Best Ping Pong Tables (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2019)

Best Ping Pong Tables

Expert: Kevin James, Last updated: 17/05/2019

Who doesn't love Ping Pong? The game has all the attributes of a competitive sport yet its so much fun to play with family, friends and colleagues.

The sport is relatively easy to learn, does not require any special skill to play (at least at beginner level) and players of all age groups can equally participate and enjoy the game.

You'll definitely agree to the fact that nothing beats the joy of owning a personal Ping Pong table. You can invite your friends over, play with your kids and practice whenever you want. And the best part is, no more driving down to local clubs or pubs and waiting for your turn.

But, how do you go about choosing a Ping Pong Table?

Well, that's the same questions asked to me over an over again.

With so many options available in the market across various price bands, it can become quite overwhelming to make the right choice.

But don't worry!

In this guide, I will try my best to help you choose the right Ping Pong table that accurately matches your needs.

So let's start by answering these four basic questions. This will help in narrowing down which type of table you should go for.

1) Location (Indoor or Outdoor) ?

2) Space ?

3) What are your Goals ?

4) Budget ?

By now you would have got a rough idea about what type of table tennis table you should go for. Great, now let's proceed with the actual selection.

The guide is pretty long (6000 word+), and you may get lost. Please use the navigation markers to jump to the relevant sections.

Ping Pong Tables Comparison

How our Rating System Works

Entry Level (Under $450)

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

Intermediate Level (Under $750)

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

Professional Level (Between $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
22 mm
Top Choice
22 mm
Pro Pick
6 mm
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.

Entry Level Ping Pong Tables


Stiga Advantage Table Tennis Table 

{You can't go wrong with this table. Stellar build quality, great support and easy spare parts availability. As per Stiga, they have sold over 100k pieces of this particular model in US.}


Stiga-Advantage Indoor Table Tennis Table

Product Specification:

  • Table 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 produces a consistent bounce
+ Very easy to setup, comes 95% pre-assembled
+ Occupies low storage space
+ Good safety features - wheel lock and anti-tilt mechanism
+ High quality multi-layer paint prevents warping and chipping
+ Sturdy construction
+ Ease availability of spare parts

Cons
- Average Net & Post set

Stiga Advantage Review:

The STIGA Advantage is our top pick in the beginner/recreational table category.

STIGA is one of the most popular and well known table tennis equipment brand worldwide. Globally they're well-known for their quality and this product is no exception.

The Stiga Advantage is a mid-level, two-piece design table. It features a navy blue color 16mm thick MDF table top which is of matt finish. The top surface is UV cured and painted with multiple layers of paint which prevents the table from warping and offers consistent gameplay over extended periods of use.

The tabletop sits on top of a 30x30 mm thick steel undercarriage which is powder coated to prevent corrosion. Additionally, 30x30mm steel apron is screwed to the outer edge of the table top. The apron provides extra stability to the top surface and also prevents the table from warping. Each table half has self-opening legs attached, 3'' industry grade caster wheels and adjustable rubber levelers. Each wheel is individually lockable which keeps the table stationary during play or storage. As an additional safety measure, each halve comes with an anti-tilting lock which prevents the table from opening up accidentally. 

It comes with a standard 72'' clip-type net which clamps onto the sides of the table and can be adjusted to increase or decrease the tension. 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.

Setting up and storing the table is quite easy, thanks to its lightweight and innovative design. The four caster wheels make it easy to move the table around. Don't have a partner to play with? No worries. Simply slide the table in playback mode by keeping one half of the table upright and other horizontal. And you are all set to practice alone.

Overall, the table is professionally designed with high quality materials and undergoes strict quality checks at STIGA's state-of-art manufacturing facility. And backed by 90 days replacement warranty and 3-year warranty against manufacturing defects, this table will last you for many years to come. Also, the spare parts are easily available and can be ordered online. 

To summarize: This table is a fine balance between performance and portability. A great table for home users who play recreationally as well as who're looking to play some serious matches. You would be hard pressed finding a better value table than Stiga Advantage.


JOOLA Rally TL Professional Grade

Also referred as 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:

  • Table 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
+ Scratch resistant table top
+ Four built-in ball holders​ which can store upto 12 balls
+ Magnetic abacus scoring system (no more cheating!)
+ Charcoal black top gives a new character to the table (Subjective view)
+ Come 95% pre-assembled
+ Sturdy construction with better quality wheels
+ USATT approved

Cons
- Table top is slightly thinner than our top pick (Stiga advantage)

JOOLA Rally TL Review

JOOLA is one of the top table tennis equipment manufacturer in US, so it’s no surprise that one of their tables made in our list. Someone who is looking for a stylish yet good quality table would love the JOOLA Rally TL. It's built with high-quality parts and comes with a wide range of accessories.

The table top is made of 15mm thick medium density fiberboard (MDF) which offers good and consistent bounce. The top is available in a vibrant charcoal grey color which looks quite stunning. The paint quality is very good and is resistant to scratches.

The playing surface is mounted on a 30x30mm thick steel undercarriage. An apron of similar size is attached to the tabletop which prevents the table from warping and provides additional rigidity.

The table is divided into two equal halves. Each half is attached with two self-opening legs which fold up during storage, four lockable caster wheels which secure the table during storage or play and two rubber levelers which keeps the surface even. You can even practice alone on this table; keep one half in the storage position and other in playing level and you are all set. It comes with an easy-to-install clip-styled net and post.

Additionally, the Joola Rally TL table comes with four ball holders and two magnetic abacus score-keeping system. Ball holders are located on each corner and can hold upto three 40mm balls. Both players have an abacus on their end of the table, making score-keeping a lot more fun and convenient.

To summarize: No doubt, the table looks classy and stylish. But at the same time, the quality is top notch. If you're looking for a table which not only plays well but also complements your home decor, Joola Rally TL may be the right choice for you. 

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


Butterfly Compact Table Tennis Table

Product Specification:

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

Pros
+ No assembly required
+ 16mm thick MDF table top
+ Good and consistent ball bounce
+ Simple design, very easy to move around
+ Occupies low storage space
+ Light but very sturdy
+ 3 years warranty

Cons
- No playback position for single player practice
- No rubber levelers. Table height needs to be manually adjusted using rubber pads.

Butterfly Compact (16mm) Review

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

This table comes with a 16mm thick MDF table top which offers excellent bounce and good playability. The table is available in two colours - blue and green. The table top sits on a 16x16mm thick steel frame. Each leg of the frame has a lock to prevent it from closing during play.

The table consists of two equal physically connected halves. Each half has two 2'' wheels mounted at the centre and two steel legs. Due to its light-weight design (147lbs) and sturdy wheels, moving around manoeuvring the table is quite easy. The table lives up to its name, occupying the least amount of storage space in this category. It's storage dimension is: 60'' (L) x 5'' (W) x 56'' (H).

The Butterfly Compact table comes with a standard 72'' clip-type net and post; rubber coverings on the clip prevent them from damaging the table, which is a definite plus.

The best part about this table is that it requires no assembly and you can start playing right out of the box. And on top of that, it comes with a 3-year warranty.

To summarize: Butterfly Compact 16 is the best value for money table in this category. The pricing is spot on, the design is ridiculously simple, and it's highly portable.

Intermediate Level Ping Pong Tables


Butterfly Easifold 19


Butterfly Easifold Tennis Table 19mm

Product Specification:

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

Pros
+ 19mm thick table top produces excellent and consistent ball bounce
+ Suited for both recreational to serious players.
+ Simple design, very easy to move around
+ Sturdy ​undercarriage
+ USATT approved
+ 3 years warranty

Cons
- None

Butterfly Easifold 19 Review

The first table in this category is from the brand none other than 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 Esifold 19 is a competitive quality table which is easy to store and requires minimal assembly time. Whether you're a beginner or an intermediate level player, this table will serve you well.

It features a 19mm thick MDF table top which lets you experience competition-level ball handling and consistent bounce. The tabletop is mounted a very sturdy undercarriage which made up of powder coated 40x40mm steel tubes. 

The table consists of two halves which fold together during storage. Each table half has four 3'' caster wheels and two adjustable height legs to even the playing surface. One wheel in each half has a break to secure the table during play or storage. You can also adjust one half of the table into playback position to allow for single-player practice. It comes with an excellent quality clip-type net and post set which is very durable.

Also, as the table is approved by USATT, 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 high quality table at an affordable price. And finally, backed by 3-year solid warranty makes it an excellent investment those wanting to up their game!


Butterfly Spirit 19


Butterfly Spirit 19mm Table Tennis Table

Pros
+ 19mm thick tabletop produces good and consistent bounce
+ Single-piece centrefold design (no more independent halves)
+ Ridiculously easy to setup and move the table around
+ One person can setup and move the table with ease
+ Additional safety features
+ Paddle and ball holder
+ USATT approved
+ 3 years warranty

Cons
- None

Product Specification:

  • Table top thickness: 19mm
  • Table Size: 9' x 5' (Regulation)
  • Frame: 40x40mm
  • Weight: 206 lbs
  • Storage Dimension: 5.3x5.5x2.1 feet
  • Warranty - 3 years
  • Color - Navy Blue and Green

Butterfly Spirit 19 Review

The unique feature of Butterfly Spirit 19 is the single-piece centrefold design. The table consists of two halves which fold into one central undercarriage. This makes the whole process of setting up the table and moving around, a cakewalk. The table comes with a unique single-person pulley system, which lets you set up and fold the table alone without needing the assistance of anyone.

This intermediate level table comes with a 19mm thick scratch and termite resistant tabletop. The table is very durable due to the high-quality parts used and is well suited for heavy usage. Also, the performance and bounce quality is excellent.

This table is USATT approved and can be used for hosting local tournaments.

The table top is mounted on a strong 40x40mm thick steel frame undercarriage with similar size aprons. The whole table sits on top of four 4'' wheels and four legs. The wheels are individually lockable which prevents the table from moving during play or storage. The height of the legs can be adjusted to level the playing the surface.

It comes with a standard clip-on net and post set along with an accessory holder where you can conveniently store your rackets and balls.

Lastly, the installation is straightforward and requires just four wheels to be attached to the frame. The assembly would not take more than 20 to 30 minutes. 

To summarize: The table is ideal for home users as well as intermediate players, who're looking for a competition quality table. Between the table’s add-ons and its high-quality professional design, we feel pretty confident that you will love using the Butterfly Spirit 19 to hone your table tennis skills!

Butterfly Compact 19


Butterfly Compact Table Tennis Table 19mm

Product Specification:

  • Table top thickness: 19mm
  • Table Size: 9' x 5' (Regulation)
  • Frame: 40x40mm
  • Weight: 175 lbs
  • Storage Dimension: 4.8x.5x6 feet
  • Warranty - 3 years
  • Color - Navy Blue and Green

Pros
+ Cheapest 19mm table you can lay your hands on
+ No assembly required
+ Portable and easy to move around
+ Light weight yet very sturdy.
+ Low storage footprint
+ 3 years warranty

Cons
- No option setup playback mode on the table.
- No Floor leveling mechanism. Instead you would need to use rubber pads.

Butterfly Compact 19 Review

Are you looking for a simple table that occupies low storage space and is convenient to move around? Then we’d recommend that you check out the Butterfly Compact 19. The table comes 100% pre-assembled and you can start playing right out of the box.

There are two identical versions of this table available with either a 16mm or a 19mm thick tabletop. We recommend that intermediate-level players choose the 19mm thick version because thicker tables offer better ball bounce and competitive gameplay! Also, the 19mm version comes with more robust undercarriage.

This table weighs under 175lbs making it the lightest in this category. But don't just go by its weight, the performance of the table is excellent offering consistent and good quality bounce. 

The table top is mounted on a sturdy 40x40mm thick steel which folds during storage. This table can be folded down to 4’8” x 5’ x 6” for storage. Two wheels are attached to each table half which makes it easy to move the table around. Additionally, rubber pads can be attached to the steel legs to level the playing surface. A standard 72'' clip-on net and post set is provided along with the table. The clips are rubberized to keep the table from getting damaged.

This table comes with a standard 3-year warranty which covers any manufacturing defect. Also, the spare parts for the table are readily available.

To summarize: The Butterfly Compact 19 is ideal for those who're looking for a value for money table which is convenient to store and offers excellent playing performance. 

Professional Ping Pong Tables


Butterfly Space Saver 22


Butterfly Space Saver 22 Table Tennis Table

Product Specification:

  • Table top thickness: 22mm
  • Material: Single piece wood
  • Frame: 50x50mm
  • Weight: 215 lbs
  • Storage Dimension: 5’1” x 2’2” x 5’ feet
  • Warranty - 5 years
  • Color - Navy Blue and Green
  • Approval: ITTF

Pros
+ 22mm thick table top produces true bounce
+ Each table top halves is constructed with single continuous piece of wood.
+ Ideal for clubs, hosting tournaments and players looking for a professional table
+ Single piece design make the table easy to store and move around
+ 5 years warranty

Cons
- No playback position for single player use

As you'd have already guessed, the Butterfly Space spacer 22 is a compact design, professional grade table tennis table. It comes with a 22mm thick tabletop which produces true bounce with a perfect ball grip. This tabletop comes in blue or green color and is exceptionally well-built. Each table half is constructed with a single piece of wood, unlike cheaper tables, which usually use medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or high-density fiberboard (HDF). 

The undercarriage is strong and sturdy. The legs of the frame are built with 2'' steel and rails with 2" x 3/4" steel. The frame is powder coated to prevent rusting. The undercarriage is mounted on four 5'' lockable wheels which makes it quite easy to manoeuvre the table. The lockable wheels keep the table stationary during play or storage

It comes with a high-quality Butterfly National League T31 net and post set. The net is secured onto the table with screw-on clamps and the tension can be adjusted using a ring chain.

To summarize: Butterfly Space Saver 22 is great for serious home players, any club, school, and recreational centers. The quality, performance and convenience this table offers, is the best in the category.

Butterfly Centerfold 25


Butterfly Centerfold 25 Table Tennis Table

Product Highlights:

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

Pros
+ The very best professional grade table tennis table you can lay your hands on.
+ Cheapest tournament grade table in this price range.
+ Approximately 60% of USATT matches are hosted on this table.
+ 25mm thick table top
+ Takes the abuse very well, scratch-proof table top
+ Consistent ball bounce and speed, even on the edges of the table.
+ Table folds effortlessly for storage.
+ No assembly required.
+ 5 years warranty
+ We use the same tables in our club.

Cons
- No playback position for single player use (but who would need it!)

Butterfly Centerfold 25

Approved by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for use in international tournaments, the Butterfly Centerfold 25 is the strongest and most durable table on our list. It’s made with a 2'' thick steel frame and has a 2.75'' thick steel rail that wraps around a 25 mm thick, scratchproof tabletop – ideal for advanced gameplay. The playing surface is constructed with a continuous solid wood piece which offers superior playing performance. 

The Butterfly Centerfold 25 can be folded up, locked shut, and rolled into storage on 5” rotating rubber wheels. Each frame leg comes with individually lockable wheels and levelers to keep the playing surface even. The tabletop is available in blue and green color.

The Butterfly Centerfold 25 table costs around $1885 (at the time of writing the post) and is backed by a 5-year warranty. It includes a professional quality Butterfly Europa T32 net set valued at $90.

I can personally vouch for the quality of Butterfly Centerfold 25 tables as my club has been using them for years. We have six of these tables, and the oldest one is four years old. We’ve used them for both practicing and hosting local tournaments, and I have no complaints about them whatsoever!

For serious home players, clubs or schools looking for a top of the line table, we’d highly recommend the Butterfly Centerfold 25.


Butterfly Easifold Deluxe 22


Butterfly Easifold Deluxe 22 Table Tennis Table

Product Highlights:

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

Pros
+ Value for money tournament-grade table
+ 22mm thick table top
+ Well suited for homes, clubs, schools or offices
+ Handles the abuse very well
+ Good ball bounce and speed
+ 3 years warranty 

Cons
- Not approved by ITTF

Butterfly Easifold Deluxe 22 Review

In my opinion, the Butterfly Easifold Deluxe 22 offers the maximum bang for the buck. It is by far the cheapest 22mm table in the market. Some may argue that Butterfly Compact 22 table is the cheapest but I beg to differ. The butterfly compact is good and cheap, but its undercarriage is not strong enough to support professional play. Moreover butterfly compact cannot handle the abuse that well compared to Easifold.

Priced at about $850, this table costs much less than many tables of similar specification. Although not currently approved by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), it has many of the characteristics of a competition-grade table.

The 22mm thick tabletop offers consistent bounce, perfect for competitive practice and hosting professional tournaments. The frame is made of 1.5'' thick gauge steel and includes height adjustment levelers to keep the playing surface even. The undercarriage is mounted on eight 4'' caster wheels and four steel legs. The wheels have a break to safely secure the table while playing or storage. 

The table can be put into playback position to allow for single-player practice. It can also be folded up, locked securely in a closed position, and rolled away on the wheels for easy storage. Additionally, the table comes with excellent quality clamp-type net and post.

For the price and the overall quality of its build, we think you’ll have a hard time finding a better value table than the Butterfly Easifold Deluxe 22!

Outdoor Ping Pong Tables


Kettler Outdoor - Axos 1


Kettler Outdoor Table Tennis Table - Axos 1

Product Highlights:

  • Anti-glare table top
  • Thickness: 22mm
  • Playback Position: Yes
  • Storage Dimension: 1.6’ x 5’ x 5’7”
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 130 pounds

Pros
+ 22mm thick tabletop produces consistent bounce
+ Anti glare Alu-Tec table top is very effective
+ Strong and sturdy construction
+ Single-piece design makes folding and storage easy
+ Comes with a complimentary 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 tennis table is the Kettler Outdoor Axos 1. It’s super easy to move around, produces good quality ball bounce, and handles the outdoor wear-and-tear very well!

It is designed by one of the sport’s leading manufacturers - Kettler. The table is regulation-sized at 9’ x 5’ x 2.5’. It features a 22mm thick blue tabletop with a climate-resistant underside and a glare-resistant aluminium top surface. The table can be folded down and locked securely for storage at 1.6' x 5' x 5'7''. It comes with four 4.5'' dual-wheeled, non-locking casters. The outside legs of the frame firmly hold the table in its position during gameplay.

The frame is made of 2'' steel that’s UV resistant, corrosion resistant, and treated to prevent rusting. Playback position is available for single-player practice.

An accessories pack worth approximately $115 is included, consisting of a net, two Kettler Halo 5.0 paddles, an outdoor table cover, and a 6 pack of 3-star balls.

Retailing at approximately $550, the Kettler Outdoor Axos 1 in our opinion is the best outdoor ping pong table for players of all skill levels.


Kettler Champ 5.0 Outdoor


Kettler Champ 5.0 Outdoor Table Tennis Table

Product Highlights:

  • 22mm thick anti-glare table top
  • Playback Position: Yes
  • Storage Dimension: 6’ x 2’1” x 6’ x 2.75”
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 200 pounds

Pros
+ A table that will last long chilly winters and hot summers with a breeze. Built to last!
+ 22mm thick table top produces a good quality bounce.
+ Very strong and sturdy
+ Single-piece design makes the table easy to store and move around
+ Built-in net and post system
+ Ideal for schools, camps and home usage.
+ Comes with two waterproof paddles, one premium cover, and a 6-pack of 3-star balls
+ 2 year residential + 1 year commercial warranty

Cons
- None

Kettler Champ 5.0 Outdoor Table Review

Someone who is looking for a professional outdoor table will surely like the new Kettler Champ 5.0. The table is very sturdy, quite easy to setup and comes with an innovative design.

This regulation size table comes with a 22mm thick blue color tabletop. The top surface is made with weatherproof aluminium material and does not glare. The legs include adjustable levelers and are made of anti-rust 2'' steel bars. The outer edges are wrapped in 2.25'' resin aprons which prevent the tabletop from warping and sun damage. The whole table folds down to 6' x 2'1'' x 6'in storage.

Due to the extra large 6” rubberized, dual-wheeled, swiveling casters, moving the table especially easy. Two wheels can be locked to prevent unwanted movement. Playback position is also available for single-player practice.

The table comes with an accessories bundle valued at approximately $110. It includes two Kettler Halo 5.0 outdoor rackets, 3 (3-star) balls, and a premium outdoor table cover. An accessories holder is attached to the table which can hold up to 4 paddles and a couple of balls. The net and post is built into the frame and it opens up during the setup.

Kettler Champ 5.0 comes with pro-quality features is suited for both recreational and professional gameplay. In my opinion, if the budget is not a constraint, then you should definitely go for this table. 


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 use
+ 6mm thick table top produces good quality bounce
+ Strong and sturdy
+ Easy to store and move around

Cons
- The net and post set could have been better

JOOLA Rapid Play Review

If you're looking for a budget outdoor table tennis table then Joola Rapid Play would not disappoint you. This table offers maximum value for money. The table is quite sturdy, easy to move and store, and can be used for both indoors and outdoors.

This regulation size table comes with a 6mm thick tabletop. The ball bounce is decent and is consistent across the whole table surface. Players of all skill levels, especially beginner and intermediate players, will surely enjoy the game playing experience on this table.

The tabletop is made of an aluminium-plastic composite that is resistant to warping and chipping. While the undercarriage is made up of steel which is powder coated to prevent rusting. Each frame leg comes with an adjustable levelers to even the playing surface. The undercarriage sites on four 3'' caster wheels. The wheels are individually lockable which prevents the table from moving during gameplay and storage.

The table comes with a high quality screw-type net and post which can be easily attached to the table. 

The JOOLA Rapid Play table can be put into playback position for single-player practice. It can also be folded in half and rolled away for easy storage. Dual anti-tilt locking mechanisms hold the table securely in place during storage.

We think Joola Rapid offers excellent value for money and is ideal for those who're on a budget.

Ping Pong Table : Ultimate Buyer's Guide

When looking to purchase a Ping Pong table (officially referred to as table tennis table), you must broadly consider - your goals; location; the space you have and the specific features.

We'll be describing each of the points in a detailed manner for your better understanding.

Goals

What’s your ultimate goal of purchasing a Ping Pong table?

You may be looking for a table for recreational purpose or competitive gameplay or maybe for tournament quality practice.

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 table that is strong and sturdy. Tables used for recreational play often experience a higher level of abuse, which can lead to severe damage. You should opt for a table which can handle such wear and tear. 

Key features to look for: Tables that are under $450, have a sturdy frame, are at least 15 mm to 16 mm thick, and are easy to store. If you're looking for an outdoor table, look for tables under $600 with aluminium composite table top. 

Here are my top recommendations:

  • Stiga Advantage Table Tennis Table (Top Pick)
  • JOOLA Rally TL Professional Grade Table Tennis Table (Pro Pick)
  • Butterfly Compact Table Tennis Table (Budget Pick)

2) For Beginners/Improvers/Match practice

If you’re looking to take the game seriously, you’ll probably want to invest in a better table. Spending a little extra to get a higher-quality table can prevent you from needing to repurchase another table as your skill improves.

Tip: The difference between the recreational and intermediate-level table is a couple of hundred dollars. If you think there is any chance of you picking up the sport seriously, you're better of buying an intermediate-level table.

Key features to look for: Tables that are between $500 to $800, atleast 19 mm thick, and have a strong frame.

Here are my top recommendations in the intermediate category:

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

3) For Advance players or Club usage

Advance players prefer to practice on high-quality tournament grade table. These tables are at least 22mm thick, provide consistent spin and bounce and have a very sturdy undercarriage. Moreover, these tables are made to withstand a high level of abuse. You will find these table used in your local ping pong clubs. 

The ball bounce and speed is significantly better on these tables compared to those discussed in previous categories.

Key features to look for: Tables that are 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 Delux 22 (Value Pick)
Location (Indoor or Outdoor)

The second factor you need to account while going ahead with the purchase is whether you need an indoor table or an outdoor table. 

So how do you go about choosing one?

Read on:

Indoor Ping Pong Tables

Indoor tables are the tables you’ll generally see in clubs and tournaments. They provide a competitive match-like playing experience. These tables offer better ball bounce and spin as compared to outdoor tables.

However, these tables must be placed in areas where there is NO severe temperature variation, humidity or direct sunlight as its constructed with wooden material that can warp in hostile weather conditions.

BEST FOR:

  • Inside a house that’s temperature-controlled
  • In a basement or garage (specifically, in areas where the temperature is constant throughout the year)
  • Beer pong (as long as it’s cleaned right after use)

NOT GOOD FOR:

  • Patios or garages where the table gets exposed to direct sunlight, rain, or wind

Outdoor Ping Pong Tables

Outdoor tables are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. The playing surface of these tables is generally built with aluminium composite material or waterproof wood, which prevents the table from warping.

The frame is made of steel with an anti-rust coating all around. These tables generally do not produce as much bounce and spin as indoor tables do.

That being said, outdoor tables are an excellent table for people of all age groups and skill levels. If you are a beginner, you can definitely start playing on this table to improve your game.

BEST FOR: 

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

Given a preference, I will always prefer to go for indoor tables. Outdoor tables are great for recreational purposes, and a little bit of practice.

Still unsure - Do the cardboard test?

If you want to make sure the environment won’t put undue wear-and-tear on your table, try the cardboard test first.

In this test, you’ll need to put a piece of cardboard in the area where you think you’d like to place the table (basement, garage, etc). Keep the carton there for a week. 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 has turned a bit moist, you should go for an outdoor table as it can withstand weather changes.

Space

Next, you need to check if you've sufficient space to fit in a full-size table. A regulation-size table is 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! 

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

  • For home usage, I recommend a minimum clearance of 15 ft by 8 ft.
  • For competitive practice, I recommend 22 ft by 14 ft.
    (Just to give you an idea, the standard size of a 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 mid-size table or ¾ size table. It is a compact option that allows you to play your favorite game, but in a smaller area. These tables are scaled-down (25% smaller) versions of the regulation-size tables. 

Mid-size tables are ideal for homes or offices which are short on space. The game is equally fun and competitive on these tables.

Here are my top recommendation for the mid-size table category:

  • STIGA Space Saver Compact (Top Pick)
  • Butterfly Junior (Pro Pick)
  • JOOLA Midsize Compact (Budget Pick)
Features of a Quality Table Tennis Table

Now that you're aware of the type of the table you want and in what budget, let's move to the next step - Selection

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

In this section, we'll discuss about each of the factors.

1) Table thickness

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

Recommended thickness: 

Indoor tables:

  • 10mm to 12mm: I do not recommend buying them, because they’re flimsy and are likely to chip off or get damaged easily.
  • 15mm to 20mm: Best suited for training, intermediate-level use, and recreational purposes.
  • 20mm to 25mm: Costly and professional level; used in international tournaments and competitive practice.

Outdoor tables:

  • 5mm to 7mm: Best suited for home and recreational use.
  • 8mm and up: Best suited for schools, public recreational facilities, or camping grounds. The increased thickness helps in producing a good quality bounce.

2) Undercarriage

Undercarriage refers to the section on which the tabletop is mounted on. There are two types of undercarriages: One is foldable and on wheels, also called a rollaway table, and the second one is non-foldable and fixed.

A rollaway table is generally more convenient to store when not in use, so I’d recommend this option. When you’re shopping for a rollaway table, look for bigger wheels for easier movement and safety locks that will prevent the table from moving while it is stationary.

Additionally, get a table built with higher gauge steel because they last longer as compared to frames made up of iron. 

Recommended frame thickness:

  • Recreational: 1''+ steel legs with 3/4''+ rail/rims
  • Intermediate: 1.5''+ steel legs with atleast 1.5'' rail/rim
  • Professional: 2''+ steel legs with at least 2'' rail/rim

3) Leveling mechanism

A level table is essential for good play, but sometimes the floor itself can be uneven. Finding a table with height adjustment levelers can solve this problem.

4) Net & Post Set

The net and post is the second most important part of a table tennis table (after the table top). A loose and saggy net can kill the game and all the fun.

There are three types of nets that you can get: a rollable (retractable) net, a clamp net, and a screw net.

  • A rollable (or retractable) net is the cheapest net you'll find and is excellent for recreational players. These nets don’t sag and are easy to set up and take down.
  • A clip-type net is a step up from the rollable net. It is attached to the centre of the table using a spring-activated clip. These nets are easy to remove and install. 
  • A screw-type net is ideal for professional competitions. It is stronger as compared to the clip-type net as it uses a screw mechanism. 

Most of the mid-range tables come with clip-type nets. The clip serves the dual purpose - for net installation and holding the table's two independent halves together.

Recommended Net & Post:

  • Recreational - Clamp type or retractable nets
  • Intermediate: Clip Type
  • Professional: Screw type

5) Corner guards

If you have kids at home, the sharp corners of the table may create a risk of injury. Look for a table that has proper corner guards.

These guards act as a double security measure, because they will also prevent the corners of your table from chipping when in transport.

6) Storage for accessories (Optional)

Some tables come with dedicated space for storing balls and paddle which can help in keeping the playing area organised. While storage add-ons aren’t necessarily essential, they are a nice bonus to have if you want to make the whole playing experience more convenient.

To Wrap it Up

How do you make your final pick? Go back to the top 4 criteria that I have talked about above: goals, space, type, and features. The best TT table must fit all of these factors perfectly for YOU. Remember, you’re buying for the type of player that you are, not someone else.

Identify the goal that you’re trying to accomplish: recreational fun, improving your game, or for top-level (i.e. professional) practice.

Evaluate the space that you have for your table.

Decided where are you going to place the table - Indoor or Outdoor?

Finally, think about the features that you will need: table thickness, undercarriage, portability, leveling mechanism, nets, corner guards, and storage.

While it may be tempting to consider features before every other factor, remember that features should be add-ons to the more fundamental decisions you make regarding goals, space, and the type of table you want. After all, having a table with good storage ultimately won’t matter, if it’s not of the right thickness or if your indoor table isn’t holding up because of weather conditions.

Now you have all the information to be a smart table tennis table buyer. With the guidelines, I’ve given you and my professional reviews of the best tables, you can confidently step out and make one of the most important investments you will ever make as a table tennis player – finding the best table tennis table for you!

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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