We’ve prepared an infographic with the most important foosball table buying tips.

foosball table buying infographic

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Introduction

The first step is to choose the type of foosball table you want to buy: stand-alone, tabletop, or a multi-game. Coin-operated tables are available as well for those who want to charge people for using it. These are common in pubs, arcades, and businesses in general.

Budget

If you’re buying a tabletop, then how much you’re willing to spend isn’t going to matter very much, as most are priced under $100. If you plan on buying a stand-alone however, the price could be more of a factor. These tables range anywhere from $100 to several thousand. How much do you want to invest in a table? How long do you plan on keeping it?

Who’s It For?

Playing foosballAside from how much you are willing to spend, this is the most important question to ask. Who will be playing it? How old are they? Are they beginner, intermediate, or at an advanced skill level?

Beginner

If the table is for children, beginners, or casual play in general, then buying cheap makes sense. For little kids and beginners, buying a tabletop might be the way to go, especially if you aren’t sure if they will like the game or not. If they don’t like it, no big deal, you won’t be out of a lot of money. If they happen to really like it, then you can always go bigger. Tabletops are great for little kids because standard-sized ones are too high. They aren’t so cheap that they’re not worth playing, but they aren’t meant for anything more than casual play.

Intermediate

For those who have experience playing foosball, look for mid-level tables with smooth rods, adjustable table legs for a flat playing surface, and durability so it can withstand vigorous play over a long period of time. Mid-level tables are more sturdy and made with higher quality materials. They are priced in the $500+ dollar range and ideal for those who play often and want to further their skills. Look for a table that at least weighs 125 pounds. The heavier the table, the more stable it will be.

Advanced

For those who are either highly skilled or want the ideal playing experience, only the top-of-the-line models will do. These tables are regulation sized, incredibly sturdy, have a flat playing surface, and made with the highest quality of materials. They are also very heavy, some weighing more than 300 pounds. These tables are priced in the $2000 range.

Table Materials

The price of the table will usually tell the story in regards to the quality of materials it was built with.

Particle Board

If a table has particle board, then durability is going to be a concern. Particle board can deteriorate over time, which can loosen the screws, and lead to the table falling apart. How do you know if a table has particle board? If the walls are less than 1/2″ thick or the table weighs less than 70 pounds.

These tables are suited for those who just want a table for their kids to play with casually for awhile, or don’t want to invest a lot of money in one. However, what you gain in affordability, you lose in quality of play and durability.

Composite or Wood

Wood foosball tableMost of the expensive models are made with either composite or solid wood. However, not all wood is created equal. Some of it is pressed wood, and can warp over time because it tends to absorb moisture. Composite is more resistant to moisture, humidity, and less prone to damage. It’s as durable as any material out there.

Not all wood is made with the same thickness however, so make sure to buy one that is at least 1″ thick for more durability. Some of the higher end models are 1.5″ thick. A thicker sidewall helps eliminate movement so the game isn’t affected.

If you see any patterns or logos on the table, check to see if they are imbedded in the wood. Some of them are stickers, and will peel over time, which affects the look of the table.

Steel Rods

The three types of rods are hollow, solid, and telescoping. Hollow, steel rods are the highest quality. They are lighter, which allows users to play with more speed. This is ideal for very experienced players. Mid-level tables will often have solid steel rods, which are better for intermediates because the game is a little slower.

Some high-end tables have telescoping tubular steel rods, which consist of two pieces of metal. The inner piece slides into the outer, so it doesn’t stick out on the other side of the table. The benefit is that you won’t get poked by a rod from the opposite side. This is in place primarily so little kids don’t get hurt.

Some tables priced over $600 or so come with machine grade cold rolled steel, which is the best steel you can get.

Foosball table surfaceSurface

Smooth, hard surfaces provide the fastest game play. American tables tend to have harder surfaces, while European tables have wood surfaces for slower play. The thicker the surface, the more level and sturdy it will be. Some tables even have tempered glass for the highest-quality play.

The markings on cheaper tables tend to wear out more over time, affecting the quality of play and appearance. They are often applied using a stick-on process. More expensive tables have lines that are permanently dyed with a built-in design.

Adjustable Table Legs

The standard height is 36-inches, designed for teenagers and adults. Some tables come with adjustable legs, which allow the height to be adjusted a few inches. The main benefit however for having adjustable legs is being able to even the table on an uneven floor. The better tables have levelers for this purpose also. This is a feature to keep your eye out for.

How Much Space?

How much room do you have for a foosball table? A full-size table is 56Lx 30 W x 36H, plus you will need at least 7-8 feet of playing space around the table. Also factor in the playing the rods.

Three-Man or Single Goalie?

The three-man goalie table has the goalie mounted with two other defenders. Most American tables use this model, while European tables are more known for a one-man goalie. The three-goalie model is designed for faster play, while the one-goalie requires more precision and skill. Hence, a one-goalie table could be more ideal for advanced players.

Players

Counterweighted menSome tables come with counter-weighted men, meaning they stay in a horizontal position until the rod is turned. By staying horizontal, they are out of the way when you are shooting. This feature is valued more by intermediate to advanced players. Also, men can be made out of plastic or metal. The latter is heavier, which gives you more power when shooting.

When you see counter-weighted men as a feature, that will tell you it’s a professional table.

Warranty

The standard warranty is for one-year, though furniture styled tables come with less because they’re more decorative. However, these are built very well and will last for a long time.

13 Responses to Foosball Table Buyers Guide

  • Ryan McCord says:

    I have questions regarding the Primo Hathaway. It’s a single goalie set up? If so is there a way to convert it to a 3 man goalie set up?
    Thank you
    Ryan

  • Steven says:

    yes, it’s a single goalie set up. it’s best to check with your local supplier if they can make the change. my assumption is that they can’t, but it’s worth asking. also, I do enjoy playing with a single goalie set up, so I suggest that you try it before dismissing it completely.

  • Anthony Warren says:

    Not sure if this went through, but what is your opinion of the Hathaway Millennium 55-inch Foosball Table

    Thanks

  • Kyle says:

    Hi, thank you for the excellent buyers guide. Do you have any knowledge or thoughts on the Hathaway Hurricane 54 inch table (link below)? To me it seems like a great price for a full-sized table, but I’m also concerned about overall quality. Thank you!
    overstock.com/Sports-Toys/Hurricane-54-in-Foosball-Table/10491005/product.html

  • Steven says:

    hi,
    I don’t have any experience with this table but judging by the specification and the customer reviews it seems like a great value. just be realistic with your expectations. it’s a cheap table so it can’t really compete with tables that are 3 times the prices or more. but for this money it seems awesome!

  • Brandon says:

    Hi,
    I was wondering if you can give me some insight on a deutscher meister foosball table. I found a used one for sale and was looking for a used or cheap foosball table for my home. I like the single goalie/painted/vintage look so im very interested in it. I just wondering about the build / play quality of older tables and is it worth purchasing it or just buying a new one thanks! Oh and if i were to buy a new table, what tables offer a single goalie version?

  • Steven says:

    Hi
    you should always test a used table before buying. deutscher meister should be quite sturdy, but it depends how well maintained is it and what’s its condition. most European brands offer single goalie versions, here are just a few examples:
    https://foosballtablereviews.com/garlando-world-champion-coin-operated-foosball-table-review
    https://foosballtablereviews.com/rene-pierre-champion-foosball-table
    https://foosballtablereviews.com/kettler-weatherproof-indooroutdoor-foosball-table

    Also worth noting is that Kick tables come with an option of being set as either a single or three goalie design

  • Steven says:

    Hi
    you’re asking the wrong person. That’s design furniture. You’re paying (a lot) for design, not performance. I would never pay that much money for those tables. You can get two competition level tables for that money (eg Tornado). But that’s just me 🙂

  • Paul Petersen says:

    Great article regarding foosball table. Most importantly, don’t just arrive at a store and pick out whichever table catches your eye first. There are major concerns that need considerable attention when looking for a foosball parts.

  • René says:

    Hello,

    I’m looking for a foosball table for our office. We have a coupon for Staples so we are limited to buy there. I found the Garlando F-100:
    http://www.imperialusa.com/garlando-f100-indoor-foosball-table.html
    (779 at staples minus our coupon)

    We will play maybe 2 hours a week with it but don’t want to buy a table that falls apart after a year.
    Do you have any experience with this table? I couldn’t find any review in the internet. I will buy cork balls for better ball control and less noise. I know from study back that a Bonzini is really good but they are not available on Staples and then cost ~1000$. So the F100 seems to be a quiet better deal.

    Pros:
    – no angled borders as in the F500 so you can use the border for passing
    – bars are not going through
    – 1″ borders
    – MDF playing field will allow a lot of ball control

    Cons:
    – players are molded on the bar. if one breaks I don’t know how you can repair it.

  • Steven says:

    Hi, don’t have experience with this specific table, but Garlando is a quality brand, it should do its job!

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