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It has a pretty long history, with its origins in Victorian England and making its way to the hearts of people worldwide.

More than a century ago, in 1901, the name ping pong was trademarked by J. Jaques & Son Ltd. and came out of wide use replacing table tennis, but became a name used to describe a game played by using that specific company’s equipment.

In the olden days, table tennis was considered a game for the elite to be played after dinner in the parlor.

Today, it’s considered a very active game and even a trendy game and sport in some parts of the world.

Features to Look For When Buying a Tennis Table

As you can imagine, many aspects need to be considered when investing in such a big and long-lasting product as a ping-pong table.

All of us should be allowed to play our favorite game, regardless of our height, the size of the house we live in, or how much money we have to spend. Even the partner is optional - some tables allow you to play independently.

Martin Kilpatrick Ping Pong Table

Adjustable Height

Conversion Top

So let’s dive deep into each factor so you know what to consider and understand where your priorities lie.

Table Types

Let’s start from the basics - the types of tables you will see and which one will fit your needs best.

You might have a question like what is the size of a ping pong table, and are they all s standard size?

Full size

Well, the standard or official ping pong table size is L- 9 ft, W - 5 ft, H - 2ft 6 inches.

So as you can see, it takes up quite the space, plus you need to also have enough extra room to allow the players to move freely to be able to play the game to their full potential.

This means that if you are looking to invest in a full-size ping pong table, you will most likely need to put it either outside or have a big enough space indoors.

If you can cram multiple games into a game room and still be able to enjoy it, this game is not one of them. Be sure to allocate enough room to run around in each direction and not have the space too cluttered, as you will be losing time looking for the ball that got away.

Adjustable height

In case you have children that like to play the game as well, the usual size of the ping pong table might not be very comfortable for them, and they won’t be able to enjoy the game to the fullest.

This is where the adjustable height ping pong tables will come in very handy and be a great asset. You can usually regulate the telescopic legs at the smallest height of 2 ft, the medium of 2 ft 3 inches, and the regular height of 2 ft 6 inches.

You will enjoy the game together with your kids, teach them the sport, and spend quality time with your family.

Conversion Tops

In case you want to diversify your game room with another great sport, but you lack the space, don’t despair! There are options for you as well.

  • Conversion top ping pong tables look exactly how they sound - it’s only the playing surface that can be placed on top of many different surfaces, like the big dining table, a pool table, or any other large area you can fit it on.
  • Another great advantage is that they normally come with a padding of some fort - foam, rubber, etc. to protect the surface you will install it on. When you are done with the game, you can easily put it away in any storage area you might have.

You will have yourself a game of ping pong whenever you want and won’t have to get used to walking sideways.

Plus, it can be a solution for those who are looking to find a ping pong table on a budget.

Mini Tables

  • If you have small kids or want to introduce the sport to them as soon as possible, you will be very happy with these mini ping pong tables.
  • There are numerous advantages of such tables, like their height and size in general, which makes it very easy to store them pretty much anywhere. Plus, the kids will feel very comfortable playing at their size and comfortable height.
  • Other various sizes of ping pong tables are available, that range from ½ to ¾ of the size of the standard ping pong table.

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  • A great option for an outdoor placement
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Indoor or Outdoor Use

We have looked at the ping pong tables from the perspective of their size. Now let’s look at them from the perspective of their use.

Naturally, you can either use them indoors or outdoors.

Believe it or not but there are outdoor ping pong tables, as well as indoor ping pong tables, that are designed to withstand different conditions.

For example, the tables designed for outdoor use are made of different materials or coated with extra protective layers. Weatherproof ping pong tables are a thing and a great advantage for people living in humid and rainy areas of the country.


Make sure you consider all options before making a final decision. If you have enough space outdoors, it’s a great idea to install an outdoor ping pong table, as you will get to enjoy the game while enjoying the weather and sunshine.

However, there is the other side of the coin. The ping pong ball is very light, and even the slightest wind may make it difficult to play. The sunshine can also take a toll, this time on you, as too much exposure to the sun can cause sunburn and, in extreme heat, even a heat stroke.

Another thing to consider is the playing area. The weatherproof ping pong table needs to be leveled properly, thus placing it on your lawn might not be the best idea, in case you will have to move it later.

The best placement of the outdoor ping pong table would be a wooden deck or a concrete area of your front or backyard.

When it comes to the table itself, the outdoor ones are made with the waterproof top layer, i.e., the playing surface and the whole construction are sturdier and rust-poof. As the frame and the legs of the outdoor ping pong table are usually made of metal, that’s a great quality in areas with high humidity.

Moisture, in general, is an enemy when it comes to ping pong tables. Thus having one that is weatherproof can be a great asset.


Let’s see what’s important in indoor ping pong tables, so you can enjoy the game and continue having a comfortable life.

First of all, make sure you have space for the table and enough room around it to play with no restraints. The perfect area would be about 4-5 feet of free space in each direction of the table. This way, you won’t lose a game because of any other that has to do with tight space.

Another important feature would be easy storage. The best ones for that category are the foldable tables. You set it up when you want to play, and then just fold it and store it in your garage or any other storage area you have. It won’t even be an eyesore on the living room, behind a couch or something, or next to the wall.

One more thing worth mentioning about the indoor ping pong table is that it has a better bounce than the outdoor one. The reason is the waterproof coating that the outdoor ping pong tables have.

You will be pleasantly surprised at the higher quality of the indoor table and will be able to have a much better, more professional game as the bounce will be on point.

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Sometimes what really affects the choice is the purpose of the table and the game you will be playing.

For example, If you want to play with your family, train for a professional tournament, or get it as sports equipment for schools and colleges, you might end up buying very different tables.

Let’s shortly discuss each and see how the purpose determines the table tennis choice.


Schools, colleges, universities, or any other educational establishments can get professional or semi-professional ping pong tables to help their students achieve greatness.

As we all know, many kids get into college on a sports scholarship, and as table tennis is considered to be a sport, having a facility at school would really help the students become players on a professional level.

Surely, table tennis is not as popular a game in the US as football or baseball but still can help your students get college admissions to those colleges and universities, who do play this sport and compete in tournaments.

Plus, it’s a fun sport to play, requires precision, attention and very good reflexes to play it well, thus, would be a great addition to your sports equipment.


If you are planning on getting this table as you are a table tennis pro and are practicing for a tournament then you need a professional ping pong table.

The priorities of table tennis pros are very different and include the bounce, for example, which doesn’t really matter if you are going to play with your friends and family for fun. Also, the size of the table has to be exactly right and correspond to the professional standards, as it matters a lot in terms of the force you use, the position of your arm, and so on.

That’s why we highly recommend getting a professional size and grid ping pong table, in case you are practicing for the professional tournaments and competitions or aspire to be a table tennis pro one day.

Family Fun

When it comes to playing for fun, we would recommend getting any table your space and wallet permits you. Plus, your attitude to the game matters.

If you are a table tennis fan and enthusiast, you will probably want to get the best equipment. However, if you are just getting into the game and want to get something to enjoy with your family and friends in your spare time, then the quality and level of professionalism won’t be critical.

No matter the purpose, though, you need to consider the room size for ping pong table first. As the table itself is not small, and you also need to account for the free space around it for the players to move freely, the space requirements become quite significant.

If your house doesn’t allow that much space, you can get one to put outside, on your deck, or right on the lawn.

If your house doesn’t allow that much space, you can get one to put outside, on your deck, or right on the lawn.

Another great option would be a foldable ping pong table, as you can put it away when not playing, or a conversion top table, as you can place it on any large surface that you already have, like a dining table or a pool table, and convert any table into a ping pong one.

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Another critical factor to consider when getting a ping pong table for indoor use is its dimensions. The ping pong table size dictates the space you need to have, thus forcing you to either store it indoors or outdoors.

Image Table Name Sizes
KETTLER Cabo Outdoor Table Tennis L- 9 ft, W - 5 ft, H - 2ft 5 inches
Kettler Cabo Weatherproof Outdoor Table Tennis (2-player set and cover) L- 9 ft, W - 5 ft, H - 2ft 5 inches
Kettler Outdoor 6 Table Tennis Bundle (4-player set & cover) L- 9 ft, W - 5 ft, H - 2ft 5 inches
Kettler Outdoor 15 TTT Weatherproof Table Tennis Table L- 9 ft, W - 5 ft, H - 2ft 5 inches
Sponeta Super Compact W Indoor Table Tennis L- 9 ft, W - 5 ft, H - 2ft 5 inches

We have already touched upon the ping pong table dimensions, but let’s remind you once again.

Most full size ping pong tables have the following dimensions: L- 9 ft, W - 5 ft, H - 2ft 6 inches.

Other types of tables, like mini ping pong tables, can be as small as ½ of the size of the normal one.

There are also adjustable height ping pong tables that can go as low as 2 feet to allow the smaller players to enjoy the game with grown-ups.

In general, the recreational, non-regulation tables come in various sizes; however, the most common ones would be the following: L- 6 ft, W - 2.5 ft, H - 2ft 6 inches.

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Table Top Thickness

This parameter is very important when it comes to the bounce of the table tennis ball, which directly impacts the quality of the game.

The rule of thumb here is the thicker the surface, the better the bounce. So, if you are serious about the game and want an excellent game, opt out for the thickest tabletop possible.

Naturally, they are much more expensive, so keep that in mind when getting an indoor ping pong table.

Here are the dimensions for your reference in terms of the tabletop thickness:

  • 0.5 inch - Provides a horrible bounce, do not invest in these tables.
  • 0.6 inch - Low-quality tables that don’t provide a good bounce.
  • 0.7 inch - The minimum thickness for a good quality game.
  • 1 inch - ITTF standard for competitive tournaments.

Another thing to keep in mind is that indoor and outdoor tables won’t have the same thickness.

The reason for that is that the outdoor tables tend to have a weatherproof coating that is rigid and hard, providing a great bounce. Thus these tables are usually thinner.


You might have a question, why should I pay so much attention to the bounce?

Well, the bounce of the ball plays a crucial role in this game and directly affects its quality.

The ping pong balls are very small and light, so they bounce easily. But the thinner the tabletop thickness, the worse the bounce, as we have already mentioned.

The optimal bounce for the ping pong ball dropped from the height of 11.8 inches should be 8.3 inches.

The coating also plays a huge part in the bounce of the table top. For example, the outdoor ping pong tables are way thinner, but the protective coating from the water and UV rays compensates for that, providing these tables with a very decent bounce.

There are also many other layers of material that contribute to the bounce rate, and make sure that the shock absorption is minimised.

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Playing Surface Material

As you see, the list of features to pay attention to just keeps on going, and now, after discussing the thickness of the tabletop, we have come to its surface material.

Below are the most commonly used materials.

The ALU-TEC outdoor top: 100% weatherproof, 5 year guarantee


Wooden ping pong tables are mostly ones designed for indoor use. These tables offer great bounce and quality. Wood is generally considered to be the traditional material for ping pong table manufacturing.

The better the quality of the wood or the amount of wood particles used, the better will be the quality of the table, but so will its weight.

Wooden ping pong tables are very sensitive to high levels of moisture, humidity, or extreme temperatures. As wood is a live material, it contacts and expends under these factors, which might lead to slight deformation of the table.

If you absolutely want a wooden ping pong table for the outside storage, you can find those too. They will be coated with a waterproof layer, however can’t offer the longevity to match the aluminum tables.


Aluminum ping pong tables, on the other hand, are amazing at being waterproof, as they are mostly made for outdoor use and storage.

Even the aluminum ping pong tables have a wooden core, which is sealed inside them. The aluminum shell makes these tables completely weatherproof.

Plus, they usually have extra layers of water and UV ray repellent materials.

These extra layers are responsible for the decent bounce for the ball as well.

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When it comes to design, ping pong tables come in many shapes and sizes.

Just like they are made of different materials, for various uses, like indoors and outdoors, table tennis tables also come in numerous shapes, to accommodate different needs of people.

As we have mentioned before, with some tables, you won’t even need a partner, as they offer a playback feature, meaning one side of the table folds upward, and you can play solo. This is a perfect feature for practice and warm-up.

Below are the four main categories of table tennis table designs you can find on the market, and pick the one that would ideally fit your space, playing frequency, and storage problems.

One-Piece Table with wheels

These tables are foldable and are essentially one piece of equipment that folds for easy storage.

There are different designs that either prioritise storage space, making the table very small and easy to store, or easy setup, which essentially fold in half.

This design is mostly used for professional ping pong tables. However, some recreational ones, more to the higher end, also use this setup.

The nets on these types of table tennis tables are permanently fixed in most cases, which makes it even easier to store and set up. No need to detach the net and store it separately, or attach to the table each time you feel like you want to play.

All these tables have wheels, making it even easier to move and store them, and they are perfect for beginners and people with limited space.

Two-Piece Table with wheels

These ones are made of two separate halves that are put together to form one table.

Two-piece table tennis tables are much easier to store, as they fold into two halves and are easier to lift.

One person can set up the table no problem, and it just might take a bit longer. Compared to one-piece tables, these ones are a bit harder to roll together. Another issue with these ones is the detachable net.

While some can find it a pros column, as it will be easier to replace the net, later on, others will put this feature in the cons, as it takes longer to set up the table for the game.

There are also some concerns about the sturdiness of the table, as it’s a separate table after all. However, it should not be an issue, as players are not allowed to touch or lean on the tables during the game anyway.

Stationary Table Design

As you can see from its name, these tables are not meant for easy transportation. They don’t have normal wheels, but small ones on each side that offer somewhat portability.

The legs of these ping pong tables fold inward under the tabletop, which makes them very compact.

In case you don’t need to transport the table tennis table much, this design would work perfectly for you, as these ping pong tables are heavy, and the setup takes a bit of effort.

If you want a ping pong table for permanent or semi-permanent placement and use, then these are a great option for you.

Folding Table

These ping pong tables are design for solo play, and are very mobile and easy to transport.

Folding tables are also very handy when you love to play, but don't have space to store it permanently.

Both sides of these ping pong tables usually fold, and the legs have wheels, so that even one person can easily store and set the table whenever they need.

When folded, these tables take up very little space, and can be kept pretty much anywhere.

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  • A portable option for easy storage and play
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The Net

Believe it or not, the kind of net you have can really contribute to the good or bad experience you have with the game.

The net mainly plays a role in how quickly the table can be ready for a game, as some of them are fixed permanently, some are screwed on the table, and others clip on the table.

Let’s discuss each and see which one might fit your needs best.

Permanently affixed

These ones are very easy to use, and actually, you don't have to do anything at all, as they don’t come off of the table tennis table, and you are ready to play at any time.

The nets can’t be replaced or removed and are usually fixed either to one side or to the middle of the table. These are the easiest net options you can have if you don’t want to sweat about them.

However, there is a small drawback. These nets will be very hard to replace once they are all worn off from the hours of playing.

In most cases, the attached nets are unique to each table, so standard table nets might not work for them.

You can find attached nets with mostly one-piece foldable tables.


These ones are the easiest to remove and attach. They come with clip-on fixtures and usually are mounted to the side of the table.

They are the easiest to attach and detach, and also replace in the future.

If you are looking for a detachable net, then these types of fixtures probably would be your best choice, as they offer speed and convenience.

Lattice Net

Metal Net

Screw clamp

These ones are the most sophisticated option when it comes to net fixtures. They offer numerous advantages, like the possibility to adjust the height and the tension of the net with screws.

They would be the best choice for table tennis pros, who are looking to customize every aspect of the game to their own liking.

They do take some time to adjust the right, and won’t be the best choice for newbies and those who are looking to have some fun family time.

These nets would also be easy to replace, as they come in standard sizes.

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Frame Strength

The ping pong table’s frame needs to be very sturdy and rigid to withstand the tabletop’s weight, and it's the central part of the whole construction; thus, you need to pay very close attention to it.

The materials of the frame highly depend on the tabletop thickness and its overall quality. The thicker the tabletop, the more weight the frame needs to hold, the better the materials.

The most commonly used materials are aluminum and stainless steel. The cheaper tables use galvanized steel tubing or aluminum tubing, which is not the best material, as it’s hollow inside and can bend very easily.

If you get one of those ones, you run a risk of having a shaky ping pong table with time, which can also break or collapse at some point.

The better quality ping pong manufacturers use heavier tubing and a solid center frame. The best ones use either square or oval tubing for the legs to ensure the utmost stability and durability.


When it comes to the weight of the table, you need to think about its use. Are you going to move it much or just place it permanently in one place? Also with weight raises the question of portability.

As a rule of thumb, The heavier the table, the better its quality, durability and the materials used.

The recreational tables weigh much less than the professional grid ones, which can be up to 300 pounds in sheet weight. However, they are not light either and usually weigh 100 pounds and more.

All the parts contribute to the weight, the table top, the frame as well as the design. If you have a mini table tennis table, it will weigh much less than a standard size one. Also, the thinner the tabletop, the less sturdy frame it requires, the lighter it will be.

In case you move often, or will not be installing the ping pong table in one place permanently, make sure you get a portable one, preferably on wheels, so you can easily move it, as well as store it in the desired place.

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  • Is shipped assembled, ready for immediate play


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Wheels, Portability, and Storage

These are all the things to consider, if you are moving a lot, don’t have a permanent place designated for the ping pong table or even not enough space for the table itself, to be placed at all times.

What makes the ping pong tables portable are their weight and wheels on the frame. Foldable tables are also a great choice, as you can store them in smaller places and wheel them everywhere, instead of carrying them.




Larger wheels glide better and provide a more sturdy feel. This can be a big advantage for the tables that need to be moved across uneven surfaces like the lawn or a wooden deck.

For easy storage purposes, foldable or two-piece tables will be a great idea. Ping pong tables are very large, and if you can either fold them, or they come in two separate pieces, that makes the needed storage area that much smaller.

Table Assembly Time

The assembly time varies widely, depending on the kind of table you get. It can take anything from a few minutes to a few hours.

Luckily, most tables need very little assembly when it comes to recreational ping pong tables. What you might need to do most is screw some parts together.

However, if you don’t know what you are doing, it’s very easy to damage parts, and then you will have only yourself to blame. Usually, you can find this sort of information either on Youtube or on the Internet in general.

You can also find the assembly needed tools and instructions on the website of the seller you are using, so be sure to check it out and be prepared when the table arrives. We also recommend carefully reading the product description and reviews on the matter to have a clew on what to expect.

Professional grid ping pong tables assembly is a different story and can take a while. Plus usually they also require very special tools, that hardly anyone would have in their tool box.

So, if you are getting a professional table, you can always hire someone to assemble it for you. Make sure to check if they have ever done this sort of work before, as it’s very specific, and as we mentioned before, some damage can occur when placing parts in the wrong way or using the wrong tools.

Want to choose the right table tennis for you? Get one and cheer up your routine!