Ping pong is a game that should be enjoyed by all. But sometimes it’s just not practical to go out and spend over a few hundred dollars to buy a full size table.
Mini ping pong tables have been around for a few years now and can be a great way to get started in the game of ping pong. They’re also a terrific option for small spaces like apartments or small rooms. But not to forget – they also provide heaps of fun and are a great game that you won’t have to break the bank for.
Here we’ve taken a look at a range of tables available and some of the factors to consider when buying. We then provide our review of some of the best mini ping pong tables.
Want to fast track your research? Here are our table recommendations:
Mini ping pong table buying guide
If you’ve decided that a mini ping pong table is for you, consider the following to help your buying decision.
Does it fit?
A lack of space is unfortunately one of the biggest deterrents from people playing ping pong. The standard table size is 9 ft (2.74 m) long, 5 ft (1.525 m) wide, and 2.5 ft (76 cm) high. This requires a fairly big room if playing indoors or a good size space for outdoors.
So this is where mini ping pong tables come in. You can find mini ping pong tables in a variety of sizes. Some tables measure as small as 54 inches in length and 30 inches in width. On the other hand, you can find a mid sized table, such as the Butterfly Junior, which measures 81 inches in length and 45 in width.
Whatever your space, you should be able to find a table that can fit. How they play is another question. If you’re accustomed to playing on a standard size table, it will take some time for you to adjust your play on the smaller size.
Who needs one?
Getting your kids to start playing on a standard table can often be overwhelming and tricky. They are likely to struggle to cover the larger width of the table and in no time be frustrated and hate the game.
Mini ping pong tables are an excellent choice for getting kids started. Having the table width more suited to their size they’ll be able to quickly learn the various strokes.
You’ll also find mini ping pong tables suitable for students or young adults living in apartments or smaller places. They can definitely help liven up a party or be a great entertainer after dinner.
And for those that cannot get enough ping pong, some mini tables are well suited to take on holiday travels. Being quite compact to store, you shouldn’t have any difficulty fitting most of them in your car.
Storage and assembly
One of the biggest benefits of mini ping pong tables is the ease of which they can be assembled and stored. Tables usually arrive 100% pre-assembled so you can be up and running as soon as the table is out of the box.
They’re just as easy to pack away. Most tables have their legs folding inward and you can even find a large range of separate halve tables. You won’t need a lot of room for storage. Some of the larger tables fold down to 5 inches in depth while others fold into the size of a briefcase.
Will it last?
Cutting to the chase, mini ping pong tables are not as sturdy compared to standard sized tables. You will find some tables use similar materials for their tabletop – mainly thick medium density fibre (MDF). So the bounce can be quite comparable to a normal sized table. Although, with playing space reduced, this does not always provide ideal playing conditions.
The biggest difference is in the table frame and legs. The majority of tables will use a form of powder coated steel but the thickness and quality of this steel can vary. To keep the table portable and reduce storage space, many have compromised weight and thickness.
Leg stability is also something to be mindful of with mini tables. It’s common to have the table legs folded inwards for storage. Often with this style of table, the leg hinges are prone to becoming flimsy and even breaking. The hinge screws can also loosen over time and will become a safety concern if not maintained.
Warranty for defective tables vary. The best we’ve found is a 3 year manufacturer warranty offered by Butterfly.
There aren’t too many “added extras” for mini ping pong tables that you might find on larger tables. Most tables will come with their own net and some will even provide balls and paddles. Although it’s important to check this, as we found some tables sold their nets separately.
You might find tables offering corner pads, for protection against collision with the sharp table ends. And although rare, some manufacturers offer a paddle and ball storage option.
The JOOLA Mini connect ping pong table is a unique lightweight and compact proposition. It comes exactly 1/4 of the size of a regular size table keeping the same height. Although this table stands apart by including magnets along each the table edges.
The magnets allow other JOOLA mini connect tables to be ‘connected’ together. This not only provides flexibility but also enables creativity with many playing configurations. By joining 4 Connect tables together, players can have the experience of a regulation size table if they choose. Personally, we don’t see the point in this and recommend other regulation size tables.
The size of the single table is small and adult players will find keeping the ball on the table difficult. For kids, it’s great! They won’t need any time adjusting.
The table materials are quite impressive. The tabletop features a 12mm thick MDF surface and its smooth feel suggests JOOLA have used a high-quality grade particle board. The legs are made with powder-coated steel and include height adjustment and leveller options.
Similarly to the other tables in the category, the net it comes with is poor at best. JOOLA do offer a retractable net that can be purchased separately.
Finally, the table adds a splash of fun coming in a choice of four colours (Red, Light Green, Light Blue and Midnight Blue). While this is not likely a table for adult players, its a great option to consider for kids.
- Good quality playing surface
- Small size great for kids and storage
- Comes in 4 colours
- Poor quality net
- Expensive if multiple tables are purchased
- Not well suited for adults
Slightly larger than the JOOLA Mini, the Harvil 60 inch table is a perfect mini ping pong table for apartments or to take on vacation. The table comes pre-assembled and includes everything you need to play, including net, 2 paddles and 3 balls.
Surprisingly, this table is quite sturdy and has a heavy duty feel to it. The tabletop uses MDF to help provide a natural bounce and the frame and legs are made from powder coated steel. While the surface provides good bounce, the overall space to play is reduced. This makes it difficult for adults to play regular strokes but is great for kids.
The table folds up into the size of a briefcase making it super easy to transport. It includes a sturdy carry handle and fixed fasteners on the edge of the table to lock the table in the folded position.
Like the JOOLA, the Harvil also has a poor quality net which is quite small. You also won’t find any leg levellers or height adjusters on this table, so you’ll need a steady playing surface.
The Harvil 60 inch is a perfect option for families that travel a lot or students looking for a little fun.
- Compact storage and lightweight
- Good quality playing surface
- Includes net, balls and paddles
- Net posts are fragile and can break easily
- Shorter height with no adjustment
- Not well suited for adults
The Butterfly Junior table tennis table is the largest of our recommendations. It’s not quite mini, but it is smaller than a regulation size table by 2 feet in length and 1 foot in width.
Aside from the smaller size, the table was actually a delight to play on. The tabletop quality is excellent and second only to the STIGA Space saver. Being a 1/2 inch thick, the table surface played well producing great spin and bounce. It’s also worth noting that Butterfly provide a net that is best in class with this table. Its width spans wider than the table and includes an easy to use adjustable tension system.
The tables comes as separate halves with each weighing around 35 pounds. One of the issues we found with the table is the quality of the legs. Comparing with other tables, the steel material used feels less sturdy and the leg brackets appeared to be quite flimsy. Butterfly have also added two wheels on each half to help move the table around. While this is a good idea, the wheels included are small and not ideal for moving at all. On top of that, you won’t find any height adjustment controls or leg levellers, but these are hard to come by in this category.
Overall the Butterfly Junior balances some real positives but also some unwanted negatives. If you’re planning to have the table assembled permanently with little movement, then it would be a great option.
- Excellent quality playing surface
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Largest midsize table – for adults & kids
- Legs and bracket quality is poor
- Transport wheels are almost unusable
- No leg levellers or height adjustment
Following on from their impressive line up of full-size tables, JOOLA have created a strong product with their midsize option.
It measures at around 2/3rds of a standard regulation table so its not the smallest table in the category. But this ensures the playing experience is not too far from what you will find on a regulation size table. The height of the table and the playing surface are the same as regulation size JOOLA tables. It includes a 1 inch thick MDF tabletop that produces some excellent bounce and speed.
While it still requires a large enough room to setup, the JOOLA midsize folds away into separate halves and takes up little storage space. The legs on this table fold inward after standing the table upright. We found the legs and the leg brackets to be well constructed and one of the sturdiest in this category.
Being 100% pre-assembled, its not a hassle to setup up in less than 10 mins and then pack away again. You can store the table against a wall or in a closet, and it can even fit in smaller vehicles to transport.
What is this table lacking? Wheels for easy transport and the net posts are fragile and are prone to breaking easily. After inspecting the legs we also recommend regular checks and tightening of screws holding the leg brackets in place. Otherwise, its a terrific option for a midsized ping pong table.
- Playing surface of a regulation size table – providing excellent bounce
- Plastic corner protectors included
- Sturdy frame and legs
- Net posts are fragile and can break easily
- No wheels for easy transportation
Our final midsize table and best value recommendation is the STIGA Space Saver. The table scores highly in all the relevant areas for a mini ping pong table including table size, quality and storage.
Measuring 72 inches in length and 40 inches in width, it’s the only true table that matches the correct ratio of a regulation size table. This is important for younger players to help ease their transition to larger tables.
The tabletop of the STIGA Space saver uses a high-quality MDF and measures at 5/8 inches. The top is finished with a repeat roller coat process which helps produce the same bounce and playability as regular tables. We view this tabletop as the best in class.
You will also find the legs and apron of this table to be quite sturdy. STIGA use 1.25-inch square welded steel legs that are powder coated for extra durability. Leg levellers are also there to help protect your floors and adjust the table to ensure a flat playing surface. Similarly, the 1.25-inch apron reinforces the tabletop and helps create an even bounce. So as a table it plays well and is pretty solid.
If you buy the STIGA you’ll receive a decent heavy duty net which includes a tension adjustment mechanism. Sadly, the net posts are quite flimsy and the metal used is quite thin. So don’t expect these to last. The corner protectors also seem to be more decorative than practical.
Overall, with only a few minor issues but plenty of positives, the STIGA Space Saver is our recommendation for best mini ping pong table. It’s a great table for both adults and kids to learn their craft over many years.
- Best in class playing surface
- True aspect ratio of regulation table
- Sturdy legs and table frame
- On the heavier side
- Net posts are poor quality
- Doesn’t include wheels for transport
Some final thoughts
Ping pong is a game that should be enjoyed by people of all ages and should not be limited by the space you have. As we’ve discussed there are various options which you can consider if space is an issue or you’re children are too small for standard size tables. If you find yourself in this situation then a mini ping pong table could be an option for you.
While they are great alternatives, it’s important to remember that you won’t get the same playing experience as a regular size table. So where possible, we always recommend sticking with a regulation size table.
But this isn’t always an option and we hope we’ve been able to help with your decision in buying a mini ping pong table. After testing about a dozen tables, we recommend any of the tables reviewed above. However, if we were to pick just one, the STIGA Space Saver gets our nod for the best mini ping pong table. A combination of quality table surface and frame result in a table that provides great performance and durability.