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If you are planning to turn your home into a fun place, you might have considered getting either a pool table or a ping pong table. Yes, both are great games to play, and they can both definitely be enjoyable. With that being said, there are of course some major differences between the two.
Today we will compare the features of each type of table as well as of the games themselves to help you choose the better one for you.
Pool vs. Ping Pong: What Are the Differences?
There are of course a number of differences between these two games, both in terms of how they are played and what you can expect out of each table.
Let’s look at some important comparison points between pool and ping pong tables.
One of the biggest differences between these two is their weight. A pool table is often going to weigh around 500 pounds, which is of course very heavy. On the other hand, a ping pong table is rarely going to weigh over 50 pounds.
This means that a ping pong table is something that you can easily move around, even by yourself if need be. However, even with the help of five or six other people, moving a pool table around is not really doable. Even just getting a pool table into your house can be quite a challenge.
Another difference to think about here has to do with the cost of the two. Chances are pretty high that you are operating on a budget, which means that how much money you have to spend is going to make a big difference.
You can find a ping pong table for anywhere from $400 to $2,000. Yes, this is a good deal of money to spend on recreation, but nothing like a pool table.
A high-end ping pong table comes in at around $2,000. But for this same price, you would only be able to buy a low-end pool table. High-end pool tables made with quality materials can cost upwards of $10,000. Sure, you can find pool tables for less, but then the quality may be questionable.
Simply put, pool tables are far more expensive.
Number of Players
Generally speaking, both of these games are two-player games. Sure, both games have different goals, but they both usually feature a one-on-one format.
With that being said, ping pong is a little more versatile in this sense, as there are certain types of ping pong where 4 players can play at once, or in other words, you can have play doubles.
People also alter these games and change the rules – especially when it comes to playing for fun at home. Those alterations sometimes include more players. However, generally speaking, ping pong can be played with two or four players while pool is usually a one-on-one game.
Another difference between these two that needs to be considered is how much space you have at your disposal. The great thing about ping pong tables is that they can be folded into compact packages. This means that you can have them in relatively small rooms. Simply unfold the ping pong table to play, then fold it back up once you are done.
Of course, this is not something that you can do with a pool table. They can’t be folded up and therefore take up a good deal of space at all times.
Indoor vs. Outdoor
The next thing that stands out about ping pong tables is that they are outdoor-friendly. Some models can easily be kept outdoors without fear of damage. You can even get a cover for them to keep them safe from the elements.
However, due to the fact that pool tables are made with high-end yet somewhat delicate materials, you really can’t keep them outside. If the felt gets wet, the slate gets too hot, or the wood gets damaged by the weather, you will have some serious problems.
The other main difference here is obviously how the two games are played. Pool is all about skill and accuracy, with the aim being to get a certain set of balls into pockets. It is also a much more strategically challenging game, even at the home-game level. It is often a game of patience.
On the other hand, when it comes to ping pong, while there is a bit of strategy involved, it’s a more recreational, higher-paced, and fun type of game. Yes, you need to be quick and have great hand-eye coordination, but it’s far less strategic than the game of pool.
Which One Should You Get?
So, which table is best for you, a pool table, or a ping pong table?
You should get a pool table if:
- You enjoy slower-paced and strategic games
- You like playing one-on-one games
- You have enough space to spare
- Your budget is large enough
- You want to play indoors exclusively
On the other hand, you should get a ping pong table if:
- You enjoy faster-paced and more physically active games
- You want to have the choice to play two-on-two
- You don’t have much space to spare
- You are operating on a fairly tight budget
- You want something that can also be played outdoors
You should also choose a ping pong table if you happen to be fan of drinking games.
What About Table Tennis Conversion Tops for Pool Tables?
If you still weren’t able to decide by this point, something you can consider is getting a ping pong conversion top for your pool table.
What Are Table Tennis Conversion Tops?
These are additions, like a platform that can be placed on top of a pool table, one that then allows you to play ping pong. These are pretty useful because you can quickly switch between pool and table tennis games – perfect for parties.
Pros & Cons: Are They Any Good?
The conversion tops are ideal if you are tight on space and already have or want a pool table, but also want to play ping pong. Instead of having both tables taking up a ton of space, you can effectively have two-in-one ping pong and pool table.
When you want to play pool, simply fold up the ping pong conversion top, place it in a corner or a closet, and then play some pool.
That being said, beware that these conversion tops usually are not cheap, at least not the high quality options. You might actually spend as much cash on a conversion top as you would on a full ping pong table.
Also, be sure to get one that fits your pool table, as not all pool tables and ping pong tables are the same sizes. So make sure you get the right size.
Are They Worth It?
We do think that these conversion tops are great investments that can really bring your game room to the next level.
If you cannot decide between pool and ping pong, and you really want both, then yes, we would say that conversion tops for pool tables are absolutely worth it. They turn one table into two, and you just cannot beat that kind of versatility.
The bottom line is that both of these games can be a whole lot of fun to play.
It all comes down to what style of game you prefer, how much space you have, and how much money you can afford to spend.
Having grown up playing both, I would have a hard time making a decision between the two and would go for a pool table with a conversion top.