Game rooms, college dorms, arcades, man caves: What do all of these have in common? The humble foosball table.
We’ve all wanted one at some point or another, and now it’s finally time. We have space; we have the money…but what do we look for? How do we know we aren’t getting ripped off?
Today I’m going to answer those questions, and once we have the right criteria in mind, share some of my favorite tables on the market today.
So, without further ado:
Foosball Table Reviews
How To Choose The Right One For You
When buying a foosball table, there are three main criteria we need to keep in mind: Price, size, and construction.
They can get pretty expensive (especially for the best quality ones), so we need to make sure we know what our budget is. On average, we should expect to pay between $700-$800 for a decent table, and shouldn’t be surprised to see some of the best brands selling their top-of-the-line for over $1000 or even $2000.
There are cheaper tables, but generally, the trade-off between price and quality is steep.
A standard competition sized product is roughly 56“ long, and 30“ wide, not including the rods extended. This means we’re going to want about 8 square feet of space for our product to rest in. Otherwise, we won’t be able to play it, or at least not comfortably.
When looking at the size, it’s also important to think about our height (or the height of the people we’re buying it for) and make sure it is a comfortable height for their arms. This is especially important if we’re buying one that we want to play with our kids; it’s much harder for them to reach (and view) up than it is for us to bend down. To that end, units with adjustable heights offer a big plus.
The only material I’d outright say to stay away from are the ones with particle board construction. It offers no real benefit besides making it incredibly cheap – and you get what you pay for. Particleboard will break down quickly, and in the long run, we’ll end up needing to buy a new one anyway, only saving us money in the short term.
I suggest thinking about where our unit is going first. If we’re putting it indoors, our options are pretty much wide open. There are great options made of solid wood, metal, and composite materials (these are slightly flimsier but make up for it by being significantly lighter and more comfortable to move).
The best outdoor units are often going to be made of sturdy resin and impact-resistant glass or laminated wood (and these can be used indoors as well, making for an excellent versatile product if you throw a big party outdoors once in a while).
It’s also important to note the playing surface and how the rods are constructed. The surface should be smooth, with painted lines and logos; stay away from anything with stickers as they will peel over time and make the surface rougher (and the game slower). I’d also suggest sticking with hollow rods, rather than solid metal, as they’re much lighter and faster.
Given these criteria, the Warrior Professional is my pick for best on the market in terms of “bang for your buck,” but there are many other good picks for different purposes, and we’re going to look at some.
In-Depth Reviews of Top Rated Models
Review: It prides itself on being a professional model, and it’s the only one recognized by the USTF league. It is a single-man goalie, MDF constructed, laminated, well-oiled-machine.
In addition to its primary specs (full competition size, 56”x30”x36”; and weighing in at a hefty 195 lbs), it boasts a number of additional features. The Rod Guard system sheathes one side of each rod. It doesn’t hinder the game’s function at all but prevents the rods from injuring people (especially children) on the other side of the fast-moving pieces of metal.
I recommend this product for that feature alone, but everything else about it is technically sound as well. The levelers are wide and solid, and while it also has solid rods these rods are balanced and coated to perfection, making them glide far more comfortable than some others. The counter-weighted men are something standard to most professional units, and considerably speed up play.
The only real downside is the looks; this is a utilitarian product, no doubt. All thought was given to function over form, and as a result, the look is…not exactly ugly, but very plain.
The Verdict: It is practically a steal. It is a top-notch product and a very reasonably priced product for what it includes. It is the best unit for home use, and that’s why it is the standard by which I will judge the other models on this list.
The Atomic Gladiator
Review: This is an excellent mid-range unit. It has just about everything we’re looking for in a product. It falls just above regulation size (56” x 31.25” x34.75”; 1.25” longer than usual) and is constructed of MDF (a quality composite wood), so it can stand up to some abuse. As a bonus, the MDF composite leaves it at a reasonably light 142 lbs., making it easy to move around.
It comes with built-in leg levelers, allowing you to adjust height and level up to 3.5”.
It is a three-man goalie, so take note of this feature if you feel like the game is too easy with the two extra goalies.
As added extras, it has in-set cupholders (potentially allowing you to save space in a relatively cramped game room) and real wood handles, giving it that extra bit of sturdiness where it counts, on the part that’s going to take the most wear and tear.
My only real gripe is that its rods are solid metal. Hollow rods aren’t technically necessary, but the extra weight is killer on the hands and wrists during extended play sessions, and it makes the game noticeably slower due to the extra effort involved in rapidly twisting the heavier rods. It’s not a dealbreaker by any means, but definitely, something to keep in mind, especially if you’re going to be playing with kids who might struggle to turn the handles.
The verdict: It’s not fancy and lacks many of the bells and whistles of certain extremely high-grade models, but it looks nice, holds up well to abuse, and has everything you need to have a good time. I’d suggest picking this up if you’re a more casual foosball fan who doesn’t want to empty your bank account for something you aren’t going to be playing all the time but want it there when friends come over, as it is currently slightly cheaper (and much more decorative) than the Warrior.
Garlando Master Pro Outdoor
The Garlando is an interesting indoor/outdoor option. Believe it or not, it’s primarily made of plywood, though that wood is plastic coated, laminated, and sealed with glue to make it completely waterproof.
It comes in at a standard-ish 165 lbs and has folding legs so you can store it out of the way when it’s not needed. Its dimensions are somewhat odd (56.68” x 29.92” x 34.64”; slightly longer and ever-so-slightly thinner than regulation size) due to the way the legs protrude, but the upside of being able to store it in a shed or even just leave it in the rain.
Changeable rods are always a very nice feature to have, and its warranty (2 years) is a reassuring feature for something you’re meant to store outdoors; it’s quite disappointing for a falling tree branch to crush your purchase less than a year after you bought it and have no recourse.
Unlike what I said in the Warrior review, I’d definitely call this one ugly. It is not an indoor decoration.
The folding legs also preclude this product from having levelers and adjustable height, which is a shame (and likely to impact play with an outdoor unit; finding a perfectly level spot outdoors is hard).
Also take note: Garlando foosball products reviews are scarce on Amazon and elsewhere; I’m not certain the reason. Keep track of your online order receipt.
The verdict: This one is highly dependent on whether you need an outdoor unit or not. If so, I suggest it. It’s great for what it is, and one of the better examples. However, if you want something for your game room or man cave, I’d say avoid. It’s simply ugly and lacks many of the extra features other brands (like the Warrior) provide at a lesser cost. It’s a specialized product and makes it on the list because it’s very good for that specialized function, but for more general use I’d stay away.
This, my friends, is the foosball table. It has its own tournament tour (actually two and is the official table of a third). For true enthusiasts, it doesn’t get better than this.
Incredibly solid, competition size (of course), levelers, counter-weighted men, banked corners, the works. It simply does not get better than this model in terms of pure performance. It even has the hollow rods I like so much that feel like they can spin forever. I have had the pleasure of playing on this unit a couple of times and it is great. And it even looks really nice. I love dark redwoods. This thing is exactly what I was referring to when I said “certain extremely high-grade models” back in the Atomic Gladiator product review.
I say “played on” because I don’t own one…and you can probably guess why. Yes, with the greatest quality comes the greatest price. It is almost three times my other favorite on this list. It is an exorbitant price. It’s also a mammoth weighing 355 lbs, meaning once you put it somewhere this sucker is staying there.
The verdict: This is, no question, the best product money can buy. The question really is “Can I afford it?” and “Do I need this level of quality?”. For many, the answer to both is going to be no. This is not a hobby unit, it is a professional grade product for true enthusiasts and people who travel to tournaments. If that is you, this is a perfect buy. If not…well, stick with the Warrior or Gladiator. You’ll get the same amount of fun for way less of an investment.
While the Warrior is still the best all-rounder in terms of budget to quality ratio each of the other products on this list has its own merits that make them worth consideration.
Tornado warrants a second look; they have cheaper models though counterintuitively I feel the cost-value ratio drops the lower the price gets (they have a $1600 model, for example, that is no better than the Warrior save in looks), but the T-3000 is absolutely worth the price if you plan to be a professional fooser.
Whichever you pick though, happy foosing!