Want to buy a ping pong table but aren’t sure which to choose? On this page, table tennis expert William Morgan reviews the best ping pong tables to help you make the right choice for your budget and requirements.
If you’re on this page, you’ve probably decided to buy a table tennis table…but aren’t sure which to choose.
You’re in the right place.
Table tennis is one of the best indoor sports (yes, I’m biased, but it’s true!) It can be played by almost anyone, provides infinite scope for improvement and is fun at any skill level.
Choosing a table isn’t always easy though. There are many brands and features available, while the prices vary greatly.
How can you know which models provide consistent bounce? How much should you spend? And which should you avoid?
These are important questions. The quality of a ping pong table can make the difference between a fun game and frustrating experience. Low-quality tables often don’t bounce correctly, are easily broken and can even be dangerous – especially if they can’t be secured when folded.
The good news is you don’t need to spend $5000 on a competition-level table. There are a number of excellent models on the market that provide consistent bounce and a durable design, while being available for a reasonable price.
To help you make the right choice for your experience level, budget and requirements, I’ve put together a list of the best ping pong tables below. Regardless of your budget or experience, I’m confident there’s a table on this list that meets your requirements.
Which Are the Best Ping Pong Tables?
Listed below are six of the best table tennis tables on the market. I’ve categorized the tables according to our ratings, price range and who they are suitable for, so it should be easy to see which is the right option for your requirements. Make sure you read each review carefully though – the best choice depends on what you want from a table.
Note: I’ve only listed indoor tables on this page. Please see our outdoor table page if you’re looking for a model that’s weather proof.
|Ping Pong Table
|Families or recreational players who want a table that provides great value
Butterfly Compact 19
|Recreational players who want a 19mm table on a budget - or want to save space
|Keen amateurs who want a step up in quality from the STIGA Advantage without paying a fortune
Joola Tour 2500
|Serious players who want a 25mm table with excellent bounce
Butterfly Europa 25
|Competitive players who want an ITTF-approved competition table
|Competitive players who want a high-quality table that also looks fantastic
Best Entry-Level Tables
Entry-level tables are perfect for beginners or recreational players. While they don’t have the consistent bounce required for tournament-level play or serious practice, the best models are cheaper and can still provide a great game. If you just want a table tennis table for playing with your friends and family, an entry-level model is all you need.
Note: If these entry-level models are outside your price range, take a look at our list of the best cheap table tennis tables.
1. STIGA Advantage
If you’re on a tight budget, or just want a table for family games, one of the best options is the STIGA Advantage. It’s not suitable for high-level play or serious training, but for beginners or recreational players it’s a solid choice that provides great value for money.
Let’s start with the most important feature of a table tennis table: playing surface thickness.
The Advantage features a 16mm playing top. This is relatively thin, but for recreational games with friends and family the table provides surprisingly consistent bounce.
If you’re looking for a serious table for practice, however, 16mm is thinner than I would like. It’s a solid table that should last a long time though, and plays well enough for beginners and the occasional training session. If you’re used to competition-level tables, however, you’ll probably notice it has a lower bounce and plays a bit slower.
The table itself is split into two halves. Each has its own set of casters, so the halves can be moved separately or “nested” into each other for storage. The halves also have safety latch systems to prevent them from opening unexpectedly.
One of the best things about this two-part design is that assembly is straightforward. Converting it between storage and play modes is quick and can be done by a single person, which is useful if you’re going to use it for practicing with a robot.
Aside from the playing surface, the Advantage has eight 3″ roller casters which can be individually locked. These wheels, combined with the “QuickPlay” technology of the undercarriage, makes it easy to move and fold it away when not in use. Each of the legs has a rubber leveler, so you can adjust the height without worrying about damaging the floor.
A bonus is that the Stiga Advantage comes with a high-quality net. Unlike many tables, which include cheap nets to save money, the Advantage’s net is tournament grade, with tension adjustment and clamp attachments.
As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of the Advantage – especially for beginners of families. It provides great value for money and is sturdy enough to last a long time. Click here for our full review.
Note: The Advantage doesn’t include any paddles or balls. This is common for tables, but often catches people out when buying their first one.
Summary: If you’re looking for a decent table that provides excellent value, the STIGA Advantage is a great choice. It’s not professional standard – mainly due to the 16mm playing surface – but for beginners or those on a tight budget I highly recommend it.
- Table Thickness: 16mm (5/8″)
- Table Size: Regulation
- Price Range: $$
- Popular family pick that provides great value
- Portable and easy to setup
- 16mm top is too thin for serious practice
2. Butterfly Compact 19
If you’re looking for a low-budget 19mm table tennis table, my top rated pick is the Butterfly Compact. It’s not as mobile as the STIGA Advantage, but the playing surface provides a more consistent bounce due to the extra thickness.
One of the main selling points of the Butterfly Compact is its space saving design. When folded up, it measures just 3″ deep, which is considerably shallower than many other folding ping pong tables. If you want a high-quality table in your home but don’t have anywhere to store it, it’s the Compact is a great choice.
It’s also one of the least expensive 19mm tables on the market. In my experience, this is the minimum required for a consistent bounce, and is noticeably better than 16mm tables. Thicker tables are also more durable, which is important if the table is going to be used a lot.
With that said, the Compact 19 doesn’t have perfect bounce, so serious players may want to spend more on a thicker playing surface. It has a little less height than more expensive and thicker options, which is something to keep in mind if you’re practicing for tournaments. Even so, it provides excellent bounce and consistency considering the low price.
It’s also easy to setup, as it comes pre assembled. If you’re not great at following fiddly instruction manuals (like me), this is a welcome bonus! It also comes with a relatively good net, including rubber on the clamps to prevent damaging the table.
There are a few drawbacks to the Compact 19 though. The lack of proper wheels means it’s not as easy to move around as models such as the STIGA Advantage, particularly on uneven ground. The two pieces are also relatively heavy, which means it’s less portable than other models. If you’re looking for a table that’s easy to move outside in good weather, this probably isn’t the right option.
Summary: If you’re looking for a high-quality table tennis table that’s suitable for recreational use or even light practice for tournaments, the Compact 19 is a great choice – especially considering the low price. It’s also great if you don’t have much storage space, due to the compact folding design.
- Table Thickness: 19mm (0.75″)
- Table Size: Regulation
- Price Range: $$
- One of the best value 19mm tables
- Incredibly compact when folded
- No proper wheels and relatively heavy
Best Mid-Level Tables
Mid-level tables are great for more serious amateurs or beginners who want to practice for competitive play. They are at least 19mm thick (but preferably 22mm-25mm) and provide a consistent bounce. While the best mid-level ping pong tables are great to play on, they are naturally more expensive than entry-level alternatives.
3. STIGA Instaplay
If you’re looking for something a little higher quality than the Butterfly Compact 19, but without spending too much more money, the STIGA InstaPlay could be a good compromise. It’s a 19mm thick table with a stylish design, wheels for greater mobility and 2″ legs – plus it also provides great value for money.
The first thing that stands out about the InstaPlay is the color scheme. The entire table is black/dark grey, aside from the silk screen striping, which creates a sleek appearance. Each leg is made with 2″ square steel, so it’s a sturdy table that should last.
It also comes with eight 3″ wheels, four with locks, so that the table is easy to move around the home. This is one of the advantages the Instaplay has over the cheaper but less mobile Butterfly Compact 19.
Considering this is the mid-level section, however, is the 19mm surface thick enough? While the bounce isn’t quite as consistent as more expensive models (such as the Joola Tour 2500 below), it does a good job considering the lower price. For families, recreational players, or even keen amateurs, the InstaPlay is enjoyable to play on and can even be used for practice.
Summary: The Stiga Instaplay provides great value for money. While the 19mm thickness isn’t quite as consistent as more expensive products, it’s still a reliable playing surface that can be used for fun games and practice. If you can’t afford the Joola Tour 2500, but want a higher quality table than the entry-level models, this is the one to get.
- Table Thickness: 19mm (0.75″)
- Table Size: Regulation
- Price Range: $$$
- High-quality table that provides great value
- Decent bounce and sturdy design
- 19mm thickness isn’t as consistent as the Joola Tour 2500
4. Joola Tour 2500
If you’re looking for a high-quality 25mm that provides great value for money, look no further than the Joola Tour 2500. This is an outstanding table that provides excellent bounce, durability and portability, making it one of my favorite options.
What makes the Tour 2500 stand out from the rest though?
It’s one of the few 25mm tables that’s available for a reasonable price. It’s not cheap, but it’s less expensive than many alternatives and superior to some tables that cost considerably more. The playing surface provides near-perfect bounce, so it’s great for serious practice.
Joola hasn’t just focused on the table thickness though. It also has a high-quality undercarriage, with eight castor wheels and sturdy construction. The table is actually two halves, allowing you to transport each separately for easy storage. The castors are also large enough for easy mobility and each has a lock to prevent it moving.
There are very few drawbacks to the Joola Tour 2500 – it’s an excellent model that I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with. Some people might be put off by the heavy design – but once you get it onto the castors it glides across the floor.
Summary: If you’re serious about improving your game and want a table that provides excellent bounce, the Joola Tour 2500 is a great choice. It’s more expensive than entry-level models, so it’s probably overkill for recreational players, but for a superior playing experience at a reasonable price it’s hard to beat.
- Table Thickness: 25mm (1″)
- Table Size: Regulation
- Price Range: $$$$
- Outstanding bounce from the 25mm table top
- Strong undercarriage that’s easy to move
Best High-End / Professional Standard Tables
The tables in this category are the best of the best. With thick playing surfaces for a highly consistent bounce, great durability and stylish designs, they are designed for people who are serious about their ping pong. They are expensive in comparison to others on this list, but the top models are worth the money.
5. Butterfly Europa 25
When it comes to professional-standard tables that provide value for money, it’s hard to beat the Butterfly Europa 25. It’s officially approved by the International Table Tennis Federation, so you can be sure the 25mm table provides consistent bounce, yet is available for a very reasonable price.
Let’s start with the performance of the anti-skid playing surface. With a thick 25mm top that provides outstanding bounce and spin, it’s a joy to play on and is certainly tournament ready.
This means it’s a great choice for people who are serious about their ping pong. If you want to practice on a table that meets that same standards as those found in competitions, the Europa 25 is a great option. As a bonus, you also get a tournament standard net with the table.
Aside from the table top, the Europa 25 is built with 2″ square steel legs for extra durability. This, combined with the 25mm top, makes it a sturdy model that’ll last a lifetime – as long as it’s cared for correctly.
The Europa 25, like many of the best table tennis tables, is made from two parts. Two wheels are included, which can be mounted onto each half for easier transport. It’s also simple to assemble, so you’ll be playing in no time.
As you would expect from a thick table with a steel frame, the Europa 25 isn’t lightweight. Weighing 270lbs, it’s not the easiest to move around, although it’s relatively compact when stored (approximately 6″ deep).
Summary: The Butterfly Europa 25 is an outstanding table that matches the bounce and quality of much more expensive models. If you’re serious about table tennis, and want to practice on a table that’s similar to what the pros use, this is one of the best options.
- Table Thickness: 25mm (1″)
- Table Size: Regulation
- Price Range: $$$$$
- Superior bounce for a much lower price than many professional tables
- Ultra durable undercarriage
- Too expensive for beginners or recreational players
6. Killerspin Revolution
For those that want more style from their ping pong table, the Killerspin Revolution is a beautiful choice. With its eye-catching undercarriage and purple table top, it’s the most stunning model I’ve reviewed.
Don’t let the “cool” appearance fool you though – this is a serious table that’s designed for players who want professional standards. With a 22mm MDF top, it provides excellent bounce consistency and will last a long time without warping. Whether you’re a keen amateur or an experienced player looking for a high-quality practice table, the Revolution is a great choice.
As you can see from the photo, the undercarriage is one of the most interesting features of the Revolution. The curved steel is rare for a table tennis table, while the red aluminum exterior is attractive yet durable. It’s also heavy enough to prevent any movement during a game.
Another interesting feature is the anti-glare coating on the playing surface. This improves ball vision while preventing ball marks on the surface.
The Revolution also comes with the “Apex” net system. This includes two steel posts. As you would expect from a premium table tennis table, the net is high-quality so you won’t need to buy a replacement.
There are a couple of drawbacks to the Revolution though. The most obvious is the price – this is an expensive table. Considering the professional-level performance and unique design, however, I think it justifies the cost. It’s also heavy and can’t be folded or stored, so it’s only suitable for rooms where you have enough space for a permanent table.
Summary: If you want a modern ping pong table that provides excellent bounce and is sure to be a conversation starter for anyone who sees it, the Killerspin Revolution is an outstanding choice. It’s not cheap and is considerably less mobile than other options though, so if you want a competition-ready table that provides better value go for the Butterfly Europa 25 instead.
- Table Thickness: 22mm (1″)
- Table Size: Regulation
- Price Range: $$$$$
- Beautiful design that’s sure to catch the eye
- Excellent 22mm playing surface
- Expensive and heavy – plus it can’t be easily stored.
The tables listed above are all excellent choices. If you just want to know the best models, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by any of them – as long as you take the time to choose one that closely meets your requirements.
With that said, if you want to know more about how to choose a table tennis table, here’s a guide to what to look for.
Experience & Skill Level
Before you start looking for a table tennis table, you should consider the skill level of the people who’ll be using it. Your experience can affect:
- Price. Despite the claims of manufacturers, beginners don’t need to spend thousands on a high-end model just to get a reliable bounce. In fact, it’s often better to go for a cheaper option, as “learning” tables often suffer from more abuse. More advanced players usually need to spend more on a higher quality table, as these are closer to those used in competitions.
- Size. If you only want to play the odd game with friends or family, you might want to consider a smaller ping pong surface. These can teach bad habits though, so aren’t suitable for people who want to take the game more seriously.
- Thickness. The thinnest (and cheapest) ping pong tables don’t bounce correctly, which makes them horrible to play on. Beginners probably don’t need the thickest tables (25mm) though – 16mm might be sufficient. For serious practice, however, I recommend at least 19mm (more on thickness in the next section).
- Space. The amount of space around the table also varies depending on the skill level of the players. Beginners or recreational players often need at least 16′ x 11.5′ for an unrestricted game, while tournament-level players may need close to double this area.
Quality is Closely Related to Thickness
If you’ve ever played on a low-quality table before, you’ll know it’s not a pleasant experience. Even beginner players can notice a difference in bounce when using a cheap surface. And if you’re trying to seriously improve your game, a table with incorrect bounce can do more harm than good.
What causes a playing surface to bounce poorly though?
In many cases, the reason a low-quality table has poor bounce is due to the thickness of the top. There are plenty of tables that look fantastic, have strong legs and a trustworthy brand…but are too thin for a proper bounce. Thicker playing surfaces are also more durable and long-lasting than thinner alternatives.
In other words, if you only look at ONE factor when buying a table, make it the thickness!
Here’s a quick overview of the most common thickness measurements:
- 12mm (~0.5 inches). These are the cheapest tables – and should be avoided. The bounce is awful and they are not enjoyable to play on. 12mm playing surfaces are also easy to damage.
- 16mm (~0.6 inches). While 16mm models are significantly better than 12mm, they still don’t provide great bounce. If your budget can’t stretch any further, however, they can still be fun for recreational use.
- 19mm (~0.75 inches). Now we’re getting somewhere! 19mm tables are usually my minimum recommendation for a reliable bounce. You can still find some relatively cheap options, and the bounce isn’t perfect, but they are good enough for most players.
- 22mm (~0.85 inches). Once you get to 22mm thickness, you get great bounce – but the price also rises. If you’re a club player or serious about your practice, a 22mm table is a good choice.
- 25mm (~1 inch). If you’re looking for a competition standard ping pong table, you’ll need a 25mm table. As you would expect, these are more expensive – but the bounce is excellent. Amateur or recreational players probably won’t be able to tell the difference between a 22mm and 25mm top though.
Size of the Playing Area
A full size ping pong table measures 9 x 5 feet, with the net extending approximately 6 inches either side of the table. If you’re buying one for inside your home, or even your garage, this can take up a lot of space. You also need to consider that this is just the size of the table – you need a lot more space around it for a proper game.
Before buying a table, mark the size on the floor of your garage or room where you plan to play. Does it seem realistic to play around this space? Or are you going to be restricted?
As I mentioned earlier, the amount of space required partly depends on your skill level. Beginners or recreational players tend to spend most of their time close to the edge of the table, while more advanced players need a larger area. Here’s a guideline for how much space you’re likely to need:
- Recreational Players. If you’re just playing for fun, a total area of around 17’x11′ is probably just about sufficient. You would ideally have more space at the ends, but this is enough for a fun game.
- Keen Amateurs. If you want to seriously improve your game, you’ll need more space than recreational players. I recommend a playing area of at least 22′ x 15′ for this.
- Local Tournaments. The playing area of local tournaments can vary, but it’s usually around 30′ x 16′.
- National Tournaments. National tournaments usually have a playing area of approximately 40′ x 20′, while international tournaments following the ITTF guidelines are larger at 46′ x 23′.
On a side note, I only recommend buying small or mini table tennis tables if you’re absolutely sure it won’t be used for proper practice. While mini playing surfaces can be fun, they can get you into bad habits. Players who practice on them, for example, often favor low power shots to avoid overhitting, which can be a problem when playing on full size tables.
Speaking of practice, here’s a useful video if you want some drills for practicing on your own:
Folding/Collapsible Design & Portability
Even if you have enough space for a full-size table, you might not want the room to be filled all the time. Most people – even enthusiastic ping pong players – can’t dedicate a room to the game 100% of the time.
For this reason, it’s often a good idea to look for a table that’s easy to fold. Being able to quickly fold it up when it’s not in use can make space management much easier. If possible, look for a table that can be setup by one person.
Rollers are also useful for when you need to move the table. For safety and stability, these should have wheel brakes.
Keep in mind that folding tables can be potentially dangerous – especially for young children. Make sure the sides are properly secured and that everyone in the household is aware of the risks.
Prices & How Much You Should Expect to Pay
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming all table tennis tables play the same – especially if you’re a beginner. I don’t want to labor the point, but cheap and thin playing surfaces really aren’t worth wasting your money on!
With that said, beginners or keen amateurs don’t need to spend $5k on a high end 25mm professional model. The difference in quality (in wood, metal and build qualities), durability and bounce often isn’t noticeable unless you’re a skilled or experience player.
The exception is if you’re buying for a club, youth center or school. These tables are heavily used and may not be treated as respectfully as ones in a home, so spending extra on a thicker and more durable model is often a good idea.
Things change if you’re playing at a state level (or higher) though. In this case, it’s important to get a playing surface that closely matches the bounce and feel of a competition model, so be prepared to spend more.
To summarize, it’s possible to get a great 19mm table for around $600 (or less). If you want a competition standard table (22mm – 25mm), expect to pay $1000 or more.
Note: You can often find high-quality models on sale at lower prices than their RRP. Keep this in mind when searching.
Ping Pong Table Brands – Which are Best?
Despite being a niche sport, there are a number of excellent table tennis table manufacturers. Some of the best include Stiga, Butterfly, Cornilleau and Joola ping pong tables.
Indoor or Outdoor Tables?
You may have noticed that I haven’t talked about outdoor ping pong tables in this article. That’s because we have a separate page for tables that are suitable for outside use.
How can you decide whether you need an indoor or outdoor table though?
The most common reason for getting an outdoor model is a lack of space. If you don’t have a large area indoors, an outdoor table could be a good option.
There are a few issues with outdoor models though. Firstly, you’ll need to spend a reasonable amount to get a properly weather-proof table that can withstand the elements without warping. Even the best models can fade or warp over time, however, so you should also get a cover to protect it.
Secondly, the bounce and spin reaction can often be different to indoor models. This can be a big problem if you’re practicing for tournaments. Metallic surfaces, for example, often play slower than regular model, while others have a lower bounce.
For this reason, serious players may want to buy a foldable indoor table and take it outside when you want to play. A high-quality outdoor table can still be a great option for recreational or beginner players though.
- Legs and Supports. The best ping pong tables have strong supports that are built to last. A table can take quite a beating over the years, so it’s important the legs are up to the job.
- Durability. A high-quality table with a thick top is likely to be durable, but it’s still important to read reviews of people who’ve used it for a long time. In many cases, issues with durability aren’t apparent until it has been used for an extended period.
- Levelers. Leg levelers are a useful feature if the floor isn’t level. The standard height of a ping pong table is 30″, so you can screw these up or down to maintain a consistent level.
Where Should I Buy One?
The brand and model of a ping pong table are more important than where you buy it. There are plenty of table tennis shops around the world, and most stock a number of the best tables.
You can also get some excellent deals online. Major shopping sites such as Amazon, Target, Walmart and Sears all sell a selection of table tennis tables from brands such as Stiga, Kettler, Halex, Dunlop, Joola and more. There are also more specialist stores such as MegaSpin and SportCraft.
Also, if you’re buying multiple tables for a club or school, make sure you ask the retailer about discounts!
Are Used Ping Pong Tables a Good Idea?
Sadly, many ping pong tables are bought for Christmas or on a whim, but are then left unused in garages or sheds. The good news is that this means there are often used tables available on sites such as Craigslist or eBay.
While there are some great deals to be found, be careful when buying a second hand table. Look for ones that have seen limited use and are still in top condition. It’s also a good idea to ask where the table has been kept, as if it’s been sitting in a damp shed for a long time it may have started to warp.
What About a Ping Pong Table Top (or Conversion Top)?
A conversion top doesn’t come with an undercarriage or frame. Instead, you just get the playing surface, which is placed over an existing table (such as a pool or air hockey table). While these toppers are often thinner than full-size models, they are also cheaper and easier to store. Check out our page of the best ping pong table top models for more information.
What Else do I Need?
Most tables come with a net – although make sure this has padded grips so it doesn’t damage the surface.
Aside from that, you’ll also need some paddles and balls. These range in price depending on the quality you need. Many home users also get practice robots, as these are great for working on your game when you don’t have a partner to play with. For more information about the various type of equipment, check out our homepage. You may also want to read our guide to the benefits of ping pong.
Choosing a ping pong table doesn’t need to be difficult. Despite the wide range of brands, price ranges and features on the market, there are only a few factors you really need to look at (thickness, price and durability are the main examples).
To summarize the models on this page, here’s an overview of my top recommendations depending on your experience level and budget:
- If you want a 19mm playing surface for more consistent bounce, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Butterfly Compact 19 is an excellent choice.
- For family use or recreational play, the STIGA Advantage is a great option due to its highly mobile design and decent performance.
- If you’re a more advanced player who wants a 25mm playing surface without spending a fortune, the Joola Tour 2500 is hard to beat.
- If you want a table for serious practice, the Butterfly Europa 25 provides outstanding value for money. It’s also ITTF approved for tournament use and rivals many more expensive options.
I hope the tips in this article have helped you decide on the best ping pong table for your requirements. If you have any suggestions, questions or feedback, please let me know in the comments section.