Guide to buying a table tennis table

table-tennis-table

So you want to buy a table tennis table? It’s not an easy decision. There’s a lot of choice available. Different brands, different quality, different prices. What’s a good table? What’s a load of rubbish? Should you buy cheap? Or spend a small fortune?

Hopefully I can help you. In this blog post, I share advice about how you can tell a good quality table from a poor one, which brands are best, how much you should spend and where you can buy. I also give specific recommendations on which table tennis tables to buy for your home, club and school.

Let’s start with the most important information…

How to spot a good quality table tennis table

The easiest way to identify whether a table tennis table is any good is the thickness of the table tennis top. The thickness will range from 12mm to 25mm. Thicker = better quality. Thinner = worse quality.

You should avoid buying tables with a really thin table tennis top (e.g. 12mm). The ball just doesn’t bounce very well and the tables are flimsy and easy to damage.

Tables with a medium thickness (16mm-19mm) are actually ok. I have a 19mm Butterfly Easifold table tennis table in my garage, which is absolutely fine for my purposes of a training with a robot. You will get a consistent bounce and if you look after the table, it should last for many years.

Tables with thick table tennis top (22mm-25mm) are definitely the best. But they are also the most expensive. If you’re an amateur player, you probably won’t be able to tell much difference between 22mm and 25mm. The quality of 22mm is fantastic. 25mm is just that little bit better.

Which are the best brands?

There are a number of very good table tennis table manufacturers. Over the years I have played and coached using tables from the following brands and the quality has been very good: Butterfly, Andro, Joola, Cornilleau, Donic, Sponeta and Stiga.

How much does a table tennis table cost?

You buy a very cheap table tennis table for £100. You should avoid these tables as the table top thickness will be thin and the quality poor. They’re cheap for a reason – they’re not very good.

You can buy a medium thickness table (16-19mm) for £200-£300. This is probably the minimum you need to spend to buy a table which is going to give you a decent bounce and last a few years.

Competition quality tables (22mm-25mm) will cost anywhere between £350 and £1000+. These tables are great to play on and will last a long time, but obviously much more expensive.

Where can you buy a table tennis table?

Most table tennis retailers will sell tables, as well as rubbers, blades and balls etc. Take a look at my list of table tennis retailers in UK, Europe, USA, Asia and Australia to find a retailer near you. If buying a few tables, you can usually negotiate a good deal.

You can also find good deals on Amazon (UK site | USA site). Whether you buy from Amazon or not, it’s a useful site to visit, as you can read lots of user reviews to help you make a decision.

If you have a limited budget, you can find some great second-hand bargains. People are always getting rid of table tennis tables (some hardly used) for a fraction of the price they originally paid. Take a look at action sites like eBay or local websites and newspapers.

Recommendations for home, clubs and schools

Now let’s look at some specific recommendations on which table tennis tables to buy for your home, club and school.

Table tennis tables for your home

There’s usually two main reasons why people get a table tennis table for their home: (1) family fun or (2) serious practice. Let’s look at both scenarios.

Family fun

If you want to buy a table tennis table for a fun family activity you really don’t need to buy a super expensive table. If you’re playing just for fun, you really won’t tell that much difference between a 16mm £200 table and a 25mm £1000 table. So I would just go for the cheaper option.

Note that I say ‘cheaper’ and not ‘cheapest’. You should avoid the really cheap tables, e.g. a 12mm £100 table. These are flimsy and the ball doesn’t bounce very well. A 16 or 19mm table will be much more durable and be better to play on.

Recommendations 

UK

USA

Serious practice

If you want to buy a table tennis table for serious practice at home, then I would recommend getting the best quality table you can afford. The minimum quality you should buy is a 19mm table.

I have a 19mm Butterfly Easifold table tennis table in my garage which I use with my 2050 RoboPong robot and it is perfectly decent. Would I like an even better table? Sure. But it’s all I could really afford at the time, and actually, it’s fine for using with a robot.

If you do have a bigger budget, then I think it’s worth buying a better quality table. The bounce and speed of the table will be more consistent with the tables you play on in your table tennis club.

Recommendations

UK

USA

For more advice and recommendations, take a look at my blog post Tips on buying a table tennis table for your home.

What about outdoor tables?

If you don’t have space in your house, you should consider getting an outdoor table. When playing outside, you do have the extra challenge of wind and rain. But when then weather is good, playing outside can be great fun. Here’s some good choices…

UK

USA

For more advice and recommendations, take a look at my blog post Tips on buying an outdoor table tennis table.

BEST-SELLERS: Also, take a look at my list of the most popular table tennis tables purchased by readers of my website.

Table tennis tables for clubs

Table tennis tables in clubs get used a lot. So it’s worth buying the best quality tables you can afford (preferably 22-25mm). I have helped run table tennis clubs in London and Cambridge and it is always the cheaper tables which need replacing more frequently (or they just sit in the cupboard gathering dust). The good quality tables last for many, many years. So in the long run, it is the more cost-effective option.

Also, players at clubs want to play on good quality tables. If you want players to keep coming back to your club, make sure you have decent equipment. It’s a frustrating experience going to a club for some practice and ending up on the dud table where the ball bounces funny.

Recommendations

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USA

Table tennis tables for schools

From my experience, table tennis tables in schools can take quite a battering! The school kids will bump them, bash them, kick them, smash them, sit on them and stand on them. The cheaper tables just can’t take this level of abuse and will quickly get damaged beyond repair. So you should get the best quality tables you can afford.

Ideally you should buy 22-25mm tables. They don’t necessarily have to be brand new. If you can get second hand tables at a more affordable price – great. But make sure they are sturdy tables with a thick top.

Recommendations

UK

USA

Final thought…

Whatever you decide to buy, just make sure you look after it. If you treat your table well, it will last a very long time. Keep it clean, store it in a place it won’t get bashed and take care folding and unfolding the table. If you do all of this, you will be able to enjoy playing on the table for many years.

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About Tom Lodziak

I’m a table tennis coach, player and blogger based in Cambridge in the UK. Sign up to my popular FREE monthly newsletter and I'll send you tips, blogs, articles and videos to help you improve and win more points. You can also follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my Youtube channel.

6 thoughts on “Guide to buying a table tennis table

  1. I didn’t know there were different thicknesses to look for when buying a tennis table. I can see why getting one that is thicker can help you keep it for longer. I will make sure to look for this feature as I look for the best tennis table.

  2. Thanks for you effective guide. I love this table. I have always wanted a Butterfly table but could not afford the prices for a premium table. This was a good compromise. It feels very sturdy and the ball reacts more like the premium tables.

  3. Thanks – plenty of useful advice, but a clarification please. I am trying to decide which table to buy for use with a robot for practice at home. I am an average standard club player wanting to improve. I keep hearing that if the table is kept in the garage it should be an outdoor model. But then I read that outdoor models give an inferior bounce. How is your indoor model coping with garage conditions, or is your garage particularly well protected against damp? Help!

    • Hi Mike

      My garage isn’t particularly well insulated and no heating. We also keep the washing maching and tumble dryer in it, so plenty of moisture floating around! I honestly haven’t had any issue keeping my indoor table tennis table in these conditions. There has been no deterioration (I have had it for 4 years). Unless your garage is in a really bad state and you have water leaking in from outside, an indoor table should be fine. If you’re worried at all, you could buy a cover to keep the table protected.

      Tom

  4. Hi Tom. Many thanks for helping me come to a decision. It leaves me with a few more funds for choosing a better robot with a net! Gratefully yours, Mike

    • Happy to help. And definitely worth getting a net with the robot. It’s just no fun picking up 100 balls off the floor every few minutes!

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