Do you want to buy a ping pong table, but are put off by high prices? If so, one of these five low-price tables could be the perfect option.
A high-quality ping pong table can provide almost limitless fun. Table tennis is easy to learn and hard to master, so it’s enjoyable at any skill level of age.
The problem is that the best tables can be expensive. Many mid-range models cost more than $500, while high-end models can easily cost $1000 or more.
Spending $500 on a table is a worthwhile investment if you’re serious about ping pong. But what if you’re on a tight budget? Or aren’t sure you’ll enjoy the game enough to justify the cost?
In this case, a budget table could be the perfect compromise. These are often available for around $300, yet can still provide a decent bounce and a fun game until you’re ready to upgrade.
It’s important to choose the right budget option though.
As you might expect, there are plenty of terrible options in this price range. So picking a decent table on a budget isn’t always easy.
To help you make the right choice, here are five of the best cheap ping pong tables available at the moment.
Note: Prices change all the time. We’ve tried to choose tables that are available for under $300, but we can’t guarantee the current price. All of the tables on this list are cheaper than those found on our list of the best all-round table tennis tables though.
Our #1 Pick: Joola Inside 15
If you’re looking for a cheap regulation size table tennis table, it’s hard to beat the Joola. It has a high-quality 15mm thick playing surface for a decent bounce, foldable design and a sturdy construction. In other words, it’s terrific for the money.
What Can You Expect from an Affordable Table Tennis Table?
As with any product that costs less than average, there are trade-offs when buying an affordable ping pong table. You can still find a low-budget table that provides consistent bounce and an enjoyable game. But ultimately these tables are cheaper for a reason.
The key is to understand a table’s limitations, then choose a model that meets your needs. You might not be able to find a professional standard table for under $300, but low-cost models can be great for beginners, kids, small rooms or just recreational games.
There are several ways budget tables tend to differ from a more expensive model. These include:
- Table Thickness. The thickness of a ping pong table’s playing surface makes a huge difference to the quality of a game. Thin tops (less than 15mm) have an inconsistent and frustrating bounce, so they should usually be avoided. 15mm is the minimum for a decent game, although keen players should spend more on a 19mm+ table. The good news is that there are several 15mm+ tables available in the budget price bracket.
- Playing Surface Size. A full size table has a playing area of 9×5 feet. Many cheaper ping pong tables have a smaller playing size, which keeps costs down and makes them suitable for small rooms. Playing on a small table can teach bad habits, but many people enjoy them for recreational games. There’s also the option of buying a conversion top, which doesn’t come with an undercarriage.
- Component Quality. The best ping pong tables are built with high-quality materials and designed to last. Cheaper models often aren’t as durable, which is something to keep in mind if you’re going to play a lot, or if it’s going to be used by children.
Despite these compromises, there are still some excellent cheap tables on the market – especially if you just want a fun game rather than serious practice.
Of course, there are other things you need to consider when buying a ping pong table.
Your available playing area is one of the most important factors. You’ll need space that’s at least 17’x11′ to play a casual game on a regulation size surface. Most players need more than this to avoid feeling cramped, and for keen players you’ll want a much bigger space. If you don’t have a big enough room, a 3/4 size table may be your only option.
Another consideration is whether you want to play indoors or outdoors. The models below all have MDF playing surfaces, which can warp if they get damp. If you want an outdoor table for all weather conditions, be prepared to pay more.
You may also want to look for a folding design. These are great for saving storage space.
Tip: If you’re a competitive player who needs a table on a budget, your best option is to buy second-hand from eBay or similar auction sites. Make sure you check the playing surface before buying though. It’s also a good idea to ask where the table has been kept, as storing in damp conditions can cause MDF to warp.
Which Are the Best Cheap Table Tennis Tables?
Listed below are five of the best cheap ping pong tables on the market. Make sure you read each mini-review carefully, as it’s important to choose a table that meets both your budget and playing requirements.
|Ping Pong Table
Joola Inside 15
|Consistent bounce and regulation size
Joola Conversion Top
|Playing on a dining, pool or other type of table
STIGA Space Saver
|Small rooms or apartments
Head Summit USA 15mm
|Alternative to the Joola
1. JOOLA Inside 15 (Best Regulation Size Table)
If you’re looking for a regulation-size indoor ping pong table on a tight budget, the Joola Inside 15 is my top recommendation and one of the cheapest options.
It’s a tournament size model that’s aimed at beginners, with a foldable design and independent table halves. The undercarriage is strong and durable, due to the 1.5″ steel legs and aprons, and it’s designed to get you playing as quickly as possible.
The Joola comes with a 15mm thick playing surface. This can’t match the standard of more expensive models, and you shouldn’t expect it to have the bounce consistency or responsiveness of 19mm+ tables. However, the top is built to a high standard and smooth, so it still provides a relatively consistent bounce that’s fun to play on – especially considering the low price.
We’re also impressed that the Joola Inside 15 includes 1.25″ leg levelers. These are great for ensuring you get a relatively level playing surface. There are also 3″ casters with a locking function for easier portability.
The table comes with a high-quality net and the option of keeping one half upright for playback mode. There’s no ball storage or built-in abacus scorer, although this is to be expected from a cheap table tennis table. On the plus side, assembly shouldn’t take much more than 20-minutes, which is much shorter than many other budget tables.
It’s hard to criticize the Joola, as it provides decent bounce and quality for the price. If we were being picky, a basic ball holder and paddle holder would be a welcome addition. It’s also a shame that paddles and balls aren’t included, especially as this is an entry-level table.
Even so, the Joola Inside 15 is an outstanding table tennis table for the price. If you’re a beginner who wants to play on a full-size surface, it’s an excellent choice. The surface probably isn’t thick enough for serious practice though.
Summary: Don’t be fooled by the price. This 15mm regulation table provides decent bounce consistency and is great fun to play on. If you need a full-size table on a budget, the Inside 15 is our top pick.
- Table Thickness: 15mm (5/8″)
- Table Size: Regulation
- 15mm thickness provides decent bounce
- Relatively quick setup
- Durable steel legs with levellers
- Foldable design with playback feature
- 15mm can’t mimic bounce of tournament tables
2. Joola Conversion Top with Foam Backing (Best Conversion Top)
If you would rather transform a dining or pool table, a conversion top is a great choice. They tend to be cheaper, as there is no undercarriage, yet can still host a great game. My top recommendation in this category is the Joola Conversion Top with Foam Backing.
One of the great things about the Joola is the 15mm playing surface. While this is the minimum I recommend for a consistent bounce, many conversion tops have thinner surfaces that are unpleasant to play on.
It’s also regulation size. This is essential if you don’t want to get into bad habits. You’ll need to be careful about the height it’s placed at though – especially if you’re using it for more serious practice.
Other features include a 5-minute assembly, two piece design and a sturdy metal apron. There’s also a foam pad backing to protect whatever surface you place it on.
The only real drawback is that it’s heavy. This has the advantage of keeping it stable during a game, but makes it less portable.
Note: To see our full list of the best conversion tops for ping pong, click here.
Summary: If you want a regulation-size budget table but don’t have room for a standard model, the Joola Conversion Top is an excellent alternative. The 15mm thickness isn’t quite enough for serious practice, but provides decent bounce that’s good enough for playing with family and friends.
- Table Thickness: 15mm
- Table Size: Regulation
- 15mm surface provides a relatively consistent bounce
- Durable two-piece design
3. STIGA Space Saver (Best for Small Rooms)
The Stiga Space Saver is a smaller table, so it’s not suitable for serious practice. But if you want to play in a cramped room, or have children who prefer a smaller playing surface, then it’s a brilliant model for the price.
So, how big is the STIGA in comparison to regulation models?
A standard table is 9’x5′. In contrast, the Space Saver is approximately 5.9’x 3.4′, making it considerably smaller. The upside is that it saves around 3′ in length, so you can play in much tighter rooms than a regular model. It’s also a regulation height.
Despite the smaller size, the Space Saver still has a 16mm MDF playing surface. This isn’t enough for serious practice – dedicated players wouldn’t use a reduced-size table anyway – but still provides a consistent bounce for recreational games. STIGA has also built the Space Saver with a 1.25″ steel apron for extra durability.
Another advantage is that it doesn’t require any assembly. The folding two-piece design is ready to go out of the box, so you just need to unfold it and start playing. There are also leg levellers for counteracting uneven surfaces.
Summary: For children, apartments or small rooms, the Stiga Space Saver is one of the best tables on the market. It’s also available for a terrific price. Just don’t use it for serious practice, as playing on a smaller table can develop bad habits.
- Table Thickness: 16mm (5/8″)
- Table Size: 71″ x 40.5″ x 30″
- 16mm MDF surface provides a reasonably consistent bounce
- Great price
- Smaller size for apartments or small rooms
- Not suitable for serious practice
- No playback mode
4. Butterfly Junior
The Butterfly Junior is another low-budget option for kids. It’s a 3/4 size table that provides decent value, although the 12mm playing surface is too thin to be anything other than a child’s first ping pong table.
A key feature of the Butterfly Junior is the 3/4 size design. Many children prefer playing on a smaller table, so the Butterfly can be a fun choice if your child wants to start learning the game.
As with most indoor models, the Butterfly Junior has a folding design. It ships assembled, so you don’t need to worry about putting it together (which is a bonus if it’s a birthday or Christmas present!) There are also protective corner pads and a free clip net.
There are some drawbacks, which is why it’s not higher up the list. The biggest is the 12mm playing surface. This is too thin for a truly consistent bounce, which can be frustrating to play on. While young children may not notice this inconsistency, 15mm is the minimum for a proper game. There’s also no option to place the second half vertical for playback mode, and the wheels are more of a hindrance than a help.
On the plus side, the Butterfly Junior is a cheap table that provides good value for money. If you need an alternative to the Space Saver, it’s probably the best option.
Summary: The Butterfly Junior is designed for children or small rooms. It provides great value for money, but the 12mm playing surface isn’t as consistent as more expensive tables.
- Table Thickness: 12mm
- Table Size: 81″ x 45″ x 30″
- Great price
- 3/4 size makes it suitable for smaller rooms
- 12mm surface is too thin for a truly consistent bounce
- Not suitable for serious practice
5. Head Summit 15mm USA Indoor Table Tennis Table
If you’re looking for a cheap regulation size table tennis table, the Head Summit is an interesting alternative to the Joola tables.
It’s a full-size table with a folding design, MDF playing surface and eight lockable castor wheels. It also comes mostly assembled, so it shouldn’t take long to setup, and includes a net.
The best feature of the Head Summit is the 15mm playing surface. This provides excellent bounce, for all but the most serious of players, at an affordable price. Head also provides an 18mm version, although you’ll need to pay more for this.
Other features include a playback mode, steel frame, and a design that looks far more expensive than it really is. There’s even a ball rack that holds up to 12 balls.
So, while the Head doesn’t have the quality to match higher priced tables from Kettler, Joola, and Stiga, it’s an excellent low-budget alternative
Summary: The Head Summit is one of the few budget table tennis tables with a regulation size and full undercarriage. It provides decent bounce, although we still think the Joola Inside 15 is the better option for most people.
- Table Thickness: 15mm
- Table Size: Regulation
- Regulation size table for a great price
- Folding two-piece design with playback mode
- Not the most durable table
Table tennis can be a wonderful hobby – and you don’t need to spend $500+ on your first table. There are some excellent options in the $300-$350 range, as long as you’re willing to accept a few compromises in quality.
Our top recommendation for a regulation-size budget table is the Joola Inside 15. It has a thick 15mm playing surface, so it provides truer bounce than most budget-friendly models. It’s also durable and has a folding design.
We hope this article has helped you decide on the best cheap ping pong table for you. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments section.