My second oldest child loves to have the greatest and latest technology. This year, he’s set his sights on getting new ping pong accessories, including a robot and catch net as well as table tennis paddles. As a father of five, I can’t buy everything my kids want, but he convinced me we would get a lot of use out of these items, and they’ll improve our play.
The list of items you need to play ping pong is short, a table, net, balls, and paddles. But as your skills progress, you’ll likely want to upgrade to better quality accessories such as high-end paddles and balls. You may even want to include a table tennis robot and catch net to practice solo.
Most people enjoy the benefits of upgrading their ping pong accessories, but I’m an old-school player and typically play with my standard paddle. However, there are advantages to playing with high-performance ones.
Playing ping pong is a great way to spend family time and develop hand-eye coordination. You can play indoors, which means it’s available all year round – even during winter.
We often organize single and double tournaments called “king of the table,” where the winners stay on the table until they lose.
In this guide, we will cover:
- The equipment needed to play ping pong
- Reviews of the best table tennis paddles, ping pong balls, table tennis nets, and table tennis accessory sets
- And more…
Ping Pong Accessories
Ping pong is an easy game to learn, and it also provides hours of entertainment. It can be played by any age or skill level and doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment.
If you’re just getting into the great game of table tennis, it is essential to familiarize yourself with all the equipment and terms used to develop your skills quickly. More knowledge about how things work will make playing fun and easy.
Table tennis bats
Table tennis paddles have three essential parts: the handle, the blade, and the rubber.
Handles of ping pong paddles can vary in shape and design, but you must only look at the comfort. If a handle is flashy but feels uncomfortable in your hands, it isn’t the right choice. The handle should feel natural and fit snugly in your hands. It should not impede your technique but rather help you retain maximum control over your shots.
Professionals have their paddle blade made specially by selecting a type of wood and then choosing the appropriate rubbers to cover it. If you are just starting, go for an all-around blade with no more than five plies and softwood construction. Once you develop an attacking style, you can upgrade to a stiffer paddle. This is the type I use.
Rubbers are of two types: the reverse format with inverted pimples adjoining a sponge layer and the pimples-out type, which may be with or without the sponge layer.
Table tennis balls are graded in quality from 1 to 3 stars. The 3-star rating ensures consistent bounce and longer life. Remember: if a ping pong ball cracks, it might emit a menthol-like smell, and it is best to replace it right away.
A full-size professional ping-pong table measures 274 x 152 cm and stands 76 cm tall. You can buy smaller tables, but it is always better to start your practice on a full-size table. Ensure that the table’s playing surface is at least 2 cm thick. Thinner surfaces tend to get scratched easily and could affect gameplay. Store the table carefully after each use.
You can always play in jeans and a T-shirt but invest in decent-quality shorts, shirts, and shoes if you are serious about the game.
Let us move on to the reviews of the best table tennis equipment.
#1. Best Table Tennis Paddles
Best Table Tennis Paddles for Recreational Players – Killerspin Recreational Table Tennis Paddles
The Killerspin JET 200 paddle is perfect for beginners and intermediate players. If you’re upgrading from introductory paddles that come with a table, you’ll notice a stark improvement in your game.
I used this paddle and found its handle very easy to grip. It also improved the power in every shot, which considerably helped enhance gameplay.
You can tell right away that the Killerspin JET 200 is exceptionally well-made and pips in style. The manufacturer recommends it for shake-hand play and not for penhold players, I’m not exactly sure why the grip matters, but I only use the shake-hand style anyways.
If you have any questions, the customer service reps at Killerspin are always available to answer them right away. I found them very forthcoming, and they answered all my queries on the differences between the rubbers on their Jet 100 and Jet 200 paddles.
Here are some great features of the Jet 200:
- Performance ratings: speed-6, control 8.5, and spin 7.0.
- Flared handle
- 5-ply composite wood
- Flexible PVC tape
- Portable – comes in an attractive box.
- Value for money
- Great for beginners/intermediate players
- Great for gifting.
- Some users had to sandpaper the wood around the handle’s neck to smooth it down.
Best Table Tennis Paddles for Serious Players: STIGA Pro Carbon Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket with Carbon Technology for Tournament Play
STIGA is the name to know when it comes to ping pong tables and paddles. Their pro carbon rackets are perfect for tournament-level play, and it is the choice of professionals.
These pre-assembled paddles are made with high-quality rubber and have a well-balanced blade. Some users might complain about their price, but remember that you get better spin and control every time you go $10 to $15 higher in ping pong paddles.
- Concave pro handle
- 6-ply light blade
- 2 mm sponge
- Shock dispersion technology absorbs vibrations
- 2-layers of carbon improve rigidity and response.
- Great for driving, hitting
- Extremely well-made
- Easy to hold
- Value for money
- A few users felt that it does not generate as much spin.
#2. Best Ping Pong Balls
Do ping pong balls make a difference in your game? Yes, all ping pong balls are not built the same. They are different sizes and made of various thicknesses.
Franklin ping pong balls are 40 mm, the official size requirement for this sport. Many brands’ balls are only 38 mm, so be sure to check your ball size before buying them.
Franklin balls are also brightly colored, and you can see them easily during play and offer consistent bounce, which helps you improve your play – no matter whether you’re playing in a competition or for recreation.
- 40 mm and 2.7 g weight
- Durable ABS plastic construction
- Available in packs of 6, 12, 18, 36 or 144 balls
- Reliable bounce and spin
- Value for money
- They do not glow in the dark as advertised.
#3. Best Table Tennis Accessory Sets
Nibiru Sport Ping Pong Paddles Set of 4 – Table Tennis Paddles, 8 Balls, Storage Case – Table Tennis Rackets & Game Accessories
Why buy the paddles and balls separately if you can get them all together in a convenient carrying case?
For less than $50 bucks, you can get everything you need to get started with ping pong, except the table. Nibiru ping pong equipment set contains a handy travel case filled with eight balls and four paddles. All of the included accessories are very well-designed and suited for players of all levels.
- Crack-resistant wooden, sweat-proof, flared, splinter-resistant handles
- Durable anti-peel rubber, sponge layer for powerful spin
- High-quality balls- 40 mm thick and made from durable ABS material
- Easy to hold
- Sturdy and long-lasting
- Has a strong chemical smell that needs airing out.
#4. Best Table Tennis Nets
Best Retractable Table Tennis Net – Hipiwe Retractable Table Tennis Net Replacement
For our younger kids, we used retractable table tennis nets attached to small tables so they could play. It’s super convenient, easy to set up, and we even took it with us on vacation. The Hipiwe retractable table tennis nets stretch as much or as little as you want – which makes them work with most tables.
The Hipiwe is not a good net for serious players; it tends to sag some and just doesn’t hold up as well as standard nets. I don’t recommend using it for competitive playing.
- Expands to 6 feet
- Fits almost any table having a 5-inch thickness.
- Easy to store – retractable
- Durable and sturdy
- Easy to setup and take down
- The cylinders that sit on the top of the table occupy more space than typical net posts.
Best Regulation Size Table Tennis Net: JOOLA Premium Avanti Table Tennis Net
This JOOLA table tennis net is perfect for serious table tennis players. JOOLA is a popular brand in table tennis equipment. It is also the official partner that supplies equipment in ITTF competitions in the USA and worldwide.
JOOLA Avanti table tennis net comes with an easy attachment, screw-on clamp. It has a sturdy base, and its height and tension are adjustable.
- 72-inch length, 6-inch height (9 x 5 feet)
- Easily fit tables 1.5-inch thick
- Screw-on clamp tightening
- Easy to install
- Value for money
- Not universal – may not work for all tables.
#5. Best Tennis Ball Catch Net
Sometimes, you simply need to practice hitting and serving ping pong balls and play by yourself to improve your gameplay. It can be a chore to pick up all the dropped balls. With a ball catch net, you can save this hassle of cleanup and simply keep your focus on playing.
iPong tennis ball catch net is another convenient offering from JOOLA. It is versatile enough for any kind of practice – whether you play with a friend or use a robot ball feeder (reviewed shortly).
- Large surface area of 66in x 18in x 28in (L x D x H)
- Durable carbon fiber frame
- Side netting funnels the balls into the center of the net
- The net has a resealable slot to conveniently catch the balls in a caddy or a bag
- Quick to assemble
- Great for training and practice
- Not compatible with the Stiga ST4100 series of tables
#6. Best Table Tennis Ball Picker Upper
We play ping pong in a large building and have balls all over when we finish a game. Having a ball picker-upper is a luxury. Whether you play table tennis indoors or outdoors, you need a ball picker that will prevent the hassle of bending and picking up all those dropped balls.
Silfrae ball picker is designed to conveniently pick up balls on carpets, lawns, and tiles. Simply press the picker-upper, and the ball will bounce into the basket. Your back and knees will be happy you made this purchase!
- Adjustable handle between 60 and 90 cm. Ideal for most heights.
- Works on solid surfaces like carpets, grass, and hardwood floors but not soft dirt
- Made with a solid aluminum frame and stainless steel spring
- Easy to use
- Holds a lot of balls
- Perfect for use with robot feeder
- The tie rack end isn’t properly cut – it is very sharp.
#7. Best Ping Pong Robot
A robot ping pong ball feeder is just the buddy you need to improve your gameplay in the absence of a partner. It serves nine kinds of balls, including topspin, left and right spins, backspin, and mixed spins.
You can also have different frequency and speed settings. Moreover, you can adjust the robot’s elevation for high drop and two jump balls.
Suz Store also has several other ping pong robots, namely the S102, S201, S302, and S303. These come with different topspin, backspin, irregular landing spots, etc.
- Wired remote control adjustment
- Serve loop adjustable angle between 0 and 40 deg – hand adjustment
- Side spin – left and right adjustment
- 9 different ball spins.
- Great for beginners
- Easy to assemble and customize
- The dial adjustment feature does not let you remember your favorite position
Best Premium Robot Ping Pong Machine: Practice Partner Table Tennis Robot
For a couple of hundred bucks more, you can get this premium table tennis, robot partner. You can set it up on any table, and with a few adjustments, it will serve you challenging balls to improve your game – no matter if you are a beginner or a pro.
Practice Partner ping pong robot produces backspin, sidespin, topspin, 2-bounce serves, and one bounce returns. You can also set it for various trajectories and angles.
- Made of sturdy alloy and rubber
- Dimensions – 19 x 12 x 15 inches; weighs just 15 lb.
- Holds 200 balls
- Speed settings from 1-9; 25 to 80 balls per minute
- Pause button
- Adjustable oscillation
- Easy to assemble
- Fits all ping pong tables
- Simple controls
- Higher price
What ping pong paddles do professionals use?
Professionals table tennis players typically use Butterfly, Stiga, JOOLA, Palio, and Killerspin paddles.
What should you look for when buying ping pong paddles?
The most important features of a ping pong paddle are the handle and rubbers. The handle should provide a comfortable grip, and the rubbers should fit your playing style.
Ping pong is a recession-proof game that you can play indoors. A great game of ping pong needs good equipment. You can up the excitement and even improve your gameplay with the right equipment.
When you first start playing ping pong, any basic accessories will do. But as you get better at the game, you will need to think about speed, control, backspins, drop shots, and, of course, about winning. With the best ping pong accessories, you can.
I recommend brands like Stiga, Killerspin, and JOOLA for your paddles, balls, portable table tennis nets, and other table tennis accessories. I hope you also check out my recommendations for the ping pong ball picker, robot ping pong machine, and catch nets, as they can save you a lot of hassles of picking up balls and finding a buddy for training.