How to Choose a Ping Pong Table - 2021 Buying Guide (updated)
Table tennis is an excellent way for people of all ages to improve their perception and speed while having fun. You can play it professionally or just for fun with your friends or coworkers. The ping pong table is suitable for both the garden and the interior; however, ensure that you purchase the appropriate model for the environment. Be aware that buying a ping pong table is a significant investment, and navigating through all of the different features can be difficult. That is why we have created this buying guide to assist you in selecting the best table for your needs. When looking for a table, what should you look for? Let's take a look at how to choose the ideal table for you together.
First and foremost, you chose to purchase a new table tennis table. What would your ideal table look like? Where will you put it in your house? Is your table able to remain in that location indefinitely, or will you have to fold it and store it elsewhere? Are you purchasing your table for training purposes or to have a good time with your friends and family? Is built-in storage something you'll appreciate? What about design - are you looking for a designer table or is functionality your top priority?
1. How much space do I need for a ping pong table?
Because a ping pong table takes up a lot of room, make sure you measure the area where you want to place it first. A standard regulations table's playing dimensions are 9 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 2 feet 6 inches high. You'll need enough space to enjoy the game, which will vary depending on the type of player you, your family, friends, or colleagues are. Hobbyists will require a space measuring approximately 190 inches by 140 inches. Allow yourself about 275 inches x 200 inches of space if you are a player training at home.
2. Where will I place my ping pong table? Indoors or Outdoors?
Now that you know how much space you'll need, you know where you can place your new ping pong table. Outside, by the pool, into your game room or your office? Choose an indoor or outdoor table based on that.
If you are mostly going to play indoors but are planning to take your table outside just a few times a year, we recommend selecting an indoor table. The high-quality indoor ping pong tables will provide the best bounce possible and the best playing experience. However, if your table will be placed outside most of the time, you should go for an outdoor version that is all-weather resistant. Water, wind, rain, sun or cold – tough outdoor tables can endure all weather and levels of humidity. Even a spilled beer won't harm them. Your gatherings, BBQs, birthday parties, and family gatherings will never be the same with a great outdoor ping pong table!
In general, indoor tables are designed to remain at room temperature without increased humidity, and their table tops are made to provide the best playing experience. Outdoor tables are more resistant, designed for a broader range of uses.
3. Why there is so much fuss about the thickness of the table?
The thickness of the surface, which can range from 12mm to 25mm, is the essential factor influencing the price of a table tennis table and its playing quality. (This is the range for indoor tables as outdoor table tops are made from different materials and the thickness differs.) Why is the thickness so important? It affects the way the ball bounces during a game. Thinner boards bounce less (the ball doesn't bounce very well for you to enjoy the game). The tables with really thin boards are often flimsy and easy to damage. Thicker boards provide nice and even bounce. That does not imply that a hobbyist must purchase a table with a 25mm thick board to enjoy the game. This type of table is primarily intended for professionals. A hobby player can get away with a thinner surface, but it's not a good idea to go for the thinnest or cheapest table available. See the table below to better understand the differences:
INDOOR PING PONG TABLE TOPS GUIDE
WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW:
|14 mm and less||Basic tables with usually inconsistent bounce and light frame which won't be as durable as heavier, higher-quality tables. We recommend avoiding these tables and buying a higher quality table that will pay off by its durability.|
A lightweight ping pong table for beginners with a tight budget. Most families will be happy with such a table to be used for easy matches with friends and family.
A good table for intermediate players providing a good bounce.
|22 mm||These tables can provide a great bounce and support you in serious training. As well, they will usually come with a sturdy frame to keep your game up for years.|
Outstanding performance, consistent bounce, high-quality tables. The level found in most tournaments, world championships and Olympic games.
Exceptional tables from the top brands on the market. If you are looking for the best performance and quality, these tables are made for you.
4. Will you pack it away after each use or keep it permanently open?
Another factor you should consider is whether you want to keep the table tennis table open all the time or if you'll need to pack it up and store it out of sight when you're not using it. Most people don't have the luxury of having enough space to keep a ping pong table open all the time. Then the table must be easily collapsible. If that's the case, look for a table that has wheels and can be folded quickly. The following are examples of different table tennis table constructions:
ONE-PIECE ONLY FOLDING SYSTEM TABLES
TWO-PIECE FOLDING SYSTEM WITH WHEELS TABLES
This table design has two individuals halves which both fold separately. You can fold them down and place them together to limit the space needed for storage. It can be a bit tricky to roll both halves together. However, as you can move each half individually, it is a bit easier, as you don't have to move the total weight of the table simultaneously. This type of table can be typically set up by one person only, but it requires a bit more effort than the previous design. Some two-pieces folding constructions take even less storage space than one-piece only designs.
This table design usually allows playback position - you can fold one side of the table to train on your own. The playback feature is mainly used by beginners, as it doesn't provide such a natural response as an actual table tennis match. If you miss a training partner at home, it is best to buy a good table tennis robot.
Table tennis table in playback position (example of Stiga Optimum 30):
Watch the video below to see the advantages of this design in action (the example in video is Stiga Optimum 30):
STATIONARY FOLDING DESIGN
This design is extraordinarily stable and steady. The construction is similar to the two-piece design without any wheels attached to the legs. For portability, there are usually two wheels attached to each half of the table. The design is very compact. However, as it is not easy to move it around and request more effort to be set up, it is best for full-time or semi-permanent use (when you don't need to fold it and move it in between the sessions).
An example of this design is the Stiga Premium VM table tennis table.
STATIONARY NON-FOLDING DESIGN
The stationary non-folding table tennis tables are meant to stay on the spot for permanent use. They are stable and become a permanent part of your game room or club. An example of this type of table is the DHS Rainbow Ping Pong table.
5. What other features should you be looking at?
So, we covered the basics. Let's have a look at other features you should look at when buying a new ping pong table:
NET AND POST SYSTEM
Yes, it would be really tricky to play without net and post. There are several types of net and post system which we may cover in our future blog posts, however when purchasing a table always check if the net and post are included within the purchase to prevent bad surprises when your table arrives. All tables on Table4Tennis.com include net and post, so we have you covered!
A security lock often complements the folding mechanism of the more premium models. The table top can be securely locked both in the folded and unfolded state.
It's essential to have an even playing surface when playing a ping pong match. Leg levelers at each table leg take care of the even table top, especially for outdoor models. These adapters allow you to freely change the length of the foot according to the unevenness of the terrain.
Most tables with folding construction allow you to fold up one side of the table and use it as a bounce-back surface for solo play.
With the playback feature, players can improve their timing and coordination by practicing great footwork while the ping pong ball is in play. As well, they can practice a variety of paddle strokes, such as adding backspin and topspin. When it comes to becoming a great table tennis player, learning and perfecting these ping pong skills is crucial. As discussed above, playback mode is used mainly by beginners. If you want to find a great training partner for a solo play, you should consider buying a ping pong robot.
HOLDER/STORAGE FOR PADDLES AND BALLS
A practical holder also provides better comfort - ping pong paddles and balls are then stored directly in or under the table top. The storage is typical for recreational tables and can be found e. g. on tables from Killerspin folding series.
The professional high-quality table tennis tables are ITTF approved (approved by the International Table Tennis Federation). You can usually find ITTF approval within the product description or see the complete list on the ITTF website.
Is there any chance your table will be used by players who use wheelchairs? Then there's the issue of leg position. Some tables have legs that are very close to the table's end, while others have legs set back towards the middle. The table legs and undercarriage must be set back at least 40 cm (16 inches) from the end where the wheelchair user will be playing. Check out Donic Delhi 25 if you're looking for a wheelchair-accessible ping pong table.
If you have any questions feel free to contact us at email@example.com or use our contact form.