Joseph works as an editor in one of the magazines dedicated to video games. Here, at RecRoomPick, he’s given the opportunity to enjoy the reverse of the medal – the no less engaging world of offline games.
Ryan knows everything when it comes to gaming, both online and offline. Since his early years he’s been in love with arcades, air hockey, and foosball. Finally, he’s given the opportunity to share his knowledge and opinion on the hobby of his life (and even get paid for it!).
Last updated: May 21, 2021
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Air hockey tables can be great fun whether you are playing with family members or entertaining company! They’re great for a rec room or playroom or even can be used in a basement or garage. They can be quite expensive, however, and the best air hockey tables can cost a pretty penny. Cheaper options are sometimes miniature or tabletop versions aimed more at children. In this post, we’ve looked at the best air hockey table under $500.
We’ve reviewed some great air hockey table models based on their dimensions and weight (this will affect how they fit in your home) but we have also looked at other features such as their stability, the accessories which come with the table and the scoring system (electronic vs manual scoring systems are a big consideration). We’ve also looked at the warranty of the tables as many of the most sturdy products are happy to include longer warranties.
Our team spent weeks trawling the best models out there and taking information from first-hand experience, YouTube videos, information from manufacturers and other consumer reviews to work out what the best options are. We’ve included the information as a simple-to-view table and more detailed product reviews, as well as a buying guide to help you to make the best decision for your own specific needs and discover which features are most important for you.
The MD Sports Air Powered Hockey Table is at the top of our list for many different reasons. It is very hard to argue with the quality and reliability on offer and there are plenty of other great features which go above and beyond what you would expect.
84 inches of table surface gives a great amount of space which is close to a full-sized table and is suitable for adults or older children to play. It has really powerful motors which drive the airflow, and these are UL certified. The surface is even UV coated with added scratch resistance so this means that it won’t get scuffed up easily.
The leg levelers which are included give a lot of flexibility and means that you can ensure a level surface even if you are putting your table on uneven surfaces such as in a basement or carpets and rugs.
The arcade experience has been added! This has LED lighting and even sounds which add to the experience and create some more excitement. Accessories are also included so you don’t have to worry about buying these separately. Two pushers and two pucks mean you even have a spare in case your puck gets misshapen or lost.
MD Sports has really done a great job of creating a table which is reliable and feels like playing in a pro tournament, and it is the best home air hockey table under $500. It only has a 90-day warranty whereas some more expensive competitors have longer, but for a model at this price point, three months is not uncommon.
What makes it stand out?
Lighting and sounds give an exciting arcade experience
Leg levelers to create a fair, even playing surface
The EastPoint Sports NHL Sting Ray is a great option for bigger families as it has been designed considering those who want to play as a group of four. It includes four different pucks and four different pushers, so plenty of accessories for you to use.
This model is 84 inches long which also means plenty of space for playing as a group of four, too. You can still play as a two if you prefer.
This air hockey table does also have the option to convert to a ping-pong table and become a combo model. For this, you need to buy a separate converting table top.
GlazeTek coating has been added to the surface in order to provide more durability and a level of scratch resistance. There are also optional ‘power corners’ which can create a more random bounce when the puck hits the corner for a more exciting game.
The automatic scorer is a big plus point and this also has sounds which can be turned on or off based on your preference.
A leg leveling system also means you can adjust the table on uneven ground to try and give a perfect 90-degree angle.
The Triumph Lumen-X Lazer is one of the best air hockey tables for kids. It has the benefit of having some excellent fun features and also being a little smaller than the first two products, making it easier for teenagers and taller children to reach the table. They also have the excitement of some brilliant cascading lights and sound effects.
Not only are there sound effects, there is a soundtrack to your playing! In-game music adds even more excitement for kids, and there is even the added visual experience of two bright pushers and even a light-up puck! You can see why youngsters would love the arcade experience.
Dual motors are included for plenty of airflow and the electronic scoring system is another plus point.
There have been some criticisms of this product too, so it isn’t totally perfect. Some have said that the puck may fly off the table a little randomly and that the bounce at the sides isn’t reliable and consistent. There are a lot of electronics which are part of the charm, but this can also mean more that can go wrong.
What are its best features?
Great lighting and sound effect system
Great for young people to play
What could be improved?
Some have reported dead spots on the blowers after a while using
No leg leveler system
The electronics can be unreliable and there are a lot of lights which can stop working
No off switch meaning you have to turn it off from the plug each time you want to stop playing
The Harvil 5 Foot Air Hockey Table is recommended for those who need a slightly smaller table which is great for kids and adults to both play. This is one of the smallest models we’ve found which still has an electronic scorer, and while some of the six feet models are great for older kids, five feet means that younger children will find it easier to join in.
At 68 lbs this is also much more lightweight and portable than many of its competitors, but still has a fair amount of stability. This stability comes from the L-Shape of the legs and also the levelers which mean you can avoid getting a wonky surface!
Though looks aren’t our main consideration, this does have a pretty cool design which is appealing for going in a kids playroom, for instance.
The style doesn’t come without substance, though. The quality and reliability is provided by a good blower which has an even flow across the table.
Though we’re getting to the sort of small size that adults won’t be able to use, this is a great choice for younger kids and teenagers alike. It is affordable and lightweight and though it doesn’t feel as professional as some of the others it is still plenty of fun.
What makes it stand out?
Comes with the accessories you need to get started
A good size for children
Lightweight but still stable with good quality blower and motor
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Scoring system needs batteries
Many users have reported issues with the construction and that there are some holes missing for connecting the legs
This is another model made by Harvil, and it is a lot smaller and lighter in weight. Make no mistake, this is not really suitable for adults to play, but for younger children the four-foot size is perfect. It is shorter, too, so clearly designed with youngsters in mind.
At just 28 lbs in weight it is super portable and it is also simple to use for kids. The wide goals have been designed to make it easy to retrieve the puck and get playing again after each goal. The scoreboard which is included can be used as an electronic scoring system. Unfortunately, this does require extra batteries to be included.
The pucks and pushers you will need are included. Naturally, these have been designed to be a size which is suitable for playing on a smaller table, and these feel comfortable for kids to use too.
Though you probably won’t feel like a professional when playing on a small table like this, it is worth buying for kids rooms and for the first steps young people might take into playing air hockey. It is affordable and lots of fun for young people.
Our buying guide is designed to help you to make a more informed decision on which is the best table for your own needs. By explaining a lot of the features and the buying decisions you’ll be faced with, you should get a better idea of what you are looking for.
Reasons to get a high-quality air hockey table under $500
While you are unlikely to get a table that would be used by the pros in tournament play, $500 is a decent enough budget for a high-quality air hockey table. By spending this kind of money you should be able to get plenty of reliability and a table that will last you many years. Making the wrong choice with this kind of budget can mean a table that barely lasts a year and isn’t much fun at all, but if you spend wisely you can get an air hockey table that feels like you’re in an arcade and is likely to last many years.
Features to consider when choosing an air hockey table
Which are the features you should be considering when it is time to choose your air hockey table? Are some features more important than others? Working out what is most important to you (or whoever will be using the table) is absolutely vital. Our guide to the features to consider should help.
How big is the table? Make sure you measure out how much space you have available and purchase a table accordingly.
This isn’t like checking whether you have space for a coffee table, though, as you need plenty of space around the air hockey table to actually be able to play it.
For instance, if you buy a seven-foot table it is worth making sure you have a couple of feet either side for the players to actually be able to move around.
You should also think about the sizing in terms of who is going to be playing. If you are buying a table for kids, it may be worth opting for one of the smaller tables such as the Harvil 4 Foot Air Hockey Game Table.
The decision you will need to make when it comes to the scoring system is whether you are looking for an electronic or manual scorer. Some even have both, such as the Harvil 5 Foot Air Hockey table. This is also an example of a model which has an electronic scorer to automatically keep score for you, but this requires extra batteries.
You may also want to think about the location of the scoring system. Is it easy enough to reach if you need to manually adjust it? Air hockey is a fast game and stopping to change scores is frustrating.
Accessories: pucks and pushers
In each of the air hockey table reviews we’ve included above we have also looked at the accessories that are included. Though pucks and pushers can be bought separately, this is not an easy task, especially as the tables are often different sizes, which means the pucks and pushers need to be a suitable size, too.
Most tables have at least one puck and two pushers, but the more which are included, the better. This means you will have spares should they be required. The EastPoint Sports NHL Sting Ray even has four pucks and four pushers!
Blowers and air flow
Strong and reliable blowers and airflow are so important to an air hockey table. There is no point in buying a table which has blowers that don’t work well or let it down. Poor quality motors and badly designed blowers can mean dead spots or not enough power for the puck to float properly around the table.
A good quality blower that is suitable for the table in question is really a minimum requirement when buying an air hockey table. Even if all the other features are great, a blower that lets you down will mean you don’t want to use the air hockey table and make for a frustrating experience.
In-game sounds and LED lighting
Sounds and lighting are a nice bonus! They further add to the arcade feel and this can be appealing for both children and adults alike. Not everyone will care about this feature, but the LED lighting some of the tables have can be very useful when you want to see what you’re doing but don’t want to have all the lights on in your game room.
Just remember that if you do opt for a model which has sound and lighting then this is one more thing which can break. Make sure the reviews are good!
Construction and stability
A wonky table or one which will move around a lot while you are playing is really not ideal. Your table should have a good level of stability even if it is one of the lighter varieties of table which is on the market. Clever design can include things like leg levelers which ensure that the table is a flat playing surface even if it is placed on slightly uneven ground (this is common in basements, for instance).
As well as having a good level of stability, construction shouldn’t be too difficult either. Some tables take just a few minutes to get up and running: mini air hockey tables in particular are quite easy to set up. Most of the products we’ve listed are relatively simple to put together. Any competent DIY lover should be able to do the job with minimal fuss.
There is often a bit of a trade-off when it comes to weight. An air hockey table that is weightier is likely to be more sturdy. On the high end of the market the tables can be over 400 pounds! This is absolutely huge, and none of the tables under $500 that we’ve seen are anywhere near this.
If a table is too heavy it can be very difficult to put together in the first place, and can also be incredibly tough to move around. Some people store their air hockey tables next to a wall and then move it ready to play, this is not possible if your table is overly heavy. Think about how much stability you need and whether you plan to transport or move it once it is constructed.
Some models have the ability to add a ping pong table top over the air hockey top. The EastPoint Sports NHL Sting Ray is an example of this, though the ping pong table topper needs to be purchased separately.
Ever sat at a table and had one leg which is wonky and sends the whole table annoyingly moving around? A leg leveler can avoid any sort of issue with the length of the legs or adjust based on the surface so this never happens.
Leg levelers make it far easier to put an air hockey table on a carpet, and help the surface to stay sturdy, level and fair throughout. If you plan on using your table on a carpet, make sure your chosen model has leg levels for stability.
Wrapping It Up
The MD Sports Air Powered Hockey Table is the Editor’s Choice, and it really does have everything, leading to a 9.9/10 rating. For $500, to get this sort of stability is rare, it has leg levelers and a large enough design to make it perfect for adults to play in rec rooms and feel like you’re at the arcade. It even has sound effects.
Similarly, we really like the EastPoint Sports NHL Sting Ray, which gets a 9.5 rating. As well as having a good level of stability and the option to use the leg levelers, it also has the ability to turn it into a Ping-Pong table with an additional purchase of a topper.
The Triumph Lumen-X Lazer is a bit smaller, but is the best air hockey table under $500 if you are shopping for teenagers or older kids, and 84 inches is just a bit too long. This also has a full arcade experience with LED lights and sound effects, which young people just love.