The 10 Best Ping Pong Tables
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in May of 2015. Table tennis can provide the family with some healthy competition and recreation at home that doesn't require screens or WiFi. We included compact, foldable options for those with little space to spare, as well as regulation-size models for players who want to get serious with their game. All of them are sturdy enough to stand up to plenty of use, and at least one is suitable for outdoors. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
September 10, 2020:
There are different ways people enjoy a classic game of table tennis. Some are very competitive, while others are just looking for some fun. With that in mind, we selected models that would be up to a professional's standards, as well as some that are more suited for a friendly game. We looked for durable construction across all of our choices, and we sought out special features that would enhance convenience and entertainment.
In terms of longevity, the Barrington Billiards Fremont caught our attention because of its solid wood construction, sturdy legs, and thick top. It should last for years to come and makes a nice addition to any game room with other classics like shuffleboard or billiards. The Killerspin MyT7 Pocket also earned a spot thanks to its durability. On the other hand, we removed the Head Oasis during this update because its net struggles to stay in place, and the Stiga InstaPlay has legs that can wobble and aren't very strong, so we also eliminated that model, too.
Since not everyone wants a ping pong table as a permanent fixture in a room, we added many that sit on wheels and fold up, so you can store them away easily. The Stiga Advantage, the Joola Rally TL, and the Butterfly Personal each fit that description. We decided to replace the Kettler Champ 5.0 with the Kettler Eden because, even though the former rolls on wheels, the latter has superior materials and is ready for outdoor play.
Anybody worried about a consistent bounce will appreciate the silkscreened lines of the Joola Rally TL, Stiga Advantage, and Stiga Space Saver, as well as the multiple finish coatings on the Killerspin MyT7 Pocket and Stiga Advantage. Those who often lose accessories will like the integrated holders on the Joola Rally TL, Killerspin MyT7, and Butterfly Personal 19,
May 24, 2019:
If you're buying a ping pong table for home use, then that means you don't have a giant sports arena dedicated to the activity, and you need features that make it easy and convenient to have table tennis equipment at your house. That's why we like that the Butterfly TR21 Rollaway features smooth-rolling, oversized wheels, making it easy to tuck this thing away when you need the extra room. Speaking of needing the space, the Goplus Multi-Use Mini is so compact that you can set it up just about anywhere, but it still provides a surface worthy of a quick game of pong. Playing at home doesn't have to mean foregoing experiencing what the pros do, which is why we liked the Stiga InstaPlay and the Stiga Advantage, both of which come from the company that's also the official sponsor of the Swedish and Chinese national table tennis teams. When you have these, you never know if you'll turn on the Olympics to see the very table in your garage, on the screen. We also feel the fun shouldn't be limited to indoors, so we added the Kettler Champ 5.0, which has special weatherproof coating and comes with a cover. Keeping play areas uncluttered is always important, so we like that the Joola Rally TL 300, the Butterfly TR21 Rollaway, and the Head Oasis all have ball storage.
Prince Tournament 6800 Indoor Table Tennis Table The Prince Tournament 6800 Indoor Table Tennis Table has swivel wheels and locking casters, so it's easy to move when you need to relocate it, but will stay in place when you don't. It has a two-inch-thick box steel apron for sturdiness, solo play capabilities, and leg levelers. dickssportinggoods.com
Killerspin Revolution SVR-B While it's probably more expensive than casual players are looking to pay, this sleek and modern-looking model will likely impress the practicing pro. It has an arched steel base that improves its stability, a scratch-resistant top, and a net with tension adjustment. Each side of the table has a pull-out drawer for accessory storage. killerspin.com
Getting Into Ping Pong Basics
With the exception of a missing margin, a ping pong table's surface is set up exactly like a tennis court's.
Think of ping pong is as if it was a miniaturized game of tennis. Now you know how the game's original designation, table tennis, came about. With the exception of a missing margin, a ping pong table's surface is set up exactly like a tennis court's.
The goal in ping pong is to strike the ball with a paddle, causing it to bounce one time along your side of the net, before crossing over, and then bouncing once more within your opponent's side. This, again, is slightly different from the sport of tennis, where one of the goals is to avoid having the ball bounce at all before it passes over into your opponent's side of the court.
In both ping pong and tennis, opposing players continue to volley until somebody either knocks the ball out of bounds, or fails to return a shot over the net.
In terms of dynamics, a ping pong ball achieves most of its speed - and direction - as a result of the reinforced rubber (and sponge) that comprises a paddle's webbing. But each ping pong shot can be additionally affected by a table's surface, which can vary in quality and composition the same way grass courts can differ from clay courts (or any other substance) in the game of tennis.
Ping Pong Table Considerations
If you're interested in buying an indoor table, you'll want to make sure that you have enough room for the unit to fit. If you're interested in buying an outdoor one, you'll want to make sure that that table is not only weather-resistant, but also collapsible, so you can store it during the cold-weather months. If you're interested in buying a table for both indoor and outdoor use, you'll want to make sure that that table folds up (so you can fit it through sleek entryways), and that it has wheels (so you can roll it out the door).
If you plan on placing the table across an uneven surface, you'll also want to make sure that it has leg adjusters. And if you're looking to really one your professional ping pong skills, you'll want to confirm that the table's been built to regulation size (i.e., a 9x5 foot surface, standing 2.5 feet off the ground).
As a precaution, be sure to read a lot of customer reviews. Expert reviews are helpful, but it's the customers who have invested a lot of time with each of these products. Customers are more inclined to be honest. And they're also more inclined to tell you which manufacturers to avoid.
A Brief History of the Ping Pong Table
The concept of table tennis began as an aristocratic parlor game, usually played after dinner parties in Victorian England. Back in those days, and throughout much of the late 1800s, a row of books was sometimes substituted for the net, and a separate pair of books was considered adequate for rackets.
The first international tournament happened within that same year, in Berlin.
In the early 1900s, a British manufacturer trademarked the term ping pong, and from that point forward, the game took on a much more standardized approach.
There were rules, along with regulation tables and rackets, all overseen by the International Table Tennis Federation that was established in Europe in 1926. The first international tournament happened within that same year, in Berlin. In turn, the game became a major hit in America during the 1920s, and it became an even bigger hit in China during the 1930s. To this day, China holds the most Olympic tournament wins over all other countries.
Table tennis was introduced as an Olympic sport in 1988. By 2008, the Olympics opened the doors to more players by offering five different event categories for the sport.
Of course, the most famous ping pong player doesn't exist in real life, but he deserves a mention nonetheless. Here's looking at you, Forrest Gump.