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!).
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
Whether you are an amateur or a professional table tennis player, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to buy a good table, as there are budget-friendly models under 500 dollars. Everything you love the table tennis, or ping pong for – fun, safety and competition for the whole family is present in a budget table that can be fully set inside the house.
If you are new to ping pong, it may be difficult for you to narrow down the best ping pong table under 500 dollars. To help make your shopping easier, we considered important features like the dimension – full and folded, weight, warranty information, surface thickness, and many more that can affect the performance of the table.
To ensure that this guide is comprehensive, we spent countless hours doing deep and extensive research, consulted experts who have been in the table tennis industry for years, and went through hundreds of reviews left by real people on reputable sites. Also, we’ve had a ton of fun testing the tables ourselves. This guide starts with a comparison table that shows the rating of each product. Next are in-depth reviews of each product as well as their pros and cons. The last section is a buying guide that contains everything you need to know about ping pong tables.
The Stiga Advantage is an eye-catching, and a durable competitive grade table that is suitable for amateurs and professionals alike. Its super sleek design and remarkable finishing set it apart from others out there.
This high performance and budget-friendly table feature a 5/8-inch-thick playing surface, sturdy feet that are super easy to adjust. The feet come with well-crafted rubber levelers that will protect your floors from scratches.
As you would expect from a top-notch ping pong table, the Stiga Advantage is easy to set up and store. This is possible because of the zero-gravity feature that makes it feel weightless when setting it up or putting it away.
The robust construction and impressive surface finish of this rugged table are certainly going to impress you.
Unlike other table tennis tables on the market that come with a cheap or poorly made net, the Stiga Advantage comes with a professional-spec heavyweight net that will probably cost you $40 or more.
Needless to say, the Stiga Advantage is a high quality and sturdy ping pong table made with premium quality materials, it has a handful of impressive features, but it has a few issues.
Some customers complained that the table top has a thin surface. Also, the table isn’t waterproof and cannot be used outdoors. Of course, these take nothing away from the performance of this ping pong table.
So, if you are looking for a high-performance ping pong table that will last you for a long time, then the Stiga Advantage will be good for you.
Joola is a heavyweight German company that has been making premium quality tennis products since 1950. Its latest offering, the JOOLA Inside is a sturdy, inexpensive, and well-constructed ping-pong table.
This impressive table features 1.5-inch steel legs, a 5/8-inch top, and a coated rust-proof undercarriage.
Just like other top-notch ping pong table on the market, the JOOLA Inside conveniently splits into two halves. With this feature, you will be able to move it around with relative ease and practice on your own without the need of a partner.
Unlike some ping pong table that is difficult to assemble, the JOOLA Inside is super easy to put together. Since it comes 90% preassembled, you will be able to put it together in less than 15 minutes.
The sturdy construction, impressive finishing and ultra-smooth surface of this heavy-duty ping pong table make it perfect for extended use.
As you likely now know, the JOOLA Inside is a top-notch ping pong table, but it has 3 main issues. First, it is not a good fit for serious players looking to improving their skill, as its thickness will not provide the necessary speed and ball bounce. Second, it cannot be used or stored outside, especially in a humid environment. Finally, it is heavier than models from other brands similar to it on the market.
So, if you are a greenhorn player looking for a durable ping pong table to hone your skill, the JOOLA inside 15 will be good for you.
What we liked:
It is easy to assemble
1.5-inch diameter legs
It is easy to move around and store
Made with high-quality materials
What could be better:
It is heavy
It cannot be used outside or in high heat and humid areas
The Harvil Outsider is a stunning, modern, high-performance outdoor ping pong table that is perfect for beginners trying to master the basics. Since it is an outdoor table, you can use it outside without the fear of it falling apart. The compact design and exceptional finishing of this impressive table is certainly going to catch your attention and bring out the champion in you.
This high-performance ping pong table features a durable powder coated metal legs, a 4mm aluminum table top, and special wheels with locking casters. Just like other top-notch ping pong table on the market, the Harvil Outsider has a playback feature that makes it easy to store.
When you make a purchase, you will be given a special storage pack for 4 bats, a protective cover to protect the table when not in use, and 8 balls.
Obviously, the Harvil Outsider is an excellent ping pong table with a couple of impressive features, but it has a few downsides. Some customers complained that its net is of low quality as it sags easily. Also, it is not a good fit for expert players looking to upping their game.
So, if you are an amateur player looking for a durable outdoor ping pong table at an affordable price, the Harvil Outsider will be perfect for you.
What we liked:
It comes with a storage pack and other accessories
The STIGA Space Saver is a lightweight, portable, and budget-friendly ping pong table that is perfect for those with limited space. The elegant design, superior performance, and sturdy construction of this high-performance ping-pong table make it a must-have for beginners and intermediate players.
This impressive table is constructed with high-grade MDF materials, specially finished to create an ultra smooth surface. Also, it is lined with a special silkscreen striping that is carefully printed on the surface of the table to give it an eye-catching and elegant finish.
The STIGA Space Saver measures 71” x 40.5” x 30” and weighs 73 lbs. Since it is lightweight, you will be able to move it around with relative ease. Its 1.25-inch legs offer remarkable support that keeps it firm and level.
Unlike other ping pong tables that can only be played indoors, the STIGA Space Saver can be played both indoors and outdoors. Also, it is easy to assemble and move around.
No doubt, the STIGA Space Saver is an exceptional ping pong table, but it has a few issues. First, it is difficult to separate table top halves. Also, its screw may get loosen after a while.
So, if you are on a budget or you have limited playing space, STIGA Space Saver will be a good fit for you.
The butterfly junior is an elegant ping pong table with a superbly built quality and is a great option for children and adults. Its eye-catching and compact design set it apart from models from other brands.
This top-notch ping pong table measures 81” x 45” x 30”, having a surface thickness of 0.4 inches and weighing 75lbs. Since it is lightweight, you will be able to move it around and store it without stressing yourself out.
Just like other high-grade ping pong table on the market, the butterfly Junior is foldable. Also, it is portable and can be stored anywhere. The table has special wheels you can use to move it around with relative ease.
When you opt for the Butterfly Junior, you won’t have to worry about how you are going to assemble it, as it comes pre-assembled.
To ensure that this high-performance table is sturdy, it was made with premium quality materials and a high-quality steel frame.
Granted, the Butterfly Junior is an affordable ping pong table that has a lot of impressive features, but it has a few downsides. First, it is not weatherproof and should not be stored outside. Also, only one player can play on each side.
So, if you are looking for a sturdy, lightweight, and portable ping pong table, the Butterfly Junior will be good for you.
What we liked:
Easy to assemble
It is foldable
There are wheels installed to enable easy movement
What could be better:
It isn’t weatherproof
Only one player can play on each side
Things to Сonsider
As you already know, there are a good number of ping pong tables under 500 dollars. All of them may not suit your unique needs and preferences. To make an educated decision and ultimately narrow down a good one, there are some important features you must consider. In this section, we are going to be looking at some of these features.
Budget ping pong table – what to expect for the price?
Gone are the days when you have to spend a small fortune to get a high-quality ping pong table. Presently, there are a good number of reputable brands that offer premium quality ping pong tables at a budget-friendly price. You should expect to pay anything from $250 to $450 dollars for one that will last you for years and years to come. Avoid overly cheap ping pong tables, like the plague, as they may be of very low quality and may fall apart after a while. To increase the odds of you picking a good table that will stand the test of time, you should pick from models from popular brands like STIGA Advantage or JOOLA Inside 15 that have tons of positive reviews.
Would it be indoors or outdoors?
Of course, you have the freedom to choose any ping pong table you want. But before making a final decision, you need to give careful consideration to where you are going to be playing and storing it.
If you plan on playing it only inside your apartment, then you should opt for an indoor ping pong table model like the JOOLA inside 15. On the other hand, if you plan on storing or playing it outside, then you should opt for an outdoor model like the Harvil Outsider, as they are built with studier, high quality galvanized steel undercarriage. As you guessed, the playing surfaces of outdoor ping pong tables are weatherproof and resistant to the elements.
Features to consider while buying the best ping pong table under $500
Buying a high-quality ping pong under 500 dollars is by no means an easy task, especially if you are buying your first one. With so many models out there, it may be difficult for you to pick a good one that will suit you. To silence the noise and narrow down the choice, you must consider important features like sturdiness, user-friendliness, space-saving, table size, playback action, and many more as these features can affect the performance of the table.
This is an essential feature you should give careful consideration regardless of the ping pong table model you are opting for. As you probably know, ping pong tables come in different sizes; while some models are small and portable, others are large and take a lot of space. Consider measuring your playroom to see if the ping pong table you are opting for will fit into it. If your playroom is large, then you can opt for standard size models like the STIGA Advantage or the JOOLA Inside 15. If your play area is small, on the other hand, then you should opt for portable models like the STIGA Space Saver.
Only opt for ping pong tables made with high-quality materials, as they will last for years and years to come. Low-quality tables are surely going to bend and buckle with time making them difficult or impossible to use. Non-folding tables are usually sturdier than their foldable counterparts as they have better frame strength. Cheaper ping pong tables are made of materials like wood, on the other hand, high quality and durable ones are made of stainless steel.
The legs and wheels are two important parts of a ping pong table that determine its performance. So before making a purchase, do well to check the diameter of the legs of the ping pong table model you are opting for. You should opt for models with steel legs. Also, the table has to have a locked wheel to keep it stable while you play.
Since the surface thickness of a ping pong table can affect its performance, you must pay close attention to it before making a purchase.
To ensure that you have enjoyed playing experience, it is wise you opt for ping pong table models that are above 5/8” or 15.875mm. Tables with less than this thickness provide an inconsistent bounce.
Tables with a thickness higher than 22.23mm or 7/8” can be used for tournaments and extended use. When opting for an indoor table, avoid models that have a thickness of 1/2 inches as they are fragile and easily get damaged. Also, tennis balls don’t bounce on them accurately. Professional players should opt for tables that have a 1 inch thick top.
Safety should be your number one priority when playing ping pong with your family or friends, as accidents that can lead to serious injuries can occur. If the table is not properly set up or its locking mechanism is faulty, it could roll over and hurt your feet. To ensure safety, it is important that you opt for models with a safety feature- like levers for easy folding and locks to prevent it from collapsing during your play. Some ping pong tables have padded corners that prevent injuries to onlookers and players.
See, you don’t need to buy the largest ping pong table on the market to have a great time. A standard or average-sized model will do. However, if you live in a small apartment, then you should opt for portable models like the STIGA Space Saver or the Butterfly Junior. These models are foldable and are thus easy to move around and store.
If you have a spacious play area or you plan to use your ping pong table outside, then you should opt for standard-sized models like the STIGA Advantage or the JOOLA inside 15. Moreover, you might want to check more affordable table tennis conversion tops, which allow you to turn even surfaces into playfields.
Net and posts
Most people don’t really give much preference to the net that comes with their ping pong table because they feel it is surely going to be of high quality. But that is far from the truth, as some ping pong table comes with a low-quality net that probably won’t last for a long time. Whether you are going for a budget-friendly model like the STIGA Space Saver or fairly expensive models like the STIGA Advantage or the JOOLA inside 15, it is important that you check if they come with high-quality net and posts. If you don’t, you may end up spending extra cash on replacing the net that comes with it.
This is an important feature you should give serious thoughts to especially if you stay alone, as you may not have a partner to play with most of the time. Having a ping pong table with a playback option, you will be able to play on your own when there is no one to play with.
As you probably know, not all ping pong table on the market has this feature. So, before making a purchase, do well to check if it has a playback option. Yes, models with this feature may be a little more expensive, but that shouldn’t deter you from buying them as you can use it when you have a playmate or when you are alone.
If you don’t want to spend a few bucks on accessories like balls, storage bag, and so on, then you should opt for a model that come with accessories like the Harvil Outsider, with four bats, a special cover to protect the table from the elements, 8 balls, and a portable storage bag.
The two main accessories, you will need to have, to have an excellent playing experience is ball storage and an abacus scorer. With ball storage, you will have easy access to ping pong balls. The abacus scorer is designed to keep records of scores. It is usually made of wood and can be attached to the table.
Regardless of the model, you are opting for it is important that you check if it is warranty protected. The warranty protects against defects and irregularities. This means that if the ping pong table you bought has some issues or irregularities, it will be fixed or replaced for free or at a very small price. Buying a ping pong table that isn’t warranty protected is a recipe for disaster, as you will bear the cost of repairing it if it comes with a fault or an issue.
Ping pong playing tips for beginners
Becoming an expert ping pong player is no easy business. Even if you buy a super expensive table you aren’t going to become a better player overnight, below are some tips that can help you out.
If your form is perfect and balanced, it will be easy for you to move instantly in all direction.
Keep your returns low
Try to keep the ball as low but not too low so that it doesn’t hit the net. Doing this will make it difficult or impossible for your opponent to hit the ball with power.
Practice, practice, practice
The only way you are going to become a better player is if you spend long hours practicing. Keep in mind that competing isn’t the same as practicing. You see, when you compete, you are likely going to have a strong desire to win. When you practice, on the other hand, you will be focused on improving your tactics, technique, and skill instead of winning.
Find a partner
You aren’t going to become an exceptional play if you play on your own all the time. So, find someone at your playing level and practice together on a regular basis.
If you have an indoor ping pong table, then you should fold it and store it in your garage. However, if you have an outdoor ping pong table, then you can store it outside. Even if it is designed to withstand the elements, it is good you cover it. Do well to read the storage instruction that comes with it to ensure that you are storing it the right way.
Wrapping It Up
While all the ping pong tables reviewed in this guide are great and have a lot of impressive features, here are our top 3 picks.
The STIGA Advantage, our editor’s choice, is a high-quality ping pong table that comes with a heavy-duty net, lockable caster wheel, and safety latches. Its robust construction and remarkable finishing, and excellent performance make it a must-have for expert and amateur players looking for a durable ping pong table.
Our second-best ping pong table, the JOOLA Inside 15, is a high performance and durable table that can withstand consistent use. Its eye-catching design and superb finishing set it apart from its rivals.
Our third best pick, the STIGA Space Saver, is a portable and budget-friendly ping pong table model. It is an excellent fit for those who have a small play area or on a tight budget.
We hope that our guide eases your search for the best ping pong table under 500 dollars that will suit your unique needs and preferences.