Find out which pool table brand, type and size is for you
Knowing which pool table that is right for you is hard. There are over 30 brands to choose from, more than 6 different sizes and various materials with various advantages. Plus a good pool table costs more than $1500.
With this in mind we work with experts of the sport to help guide you to the best pool table for your game room, level and interests.
Deciding on the the preferred sizes
All pool tables are not made the same. There are a few different size types you need to be aware of before purchasing what you want. The biggest factor in determining the size is how much space you have. This will determine what size type you need to purchase. You can break the size of pool tables into two different categories: standard and mini.
Standard Pool Tables
7″ pool table
Commonly found in bars, a 7ft pool table is the second smallest size on the market. Very popular with amateur leagues.
8″ pool table
The 8 foot pool table is the most common pool table found in homes. Nicknamed the “home eight” table due to its popularity with homeowners.
9″ pool table
This is the classic tournament sized 9 foot pool table that you will see on ESPN. It is, to put it simply, massive.
6″ pool table
The 6 foot pool table is smallest, standard-sized table on the market. Although there are smaller models. Also found in bars but more popular in homes for less experienced players.
Mini Pool Tables
The surface types are an important feature when choosing one of the best pool tables. This will help you determine how durable the pool table will be to the elements. The surface types can be broken down into three different subcategories.
MDF has a wooden bed surface and is the cheaper types on the market. The biggest problem with MDF surface type is the fact that they are made of wood. Wood does not hold up well under the ever-changing elements, even if this type of surface is cover with protective material.
With the increase in outdoor activities, some companies have developed billiard tables that hold up good outdoors. This can increase the party atmosphere during parties or just individually enjoy the sunny weather. It is also a good alternative for children who seem to be staying inside too much.
The purpose of this article is to inform people of the options available and show them the most popular on the market. We will spend time on the construction and durability of the best pool tables for outdoor use. But, do your own research before purchasing this type of entertainment system.
Types of Pool Tables
Pool tables come in many sizes and shapes. Whether it is indoor or outdoor, the types can vary. The construction of each pool table can make the difference in your decision, as well as the size and shape. When looking at pool tables, you should concentrate on durability.
Outdoor pool tables
A great choice for those who love to play pool and bask in the sun. Choosing the right outdoor pool table requires knowledge of the right waterproof materials and felt.
The standard type is the most common. These tables are 8-foot in length and fit good on a medium to large patio. It is a good alternative to the smaller, or mini, pool tables, and the larger ones.
Mini pool tables are best for individuals who only have a smaller space outside. Any pool table that measures 7 feet is considered a mini pool table. It does not matter whether it has legs or is a tabletop model.
Large Pool Tables
Large pool tables come in two different sizes. They can be 9 or 10-feet in length. These tables are the most expensive and you need quite a bit of room for this type.
Bar Pool Tables
Bar pool tables are commonly found in bars or billiard rooms. This type measures 7 feet and is good for small areas.
Alternative slate types are more expensive than the MDF but less expensive than the full slate type. This surface type can also be manufactured with three-piece slate. It has comparable quality but is cheaper than the most expensive type. Durability is also higher rated than the MDF.
Slate surface types are considered more durable but come at a higher price. This surface type is commonly used on the higher-class models of pool tables. The weight allows this type to remain level longer and provides the player with a more even roll.
There are only two types of fabrics used to cover the surface of pool tables. Both are made with a combination of nylon and wool. But, the quality of the fabric ranges from tournament quality to recreational quality. These fabric types are designed to maximum roll and are stain-resistant for the recreational quality.
There only three different frame types and each type is usually determined by the surface type. Even though each frame type can be manufactured with different kinds of material.
The wood type is used for most pool tables, but not common for pool tables, unless it is placed on a covered porch. Different kinds of the can are used for the wood type of frame. From maple to oak or even mahogany. The kind of wood used can determine the price of this type.
Metal type frame is used a lot for MDF surface types of pool tables. This type of frame last the longest but is not of the highest quality for the roll. Even with rust-resistant protection, this type of frame can still deteriorate if left out in the elements.
The manufactured type of frame is generally the least expensive and also used with the MDF surface type. You lose some durability with this frame type because the materials used during construction are not of the highest quality. They are the least expensive, though.
Playcraft is one of the most popular brands of pool tables and is considered one of the better manufacturers of outdoor entertainment equipment. The Playcraft pool table rates high on our list of the best tables on the market today.
This manufacturer has been around for quite a while and it is a well-known brand. Its newest model of pool tables is considered affordable and durable. There are few brands in this niche that have the reputation of the Playcraft brand.
Barrington is best known for its quality of pool table. Most of this brand’s pool tables are made from wood and are expensive. The designs are what sets this brand apart from the rest. However, even though wood construction is considered the most durable, it may not be best for outdoor use without placing the table under an outdoor porch or purchase a protective covering for this brand.
Hathaway enjoys the reputation as one of the best pool tables manufacturers. Several of their models make the top 10 list in most reviews. Rarely do you not see two or more of their models on a review list. The simple design and quality of construction materials used by this brand make it popular with billiard players.
The Voit brand is known for its high-quality mini pool tables. The high quality of these mini pool tables makes them an excellent choice for people with only a small place to locate their outdoor entertainment. Voit has been producing products for decades and always have new models come on the market each year.
Top 5 Pool Tables
Cost, durability, size, and quality are the common factors that determined the top 5 pool tables in our guide. We looked at customer satisfaction, brand reputation, quality of materials, the durability of the tables and a host of other factors to determine which five we would recommend to our readers.
We want to make your decision easier by looking at everything pertinent. This is not the only article you should read before purchasing an pool table, but we want to be as thorough as possible so if this is the only article you read, you will be satisfied with our recommendations. So let’s get started.
1. Playcraft Extera Pool Table
Rated as our best pool table, this Playcraft model is made of the highest quality on the market in our opinion. Every part of this pool table is constructed with waterproof materials. The aluminum construction prevents rust deterioration and allows you to enjoy this entertainment system for several years. The stabilizing legs and casters make this pool table easier to level, maintaining roll capabilities. This model comes with all the accessories needed to begin playing billiards. It measures out at 99 x 55 x 31 inches, making a good size, but you will need space to place this on your patio.
2. Hathaway Maverick Table Tennis and Pool Table
This model of entertainment table rates high because of its versatility. You can convert it from a pool table to a table tennis table within minutes providing two games instead of one.
The construction of this outdoor pool table is made with premium materials and of the highest quality. The table comes with all the accessories for both table tennis and pool. It is best if you ensure you cover this pool table with the protective covering when not in use. Measuring a length of 7 feet, it is perfect for those that have limited space but is not considered a mini pool table.
3. Hathaway Fairmont Portable Pool Table
This is the second Hathaway pool table to make our list of best pool tables. This model is considered a mini pool table because it only measures 6 feet in length, but what sets it apart from the others on our list is its portability.
You can set it up or take it done within minutes and if you want to move it from outdoors during inclement weather, then you can. If a friend is having an outdoor party, just throw this pool table in the back of a truck and set it up on-site. It comes with most of the accessories needed to begin playing, but the accessories are limited.
4. Voit Billiards Pool Table
This brand of the pool table is one our smallest table on the list. It measures 48 inches and is easy to assembly. The portability is a nice feature, but what set this apart from the rest on our list is its size.
This table was manufactured for smaller places. If you have a small patio, such as the ones found in condos and apartments, then this is the table for you. It comes with all the accessories and after assembly, you can begin play pool right away. You will not be disappointed in the quality of this product.
5. Playcraft Sports Bank Shot Pool Table
The second Playcraft model to make our list is the Sports Bank Shot 40-inch Pool Table. This makes our list because of its versatility. It can be placed on almost any picnic table or other outdoor tables and played right away.
It has a cherry finish, making it attractive and with an MDF surface type makes this table more affordable than the others on our list. It comes with all the accessories and is easy to clean with the brush that comes with it.
Features, Features, and More Features
When looking for the best pool tables, features are important. There are a few features that you may want to look want, but understanding what these features are may help you make a good decision. We are going to list a few features you may want. Depending on how much you want to spend may determine what features you can get.
Drop pockets is a feature that you may want if you do not mind going to each pocket to pick out the balls. This is the traditional style most people like.
Auto Ball Return
If you do not like walking around the table to retrieve the balls after each game, then a table with an auto ball return feature may be something you want.
It you are looking to be greener, the eco-friendly feature may interest you. These are pool tables made from recycled materials.
One feature that many people do not consider is whether the pool table comes with everything needed to play pool. Many of the higher quality tables, do not come with all the accessories needed. Be sure to check this out before making a purchase.
It is hard to find the right pool table without doing some research on your own. The pool tables listed above is a recommendation, but even past customers of these products rate each one high and have reviewed each one with favorable and unfavorable remarks. If playing pool is something you enjoy doing, then doing it outside with friends is even better.
However, purchasing this entertainment can be expensive. We tried to provide you with quality pool tables from all price ranges and for every budget. Look at the space you have available and whether you want a permanent or portable table to enjoy.
Either one will allow you to enjoy the outdoors even more.