No game room or rec room is complete without a pool table. With one of these tables in your home, you can have fun playing a few games with friends while waiting for the game to start on television or when you’re in the middle of a party. Kids as well as adults will like learning some trick shots to impress their friends too.
After looking at dozens of pool tables of all shapes and sizes and from many manufacturers, we picked the Empire USA Signature Series The Empire Pool Table (Check Price on Amazon.com) as our top choice. The Empire features a top made from a one-inch thick piece of real slate and an elegant design that will turn heads.
How to Choose the Best Pool Table
The best material used as a surface or top for a pool table is slate because it lasts longer and is resistant to common types of damage. Tables that use plywood or another material are more affordable, but you should keep in mind that these tables won’t last as long.
Tournament tables must have a piece of slate on top that is one-inch thick, but home tables can have a surface of 0.5-inches or 0.75-inches thick. Some companies will use a thin piece of slate on top of wood or another material. You’ll also find tables that come with multiple pieces of slate on top, which will help you more easily and cheaply replace the slate when it breaks.
While pool tables have a cabinet that surrounds the top, the legs are what support the weight of the table as well as the weight of people leaning against or sitting on the table. These tables come with anchor systems that connect the legs to the top. Quad anchor tables offer more strength than single anchor tables do.
Pool table felt comes in different colors as well as weights and is what protects the slate from damage caused by the balls and cue sticks. As you look for pool tables, you’ll find that some manufacturers now sell tables without any felt or covering on top, which lets you customize the table with a type of felt that will stand up to the games that you play.
The rails on the top of the table help you make trick shots and keep balls from flying over the sides of the table. Pool tables that use natural materials in the rails are more durable than those that use synthetic materials. Synthetic materials can dry out over time and become brittle, especially in homes with low humidity levels.
Most pool tables come in sizes that range between seven-foot long and nine-foot long. Shorter tables are suitable for rooms of 16-foot long or less, but tables in the nine-foot long range will work in rooms of around 18-foot long. If you want to play in an even smaller room, you might opt for a combo table instead.
Combination Pool Tables
Combination pool tables, also called combo game tables, are tables that come with different surfaces you can swap out to play different games like checkers, chess, table tennis, table hockey or poker. Some tables even come with attachment that turn the table into an indoor basketball game.
Ball Return System
A ball return system, sometimes called a ball retrieval system, is essentially a slot return system inside the table that moves balls from the pockets into a central system for setting up future games. Tables that come with leather or mesh pockets on the exterior of the table will lack one of these systems.
See if the manufacturer lists a life expectancy for the pool table too. While combo tables may only last for a few years or less, larger pool tables can last for decades.
|Empire USA Signature Series The Empire Pool Table||9.8||Check Price on Amazon|
|Mizerak Donovan II 8’ Billiard Table||9.7||Check Price on Amazon|
|Empire USA Signature Series The Clawson Pool Table||9.5||Check Price on Amazon|
|Mizerak Dakota BRS 8-Foot Billiard Table||9.4||Check Price on Amazon|
|Fat Cat Kansas 7-Foot Billiard/Pool Game Table||9.2||Check Price on Amazon|
|MD Sports 96 in. Square Leg Billiard Table||9.1||Check Price on Amazon|
|Fat Cat Frisco II 7.5-Foot Billiard/Pool Game Table||8.9||Check Price on Amazon|
|EastPoint Sports 87-Inch Brighton Billiard Table||8.8||Check Price on Amazon|
|Hathaway Hustler Pool Table||8.6||Check Price on Amazon|
|Fat Cat Reno II 7.5-Foot Billiard/Pool Game Table||8.3||Check Price on Amazon|
|Hathaway Maverick Table Tennis and Pool Table||8.2||Check Price on Amazon|
|Hathaway Fairmont 6 ft. Portable Pool Table||7.8||Check Price on Amazon|
|Mizerak Dynasty Space Saver 6.5’ Billiard Table||7.7||Check Price on Amazon|
|Medal Sports Springdale 7.5 ft. Billiard Pool Table||7.5||Check Price on Amazon|
|MD Sports 84 in. Arcade Billiard Table||7.3||Check Price on Amazon|
|Barrington 84 in. Billiard Table||7||Check Price on Amazon|
|Triumph Sports Phoenix 7’ Billiard Table with Table Tennis Conversion Top||6.7||Check Price on Amazon|
|Giantex 48″ 3-In-1 Multi Combo Game Table||6.6||Check Price on Amazon|
|HLC 55″ Folding Space Saver Pool Billiard Table||6.4||Check Price on Amazon|
|Triumph 48 in. 4-in-1 Swivel Table||6.3||Check Price on Amazon|
|Goplus 48-Inch Mini Tabletop Pool Table||6.2||Check Price on Amazon|
|Hathaway 40 in. Sharp Shooter Table Top Billiard Table||5.9||Check Price on Amazon|
|Playcraft Sport Bank Shot 40-Inch Pool Table||5.6||Check Price on Amazon|
Top Rated Pool Tables on the Market
Empire USA makes some of the best tables for pool enthusiasts under its Signature Series line, and the best table that we found is The Empire Pool Table from that line. The Empire has a classic and traditional look that would fit inside a home library or a game room, and you can picture you and all your friends playing a classic game on the top of its slate surface. That surface features three individual pieces of slate that measure one-inch thick and come with a wood backing.
The wood construction carries over into both the cabinet and the legs, which use real maple, and the legs have high-quality anchor systems to keep each one from coming loose. This table has classic wood legs that look like animal paws and leather drop pockets that keep balls securely beside the table.
Thanks to two pedestal legs, this Mizerak Donovan II 8′ Billiard Table has larger and more open areas underneath its surface that help you get in the perfect spot for taking a tricky shot, and those legs have their own levelers too. It features chrome accents on the sides of the table as well as a black cabinet and a deep red felt on top that add to its funky look.
This table is available with a slate top or a more affordable top that mimics the feel of slate, and both materials allow balls to move smoothly across the top. Mizerak includes sticks, balls, a rack, chalk and a brush with this table. The chalk helps you add texture to keep the sticks from slipping off the balls, while the brush lets you clean debris off the felt to extend its life.
Though Empire USA took our top spot, it also ranks third on our list with The Clawson Pool Table, which is also part of its Signature Series. These table features a traditional look like the number one table does and has similar legs that also look like the legs of a regal animal. It features three pieces of real slate that measure one-inch thick, and each piece comes with a wood backing that makes it easier to remove those pieces when needed.
Made from solid maple, the legs of the table feature metal anchors that secure the legs to the cabinet and keep the table from toppling over if others lean or sit on the top. Though it lacks a ball retrieval system, it comes with durable leather pockets that catch even the fastest of balls.
This Dakota BRS 8-Foot Billiard Table from Mizerak has a somewhat unique design that moves the legs closer to the center of the table, which both adds to the stability of the table while also giving you more room to walk around the table without those legs stopping you from setting up a shot. It comes with a cloth in a shade of soft blue that covers the top and built-in levelers on the bottom of each pedestal leg.
Rails made from rubber wrap around the top of the table and act like bumpers to keep balls moving at a fast speed and to help you nail tricky shots. With its integrated ball retrieval system, you can more easily keep track of all balls after finishing a game too.
Similar in shape and design as some of the more expensive pool tables on our list, the Kansas Billiard and Pool Game Table from Fat Kansas is only seven-foot long, which makes it better suited for smaller rooms than those other tables are. It comes in a bold black finish that works with the leather accents on the pockets and the claw foot legs to give the table a more dramatic look. The green wool-blend cloth used on the surface highlights that black finish too.
The surface uses a hard tac material with a laminate that adds to the table’s overall durability and five-inch rails that give balls more bounce. Ivory accents on top of the rails help you more effectively line up your shots to sink each one that you make.
The MD Sports 96 in. Square Leg Billiard Table will look just as nice in your own home as it would in a pool hall or arcade. Its classic design includes larger legs on each corner that support the table, a deep and dark wood stain on the exterior and drop pockets with mesh accents that look like leather. It comes with all the accessories needed for an upcoming game like a set of balls, sticks and a rack.
A dark green felt used on the top of the table features a mixture of polyester and wool that helps balls move more smoothly across the surface. At eight-foot long, this table gives you lots of room to move around and doesn’t require a lot of extra space to set up and play.
Though the Fat Cat Frisco II 7.5-Foot Billiard/Pool Game Table has a classic look, it also comes with features only found on modern pool tables like K66 rubber bumpers that ensure balls never stop after bouncing against the table’s sides. It also comes with diamond inlays around the edges that use a white color to pop against the wood background, and this inlays let you line up shots too. Drop pockets allow the balls that players hit to land directly inside those pockets and make it easier to track down those balls after a game.
The larger and thicker legs on the bottom provide more stability for the table and come with levelers that let you adjust one or more of those legs to use the table on floors that aren’t level. It features an Accuslate material that mimics real slate, and this surface comes with a seven-year warranty. You’ll also get an accessory kit that comes with everything needed for playing a game.
If you want a classic pool table that has a great look but worry about spending too much money on something that you might not use as often as you would like, the EastPoint Sports 87-Inch Brighton Billiard Table can help you get the look that you want and still stick to your budget. Designed for one or two players to use at a time, this table features legs that use a ball and claw design, drop pockets with accents that look like leather and a deep wood finish.
Leg levelers let you adjust the table to ensure that no one player has an advantage over another, and rubber bumpers give you the consistent bounce that you need during games. EastPoint Sports guarantees that the finish on this table will last for years to come too.
The Hathaway Hustler Pool Table has a funky design that will fit better with modern and contemporary rec rooms than more traditional tables will. It features a black finish with chrome accents on the top and sides as well as pedestal legs with built-in levelers. Cushions on the side made from gum rubber help balls bounce faster across the table.
Laminate top rails measuring four-inches thick surround the top of the table and keep balls from bouncing all around the room. It features an MDF top with a laminate surface and a blue felt on top that lasts for the life of the table. The Hustler is also one of the only pool tables in this price range with a ball retrieval system that drops all balls into a compartment on the front of the table.
Fat Cat makes its last appearance on our list of the best pool tables with this Reno II 7.5-Foot Billiard/Pool Game Table that would look right at home in a pool hall in Nevada. The company uses Accuslate on the surface, which mimics the look and feel of slate but costs less, and this material is resistant to warping. That material comes with red wool felt on top and has a seven-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Leather accents add a touch of class to the pockets, but those pockets also do an amazing job of catching the balls that break and land in each one. The legs on the table have hidden levelers for playing on floors that are uneven, and this table comes with accessories like a ball rack and cue sticks.
Hathaway made our list several times with models like the Maverick Table Tennis and Pool Table because the company gets some of the best pool table reviews from former customers. Measuring seven-foot long, this table has pedestal legs that let you move more freely around the table and built-in levelers for adjusting the height or slope of the table. It also features a black finish with small white inlays on the top rails that you can use for lining up shots.
This table also comes with a separate top that creates a table tennis table from the base. That top fits right on top and is heavy enough that it won’t slip off the table but lightweight enough that you can move it by yourself. It also comes with a net that attaches to the top without damaging the pool table felt.
Another fun pool table from Hathaway is this Fairmont 6 ft. Portable Pool Table, which has a lightweight design that lets you take the pool table outside for playing and take it with you when camping or going on vacation. That portable design includes legs that fold up and against the bottom of the table, but these legs have stabilizers that keep the legs from swinging open and levelers for setting it up on different surfaces.
Pockets made from a rope material and a black cabinet made from melamine add to its lightweight design. The table comes with a blue felt on top that uses both polyester and wool for a smoother surface. You’ll also get a carry bag that can accommodate the table once folded and accessories for playing pool and other games.
Specifically designed to help you save on space in your game or rec room, the Dynasty Space Saver Billiard Table from Mizerak measures 6.5-foot long and features pedestal legs that keep the bottom free to help you get your legs under the table without bumping into those legs. Leg levelers make it easy to adjust the slant of the table to compensate for your floors.
A surface made from double-sealed MDF ensures that the surface remains smooth and level and that your balls glide effortlessly across the top. The green cloth used on the top highlights the softer color of the laminate used on the cabinet to give this the look of a classic pool table. It also comes with accessories like pool chalk, cues and billiard balls.
The legs on this Medal Sports Springdale 7.5 ft. Billiard Pool Table almost resemble the claws of an eagle with a ball perched in the center, which only adds to its traditional look. It features a darker wood finish on both the cabinet and legs as well as a bright green felt on the top and a durable surface that ensures your balls move smoothly, even after playing on it for years. The top rail has a coating that protects against UV rays, and the wood has a scratch-resistant coating also.
Bumper guards surrounding the top have a K-18 specification that ensures balls bounce back after hitting one of those bumpers instead of coming to a complete stop. The table comes with a stand that holds all the included accessories like a rack and ball set.
This MD Sports 84 in. Arcade Billiard Table has a funky look that includes chrome accents on each pocket and near the base of each leg, and those legs have built-in levelers for adjusting the angle of the table’s surface. The bright red color of the felt used on the top picks up the black finish on the rest of the table to ensure that it stands out in any room. Though it uses MDF wood in its construction, MD Sports added a PVC laminate on top that is scratch-resistant.
Drop pockets on the sides and on each corner keep any balls you land in place and make it easier to gather those balls before your next game. As the entire table weighs less than 200 pounds, you can more easily move it around your game room.
Barrington Billiards, the manufacturer behind the Barrington 84 in. Billiard Table, makes some of the most high-quality and affordable pool tables on the market. This table weighs right around 170 pounds and is lightweight enough for two people to move. Though it uses inexpensive materials to bring down its overall cost, this table has a UV-painted finish that is scratch-resistant and will last for years.
The top of the table features a polyester velvet material in a deep red shade that is smooth enough that your balls will never snag on the material, and it is resistant to damage caused by the sticks too. It comes with accessories like cue sticks and a racking triangle and has deep pockets that keep balls from bouncing out.
17. Triumph Sports Phoenix 7’ Billiard Table with Table Tennis Conversion Top (Check Price on Amazon.com)
Though this Triumph Sports Phoenix 7′ Billiard Table might look like a standard pool table at first glace, it comes with a conversion top that fits right over the pool table that turns it into a table tennis table. You’ll get a net that easily snaps to the top for playing table tennis as well as paddles and balls, but the table also comes with sticks, balls and other accessories for playing pool too. Padding on the table tennis tabletop protects the felt of the pool table from scratches and tears also.
The two pedestal legs underneath the table are set back slightly from the sides to let you get in any position around the table. It features a bold black finish with chrome accents around the pockets and sides of the table as well as matching chrome levelers under each leg.
If you love pool but want to get more bang for your buck, you may prefer a combo table like this Giantext 48” 3-in-1 Multi Combo Game Table to a traditional pool table. Made from MDF and other materials, this table comes with one top that has smaller pockets and a bright blue felt that lasts longer than you might think. You’ll also get balls, chalk, cue sticks and a triangle rack in smaller sizes for using with the table.
Other tops include one for playing foosball and one for playing table hockey, and you’ll get all the accessories needed for those games too. The table has locking mechanisms on the sides that you can flip down to secure each top to the base.
This HLC 55″ Folding Space Saver Pool Billiard Table is a great table for those who want to play tool while away from home because it has a portable design that lets you fold it flat for taking on trips. You can also fold the table down for stowing it away underneath your bed or in your closet. Those legs fold flat against the bottom of the table and fold down to support the table, and built-in stabilizers keep the legs from collapsing.
Made from smaller pieces of real wood, this table also features metal components that drop its weight down to right around 40 pounds. The table features rope pockets that keep the balls secured and comes with accessories like sticks and balls in a smaller size.
One of the best and most affordable pool combo tables is this 48 in. 4-in-1 Swivel Table from Triumph that measures four-foot long and is suitable for younger and older players. The table has a swiveling and rotating design that makes it easier to swap out the tops for playing different games. Not only can you play pool on this table, but you can also play table tennis, table hockey and table football.
You can play some of the games with a dedicated tabletop that you put right on the surface of the table, but other games will require that you rotate the top of the table and flip it over before securing it in place with the included attachments. The table comes with accessories for each of those games that you can store inside too.
Another lightweight and portable table that you can play on at home and while away from home is this 48-Inch Mini Tabletop Pool Table from Goplus that you can easily move around your house or yard. At 36-inches tall, this table is shorter than full-size pool tables and is great for kids and teens. It comes with a brush for cleaning the table, a rack for getting the balls ready, a full set of balls and pool sticks.
The small pockets around the sides of this table feature a rope material that make it easy to remove and set up the balls, but that rope material also secures any ball that falls inside a pocket. This table has a more compact design that makes storing it easy too.
If you love pool but have limited space in your home, you’ll love this Hathaway 40 in. Sharp Shooter Table Top Billiard Table that lets you play pool right on top of a table or desk, making it perfect for use in the office too. It features L-shaped legs that come with padding on the bottom that keeps the legs from scratching your floors or tables and a blue felt on top that mimics the felt found on larger tables.
Its compact size makes this one of the few tables that you can take with you. It weighs less than most combo tables and can fit in the backseat of your car or even in your trunk. Hathaway gives you a rack, balls, brush and sticks that match the smaller size of the table.
Don’t assume that you can’t play pool because you live in a small apartment because there are tables like this Playcraft Sport Bank Shot 40-Inch Pool Table that will take up less space than you ever imagined. Made from MDF, which is a cheaper wood material, this table is also great for those who want to play without spending a lot of money. It features a laminate material on the outside that mimics the look of cherry wood.
The bright green felt on the top is strong enough for regular games and won’t rip or scratch when you take a shot. All included accessories like the balls and sticks come in smaller sizes designed to work with this table. You also get a smaller brush for removing crumbs and debris from the felt.
Top Pool Table
Even if you had a lower budget in mind, you might want to spend a little extra once you see the Empire USA Signature Series The Empire Pool Table for yourself. The Empire is an elegant pool table that features curved legs that resemble the legs of a lion and real leather detailing around each pocket. Made from real hardwood, it features maple wood in both its legs and frame. Three pieces of slate used on top make it easier to use this table with your choice of felts and to replace or repair the slate later.
At eight-foot long, this table is of a medium length and suitable for playing in most rooms. The table also feature natural materials in the bumpers that will last longer, and those bumpers have just the right amount of bounce to help you break and make the balls go further.