Robert is a professional journalist who’s also a freelance writer in his free time. He loves science-fiction stories and documentaries about UFO. Robert is also planning to write his own science-fiction novel in the nearest future.
Gary has been playing table tennis for as long as he remembers and is a winner of numerous regional and a few international tournaments. In his free time, Gary loves jogging and camping with his wife and two kids.
Last updated: December 10, 2022
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A ping-pong conversion table is the best investment you can make for your game room. It’s the only equipment that allows you to go from pool or foosball or air hockey to ping-pong with only a table swap.
The best table tennis conversion top makes it easy for you to enjoy a variety of games at minimal cost. How? Because it goes on top of an existing table, so you don’t need to buy a complete table. These high-quality ping-pong conversion tops are well-padded to protect the table from damage. They are also thick enough to produce the bounce that makes ping-pong, well, ping-pong. Just as important, they are easy to install and uninstall. Curious to know more? Read on to learn how you can make them work for you too.
The Butterfly Pool Conversion Top has similar dimensions as a full-size 9′ x 5′ table and is designed to fit on 8- and 9-foot tables. It has a support metal rail on all four sides and will sit perfectly on an 8-foot table. If you remove the rail, it will fit a 9-foot table, meaning you can use it on any table—pool, foosball, dinner table, etc—that measures 8-9 feet. It’s a sturdily-built table that won’t wobble on the table as it balances perfectly on any surface where it’s placed. With a 19-mm thickness, it gives a solid, consistent bounce that will allow you to enjoy competitive playing with friends and family. Full foam padding is attached on the underside to protect your pool table (or any other table you use) from scratches and other damage as you use this table tennis conversion top. Included in the package is a Butterfly clip net set, which means you can start playing as soon as you set up the table. Speaking of which, setting it up is easy since it comes pre-assembled. You only have to place the two halves of the conversion top on your preferred table, attach the clip net, and you’re done. It’s available in two colors and comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
What are our favorite features?
The heavily padded back and the high level of protection it offers to any surface you place it on.
What could be better?
The price tag is high, but you get a superior quality table in exchange.
The best table tennis conversion top for competitive people, Martin Kilpatrick Ping Pong Table for Billiard Table is designed to give your ping-pong game sessions a professional feel. This is thanks to the high bounce quality it gives, courtesy of its 19mm-inch thickness. The top comes in two equal halves which join together using dovetail joint brackets, an interlocking system that provides excellent stability, and the bounce is even and consistent across both halves. Because of the way the joints lock and connect the two halves, the top will not move around or detach during play. The connecting brackets joining the halves are also the net brackets. Once you position the halves as required, you’ll slide the net posts—one on each side—then slide the net onto position, and you’re ready to play. There is a 1.5-inch metal rail screwed to the bottom side and which goes round the top, giving it added stability. With the rail attached, the top fits perfectly on an 8-inch table. It will fit on a 9-foot table if you remove the rail, so you can use it with any regulation size table you have at home. It comes with 30 foam pads which you place underneath the top to protect the table beneath from scratches.
What makes it special?
The interlocking dovetail bracket system and how snugly it holds the two halves of the top so they don't move or disengage during play.
When looking for a somewhat lightweight conversion top, this JOOLA Regulation Table Tennis Conversion Top is certainly a top choice. It weighs 116.6 lbs., so it’s not too heavy to move during assembly and disassembly. To be safe, you still need help moving it since 116 lbs. can be a lot for one person to lift. Measuring 108″ x 60″, this is a regulation size table that will easily fit on your existing pool table or any other table. It has a thickness of 15 mm (0.5 inches) and provides a consistent bounce across the surface. To boost stability and ensure there is no sagging, it has a 1.5-inch metal apron around the top. EVA-foam is used underneath the top to protect the supporting table base from damage. Now, this Joola table tennis conversion top comes in two varieties. One has EVA-foam backing and the other has EVA-foam pads. So you get to choose the type of padding you feel will serve you best. The top is assembled in two halves, a process that takes only minutes. Once you’ve placed the halves on your chosen table, you attach the net and posts that are included in the package, and you’re ready to play.
What do we love it for?
The foam padding and the option to choose full backing or foam pads. Steel apron guarantees long life for this table.
This GamePoint Tables Table Tennis Conversion Top is sturdy, with carefully finished edges that give it a high-end look. It measures 63″ x 61″ and is designed to fit onto tables that are up to 8 feet long. This means you will be able to comfortably use it on a pool table or any other regulation-size table. The top comprises two halves which join to form a single table. In addition to the locking system, there are straps which you tie beneath the top to further hold the halves together. It comes with a net and post set, which allows you to quickly set up the net and support posts for instant play. You only need to place the conversion top atop your chosen table, attach the posts and net and you’re all set to start playing. To protect your pool table from scratches, the top comes with foam padding on the underside. It weighs only 105.8 lbs., so if you lean on the stronger side, you may be able to set it up and take it down by yourself. Otherwise, it’s easy for two people to assemble and disassemble it. Further, it has transportation wheels for easy portability. Although it does not come with an explicit warranty, it does come with 100% money-back guarantee. GamePoint Tables guarantees that they’ll refund your purchase price if, for any reason, you are not satisfied with the table top.
What are our favorite features?
The sturdy construction promises a long period of reliable use. Gaming kit that comes with this table makes it perfect for buy and play users.
What could be better?
Full foam backing would provide more solid protection compared to foam pads.
The Hathaway BG2323 conversion top measures 58″ x 33″ and can be used on 7- and 8-foot pool tables (and other general use tables of a similar size). Made from engineered wood and covered with PVC laminate, this is a hardy pool table ping pong top that will not get damaged easily. The laminate at the top ensures that you never have to deal with warping, and so you can expect to continually enjoy the same bounce quality you get on first use. To further ensure that the bounce is consistent, the top is half an inch thick. It’s a pre-assembled piece, so it comes ready to use. Just set it on the table, position the net and posts, and enjoy your first game. The top is made up of two halves which are joined using 4 hinges. Together, they weigh only 88 pounds and you can easily set them up and remove them without any trouble. On the underside are felt pads that protect your pool table from damage. Our only gripe with this conversion top is that it has a short warranty period—only 180 days. If something goes wrong after 6 months of use, you won’t be able to get a total replacement or replacement parts as the warranty will have lapsed. However, given its quality, we doubt you’ll have any problems with this top in the short term.
Why did it make our list?
The sturdy construction featuring wood and laminate, which prevents warping and ensures a consistent bounce.
What is not ideal about it?
It's smaller than most other conversion tables. Some people may find this limiting.
The sturdy STIGA Duo Table Tennis Conversion Top has a professional look and feel to it and will take your competitive friendly games a notch higher. It is a regulation size ping pong top for pool table measuring 108″ x 60″, with a half-inch thickness that produces a consistent bounce, and is meant to fit on 7- and 8-foot tables. Thirty-inch steel tubes are added to ensure stability, and these are mounted at the center for maximum support. The rail is further held in place by sponge rubber strips, with side stripes added to help align the top. This rubber sponge is what protects your pool table from scratches, ensuring you can enjoy a variety of games on the same surface without worrying about damaging your game equipment. This ping pong top weighs 110 lbs. and is best installed by two people. Setting it up is easy; just align the two halves of the top on the table, attach the net and posts, and you can start playing right away. Note that because of the steel support running at the middle of the top, the halves don’t join side by side; there’s a little space between them, but this doesn’t affect the quality of play in any way.
Why is it special?
The different support mechanisms used to ensure that the top doesn't sag or warp. The sponge rubber provides high density padding, effectively protecting both table and top.
What are the flaws?
With some conversion tops being ¾ inches thick, for some people, this unit may not feel thick enough at ½ an inch.
For a ping pong pool table topper that won’t disappoint, consider the Rally & Roar Indoor Table Tennis Conversion Top. Made from solid wood and measuring a generous 108″ x 60″, it’s a sturdy, regulation-size top that will fit on your pool table and any other table up to 9 feet long. The top comes in two options: a 2-piece option and a 4-piece option. Both options are equally strong and give similar game play, but the 2-piecer is thicker (¾”) than the 4-piecer (½”). The 4-piece unit folds up into a smaller 54″ x 30″ piece, therefore taking up less storage space, while the 2-piecer will be a bigger 54″ x 60″ bundle when folded up and use up more storage space, so choose the one that matches your available space. If space isn’t an issue, you can go with either or base your choice on personal preference. The hinges in both the 2- and 4-panel topper are sturdy and adequately support the halves and quarters, ensuring they don’t sag at the middle. Both options come with 3mm EVA foam back padding to protect your table from scratches and dings. Assembly is easy, and they come with a set of posts and net, so you can set them up and play right away if you like.
What makes it stand out?
Solid construction ensures you’ll have long hours of fun gaming and practicing. The surface allows for well-responding bounce. The table is fairly lightweight which makes it easier to set-up.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
This is one of the conversion tops that requires delicate care
Things to Consider
If you know exactly what to look for when buying a ping-pong conversion top, choosing the perfect conversion top becomes easy. And if we’re being honest, that’s the hardest part in the whole buying process. Below, we’re going to cover the main features you should look out for when shopping for a table tennis conversion top because once you have this part pat down, you’re guaranteed of walking away with the best conversion top for your game sessions.
How to set up table tennis conversion top
A conversion top allows you to convert your pool table into a ping-pong table at minimum cost, so you can switch from pool to table tennis and back to pool whenever you want. You do this by placing the conversion top on top of the pool table, effectively transforming it into a table tennis playing surface. Most conversion tables can also be placed on air hockey tables, foosball tables, kitchen tables, dinner tables, and outdoor tables. So you are not limited to using the pool table only.
Setting up the conversion table is easy, but you need someone to help you lift and place each half of the top on the pool table because the halves can each weigh 50-85 lbs. Ensure that the padded side is at the bottom so it protects the pool table beneath it from damage. Next, attach the net posts, placing one on each side and locking/clamping it into place. Slide the plastic rod through one end of the net and then slip the rod on to the net post. Wrap the string around the net post to secure the net onto the post. Repeat on the other end and tighten both strings as needed to keep the tension right.
How to pick the best ping pong conversion top
Now that you’re ready to pick a table tennis conversion top, here is what to look for.
The thickness of the conversion top determines its bounce capability. For the best table tennis experience, the ball has to bounce off the table nimbly, and the bounce has to be consistent across the entire playing surface. Thicker tables give better bounce, so have this in mind when evaluating the conversion tops to choose from. The most common thickness sizes for ping-pong conversion tops are 0.5 and 0.75 inches. While ¾-inch tops feel like they have better bounce, the difference between what they give and what you get from a ½-inch top is not so noticeable that they’d ruin a home game.
Table tennis conversion tops are largely made from steel or wood. You can’t go wrong with either of these two materials, given how durable they both are. You won’t have any problems with a top made from steel. If anything, it’s the best choice you can pick. Wood, while solid and reliable, is prone to warping. Ensure that the model you choose (if you pick wood) has an apron as this will help keep the top flat over the years. Some manufacturers add a laminate of a non-wood material on top, and because this won’t warp, you’re assured of playing on a flat surface at all times.
The brand may not necessarily have an impact on the quality of the conversion topper. But the fact is that some brands have been making table tennis tops for far longer than others and have a remarkable track record to show for it. Because of the massive R&D such a brand puts into each product, conversion tops from such brands may be of a better quality than those from newer brands. Still, it isn’t unusual to come across great quality conversion tops from newer, relatively unknown brands.
Aim for regulation-size conversion tops, which are the same size as pro table tennis game surfaces. This table size also allows you to enjoy playing both singles and doubles. We have smaller tops, but these are limiting in that they may only accommodate 2 players. Plus, a larger table adds a competitive edge to your games, making it more fun and enjoyable. The size of your conversion table also has a lot to do with its weight. Many of these tops weigh more than 100 pounds and need to be handled by 2 people. But there are a few that are lighter, which you may be able to carry and assemble on your own. Check the weight and be sure you have the manpower to lift, carry, assemble, and disassemble the top you’re buying.
Installation and storage
Table tennis conversion tops are made in a simple design that makes them easy to install and disassemble. They usually come preassembled, and where this is not the case, you mainly only have to join two or four halves and attach the posts and net. That’s it. You don’t even need any equipment, and it’s a few minutes’ job. Taking down the top is just as easy. The only bit you may need help with is in carrying the table halves and placing them on/taking them off the table.
These tops fold away for easy storage. Some will fold in half, and others will take a quarter fold. For example, the Rally & Roar Indoor Table Tennis Conversion Top has options for both. The latter folds into a smaller piece and takes up less space than the former, which isn’t as small when folded.
Expect to spend between $400 and $700 for a quality ping-pong conversion top. Be on the lookout for discounted offers for an opportunity to buy yours at a cheaper price. Lots of sellers run regular sales, which can lower the price significantly if you take advantage of such an offer.
The top is padded on the underside to protect the table from scratches and any other damage caused by friction. Foam is the most common type of padding used for this, but felt pads and sponge rubber are other available options. The padding can be full, where it is pre-attached along the entire surface of the top, or it can be in the form of pads—which typically measure 1″x1″ but can be bigger. It’s important to ensure that the padding is thick enough and offers sufficient protection, especially if the conversion top is heavy and exerts a lot of pressure on the table.
Table tennis conversion tops don’t come with a lot of enhancements. They are a practical piece of gaming equipment and, as we mentioned, are made in a simple design. The only accessories you need are the net and posts. Nearly all tops come with a free set of net and posts. Should the top you’re considering buying not have these (highly unlikely), or should you wish to replace them with better quality ones, you can find replacement nets and posts in many gaming stores, both online and offline.
No, because the ping-pong conversion top comes with a protective padding on the underside, which protects the pool table from damage. Without this padding, the pool table surface would suffer damage caused by scratches and friction from the top.
Table tennis conversion tops are designed to be folded for easy storage. Some fold in half and some fold twice, depending on design. Once you’ve folded your conversion top, you can keep it under the pool table, in a closet, at a corner in your garage or game room, in a storage cart, or anywhere else where you have space. The most important thing is to keep it out of the way so no one knocks it over or trips over it and gets injured.
Our top choice is Butterfly Pool Conversion Top, whose superior build quality assures you of reliable use over the long term. We like the full foam backing and the high level of protection it offers across the entire pool table surface. The sturdy metal apron is another excellent feature.
In second position is the Martin Kilpatrick Ping Pong Table for Billiard Table, standing out for its solid metal frame and sound construction. We like the quality of the metal rail and how firmly it’s secured to the bottom. Our favorite feature is the interlocking system and how firmly it holds the halves in position.
Our third best table tennis conversion top is Hathaway BG2323, whose wood and laminate construction is both practical and funky looking. We like that it’s lightweight and can be installed by one person. The high density felt pads on the underside are another winning feature.
How to Choose a Table Tennis Table | PRO TIPS by DICK'S Sporting Goods
To get your table tennis game on point, you need the right equipment. But before you can bring your best game to the table, you need to find the best one for you. Table tennis tables vary in features, materials, size and more. This Pro Tips guide serves up everything you need to know.