18 Different Types of Ping-Pong Tables

Bring a dose of rapid fun to your home anytime you feel like it by getting a ping-pong table for your game room, entertainment room or man cave. Discover the many different types you can choose from depending on type, location, feature, and tabletop material.
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Ping pong table outside

Ping pong or table tennis was first played 150 years ago in England and is believed to be an offshoot of the lawn tennis. Considered by scientists and researchers as a brain sport, ping pong is played by 10 million players annually in tournaments around the world and double the number for those playing it just for fun.

Ping pong is China’s national sport and rightly so because Chinese players dominate it, having won 98 out of 119 World Ping Pong Championships since 1981. Aside from skill and creativity, speed is the secret weapon to win the game.

Location

Indoor

Blue indoor ping-pong table with red curved legs standing on wood flooring.

The majority of available ping-pong tables are going to be created specifically for indoor use. These tables usually have a better playing surface then tables that have been specifically designed to be used outdoors, which is beneficial if you are planning on learning how to play competitively as it will allow you to learn how to play on a similar surface.

The problem with using an indoor table outside is that being in the direct sunlight for even a short period of time can quickly warp the playing surface. While you can take an indoor table outside and use it, this simply isn’t advisable.

These tables are usually lighter in weight than outdoor tables, which means that they can be easily blown over. When storing your indoor table inside your home, it’s important that you keep it at a relatively stable room temperature so that there are not wild fluctuations. Any sort of fluctuations in temperature as well as humidity can warp the top surface of your table and cause it to peel apart.

Indoor tables are often available with more features than outdoor tables, such as being able to be folded for easy storage and possibly even having wheels. Because outdoor tables are so much heavier and larger than indoor tables are, it’s more difficult to find another table with these added features.

Outdoor

Green outdoor ping-pong table with wheels standing on concrete flooring outdoors with wood private fence and green plants nearby.

Outdoor tables are generally significantly sturdier than indoor tables are and have been built to specifications that will allow them to stay outside without being damaged. Very sturdy and reliable outdoor ping-pong tables will use galvanized steel for the undercarriage, which will result in a very durable ping-pong table.

Additionally, their tops will be weatherproofed so you don’t have to worry about either the hot sun damaging it or water resting on the surface of the table and causing it to warp or bubble. While you can buy an indoor ping-pong table in a number of different materials, if you are in the market for the most durable and reliable outdoor ping-pong table that you can buy, then you will want to find one that is made of concrete.

These will have polished tops to allow for even and easy game play but will be durable enough that they can last for decades without being damaged.

Because outdoor ping-pong tables are generally significantly heavier than indoor ping-pong tables, it’s a good idea to have a dedicated place where you want your table to be set up. This means that once you set up your table the first time, you won’t have to worry about moving it or finding another reliable location for it.

Type

Regulation

Wooden ping-pong table with metal net isolated on white background.

Source: Etsy

Regulation ping-pong tables are your best bet if you want to train to the best of your ability to improve your skill as a ping-pong player. They are five feet wide and nine feet long and the top of the table is going to be 30 inches from the floor. A net will divide the length of the surface into two courts and the top of the mat is six inches above the top of the table.

When most people consider buying ping-pong tables, they are talking about buying regulation tables. This means that it is the exact size as tables used in tournaments and will generally be made of a higher-quality material. There are regulations as to what color the surface of the table can be and how high a ball has to bounce when dropped onto the surface of the ping-pong table.

Conversion

Blue conversion ping-pong table with rackets and balls isolated on white background.Source: Wayfair

A conversion ping-pong table is perfect if you want to have a ping-pong table at home but do have enough space for this dedicated table. A conversion table consists of a top section that will fit over a pool table that you already have or any other suitable flat large surface. This allows you to convert another type of table into a ping-pong table for your use.

For homeowners who have very little space in their homes but still want to be able to play ping-pong, this is a great option. It can be easily stored out of the way when not in use and since there is usually a foam or rubber padding underneath, you don’t ever have to worry about damaging your other table. These conversion tables come with a net and generally are much less expensive than other types of ping-pong tables.

One thing to consider when opting for a conversion ping-pong table is that the surface will not be nearly as high quality as a regular ping-pong table. This is not a big deal for people who only want their tables for impromptu games and to play casually with their families but if you want to train seriously and improve to the best of your ability, then it is likely that you will need to invest in a higher-quality ping-pong table in the future.

Mini Table

Blue mini ping-pong table with paddles and ball isolated on white background.

Source: Amazon

Ideal for young kids who are just getting started playing ping-pong and are too small to easily use a regulation-size table, mini tables make it easy for even young children to play. Because they are so compact and lightweight, they are easy to fold up and store way and do not take up a lot of storage space in your home. Additionally, many mini tables have a feature that allows the table tops to be tilted slightly towards the middle.

This makes it much easier for younger children to play and to rally with an opponent. As the players become more advanced, the sides of the table can be flat to make the game more difficult but learning on tilted sides increases playability and ensures that children do not become frustrated.

Additionally, these tables are not as high as typical regulation tables. Not only does this mean that children can more easily see the game that they are playing but it makes it much easier for them to hit the ball as they will not have to reach up and over their heads in order to be able to control the ball.

Table Top

Tabletop ping-pong boardgame set for kids with blue and red paddles and orange ball on top isolated on white background.

Source: Amazon

Novelty ping-pong tables are not great for training to become a professional ping-pong player but are a lot of fun for people of all ages and skill levels to use. They are very common in offices as they can be placed on a desk for an impromptu game that is sure to break the tension and help people relax.

Generally quite small, they do come with rackets and a ball and are incredibly difficult to use. They make a great gift for anybody who loves playing ping-pong as he or she can take his or her mini table to the office to enjoy when he or she is not at home.  

Feature

Folding

Foldable green ping-pong table isolated on white background.

Source: Amazon

Being able to fold up your ping-pong table and store it out of the way is ideal if you have a small home and do not have a lot of space to have a table permanently set up. Not all ping-pong tables have this feature so if it is important to you, then you will want to make sure to search out a table that offers this. In addition, it is generally only indoor ping-pong tables that can fold. This is because outdoor tables are often considered more permanent and are made to stay in one position.

If you do opt for a folding ping-pong table, then you want to make sure that it is high quality and that the hinges have been made to last. Otherwise, you are likely to run into problems when folding and unfolding your table repeatedly. Unfortunately, this type of ping-pong table is not always going to be as high-quality as a traditional table that is made of one solid top, which is something to consider if you are interested in playing this sport competitively.  

Wheels

Blue ping-pong table with wheels isolated on white background.Source: Houzz

Some ping-pong tables have wheels on the undercarriage of the table itself. While they will take more storage space when you fold them and store them because of the wheels and extra height, being able to easily move your table around your home by yourself is a benefit that many people enjoy. The quality of the wheels on your ping-pong table matters as you want to make sure that they will be able to stand up to being rolled around on your floor.

Make sure that when you buy a ping-pong table that has wheels that they are large enough to support the weight of the table without being damaged. Feel the wheels and make sure that they cannot be flattened or easily damaged so you don’t have to worry about them becoming dented and making it difficult to roll your table from one location to another. Quality wheels and bearings will make it simple for a single person to move his or her ping-pong table while ones with lower-quality wheels will still require more than one person to manipulate the table.  

Accessories Included

Stylish wooden ping-pong table with accessories included upon purchase.Source: Houzz

Make getting started playing ping-pong as easy as possible when you buy a table that has accessories included. This means that you will not have to worry about purchasing accessories separately and that they will be made to the same high-quality specifications as the table itself.

While you may choose to invest in different paddles as you become more proficient playing ping-pong, not having to worry about buying accessories right away can make it easier to budget for your new purchase. While it is true that the paddles included are not always the highest-quality ones available, they are usually perfect for beginners and can be used for a long period of time without any problems.

Reclaimed Wood

Stylish ping-pong table made of reclaimed wood.

Source: Houzz

Buying a ping-pong table that has a top made of reclaimed wood will help you to rest easy that you are doing everything you can to save the environment while still investing in a quality table. Unlike tables that uses new wood, a ping-pong table that has a top made of reclaimed wood is much more likely to be eco-friendly.

This is important to many people who are interested in helping slow the problem of deforestation as using reclaimed wood is a great way to give new life to old wood that has already been harvested. Depending on where you buy your new ping-pong table with a reclaimed top, it may be made from various types of wood or have a different finish but you can often refinish it yourself.

Portable/Compact

Blue portable ping-pong table isolated on white background.

Source: Houzz

Being able to take your ping-pong table with you to a party or to the park ensures that you will always be able to play this game with your family and friends. Unlike heavier tables that are simply too bulky and difficult to move, a portable or compact ping-pong table will be much simpler for you to fold, pack up, and put in the back of your car.

While you may require the help of another person to get your table set up when you get to your location, you won’t have to worry about whether not you will be able to handle the heavy weight of a larger ping-pong table. Of course, these tables are not going to have the highest-quality surface available and using them outdoors can cause them to warp but they are a lot of fun and a great way to add an interesting game to your outdoor party. 

Playback/Single Player

Playback ping-pong table isolated on white background.Source: Houzz

One of the best ways to become proficient at ping-pong is to practice by yourself so that you can make sure that you are able to put in the long hours that you need to better your skills. If you do not have anybody to practice with or simply want to be able to practice on your own terms, then buying a ping-pong table that has a playback feature is very important. This will allow you to tilt one half of the table up into a vertical position so that you can use it to return your ball when you are practicing.

Of course, when buying any playback ping-pong table, it’s important that you make sure that this table is high quality. That’s because any divots or buckling in the surface of the table will make it very difficult for you to gauge where your ball will land. While this does add an element of surprise and may eventually make you into a better ping-pong player, it can be very frustrating.

Custom

Custom ping-pong table with black tabletop and wooden legs standing on concrete flooring in a room with beige brick walls and glazed walls.Source: Etsy

Having a ping-pong table custom built for you is the absolute best way to make sure that it will meet your needs perfectly. While most people are fine buying a ping-pong table that has been mass produced and sold in stores, if you are interested in a specific type of wood for the top of your table, are worried about the dimensions of the table, or want to make sure that users in wheelchairs will be able to play ping-pong, then opting for a custom-made table is your best option.

Of course, these tables are generally more expensive and can take longer for you to have delivered to your home. On the other hand, when you opt for a custom ping-pong table, you will not have to worry about whether not it will fit in your space or meet your needs. Another reason some people opt for custom tables is because they want to choose the decorations on the top of the table themselves so that it will fit in with the décor of their homes.   

Cover Included

Blue ping-pong table with outdoor cover already included upon purchase.Source: Houzz

It’s important that you do everything you can to protect your investment when you buy a ping-pong table. Because these tables are generally fairly expensive and can easily be damaged if the top is not protected, buying a table that comes with a cover included is a great option.

This means that the cover will perfectly fit your new ping-pong table so you don’t have to worry about whether not that it will be too tight or too loose. Using a cover is the best way to protect against water marks, drink spills, and sharp or heavy objects damaging the surface. Any sort of damage on the surface of your ping-pong table is likely to make playing a game much more difficult.

Table Top Material

Fabric

Ping-pong tabletop made of green fabric.Source: Houzz 

While most ping-pong tables are not made with fabric as the material for the top, there are some conversion top ping-pong tables that do have fabric. This is because they often double as a pool table as well when the net is removed. While this type of table is fine if you want to play on it with friends, you will never experience a very high-quality game the way you would from a table that is made with a wood or even a quality plastic top.

It’s important to remember that if you do buy this type of ping-pong table, you will not be able to enjoy the high and fast bounces that you can from harder surfaces. The fabric will naturally create more friction with the ball and cause it to slow down.

Wood

Ping-pong table with wooden tabletop and legs.Source: Houzz

What is a great choice for material for the top of your ping-pong table. Not only is it incredibly durable but it is also very attractive and you will love the way the wood looks when the cover is off of your table. While you can buy both soft and hard wood tops because you are not going to be causing a lot of damage to your table top, it is generally easier and less expensive to buy a ping-pong table that has a soft wood top to it. One of the benefits of real wood for your top is that this wood can be stained in a number of different colors to match the décor in your home.

Manufactured Wood

White ping-pong table with white tabletop made of manufactured wood.

Source: Houzz 

Manufactured wood is a great choice for many people when they are looking for a ping-pong table. It is not going to be nearly as expensive as a table with a solid wood top and is often quite a bit lighter. As long as a ball dropped on the surface of the table reaches the correct height when it bounces, your manufactured wood top will stand up to use and meet regulations. When shopping for a ping-pong table with a manufactured wood top, make sure that it has been sealed correctly so that the top will not warp.

Plastic/Acrylic

Ping-pong table with blue tabletop made of plastic/acrylic.Source: Houzz

Probably the least expensive material for the tops of ping-pong tables, plastic or acrylic is very reliable and has a few benefits. Unlike wood and manufactured wood which can easily be damaged by humidity or somebody leaving a cup of water on the table, plastic and acrylic are both impervious to water damage and will last for a long time.

This makes plastic a great choice for an outdoor ping-pong table. One of the drawbacks of using a ping-pong table that has a plastic top is that the table may not look as high quality as one made with wood. However, as long as it has been built to regulation standards and the ball bounces correctly, there is nothing wrong with opting for this material.









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