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: March 10, 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
Table tennis is an amazing way to exercise both physically and mentally and provides a great opportunity to interact with family and friends. For you to enjoy these benefits, investing in a ping pong table is mandatory. However, sometimes there is just not enough space to install a new table and that is where a table tennis conversion top comes in. If you already have a pool table at home or any sizeable table, you can easily convert it into a ping pong table using a conversion top.
But which one do you buy when they all look almost the same? Well, the best table tennis conversion top is easy to arrive at as long as you are well-informed of the features to consider. One is the size of the conversion top, but keep in mind that cost is relative to size. The padding itself needs to be feel exactly the same as the one on a standard ping pong table, while it has to include some attachments and accessories to enhance your gameplay. You can read more on these factors in our buying guide section further down.
We also have a comparison table and in-depth reviews of the top five conversion tables on the market, which we narrowed down to after pulling together a list of several ping pong tables. Our research took more than 48 hours and involved going through customer reviews and expert reviews of these products, so we hope you will benefit from our effort and will enjoy reading our thorough buying guide.
Our top choice is the JOOLA Conversion Table Tennis Top, which also happens to be the best rated product on the market. It is made from a trusted Olympics table tennis manufacturer, thus you can expect top-notch quality. The conversion top arrives pre-assembled and setting up on your table of choice will take only a minute. All you have to do is clamp the table tennis net to the surface of the conversion top and start playing. When you are done, remove the tops and your table will be ready to use for something else.
The top features 10 EVA foam pads, which prevent scratches and damage to your table. If it’s a pool table, the padding ensures that it stays in good condition while you dominate your peers in ping pong. As a matter of fact, this 9ft x 5ft conversion top is designed to fit all standard billiard tables with a maximum length of 8ft. When not using the conversion top, just store it away in a closet. However, the top is quite heavy at 117 lbs and you will need someone to help you in storage.
Another thing to love about this conversion ping pong table under $500 is its 1.5’’ thick steel tube, which is the standard for a high-quality ping pong table. Better still, JOOLA offers 100% satisfaction guarantee allowing you to return the product if you are not happy or even give your suggestions for improvement.
What we liked:
Easy to set up and store away
Comes with soft EVA padding to prevent scratches.
15mm thick top that’s made from quality materials.
Having a variety of pieces of equipment plus gaming tables in a playroom is the normal situation for many homes but in some case it is just not practical and that is where this Martin Kilpatrick Conversion Top comes in handy.
Crafted in Germany, this table top fits onto a billiards table as a conversion product and it comes with a net that is claimed to be “uniquely designed”. The simplicity of this model in terms of conversion from pool table to table tennis is quite straightforward and hassle-free, eliminating the need for two separate tables in one gaming room.
The surface of this conversion top is very durable, while the underside is padded with foam stickers to prevent scratching your pool table. According to the reviews, it perfectly fits an 8ft pool table with 7ft tables still being okay. The manufacturer claims it can as well fit 9ft tables if you remove the 1.5-inch metal rails.
While this model is not particularly cheap, it has a great workmanship and quality. The board is 3/4 inches thick, just a step above conventional 5/8-inch recreational tables and many players claim this feels much the same as one of the expensive ping pong tables. Also included is a net set that simply slides into the sides of the conversion top.
Important to mention is that this conversion top is available in three colours; blue, green and grey, meaning you can choose your preferred colour. On top of that, the two sides are connected using a dovetail fitting and this system works really well when it comes to set-up.
If you are short on space and looking to convert your dining table or pool table to a table tennis table, the Martin Kilpatrick Conversion Top would make a great choice for you.
What we liked:
Sturdy and solid construction
Simple and effective dovetail connection system
Fits most tables including 7ft, 8ft and 9ft pool tables
Foam pads included to protect your pool table
Available in a range of colours
3-year warranty for total peace of mind
What could be better:
May need adjustments to fit smaller tables
Quite heavy and will need an extra hand to install
The GamePoint Tables Table Tennis Conversion Top is a beautiful piece of equipment finished in a blue color scheme to add a sensational style, while the construction material is highly durable. It comes preassembled and is built to high safety standards. Upon receiving this pool table conversion top, simply remove from the box, fix the net, and start playing. It is also built to the standard length of 9ft x 5ft and standard thickness of 5/8 inches for optimal gameplay.
The bottom part features EVA foam stickers designed to protect your billiards table from scuffs and scratches. The table tennis top also includes straps to wrap underneath the table and keep it secure from movement during play. A tension adjustment on the net is additionally a great feature allowing you to tighten the net accordingly.
Designed as a tournament ping pong table, it is made of a powder-coated steel frame that won’t bend. Even the top material is weather-resistant and rustproof, meaning it can survive the outdoor conditions for years. The major selling point is that this conversion top is not just pool table but can also transform your foosball table, air hockey table, or even your dining table into a great ping pong table.
You will love the ease of storage given this table folds down compact and there is a double locking mechanism that hold it safely in the storage position. Furthermore, rotating wheels allow for easy transportation to the garage. In terms of cost and value, this is a professional quality table that’s made up of high-quality elements. Even the manufacturer takes great pride in this product by offering 100% money back guarantee.
The Rally & Roar Conversion Top allows you to turn any table to a table tennis game. Simply pop it on top and let the play begin. This makes the perfect game to challenge family and friends while spending quality time with them. Though the model in review is a 2-panel design, you can as well go for the 4-board design but you will pay more.
Assembly is hassle-free as you only have to lay the panels across a table, attach the net posts to both sides, and you will be ready to play. It also benefits from a durable construction thanks to the use of professional-grade materials. This 2-piece set is 5/8 inches thick and guaranteed optimal ounce with silk print striping.
The space-saving design means you can optimize room in your playroom or garage by foregoing an entire ping pong table and just converting any sizeable existing table into a pop-up table tennis match. Furthermore, the panels can be disassembled, folded, and stored under a bed or in a closet.
Boasting an official tournament size of 9ft x 5ft, this conversion top will let you have fun with up to four people at a go, keeping in mind that this competition grade indoor ping pong table is built to last. And no matter the table this conversion top is put on, the ball is consistent on every part of surface.
All in all, this 2-piece conversion top is a worthy consideration if you are looking for a fairly priced option.
The Carmelli NG2323 has an impressive price for the package it offers. But considering the high-quality craftsmanship and the finesse makes it loveable model amid table tennis enthusiast. The box includes a 4-piece hinged conversion top that is easy to set up and store when the game is over. At 9ft x 5ft, this product has the regulation size for a ping pong table and it turns any 7ft or 8ft pool table into a fast action table tennis table.
It also comes with a net and post set to get you started right away, while foam stickers on the bottom side ensures that the surface upon which the top rests is protected against scratches. The playing surface is 1/2-inch thick, which is greater than regular surfaces at 5/8 inches, and that makes the bounce effect much better. On top of that, the surface features PVC laminate for durability and consistent play. The green surface also looks good. You can also expect a lighter conversion top at just 88 lbs, unlike all the other options in this review that weigh in excess of 100 lbs.
While most ping pong conversion tables cost upwards of $200, this one is available for much less than that, yet it has standard dimensions, fits most tables and is well-built from CARB’’ certified thick MDF material.
What we liked:
Durable construction featuring MDF and PVC laminate
4-piece hinged design for easy set-up
Compatible with 7’ and 8’ tables
Includes surface protection pads
Thick playing surface for better bounce
Comes with post set and net
What could be better:
Edges found to chip easily
Things to Consider
Full sized table tennis units are worth all the hype but if you have limited space then conversion tops make a good option. There is no limit to the size of table tennis conversion you have access to. You can get a miniature version for kids or settle for the standard version. Whatever your preference is, you can be sure that the marketplace will deliver. Below we shall discuss the benefits of getting tennis conversion table and also the features to look out for.
Why should you have a table tennis conversion top?
If you have an interest in table tennis, then there is never a perfect time to get one. When the urge strikes, you just wake up and purchase one. Why? There are a few reasons as to why conversion tables are the way to go. Some of these include;
They make it easy to entertain a group of people at a moment’s notice. You just need to assemble it on top of the pool table and you are good to go.
It is a good way to keep practicing if you cannot afford a full-sized unit.
Conversion tops make great units for office recreational games. Even if you move office, you can always find space for your conversion top.
If you are a beginner and you are just trying out the game, no need to spend large sums of money, just get a simple, removable conversion top.
They are simple to store and to keep in good condition as they can be dismantled for storage.
Ping-pong tips for training
Are you new to the game? Or do you just need to upgrade your skill? No worries, here are a few tips that would help elevate your skill. You may know some of them but it is good to remember afresh.
Learn the basics
Just like riding a bicycle, there are some rules to the sport or you end up with disappointing results. Learn the proper hand movement and body posture required to maneuver through the game. They say practice makes perfect therefore just take your time.
Offer an excellent serve
Once you learn the basics then it is time to perfect your swerve. Offering the perfect swerve needs flexibility for a quick bounce back. Short swerves are preferred over long swerves as the rate of repositioning is faster.
It is not the easiest thing, but learning how to spin can be beneficial. When spinning, learn to keep your eye on the incoming ball. The probability of you hitting the ball in the same direction it came was high.
To gauge the speed of the ball, keep your eye on the logo. If the logo seems blurry then the ball is moving fast. The spinning effect will be more pronounced when hitting a fast ball.
Learn between the different kinds of spins. This will help you match up against any opponent squarely. There is the topspin, backspin and sidespin depending on your level of prowess.
As the ball travels to different heights, there are interjections you can make to hit the opponent with an unexpected ball. You can interject when the ball is about to hit the table or when it’s at its maximum height in the air. How you choose to play will depend on the opponent’s strategy.
You can be a good player but the equipment left you defeated. Instead of settling for the cheapest equipment, you can spend a bit more and fetch sturdy equipment. Avoid switching rackets randomly as your hand gets used to handling a specific racket. Treat it like a member of the team and take care of the racket.
Keep your cool
Sometimes we can take the game a bit too seriously. Being tense will cause you to make mistakes that could be avoided. Keeping a cool mind permits clear thinking and the ability to make critical decisions. It will also make the game more enjoyable and allow you to play optimally.
Depending on the brand you are after, the prices will vary. You will find models with the right features at high prices, or low priced units with fewer features. For a new model, you may spend from $150 to $300 depending on the quality of the features availed. Look at the much you are willing to spend and purchase accordingly.
Features to consider while buying the best table tennis conversion top
What do you consider before you purchase a table tennis conversion top? Apart from the price and reputation of the brand name, here are a few more factors to consider:
The right size
How much room do you have to house the table tennis conversion top? In most cases, table tennis conversion tops fit on the top of standard 8ft pool tables. You can get a longer version that is 9ft long but if your pool table is larger than normal, you will have to work with what you have. Whether you are setting it on a pool table or other flat surface, make sure there is enough room for maneuverability. All the models in this review are standard sized at 9ft x 5ft.
The unit that you purchase should be easy for you to mount for use and dismount for storage. In many cases, table tennis conversion tops are designed to comprise of two foldable pieces. These two pieces can be clamped or possess in-built hinges to form a complete piece. Some such as the Carmelli NG2323 are available in 4 panels but still are easy to set up. Whatever your preference, make sure that the table is level when assembled.
Table tennis conversion tops are not so light and therefore may cause dents/ scratches to the surface holding them. Whether it is pool tables or dining tables, padding strips/pads are used to ease the pressure of the unit and prevent permanent damage.
If the tennis conversion table you have is light in weight, there are always specially designed clamps that will stabilize the unit. They will hold the unit firmly without damaging the pool table.
The thickness of the table tennis conversion unit is important because it affects the realistic experience of the game. You don’t want the table to be too heavy to transport. A thickness 5/8 thick is recommended and it will be easy to take it apart for storage. 1/2 thick conversion are also common with the Carmelli NG2323 being a good example.
Weighing between 85-130pounds, many of the conversion tops require help to lift. The heavier they are, the more of a challenge they are to store. For your sake, pick models that come with a foldable design like the GamePoint Tables Table Tennis Conversion Top or one that can be dismantled into two pieces. If you look hard enough you can get one that folds into quarters.
To protect your surfaces, the conversion tops are equipped with EVA/PVC foam padding. The more preferable one is EVA material due to its high bouncing capacity. If these foam paddings are not provided, you can source them independently. Every model in this post features a certain type of foam padding and we can’t overemphasize their importance further.
Accessories refer to the extra stuff we get on top of the conversion top unit. These may include nets, posts, balls and ping pong paddles depending on the brand. Don’t be afraid to buy units that come with extra accessories, they add more value for money spent. If you don’t find any accessories, worry not, there is always next time.
Where are you going to store it when it is not in use? Look for models that feature a space-saving mechanism like foldable joints. Easily dismantle-able units make storage a simpler process as they take up less space.
Luckily for you, maintaining conversion tops is pretty straightforward. Regular wiping of on top with cleaning fluid, warm water and a soft cloth will keep dirt at bay. Store it away from dust and humid areas to avoid any damage.
Yes, it can. In the past decades, conversion tables were either grey or green. Through d also became associated with conversion tables, however, the International Table Tennis Federation decided that matte blue would be added to the list of acceptable colors. According to your preference, select the color that is most attractive to you.
Yes, there are such models in the market. Few but nonetheless present. Because most of the conversion tables are intended for indoor use, you can always purchase an outdoor ping pong table. They are more suited for outdoor activity as the materials used are weather-protected.
Wrapping It Up
After careful consideration, we narrowed down to the top 5 conversion tops above. We handpicked products of all prices in order to meet various budget needs. Though the purchasing decision is your hands, we totally believe the models above are of the highest quality.
The JOOLA Conversion Table Tennis Top is our overall best table tennis conversion top. This popular model fits all 9 x 5ft tables and it comes with a net and post set for use straight out of the box. It additionally benefits full foam padding for maximum protection of your table.
Another great recommendation is the Martin Kilpatrick Conversion Top. Perfect for converting a dining table to a ping pong table, this product utilizes a dovetail connection for quick assembly and disassembly. Any table sized 7ft to 9ft is good to go with this and it is available in different colors.
And if you want to enjoy table tennis at a budget, consider the Carmelli NG2323. Perfect for 7ft and 8ft tables and with a MDF construction with PVC laminate surface, this one should last for years. It also has a thicker surface, providing an improved bounce compared to other products.