Pool table felts take a beating. No matter how careful you are, jabbing a sharp stick at it dozens of times per game can result in accidents. A spilled drink or a dropped cigarette (occurrences not uncommon while playing pool) pose an equal amount of risk.
Even those of us who are as careful as possible and treat our beloved tables with the utmost care will still see standard wear-and-tear. Chalk-covered balls rolling at high speeds over the cloth for years will result in a general degradation that will affect accuracy and speed. No matter the quality of cloth you’re using – it’s susceptible to wear.
It’s not always evident when a pool table’s felt needs to be replaced. Signs of wear aren’t always that obvious to the naked eye. If you play frequently, you may also become desensitized to it slowing down over time. The best way to check is to run your hand over the felt. If you feel a coarse, stubbly texture, it’s a sure sign that your felt isn’t playing optimally.
If this hand movement over the felt causes it to move or results in bunching, you can be sure that gameplay will be affected. “Pilling” is another frequent intruder on your enjoyment of a pool table felt. This is when the cloth starts creating little balls of fuzz. In most cases, pilling can be avoided by frequent cloth maintenance, but this can become a bit of a pain and it’s worth noting that certain cloths are less prone to this than others.
Not everyone looking to replace their pool table felt is doing so because their existing cloth is damaged. It could be that you simply bought an entry-level table and want to upgrade the felt to a higher quality, professional-grade product. Some tables ship with felt that doesn’t play like a pro table does.
While it’s not only the felt that makes your table play like one hosting the world championships, it is one of the main factors. Better quality felt results in a faster, more accurate game. It’s also more durable and less prone to damage, making it a better investment in the long run.
You may also simply want to change the cloth for aesthetic reasons. Pool table felt manufacturers create cloth in a huge variety of different colors. If you’re after a particular color-scheme in your rec-room, changing the pool table felt is an excellent way to achieve this.
Upgrading to replacing your pool table’s felt isn’t something all pool table owners are aware of as an option. But trust us on this, if your table’s been in use for several years, even just recreationally, replacing the felt will breathe new life into your enjoyment of the game.
So here we go. Let’s find the best pool table felt that Amazon has to offer. Also, stick around for the end of the article, where we’ll be giving more detail on what to consider as you make your purchase. We’ll also be taking a look at pool table felt maintenance and how to ensure you enjoy maximum durability from your purchase.
The Five Best Pool Table Felts of 2020
We took a lot of factors into consideration when searching for the best pool table felt available on the market today. Material, durability, playability, size, and many other aspects were considered when compiling this list.
It’s surprising how many variables can impact the enjoyment of something that seems as straightforward as the cloth that covers your table’s playing surface. We’ve tried to include as many of these as possible.
Obviously, your reasons for the purchase, as well as your particular needs will factor heavily in your decision. So take your time researching each of these items on their respective Amazon listing pages. There’s a wealth of valuable additional information at your disposal here.
Determining the ”best” product is obviously quite subjective. What’s best for one pool table owner may not be ideal for another’s needs. In all of these cases it’s really up to you to take the information provided to make up your own mind as to what the best felt is for you.
Worth mentioning at this point is that we’re not making any differentiation between pool, snooker and billiards. These products all serve the same purpose, regardless of the type of game you intend to play on your pool table. So when you see a particular listing described as “Billiard cloth”, don’t make the mistake of thinking it won’t be appropriate for a table that you use exclusively for snooker or pool.
So here we go – the best five pool table felts in 2020. Enjoy the reviews!
- Championship Saturn II Billiards Cloth Pool Table Felt – TOP SELLING BILLIARD TABLE FELT
- Simonis Worsted Blend 860 Fast Speed Pool Cloth – HIGHEST QUALITY POOL TABLE FELT
- CPBA Competition Worsted Professional Pool Table Cloth – BEST OVERALL POOL TABLE FELT
- Iszy Billiards Performance Grade Pool Table Felt – MOST AFFORDABLE 9 FT FELT
- ProForm 9′ High Speed Professional Pool Table Cloth Felt – BEST POOL TABLE FELT FOR A BAR
1. Championship Saturn II Billiards Cloth Pool Table Felt – TOP SELLING BILLIARD TABLE FELT
Material: 75% wool and 25% nylon
Components: Pre-cut cloth (1 bed cloth, 6 rail cloths). Two table spots. 2 pieces of matching chalk.
Available sizes: 7 ft, 8 ft
Number of colors: 5 (Black, burgundy, camel, green, red)
Weight: 19 oz per yard
With the Saturn II, Championship gives pool enthusiasts a felt that offers exceptional durability and performance relative to its price. Its remarkable resilience, excellent performance and low cost (it’s the second-most affordable product on our list) combines to make this Amazon’s #1 selling pool table felt. No small feat considering the quality of the other pool table felts Amazon have on offer.
Unlike many of the other products on the market today, this pool table cloth comes pre-cut for two differently-sized tables: undersized 7 ft and regulation 8 ft. As you can imagine, pre-cut fabric is quite a bit easier to install than felts that ship simply as a single section of cloth. This makes pre-cut felts very popular among pool table owners who are less inclined towards DIY.
Another thing that makes the Saturn II so easy to set up on your table is the natural “stretch” of the predominantly woolen fabric. “Worsted” felt, which, despite being better to play on, offers little stretch and requires a lot of precision when being cut. Woolen cloth offers a bit of flexibility in this area and makes installation a whole lot easier.
I mentioned durability already but it bears delving a little deeper into this unique selling point of the Saturn II. It’s treated with Dupont Teflon, making it resistant to the kind of staining that most other felts are prone to experience. Don’t expect your Saturn II to withstand a splash of hydrochloric acid, but consider it safe from permanent stains caused by liquids found typically floating around pool tables. Even a hearty jab from the tip of a pool cue won’t leave a permanent mark.
Right, moving on to the Saturn II’s playability. The first thing that knowledgeable pool players will have noticed is that this felt is a wool and nylon hybrid. This makes it thicker and heavier than the superior alternative: worsted cloth. While the playability of many lower-end woolen felts simply can’t compare with the speed and accuracy that worsted cloth offers, the Saturn II still plays remarkably well.
Sure, if you’ve spent much time playing on higher-end, worsted felt, you’ll definitely notice that the Saturn II lags a little in the performance department. Rest assured, though, for the price you’re getting this awesome cloth at, it still offers a fantastic playing experience.
Lastly, the Saturn II is marked with head and foot spots indicating where the balls are to be racked and where to return a sunk ball.
- Extremely durable and stain resistant.
- Pre-cut and very easy to install.
- Super affordable, and highly durable.
- Not available for oversized 9 ft pool tables.
2. Simonis Worsted Blend 860 Fast Speed Pool Cloth – HIGHEST QUALITY POOL TABLE FELT
Material: Worsted blend of 90% wool and 10% nylon
Components: Pre-cut cloth (1 bed cloth, 6 rail cloths). 2 pieces of matching chalk. Protective table cover. Horsehair brush.
Available sizes: 8 ft
Number of colors: 25 (check the Amazon listing for color options)
Weight: 27 oz per yard
Before taking a good look at this incredible felt – the “Most Elite” product on our list of the best pool table felts for 2020 – let’s have a word about the manufacturer. Simonis has been around virtually forever. The Belgian started producing all manner of cloth in 1680, but switched to focusing exclusively on billiard felt around two centuries ago. Yeah, you read that right. Simonis knows what they’re doing. And the proof is there. No other felt is used more frequently in pro tournaments than any other brand.
As can be expected, Simonis felts don’t come cheap. The durability, speed, accuracy, consistency – pretty much anything a pool table felt has to offer – is as close to perfect as possible with this felt. The brand themselves offer more elite products than the 860, but we felt that the prices involved made these inappropriate to cover in this article.
Right, on to the Simonis 860. Firstly, the color options on offer are staggering. Click through to the Amazon listing for a gander. 25 of them! Okay, you may not be shelling out over $300 purely for the ridiculous range of color choices, but if aesthetics is important to you, this sure is a great selling point. Furthermore, the cloth components are pre-cut, making for easy installation.
More concrete reasons for making this hefty investment abound. This is one of the few professional-grade felts we’re reviewing in this article. It’s fast. Ridiculously fast. Although not as fast as some of the other products in the Simonis catalog. Expect a level of play that matches what you see in professional tournaments, with the exception that it is just a touch slower.
The Simonis 860’s durability – its natural resistance to stains and wear – is another feature that makes it stand out from the crowd. The worsted fabric’s exceptionally high thread-count makes it as tough as nails and a product that will last you much longer than your average pool table cloth. Grooving, pilling, shedding, and all the other culprits that affect your felt’s long-term accuracy and consistency is a non-issue with this incredible product.
If you have the means and you’re looking for a pool table cloth that offers a world-class gameplay experience, look no further.
- Professional grade worsted felt
- Incredible durability and playing experience
- Pre-cut for easy installation
- Ships with numerous extras
- Only available for regulation 8 ft pool tables
- On the expensive side
3. CPBA Competition Worsted Professional Pool Table Cloth – BEST OVERALL POOL TABLE FELT
Material: Worsted blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon
Components: Pre-cut cloth (1 bed cloth, 6 rail cloths)
Available sizes: 7 ft, 8 ft, 8 ft (oversized), 9 ft.
Number of colors: 8 (Black, burgundy, camel, powder blue, royal blue, tournament blue, tournament green, yellow green)
Weight: 24 oz per yard
Not all worsted felts are as expensive as the Simonis 860 we reviewed above. If you’re in the market for a high-performance cloth that offers exceptional gameplay experience, but you’re not in a space to max out your credit card, the CPBA Competition Worsted Professional Pool Table Cloth is a very feasible option.
The benefits of using a worsted cloth over a quality wool/nylon blend has been mentioned before, and we’ll go into more detail in our buyer’s guide below. For now, it’s just worth mentioning that the CPBA offers everything that a worsted felt should: a smoother, faster, more accurate playing surface that won’t pill, shed, or wear down as fast as the lower-end products on the market.
Despite its relatively low cost in comparison with other worsted cloths, the CPBA has been in use in professional-level competitions since 1998. This alone makes it an easy pick for our Best Value Worsted Pool Table Felt title. For a modest investment, pool or billiard enthusiasts can replicate a competition-level environment in the comfort of their home.
As with most of the products we’ve reviewed so far, the CPBA is also pre-cut, making installation that little bit easier than felts shipping as a single piece of cloth. However, it’s worth mentioning that some customers have raised concern over the lack of leeway in the rail cloth sections. Be careful when installing these; there’s not much room for error. If it’s your first time installing a new pool table felt, maybe call in help from an experienced friend.
Another fantastic feature of the CPBA is its availability for four different table sizes. All the way from 7 ft to 9 ft (including the rare “oversized” 8 ft table), this felt has you covered.
In a nutshell, the CPBA isn’t going to offer you the same level of performance and durability than the superior Simonis 860, but it’s going to come pretty damn close!
- Exceptional value, given the performance and low price
- Available in four different sizes.
- CPBA has an excellent reputation and is becoming a major player in the pro scene
- Extra care needs to be taken when installing the rail cloth sections
4. Iszy Billiards Performance Grade Pool Table Felt – MOST AFFORDABLE 9 FT FELT
Material: 70% wool and 30% nylon
Components: Single cloth sheet
Available sizes: 7 ft, 8 ft, 9 ft
Number of colors: 4 (Black, green, english green, light gray)
Weight: 19 oz per yard
Let’s step back into the world of more affordable, but nonetheless high-quality pool table felts. The Iszy Billiards Performance Grade Pool Table Felt is easily one of the best non-worsted cloths available on the market.
Playability and durability isn’t going to compare to the worsted options on our list, but for casual players looking for a felt to cover their rec-room table, this is a fantastic product. It’s on the slow side, which appeals to many novice players, and does require some maintenance to avoid the inevitable pilling and shedding from interfering with your game.
However, there’s no denying that, for the excellent price, you’re getting a pool table cloth that can compete with the best in its category.
Undoubtedly its most attractive selling point is that it’s the only non-worsted pool table felt on our list that covers 9 ft tables. Finding an affordable cloth for oversized tables isn’t easy and the Iszy Performance Grade Pool Table Felt has this niche cornered. The majority of the online reviews praise it for this exact reason. The 9 ft option offers more than enough cloth to cover the table base as well as the rails. If you’re looking to replace the felt of your 9 ft table with an inexpensive, but highly playable, cloth, this is the best product for you.
Its size, along with its affordability, has seen it achieve incredible sales figures on Amazon. It’s comfortably one of the most popular pool table felts that the retail giant has on offer. Buy it with the assurance that it’s brought pleasure to a very large number of casual pool players.
- Best non-worsted cloth for 9 ft tables
- Offers an excellent playing experience at a low cost
- Stretchable fabric to create a very smooth playing surface
- Some customers have said that the 8 ft option doesn’t quite have enough cloth to cover the table and rails
5. ProForm 8′ High Speed Professional Pool Table Felt – BEST POOL TABLE FELT FOR A BAR
Material: Worsted blend of 70% wool and 30% nylon
Components: Pre-cut cloth (1 bed cloth, 6 rail cloths)
Available sizes: 8 ft
Number of colors: 14 (Check Amazon listing for color options)
Weight: 23 oz per yard
If you’re looking for a modestly priced worsted pool table felt that will outlast pretty much anything else on the market, look no further than the ProForm 8′ High Speed Professional Pool Table Felt.
Despite the high content of wool, the ProForm offers a very sleek playing surface that’s clearly been designed for speed. If you’re looking to emulate a professional-level game in your rec-room at a decent cost, the ProForm is an excellent choice. This felt is seriously fast!
On the topic of cost, it is a little steeper than the CPBA Competition Worsted Professional Pool Table Cloth’s 8 ft option, but the ProForm’s incredible durability makes up for the extra few bucks you’ll have to spend to make it yours. This is a felt that’ll last you years.
Its incredible durability and excellent performance makes this a great purchase for bar owners who want to offer their patrons a little something extra. If you run a high-end pool hall or bar, the Proform is your ideal replacement felt. It’s made specifically to withstand spills and scrapes while not compromising a pro-level playing experience.
- Excellent option for use in high-end pool halls or bars
- Highly durable – especially resistant to “ball burn”
- Comes in a variety of 14 different colors
- Slightly more expensive than the CPBA worsted felt reviewed earlier
Pool Table Felt Buyer’s Guide
It makes perfect sense that felt plays such a big role in your enjoyment of a pool table. Pool is a game of precision, and if the table’s surface doesn’t offer players a consistent experience, a frustrating element of randomness is introduced.
On top of that, novice players are often unaware of how big a role speed plays in having a kickass game of pool. Seriously, if you’ve spent most of your time playing on poor quality felts, you’ve got a very pleasant surprise waiting for you the first time you play on a high quality felt. Balls hit each other harder on a faster table. They roll further, opening up a world of additional shot options when trying to clear the table.
Lastly, a high quality felt that’s easy to maintain will add longevity to your enjoyment of the table. Low quality felts degrade quickly. They pill and burn and rip easily. If you’ve made an investment in a billiard table, it makes sense that you’d want to get as much fun out of it as possible, with a minimum level of fuss in keeping the game consistent.
These are all fantastic reasons why you should educate yourself on what raises one felt above the rest before making a purchasing decision. There’s a lot more to pool table cloth than meets the eye, so read this section of our article carefully.
Worsted vs Standard Pool Table Felts
The material that a billiard table felt is made out of is the major differentiator between the various products you’ll be looking at. The very first question you should ask yourself while browsing for your new cloth is whether it’s a worsted wool or not.
Worsted pool table felt, appropriately also referred to as “speed cloth”, is made using specialist manufacturing techniques and equipment that results in a smoother, more resilient playing surface. In fact, if you run your hand over a worsted felt, it won’t even feel like wool. There’s a distinct lack of fuzz in its texture, like you’re touching a solid, flat sheet rather than something woven from strands of wool and nylon.
The result is a cloth that offers a level of speed, accuracy, consistency and durability that simply can’t be matched by a standard felt. This is the reason you won’t ever see a pro-level tournament played on anything but worsted pool table felt.
However, if you’re after this level of performance and durability in your pool table felt, you’ll have to be willing to cough up at least double the cost of a standard cloth. This may not be an option for casual players on a budget.
The best pool table cloth is also ideal only for tables accommodating players who will respect their equipment. That’s why many pool-hall or bar owners opt for standard woolen cloth over worsted felt – they simply can’t guarantee that their clientele will treat it with the level of care that worsted cloth warrants.
For all of these shoppers, there are, fortunately, more than enough standard woolen options among the best pool table felts. The market for these products is still large enough for many manufacturers to produce felts that are still fast, consistent, and very durable. Each of the two standard cloths that we reviewed in our list of the are among these. You can buy them with confidence that you’re still getting a top quality product for what it is.
Pre-cut Pool Table Cloth vs Single Sheet
Installing your billiard table felt is not an easy task. In many cases, regardless of whether you opt for a product that’s been pre-cut for your table’s size or not, you may want to enlist the help of someone who’s (successfully) done it before.
If, however, you’re a “do it yourself” type, comfortable with this kind of job, there are numerous tutorials online that can help you with this task. Be aware though, that there are many ways you can mess this up and ruin your entire pool table cloth investment.
What will make the job much easier for the aspiring handyperson, is buying a pool table cloth that’s been pre-cut for the table size you’re going to be furbishing. Remember, you’re not covering just one component of your table. The playing surface is only one area that the felt needs to be installed on. The four railings each represent an independent covering task, themselves.
If you’re purchasing a pre-cut product, you’ll be removing the arduous tasks of measurement and cutting from the installation process entirely.
Don’t be lulled into complacency, though. Even a pre-cut pool table felt is still extremely challenging to install correctly. There is a lot that can go wrong and an insane amount of precision still has to be applied; all you’ll be saved from is the challenge of making sure each component is correctly measured and cut.
Pool Table Felt Coating and Treatment
Some manufacturers opt to put their pool table felts through a chemical process that makes the cloth resistant to liquid and other stains. This is typically not done to worsted felts, since their tight weave and the quality of materials used affords them a natural immunity to most of these risks.
However, if you’re looking for a standard woolen pool table felt and you know that there’s a likelihood of staining, seriously consider opting for a product that’s been given a teflon treatment. What you should be aware of, though, is that this type of stain-resistance comes at a small cost: the accuracy and speed that the cloth offers.
This may be a small price to pay for certain shoppers, though. If you know that your pool table felts are going to be used in an environment where players will be drinking, losing a bit of performance is a very feasible trade-off. It all comes down to what your needs are. Weigh up the pros and cons of investing in a pool table felt that’s been treated vs one that hasn’t before making your decision.
The Size of the Pool Table
This one seems too obvious to mention, but in the interest of covering all our bases, let’s discuss it briefly. Most pool or billiard tables come in four standard sizes: 7ft, 8ft, 8.5 ft and 9 ft. The measurement refers to the length of the “long” side of the table.
Regardless of whether you’re opting for a pre-cut or single sheet pool table felt, you’ll need to know the exact size of your table before purchasing a felt, since this is always factored in by the seller when measuring the amount of cloth they ship to you.
If you can’t remember your pool table’s size, or you “inherited” it from someone who neglected to give you this information, simply measure the long-end of the table to find the size.
The Weight of the Pool Table Felt
Felt weight is expressed as ounce per linear yard rather than the overall weight of all the fabric that you’ve purchased. As a general rule, the weight of the cloth is an indicator of its durability. The best pool table felts typically weigh 19 oz per linear yard and over. When compiling our list, we deliberately excluded all products that weigh less than this.
Again, if durability is your main concern because you have little control over the level of respect your players will show your pool tables, a heavier cloth should be preferred over a lighter one. Bear in mind, though, that weight is only one aspect that indicates durability, with the type of cloth (worsted or not) being the most important.
Pool Table Felt Maintenance Guide
On to the final section in our article on 2020’s best pool table felt: how to ensure that you enjoy maximum longevity from your investment. We’ll keep things quite simple here. Taking good care of your felt isn’t brain surgery and, in most cases, just comes down to plain common sense.
- Use a pool table cover when you’re not playing. Especially if you own cats.
- Remove jewelry or other redundant accessories that may scuff the cloth while playing.
- Clean the balls frequently since it’s the chalk buildup on them that causes the most wear on the felt.
- Don’t chalk your cue tip over the pool table felt.
- Brush your pool table felt with a horsehair brush frequently.
- Always brush your pool table felt in one direction, towards one of the pockets.
- Keep drinks away from the table. Never place a full glass on one of the rails.
- Never smoke while playing. A dropped cigarette can destroy your pool table felt instantly.
- Iron non-worsted pool table felt occasionally with a standard steam iron.
- Avoid hero plays like jump or massé shots if you’re not an expert player.
- Don’t eat over your pool table. You bought a dining table for that reason.
- Use a low-power vacuum cleaner, like a dust buster, occasionally to remove ingrained dirt.
- Keep your pool table felt out of direct sunlight.
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