Ping pong is a fantastic sport, and an even better hobby. Whether you want to be the next Liu Shiwen or Timo Boll, or you just love playing for fun, it’s great to have a ping pong table at home so you can pick up a paddle whenever you like.
But unless you’re living in a celebrity-size mansion, it’s not always practical to have a full-size table tennis table sat around when you’re not playing. There’s just not enough room!
Thankfully, ping pong table makers know this, and there is a great selection of portable, mini, mid-size, 3/4, folding and collapsible tables on the market.
You’re here to find the best portable ping pong table for your home, so let’s get straight to it.
Short Answer: Best Portable Table Tennis Tables (2020)
- Best folding ping pong table: STIGA Space Saver Table Tennis Table
- Best full-size portable ping pong table: Butterfly 3/4 Junior Ping Pong Table
- Best mini ping pong table: Franklin Sports Optima Mid-size Ping Pong Table
- Best travel ping pong table: GoSports Folding Table Tennis Set
- Best ping pong table top: JOOLA Tetra Ping Pong Table Top
Portable Ping Pong Tables Compared
If you’re in a rush, here’s a quick comparison of the best-selling portable, folding and mini ping pong tables we’re going to cover in more detail below.
|Top||STIGA Space Saver||71" L x 40.5" W 30" H||Buy on Amazon|
|GoSports Ping Pong Set||72" L x 36" W x 30" H||Buy on Amazon|
|Franklin Sports Optimum Mid-Size||53" L x 29.5" W x 30" H||Buy on Amazon|
|Butterfly 3/4 Junior Table||81” L x 45” W x 30" H||Buy on Amazon|
|JOOLA Tetra Ping Pong Table Top||108" L x 60" W||Buy on Amazon|
What is a portable ping pong table?
A portable ping pong table is designed to be easy to fold and store away when not in use.
Children and adults can all enjoy playing on mini ping pong tables – the standard height is great for grown-ups, but kids can also handle the smaller playing surface easily.
Types of portable table tennis table
There are many different types of portable table tennis table, and some of the terminology used to describe them overlaps. Here are the main words you’ll come across when looking at types of portable ping pong tables:
Small table tennis tables
A standard ping pong table measures 108″ L x 60″ W x 30″ H (9 x 5 x 2.5 feet). This is the professional size that the ITTF requires players to use in tournaments.
Compact ping pong tables are also available for recreational players, and these are called many things, including:
- 3/4 size
- Junior size
We’ll list the measurements of all the tables we cover in this guide.
Folding ping pong tables
However, not all folding is equal, and a truly portable table will fold much slimmer than a professional table.
We’ll list the folded dimensions for each table we review here, so you’ll know if it will fit where you want it.
Ping pong table tops
Why buy an entire table when you could just get the top?! If you’ve already got a pool table or a decent-sized dining table, you can convert it into a ping pong table using a table top like the JOOLA Tetra table tennis top.
You’ll save money and a lot more space, plus table tops are lighter and easier to move around than full-size standard tables.
What to look for when choosing a portable ping pong table
Before you make a decision, don’t forget to consider the following:
Think about the area that you want to play ping pong in – you’ll need to allow room for both the table and for the players to move around it, so factor that in when looking at the table dimensions. Also think about the size of your storage space if you’re planning to keep the table stashed away when not in use.
You can also look at table thickness to help determine the quality and longevity of the table (thin tables will damage easier).
Most smaller ping pong tables are still regulation height (30″ or 2.5 feet or 76cm) so you won’t need to bend down low and hurt your back to play on them.
Table tennis tables can be heavy. Really heavy. Most table tops are made from MDF (medium-density fiberboard) which is sturdy but hard to move around. Check the assembled weight of your new table to see just how heavy it is and if it can be moved with 1 or 2 people.
Ping pong tables can costs hundreds of dollars; if you’re on a tight budget, you can save a lot by just getting a table top or choosing a compact table.
5 Best Portable Ping Pong Tables
Now you know what you’re looking for, you can read more about our top 5 portable ping pong table picks below. We’ve added in all the technical information you’ll need (dimensions, weight, table thickness) along with photos of the real tables in action.
1. STIGA Space Saver Ping Pong Table
What’s good about the STIGA Space Saver table?
The STIGA Space Saver is one of the best-selling compact ping pong tables on the market. It’s built to be the perfect compromise between size and playability.
STIGA is very well-respected brand in the table tennis world, having been producing equipment from their base in Sweden since 1944.
The STIGA Space Saver ping pong table is 71” length x 40.5” width x 30” height, which is around 3/4 the length and width of a standard table, but the height is full-size so you won’t be crouching down to play.
The table thickness is 16mm, which is slightly thinner than professional table tennis regulations require (18 to 30mm is standard), but more than thick enough for recreational and at-home use.
The STIGA Space Saver table weighs 73 lbs (33kg), but it’s easier to move on your own because it comes as two separate pieces, each weighing around 36 lbs (17kg). The weight is down to the construction: MDF top and steel legs. Yes, they add weight, but they will also help the table keep its shape play after play.
When you’re ready to put it away, the STIGA Space Saver folds down to a very thin 36″ x 40.5″ x 3″.
What’s bad about the STIGA Space Saver table?
What I don’t like is that the included net is very basic and the elastic will likely start to lose shape after you’ve put it up and down a bunch of times and you’ll be left with a sagging net. One work-around is to invest in a higher quality net, like the STIGA Premium Clipper net.
Tip: You can use full-size nets on smaller ping pong tables, you just need to roll the excess net around the post before slotting it in.
Another issue is that, since the table comes in two separate parts, if your floors aren’t level, you could be left with a wobbly table.
Is the STIGA Space Saver table worth it?
Overall, the STIGA Space Saver ping pong table is one of the most popular portable tables on the market. And for good reason. It’s priced competitively, is easy to put up and down and gives you a solid surface to play on.
2. GoSports Folding Ping Pong Table Set
What’s good about the GoSports folding table?
The GoSports folding ping pong table is very portable: it completely folds in half and can be carried with the built-in handle. That means it’s suitable for playing at home and taking out and about. You could take it to the beach, a friend’s house or the park.
While smaller in width than the STIGA Space Saver, the GoSports portable table tennis table is full-height (30 inches), with a 72 by 36 inch playing surface. When it’s folded down ready to be moved, the table measures 36″ x 36″ x 3″.
The lightweight aluminum construction helps keep the weight down – the GoSports folding table only weighs 38 lbs (17kg). You won’t find an MDF table that even comes close to that weight.
The GoSports folding table is also really cheap compared to most other portable tables out there. The only cheaper option would be to go for a tabletop instead of a full table. For the money, GoSports is well worth it, espcially considering you’ll also get 2 paddles and 4 balls included in the price.
You can play on the GoSports folding table indoors and outdoors, although I wouldn’t recommend leaving it out in the rain.
What’s bad about the GoSports folding table?
As a brand, GoSports is not a table tennis specialist like STIGA and Butterfly are. GoSports is a US-based company that makes fun outdoor sports equipment. If you’re trying to improve your ping pong technique, you’d be better off with a table from a table tennis manufacturer.
What’s more, the GoSports folding ping pong table is made from aluminum, which means that the way balls bounce is quite different to a standard MDF table (there is a layer of MDF on top, but it’s not substantial). You won’t be learning any new skills, but you can still have a lot of fun.
Being lightweight means that the GoSports table moves around quite easily during gameplay, and may be wobbly if you’re playing on an uneven surface.
Is the GoSports folding table worth it?
Overall, the GoSports folding ping pong table is ideal for fun, recreational players who want a table that’s easy to store away as it is to toss in the car.
3. Franklin Sports Optima Mid-Size Table Tennis Table
What’s good about the Franklin Sports Optima mid-size table?
The Franklin Sports Optima mid-size ping pong table is small, easy to fold away and provides a real table tennis experience on a smaller scale. This is a full-height table (30 inches), with a playing surface of 53” x 29.5″.
The Franklin Sports Optima compact table comes as a single one-piece, with two folding legs that easily lock into place. Being a single piece means that it won’t wobble or come apart in the middle, and it’s easy to attach the net.
Despite being made with an MDF top, the Franklin Sports mini table only weighs 45 lbs, which makes it very portable and easy to handle on your own.
The Franklin Sports mid-size table also comes with a good quality net for the price, with a clamp and no weak elastic parts.
What’s bad about the Franklin Sports Optima mid-size table?
Franklin Sports is a popular sports equipment manufacturer, but is more well-known for baseball gear than table tennis.
At 53” x 29.5″ x 30″, the Franklin Sports mini table is notably narrower than other ping pong tables in this guide. If you’re looking for space-saving options, then that’s a tick in the plus column, but it will make play quite limited if you’re used to using a full-size table. It also will be too small to use with 4 players.
Given its MDF construction, the Franklin Sports Optima mid-size is better suited to indoor play.
Is the Franklin Sports Optima mid-size worth it?
For the price, the Franklin Sports Optima mini table is an excellent choice. It is narrower than other portable tables, but that makes it ideal for limited spaces, and easy to handle and store away.
4. Butterfly Junior 3/4 Ping Pong Table
What’s good about the Butterfly Junior 3/4 table?
Don’t be fooled by the name “junior”: the Butterfly Junior ping pong table is larger than most portable tables and is full height (30 inches). The playing surface measures 81” L x 45” W, making it the biggest on our list, and suitable for up to 4 players.
When storing the Butterfly Junior table away, you can fold each half down to just 3 inches thick. The overall weight is 70 lbs, but since the table comes in 2 parts, it’s easier to move each 35lb half, plus there are side wheels to help keep it portable.
The supplied net is a really nice quality clamp net, which should last you a long time, even if you put the table up and down a lot.
You can also choose between blue or green table tops.
Founded in Japan in 1950, Butterfly is a well-respected brand name in the table tennis world, sponsoring some of the top players worldwide and manufacturing quality ping pong equipment.
What’s bad about the Butterfly Junior 3/4 table?
Compared to the STIGA Space Saver, the Butterfly Junior has a thinner tabletop: 12mm table thickness (the STIGA has 16mm). While both are a bit short of the professional minimum of 18mm, a thinner table will warp easier and give you more uneven bounces. For recreational play, you’re unlikely to notice the difference.
Given the large size of the table, the folding legs are noticeably less sturdy than those on other portable table tennis tables, but as long as you’re not leaning on the table a lot (which is against the rules anyway!), you’re unlikely to notice.
Is the Butterfly Junior 3/4 table worth it?
The Butterfly Junior 3/4 table is the best portable table for playing in a group of 4. It also works great for 2 players, or even single players wanting to practice (position half of the table against a wall). It comes with a quality net and is easy to store away in 2 halves at only 3 inches thickness when stored.
Yes, it’s larger and heavier than other mini and portable tables, so if space-saving is your ultimate goal, you’ll do better with the Franklin Sports Optima mini table.
5. JOOLA Tetra Ping Pong Table Top
What’s good about the JOOLA Tetra table top?
With the JOOLA Tetra table top, you’re getting a full-size table tennis table that’s also very portable thanks to its lack of legs. The dimensions are 9 by 5 foot (108 by 60 inches). If your pool table is standard height (around 30 inches), then you’ll be playing at the perfect ping pong table height.
In terms of portability, the JOOLA Tetra table does a great job. The table comes in two halves, with each also folding in half on its own. As each piece is 12mm thick, the whole table top folds down to a storage size of just 52″ x 30″ x 2″, which is really tiny considering this is a full-size table.
What’s bad about the JOOLA Tetra table top?
Of course, the JOOLA Tetra is only good if you already own a pool table. You can also place it on a large dining table, but it won’t be as portable as other tables since you can only place it on existing furniture.
At 12mm thick, the JOOLA Tetra table top is thinner than you’d get from a professional table (minimum 18mm), and you may experience wear and tear over the years. The total table weight is 85 lbs, which is the heaviest of the portable tables in our list. That’s the trade-off you make for having a full-size table. Bear in mind that each half is only around 43 lbs, which is easier to handle, but assembly is likely to be a 2-person job.
If the table that you place the JOOLA Tetra on is lower or higher than 30 inches, you’ll be playing at the wrong height for table tennis. It’s unlikely to be an issue unless you’re trying to perfect your professional technique. You can always measure your table before making a purchase, just to make sure.
As is sometimes the case with portable tables, the net included with the JOOLA Tetra is not the best quality. It has elastic loops that will loosen over time. Since the JOOLA Tetra is a full-size table top, you can always replace the net with any standard net like the STIGA Premium Clipper.
Is the JOOLA Tetra table top worth it?
If you already own a pool table or large dining table, then the JOOLA Tetra table top will give you a cost-effective way to convert it into a full-size ping pong table. When you’re done playing, you can store it away relatively easily.
I recommend investing in a better quality net if you play a lot, but as it stands, the JOOLA Tetra table top makes for an excellent portable ping pong table if you don’t need legs!
Portable Ping Pong Table FAQs
Should I get a stationary or movable ping pong table?
If you have room for a stationary ping pong table, then by all means get one. If you’re short on space, or want to buy a cheaper table, you might prefer a portable or mini table tennis table. Portable ping pong tables can be easily folded and stored away when not in use.
What are the different sizes of table tennis tables?
A full-size table tennis table is 9 by 5 feet (108 by 60 inches or 2.7 by 1.5 meters). There are many smaller ping pong tables on the market, and many go by names like “mid-size”, “3/4 size” or “junior size”. There’s no standard sizing for smaller tables, so always read the manufacturer’s sizing specifications for details.
One thing to remember: almost all ping pong tables will be the standard height of 2.5 feet (30 inches or 76 cm).
How much space do I need for a table tennis table?
To play table tennis, you need room for the table itself and space around it for the players to move. For a full-size table, you’ll need a space that’s at least 15 feet wide and 23 feet long (around 4.5 meters by 7 meters).
As a general rule, allow an extra 3 feet to the side of the table, and 6 foot at each end.
What are portable ping pong tables made from?
Most ping pong table tops are made from MDF (medium-density fiberboard), which is quite heavy and makes them harder to move around. Some portable table tennis tables are made from lightweight aluminum, like the GoSports folding ping pong table, which makes them easier to carry around.
If you’ve read this far, you should be a mini (haha) expert on portable ping pong tables. There are plenty of options out there for you, and we hope we’ve taken you through the different types of portable tables so you can choose the right one for your needs.
Your final decision will come down to a trade-off between how much space you’ve got, how often you want to play, where you want to store the table and whether you’re playing indoors, outdoors or both.