The 10 Best Foosball Tables
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Perfect for keeping the fun going on a rainy day, these foosball tables will have you and the gang battling for supremacy for hours at a time. Ideal for frat houses and games rooms, we've included models priced for casual, family use, as well as some high-end units that can handle daily competitive or tournament play. Just be sure to verify recommended age ranges if you're purchasing for kids. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 23, 2020:
There weren't many drastic changes made during this update, as the market hasn't changed much since we last visited this list. For the most part, we just adjusted some of the copy to bring it up to our current editorial standards and updated a few outdated images and pieces of information. Other than that, we've reviewed the items and compared them to others on the market, and we've determined that our previous selections still stand.
We did our best to assemble a list of exclusively high-quality tables while still making sure we provided offerings that would suit a broad array of customers' needs, although you may notice certain features are very common among all of them. For example, these all have adjustable legs that allow you to manually level the table, with the exception of the American Legend Charger FT200, which will need to be set on a very flat surface if you want to guarantee an even playing field. Similarly, the only options that don't feature counterbalanced men are the American Legend Charger FT200 and the Atomic Pro Force, which means neither is ideal for competitive one-on-one play, as the men can't stay balanced when positioned horizontally and will fall back toward the field when the handle is released.
If you're looking to set up your table in a tighter space, you may want to consider one of the options with a ball return on the side of the table, since options with ball returns on the ends, such as the Tornado Sport TTXSP and Carrom Signature, need room around all four sides. The other options can have one end pressed against a wall without causing any trouble. The telescoping rods of the Playcraft Milan can also help a bit with space, though since you'll still need room for players to stand, it likely doesn't make more than a few inches worth of difference.
All in all, any of these items should prove to be a fun, sturdy addition to a game room, so your choice should rely predominately on how invested you are in competitive foosball, how much money you want to spend, and what features best meet your needs. If regulation design isn't a high priority for you, you might even consider a combo game table so you have a few games to choose from. Alternatively, you can always choose one of the less costly options and use the money you save to add a dart board or other small-footprint game to your space.
May 23, 2019:
Anyone who has ever played an intense foosball match knows that one of the most annoying, and potentially dangerous, things is getting hit in the groin or stomach with a rod. Yet for some reason, it is often difficult to find models with telescopic rods, and those that are available tend to be quite expensive, which is why we know readers will appreciate the Playcraft Milan. It's on the cheaper end of the mid-priced options, yet it plays like a dream and comes with a number of convenient features. If you want a true tournament-quality model that features telescoping rods though, you'll have to spring for the Rene Pierre Leader or Bonzini B90 Home, which received special honor mentions. While the Warrior Professional doesn't have telescoping rods, it does feature a guard system that will prevent anybody from getting hurt, plus it is recognized by both table soccer federations. Both the Carrom Signature and Tornado Sport TTXSP are also tournament-level models that will satisfy even the most die-hard enthusiasts. We realize not everybody is as serious about their game as Tony Spredeman, which is why we included some models ideal for the casual player. Both the Atomic Pro Force and American Legend Charger FT200 are fairly inexpensive options and, while not the best quality, do allow for reasonably fast-action play.
Garland G500 Weatherproof You'll find few foosball tables that are weatherproof for outdoor use, and fewer still that are also good quality. This model fits the bill on both of those departments, and it comes from a brand recognized by the International Table Soccer Federation. garlando-shop.com
Bonzini B90 Home This premium model features the traditional red rails, natural beech color cabinet, and black legs iconic of foosball tables since their inception. It features a well-placed ball return that makes for easy retrieval, and the realistic-looking players add to the experience. It's also available in an ITSF tournament model. bonziniusa.com
Rene Pierre Leader Coming from a company known for manufacturing elegant tables for more than 60 years, the Leader is no exception. It features telescopic rods that make for safer gameplay, a long-lasting linoleum field, and sturdy metallic players. Plus, auto-greasing rings ensure smooth rod action. rene-pierre.fr/en/
Full Sized Versus Table Top Models
If, however, your table is for a beginner player, or for a children's room, you may consider a tabletop model.
A foosball table can be a center of socializing and healthy competition in a home, bar, or even office. In fact, studies have found that offering recreational activities in the workplace increases productivity, so consider adding a foosball to your office recreation room. But before selecting one, think about the space it will occupy, and who will be using it. A full-sized table is best for the advanced foosball player, or one hoping to improve their skills so they can play more competitively.
The standard model is 30 inches wide and 56 inches long. This does not include the rods, which will stick out several inches in either direction, and the players themselves, who need room to stand. If buying a full-sized table, make sure you have at least a seven by eight-foot space for it.
Full-sized tables are usually made from solid wood, which makes them very sturdy and capable of withstanding vigorous playing. All of the components are connected sturdily as well. This helps the table feel quite stable. If you plan on keeping your foosball table for years to come, a full-sized model is a great investment. If, however, your table is for a beginner player, or for a children's room, you may consider a tabletop model. These are usually made from cheaper materials, like plastic, so it won't be quite as devastating if children scrape it up.
Competitive activities have been proven to be great for the development of children, so a foosball table is a smart addition to a recreation room. Tabletop models are ideal for kids because they are light and portable, so one can store them away to make room for other games. These varieties can also be placed on lower tables, making them easier for kids to reach.
Additional Features To Look For
People who plan on putting their table through a lot of use need a quality playing surface. If you are buying a model that weighs less than 70 pounds, you should make sure the playing surface is at least half an inch thick. Anything thinner will wear down quickly with regular use. Full-sized, heavier tables should have a playing surface that is at least an inch thick. Wood is the best material for a table, but if it's not top quality, it can warp, which will affect the player's experience.
If you are buying a model that weighs less than 70 pounds, you should make sure the playing surface is at least half an inch thick.
Oak is the strongest variety, but no matter what variety you choose, you should monitor moisture through a leak sensor in your game room. Any water damage to your table will spread fast. Advanced players should look for a slick playing surface that will keep the ball moving rapidly, while beginners may want a table that offers a little more friction, at least until they built up their reflexes.
Octagonal rods provide the best grip, which is crucial for applying the greatest force to a ball. Serious players should look for rods that are steel, but hollow. These are not only easier to move, but they can reduce the chances of spraining one's wrist or experiencing other wrist injuries often misdiagnosed as sprains. It's also very important that you are comfortable with the height of your table, or look for one with an adjustable height. If the table is too low, this can hurt one's posture and cause back pain. If you don't have much space, but want the perks of a fully equipped recreation room, consider a multi-game model.
A Brief History Of Foosball
The history of foosball is much-debated. Many believe that a Frenchman named Lucien Rosengart created the game, in order to keep his grandchildren busy during the winter months when it was too cold for them to play outside. This theory has some credibility, since Rosengart was something of an engineer, having received patents for bicycle parts, a seat belt and a few other sporty items. Rosengart did create a game called "Babyfoot," which is still the commonly used French name for foosball, and presumably one of the first versions of the game.
Historians cannot ignore, however, the fact that Rosenthal claims to have made the game in the 1930s, while there were rumors of it already appearing in parlor rooms all over Europe as early as the late 1880s. Then there is another famous suspected inventor of the game. A victim of a bombing raid during the Spanish Civil War, Alexandre de Finesterre was allegedly bored in the hospital when he created a game called fútbolin. Finesterre's followers state that he patented his game in 1937, but that the documents were lost.
The first undisputed patent to be given out for a game that involved moving small men on rods to kick balls was given to Harold Searles Thornton in 1927. Thornton's game did not, however, sell many units. His patent expired, and he did not renew it. To this day, there is not one universally accepted set of rules or name for foosball.