If you can imagine a game of scaled-down soccer played manually with unbridled enthusiasm, you’ve got a sense of the fun that is foosball. This game-room staple can deliver a powerful adrenaline rush to players, who develop physical and strategizing skills while triumphing over opponents.
Foosball takes up less space than a pool table, and it’s a lot safer than darts. So if you’re looking for an awesome addition to your home game room or a portable version to take on the road, keep reading. You’ll learn what to look for in a quality foosball table and why these models are considered among the best foosball table options available.
- BEST OVERALL: KICK Legend 55″ Foosball Table
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Atomic Pro Force 56″ Foosball Table
- BEST PROFESSIONAL: Tornado Foosball Table
- BEST FOR OUTDOORS: Garlando Master PRO Outdoor Foosball Table
- BEST COFFEE TABLE: BARRINGTON Foosball Game Wood 42” Table
- BEST TABLETOP: Rally and Roar Foosball Tabletop
Popular Types of Foosball Tables
Experienced foosballers often have favorite table styles, but those new to the game may not realize the differences. Various equipment preferences and styles of play have given rise to subtle variations in table design and construction.
Italian foosball tables are typically built with a glass playing surface and use a plastic ball, making the game faster and more challenging to control than other types. Player pieces (known as “foos men”) are usually made of plastic. Most Italian tables have single goalies and spring-loaded bumpers at the ends that increase the ball’s bounce when the rods are moved. While there is significant variation in table construction, Italian tables often offer a wild, reactionary, somewhat chaotic game, but still allow for passing, bank shots, and trick shots.
French tables are made with soft playing surfaces (such as linoleum) and use lightweight cork balls. They often feature telescoping rods that move in and out only on the handle side, which makes them a safer choice in smaller spaces. The heavy, unbalanced players are typically made of metal. The combination of heavy players, a light, grippy ball, and a soft playing surface makes for a slower, somewhat sticky game that accentuates finesse.
American foosball tables are made with hard, rigid surfaces that promote fast play. Choices of ball and player run the gamut of available materials. The tables usually look boxy, with straight legs. Materials and construction lead to a blend of German and French styles of play, but the overall design is very diverse: Some American tables are plastic toys for kids, while others are built to integrate with home furniture. Still, others focus strictly on tournament-quality play.
German foosball tables employ a hard playing surface with banked corners and plastic players with boxed feet. To allow for precision movements, the players are mounted directly to the rods as a single piece. The tables are built with stiff, slippery components for high-speed play and maximum movement of both ball and player.
Spanish futbolin tables have several features that set them apart. The men are positioned in a more realistic soccer formation, with one goalie, three defensive players, three midfielders, and four offensive players, which makes for a more challenging play. Other table styles use one goalie and two defensive, five midfield, and three offensive players. The players are made of heavy metal with two feet spread apart, rather than a single toe. On some Spanish tables, the playing field is curved to force the ball toward the centerline, making it difficult to keep the ball in front of the man.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Foosball Table
The best foosball tables are made of quality materials that hold up to years of consistent, aggressive play.
Foosball tables may be built to look like arcade games, stylish furniture, or works of art. The bodies of these tables are made from such materials as laminated MDF board, plywood, plastic, and metal. Playing surface materials affect the overall game experience. Hard, slippery surfaces like glass, plexiglass, and acrylic make the ball bounce and roll fast. On wood and linoleum surfaces, the play is more controlled.
For the greatest stability, a foosball table should be well weighted. Aggressive play can easily shift the table around if it’s too light. Competitive adults may find a stationary table that weighs at least 200 pounds is best for aggressive play. Others find that lighter tables in the 100-to-200-pound range are adequate while allowing for relative ease when transporting. Portable versions are considerably lighter, and while such tabletop games will shift during play, non-skid feet help reduce sliding.
Foosball tables are manufactured in different table types. Choose the table based on the space available. Traditional foosball tables measure about 30 inches wide and 5 feet long, and they weigh hundreds of pounds. Players stand on either side of the table for competitive, physical games. If you have space, a traditional table can bring the foosball tournament experience to your home.
For those without space for a dedicated piece of furniture, coffee table foosball games may be a good option. These tables are the size and height of coffee tables, with the playing surface enclosed in glass. Two players kneel on opposite sides of the table to play.
Tabletop foosball tables vary in size, from miniature games to tournament size. Typically, they’re used on a dining table for family game night, then stored away when not in use.
Children and adults who are just learning to play or who play occasionally for fun may be satisfied with an entry-level table. But those who take the game more seriously and wish to improve their skills will appreciate premium details.
In addition to a sturdy weight, side rails about 1½ inches thick add durability. Counterweighted foosball men with pointy, crosshatched toes provide better control of the ball. Textured balls are ideal for improving skill, because they grip the toe and play on the surface best. Avoid shiny plastic balls.
The style of play is affected by the playing surface material, the foos men, playing rods, and ball. Hard, smooth surfaces lend themselves to fast play and more bounce. Textured or sticky surfaces allow more finesse and control. Some tables combine elements to lead to a mix of speed and technique.
American foosball tables vary significantly in construction methods and materials, and they often blend the materials and styling common to European tables for a unique play experience. Pay close attention to the size, weight, and material specifications listed by the manufacturer to ensure you receive the quality you expect.
Counterweighted foos men contain a weight in their heads that’s equal to the weight in their toes. This counterweight (or counterbalance) setup allows the foos men to stay in a horizontal position. Without the counterweight, the heavier toe would pull downward, disrupting player strategy.
Although many foosball tables have a single goalie, some feature three goalies per side. Goalie configuration is related to the playing surface. Single goalie tables have ramped corners that force the ball back toward the center, while triple goalie playing surfaces are flat. The flat surface and triple goalie configuration are less expensive to build, and many experts consider this type of table to be an easy table for beginners.
Playfields may be flat, ramped at the corners, or curved toward the centerline. European tables with ramped corners use single goalies, which means gravity forces the ball back into play. These tables usually emphasize speed. American flat playfields use three goalies in a configuration that emphasizes passing. Spanish tables use curved playfields to emphasize midfield play. The ball gravitates toward the centerline, and players must use a unique backpinning technique to control the ball.
Hollowed-out solid steel rods provide the best balance of strength, rigidity, medium-heavy weight, and mobility when compared with either thin-walled hollow pipe or solid steel rod. Wooden or tacky handles with an octagonal shape provide the best control, with the least chance of slipping.
Leg levelers and a sturdy platform are other important features of a high-quality table. A level table ensures that the ball plays fairly on the playfield. Wide metal feet with threaded levelers twist in and out to fine-tune the height of each corner for perfect placement. A sturdy platform eliminates sway and wiggle in the table. Legs and braces must secure tightly. Pedestal bases make a sturdy platform as well.
Other features add to the overall aesthetic of the game. Graphics and decals can help personalize the table, with favorite team names, for example. Scoreboards, drink holders, table covers, and other accessories also are available to make the game more functional.
Our Top Picks
This guide narrows the playing field to the following foosball tables using the shopping considerations outlined above. Whether you’re looking for a pro-quality table or something just for kicking around, you can choose from several options.
The KICK Legend Foosball Table is built with attractive swooping lines in a warm chestnut color, and it looks more like fine furniture than an arcade game. This sturdy table weighs 143 pounds, and it features a ½-inch-thick playing field, 5-inch threaded leg levelers, ⅝-inch semi-solid stainless steel chrome-plated player rods with easy-grip ABS handles, and premium bearings. It includes a set of counterbalanced men (13 red and 13 blue) and a uniformed foos men set (26).
The table also features convenient end ball returns at each end and slide scoring on each end. It can be configured according to the players’ choice of single goalie or triple goalie play. The set comes with two official KICK Premium balls and two KICK Soccer Style balls. Note: After purchase, you can contact the company directly to request rod lubricant, which is shipped separately at no charge.
The Atomic Pro Force 56″ Foosball Table is a quality full-size table for a value price. It’s built with sturdy MDF lumber with attractive bamboo laminate. It features heavy-duty legs, 3½-inch threaded leg levelers, and steel parts. The table includes manual scoreboards at each end, built-in end ball returns, and hollow chrome steel rods with comfortable octagonal rubber handles. This 60-pound table is light enough to move easily if necessary but stout enough to stay in place while playing. The anti-skid pads on the feet add more security.
The table is built for a three-goalie configuration, and it comes with 26 robot-style players.
For the fun and ferocity of serious foosball, consider the Tornado Foosball Table, built with sturdy, professional-grade materials and construction. The 1½-inch-thick cabinet features a sleek black leather textured laminate finish and heavy-duty corners. The legs are adjustable, with commercial-grade leg levelers, while the play rods are hollow steel with ⅛-inch wall thickness and solid natural wood octagonal handles. The ¾-inch laminate playfield features the Tornado logo in the center of the field.
This table is built with a single side ball return and a flat field for three-goalie play. It includes 26 counterbalanced foos men for maximum control. The foos men are designed with a sharp toe edge and fully crosshatched foot area for excellent ball handling. It weighs 205 pounds.
If backyard foosball tournaments sound like fun, the Garlando Master PRO may be the table for them. This professional-quality outdoor game has a cabinet built of 20-mm waterproof plywood and plastic laminate, with bars affixed to the cabinet with nylon ball bearings. The folding legs are powder-coated metal with threaded levelers. The play bars are made of 16-mm hollow steel, coated with triple-layer anti-rust chromium plating. Solid color (blue and red) plastic foos men are molded directly onto the bars. They don’t move, can’t be displaced, and perfectly maintain their positions.
Anti-rust stainless steel roller bearings inside the nylon bearings allow the bars to play fast and reduce wrist fatigue. The playing field is built with green plastic laminate, and the soccer field lines are silk-screen printed with moisture-proof, UV-protected ink that won’t fade.
This table is built with banked corners for single goalie play. It features folding legs for easy storage, telescopic play rods for safety, a plastic laminate playfield for fast action and weather resistance, and abacus-style scoreboards. It comes with 10 balls and weighs 165 pounds.
Good looks and tons of fun unite in the BARRINGTON Foosball Coffee Game. This attractive glass-topped coffee table boasts sturdy 2⅞-inch wood construction, a ⅜-inch heat-tempered glass top, and an extra storage shelf beneath the game. The foosball game is a compact version with three playing rods per side. The rods are made of ½-inch diameter chrome-plated steel, with wood hand grips. The foos men are molded plastic with hand-painted uniforms. Player configuration features two goalies, three defenders, and three offensive players. The table includes traditional wood scoring beads.
The Rally and Roar Foosball Tabletop table features padded leg protectors for use on a tabletop. The 16-pound game features a flat playfield and three-goalie configuration. The nine foos men set per side, made of durable, lightweight ABS plastic, include three goalies, three defense, and three offense players. The rods are made with ½-inch steel rods with ergonomic, slip-resistant rubber handles. The game comes pre-assembled and ready to play with two foosballs.
FAQ About Your New Foosball Table
Here’s where you can learn a little more about foosball and get started with your new table.
Q. How do you set up a foosball table?
Assembly instructions vary significantly among different models. It typically takes two to three people about three hours to assemble a full-size foosball table, with tools such as a screwdriver, an Allen wrench, a level, and possibly, a hammer. Inspect the parts, parts list, and manufacturer’s instructions before beginning.
- Attach the playing surface to the table base.
- Attach the sides and rods to the assembled table base and playing surface.
- Attach the sides at the four corners.
- Attach the legs, levelers, and leg braces to the assembled tabletop.
- Insert rods into the sides of the table and attach the players.
- Attach rod handles and rod stoppers.
- Lubricate the rods with silicone lubricant. Some manufacturers include rod lubricant with the kit.
- Fit the goals, scoreboard, and serving holes to the table.
Q. What is a standard-size foosball table?
A full-size foosball table is 30 inches wide and 60 inches long.
Q. How many people can play on a foosball table?
Full-size foosball tables have four handles per side, while smaller tables may have only three. On a full-size table, gameplay features either two individual opponents or two teams of two players, each controlling four rows of foos men from opposite sides of the table.