When table tennis originated in Victorian England, people played it on a parlor table, using books to bounce a golf ball back and forth to each other. Today, ping-pong is more than a parlor game. It’s an Olympic sport, a family pastime, a party game, and simply a fun way to spend half an hour or a weekend. That’s why so many people buy a ping-pong table for home use. If you’re one of them, here’s a short guide to help you choose the best one for you.

The two halves of this unit can be completely separated and used as freestanding multi-use tables. STIGA

If you have enough indoor space to fit a ping pong table to play but want to use the space for other uses when you don’t, consider a good-quality folding table. Remove the net, fold the two table halves together, and roll it to an out-of-the-way spot. Some tables have halves that can stand independently so you can use them for other purposes, such as a place to put snacks during a party.

Convenient Storage

This one has a durable aluminum composite top. STIGA

You may want to play ping pong on a deck, a porch, a patio, or right in your backyard. If that’s the case, invest in a table that is built to withstand moisture and sunlight, which could harm indoor tables. These cost more than indoor tables, but they’re rugged and you’ll never have to worry about warping or peeling (or the guest who’s having a REALLY good time and spills a beer all over it).

Tournament-Grade Net

This features welded steel aprons that support the top, preventing it from warping. STIGA

If you’re serious about table tennis, not just any table will do. You’ll want a thick, reinforced table for stability and consistent bounce. You also want a quality tabletop finish that won’t wear over time or develop thin spots. These cost a bit more than everyday tables but will stand up to hard use for a long time.