You’ll often find pool tables at clubs, bars, arcades, cinemas, and even hotel game rooms alongside foosball tables, air hockey tables, and bubble-top hockey tables—because pool is fun, easy to learn, and incredibly challenging to master. Those attributes, plus the simple game play and lightweight equipment, open up the game to players of any age group, including kids, teens, adults, and seniors.
By purchasing a pool table for your home, you can introduce your kids to the game at an early age, challenge your significant other to a game over drinks, or host tournaments for your friends. In order to find the best pool table for your game room, however, you need to consider the table’s size, quality, construction, and portability. Take a look at the top products listed below.
- BEST OVERALL: Mizerak Dynasty Space Saver 6.5′ Billiard Table
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Costzon 47″ Folding Billiard Table
- BEST PORTABLE: GLD Products Fat Cat Trueshot 6 Ft. Pool Table
- BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: RACK Crux Folding 55 in Billiard/Pool Table
What to Consider When Buying a Pool Table
Before investing in this new piece of recreational equipment, take the time to learn a few important product details when choosing the best pool table for your home.
Before shopping for a pool table, figure out how large a table can fit comfortably in the room or area where it will be set up. Also account for the space around the pool table that’s required to use a pool cue.
Professional pool tables typically measure 8 or 9 feet long, while bar-size pool tables are only about 7 feet. However, what makes a pool table regulation size is the ratio of length to width: In order to fit these parameters, pool tables must maintain a 2:1 ratio of length to width. After measuring the space available in the room, refer to this helpful room-size chart to determine the appropriate table size and cue length based on the room’s dimensions.
There are two styles of pool table legs: posts and two-piece legs. Posts are the most commonly used type, with robust bracers on the interior corner of each leg to keep the post from shifting, bending, or breaking. Two-piece legs are made up of two separate posts at each end that connect across the end of the pool table with a thin sheet of plastic, wood, or metal that increases the strength and stability of the structure.
Similar to the challenge of stability in foosball tables, a pool table’s legs must be strong enough to support the tabletop and stable enough to keep balls from shifting and rolling between turns. The tabletop accounts for about 90 percent of the total weight of a pool table, so be certain that the legs won’t buckle after just a few games. Weak, flimsy legs are often a problem with cheaply made pool tables.
When it comes to choosing the best pool table, the frame of the table deserves some consideration. Try to find a table with a frame that is strong, durable, and will look great with the surrounding decor in the room. If the pool table is to be used by children, look for one with a frame that is flexible, lightweight, and won’t break if it gets knocked over. Pool table frames are usually made with plastic, wood, or metal.
- Pool table frames made of plastic are good options for kids because they are durable, light, and water resistant.
- Wood is the most commonly used material for professional pool table frames because it is strong, solid, and absorbs impact energy better than metal frames.
- Metal pool table frames are lighter than wood but have a similar level of durability. Though they don’t absorb impact as well as wood, they are generally more resistant to water, temperature extremes, and UV damage, making metal a better choice for an outdoor table.
The cloth on the top of the pool table can be made of a wide range of fabrics, including polyester, wool, nylon, worsted wool, Teflon-treated cloth, and Teflon-imbued cloth.
- Polyester is a cheap fabric that is regularly used to top the playing surface on children’s pool tables. It isn’t a good option for serious players because it burns easily, leaving unsightly white marks behind.
- A wool-and-nylon blend is the most commonly used type of pool table cloth. The cloth created by mixing these two materials ranges in quality based on the amount of nylon versus wool. The higher the wool content, the better the quality of the cloth.
- Worsted wool is a high-quality combination of wool and nylon that’s 85 percent wool and 15 percent nylon.
- Teflon-treated cloth is made with wool and nylon, but it’s sprayed with a Teflon coating that helps the ball move smoothly over its surface. However, the coating can wear off over time, leaving the table vulnerable to ball burns and tears.
- Teflon-imbued cloth is also made with wool and nylon. Instead of the cloth being sprayed with a coating, however, the fibers are infused with the Teflon. This process allows the cloth to last up to three times longer than standard wool-and-nylon cloth.
Be aware that while many pool tables come with the necessary accessories to play a game, some products do not. The latter case requires investing in pool cues, cue chalk, a set of pool balls, and any other desired accessories.
- Pool cues range in length from about 48 to 58 inches and are designed for flexibility, durability, and accuracy.
- Cue chalk is a simple accessory that comes with many pool sets. This chalk is used to increase the friction coefficient between the tip and the cue ball to provide better control when shooting.
- Pool balls are frequently packaged with a triangle to make setup easier. However, be sure that they are pool balls rather than billiards balls or snooker balls.
What’s the difference between pool balls, billiard balls, and snooker balls? The game of billiards uses just three balls—a white, yellow, and red ball. Snooker uses 22 balls, including 15 red balls and one each of white, yellow, brown, blue, pink, black, and green. A full pool set has 16 balls, including one white cue ball, eight balls with solid coloring numbered from one to eight, and eight balls with a stripe of color numbered from nine to 15.
Our Top Picks
The following products are among the best pool tables in terms of quality, features, and price. Bearing in mind the features noted above will help you determine which one of the lot might be the best new pool table for your home.
The Mizerak Dynasty Space Saver table comes with a black plastic triangle, a full set of pool balls, two pool cues, two pieces of cue chalk, and a brush to keep the table clean. It merely requires assembly. This pool table has disc-style leg levelers on each leg to keep the tabletop flat in the event that the floor is uneven. The legs are also braced with cross supports to help increase the table’s stability.
While this pool table isn’t professional size, it is 6.5 feet long, the average size for a residential or bar-size table. The table also has an automatic ball return system that makes resetting the game fast and easy. It also has integrated ball pockets that won’t tear and rubber cushions around the perimeter of the playing surface for excellent rebound speed and accuracy.
Pool is a simple game that kids can learn in a relatively short period of time. But even if they understand the basics, it doesn’t mean they won’t scratch the table or send a ball flying with a miscued shot. Rather than costing the thousands of dollars of a luxury table, Costzon’s folding billiard table is an affordable alternative that provides kids with a durable, compact surface where they can make their mistakes as they improve.
This pool table has a tough plastic MDF playing surface that’s topped with nylon cloth for a consistent roll and a classic “game room” look. It comes with a full set of pool balls, a triangle rack, two pool cues, two pieces of cue chalk, and a brush for the table cloth. The table measures 47 inches by 26 inches, with a height of 29 inches, and the metal legs can fold down so it can be stored when it’s not being used.
This GLD Products Fat Cat pool table has a lightweight design and folding legs, which makes it easy to stow it away when not in use. It can also be moved around a home, carried out to a vehicle, or set up in the yard, good for enjoying the table anywhere there’s room. A dimly lit basement game room is no longer the only option.
The Fat Cat Trueshot comes with a full set of pool balls, a triangle rack, two pieces of cue chalk, two pool cues, and a brush to keep the sleek black wool-and-nylon cloth clean. When the table is in use, the legs lock in place to ensure that it doesn’t fall on anyone and that the playing surface remains stable. The table measures 76 inches by 43 inches with a height of 32 inches, which makes it a great option for kids and adults alike.
Many people try to fit 8-foot tables into small game rooms only to end up disappointed when the limited space prevents them from enjoying the game. A smaller pool table, like this compact model from RACK, allows for playing the same game in fewer square feet. The Crux table measures just 55 inches by 29 inches by 31.5 inches, and it has foldable metal legs that lock in place during play, or fold up and out of the way when the table is stowed away.
This table comes with two appropriately short 48-inch pool cues that are ideal for smaller rooms. Other thoughtful features further set this model apart from competitors: Its ball pockets are made of cotton netting, it has one-inch leg levelers on each leg and rubber bumpers along the edges of the playing surface, and it features a smooth nylon felt cloth. The RACK Crux comes with a full set of pool balls, two pieces of cue chalk, a triangle rack, and a cloth brush to keep the tabletop clean and well maintained.
FAQs About Pool Tables
For more information about pool tables, continue reading to get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
Q. What is the standard size for a pool table?
Pool tables don’t have a strict standard size. They range from as small as 4 feet long to as much as 10 feet, though the most common sizes are 6 to 7 feet for home and bar tables, or 8 to 9 feet for professional sites.
Q. Is a 7-foot pool table big enough?
A 7-foot pool table is big enough to enjoy, provided that the table adheres to the proper 2:1 ratio of length to width and you have appropriately sized pool cues for the space.
Q. Can a pool table fit in a 12-by-12-foot room?
For a table to fit comfortably into a 12-by-12-foot room, it should be a 6-foot pool table. This will provide enough space to set up the table and use the pool cues without hitting the walls or being obstructed.
Q. Do balls and cues come with a pool table?
Some pool tables come with balls and cues, but other tables may not include any accessories at all. Always check the product details before deciding on a table to find out what comes with the purchase.