If you’re into ping pong (table tennis), you’re probably aware that the premium models that are commonly found in rec rooms, can be prohibitively expensive. Finding an affordable option to play ping pong at home, while difficult, is not impossible. For many, a premium table isn’t always necessary to have some fun with friends.
One of the main differences you’ll find when researching expensive vs affordable ping pong tables is the thickness of the wood in the table. Most premium tables feature a 1” thick table that offers high-performance bounces and fast play. Budget ping pong tables can often offer lower prices due to relying on a lower thickness table (commonly 5/8 in) and reducing the number of features. Fortunately, as long as you aren’t trying to replicate a tournament experience, the 5/8-inch tables, can still provide exceptional bounce and performance. Below, we have looked at some of the most popular budget ping pong tables under $500 to find the best of the best.
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Best Overall - STIGA Advantage Professional Table Tennis Table
Best Value - MD Sports Table Tennis Set
Best Aesthetics - JOOLA Rally TL
Best Mid-Size - GoSports Mid-Size Ping Pong Table
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JOOLA Rally TL
STIGA has a good reputation within the marketplace as a ping pong manufacturer that produces quality tables at affordable prices. Their STIGA Advantage Professional Table is one of the best offerings they have for its balance between quality, performance, and affordability.
The table was designed for professional-level play with a tournament-quality design. The STIGA Advantage features a regulation-size 9′ x 5′ playing surface. The table itself is smooth and allows for consistent bounce and ball travel. The table features tubular steel support aprons that look as good as it performs. It can be attached and removed using the built-in clamp-style mechanism. This makes putting on and taking off the apron a breeze. The table features built-in adjustable leg levelers. The legs can be adjusted as much as 2-inches which ensures that you get an even playing surface at all times no matter how uneven your floor is. Also, the levelers are well padded to ensure you are not scratching your floor if you’re positioning the table on wood flooring.
The table is not only designed for competitive play but it’s designed to be practical, as well. Not everyone has the space for a table tennis setup. This table is designed for convenience and portability. It can be quickly and easily folded in half for easier transport and storage. The 1.5-inch thick and sturdy legs feature 3-inch premium casters that allow for easy maneuverability. Because the ping pong table folds in half, you could position one half in a playback position to give yourself some independent practice during those times you do not have another person to play with.
The STIGA Advantage Professional one of the rare table tennis tables that looks as good as it performs. With STIGA’s excellent and aesthetically pleasing silk screen striping, the table looks professional-grade and tournament-quality. However, despite its affordable price point, it plays just as you would expect from a ping pong table that looks like this. With a smooth surface top and all the built-in adjustment features you could need, it’s a table that is certain to offer you years of competitive and fun gameplay.
The MD Sports Ping Pong Set offers exceptional value for under the $500 price point. There is a lot to like about this table making it a good choice for those looking for a table that offers a good balance of performance and affordability.
The durability of this table is exceptional, considering the price. The MD Sports table tennis table comes with reinforced construction and steel leg frames. Therefore, you’re getting a table that can withstand vigorous play. It features the official size which means you aren’t sacrificing an authentic playing experience for the spacing-saving qualities it offers. The table is designed to help you enjoy the fast and competitive playing experience of an official-sized table while allowing for the ease of quick setup and folding. This means you won’t necessarily need to have too much space to make use of this table. It folds into a relatively compact (73-inch length x 60-inch width x 30-inch height).
The build quality of this table is extremely good. It features a 5/8-inch playfield thickness which means you aren’t going to have a flimsy table that you need to worry about. While it doesn’t match up with the 1” thick premium models, you also aren’t paying thousands. The surface features double-sided PVC. This means you’re getting water-resistance lamination to avoid having to worry about water damage. All in all, the build quality makes the table a worry-free experience for the players.
The extra features that the table comes with make the table a great value and extremely easy to set up and use. For one, the table comes with built-in casters that are 2 inches in height. These casters have a built-in lock which means you can move the table freely and have it remain in position whenever needed. No worrying about table movement during your competitive play sessions. The table has both a safety lock and a safety buckle for when you fold it up for vertical storage. This way, you don’t have to worry about anyone getting hurt by accident.
This is a table that is a very good option for most looking for a table tennis set. Not only does it come with all of the accessories you need to get started, but it has space-saving design features that make it a viable option for those who don’t have a lot of free space in their home.
This JOOLA Rally TL ping pong table by JOOLA is a competitive option that you can consider if you want tournament quality table tennis at home. While the table itself is made of medium-density fiberboard, it is 5/8-inch thick and offers exceptional bounce and durability. The silk-screened white striping contrasts well with its charcoal color which translates to a sleek-looking table. The table looks great and plays even better.
There is a lot to like about this table. While the table itself doesn’t look feature-packed, it has a lot of features that you might deem a must-have for an indoor table. For one, it comes with a built-in abacus scorekeeper. No more mentally keeping track of who is winning. This scorekeeper is out of the way yet accessible for easy access. The table features hidden corner ball holders that make it incredibly easy to swap out balls when one goes out of reach. This keeps you in the game for longer periods rather than hunting for missing balls. It also features a tournament-grade net that features an easy-to-use clamp design for quick play sessions.
The table was well designed for both space-saving and portability. The table can be nested into halves allowing for easy storage. Best of all, the table only weighs in at 148.5 pounds which means one person can do all the work without straining. JOOLA made sure to design the table in a way that allows the player to have single-player playback mode. By folding the table up and locking it in place, you can practice all you want without having an extra person.
The table sits on table legs that have built-in adjustable height levelers. That way, you don’t need to worry about having an uneven playing surface if your floor isn’t completely level. The table also has built-in locking caster wheels to allow for easy transportation of the table from storage to wherever you set the table up.
The JOOLA Rally TL ping pong table provides a good balance of competitiveness and practicality. You’re getting all of the features that you would expect in a premium table at a fraction of the price. The table is superb in terms of build quality and aesthetics. If you want a table that offers tournament-grade performance with a space-saving and cost-saving design, this is a table that packs a lot of value for your money.
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The GoSports Mid-Size ping pong table happens to be one of the most basic yet complete offerings for a budget model table. For those seeking a no-frills option that gets the job done, this is one of the top table sets you will find.
In terms of size, this is a mid-size table which makes it a much more practical option for those without a lot of usable free space. The surface measures in at (6-feet by 3-feet) which is more than enough for competitive play sessions but not too much to make it inconvenient to play with. The GoSports table offers an instant setup with an easy-to-fold design. The design comes with built-in carry handles to make it easy to set up and take down and carry with a single person. Because the table is made from aluminum, it’s not too heavy for a single person. However, it’s made out of heavy-duty aluminum which means you don’t need to worry about the table breaking down or wobbling during gameplay.
The table comes with everything needed to get you started with playing table tennis. It includes the table and 2 paddles, 4 game balls, and the net. Therefore, you won’t need to make any additional purchases after you buy the table set.
This is a complete set that is an easy buy recommendation for those looking for a basic table that is going to get the job done. If you want a table that has a lot of unique features, this isn’t for you. However, if you are looking for a table that is well made and one that is easy to assemble with no tools required, the GoSports Mid-Size Table Tennis Table set offers all of that and more. With an indoor and outdoor design, it is the perfect budget table for anyone who wants to have a great time playing table tennis with friends and family.
Ping pong is a fun and competitive sport for all ages. It’s also a great way to get exercise, relieve stress, or just have some family bonding time. If you’re looking into buying your own ping pong table but don’t want to spend too much money, this buying guide will help you find the best table for your budget.
There are numerous factors to consider when buying a ping pong table, but the biggest factors are size and price. These will be the primary considerations for most people because they’ll determine which tables you can afford.
A ping pong table can range from $100-$4000, depending on the brand and size. A good rule of thumb is that smaller tables are generally cheaper than larger ones. For example, an indoor regulation-sized table costs around $900, while most home models cost between $200-$400. Outdoor versions usually cost between $300-$700. You can find a standard ping pong model for around $100, but it won’t be high-quality.
The size of the ping pong table you should get depends on how much space you have in your home or office and what level of play you’re at. There are three different sizes of tables:
The Standard Table Tennis (regulation size) is 91 inches long by 51.25 inches wide by 29.375 inches high, with a net in the middle that’s 15/16th of an inch tall and 23.62 inches deep on each side.
A mini-table model is small enough that you can put it on a tabletop and will be about 55 x 32 inches when unfolded. These are best suited for kids or those with smaller player areas.
A jumbo model is much larger than regulation size, measuring over 100 inches long and 61.75 inches wide. These are best suited for commercial or competitive play because they provide more space to hit the ball with ease.
Size also depends on which level of play you’re at. If you’re just learning the sport, then a mini-table is best. If you want to play competitively or with friends and family at home, go for regulation size because it’s standard across tables.
When you’re buying a budget-friendly ping pong table, it’s important to ask the right questions before making your purchase. Remember that many cheaper tables are made with low-quality materials and won’t last as long or perform as well as higher-priced models, but it doesn’t mean that you have to settle for less quality. Here is a list of helpful questions that can help you make the right purchase for your budget:
What size does the table come in?
Most budget tables are standard size, while some are mini or jumbo. Make sure to compare the dimensions of your table against the space you have in your home so that it’ll fit well.
Does the table come with a net?
Many cheaper tables don’t include nets, which means you will need to purchase them separately for an additional price. Since ping pong nets aren’t that pricey, this isn’t a reason to avoid the table, but it’s something you should know before buying.
What is the thickness of the tabletop?
Thicker tables are higher-quality because they’ll hold up better over time and prevent warping or damage from heavy usage. If you’re considering only spending $200-$400 on your ping pong table, then it’s best to get one with a thicker tabletop.
Is the table weatherproof?
If you plan on playing outside, make sure that your table is made of high-quality materials so that it’ll hold up in all types of weather conditions. Most indoor tables are acceptable for use outdoors, but some cheaper ones aren’t built to withstand the outdoor elements.
What materials is the table made out of?
Cheaper ping pong tables are usually constructed with lower-quality materials, like particleboard or MDF (medium-density fiberboard). It’s best to go for a model with an aluminum frame and tabletop, which will provide a higher level of stability, durability, and safety.
What is the bounce like?
A table with an inferior bounce means that you’ll have to put more spin on your shots, which can be frustrating for beginners. Make sure to test out the table and see how high the bounce is before buying it, especially if you’re a casual player.
Is the table strong enough for competitive play?
If you’re planning on playing with friends or family members at home, then go for a higher-quality model that can withstand many hours of use. If you plan on using the table only in your office to keep employees entertained during downtimes or at home for casual play, then tables within the cheaper budget range will suffice.
Do you get free shipping on your order?
Some stores offer free shipping for specific brands of tables, but not all. If you’re on a budget and want to get the lowest price possible, then make sure that your preferred retailer offers this perk before making a purchase to help you save more money.
What is the warranty?
A warranty is an important part of buying any product because it protects you if something goes wrong with the item. Most budget-friendly tables come with a one-year warranty, but this can vary depending on where you are shopping. If possible, make sure to choose a table that has at least a two-year limited warranty so that your ping pong table is protected from defects and malfunctions.
Is the ping pong table easy to assemble?
Most tables within the cheaper price point usually require some assembly, so it’s important to find one that is easy to put together. Some models come with instructions and tools included in the package, while others can be more complicated. Do your research beforehand by reading reviews or watching videos about how other customers assembled their tables.
Ping pong tables are an excellent investment for any home or office because they offer entertainment and healthy competition. If you’re not ready to spend over $1000 on an expensive ping pong table but still want one that performs well, considering the tips and questions we’ve listed above will help you make the right purchase for your budget. Remember to do your research, consider your needs next to your budget, and take your time when shopping to find the best table possible.