Choosing the right table tennis balls for the right situation is as important that choosing the right table or even the right racket. There are many differences between ball brands, qualities, and manufacturing processes determining whether the bell is fit for serious or recreational use.
Before we dive into the best ping pong balls, I want to explain what you need to examine before purchasing balls so you can be assured that they will function as you need them to or that you don’t over or underspend! Without further due, let’s take a quick look.
- How to choose table tennis balls
- 1. Best Overall Table Tennis Balls: NITTAKU 3-Star Premium 40+ Table Tennis Balls
- 2. Best Affordable 3-Star Table Tennis Balls: Mapol 100 Pack White 3-Star Table Tennis Balls
- 3. Best Bulk Order able Tennis Balls: JOOLA Prime 3-Star ABS Balls
- 4. Best Seamless Table Tennis Balls: JOOLA Flash Seamless 3-Star Table Tennis Balls
- 5. Best 2-star Table Tennis Balls: JOOLA Magic 2-Star Training Table Tennis Balls
- 6. Best 1-star Table Tennis Balls: Champion Sports Recreational 1-Star Balls
- 7. Best Fun Table Tennis Balls: Killerspin 2x 44mm & 2x 55mm Fun Ping Pong Balls
- 8. Best Outdoor Table Tennis Balls: JOOLA Outdoor Table Tennis Balls
- 9. Best Spin Training Table Tennis Balls: JOOLA Spinball Table Tennis Balls
- 10. Best Silent Table Tennis Balls: Killerspin NoNoise Quiet Ping Pong Balls
- 11. Best Glowing Table Tennis Balls: Franklin Sports Table Tennis Balls
How to choose table tennis balls
The first thing you need to determine where do you need your ping pong balls. Do you need them for a competitive tournament, recreational games, or a bulk order of training balls? This greatly affects the quality you need to invest in, which will then be reflected in the price. Below you can shortly see a rule of thumb on how to select balls.
- 3-star balls: Tournament level quality
- 2-star balls: Recreational game quality
- 1-star balls: Serving practise or bulk training
- Practise balls: For training or beer pong
- Funny balls: For ping pong and different events without any competetive mind
When you keep the above instructions in mind, you can’t go wrong. Now, let’s take a look at what else you should know.
Some brands market 4-star balls that are supposed to be better than 3-star balls, but when playing by the ITTF rules, every table tennis player should; 3-star balls are the highest quality. Below you can find what the ITTF says about balls that are fit for tournament play.
- The ball shall weigh 2.7g.
- The ball shall be spherical, with a diameter of 40mm.
- The ball shall be made of celluloid or similar plastics material and shall be
white or orange, and matt.
Modern ping pong balls are made from plastics after 2014, more specifically ABS-plastic, so celluloid balls shouldn’t even be found nowadays. However, some manufacturers may make them, but you can’t find celluloid balls from my recommendations below.
These are the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a table tennis ball for your needs. However, if you need further education and guidance, you should definitely check my in-depth post about how to choose ping pong balls.
The time has come to check out the best table tennis balls for different categories! Let’s begin with the 3-star balls.
1. Best Overall Table Tennis Balls: NITTAKU 3-Star Premium 40+ Table Tennis Balls
If you are looking for a small number of ultra-quality table tennis balls, look no further! Nittaku premium balls are 3-star balls made from ABS-plastic, and checks all the boxes ITTF has drafted! These balls are made in Japan following the highest standards and manufacturing processes to create the best roundness, durability, and hardness available.
Nittaku Premium balls have been used as an official ball in European championships, US Nationals, US Open tournaments. In addition, it is the official USA Table Tennis ball and has been used in various other competitions and tournaments.
It’s no wonder that this ball is probably the most famous and well-known ball in the table tennis community; therefore, it has earned first place on this list. The only con is that the price per ball is higher than others; however, the durability is well worth the price.
2. Best Affordable 3-Star Table Tennis Balls: Mapol 100 Pack White 3-Star Table Tennis Balls
Sometimes you need a huge amount of table tennis balls at a low price while them still doing their job. Let me introduce Mapol 100 pack white 3-star table tennis balls! This pack is the perfect choice for table tennis clubs, recreational centers, sports centers, schools, and you name it! These balls don’t finish shortly.
The ridiculously affordable price does justice to this package. Hence, if you need quality balls to train with, to use in a table tennis robot, practice serves, or everything between, I highly recommend this large pack of 3-star ping pong balls! Know that these balls aren’t approved by the ITTF for competitive play; however, you can’t expect it with this price.
3. Best Bulk Order able Tennis Balls: JOOLA Prime 3-Star ABS Balls
Even if the Mapol balls are far cheaper than these JOOLA Prime balls, they aren’t ITTF approved, but the JOOLA Prime balls are. This is why I’m recommending these balls to buy in bulk and the Mapol ones I recommend as the affordable 3-star balls. Anyways, let’s review these JOOLA balls!
JOOLA Prime 3-star balls are ITTF approved for competitive play, confirming that they are top-quality balls. Also, they are made from ABS plastic that ensures consistent and reliable bounce, durability, and hardness! Of course, these balls also weigh 2.7g and are +40mm in diameter, as all balls need to be to get approved by ITTF.
You have options to choose from different package sizes from a pack of 3, 6, and 72. The great thing about these quality balls is that the price per ball drops drastically if you buy them in bulk which I highly recommend because if you love and play table tennis regularly, you will eventually wear out 72 balls whether you need them just for yourself or run a table tennis club.
4. Best Seamless Table Tennis Balls: JOOLA Flash Seamless 3-Star Table Tennis Balls
Now, the JOOLA Flash balls are my absolute favorite table tennis balls of all time, even when the price per ball is higher than any 3-star ball in this list. This is because they are as good as any 3-star ball; however, these don’t have a seam which makes them far superior!
When a ping pong ball is constructed without a seam, the chances of breaking drop so drastically that even when the price per ball is higher, they will quickly pay themselves back because they don’t break nearly as often as ones with a seam.
These balls are, of course, ITTF approved for competition, meaning that they weigh 2.7g and are 40mm in diameter. Also, they are made from plastic!
The JOOLA flash 3-star balls have been reaping a legendary reputation ever since they got released, and if you still haven’t tried them, I strongly suggest that you do. Luckily, you can buy them in a smaller package or bulk!
5. Best 2-star Table Tennis Balls: JOOLA Magic 2-Star Training Table Tennis Balls
Now, when we downgrade from 3-star balls to 2-star ones, the overall price drops really fast, and so is the case with JOOLA Magic balls.
These balls are the perfect choice for training without serious thought to it. These balls are great for really anything except a serious match between 2 people or competition, which wouldn’t be allowed because ITTF hasn’t approved these balls for competitive use.
As a training ball, these are just great, and you have the choice between orange and white balls, which is also nice to have. The purple JOOLA logo in the white balls is simply breathtaking, in my opinion. These balls come in a 72-pack, so your balls won’t finish shortly.
6. Best 1-star Table Tennis Balls: Champion Sports Recreational 1-Star Balls
The effect for transitioning from 3-star balls to 2-star balls is the same when further downgrading to 1-star balls. This enormous package of 144 table tennis balls comes off so cheap that you couldn’t believe it. However, these are only fit for clumsy table tennis without much trust in the hardness, durability, and consistency.
For recreational table tennis, these balls will also do well, so they aren’t unplayable by any means. Just not a match for 3-star or even 2-star balls. These balls will do great for training, table tennis robot use, serving, and beer pong, among other things. I highly recommend this huge 144 ping pong ball pack if you are looking for 1-star balls!
7. Best Fun Table Tennis Balls: Killerspin 2x 44mm & 2x 55mm Fun Ping Pong Balls
There are many different kinds of fun balls, from emoji balls to oversized and weighted ping pong balls like these from Killerspin. This package of 4 easily sightable balls has 2x 55mm balls and 2x 44mm balls that weigh more than regular ones.
You can practice ping pong with these, use them to play catch, give them to a dog or cat to play with, or anything between. However, the main use is meant to play table tennis, and the best use comes by playing outdoors. The wind really doesn’t affect these balls, so if you like playing outdoor table tennis but live in a windy area, these balls might be the perfect choice for you.
The only con is that the price per ball is considerably higher when compared to other balls; however, these are special ones, and you only get 4, so it’s not so expensive.
8. Best Outdoor Table Tennis Balls: JOOLA Outdoor Table Tennis Balls
When it comes to outdoor table tennis, regular balls will suffice to a certain point. However, when it’s windy, and it’s always windy outside, balls that weigh more would be great. JOOLA Outdoor table tennis balls are 41% heavier than regular table tennis balls, which will drastically decrease the effects of the wind.
These balls are 40mm in size, so you can play table tennis as you normally do. However, you should be prepared for slight bounce differences because of the heavier weight. All in all, if you’re annoyed by the wind when playing outdoor table tennis, I highly recommend the JOOLA Outdoor balls!
9. Best Spin Training Table Tennis Balls: JOOLA Spinball Table Tennis Balls
Spin is one of the most important skills to master in table tennis, and it can be tricky, especially when starting. Luckily, JOOLA provides their Spinball model in a pack of 12 balls that make it super easy to see the spin speed and angle so you can anticipate receiving spin and practice striking spin yourself!
These balls are regulation size and two colored with orange and white. However, when you want to play regular table tennis, it’s best to move on to one colored ball because these can be irritating compared to a normal full orange or white ball.
Personally, I have trained with spin balls, and I can say they help with receiving spin, and they help with striking spin because you can see your results clearly.
10. Best Silent Table Tennis Balls: Killerspin NoNoise Quiet Ping Pong Balls
Killerspin is a harbinger when it comes to silent table tennis balls! Killerspin provides their sponge foam NoNoise ping pong ball model that doesn’t produce hardly any sound. The package includes 3 balls.
These can be great if you don’t want to disturb someone with your training. For example, these silent balls are great for homes, workplaces, schools, and other areas that require silence from time to time.
There are some cons as well. The price per ball is quite high; however, you really don’t need many of these, and the opinions vary greatly with people that use these. Some people love these, and some don’t. When comparing these balls to regular ones, regular ones win clear as day.
For silent table tennis sessions, I do recommend the Killerspin NoNoise quiet table tennis balls. It’s always a great idea to have these balls as a backup if your playing would disturb someone in the future.
11. Best Glowing Table Tennis Balls: Franklin Sports Table Tennis Balls
If you’re looking ping pong ball for some dark gatherings, Franklin Sports offers a popular set of 6 glowing balls! These balls are great for experimental table tennis in the dark, which could be extremely fun, for beer pong, decorating, tossing around, and really anything you can imagine.
As you might predict, these balls are for recreational use, and they aren’t approved by the ITTF. However, these balls are of regular size and weight, so they will be good to play with when doing it for fun.
The price is quite affordable, and the best part of these balls is that they are seamless! This means that they aren’t constructed of 2 parts but only 1. This will drastically increase the durability so that you will enjoy these glowing balls for a long time!
Deciding the right table tennis balls is relatively easy compared to other table tennis equipment because there are many things less to remember. As a rule of thumb, whenever you want nothing but quality from your ping pong balls, make sure that they are 3-star balls and your choice will be well made!