Looking for an arcade-style gaming night in the comfort of your own home? An air hockey table might just be the thing! One of the most popular forms of indoor entertainment, air hockey takes good hand-eye coordination, speed skills, and quick thinking and promises lots of fun if you have a competitive streak.
What is Air Hockey?
Air hockey is a game where two players push and knock a plastic disc known as a puck across a specially designed table that produces a cushion of air to reduce friction in an attempt to get a goal.
The table has a very smooth and slippery surface which reduces friction by suspending the puck on a cushion of air, causing it to glide in a straight line at a relatively constant velocity across the table.
The table has a very smooth and slippery surface which reduces friction.
Types of Air Hockey Tables
There are several different types of air hockey tables available on the market, each of which boasts various features and prices.
Standard Air Hockey Tables
These types of air hockey tables are the regular tables that provide a complete air hockey experience without emptying your pockets. Due to their reasonable pricing, they tend to have fewer features than other types of air hockey tables.
Tabletop Air Hockey Tables
Great for kids, but these types of air hockey tables tend to lack the ‘air’ feature of traditional air hockey as they are not powered and don’t have airflow. However, these smaller-than-usual air hockey tables are ideal for children who want to learn the game or if you have a lack of space to place a larger table.
Multi-Game Air Hockey Tables
These are the Jack-of-all-trade tables, offering several games at one table such as air hockey, billiards or pool, checkers, foosball, and table tennis. Built for air hockey, they can be converted into tables for other games, making them great for large families or gaming halls.
Arcade-Style Air Hockey Tables
These professional-level tables air hockey tables bring the game of air hockey to life with all the features that regulation competition tables have and more. Measuring eight feet in length, these full-size tables have incredibly powerful motors that boost the smoothest possible gameplay experience. And they, of course, come with a hefty price tag!
There are several different types of air hockey tables available on the market, each of which boasts various features and prices. Air hockey tables in a park, Simferopol by Tiia Monto / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0
A Guide to Buying an Air Hockey Table
So, you have decided an air hockey table is a way to go, however, there are a few factors you want to consider before making a purchase. You’ll want to consider the size – whether the table is a two-player, four-player, regulation, compact, or tabletop-style table, as well as the material from which the table is made, and the type of power source (most air hockey tables plug into a wall.
Also check for the power of airflow, digital scoreboards, and other cool features that the higher-end tables might have – these can come in handy if you begin playing seriously.
What to Look for in an Air Hockey Table
The size of the air hockey table is an important factor to consider as they are available in sizes ranging from tabletop versions to large models measuring up to 90 inches in length. Regulation-sized tables are typically 84 inches long and about 48 inches wide if you are thinking of using the table for competitions.
Be sure to measure the space in which you are planning to place the table to ensure there is enough space for each player to move around with ease.
Another important component of an air hockey table is airflow. The airflow determines the quality of the game, and you want an airflow that offers a strong and consistent airflow across the entire surface of the table. This will ensure the pucks can glide smoothly. Look for models with a 100-volt fan motor or an otherwise high-quality airflow system.
Premium air hockey tables have a range of features like automatic scoreboards, sound effects, and reactive LED lights that light up when the puck connects with the edges of the table. Some tables can be lit up in the dark and have changeable surfaces that transform into other games, such as a ping-pong table.
The price of your air hockey table is an important factor. Small air hockey tables and tabletop models can be found for under $100, while larger versions and high-end models with loads of features can go for over $1,000. Decide how much you’re willing to invest based on your budget, personal preferences, and how much you think you’ll use it.
Cannon Air Commandos enjoying a game
Best Air Hockey Tables
Best Overall: EastPoint Sports NHL Power Play Pro Indoor Air Hockey Table Full Size
Measuring 84 x 48 x 32 inches, the EastPoint Sports NHL Power Play Pro Indoor Air Hockey Table comes out on top for the best air hockey table on the market. Designed for serious players and beginners alike, this regulation-sized air hockey table is made from high-grade plastic and built to withstand scratches, and general wear and tear from even the toughest players.
The table features a digital scoring system that projects the score onto the pitch, leg levelers that ensure an easy setup and perfectly balanced play, and two pucks, which activate flashing LEDs and music during plays. This table is also conveniently suited to play table tennis when paired with a table tennis conversion top, however, the conversion top is not included.
- Made from high-grade plastic
- Digital scoring system
- Regulation-size for competitive players
- Can be converted to table tennis with a conversion top
- Cannot be installed by one person – two are needed
- Conversion top is not included
Best for Kids: MD Sports 54-Inch Air Hockey Game Table
The MD Sports 54-Inch Air Hockey Game Table is an arcade-style air hockey table with a simple design that is ideal for children. Measuring 40 x 20 x 8.5 inches and weighing just 16 pounds, this air hockey table can be placed on a table or right on the floor, providing comfortable play for smaller and younger children.
The simple design of this compact air hockey table boasts manual sliding scorekeepers and goal boxes and comes with two strikers and two pucks. It has a 100-volt fan motor which helps the puck glide extra smoothly across the surface and there is a handy puck-return slot on each side of the table.
- Lightweight, simple design
- Can be placed on a table or the floor
- Manual sliding scorekeepers
- 100-volt fan motor
- Manual scoring system
Best Tabletop: Sport Squad HX40 Electric Tabletop Air Hockey Table
The Sport Squad HX40 Electric Tabletop Air Hockey Table is the best tabletop-style air hockey table on the market. Measuring 40 x 20 x 5 inches and weighing just 18 pounds, this lightweight table is made from plastic and wood and easily fits on top of a rectangle table.
A slick surface provides a smooth playing surface, and the legs have non-marking rubber pads on the feet to prevent scratching the floor. The table is powered by an electric power source and is easy on the budget.
- Lightweight and portable
- Non-marking foot pads to prevent scratching
- Quite small in size
Best Portable: Puck Calix 4-Foot Folding Air Hockey Table
The Puck Calix 4-Foot Folding Air Hockey Table is a good option if you plan on transporting your table around. Measuring 48 x 24 x 31 inches, the table is made from medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and plastic, making it lightweight and easy to carry. It has a convenient, foldable design with angled legs and comes with a lifetime warranty.
This air hockey table comes with two strikers, two pucks, and a carrying bag, as well as a reasonable price tag. It is perfectly sized for games rooms, family rooms, or garages.
- Lightweight and portable
- Foldable design with angled legs
- Comes with a carrying bag
- Quite small in size
Best Regulation-Sized: Hall of Games 84″ 2 Player Air Hockey Table with Digital Scoreboard and Lights
This is a fantastic regulation-size air hockey table with all the bells and whistles! Measuring 84 x 44 x 32 inches, the Hall of Games 84″ 2 Player Air Hockey Table with Digital Scoreboard and Lights are made from premium wood with a metal frame and weighs in at 212 pounds.
This aesthetically pleasing air hockey table from the Hall of Games has a solid wood base for excellent stability and a smooth, friction-reducing pitch for fast-paced games. Designed for two people, the table has hidden leg levelers to ensure an even playing field, as well as a state-of-the-art digital LED scoring system, and arcade-style light and sound effects for an authentic arcade experience.
- Regulation size
- State-of-the-art digital LED scoring system
- Friction-reducing pitch for fast-paced games
- Solid, steady wooden base
- Lighting and sound effects
- Needs two people to assemble
Best Four-Player: Atomic 90-Inch 4-Player Air Hockey Table
If you are looking for an air hockey table that is built for four players, then the Atomic 90-Inch 4-Player Air Hockey Table is your best bet. Measuring 90 x 50 x 31 inches, this four-play table is built from a combination of premium wood and polycarbonate and features a state-of-the-art digital scoring system.
Innovative lighting effects include LED rail lighting that provides cascading effects during the game and a large motor fan blows ample air onto the pitch for smooth, high-speed gameplay.
- Four-player design
- Digital scoreboard
- Innovative lighting effects
- Scoreboard can be tricky
Best High-Quality Home Table: Gold Standard Games Home Pro Elite
Designed for use by competitive players, the Gold Standard Games Home Pro Elite table is one of the best air hockey tables for competitive use in the home. Designed by a champion air hockey player, Mark Robbins, this table has a low profile and smooth surface to ensure fast, fun gameplay.
Special wear-resistant laminate top promises years of durability and solid, low-profile, professional-style aluminum rails provide superior bounce and bankability. The table has a centerline and face-off circle for competitive play and is also available without side graphics.
- Designed for competitive use
- Low profile for smooth play
- Graphics for competitive play
Brunswick Wind Chill 7ft Air Hockey Table
The Brunswick Wind Chill 7ft Air Hockey Table is a good mid-range air hockey table that measures seven feet and is ideal for adults who want a quality table on which to play. It has a 215 CFM air blower, which is a top-quality blower for the price of the table and boasts vinyl rails with metal corners and leg levelers on pedestals for a solid, stable base on which to play.
The table has embedded abacus scorers and comes with two mallets and four pucks.
- Designed for both leisure and competitive use
- Low profile for smooth play
- Embedded abacus scorer
- The walls of the table may be a little bit low for hard-hitting
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Best Budget: Hathaway Face-Off Air Hockey Table with Electronic Scoring
When it comes to budget air hockey tables, the Hathaway Face-Off Air Hockey Table with Electronic Scoring takes the cake! Measuring just five feet in length, the table is a bit small for competitive play, but it is well-built and a solid purchase.
Although the air blower is not all that powerful, the table provides smooth gameplay for both adults and children and is a fantastic value for money.
- Well-built and solid
- Air blower is not that powerful
- Small in size
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Best Combination Gaming Table: Fat Cat Pockey 7ft Black 3-in-1 Air Hockey, Billiards, and Table Tennis Table
The Fat Cat Pockey 3-in-1 Table has it all – offering air hockey, pool, and table tennis together. Easy to set up, the table has a patented, user-friendly latch locking system which allows for convenient switching between games. A table tennis top can be added when needed.
The air-hockey table has a convenient dual-ended puck return system with powerful airflow, while the billiards side is covered with a Tetolon cloth and rubber bumpers for smooth gameplay.
- Multi-game table
- A user-friendly latch locking system
- Convenient dual-ended puck return system
- Powerful airflow
- Easy to assemble
- Table material isn’t designed to last
Atomic 7.5-foot Contour Air Powered Hockey Table
One of the latest air hockey tables on the market, the Atomic 7.5-foot Contour Air Powered Hockey Table is packed with the latest gadgets and technology.
The table connects to a mobile phone app ‘ScoreLinx’ through which you can control many aspects of the game, as well as keep track of your score for an unparalleled and customized air hockey experience. The app also allows you to record customized sound effects to play when you score and features animations, graphics for setting photo avatars for yourself and your opponents.
The table boasts an attractive design and sturdy construction for solid, stable gameplay, and a customer service team is on hand to assist.
- Convenient mobile app for a customized gaming experience
- Sturdy construction
- Customer service team on hand to help
- Very heavy
Frequently Asked Questions
How Big Is a Regulation-Sized Air Hockey Table?
A true regulation size air hockey table measures 99 ½” x 51 ¼” x 31” according to the tournament line from Gold Standard Games.
Is Air Hockey a Professional Sport?
Yes! Although it doesn’t have the popularity as many of the mainstream sports, air hockey is played professionally around the world. If you want to get involved in professional air hockey check out the Air Hockey Player’s Association of the United States Air Hockey Association.
How Do I Clean the Playing Surface?
Turn the blower on, apply Isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) to a clean cloth and wipe down the playfield. It will clean and evaporate quickly. Use only Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol – this can be purchased from the drug store.
- NEVER pour any liquid directly onto the playfield, it will warp the playfield.
- NEVER use water as it will not evaporate quickly enough and warp the playfield.
- NEVER use furniture polish or protectants. The wonderful shine they give leaves a film that will slow play, collect grime even faster, and possibly never completely come off.
What is the Difference Between the Fluorescent and White Pucks?
The greenish-yellowish fluorescent pucks are a harder compound, they play faster but can be noisy. The white pucks are a softer compound, they do not play as fast but will be quieter and are easier to bend out of shape.
How Long Do Air Hockey Tables Last?
Depending upon how expensive of a table you purchase as well as how often the table is used and maintained will depend upon how long your table will last. On average an air hockey table will last five to eight years.