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: February 19, 2021
Rec Room Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Mini pool tables are a great way to play pool at home when you only have a little bit of room to spare. While portable pool tables can be quickly folded away and stored, you still need quite a bit of space to set them up. The best mini pool table is not only super compact and lightweight, but it also gives a real pool playing experience. They’re a great way to teach kids how to play and can be easily tucked away when not in use.
To put together our review, we looked at a few key features. The playing surface is important, especially if you want something realistic like the felt of a real pool table. We also considered size and weight. Mini pool tables are all 40 inches in length or less and weigh as little as six pounds so they’re easy to set up and can be easily stored upright in a closet or slid under a bed. Finally, we looked at the accessories included. All of our picks include what you need to get started: cues, balls, a rack, and chalk.
We spent hours researching these products to put together this guide, reading reviews and other information provided by experts and customers who use these tables in their homes every day. The first thing you’ll find is a table where you can compare all of our products side by side. Next are in-detail reviews of each product followed by a buying guide that’s full of information to help you find the right mini pool table for you.
The Sunnydaze Mini Tabletop Pool Table Set is a perfect choice for portable fun. You can easily set up this table on any indoor desk or table and it comes with everything you need for hours of fun for amateurs and pool sharks alike. Included are two cues, a set of mini pool balls, a triangle rack, a brush, and two chalks.
One of the great things about this table how well it’s constructed. It’s made of durable MDF and PVC laminate and looks great, too. In fact, it’s designed to look just like a mini version of a real pool table with a green felt table surface, dark brown wood grain finish, classic netted pockets, and sturdy black legs. You can set it up on any flat surface and it’s easy to fold away and store when you’re finished playing. Plus, it weighs only 14 pounds so it’s easy for one person to lift.
One of the few complaints about this table is that the felt and bumpers slow play down a bit but, overall, most users were really pleased with this mini pool table.
Next up is the Rally and Roar Tabletop Pool Table Set, our pick for best realistic play. This table is a great size for one-on-one games without taking up too much space in your game room or living room. It has authentic rubber bumpers that mimic real gameplay and comes with billiard balls, two cues, a rack, brush, and two pieces of chalk.
Something that stands out about this table is it was designed for better gameplay. What makes it different? Not only does it look like a real pool table with a durable deep brown wood frame and smooth gray surface but it also comes with weighted balls and cues. In fact, the cues are 20 percent heavier than those that come with comparable sets which make it easier to control the ball for accurate aim.
Padded foam legs help to prevent scratches on your furniture or floors and compact, convenient design is easy to store when not in use. There were a few complaints that the pockets are a little shallow and the table isn’t completely level but this was not most users’ experience.
The Sport Squad Bx40 weighs only 13 pounds and is less than four inches tall which makes it really easy to store when not in use. When it’s time to play, just place the table on any level surface and you’re ready to go. And don’t worry about scratches, the felt covered legs have non-marking pads that keep your floors or tabletop safe. This table comes with two 36-inch pool cues, a set of authentic to-scale billiard balls, a rack, and two pieces of chalk and features cushioned rails and deep pockets for fast, fun play. The MDF surface is durable and covered in blue felt to provide a realistic playing surface.
Some people commented that the pockets were small and it was difficult for an adult to remove the balls. The cues are also a little light and warp easily. One last thing, the artwork on the side is great for kids but some older players didn’t care for it.
Since the Hey! Play! Mini Tabletop Pool Set only weighs about five pounds even your kids may be able to set it up when they need to play a game or two. Notably, your kids can also learn all about playing pool with this mini table. It has the triangle rack, melamine balls, two cues, and pool stick chalk.
The number of cues implies that a one-on-one game is the most suitable option when it comes to playing with this set. Also, you’ll see that the pool table doesn’t have legs. You’ll thus need to find a base to place it on any time you fancy a game.
Construction also stands out. For a mini table, the manufacturer indeed went to great lengths to ensure you get as similar an experience to the real thing as possible. This is why the wooden exterior is complemented by a felt surface that’s similar to what is in regular pool tables.
Additionally, people who own this mini pool table luck out with the inclusion of a table brush. You could also teach your kids some responsibility by having them clean the mini table on occasion using the brush.
What we liked:
Similar construction to genuine full-size pool tables
Our budget pick is the Playcraft Sport Bank Shot, a simple design with a stylish cherry laminate exterior that looks like a real pool table on a much smaller scale. It’s made of MDF and has a billiard cloth playing surface that’s available in blue, red, or green.
Setup is easy, all you have to do is attach the legs and you’re ready to go. All of the necessary equipment is also included: two 36-inch cues, a set of mini billiard balls, rack, cue, chalk, and brush. The balls have a realistic look and feel which provides a realistic playing experience, though the rails aren’t quite what you need for bank shots.
The pockets are lined with net and are pretty wide which makes it easier for beginners to sink their shots. That said, some users felt they were actually too wide and allowed the balls to sink too far into the netting which made it difficult to remove them.
What we liked:
Stylish cherry laminate exterior
Billiard cloth surface available in red, blue, or green
All necessary accessories included
What could be better:
Wide pockets make it difficult to retrieve balls
Rails aren’t great for bank shots
Things to Consider
A mini pool table is a great way to practice your billiard skills at home without taking up too much room or investing too much money. If you’re considering buying one for your home, here are the main things to consider while you shop.
Mini pool table – what to expect from the item
Mini pool tables are fun for all ages and a great addition to any family room but it’s important to keep in mind that mini pool tables aren’t real pool tables and are used for different purposes.
If you’re looking for a great way to introduce kids to pool, a mini pool table is a great choice. The small size is perfect for teaching kids how to hold a cue and learn to aim in a way they could never experience from a full-sized table. Plus, adults love them, too!
These tables are also a good choice for small spaces where having a real pool table is just not feasible. They’re portable so you can place them on your dining room table when it’s time to play and tuck them in a closet or under a bed when you’re done. There’s no disassembly or heavy loads to move around, either.
Mini billiard playing tips for beginners
If you’re just learning how to play, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, keep your non-dominant hand as the bridge and practice moving the cue back and forth with your dominant hand, or backhand. The backhand should be positioned so the elbow is bent at about 90 degrees when the tip of the cue is close to the ball, within an inch or two. It’s a good idea to get a feel for this motion before trying to make any shots.
When teaching kids to play for the first time, it’s a good idea to set up a simple practice drill rather than start them with a fresh rack. Have them try to hit each ball directly into a pocket without using a cue ball. Then, add the cue ball and work on aim and force.
Take it slow because kids can quickly get frustrated and overwhelmed. Once they get a feel for the movement of the game, they’ll be able to work on more complicated skills.
The prices for these tables vary a bit, ranging from $60 to $80. As you can see, that’s a lot less expensive than a full-sized pool table and even some portable ones!
Features to consider while buying the best mini pool table
To find the right mini pool table for you, make sure you consider these important features.
Build and materials
Most mini pool tables are made of medium density fiberboard or MDF. Higher end models might add details like veneers, metal accents, or carved designs but the foundation is usually the same.
As you might expect, less expensive models may not have the same level of quality but don’t worry, you can get a decent mini pool table for a reasonable price. Most have pockets with netting to catch the balls but some, like the Hey! Play! Mini Tabletop Pool Set, have a ball return system on the inside.
Mini pool tables come in a range of sizes from about 20 to 40 inches which means you really can find the right size for your space. When playing, it’s best to place them on a table that’s as close to their size as possible. If the table is too big, it can be hard to reach the table and take proper shots, especially for small kids with short arms.
For comparison, folding portable tables usually start at about 40 inches long and take up a lot more space than mini tables. Regulation pool tables are 88 inches long making mini tables less than half their size.
The playing surface on professional tables like Barrington, Hathaway or Mizerak is usually smooth felt that facilitates speed and control of the ball. By comparison, mini tables usually have a playing surface made of a less expensive wool blend that isn’t quite as smooth.
Most of these tables, like the Sunnydaze Mini Tabletop Pool Table Set, have drop pockets with netting that holds the balls in place. They have to be manually emptied so that other balls can fit into the pocket. The other option is a ball return system with runners or ramps that guide the balls to a central collection area.
Mini tables are made for fun. They’re made to scale so the balls, cues, and racks are all suitable for the table size and they have to be set up on a flat surface or gameplay will be compromised. But remember, this isn’t a real pool table. They have slower bumpers, smaller balls, and shorter cues. They’re great fun and good for learning but can’t be expected to perform the same was as a regulation pool table.
For the most part, assembly is minimal and once the table is put together, it can be easily carried to other rooms or even outside.
These mini pool tables all come with the basic equipment required to play a game. That is to say, balls, cues, chalk, and a rack are all included. Most also include a brush for cleaning the surface of the table.
Some upscale products may also come with cue holders or other things that are nice to have but aren’t necessary for a good game of pool.
Warranties vary with these products. Some don’t specify any coverage at all while most are covered for a year.
It can, which is why it’s so important to choose one that has felt or non-marking pads to protect the surface of your floors and tables. If you find a table you love that doesn’t have this, you can use store bought products instead that easily stick onto the bottom of the table legs.
You can! The physics of mini pool are the same as with regular pool so the tricks can still be effective. Just keep in mind that the surface of a mini table isn’t quite as smooth so spinning balls and other tricks will respond a little differently than they would on a professional table.
It can but it should not be left outside. Technically, these tables are made for indoor use. They’re not waterproof and could be damaged by inclement weather and direct sunlight. If you really want to use one outside, make sure you set it up where it’s out of direct sunlight. Move it inside in the event of wet weather and always bring it in when you’re done using it.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re looking for a great all-around mini pool table, we recommend the Sunnydaze Mini Tabletop Pool Table Set. It’s easy to set up and comes with everything you need for a game. The dark wood grain finish looks great, too.
The Rally and Roar Tabletop Pool Table Set is a great choice for realistic gameplay. The weighted cues and balls and authentic rubber bumpers give you a lot of control and help improve accuracy. Plus, this table has a realistic look and feel that looks great in any game room.
We also recommend the Sport Squad Bx40, an extremely portable option that weighs only 13 pounds and is less than four inches tall. It’s easy to set up and put away when the game is over. This best mini pool table also features a blue felt playing surface, cushioned rails, and deep pockets help keep gameplay moving quickly.