Before You Buy a Table Tennis Table
Having a table tennis table in your home can be a brilliant way to increase the quantity of your practice. However, it can also become quickly forgotten about and stuffed away in a corner somewhere. Here are four things you should consider before hitting the buy button!
A full-sized table tennis table is 9ft x 5ft (or 274cm x 152.5cm). If you are thinking of buying a table to use inside your house, it is probably worth marking that out on the floor and seeing if it seems realistic to be able to play around it (you’ll need at least a meter on all sides even if you are just playing for fun).
- Recreational players probably need at least 5m x 3.5m.
- Players looking to do actual training need a minimum of 7m x 4.5m.
- Local tournaments will usually give you a playing court which is 9m x 5m.
- At national level tournaments, the court will be 12m x 6m.
- For international competitions, the ITTF stipulates a minimum court size of 14m x 7m.
Do you have enough space? If the answer is no, you have a few options…
- Don’t buy a table tennis table (it’s not the right choice for everybody)
- Buy a table tennis robot (they only require about 30cm of space on their end)
- Buy an outdoor table (a great option for purely recreational play)
And that brings us on to our second question.
Your answer to this question will be largely determined by where you plan on storing your table tennis table. Indoor tables need to be stored inside. Outdoor tables can be kept outside.
You’ll need an outdoor table if you are going to keep the table in your garage or shed. That’s because indoor tables can warp, even when kept in a dry garage. Indoor tables are made of MDF which means they need to be kept properly inside. Like in your actual house, inside. You don’t want them getting exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures. You need to keep them out of direct sunlight. And you absolutely must stop them from getting wet, damp, or even just being in a moist environment.
The bottom line… Indoor tables are for indoors.
If you’re just playing for fun, then you can play with whoever happens to be around – your siblings, your parents, your children. If you’re looking for some serious practice, then you’ll need to think about who you are going to play with. There are plenty of options;
- Does anyone in your house play competitive table tennis? If so, you’re sorted.
- Do you have friends that live locally that play? Training with them at your home will save on practice fees.
- Can you afford a coach? Lots of table tennis coaches will come to your home.
- Could you buy a robot? If you don’t have anyone to play with, you could always invest in a table tennis robot.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for serious training you need to make sure that you’ve got enough space for an indoor table and that you have somebody to play with. Once you’ve got that sorted you need to decide how much money you’ve got to spend.
You can buy a cheap table tennis table for under $200. There are also designer table tennis tables that sell for up to $10,000. That’s a huge difference! Luckily, you don’t need to spend thousands on a table tennis table. But if you want a competition-standard table, you should expect to pay at least $600.
Here are three factors to consider when buying a table tennis table;
#1: Table thickness
This is arguably the most important variable. Forget about how nice a table looks and what brand it is (and everything else) and focus on table thickness. This is what you’re paying for. Indoor table tennis tables will have an MDF tabletop, usually in one of the following thicknesses…
- 13mm (1/2 inch) – Bad bounce. The cheapest tables. Avoid at all costs!
- 16mm (5/8 inch) – Acceptable bounce. Only buy if you are on a tight budget.
- 19mm (3/4 inch) – Good bounce. The TTU recommended minimum thickness.
- 22mm (7/8 inch) – Great bounce. Ideal for clubs. Cheaper than 25mm.
- 25mm (1 inch) – Perfectbounce. Competition-standard table. Costs at least $600.
Outdoor tables are slightly different as the tabletop will be made of metal or resin. However, when comparing similar tables, it’s still true that the thicker table will give the better performance.
#2: Table weight
When it comes to table tennis tables, the heavier the better! A lot of the weight will be contributed by the tabletop – i.e. a 25mm table will be much heavier than a 19mm table. However, when comparing, for example, two 19mm tables, take note of the difference in weight. The heavier table will probably have a stronger and more durable undercarriage. Thicker legs and bigger wheels will generally last longer and break less.
#3: Storage size
If you need to store your table tennis table away when it’s not in use, it’s worth checking how much space it will take up. If you’ve ever seen an old-style folding table tennis table, you will have noticed that when you fold the two ends up you’re left with a huge gap in the middle. This means that even when the table is put away, it will still take up about 60cm of space from the wall.
Modern table tennis tables (like the Joola Inside and Joola Tour) are designed to fold up in such a way that the surfaces of the two halves end up touching each other. This takes up a lot less space – although the undercarriage and wheels may still come out roughly 50cm. If you’re really short on space, you can always get a table like the Butterfly Compact. Its legs fully fold away too so that it only takes up about 10cm when stored against a wall.
The Best Indoor Table Tennis Tables
Let’s have a look at three of the best indoor table tennis tables currently available.
- JOOLA Inside 15
- JOOLA Tour 2500
- Killerspin Revolution
As we’ve already said, table tennis tables range massively in price. You’ve probably already got a rough budget in mind – that’s the first decision to make. So, we’ve chosen a budget option, a mid-range model, and our favourite “splurge” choice to examine in more detail.
#1: JOOLA Inside 15
- The best indoor table tennis table for under $400
If you’re simply looking for a cheap table tennis table that looks decent and is well-built, you need to check out the JOOLA Inside 15. The JOOLA Inside was the first of its kind and is typically the #1 bestselling table tennis table on Amazon.com.
It’s available with a 13, 15, 18 or 25mm tabletop. As this is our budget option, we’ve chosen the 15mm version. The 13mm version isn’t thick enough to give a good enough bounce and the 18mm version is quite a bit more expensive.
The JOOLA Inside 15 is the perfect table tennis table for indoor use at home. It’s also suitable for recreational use at schools and youth groups. Ideally, if you need a table for serious training or competition we would advise a minimum thickness of 18/19mm.
The Stiga Advantage is a very (very) similar budget table tennis table. You can learn more by reading our JOOLA Inside vs STIGA Advantage comparison
Unfortunately, both the JOOLA Inside (and the STIGA Advantage) are difficult to source outside of North America. If you’re searching for an alternative in the UK or Europe we recommend going for either the Butterfly Compact 16 or 19 or Easifold 19. They’re great quality indoor tables, available for under £400. And get the blue versions as the green ones are so bright they’re almost fluorescent!
- The most popular table tennis table in North America
- 15mm tabletop gives you a decent bounce
- A great-looking full-size table for under $400
#2: JOOLA Tour 2500
- The best-value 25mm professional table tennis table
25mm (1 inch) table tennis tables provide the best competition-standard bounce and performance. The JOOLA Tour 2500 is the best selling 25mm table in North America and is extremely great value for money.
You’ll notice that the construction of the JOOLA Tour is identical to the JOOLA Inside. In fact, JOOLA now makes a 25mm version of their JOOLA Inside table too. So it’s really up to you to decide which design you prefer.
Both the JOOLA Tour 2500 and the Joola Inside 25 weigh in at 249lbs and come with 4-inch wheels. These are sturdy, heavy-duty tables that should last a lifetime. They also fold up into two halves allowing the table to be stored away fairly compactly.
Currently, the JOOLA Inside 25 is $50 cheaper than the Tour 2500 – although it’s likely that the prices of both tables will fluctuate. Either way, if you can afford it, we think it’s worth spending the extra cash to buy a 25mm table.
Great value 25mm tables are harder to find in the UK. If you’re looking for a solid table at a great price, we recommend choosing a popular 22mm table such as the Butterfly National League 22 or Easifold DX22 instead.
- The best-selling and best-value 25mm table tennis table
- Competition ready and extremely long-lasting
- Arrives virtually pre-assembled in two halves
#3: Killerspin Revolution
- The ultimate designer table tennis table
The Killerspin Revolution is without a doubt the most beautiful table tennis table ever created! It’s been referred to as ‘the Ferarri of table tennis tables’ and will add a level of flair to any club, office or upscale games room. If you can afford it, this is the ultimate table tennis table.
Of course, it features a 25mm tournament-grade tabletop and will give you exceptional performance and bounce. And weighing in at 410 it is really sturdy and durable. But primarily, it’s visually stunning. That why you’d buy it. The Killerspin Revolution is the answer if you want something serious and stylish.
As you’d expect… it isn’t cheap. You’re looking at spending over $3,000. That puts the Killerspin Revolution outside of most of our budgets. And it’s not a good choice if you need something that folds away as it doesn’t fold and takes up a lot of space.
But why would anyone in their right mind want to fold it away? The Killerspin Revolution is a piece of modern art!
- The most beautiful table tennis table
- 25mm tabletop and 16 layers of anti-glare paint
- A table that is both serious and stylish
The Ultimate Designer Table Tennis Table
Just look at those smooth lines! The Killerspin Revolution is a spectacular-looking “rainbow” table tennis table and would look fantastic anywhere. And it still looks like a “proper” table tennis table. Some designer tables put style over substance, but not the Killerspin Revolution.
The Best Outdoor Table Tennis Tables
Let’s move on and browse three of the best outdoor table tennis tables currently available.
- JOOLA Outdoor
- Cornilleau 600X
- Cornilleau 510M
Again, we’ve chosen three very different tables. A budget and lightweight outdoor table, a more heavy-duty option, and a stationary one that can be bolted to the ground.
#1: JOOLA Outdoor
- The best value outdoor table tennis table in the USA
Outdoor table tennis tables are always a bit more expensive than their indoor counterparts. The JOOLA Outdoor is the outdoor version of the popular JOOLA Inside. If you’re after a basic outdoor table, this is a great choice.
The JOOLA Outdoor features a 6mm aluminium/plastic composite tabletop. That might sound very thin when compared to indoor tables but outdoor tables always have thinner surfaces. 6mm is fairly standard.
As you can see, the frame and undercarriage of the JOOLA Outdoor aren’t particularly heavy-duty – but that’s what you’d expect from their cheapest offering. The wheels are also fairly small so aren’t ideal for rough terrain. That’s why we’ve given the table four stars instead of five.
You may notice similar JOOLA outdoor tables with slightly different colours (for example, the JOOLA Nova DX Outdoor). These are all essentially the same table, so grab whichever one is cheapest at the time.
- A classic 5-ply allwood allround table tennis blade
- Similar to Stiga Allround and Donic Allplay
- The perfect blade for serious beginners and improvers
#2: Cornilleau Performance 600X
- A top quality outdoor table table tennis built to last
Cornilleau’s “performance” range of outdoor table tennis tables features seven tables to match any budget. The 100X is the most affordable and the 700X is the most expensive.
These tables aren’t the cheapest – which is why we recommend the cheaper JOOLA or Butterfly tables (above) if you’re tight on cash. However, the upper models from Cornilleau are really well made, solid outdoor tables, that are built to last.
Weighing in at 77kg, the Cornilleau 600X is our recommendation. It’s much sturdier than the JOOLA Outdoor, has double oversized wheels for rough terrain, and has a 7mm tabletop (instead of 6mm).
The 700X is a great table too, but it’s quite a bit more expensive. We think you’re better off saving a bit of money and going for the 600X.
Cornilleau has been making table tennis tables in France for over 45 years. Unfortunately, the fact that they are made in France means they are much cheaper in Europe and the UK than in North America. So, the 600X is $1,750 in the US but only the equivalent of $1,000 in the UK.
- Very easy to fold, move, and store away
- A high-quality outdoor table with a 7mm surface
- 10 year warranty on materials and workmanship
#3: Cornilleau Pro 510M
- A heavy-duty stationary outdoor table tennis table
If you’re looking for an outdoor table that can be put somewhere and bolted to the ground, then the Cornilleau Pro 510M is a fantastic option that is very reasonably priced (especially in the UK and Europe).
You may have seen this table in parks, school playgrounds, and other public settings. It’s great because it has a 100% steel structure and net – making it almost impossible to damage. And it comes with a 10-year warranty, to really put your mind at risk.
The performance of the Cornilleau 510M is better than decent. Obviously, the solid metal net doesn’t respond the same as a standard table tennis net. But it has a strong 7mm resin tabletop, giving a solid and consistent bounce. And Cornilleau’s MAT-Top® anti-glare coating makes it easy to see the ball even in bright and sunny conditions
Just like the 600X, the 510M is much better value in Europe than America. The 510M is $1,850 in the US but only the equivalent of $1,050 in the UK.
- Perfect for parks, schools, and other pemament outdoor settings
- Anti-glare coated 7mm playing surface
- 10 year warranty on materials and workmanship
Professional Outdoor Table Tennis Table
The Cornilleau 510M is able to turn any boring park, playground or courtyard into a hive of activity. It creates a hub for people to congregate around as players challenge each other and onlookers stop to check out what’s going on.
Table Tennis Table Reviews
13mm (1/2 inch) Indoor Tables
We don’t recommend 12mm and 13mm tables as the bounce is really poor. However, we have reviewed a couple of these cheaper options.
16mm (5/8 inch) Indoor Tables
The budget JOOLA tables are great value in North America but difficult to source in the UK and Europe. The reverse is true of the budget Butterfly tables. They are great value in Europe but very expensive in North America.
- Butterfly Compact 16
- Butterfly Easifold 16
- JOOLA Inside 15
- STIGA Advantage 15
- Comparison: JOOLA Inside vs STIGA Advantage
19mm (3/4 inch) Indoor Tables
22mm (7/8 inch) Indoor Tables
25mm (1 inch) Indoor Tables
- JOOLA Inside 25
- JOOLA Tour 2500
- Killerspin Revolution
Below are links to all of our outdoor table tennis table reviews.