For some, table tennis, also called by the trademarked name Ping-Pong, is a fun pastime. For others, it's serious competition. Regardless of how you play it, it's important to choose a high-quality table that will enhance the overall experience and not detract from it. After all, it's no fun to play on an uneven table that gives the ball an inconsistent bounce.
If you're looking for the best table tennis table for your game, our guide offers a quick look at the most important considerations to keep in mind as you shop.
Considerations when choosing ping pong tables
Indoors or outdoors
Table tennis tables are designed for either indoor or outdoor use. Outdoor tables can be used indoors, but indoor tables should not be used outdoors. For most people, an indoor table is probably the best option. It offers a more consistent bounce than comparable outdoor tables, and it folds away for easy storage when you're done playing.
If you enjoy playing outdoors, it's worth investing in a good outdoor table. These models are made from more durable materials, such as aluminum composite, that hold up better in the elements. Most outdoor tables don't fold up, so make sure you have plenty of room to accommodate one.
Here are some other factors you will want to think about when selecting a table tennis table:
Size: Competition-size Ping-Pong tables are nine feet by five feet. Some recreational tables might be smaller than this, but if you plan on playing professionally, make sure you choose a full-size table.
Thickness: Tables can be anywhere from one-quarter to one inch thick. The thicker the table, the more consistent the bounce of the ball, but the heavier the table will be as well.
Frame: Look at the thickness of the frame and what it's made of. While something lightweight is easier to maneuver, it might not offer as much stability.
Storage: Some tables fold up, so you can free up the space when you're not playing. If the table is heavy, you might also want to look for one that has wheels.
Leg levelers: If your playing surface is uneven, you'll want a table with leg levelers or adjusters, so you can balance out any high or low spots.
Convertibility: Some tables have interchangeable tops, so you can also use it to play other games like pool or foosball. This can be a nice option if you're looking for something versatile for your game room, but you should note that convertible tables aren't usually as well made as standard table tennis tables.
Q. What makes a Ping-Pong table "competition-grade"?
A. Competition-grade tables are similar to those that are used in professional tournaments. If you're a professional player, you should look for a table that's been certified by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), so you know you're practicing on a surface that's similar to one that will be used in competition.
Q. My Ping-Pong table isn't level. What do I do?
A. If your table has leg levelers, move these up or down until the table surface is level. If it doesn't come with levelers, you might have to put a shim beneath the low corner(s) to make it level with the rest of the table.
Ping pong tables we recommend
Best of the best: JOOLA Rally TL Table Tennis Table
Our take: Whether you're a pro or a novice, you'll appreciate the quality construction and unique features of this table.
What we like: This competition-grade table provides a consistent bounce and comes with corner ball holders, magnetic abacus scorers, and leg height adjusters to help keep the table level. When you're not playing, you can fold it up for compact storage.
What we dislike: A few complaints about missing parts and slow customer service response.
Best bang for your buck: JOOLA Inside Competition-Grade Table Tennis Table
Our take: This is a good alternative to our top pick if you want a sturdy, competition-grade table, but you don't need all the extras.
What we like: This table is easy to assemble, and it stands on casters, so you can easily fold it up and move it out of the way as needed. Uneven floors aren't a problem because the table comes with leg adjusters.
What we dislike: Some comments that the paint scratches easily.
Our take: If you want to train like the pros, this is the table for you. But this kind of quality doesn't come cheap.
What we like: Customers can't say enough about the quality construction of this table and its bounce. It folds up and rolls away for storage and comes with a five-year warranty.
What we dislike: Unless you're a professional player, you might have a hard time justifying spending this much money on a table tennis table.
Kailey Fralick is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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