If you were to visit the best game rooms in the world, there’s a strong chance you would find a foosball table in each.
Table soccer, or Foosball as it’s better know, officially dates back to 1921 when Harold Searles Thornton from the United Kingdom patented the game. He developed the idea due to the growing popularity of outdoor football in Europe.
It was not until the 1970s when it gained popularity in the bars and pool halls in the US and has grown to become a mainstream activity in workplaces and homes.
Today there are many foosball table manufacturers and the game has taken some slightly different forms. We aim to make to make the buying process easier for you and break down the important areas to consider before purchasing your own table.
In a hurry? Check out a summary of our recommendations below.
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|Foosball Table||More info|
|KICK Legend Foosball Table|
Best All Round
|Rally and Roar Foosball Tabletop|
Best for Kids
|Atomic Pro Force Foosball Table|
Best for Beginners
|Kettler Cavalier Outdoor Foosball Table|
Best for Outdoors
|Tornado T-3000 Foosball Table|
Best for Pros
- Unlimited Lifetime Warranty
- 1-Goalie Design or 3-Goalie Design (Player Preference)
- Counterbalanced FoosMen
- Built to withstand many hours of playing time
- Heavy and requires 2 adults to move
- Hard plastic balls don’t play well (recommend upgrading)
The all rounder category is our best overall value for money buy. We would recommend this category for players that are of intermediate or advanced skill level. In this category, we recommend the KICK Legend foosball table.
The KICK is well designed table and something that the company prides themselves on. It’s the kind of table that would suit almost any game room.
The gameplay on the KICK is a large step up from the entry level tables. It’s well constructed using MDF material and includes a ½ inch thick laminate playing field. This makes it super smooth, quick and free of dead spots.
This table includes Counterbalanced Foosmen (players) out of the box. This is when the players can remain at a horizontal level when released in that position. The benefit of this is that your players do not automatically block the ball, making it easier to score.
During intense play the table remains stationary. KICK have added a rubber bottom to their leg levelers which prevent any extra movement from the 140 pound table.
Apart from some minor feedback to upgrade on the supplied balls, this is a fantastic table that suits players of any ability.
- Versatile and compact
- Well constructed for a tabletop table
- Mostly preassembled, but requires about 15-30 mins
- Requires a table to position it on
- Light and table can move around
- Handle grip is rough and rigid
- Balls are rough and slow
The Rally and Roar is a perfect table to take on vacation or have it setup in the kids play room. For table that is this compact and versatile it is also well constructed for an entry level tabletop table.
While the gameplay is what you would expect for a tabletop table, the movement of the rods is relatively smooth and easy for kids to manoeuvre.
The biggest pain point for this table is the lack of grip on the legs. The table can slide around which can be dangerous, so we recommend placing a rubber mat or other surface to prevent movement.
If your main objective with this table is portability and to give kids a taste for the game, then the Rally and Roar is a decent choice.
- Well designed, good looking table
- Leg levellers included
- Sturdy for an entry level table
- No dead spots
- Assembly required – can take upto
- 4 hours Poor quality of rods and bushings
- Hard rubber handles are uncomfortable
The majority of foosball table buyers are looking at entry level tables so there’s a lot of competition in this space. Looking at the large number of options available, our recommendation is the Atomic Pro Force.
For a competitive price you’re getting a sturdy, full sized table that should last a few years if its well kept.
The table itself uses MDF for the cabinet and bamboo laminate for the playing surface which is higher than other tables in the category. It also removes any dead spots with ints angled buffers on each corner which makes the gameplay quite good overall.
When looking for areas of improvement with the Atomic, there are not a lot. The quality of the rods and bushings (plastic pieces) are not great so these might need to be replaced after some time. We also found the handles to be uncomfortable as they’re made from really hard rubber.
Both of these can be rectified with different parts if required.
Dimensions: 58″ L x 46″ W x 35″ H
Weight: 190 pounds
Materials: Constructed with high quality laminates and weatherproof resin
- Made in the USA
- High speed glass playing field
- Telescopic rods with anti-rust chromium plating
- Weatherproof resin included in the cabinet materials
- Handles too skinny and easy to lose grip
- Despite the side angled gutters we’ve found some dead spots, but very minor
- Assembly around 2 hours
Growing in popularity are outdoor foosball tables. It’s one of the game room activities that are not affected by the wind as the balls are protected and heavy enough.
So if you’re looking for an outdoor table, our pick is the Kettler Cavalier. It’s a large 58 inch table that weighs 190 pounds.
The cabinet is weatherproofed and the playing surface made from laminate with a high speed glass layer. This provides a zippy yet smooth gameplay.
While it has some weather protection, it’s not waterproof. Kettler provides a strong cover to help, but it requires reinforcement to prevent strong winds blowing it away. The table does include some high grade leg levelers which are a must for outdoor play.
We had to go granular to find any improvements. The first being to rectify some dead spots towards each of the corners. This is despite the inclusion of angled gutters. The other being we found the handles to be slippery and a little skinny.
- Rolls Royce of foosball tables
- ITSF certified for tournament play
- Counterbalanced, low profile men
- Your choice of 1 or 3 man goalie
- Solid as a rock – made with true craftsmanship
- Ball drop doesn’t include a cup to hold the ball
- Extremely Heavy
The Tornado T-3000 is our final table recommendation that is made for pros and players that are prepared to spend over $2,000.
It’s one of five tables certified by the ITSF for tournament play and is as good as a table as you will get.
It is built with the same materials as the KICK, but weighs more than double its weight! The commercial grade MDF and two piece cabinet make it extremely solid and difficult to move.
It’s safe to say this table comes with all the bells and whistles. It includes hollow chrome-plated steel rods providing smooth movement and counterweighted Tornado players with sharper corners for better control. The handles are durable and comfortable and the balls provided are slightly roughed up to provide good grip.
We needed to be really picky to find a fault with this table and we found it in the ball drop. Tornado could include a cup to hold the ball before releasing it into play.
If you’re a fanatic and foosball is a big part of your life, then this table is for you.
Foosball table buying considerations
Types of foosball tables
Stand alone tables
The most common type of foosball table you’ll find in game rooms and bars are stand alone tables. These tables are purpose built, heavier and require a larger amount of playing space.
Stand alone tables are intended to be stationary for as long as possible. They can be moved however may require some dismantling.
Tabletop tables don’t come with any legs. They’re made to be positioned on top of a surface, normally a regular dining table, bench or even on the floor.
They are built to be portable and can easily fit in most cars. Tabletop tables are a good option for kids or when you have limited space.
When you’re torn between which game you want in your game room, a multi-game table is a neat solution. Multi-game tables combine a foosball top with other games such as air hockey or ping pong, where each table top can be interchanged.
While multi-game tables provide versatility and save on space, it often comes at the expense of quality gameplay. They become the jack of all trades and master of none.
The dimensions of a regular size foosball table are 30 inches wide, 56 inches long, and 36 inches tall or approximately 76cm (W) x 142cm (L) x 91cm (H).
Its important to note that these dimensions are for the table only and don’t include space for the rods. Allow an additional two feet (1 ft on each playing side).
Some mid sized tables can measure 48 inches in length and the tabletop tables are often even smaller.
Skill level & usage
Beginners & kids
If you’re looking to buy your first foosball table where you can play on the odd occasion, there is a high chance you are a beginner.
You need something to start with to be able to determine whether is an activity that you will enjoy. An entry level table would be well suited for you. If you’re not going to play regularly then its probably best to spend the extra money elsewhere.
Similarly for kids, they’re likely to outgrow a table in a few years. They also need something that is height appropriate. So stick with something that will get them comfortably playing like a tabletop table.
Intermediate players are familiar with foosball and will determine the difference between an entry level or advanced table.
An intermediate player is looking to improve their skills, they play regularly and in the market for an upgrade to their existing table.
Advanced players are foosball fanatics! Their frequent and intense play requires a heavy duty table to support their playing style.
They practice advanced skills which other tables will not allow them to and are particular about every detail about the table. They are very likely to play competitively and may even have their name on the winners list at the local bar.
The largest and heaviest part of the foosball table is the cabinet. This houses the rest of the parts and usually rests on four table legs.
The cabinet is built using either of the following materials:
- Particle board
- Solid wood
Particle board cabinets are usually found with cheaper tables. Particle board is made from wood chips, sawmill shavings, or even sawdust. So while it is often lighter, it is the least durable material and is prone to deteriorate. We recommend staying away from these if possible.
Solid wood tables on the other hand are durable however can be expensive. They’re also prone to experience warping in hot and humid climates.
Composite materials (such as MDF and fibre glass) are suited to most tables. They don’t have any problems with hotter temperatures and still have a solid feel. You’ll find most tables on the market are made with composite materials.
A good rule to remember is the heavier the table the higher quality it is.
The playing surface is the area that the ball rolls around on. This surface is usually made with melamine or laminate material.
Laminate is found on higher grade tables and provides a faster playing surface.
Look out for playing surfaces that have a smooth finish, so any stickers or markings that can peel away usually lead to issues in the longer term. Inspect it by running your hand down the playing surface.
Although it’s difficult to inspect, thicker playing surfaces are better because they allow the ball to travel faster.
Rods, handles & players
Rods are all made from steel. There are only two differences: they are either solid or hollow. The hollow rods are found on higher end tables as they’re lighter to manoeuvre.
The handles are they only part of the table that you physically touch, so they need to be comfortable. Handles are mostly made from plastic or rubber. From my experience I tend to steer away from plastic handles. They might have sharp edges or get uncomfortable due to the hardness after longer playing times.
Foosman (or players) come in all types of colours, designs and materials. They can be made from plastic, wood or even steel. What suits players is a personal choice, however we tend to recommend steel players as they’re heavier and don’t lose their shape. They can also provide good control of the ball.
From our research we use the following pricing guide for foosball tables:
- Entry level & tabletop – start from as little as $20 but can increase to up to $300
- Intermediate – between $400 and $1000
- Advanced and competition tables – upwards of $2000
Frequently asked questions
Why are some foosball tables with 3 goalies and some with 1?
The origins of foosball are traced to the outdoor sport of football. So the original tables and in the majority of european tables you will find they have 1 goalie.
After the second world war, when many veterans arrived to the USA with knowledge of the game, they introduced a version with 3 goalies.
It comes down to personal preference and many tables can actually be purchased with a choice of 1 or 3 goalies. We like to stick to tradition and play with the 1.
Can I change from a 3 to 1 goalie table?
Some tables offer different versions of 3 or 1 goalie up front. But you can always modify your table and the number of foosman according to your ideal configuration.
What does it mean when players are counterweighted?
Some tables come with counterbalanced or counter-weighted Foosman. This means that they have an equal weight at the head and feet of the player.
Counterweighting allows the foosman to retain the same position they were last set. So for example, they would remain horizontal if left in that position. Those that are not counterweighted wily revert to the vertical position.
The benefit is that you can clear the space when attacking to ensure your foosman don’t block your attack.
Is it possible to move your table after assembly?
Most stand alone foosball tables are heavy and were made to remain in a single position. However there are times where you might need to change position or move the table.
If you do need to move your table after it is assembled, we recommend having at least one other person to assist. It’s not a difficult job, but some tables will require the cabinet and/or the legs to be disassembled.
It also helps if you have a trolley or a large rug where you can place your table and drag the rug to the required position.
How to care for your table?
The beauty of foosball tables is that they don’t require much maintenance. If you don’t use your table often or if its kept outside, we’d recommend using a cover.
We would also recommend lubricating the rods every few months to ensure movement is smooth. You might also want to annually check on the health of your players and balls, to ensure they are still usable or if they need replacement.
What table brands are used at the ITSF official tournaments?
The table brands used at the ITSF World Championships are Bonzini, Roberto Sport, Garlando, Tornado, and Leonhart.
What is the warranty available on Foosball tables?
On the vast majority of tables, you will only find a 1 year warranty for parts and defects available.
Yet some brands such as KICK, provide a lifetime warranty for the majority of their tables.