by Tom Erickson, Regional Champion
If you are reading this, then you already know that ping pong is a great way for you to get closer to your family, bond with coworkers, and even shed a few pounds. But perhaps you aren't quite sure what best ping pong table is?
Don't worry, whether you are looking for a new sport equipment for yourself, your children, or your startup's office, we've got you covered. It doesn't matter whether your budget is $200 or $2000, or whether you need an Indoor or Outdoor table.
I'm going to walk you through everything you need to know before you buy.
Ready to find the perfect equipment? Let's go!
2020's Best Indoor Ping Pong Tables Comparison Chart
TOP OVERALL CHOICE
Joola Rally TL
2020's Best Outdoor Ping Pong Tables Comparison Chart
TOP OUTDOOR CHOICE
Cornilleau 500M Crossover
15 Best Indoor Table Tennis Tables
Like mentioned in the above section, most likely you will be looking into buying an indoor table. There are still a wide variety of options available to you and in our opinion, these are the better indoor tables on the market.
The STIGA Synergy Table Tennis Table, much like the rest of its Syngergy line, brings STIGA’s reputation of making quality, professional caliber sport equipment to the amateur player. The Synergy, while a little more expensive than most other models considered to be entry-level models, does provide a unit great for the beginner than even a more experienced player can appreciate.
The Synergy, unlike most models of its class has the markings on the top silk screened instead of painted on, providing a completely flat and smooth surface that is usually only found on more expensive models. Coupling this with its 2 inch thick steel apron, the Synergy provides the true and consistent play that is expected of much more expensive units.
There is also an attention to detail on it which is unparalleled in its class. The legs themselves open automatically when unlocked, which can make setting up the table from storage much easier. As well, for safety, the corners of it have protection which prevents injuries from sharp corners.
Our Top Indoor Choice: STIGA Advantage Table Tennis Table
Top 9 Outdoor Ping Pong Tables
If you are looking for a table you plan on using outdoors, it is important to get a table rated for outdoor play as it will resist warping from sun and moisture as well as be better able to withstand wind.
Killerspin’s MyT Street Edition Outdoor Table combines their attention to style with a functional and portable table. The two things that draw attention to this outdoor table are its light weight and edgy design.
The MyT Street Edition table because of its light weight is much more mobile than the typical outdoor use table. The entire table weighs 145 pounds and each side of the table separates for even easier movement of the table. The playing surface is a 1/6 inch thick aluminum and plastic blend that tends to play faster and with more spin than the typical table, even if it does not give the expect bounce.
At the same time, the weight of the MyT Street might be a drawback as well as it seems to be more of a table that you store in a shed and take outside when wanted rather than a table that can sit outside full time. It at least would be a table that you would want to get put up in the face of storms, although the frame and surface appear solid enough to take some substantial punishment.
Another indoor/outdoor use table, the Butterfly Sport Outdoor Rollaway offers play anywhere versatility at a price much lower than many outdoor use tables.
The most attractive feature of the Sport Outdoor Rollaway is the low profile of it when stored, folding up to slightly more than two feet wide. This combined with its fairly light weight makes it an easy unit to bring outside when the weather is agreeable. The playing surface is melamine resin, allowing for a light weight surface that plays closer to wood than most outdoor surfaces.
Like most other outdoor models made for easy storage, it is ideal for sun porches or being kept in a shed or garage and brought out when needed. It can be used indoors easily as its price is comparable to mid-tier folding indoor tables.
Our Top Outdoor Choice: Joola Nova
Our winner is the JOOLA Nova. While you can easily use it indoors, it works great outdoors too.
As much fun as you have playing ping pong table in your rec room or living room, you may find that you have even more fun when you take the game outside. The top choice for outdoor play is the Nova from JOOLA. Also called the Nova DX, this is a product that you can use during parties and when you just want to have some fun with family or friends.
At nine-feet-long by five-feet-wide, the Nova is a tournament model that lets you enjoy the exciting feel of competitions in your own home and in the great outdoors. Not only does this meet the standards imposed by professional table tennis organizations, but it has the seal of approval from USA Table Tennis, which is the group that holds tournaments across the country. JOOLA is the official brand of the National Championship in the United States and the US Open.
As an outdoor mode, the Nova features a thick playing surface that measures 6mm in size. This surface uses a composite material that mixes plastic with aluminum. Not only does this material withstand exposure to outdoor elements like rain and wind, but the surface won’t warp either.
In addition to giving you a completely smooth and flat playing surface, the Nova is easy to put together. When you take it out of the box, you’ll find that it comes with just eight bolts that attach the legs to the top. You can set this table up in just 15 minutes.
The three-inch wheels used on four of the bottom legs make this table one of the easiest models to transport because those wheels evenly distribute the weight of the surface. You’ll also like that you can fold the table down to store it in a garden shed or any other outdoor space.
Best Table Tennis Table Under $1000
Top Choice Under $500
The top table under $500 is the JOOLA Inside Table, which is one of the more affordable tables with a high average rating from shoppers. Designed for those who take the game more seriously, it meets all the standards for both tournament and competition play.
Players have the option of folding up just one side for practice sessions. This creates a flat surface that allows players to hit the ball against the wall and have the ball come right back to them.
The large wheels located on the bottom of the table are perfect for moving it while folded or while the surface is flat. Those wheels also lock in place to prevent it from wobbling during games. Players lock and unlock the wheels with one foot.
A playing surface that measures 15 millimeters creates a nice surface that is both reliable and consistent. This gives each ball hit a nice amount of bounce that players cannot get on their own.
Top Choice Under $300
Stiga Space Saver
Though some people think that the top models are those with a high price tag, the STIGA Space Saver proves that players can get a good table at a lower price. As the top table under $300, this is a table that owners can pull out and use whenever they want to play a game and then pop it back in storage when they’re done.
This 71-inch long table features four legs with connectors between the legs to keep the table upright and to add some stability to the surface as balls bounce across the top. Unlike other models that require quite a bit of set up, this one sets up quickly once taken out of its shipping box too.
The 5/8-inch MDF top on it adds the perfect amount of bounce to balls and comes with a silk-screened playing surface added to it, which will last longer than models that use painted graphics.
Top Choice Under $200
Franklin Sports Mid Size
The Franklin Sports Mid Size Table Tennis Table is a regulation height table that features bent metal legs to keep its weight down. Those legs fold flat for easier storage and to bring down the size of the table. Both sides also fold up to form a box, and it has a carrying handle on the top that makes this look more like a suitcase.
As the top table under $200, this is also one of the only ones in this price range to feature levelers on each leg. Those levelers allow players to even out the playing surface and to compensate for uneven floors.
A bright green finish on the playing surface makes it easier for players to see the white line running down the center, which helps them set up shots. It also comes with a net that players can take off when storing the table.
Our Other Table Comparisons by Sport
Since our readers interests go far beyond ping pong, we have decided to test and evaluate the best games tables, including Pool Table, Foosball Table, Air Hockey Table and Shuffleboard Table. Hope you have a great time reading our articles so you can find the perfect match for your needs.
Choosing the Right One For You
To begin our analysis, we will look at the different kinds of tables that are out there. First we will explain what to look for in indoor and outdoor units. After that, we will look at four other aspects of tables that you will likely want to consider.
Indoor vs Outdoor Tables
This competitive sport is played on indoor tables, but on a calm, dry day ping pong can be played outdoors. While any model can be taken outdoors for a short period of time, the conditions outdoors require a unit with certain specifications.
Outdoor models are typically built sturdier, with galvanized steel undercarriages or out of concrete. This is to give the unit weight against the wind. The playing surfaces are also made to be weatherproof, to prevent water damage and warping from the sun. As in general most outdoor models tend to be more expensive than indoor units, there are more economical models that are made with a thinner playing surface or materials that are more resilient against the elements.
As a rule of thumb, according to most experts, including Martin Hughes at allabouttabletennis.com it is best to only buy an outdoor model for when you know it will always be kept outdoors. Another factor is that any outdoor unit is unlikely to last incredibly long, making it quite an investment.
Once you have determined whether you want to buy an outdoor or an indoor model, there are a few basics you should think about when you make your purchase.
The first and most important criteria of your purchase is going to be where you are going to put it. A regulation model is 9 feet long, 5 feet wide and 2 and a half feet high, with the net extending another six inches past both sides of it and six inches above it. For comfortable play, Tiger Ping Pong recommends at least five feet behind each end and three feet to each side of open space for a regulation unit for optimal experience. If you do not mind bumping into walls and furniture, you can work with a smaller space, within reason of course.
The other aspect of your playing space is if you can permanently have or want it open. Most people will not be able to dedicate a room to this full time sport equipment. Being able to collapse your equipment to get it out of the way is a convenience that it is likely you will appreciate when the need arises.
Another factor in your purchase of this equipment is how much experience you or the other players have. If you are just starting out or will be around a lot of novice players, chances are that you will not get as much out of a higher end model beyond its likely quality construction and durability. In some cases though, those expensive, high-performance models do not last any longer than a cheaper table.
If your purchase is for a community room or office, you will obviously want to consider durability over performance. As a rule, people do not take as good of care of items they do not personally own making a sturdier table that may not give as true of a bounce better in those situations.
Tying into experience, economics come into play when purchasing your equipment. It can be as cheap as a few hundred dollars all the way to over several thousand dollars for a premier model. Keep in mind your budget and do not feel that you have to go overboard. Get the unit you can afford. Nothing is more frustrating than feeling like you spent money you did not want to spend, especially if that purchase turns out less than satisfactory.
Along with the standard dimensions, a regulation model is required to be made of one continuous piece of material, usually wood or some sort of derivative. If you are planning on playing tournament level games, this will be a consideration, but more likely than not, you are just looking for an equipment for the rec room, meaning that you can go with a model that folds up for storage if needed.
Another specification of a tournament-level model is that a ball bounces over nine inches when dropped from a foot over. For many equipment models, one easy measure of quality can be how close it comes to matching this standard. When factoring in budget and the level of play expected on it, balancing performance with price and expectations can be of utmost importance.