The STIGA Advantage Table is our best table tennis or ping pong table, which has a top that has a thickness of 5/8 inch and given a finish of multiple rollers for added smoothness. It also has silk screen striping for added durability. The design of the table enables you to set it up within 10 minutes or so.
Our step-up pick is the STIGA XTR Outdoor and this table can be folded easily to make storage simple. The legs open automatically when you need to set it up. The ping pong table can be setup within 10 minutes or so and even has leg levelers for uneven surfaces like garages, parking areas, pathways and lawns.
The budget pick is the JOOLA Midsize Compact and while it is not a full regulation sized table, it gives off the professional feel due to the finish and the design. It is a compact way to practice or play ping pong and is lightweight at only 62 lbs. The screw clamp design makes the attachment of the net a breeze.
A Little Background
Most people use ping pong tables for their recreational room, for home use or for serious tournaments, and some for sports centers or high school and college gymnasiums. Because the sport of ping pong or table tennis is really fun, it takes away the stress in an office setting and thus, it is one of the ideal games to put in a rec room in an office or firm, and some even use them on a man cave.
Playing table tennis or ping pong enhances a person’s reflex skills. The first thing that you need in a ping pong game is the reflex or the reaction time between the bounce and the shot. Because ping pong is played in a smaller scale compared to actual tennis, the reaction time of a player needs to be very fast, making table tennis a fast-paced game where one’s score can go up easily.
When all is said and done, the ping pong or table tennis game is one of the best ways to get your kids active during the summer. Some families also have ping pong tables for kids and some use them to practice for official games. Having a ping pong table is very beneficial so that children will get off the gadgets and play outdoors and get exercise and lots of fun.
Ping pong is one of the most challenging games out there. This is because it requires you to be faster in response to the ball and make sure you hit it with accuracy. This takes a lot of practice and may also depend on the quality and grip of your ping pong paddle or table tennis paddle. Combining good material and skills, you can have a better game of table tennis, whether at casual or competitive play.
A table tennis or ping pong table can be topped with a ping pong robot as well, if you don’t have a sparring partner. The ping pong robot trains you to have strong reflexes so that you can be able to hit the ball back into the opponent’s side of the field. Having a ping pong robot is beneficial for those who want to get better in the sport.
You need to have trained eyes to play ping pong because ping pong or table tennis is a sport that requires flexibility and an opponent that throws balls at you.
How We Picked
When you want to choose the best table tennis or ping pong table, you should collect information about the following:
Indoor or outdoor: some ping pong tables are meant for indoor use only while some can be set outdoors due to being weather resistant. If you want to practice outdoors, you need to have a highly durable ping pong table that will not be easily fazed by the weather. On the other hand, most ping pong tables are only ideal for indoor or gym use anyway.
Practice, hobby, game room or tournament use: you need to consider who will use the ping pong table and where it will be used. A practice table might not be as durable as the tournament ones. In addition to that, a game room ping pong table might not be as durable as those used in official matches. You have to know where you intend to use the table so that you will not compromise on its durability.
Included accessories: most ping pong tables come with all of the accessories needed to set it up, such as the net and other table parts. Some ping pong tables come in a pack including ping pong balls and table tennis rackets as well. This makes it easier for you to setup a game, especially when you want to start your own game room or leisure room in the office or at home.
Small or large spaces: some ping pong tables can be folded easily can be used on small spaces while those that take much more room may require larger spaces like gyms and sports centers. Some tables may not be the standard size and are ideal only for kids, leisure or practice purposes while competition or serious ping pong table should have a standard table length, width and height.
Ease of assembly and folding: a good ping pong table to consider is one that has an easy assembly for simple setup when you want to play table tennis or practice your skills. Most table tennis tables are foldable and they should be easy to fold in this case. The instructions for the setup should be simple to follow so you can play right away.
Durability: if you want a longer lasting ping pong table for table tennis, you should go for one with a durable build with materials for the legs, net and table surface being of high quality to avoid easily breaking down. Durable wood should be used, especially for a ping pong table or table tennis table that will be used outside to make it weather resistant.
Wheels for mobility: some unique ping pong tables also have wheels for making it easy to move from one place to another. This is fairly important if you want to rearrange your game room, rec room or gym area. This adds accessibility to the table tennis or ping pong table.
The STIGA Advantage Table is our best table tennis table or ping pong table and has a clamp style net that is of tournament build, measuring 72 inches. It has casters that measures 3 inch each for easy mobility and locking in to place.
Since it is an indoor table, it can be setup at home, in your office or in any recreational or leisure room. The net is also simple to attach and remove whenever possible. Most of the stuff that comes with this table have been pre-assembled so you don’t have to do much.
It also has a safety latch system to keep your table as steady as possible and won’t open when not in use. The table can also be configured as a playback position so you can practice solo for your next match.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
While not a deal breaker, the STIGA Advantage Table is only an indoor table so it is not meant for outdoor use. However, there are many other tables out there that are meant for such purpose, anyway.
Our step-up pick is the STIGA XTR Outdoor which is a table tennis table that can be meant or outdoor use and comes nearly pre-assembled so you don’t have to work with so much effort. It can be situated in your garage, patio or outdoor setting and is designed to be weatherproof.
The wheels or casters have locks for keeping the table in place, measuring 3 inches each, or for mobility as well. You can also fold the table in half for playback mode to practice by yourself. The steel legs all measure 1 1/4 inch each and the tabletop is made up of composite and aluminum material so that it is durable against bad weather. It comes with a standard 72-inch net and post plus a safety latch system.
The JOOLA Midsize Compact is our budget pick and is ideal for those who want to play table tennis as a leisure or hobby. It can fit in most apartments and small homes. The storage method is easy for this table and comes with a net for you to use.
You can place this table on dorm rooms, kid’s rooms, basements and the like and it is easy to unfold the legs when you want to set it up. Almost no assembly is required because this table is ready to go. You can even just fold half of the table to make an instant playing table for board games, card games and the like with the family.
Best Table Tennis Ping Pong Table for a Rec Room
The EastPoint Sports Table has a top that measures 18 mm or 3/4 inch and has a rust resistant frame made of steel which measures 1.375 inches for durability against the weather and also for indoor stability. The table has a design that can hold 6 balls plus 4 paddles.
Best Table Tennis Ping Pong Table with Paddles
The Midsize PingPong Table is also a complete set with paddles, balls and the net. It is easy to fold open and comes with durable legs. The folded design makes it easy to store in small areas such as apartments and dorms. The bottom has rubber grips for extra stability while playing.
Best Table Tennis Ping Pong Table for Outdoor Use
The JOOLA Outdoor Table is ideal for outdoor use due to the composite plastic aluminum playing surface that measures 6 mm thick. The under carriage has a powder coated finish that makes it rust resistant as well.
The leg levelers make this table capable of standing leveled even while on any uneven terrain. There are 3-inch wheels to make it mobile and can lock in place when needed. The 2-piece assembly makes the table easy to setup and even has a playback mode for solo practice.
Best Table Tennis Ping Pong Table with a Ball Storage
The Killerspin MyT5 Pocket has a 16 mm MDF top and comes with pockets for the balls and paddles in the frame of the table. The table has wheels that allow mobility and the surface has a consistent bounce for tournament practices.
Best Table Tennis Ping Pong Table for Kids
For kids, the Kettler Junior Mid-Sized is a good option which is lightweight at 48 lbs. It has a playing surface that measures 15 mm thick and has leg levelers so you can play in any surface that is uneven. The durable surface ensures years of play for your kids.
Best Table Tennis Ping Pong Table with a Playback Feature
The Harvil-I Indoor Table is a good sized table that has a playback feature to let you practice solo. It has a steel frame that has been powder coated to resist corrosion plus a wood top that is quite sturdy. It has wheels for easy transport and has a 1-year warranty.
Best Table Tennis Ping Pong Table for Tournament Use
For a regulation sized table for tournament use, the Butterfly Easifold Table is your best bet. It can be assembled within 10 minutes and has a compact design with a playback option. It can be situated at home or anywhere you like and comes with a net. It has a 3-year warranty.
Other ping pong tables were not in our list because they were not durable enough to last many games and even practices due to the substandard material. It is important for any ping pong table to be sturdy so that it will not be easy to break down due to constant use.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you properly move a table tennis or ping pong table?
A: The ping pong table should be moved with the following guidelines:
• Make sure that you lift with your legs so that you avoid hurting your back in the process. Most people tend to lift with their back and this can lead to arching and other back pains.
• If the table does not have a base, you should use your foot to pivot and lift it up carefully.
• Don’t let children lift the table because it might cause them injury. Leave the ping pong table to the teens and the adults or whoever is capable of doing so responsibly.
• Make sure you don’t currently have a bad back when you are lifting the table.
Q: What is the official size of a ping pong table for table tennis?
A: Table tennis has a set of rules that dictate the official size and dimensions of the ping pong table, which is the following (according to the International Table Tennis Federation or ITTF):
|Criteria||Table Tennis / Ping Pong Table|
|Shape||The shape of the table is rectangle.|
|Length||The length should be 2.74 meters (9 feet / 108 inches).|
|Width||The width should be 1.525 meters (5 feet / 60 inches).|
|Height from the ground||It should be on a level surface and 76 cm (30 inches) above the ground.|
|Material||No material requirement is given so manufacturers can go with any table material they want.|
|Bounce||A ball (standard sized ping pong ball) from a height of 30 cm (11 inches) should bounce at least 23 cm (9 inches) off the table’s surface.|
In addition to the table size, the markings on the table should also have an equal measurement, as stated by the ITTF, with the following:
|Criteria||Table Tennis / Ping Pong Table|
|Color||It should have a single dark color, such as dark blue. White should be used for the lines.|
|Edge lines||The edge lines should be 2 cm (3/4 inch) in thickness.|
|Net placement||The net should be placed in the middle with the same width as the table (1.525 meters or 5 feet).|
|Division of sides||Each side of the table should be 1.37 meters (4.5 feet).|
|Height of the net||The height of the net should be 15.25 cm (6 inches).|
|Doubles||In doubles, each player gets 0.76 meters (2.4 feet) of area due to a 3 mm (0.11 in) wide line dividing the table.|
Furthermore, not all table tennis tables do have the same size – recreational tables can have a deviation from the size and/or dimensions. Here are the different sizes of various kinds of ping pong tables:
|Tournament size||108 inches||60 inches||For competitions and official tournaments of table tennis|
|Midsize / mini||84 inches||42 inches||For casual use, recreational rooms, game rooms, etc.|
Q: Aside from comparing ping pong tables for recreational vs. official games, do official tables also have variations in space requirements?
A: Yes, some ping pong tables or table tennis tables can have a variation for their playing area requirements, such as the following:
|Classification||Minimum area length required||Minimum area width required|
|International, Olympics, World championships||46 feet||23 feet|
|National tournaments||40 feet||20 feet|
|Representative tournaments and national league||33 feet||16 feet and 6 inches|
|Local tournaments and local leagues||30 feet||16 feet and 6 inches|
|Recreational rooms, casual games, practice, home use||28 feet||13 feet|
Q: How do doubles work on table tennis compared to singles?
A: The doubles game of table tennis or ping pong can be difficult and more challenging than with singles, with the following:
Serving is tricky in doubles because the server should only bounce the ball on the right half of their court. However, the alternation of service is still similar with doubles as with singles. The only catch is that the service also needs to alternate with same team players because there will be a total of 4 players on the table. This is done by changing your positions to be the server after your partner does so.
The match order goes a little difficult as well, since there will be four players. To be clear, here is a chart to give an example of how the order of the game would flow in doubles:
1. Team 1 will have players A and B, while Team 2 will have players C and D.
2. Player A will serve. Player C should return the service.
3. Player B should catch the ball from Player C, then pass it to Player D.
4. Player D will return it back to Player A.
5. The players repeat this flow until a point has been made.
If someone messed up the order of who hits the ball, the point goes to the opponent team. For example, if Player A serves to Player C but Player B didn’t catch the ball when it goes back, then the point goes to Team 2.
The ends or changeover can also make the game of doubles complicated. This changes the service order when one of the teams reached 5 points. In this case, if Player A serves to Player C, after the changeover, Player A needs to serve to Player D instead.
In addition to this kind-of daunting set of rules for doubles, here are some tips to improve your doubles play if you’re new to this kind of game:
First, make sure you and your partner have great communication by using hand signals as well as eye contact and gestures. Trust, teamwork and unison are important when playing doubles so as to be in perfect rhythm and in sync to make move after move in the doubles game.
You should also decide on a good service to help your partner when it is his or her time to make the return shot. This can vary from one case to another and it is up to you on what service to choose – just make sure it is something that is convenient for your partner, who will be making the third shot in the sequence after your service.
When it’s your partner’s time to shine, you should have room for it. Move back from the table right after you make your service so that your partner will have his or her freedom of movement while receiving the next shot or the return of service.
Making attacks properly is also key to helping you and your partner win doubles successfully. Try to make use of more attacks when you know your partner doesn’t have much experience, and you can aim those attacks to the weaker player in the opponent’s team to make your partner’s job easier.
Q: What are the key benefits to playing table tennis both as a sport and as a hobby?
A: Whether you play table tennis as a hobby or as a sport, there are many great benefits you can get from it, such as the following:
Table tennis is a good family bonding sport that can help each member of the family keep a close connection and relationship with each other. Because table tennis or ping pong is a fun activity and a good sport, children and parents will be much closer with one another and can use the sport as a summer activity while outdoors or even while indoors for more bonding time and sporty time for the whole family, especially the kids.
Because of its nature as a sport and as a recreational hobby, table tennis can be played by anyone at any age, gender or lifestyle. The fact that table tennis or ping pong can be easy to play with the right skill and reflex makes it easy to learn for all ages. Kids will enjoy it and benefit from it due to its capability to teach reflex and reaction skills. It is an all-age sport, in general.
Table tennis is pretty easy, even for seniors. It can even enhance their reflex skills even at an old age because table tennis is all about practicing their balance and their reaction times, which is crucial for someone in their 50s or 60s to help them stay strong, keep themselves fit and have sharp memory to remember the ones they love. Seniors can play a good game of table tennis even in retirement homes and recreation centers.
Being a table tennis athlete gives you an edge for other sports that require reflexes. The number one skill you can learn in table tennis is the reflex or the ability to have a quicker reaction time to anything. Since the table tennis playing area is very small compared to that of a normal tennis area, it requires the player to think fast and move fast when trying to paddle the ball to the other court to score.
Playing table tennis can have less impact on your joints. Since it is a sport that is not too high impact compared to actual tennis, playing a good game of ping pong or table tennis won’t give you much joint pains, which is good news for seniors and those who do not want a high impact sport. Table tennis can be played while you’re in the office, if you have a recreational room.
You can play table tennis with less of the risk of injuries. The game of table tennis is not too difficult and this is why you don’t really have a lot of chance to get injured. The only thing you’ll be moving are your arms and some parts of your body, and the movement is not very fierce unlike with real tennis or baseball so it does not work you up too much.
Offices that have a recreational room can use table tennis to boost employee productivity and kill boredom at work. If you have an office space that has a larger extra area then you can add a table tennis table or ping pong table to make it easier for you to bear boredom hours and work stress. You can use this recreational game as a form of stress reliever and also for team building among officemates.
Q: What important aspects of playing table tennis should beginners emphasize?
A: The aspects of table tennis that beginners should consider improving are the following:
They should have a good posture so they can have a better stance for receiving or serving the ball. Remember that a good stance or stride is important, much like with being a batter in baseball or trying to serve or receive the ball in tennis. This allows you to hit the ball better and to leave your opponent open for attack in some cases. A good posture can also be ideal for defense tactics in the game.
Players should learn how to be humble and accept defeat, as a form of sportsmanship. As with all sports, winning isn’t everything and it shouldn’t be your priority all the time. Remember that humility is always in every sport and in everything in life, so you should be able to accept a loss even if you think you gave it your best shot. There’s always a time and place for everything, and what matters is the game.
Choosing the ping pong racket that is most comfortable for you should not be overlooked. Remember that your table tennis paddle is your weapon and it can be your key to winning the match. You have to make sure that the material is not too heavy nor too light and that the pad should be made with a surface that is for your ideal play style (e.g. for attacking or for defending).
Listening to your coach is very important for beginners. If you are new to table tennis or are a returning player, remember that your coach knows what’s best for you. Training and drills should be followed with your coach so that you can enhance your skills and go for a certain direction in your career, especially if you are playing table tennis competitively, so you need someone to give you advice.
Table tennis is a game of communication, even if you’re competing against the other player, because you need to get the ball off your side of the table to the opponent’s side for the other player to hit it, in order for the game to flow. Communicating with the other player is important so that you can maintain a good rhythm. In the same way, doubles matches also teach you teamwork and communication between two players of the same team.
A proper rhythm should be practiced for young players so that you can learn to be “in the zone” while playing table tennis, like with most sports. Remember that table tennis needs to have some sort of rhythm when playing so that you don’t mess up, especially with the playing order in doubles. While it is fairly easy in singles mode, it can still be hard for beginner if they don’t find the proper rhythm.
Q: What life lessons can I possibly learn from playing table tennis?
A: The game of table tennis does have a lot of life lessons that it can teach you, such as the following:
Life is like table tennis – you need to adjust to the net. Going too low means that you can’t get past the net but going too high means that the ball might fly off the table. Life is much like that – you are the person who needs to make amends in order to live peacefully and to achieve success. Without a good shot, you won’t be able to get to the other side of the court to reach your goal.
Teamwork is the best skill you can have in life, and in any sport. What’s the point of having two strong players who only argue with each other? Even if two players are weak, as long as they have proper communication, they have a better chance of winning compared to those with no teamwork at all. The sport of table tennis teaches the values of teamwork and being in unison with your partner.
Learn to appreciate the simplest and smallest things in life. The slightest ball spin or move with your ping pong racket can have an impact to the game. Each small detail in your life can have a purpose, and you might not know it. A split second of looking at your phone while driving can lead to a car accident, and this is the lesson that the fast paced game of table tennis teaches people.
Your tools are only as good as you. Remember that no matter how good or expensive your paddle or racket is, or how awesome the ping pong balls are, your skills are what matter the most, and your attitude as well. Tools are only tools – it is up to the user to use them wisely, in a practical way. If you do this then you might not need highly advanced or expensive paddles at all.
Table tennis can give you a direction in life. While it’s important to keep it cool if you don’t win, you should set goals for yourself. What do you want to achieve in playing table tennis? Is it to lose weight? To have a sharper mind during your senior years? To take our stress from work and school? To have fun with the family? Or to win an Olympic medal someday? It’s all up to you on where to begin.
Q: What is the difference between the indoor table and the outdoor table in table tennis?
A: A table tennis table or ping pong table can be either made for outdoor or for indoor use, with the following aspects:
|Criteria||Indoor Table||Outdoor Table|
|Top thickness||16 mm or 5/8 inch||1/4 to 1/2 inch|
|Material used for the top||High density particle board or medium density fiberboard (MDF)||Synthetic laminate with a wood core and aluminum|
Q: What basic terms do I need to know when playing table tennis?
A: Here is a short list of some of the most common terms that are used in table tennis or ping pong:
• Rally – when the ball is currently in play continuously, it is called a rally.
• Point – a score for any of the player in a rally.
• Let – a non-scored rally result.
• Strike – to touch the ball with your hand, hold it while in the paddle hand or hit it below your wrist with the paddle.
• Racket hand – the hand which is carrying the paddle or racket.
• Free hand – your free hand that does not carry the racket or paddle.
• Umpire – the sort-of referee or scorer who oversees the score and the game of each rally.
• Server – the one who strikes the ball first and makes the service in the rally.
• Receiver – the one who strikes the ball back in the rally from the server.
• Obstruct – when you touch the ball with any other object that you wear or carry, or touch it while it is not in his court.
Q: Is there a difference between “ping pong” and “table tennis”?
A: They are actually the same sport but the way they are used can be different:
Ping pong is mostly used to call the sport when it comes down to casual or recreational use. For example, office workers or kids who want to play table tennis might often call it “ping pong” because of its generic term. It is because of the trademark name that became so popular that it got stuck with the sport.
Table tennis is the actual sport that is competitive. While ping pong is more laid back, table tennis has stricter rules and have properly sized tables, rackets and balls. Table tennis is called so to avoid the trademark use of the name “ping pong”, even if it is a common generic name for table tennis for ages.
Q: How do I perform maintenance for a table tennis table?
A: You can keep a table tennis table well-maintained or be cleaned and fixed with the following procedures:
• A good cold power wash can help remove grease, dirt and the like on the surface of the table.
• A hot power wash can be good if your table has many marks and then re-seal it depending on the table manufacturer’s instructions.
• You can also use epoxy to repair some chips and broken parts in the table tennis table.
Q: How can I use a table tennis table for solo practice?
1. Fold the table in just one half.
2. Rest it against a wall or some other flat surface.
3. You can now practice your table tennis skills with just one half of the table.
4. As an option, you can use a ping pong robot for helping you train your receiving skills.
Q: What is the USATT and why is it important?
A: The USATT stands for the U.S.A. Table Tennis and is a governing body that oversees everything that is about table tennis. They can be joined by anyone who has an interest with or regularly plays table tennis.
USATT also publishes their magazine as part of their membership benefits. This magazine publishes mostly interviews and profiles of famous players officials and the like. Players get to compete in special tournaments with the sanction of USATT. They also have a rating system that makes players feel more competitive. The magazine may also display this raking system.
You can also find clubs that are USATT registered or you can also start your own club with the guidelines of the USATT club handbook. Coaches can also register and be a certified USATT coach and the same is true for those who want to be umpires in table tennis. There are many tournaments that are supported by the USATT, such as the U.S. Open, the North American Teams and the U.S. Nationals.
Q: Can children learn table tennis? How can children be trained for it?
A: A local table tennis club can help you with this. Most clubs can offer special training courses for kids at least 5 years old. Children can learn with a private lesson or with a group. There are many benefits and drawbacks to both:
Private lessons Group lessons
Has a higher training fee Has a lower training fee
Allows for flexible time Has a fixed schedule
Focused attention learning Less focused attention
In-depth knowledge General knowledge
Q: Can disabled people also play table tennis?
A: Yes, everyone can play table tennis, and disabled people are no exception to that rule. There are specially designed table tennis tables that are made for disabled players to make it easy for them to assemble. The height of these tables as well as the legs are designed for wheelchairs so that disabled people can also enjoy the benefits of playing table tennis, whether indoors or outdoors.
To find a table like this, the folding mechanism needs to be special. You may want to consult a table tennis club in your locality or a sports center to see if they have a specific table for those who are disabled and use a wheelchair in playing for their best comfort.
Q: What are the benefits of joining a table tennis club?
A: If you have a local table tennis club , there can be many benefits to joining it, such as the following:
• Membership allows you to complete in special tournaments that are sanctioned and/or supported by the club.
• You can gain more knowledge about table tennis with fellow players, coaches and staff.
• Most table tennis clubs also offer insurance for in-play injuries, especially for kids.
Q: What are the most common brands of table tennis products that stores can sell?
A: If you are familiar with table tennis brands then you will surely know any of the following brands that mostly sell table tennis stuff:
• Stiga – mostly sells paddles/rackets, tables, balls and the like.
• Butterfly – also sells rackets, balls and tables. Both Stiga and Butterfly are highly reputable brands.
• Joola – a newcomer that sells budget friendly tables, balls and rackets.
• Mizuno – a popular sports brand that also sells stuff in table tennis.
• Revolution – yet another popular brand of table tennis equipment.
• Avalox – a German-based sports brand for table tennis.
Q: What drills can I do before starting a table tennis game?
A: Some good drills you can do to warm up or to help yourself get conditioned before a table tennis game can be the following:
• Forehand and backhand drills, to exercise your hands and movement
• Robot training, for easily practicing on your hitting skills
• Stretching, as a warm-up drill or exercise
Q: What is a legal serve in table tennis?
A: A legal serve in table tennis is characterized by an open palm for it to be legal. The toss should be at least 6 inches from where it was before and then struck by the paddle to reach the opponent’s side of the field or table. A let (mentioned above) occurs when your serve touches the net.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the STIGA Advantage Table is our best table tennis ping pong table that is easy to setup, has a sturdy tabletop, has wheels for mobility and is easy to store.