A pool table is a perfect addition to any game room. But do you need to spend a lot of money to get the best pool table available?
It turns out that the best billiard table models are more affordable than you would think. We take a look at the variety of tables available and recommend the best pool tables available on the market today.
We hope you find our recommendations useful. Just so you know we may collect a small commission from links on this page.
Our Recommended Pool Tables for the Home
|Pool Table||More info|
|Barrington Hawthorne 8ft Pool Table
|MD Sports Billiard Table
Best Under $1000
|Barrington Urban Professional Pool Table
Best for Game Rooms
|Harvil 8ft Pool Table
|Imperial Outdoor Pool Table
|Hathaway Spartan Conversion Pool Table
|CHH Mini Folding Pool Table
Best for Kids
For the average home buyer looking for a good balance of value and quality, we recommend the Barrington Hawthorne 8ft table.
It’s not the cheapest table on the market, but you will not be paying anywhere near $2k either. Although in comparison, the design and ball movement are well above their pay grades.
Well known for their billiard tables, Barrington have used a striking ball and claw leg design with the Hawthorne that gives it some class. Although the legs have plastic coverings and are not solid wood, they blend in well with the rest of the table and are easy to set up in under 2 hours.
The table surface is made of a 1” reinforced particle board with a 50% wool felt surface, providing smooth and natural ball movement across the table.
This table hits the sweet spot and is well suited for players searching for their first pool table or others that are looking to upgrade. It’s seriously impressive and is well worth a look.
- Sophisticated and exquisite styling make this one of the nicest looking tables. It’s perfect as a centerpiece for any game room or cigar lounge.
- The traditional style leather drop pockets give an authentic look and provide ample storage to keep the balls in place until the next game.
- Crafted using quality wood with a veneer finish. This helps keep it resistant to scratching to help preserve the quality and the appearance of the table.
- The 18mm felt appears well made to provide smooth play and the K-66 bumpers and side rails have just the right amount of spring.
- This table is made from wood particle board and not slate. It therefore may be prone to warping and is not as durable as slate tables.
- There are no leg levellers with this table so keeping it even can be a challenge.
- This is a table that will get a lot of use at home, but it’s not a professional table and will not play like one.
The MD Sports pool table is made from MDF and uses a laminated PVC covering for looks and protection. The black coloring gives a distinct look that highlights the red bed table covering.
Each leg has its own leveller that works independently from the others. A feature which comes in handy and removes the need for cardboard pieces being used instead!
You don’t find many products in the same level of construction quality and versatility for under $1,000.
- This table weighs only 194-pounds. That makes it much easier to move than a slate table would be;
- The strong particleboard the manufacturer uses for the playing surface is 18 mm thick and is also reinforced. That extra support under the board helps reduce the possibility of warping. This can be caused by wear from extensive play or through moisture from seasonal changes or extended bad weather;
- Each leg uses an oversized foot at its base that can be screwed up or down to adjust its height. This offers better table stability and surface leveling to the floor.
- The laminate finish may wear off as the table is used, which could expose the black PVC underneath. That color of PVC may show blemishes more readily than a lighter color would;
- A polyester felt is used for the covering. This material is not as strong and will be harder to clean than worsted wool.
This eight-foot table has a really modern look that starts with the grey concrete legs. They not only add to the overall look, but they also offer a strong base of support as well as stability with their weight.
A light birch veneer covers the upper portion of this table and complements the legs, giving it a modern look that will fit almost any game room.
The felt surface is made to competition grade using upto 50% wool. This allows for a smooth yet zippy ball movement.
Finally the table includes a kit that will get you playing straight out of the box. It includes a set of chip-proof balls, 2 cue sticks, triangle, brush, and chalk.
- The black wool felt offers a high-contrast color to play on and is made with 25 mm thick wool felt;
- The premium cushion and leather cover drop pockets add to the appearance and playability of this billiards table. These components will not be found on cheaper models;
- The sleek design of this table is made without compromising on strength and stability.
- The downside to the concrete legs is that they increase the weight of the table to well over 400-pounds when it is shipped. It weighs more than many other wood bed table products will;
- Its veneer covered beam between the legs can be damaged and may not be as effective for support as the manufacturer intended
If price is not your concern when considering your pool table purchase, look no further than the Harvil 8ft slate pool table. Harvil spared no expense when constructing this table with only high quality materials used.
The bed table consists of three pieces of slate cut from the same slab, allowing the pieces to form a solid playing surface.
Each slab is taken from Italian quarries, cut to an inch and made smooth, allowing it to provide a level playing surface that is fast as well. Better yet, this means if taken care of, the table will last for years and will not face any warping issues.
It’s classic yet stylish design is perfectly suited to add a sense of class to any room. This is one for the connoisseurs!
- Each rail is made from solid six-inch hardwoods. This gives them superior durability as well as consistency in response;
- Each leg is made from 17-inch solid wood. They are hand-carved, giving them a rich feel as well as appearance;
- This billiard table sports a Victorian-style look. That will allow this pool table to fit into a well-decorated parlor or game room, enhancing the overall decor
- You will pay for a quality build with excellent materials, and this billiard table is no exception to that rule. You will find this to be one of the more expensive products reviewed here;
- The three-piece slate and the thick solid wood rails make this a table weighing almost 700-pounds. You will need help to move this and will also need to make sure it is well supported to avoid accidents.
One thing you must have when playing billiards outdoors is a water-resistant table. The Imperial Outdoor pool table certainly ticks this box. From the frame and railings, to the bed table and the tablecloth, Imperial have got you covered.
The company has over 80-years of experience and it shows in the design and attention to detail in this table.
The bed board, made from formica and polyester resin, is covered with a waterproof taclon cloth making it fire-retardant and durable. This compromise has some impact on overall play and movement of the ball. Like most outdoor tables, ball movement is not as natural and slightly slower on the Imperial.
One of the must haves for any outdoor table are leg levellers to help keep the table balanced on uneven surfaces. The Imperial pool table comes with a set of sturdy, 5 inch levellers that will allow you to play on most surfaces.
- Its legs, rails, and corners are made from aluminum, which has natural corrosion resistance. The layer of anodizing adds to the protection as well and should provide a surface that water can slide off of;
- The bed table is made from pearl board. It is built using 140 layers of Formica sheeting that will handle water better than wood;
- A taclon cloth material is used as the bed table cover. This synthetic material can handle moisture, heat, and sunlight better than more traditional materials and will last longer outdoors.
- A full eight-foot table is going to need a lot of room. This pool table may be too large for most people’s decks or patios;
- Each foot is separate from the leg and water may have a tendency to collect on their surface. This could lead to corrosion problems if any water is allowed to sit on them.
Tight on space and not sure what to choose? Maybe a conversion table is suited to you.
As a life-long table tennis player, I can appreciate this two-in-one product. Combining a mid-sized pool table with a table tennis top allows you to enjoy both games while saving real estate in your game room.
The table tennis top fits securely over the pool table and is light enough to be moved without hurting your back.
The Hathaway Spartan fits the bill as a great value and practical product that can suit most game rooms.
You can also find reviews of ping pong conversion tops for your pool table for more options.
- This combination billiard table and table tennis design are offered at a friendly price. This can be attractive for those looking for a compact version of two game room favorites. It’s also ideal for parents wanting maximum entertainment for their dollar;
- This product is roughly six feet long and just over three feet in width. That makes this one of the more compact models that are being reviewed here and will prove a match for game rooms with little space;
- Two support bars are placed across the bottom of the table, one on each side. This added stability will help hold the table together, even when the kids climb onto it.
- The smaller size of this 38 by 72-inch pool table may not offer the same challenge for players used to full-sized surface play. At 31-inches high, the table is also a bit shorter than many other pool table products;
- It uses melamine across the platform, which can be prone to scratching and scuffing on the surface. This problem can be compounded by younger players who have not mastered care of their toys and games.
We are all for getting kids involved in game room activities. It’s a great way to get them to socialise and get competitive. This table is designed with little players in mind, with features that put the game in their reach.
The mini folding table is made using hardwood, felt material for the surface and includes net pockets. It’s a great way to introduce younger children to the game of pool for homes that are tight on space. Although, if you’re kids are serious about the game, they’ll want to move on to a 6ft table rather quickly.
While the overall play is not comparable to a regular table, the table has enough quality to make the game enjoyable for everyone!
- This product is designed for children eight years and older. That allows kids to become familiar with pool on a table that is designed for their smaller size;
- This product also comes with cue sticks, balls, and chalk. This will let kids get to playing right away;
- The folding leg design allows parents to break the table down and store it when the kids aren’t playing
- It uses folding legs that will not offer the best stability;
- The balls are smaller and can be a choking hazard for younger children;
- Material quality will not be the best, as expected for a cheaper model for kids.
Pool Table Buying Guide
Don’t let the walls stop your shot
An important consideration when looking at a billiards table is the amount of room that you will need. When adding a table to your existing game room, you need to provide for adequate space around the table for making shots with a cue.
A room should be at least 14 x 17-feet (3.8 x 4.9 meters) for a seven-foot table and 14 x 18-feet (3.96 x 5.2 meters) for an eight-foot model. These measurements take into account players using a standard 58-inch cue and a comfortable amount of room they need to play.
What’s under the felt?
The horizontal playing surface is referred to as the bed table. It can be made from slate, synthetic slate, Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF), wood paneling, or honey-combed plastics. Although, you will find that most billiard bed tables are made from either MDF/plywood paneling or slabs of slate.
Board bed tables (MDF)
Pool tables with these types of tops will use MDF or Plywood. This is considered the second most popular bed table surface on the market and has unique features worth considering.
It should be pointed out that this type of playing surface is found on seven-foot and below tables. Eight-foot tables do not normally use MDF or plywood as they are likely to warp due to the larger surface area.
- The price point of these materials is much lower than slate;
- It weighs less, making it easier to transport, set up, support, and move around.
- The surface does not play as smoothly and it can generate more noise;
- This type of surface will warp over time, causing issues with a ball’s travel;
- Seasonal changes, including humidity fluctuations, could affect the panel.
Slate bed tables
Slate is the most popular material used for bed tables and has been in use since 1826. It is made from clay, fine grains, mica, and quartz. This rock is cut into slabs that are made perfectly flat and then polished. As with boards, slate has distinct properties on its own.
- A more level and smoother surface, features that improve ball movement and speed;
- Stone is far more durable than other bed table surfaces;
- Will not warp over time or due to humidity, and is far harder to damage.
- It costs more than other materials;
- It is heavier, something that will make it more difficult to transport, set up, and move around;
- You need to make sure it is located in an area that can support it due to the weight.
How to slate
Another option you will need to consider with slate bed tables is selecting a solid piece vs a three-piece surface.
Single piece slate surfaces are thinner than the three-piece, but can still come in at 450-pounds or more. A thinner sheet can also hold imperfections that are not found with three-piece slabs that are often at least .25-inches thicker. The major advantage with a single slabbed table is that it will not require as much realignment after moving it.
Not only will a multi-piece bed table usually have fewer imperfections, but they are also easier to level on uneven flooring. However, it will take more time to level three surfaces when compared to one.
The smaller slabs are also easier to transport into your home, especially if your playroom is in a basement or through a doorway with a tight corner. This may be a mandatory option if you will be moving the table by yourself, as one-piece slabs are just too bulky and heavy for one person.
Covering your bed table
Billiard cloth, also referred to as felt, is used to cover the rails and playing surface of the pool table. A density of 21 to 24-ounce materials is often used, although cheaper models may employ lighter weaves that won’t last as long.
Worsted wool has a seamless weave that is preferred for playing surfaces. It is also more resilient and can be easier to clean.
This is really a matter of personal preference as they perform a similar function. An exception are the pockets connected to an automatic ball return system (adding convenience at a higher price point and additional weight). Although these are usually only found in pool parlours.
Plastic pockets are often found on cheaper tables, while many commercial tables use rubber. Many residential tables come with leather drop pockets.
Holding it all together
Many budget-friendly billiard tables make use of MDF or softwood panels to make the frame. This will cause sagging if you have a heavy slate bed table. Slate tops will require a frame made from hardwood.
Light tables can get away with four legs to support the structure. The best billiard table products will use six legs on heavy slab tables.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best brand of pool tables?
There are many brands that produce quality pool tables, including Barrington, Hathway, MD Sports, Imperial and Brunswick to name a few. They all have their key differences and styles, so its difficult to pick just one.
We’ve covered a review of our popular pool tables but its an individual choice at the end of the day.
What is the best size pool table for a home?
A regulation size pool table measures at 8 feet long. This can often be too large for a lot of spaces, so there are a great number of options for 6 foot tables. One that we like is the Hathaway Spartan 6′ conversion table.
So it all depends on the size of your space and whether you can fit a regulation size table.
How much does a good quality pool table cost?
The price of pool tables ranges anywhere between a few hundred dollars to thousands. You can find good quality tables for less than $1,000 dollars, however in most cases you’ll find that quality increases with price.
If you’re looking for a slate table that will last for 10 years or more, then be prepared to spend over $2,000.
What should I look for when buying a pool table?
There are a number of factors that you need to look out for when buying a pool table, which we’ve gone into more detail in our buying guide.
But in short, the most important factors include:
- Size of the space where you intend to play
- Indoor or outdoor use
- Materials of the playing field
- Felt strength and material
- Frame materials and build quality
- Quality of pockets and legs
- Accessories (balls, cues, etc.)
How do I pick the right pool table?
The following questions will help you decide on picking the right pool table include:
- Budget – how much do you want to spend?
- Usage – is this for occasional recreational use or something more serious?
- Players – who will be the main users of the table? Do they have any special requirements?
- Location – where do you intend on keeping the table? Inside or outdoors?
- Space – how big is the space where you intend on keeping the table?
If you answer these questions and then review our buying guide, you should have enough information to know what type of table is for you.