3 Best Pool Table Choices in 2020 | Reviews and Recommendations

What Is The Best Pool Table for the Money This Year?

 

As we all know, a game of pool is a relaxing social activity that people of all ages play and enjoy a lot.  Having a pool table in your own home will provide you, your family, and friends with countless hours of fun. However, buying a pool table requires some thinking and planning. A pool table is a significant purchase that you must approach carefully.  Pool tables can be expensive, and it is important to find one that is well-made and reasonably priced. Moreover, you need to consider space, lighting, accessories, etc. Finding the best pool table for the money is not an easy feat and it takes more than a quick Internet button clicking operation to get it.

To help you find the best pool table for your home, this pool table buyer’s guide will explain the most important considerations when choosing a table.  Then, we will suggest a handful of 8-foot pool tables that are both well-made and coming with excellent value-for-money!

Things to Consider When Buying a Pool Table

Here are a few things to consider before purchasing your pool table for the home.

What is the best size for a pool table?

Pool tables come in a variety of sizes — from massive 10 x 5-foot carom billiards tables through to tiny 3-foot pool tables designed for children.  Before choosing the size of your pool table, carefully measure your games room.  Remember that you must leave enough space around the table for people to play their shots.

You might also want to check out our guide on how to match your room size with a pool table. As we said on that occasion, the size of the room, the table, what type of pool you want to play, the size of the cues, the number of people playing at the same time at that table, the furniture you already have in the room, and even the floor type matter. You need to consider all these factors before you decide to go hunting for the best pool table brands available on the market.

Pool Table Sizes Depending On What and How You Play Pool

If you are going to be playing pool competitively, choose either a 9 foot by 4.5 foot or 8 foot by 4-foot table.  These are the officially approved pool table dimensions from the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA).  However, billiards and snooker players often compete on larger tables.  There are certain advantages associated with pool tables of different sizes:

Smaller pool tables (7 feet or shorter):

  • An excellent choice if you have children that you want to teach and play with inside the house or players with mobility problems
  • Easier for beginners to learn on
  • Games can sometimes require more strategy because the balls are sharing a smaller space
  • Ideal for some traditional British pool games like Bank Pool and 1-Pocket.

Larger pool tables (8 feet or longer):

  • Better for common American pool games like Ten-ball
  • More challenging and demanding of players
  • Better for anyone wishing to play competitively

Most home pool players consider 8-foot pool tables to be the “sweet spot” in terms of size.  They are suitable for competitive play but don’t take up a substantial amount of space in your games room.  Children can also play on a table of this size, which is useful for families.

Check the material and construction of the pool table bed

The pool table bed is the flat playing surface of the table.  Most high-quality pool tables use slate for the pool table bed.  Slate is a type of rock that can be carved in large, flat segments.  It is very durable and remains perfectly flat for many years if the table is treated well.

Some modern tables use slatron — a man-made surface constructed from resin-reinforced fibers. Slatron is 20-times denser than particleboard and lighter than slate.  Cheaper pool tables may use timber table beds, which are prone to warping if exposed to moisture.

Consider the pool table legs

The legs of the pool table must be very sturdy and well-built to support the weight of a large pool table.  Well-constructed legs are particularly important for slate tables, because of the substantial weight they carry.

Make sure the frame uses strong materials

Having a strong frame is essential for the longevity of your table.  If the table frame begins to fail, your expensive slate top can warp, crack, or become uneven.  A high-quality frame will use wood or metal with cross beams to support the top.  The number of beams used in the table will depend on the size of the table and the number of slate pieces used to form the bed.  You can ask the manufacturer of a table for more information on the frame’s construction.

Durable cushions

The pool table cushions surround the pool table bed.  They are typically made from synthetic materials or natural gum rubber.  The quality of the cushion material will determine how reliably balls bounce off the pool table cushions.  Ideally, choose a natural material over a synthetic one — natural materials are usually better at retaining their elasticity over time.

Pool table accessories

You should also consider the types of accessories that come with the pool table.  Some tables include pool balls and cues while others are “barebones” tables. Often, pool tables come with cues and balls, but they don’t come with a rack to hold those items when they are not in use. Consider these additional costs when purchasing the table. You can check out our guide on the best pool cues to help you play like a pro or ask for recommendations from your seasoned pool playing friends.

What is the best lighting for a pool table?

Now, this is a tricky one, as you do not want to design and build a pool bar, but add a pool table in one of your house rooms. However, the fact that you have some light in the room does not mean you will benefit from all the advantages pool table lights have to offer. If you are serious about creating a pool-friendly space in your home, pool table lighting is crucial. Here are some tips on how to pick the best pool table lights!

  • Your ceiling lamp will not probably do, so consider investing in a pool table light shed set.
  • Call a professional electrician to install the pool table lighting before you bring in the pool table itself in the room. You need to make sure your electrical system supports such lights, the installation is risky if you don’t have the skills, and you do not want to have the table first, only to realize you need to break and fix your ceiling over the new pool table.
  • Make sure you install the pool table lights at the right height. You don’t want to bump into them with your head or hit them with the cue.
  • Remember how a few rows above we said you should first fix the lights and then bring in the table? We will say it again, as you need to make sure the lights are centric to the table and you don’t have to worry about odd shadows or poorly lit areas on or around the table.
  • Now it’s time to also answer the above question regarding what is the best lighting for a pool table. Look for pool table lights able to generate 60 watts. If you feel that such bulbs are too powerful for your eyes, make them 40 watts. The main idea here is to enjoy not-too-bright and not-too-dim light at the same time.

Didn’t we say that creating a pool parlor in your home was not an easy challenge?

Now that you know how to go about these logistical and administrative issues, it is time to see the best pool tables for the money you can enjoy this year!

The Best Pool Table For the Money in 2020

The following pool tables have an excellent build quality and are guaranteed to give you years of great performance.

 
MD Sports Traditional Square Leg Billiard Table, 8′“Mizerak Donovan II 8′ Billiard Table
“Playcraft Southport 8′ institutional slate pool/billiards table – ball return
Style:
Traditional square leg design
Style:
Modern cabinet design
Style:
Commercial pool hall style
Table Bed:
Slate
Table Bed:
Slate or Slatron
Table Bed:
Slate
Felt color:
Green
Felt color:
Red
Felt color:
Blue
Manufacturer:
MD Sports
Manufacturer:
Escalade Sports
Manufacturer:
Playcraft
Check PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

  •  

  • MD Sports Traditional Square Leg Billiard Table, 8′
  • Style:
    Traditional square leg design
  • Table Bed:
    Slate
  • Felt color:
    Green
  • Manufacturer:
    MD Sports
  • Check Price
  •  

  • “Mizerak Donovan II 8′ Billiard Table
  • Style:
    Modern cabinet design
  • Table Bed:
    Slate or Slatron
  • Felt color:
    Red
  • Manufacturer:
    Escalade Sports
  • Check Price
  •  

  • “Playcraft Southport 8′ institutional slate pool/billiards table – ball return
  • Style:
    Commercial pool hall style
  • Table Bed:
    Slate
  • Felt color:
    Blue
  • Manufacturer:
    Playcraft
  • Check Price
 

MD Sports Traditional Square Leg Billiard Table, 8′

 

1This pool table has a traditional design with thick timber legs and a timber frame.  This classical appearance makes this pool table suitable for any high-end games room.  The wood grain is beautiful and it has been manufactured with exceptional attention to detail.

The pool table bed consists of three pieces of thick slate covered in a 35% wool and 65% polyester felt.  The pockets are traditional parlor style with wood-grained top rails.  The pockets are deep enough to hold 4 balls.

It is a sturdy table that looks beautiful.  The MD Sports Traditional Square Leg Billiard Table comes with all of the accessories you may require including 2 cues, triangle rack, and pool balls.

 

Mizerak Donovan II 8′ Billiard Table

 

2The Mizerak Donovan II has a very sleek and modern design.  It features a polished black cabinet with chrome accents and red felt.  This design would be at home in the most technologically advanced games rooms.

The pool table bed is available as slate or slatron.  The 3-5/8” rails are made from K66 nose rubber, which gives the table a consistent rebound.  This rail material will provide you with many years of regular use.  The pool table legs include legs levelers, which are useful if your home has a slightly uneven floor.

The Mizerak Donovan II comes with a range of accessories including 2 cues, billiard balls, triangle rack, felt brush, and chalk.

 

Playcraft Southport 8′ institutional slate pool/billiards table

 

3The Playcraft Southport has a traditional pool hall design that all experienced pool players will instantly recognize.  This table is commercial quality, meaning all components are highly durable and designed for constant use.

This table features a 1” Brazilian slate bed that is honed to 1/1000th of an inch.  This level of accuracy makes the table perfect for competitive players.  The slate is well supported on all sides by Playcraft’s intelligently designed sub-frame.  The table’s frame is covered in beautiful Cherry timber.  This table is a great choice for pool players who are slightly more serious about their pool playing.  It has been designed to stand up to the rigors of everyday use and will give a homeowner many years of use.

 

How to Install a Pool Table?

Now that you have the best pool table for the money and your playing needs, it is time to install it, isn’t it? Well, to help you out with this task, here is a video on how to assembly and install a pool table.

Final Thoughts

Now that we presented you with our guide on how to buy the best pool table for your home and needs, together with our top three pool tables of 2020, it is time for you to do some sharing as well. First, do you know what is the best way to level a pool table? In case you don’t, we have a quick guide for you. If you do and you have done it before, we’d love to hear some tips, tricks, and advice from seasoned players!



So, this was our guide on getting the best pool table this year, for the money, and for your needs. Make sure you put aside some budget, not only for the table itself, but also for the pool table lighting, accessories, the electrician maybe, and other unforeseen expenses. We hope this helped. In case you have other questions regarding pool tables, the pool game itself, or how to buy pool accessories, feel free to leave us your comments in the section below!

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