deluxe 22


Butterfly Easifold Deluxe 22 Table Tennis Table

Product Highlights:

  • Top Thickness: 22mm or 7/8''
  • Playback Position: Yes
  • USATT Approved
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 205 lbs

Pros
+ Value for money
+ 22mm thick top
+ Well suited for homes, clubs, schools or office
+ Excellent ball bounce and speed
+ 3 years warranty 

Cons
- Not approved by ITTF

Butterfly Easifold Deluxe 22 Review

You're not going to get a better bang for your buck in professional table tennis table category then the Butterfly Easifold 22. It comes with 22mm top, sturdy undercarriage and performs as good as any tournament grade table. Priced at about $850, this table delivers top-performance at almost half the cost.

It is by far the cheapest 22mm table in the market. While some may argue that Butterfly Compact 22 is the more affordable, but I beg to differ. The butterfly compact is excellent and cheap, but its undercarriage isn't sturdy enough to support professional play. Moreover, butterfly compact cannot handle the abuse that well in comparison.

The 22mm thick top offers consistent ball bounce, perfect for competitive practice, and hosting professional tournaments. The top rests on a strong and sturdy undercarriage which is made out of 1.5" x 1.5" gauge steel. The outer legs of the frame come with height adjustment levelers to even the playing surface while the eight 4" caster wheels make it easy to move the table. The wheels come with a safety break to secure the table in position while playing or during storage.

The net set provided along is excellent and comes with both height and tension adjustment option.

Overall, for the price, features and build quality, we think you'll have a tough time finding a better value deal than the Butterfly Easifold Deluxe 22!

Outdoor Ping Pong Table


1. Kettler Outdoor - Axos 1


Kettler Outdoor Table Tennis Table - Axos 1

Product Highlights:

  • Anti-glare table top
  • Thickness: 22mm
  • Playback Position: Yes
  • Storage Dimension: 60'' x 24'' x 64'’
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 130 lbs

Pros
+ 22mm thick anti-glare top offers enhanced visibility and consistent bounce
+ Sturdy construction
+ Single-piece design for easy storage and set up
+ Complementary net set, two paddles, one cover, and a 6-pack of 3-star balls
+ 2 year residential + 1 year commercial warranty

Cons
- None

Kettler Outdoor Axos 1 Review

Our favorite outdoor table is the Kettler Outdoor Axos 1. It's well-built to withstand nature's elements, super easy to set up, portable and produces good ball bounce.

For some time now, Kettler has built a reputation for producing high-quality outdoor table tennis tables. With the Axos 1, the company does a remarkable job again. The regulation size table comes with a 22mm thick anti-glare weather-resistant top. The table top is constructed by sandwiching waterproof wood between aluminum sheets, which results in good ball bounce for casual as well as serious gameplay.

The table features one-piece centerfold design and four large 4.5'' wheels making it easy to set up and maneuver the table. Although the undercarriage is lightweight, yet it is sturdy enough to handle outdoor wear and tear. The frame is built out of 2'' thick galvanized steel and painted with corrosion, UV and scratch resistant paint. The net post is constructed directly into the table design. Additionally, playback mode is available for solo practice.

Kettler provides two waterproof Halo 5.0 paddles, an outdoor table cover, and six 3-star balls for free along with the table. The accessory bundle in itself costs, $115 if bought separately.

Retailing at approximately $550, the Kettler Outdoor Axos 1 in our opinion is the best outdoor ping pong table offering the right balance between price, features, and performance. 


2. Kettler Champ 5.0 Outdoor


Kettler Champ 5.0 Outdoor Table Tennis Table

Product Highlights:

  • 22mm thick anti-glare top
  • Playback Position: No
  • Storage Dimension: 60'' x 30'' x 68'’
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 200 pounds

Pros
+ Superior performance, compact, built to last
+ 22mm thick top offers tournament grade ball bounce
+ Ideal for schools, camps, and home​
+ Single-piece design
+ Built-in net posts
+ Comes with two waterproof paddles, one premium cover, and six 3-star balls
+ 2 year residential + 1 year commercial warranty

Cons
- Pricy but the quality is top notch

Kettler Champ 5.0 Outdoor Table Review

Someone who is looking for a high-quality, durable outdoor table will surely appreciate the Kettler Champ 5.0. The table not only offers superior playability but also handles outdoor weather pretty well. This sturdy table comes with several innovative features and is very easy to set up and store. Suitable for both recreational as well as competitive gameplay, this is by far the best outdoor table currently available in the market. 

The blue color all-weather top is 22mm thick, which offers optimized playing performance. The top surface is finished with anti-glare waterproof paint which provides excellent ball bounce and adherence similar to a typical 19mm indoor table.

A robust undercarriage supports the top. The frame legs are made out of 2'' thick galvanized steel while a 2.25'' thick resin apron wraps around the table top for extra rigidity.

Four extra large 6'' dual-wheels makes it easy to move the table and put in storage while the four leg levelers are provided to level the playing surface when required. The wheels come with a break to safely secure the table in place. In storage, the table folds down to 6' x 2'1'' x 6'.

Additionally, an accessory bundle worth $110 is provided free, which includes two Halo 5.0 rackets, three 3-star balls, and a premium outdoor table cover. The table comes with a built-in accessory holder which can store up to 4 paddles and a couple of balls. The net post is directly built into the frame, which automatically closes down during storage.

Kettler Champ 5.0 is a pro-quality outdoor table suitable for both recreational and professional gameplay. If you're not constrained by budget, choose this table without hesitation.


3. JOOLA Rapid Play Indoor/Outdoor Aluminum


 JOOLA Outdoor Aluminum Table Tennis Table

Product Highlights:

  • Top Thickness: 6mm
  • Playback Position: Yes
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 145lbs

Pros
+ Excellent value for money
+ More than adequate for recreational usage
+ 6mm thick top produces a good bounce
+ Strong and sturdy
+ Lightweight, easy to move

Cons
- The net posts could have been better

JOOLA Rapid Play Review

If you're on a budget, you can't really go wrong with the Joola Rapid Play. The table offers a nice playing surface for a casual game of ping pong without denting your pocket. The table is quite sturdy, easy to move/store, and can be used for both indoors and outdoors. Ideal for placing in backyard and patio, as well as inside the garage or even your home.

The 6mm thick top is made out aluminum-plastic which is resistant to warping and chipping and is coated with anti-glare paint. The ball bounce isn't the best but still good enough for recreational usage. Plus, considering the price-point, it may be too much too ask. If you're looking for a better ball bounce and playability, you can opt for the costlier - Axos 1 or Champ 5.0.

The two-piece table is easy to set up and put into storage. The two halves nest next to another in storage, occupying minimal space. The undercarriage is made out of 3/4'' thick steel frame and powder coated to prevent rusting. The table comes with adjustable levelers to even the playing surface while four 3'' caster wheels make it easy to maneuver the table. The wheels are individually lockable which firms hold the table in place on uneven surfaces and during storage. As an additional safety measure, each table half comes with an anti-tilt lock which prevents the table from opening accidentally.

The table comes with a decent quality waterproof screw-type net and post which attaches to the table quickly. You can also practice solo on the table, thanks to the playback mode.

We think Joola Rapid offers excellent value for money and is ideal for those who're looking for a budget outdoor ping pong table.

Table Tennis Table: Buyer's Guide

When looking to purchase a table tennis table, you should broadly consider four factors - your goals, where are you going to place the table, space, and features.

In the next section, we'll go through different types of tables and ultimately help you choose the right unit. 

Goals

What is your ultimate goal - Do you want to recreationally, professionally or a bit of both?

Here’s how to go about the selection either way:


1) For Recreational Purpose

Don't blindly go for a table with the highest price tag. Look for a strong and sturdy that can handle abuse well.

Key features to look for: Tables under $450, with a sturdy frame, at least 15mm to 16mm thick, and easy to store. For an outdoor table, look for a table under $600 with an aluminum composite top. 

Here are my top recommendations for recreational usage:

  • Stiga Advantage (Top Pick)
  • JOOLA Rally TL (Pro Pick)
  • Butterfly Compact 16 (Budget Pick)

2) Intermediate Usage

Whether you're a beginner, improver, or an intermediate player, you should get a table which can facilitate competitive practice and training. If you're unsure whether you may take the sport seriously or not in the future, I still suggest choosing a table from this category.

You don't want to be in a position where you're left with a recreational table which does not let you seriously practice. Moreover, the difference between both the table types is hardly a couple of hundred dollars.

Key features to look for: priced between $500 to $800, at least 19mm thick with a high-quality net post.

Here are my top recommendations in the intermediate category:

  • Butterfly Easifold (Top Pick)
  • Butterfly Compact (Pro Pick)
  • Butterfly Spirit (Budget Pick)

3) For Professional Players or Clubs

Top players require high-quality tournament grade tables to practice. These tables are at least 22mm thick which provides consistent bounce, spin, and adherence while the undercarriage is made out of at least 1'' thick steel tubes for extra rigidity and support.

The table top is significantly faster and offers better ball bounce in comparison to intermediate tables.

Key features to look for: price range between $700 to $1500, at least 22mm thick.

Here are my top recommendations in professional category:

  • Butterfly T22 Space Saver (Top Choice)
  • Butterfly Centerfold 25 (Pro Pick)
  • Butterfly Easifold Deluxe 22 (Value Pick)
Location (Indoor or Outdoor)

The second factor and the most critical factor to account is whether you need an indoor or an outdoor table. 

So how do you go about choosing one?

Read on:

Indoor Tables

Indoor tables, as the name implies, are designed to be kept and stored in an indoor setting like inside the house, garage, rec room, etc. These are the most common type of tables, you see them in the clubs or tournaments. These tables can't be used outdoors because they're not constructed with water/weatherproof materials.

The indoor tables offer better overall playability, ball bounce and spin in comparison to outdoor tables.

However, these tables must be placed in areas where there is NO severe temperature variation, humidity, or direct sunlight as its made out of untreated wooden materials which may warp and rot under such conditions.

Can be placed:

  • Inside the house
  • In the basement or garage
  • Rec rooms

NOT Recommend for:

  • Patios or garages exposed to direct sunlight, rain, or wind

Outdoor Tables

Looking to add some fun to your backyard or patio, consider getting an outdoor ping pong table. These tables are designed to withstand outdoor elements and they do not deteriorate with time.

The top is made out of aluminum composite material or waterproof wood, which prevents the table from warping or rotting. Additionally, the undercarriage is coated multi-layers of UV, scratch, and corrosion resistant paint.

The downside of the outdoor tables is that they do not produce as much bounce and spin as indoor tables do. That being said, they are excellent for fun games with family members and at gatherings.

BEST FOR: 

  • Year-round, outdoor play
  • areas that experience extreme weather conditions
  • Patios, camping grounds, decks, backyards

Still unsure - Do the cardboard test?

If you're still unable to decide which table type to for, consider doing a cardboard test.

Place a piece of cardboard where you'd like to place the table (basement, garage, etc). If after a week, the cardboard is still dry and crisp, it means the environment is conducive for an indoor table.

But if the cardboard turns a bit moist, you should opt for an outdoor table instead.

Space

Next, you need to check if you've sufficient space to fit in a full-size table. A standard table measures 9 ft by 5 ft. You'll need at least enough space to move two steps back on either side and one step sideways – and that's a MINIMUM

Playing in a congested space will prohibit you from moving freely and play the game at the level you want.

  • For home usage, I recommend a minimum clearance of 17 ft by 10 ft
  • For competitive practice, I recommend 22 ft by 14 ft

For reference, the standard size of an international table tennis court is 30 ft x 16 ft.

Ensure that you measure the space before ordering the table. If you're short on space, consider going for a midsize table or ¾ size table. It is the compact version (25% smaller) of the regulation size table that allows you to play your favorite game but in a smaller area.

The midsize tables play similar to the standard ones. You just need to adapt your game according to the smaller specifications.

Here are my top recommendations for the midsize table:

  • STIGA Space Saver Compact (Top Pick)
  • Butterfly Junior (Pro Pick)
  • JOOLA Midsize Compact (Budget Pick)
Features & Quality

Table tennis tables differ from one another based on table top thickness, undercarriage construction, net type, and overall aesthetic. 

1) Top thickness

As a general rule of thumb - THICKER THE TABLE, THE BETTER

table top thickness

Indoor tables:

  • 10mm to 12mm: Avoid at all cost, they’re flimsy and are likely to chip off or get damaged easily
  • 15mm to 20mm: Best suited for recreational, training, intermediate-level use
  • 20mm to 25mm: Top quality topper, suited for professional gameplay

Outdoor tables:

  • 5mm to 7mm: Best suited for home and recreational use.
  • 8mm and up: Offers better ball bounce and playability. Best suited for schools, public recreational facilities, or camping grounds.
2) Undercarriage
Rollaway Undercarriage

Undercarriage refers to the frame on which the top is mounted. Undercarriages built with thicker steel offers extra stability, resulting in better playing performance and durability.

Broadly there are three types of undercarriages: two-piece rollaway, two-piece centerfold rollaway, and the last one is the non-foldable and fixed.

No doubt, the rollaway tables are more convenient to set up and maneuver and ideal for recreational to advanced usage. Look for tables with bigger wheels for easy movement, wheel lock, anti-tilt lock, and height adjustment levelers.

 The non-foldable and fixed tables are mostly used in tournaments.

Recommended frame thickness:

  • Recreational: 1''+ steel legs with 3/4''+ rail/rims
  • Intermediate: 1.5''+ steel legs with at least 1.5'' rail/rim
  • Professional: 2''+ steel legs with at least 2'' rail/rim
3) Leveling mechanism
Height adjustment mechanism

Look for tables with adjustable legs because more often than not, the underlying flooring surface is not perfectly even. Tables with height adjustment levelers ensure even playing surface no matter the floor leveling.

4) Nets & Net Posts 
ping pong net posts

The net and net posts are the second most crucial part of the table after the top. A loose and saggy net offers poor playing experience and kills all the fun.

The screw-type net post with height and tension adjustment option is considered as the best option, but it is costly. At minimum look for a net with 1mm braided polyethylene netting and with tension adjustment option.

Broadly there are three types of net posts: rollable (retractable) net, clip-type, and screw-type.

  • Rollable (or retractable): Ideal for recreational and casual players. It is cheap, easy to install and take down.
  • Clip-type: Attaches to the table center using a spring-activated clip, may or may not be height adjustable, used mainly in beginners to intermediate quality tables.
  • Screw-type: Attaches to the table using a screw clamp, stronger grip, both height and tension adjustable and mostly used in professional quality tables.

Most  mid-price tables come with clip-type nets. The clip serves a dual purpose - for mounting the net and holding the table's two halves together.

Recommended Net & Post:

  • Recreational - Clip type, Rollable
  • Intermediate: Clip Type
  • Professional: Screw type
5) Corner guards

The sharp corner of the table may pose a risk of injury for your young ones. Look for a table with corner guards.

Additionally, the corner protectors prevents the corner from chipping while moving or during transportation.

6) Storage for accessories (Optional)
Paddle and ball holder

Some tables come with dedicated space for storing paddles and balls, which can help in keeping the playing area organized. It may not be a necessary feature but good to have, especially for those who keep on forgetting things.

To Wrap it Up

It is my sincere hope that you've found my ping pong table buyer's guide helpful. But if you're still confused as to what table to go for or are looking for feedback on a specific table, I can help.

Leave your detailed requirements- skill, budget, location, room size, or anything I need to know in the comment section below. I or any of my team member will get back to within 24 hrs. And yes, it's absolutely free.

Can I ask you a favor? If you found this guide helpful, please share it with your family, friends, or anyone you think can benefit from it.

Help Us Improve

While writing the review, we analyzed the top ping pong tables in the market. But we may have missed some. If you would like to suggest a table which you've personally tried and tested, we're all ears.

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Kevin James
 

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