Playing pool is probably one of the most popular home sports globally, with variants of the best pool tables having gone around for centuries now. So, it’s really no surprise that even the pool table options are also extremely broad. With the huge change of lifestyle and the fact that we have to spend more time at home means that we have to get more and better versions of the most exciting full-size pool tables in the market.
Simply put, a pool table is a must-have in any game room. But you'd wonder do you need to spend so much money just to get the top pool table available? Short answer, no. We've created this handy guide to help you land on the best pool table for your man cave without spending more than you should.
While searching for the best pool table, it's important to know what works best for you. Some pool tables come in a compact size, some come with folding legs, while others come as full-size pool tables with a complete ball return system. They all come in a variety of style options meant for either your indoor or outdoor entertainment space and that you’d be sure to enjoy.
What Should You Know Beforehand?
a) Will the Walls Cramp Your Style?
An important consideration when looking to get the best billiard tables is the amount of room it will need instead of what you have. You'll need adequate space for perfect shots with a cue.
The room you plan on using should have at least 14 x 17-feet for a 7-ft table and 14 x 18-feet for an 8-ft model. These measurements also take into account players who use a standard 58-inch cue who'll need a comfortable amount of room to play.
b) What’s Under Your Felt?
The horizontal playing surface on the table is known as the bed table. It's made from various materials, including; wood paneling, synthetic slate, slate, Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF), or honey-combed plastics. Although, most billiard and pool table beds are made from either plywood/MDF paneling or slate.
i) MDF/Board/Plywood Bed Tables
MDF has unique features and is considered the second most popular bed table surface on the market that is worth considering. Unfortunately, it is only found on pool and billiard tables that are 7-ft and below. Additionally, 8-ft tables don't come with MDF/board/plywood bed tables since they'll likely warp because of the larger surface area.
ii) Slate Bed tables
Slate is most popularly used for bed tables and has been in the limelight since 1826. It's made from fine grains, clay, mica, and quartz. Its components give it distinct properties, including.
c) Bed Table Cloth
The cloth used to cover the playing surface and rails of a pool table is called a felt. Normally, this cloth comes in a density of 21-24-ounces, although cheaper models will use lighter densities that won’t last very long.
The felt could come in worsted wool with a seamless weave that is most preferable for playing surfaces. It's more resilient and much easier to clean.
d) What's Holding It All Together?
Most budget-friendly pool tables use MDF or softwood panels to make the table frame. This might cause some sagging if you are using it on a heavy slate bed. Slate bed tops will use a hardwood frame.
Light tables might get away with having 4 legs to support the structure, but some of the best pool tables come in 6 legs to support heavy slab tables.
In the buying guide, we go over things you should keep in mind when buying a pool table, all the major pool table features, and the key differences between different tables. Speaking of interesting facts, interestingly the best billiard tables are even more affordable than you'd think. Let's dig in.
What are the Top Pool Tables to Buy?
1. EastPoint Sports 87 Inch Billiard Game Pool Table- Best Overall
- GAME ROOM FUN: This traditional billiard table makes for a great...
- INCLUDES EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO PLAY: 2 wooden billiard cues, 1 set of...
- TRADITIONAL POOL TABLE STYLE: Handsome table features claw feet and...
- BUILT-IN LEG LEVELING SYSTEM: Uneven hardwood floors or carpet is no...
- ASSEMBLED DIMENSIONS: 87 inches L x 50 inches W x 31 inches H;...
The EastPoint sports Masterton billiard table is an all-time classic, fun pool game table that's inexpensive and incredibly popular. This 87" pool table does well in your game room, basement, or garage.
This traditional pool table is made in a parlor-style design and has several more durable incredible features. For instance, its drop pockets come covered while the top rail looks similar to stained wood, but it's actually coated with a lustrous finish and resistance to scratches and wearing out. Its feet come in a clawfoot design that hides small, in-built leg levelers that are not made of wood.
Along with the EastPoint table, buyers get cues, a set of balls, chalk, a triangle, and accessories such as a table brush and K 66 rubber bumpers. This 7' 3" long table is roughly 50" wide x 31" tall and slightly over 200 pounds. It is recommended that you leave a 17' x 13' clearance area.
It is easy to assemble, but there's some assembly that's required. Overall, this pool table is one of the top-ranking quality tables designed for family matches and is great for beginners, with simple parts and the fact that it comes in a lower price tag than most of its contenders.
2. Barrington Hawthorne 100 Inch Billiard Table-Best Value for Money
- 23 PIECE SET includes the 100” Hawthorne Barrington Billiard Table;...
- FAMILY FUN that develops physical, mental and emotional control in...
- STRIKING ball and claw leg design is richly ornate. With its exquisite...
- STRONG DECK SUPPORT is made of a 1” reinforced particle board...
- CLASSIC DROP POCKETS add an authentic look and feel to your home...
If you are looking pool table that will give you value for money at a budget, then the Barrington Hawthorne 8ft table is definitely one to consider. It gives any average home buyer a great balance on both value and quality.
Like all of their other pool tables, this Barrington pool table has its signature striking ball and claw leg design that comes with the Hawthorne giving it some class. Its legs are not made of solid wood and have plastic coverings which blend in well with the rest of the pool table. It is quite easy to set up in just under 2 hours, and you're done.
The pool table surface is reinforced with a 1” particleboard, and a 50% wool felt surface, giving it a smooth and natural ball movement all across the table. Generally, it hits that sweet spot making it well suited for beginner players and suitable for those looking to upgrade. It’s pretty impressive and worth a look.
3. Imperial 8' Outdoor Game Pool Table
- 8-ft. outdoor pool table
- Mostly assembled; just bolt on the legs and level to the surface;
- Anodized aluminum rails and aluminum corners and legs
- Bed is covered in Camel color, waterproof taclon cloth
- K66 cushion rubber, Accessories included
This is a high-quality pool table that is made from all aluminum parts. As a great outdoor pool table, its anodized aluminum rails, legs, and corners, are durably constructed to last. As one of the best pool table designs, its playing surface is waterproof and fire retardant, making it perfectly capable of standing up to the external elements.
This pool table comes with its cover to help maintain the table when not in use. Additionally, it comes with an impressive pearl board bed that is 18 millimeters thick and covered with a waterproof Taclon cloth.
Other impressive features include the bed itself consisting of 140 layers of Formica sheets plus polyester resin. So put together, these layers help ensure the durability of the playing surface through a high temperature or pressure making it both waterproof and fire-retardant.
4. MD Sports Billiard Table Set
This pool table is made from MDF and makes use of a laminated PVC covering for protection. It comes in a black color that gives it a distinct look to highlight its red bed table covering.
Each of its legs comes with its own leveler that's meant to work independently. This independence in leveler features comes in handy and even bypasses the need to use cardboard pieces instead!
With the same quality and versatility in construction, you won't find a better Billiard pool table.
5. Barrington Urban Professional Billiard Pool Game Table
- ONE STOP SHOP: This collection of high-end pool tables has made...
- PREMIUM BUILD: This durable pool table is comprised of a...
- STUNNING CRAFTSMANSHIP: Brandishing an elegant birchwood veneer with...
- OPTIMAL PLAYING CONDITIONS: Our tournament-style pool game tables were...
- TOP NOTCH ACCESSORY PIECES: Complete with a full set of chip-proof...
This 8-ft pool game table comes in a modern look that starts with grey concrete legs. This adds style to its overall look and gives the pool a strong base of support for extra stability on its weight.
The upper portion of this billiard game pool table is covered with a light birch veneer that also complements its legs, giving it a minimalistic modern look that's sure to fit the decor of almost any game room.
For a professional billiard pool game table, its competition-grade felt is made up of 50% wool to allow for a smooth ball return and movement. Accessories included in the kit, such as 2 cue sticks, a set of chip-proof balls, a triangle, brush, and chalk, will get you playing right out of the box. Ultimately this is the right pool table for a friendly match at home and makes for a great outdoor pool table.
6. Olhausen Billiards 8 ft Belmont Pool Table - Best Premium Pool Table
- 🎱 SOLID MAPLE & FRUITWOOD with MATTE ORIGINAL CHERRY FINISH....
- 🎱 YOUR CHOICE OF STANDARD CLOTH COLOR included. Your local...
- 🎱 READY–TO–PLAY PACKAGE included with: (2) 58” natural maple...
- 🎱 DELIVERY & INSTALLATION by knowledgeable, friendly and courteous...
- 🎱 TOP– QUALITY MATERIAL & CONSTRUCTION of solid hardwood, leather...
If you want a premium quality billiard pool table, then this is one worth considering a purchase. It is constructed with high-quality materials, including a premium slate that's individually checked to check on flatness. It comes with 3 pieces of 1-inch thick slates supported by a liner, framed around the slates to ensure it is not noisy.
Olhausen also included an uniliner and a layered approach for superior strength. At the same time, the table legs and frame are constructed from solid maple wood and fruit hardwood with a cherrywood finish. This is the main reason why it weighs a solid 700 pounds. But with the right care, the table will last you a lifetime with you never experiencing any warping issues.
7. Hall of Games Edgewood 84" Billiard Table
- Burgundy playfield made of 50% wool blend cloth for easy ball movement...
- Solid legs with wood grain PVC laminate and metal cross bar for...
- Hidden leg levelers to ensure an even playing surface on most floors.
- Accessories included: one set of standard size 2. 25" billiard balls,...
- Compact design is ideal for a limited recreational area. Assembled...
A uniquely designed billiard table by Hall of Games with an innovative compact frame that makes it easier to fit the table into any room of your choice. It is a highly attractive 7-ft piece with a sturdy top rail, aprons for extra stability, a 2-sided laminated play surface covered with 50% wool blend cloth for consistency in ball rolls.
Its sturdy leg construction comes with a wood grain laminate finish, hidden leg levelers, and metal crossbars for extra stability. Overall, it's a great quality pool for a game at home or the pub.
Factors to Consider When Buying A Pool Table- Buying Guide
A) Pool Bed Material
Quality pool tables usually come in 2 common materials; that's either MDF or slate. Pool table beds made from these 2 materials differ in price mostly due to the raw material cost. Pool table beds made from slate come at a higher price since they offer superior quality performance. In addition, they are extremely heavy even at an inch thick, making slate beds mechanically honed to create a perfectly flat playing surface.
That’s not to say that you can’t achieve a great quality playing surface with an MDF bed material; on the contrary, the difference in price makes the MDF the best choice for many people. If you’re a serious avid pool player and can buy a slate bed pool table, go for it! But if you’re just playing for fun or starting with a no-slate pool table budget, always go for the less expensive MDF pool table.
B) Playing Cloth
Your choice in playing cloth determines the speed at which the balls roll on the surface. Typically, pool tables are made in 2 options; English and American pool playing cloths. Just by running your hand over an English pool table cloth, you'll feel the difference in the slightly rough or fuzzy texture. In addition, the fibers used on this cloth are slightly directions, making the ball run much slower, which comes in handy for players who are just starting.
On the other hand, an American pool table cloth is generally woven and non-directional to create a much smoother surface for faster ball speed. As a result, you may need to adjust your gameplay slightly, but for the most part, the playing cloth doesn’t make much difference for most players.
C) Rails and Rubber Bumpers
New pool players commonly believe that all pool tables use the same material on their rubber bumpers. While most are generally made from rubber, the type of rubber and shape do change. In addition, it’s quite easy to change the rubber bumpers on your pool table since they usually wear out.
The rubber cushion will affect the speed at which your cue ball or object ball bounces on it with the differences in elasticity. Therefore, always replace the old cushion with the same type of cushion when it's time to.
D) Billiard Pockets and Materials
This is on a matter of personal preference since they all work the same. An exception would be the billiard pockets connected to an automatic ball return system for convenience at an extra cost and added weight. These are specifically found on pool parlors.
E) Pool Table Features and Dimensions
All pool tables range from 6ft to 9ft, although you can still find smaller ones meant for kids. In the UK, most full-size pool tables are 7ft pool tables, while in the US, they mostly have 8ft pool tables since many American houses are open plan which is not as common in the UK.
Work out the space you need for your pool table simply by taking the length of your cue, usually 54" or 57”, and then add it to the end of each side of the pool table. This will help give you an idea of how much space will be enough to maneuver your cue with ease.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Pool Tables
1. What professional pool table does a pro pool player use?
Professional players use large-quality pool tables that often come with tighter pockets for longer shots requiring more speed control and accuracy. Pro tip: Develop an accurate stroke and control the cue ball.
2. Can a full-size pool table fit in a 12x12 game room?
The top pool tables on the market come in different standard sizes, but a typical home pool table would be 8 feet long. If you consider the fact that the length of a pool cue is usually 58 inches, 12 feet by 12 feet room won't leave players with much space to move around or shoot without hitting a wall. Ultimately, it is too small to house a standard home pool table.
3. What's the size of an English pub pool table, 6ft or 7ft?
There are 2 official league pool table standard sizes used in an English pub, club, or tournament throughout Britain. They can be either 6ft or 7ft in size.
4. How far away should a pool table be from the wall?
The right pool table should always be put right at the center of the room to leave uniform space around its edges. Always try to leave at least 5 feet around the table. Otherwise, you'll have trouble positioning the cue stick without hitting the wall.
5. Where should the pool table be placed inside the house?
The best place to position your pool table is to ensure you have enough space while you play. Maximize functionalities such as in-built cabinets and a window niche that will need ample space. Placing your pool table in an elongated rectangular room would be the perfect place for your pool table since it goes with the shape of your table.
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