Pool halls and dive bars. Who needs ‘em, right?

They’re dark and choked up with smoke. The floors are covered in a hybrid layer of spilled beer and sweat. The sound system is controlled by someone who thinks Ed Sheeran is the next David Bowie.

You have to wait an hour before you get to play, and when you eventually get your turn, you’re facing off against some hero with a monogrammed cue who’s been dominating the table since the late 90s.

Why do we put ourselves through this? The investment-to-fun ratio is untenable. Think of the amount of money you’ve spent on coin slots, drinks, and transport. Now compare that to the amount of time you actually had a cue in your hands, leaning over the table, enjoying the rush of a hotly contested game against a friendly opponent.

If only there were a way to recreate this in an environment of your own design. If only there were a place where you make the rules, where you play the music. A place where you determine the hygiene levels.

If only there were such a place.

Just to clarify, I’m being a little sarcastic here. There is, obviously, a way you can enjoy playing pool on your terms.

Sure, the initial investment of buying your own table can be steep – especially if you compare it against the relatively modest expense of one night out. But these expenses stack up, and you have to cope with some, if not all, of the aforementioned irritations and health hazards.

Owning your own pool table is friggin’ awesome. I can’t overstate this. Just after college, I was fortunate enough to share a house with a group of people who all loved playing pool. Getting our own table was a no-brainer. For all of the reasons I mentioned above and a bunch of others I can’t even get into right now. We spent countless hours around the table. Lifelong bonds were formed around the table. It was the heart of our little household.

Something worth mentioning is that we had the good sense to also invest in a table tennis conversion top. This fantastic purchase allowed us to turn our beloved pool table into a ping pong table within less than a minute. While this is unlikely to be the main reason to buy yourself a pool table, it sure is a great little benefit. The investment is a fraction of buying a dedicated table tennis table, and you get to play two great games in an area that would ordinarily be dedicated to only one.

If you love playing pool, just allow yourself the fantasy of having a table available whenever you and your mates feel like having a game. Spend some time in that imaginary world for a minute. When you’re done imagining all the ways that this would ROCK, continue reading our article on the eight best pool tables of 2021.

We wrote this for you.

The 8 Best Pool Tables of 2021

Buying a pool table is a big deal. I recognize that. It’s a massive piece of furniture and, compared to other entertainment investments, it’s not cheap. Even the most affordable options on our list will cost you more than an Xbox and a flatscreen TV combined.

If you’ve already been sold on this notion, and you’re still reading this post because you’re considering getting yourself a pool table, there are some things you should know first.

Pool tables aren’t created equal. There are tons of options on the market. Literally. These things are on the heavy side. (Some pool table humor there to lighten the mood a little.)

The amount of individual components that make up a pool table is surprisingly numerous. As are other considerations that you only become aware of once you actually take physical ownership of the thing.

For that reason, we’re gonna dive deep into the world of pool table shopping and ownership. No stone will be left unturned in our review of the best pool tables of 2020. Our goal is to give you every last bit of knowledge you need to make an informed choice.

So, if you’re still with us, pay attention not only to the individual reviews but also stick around for the “best pool table buyer’s guide” section at the end of the article. We’ll also give you some valuable information on pool table maintenance to help you get the most out of your investment.

Just a note before we get going, we’re using the terms “pool” and “billiards” interchangeably for the sake of simplicity. Certain products identify as “billiard” tables, while others choose the term “pool.” We don’t care. You can play either game on all of these tables. Let’s not get distracted by semantics.

Right. That out the way, here are our picks for the best pool tables of 2020:

  1. Barrington Hatherley 100″ Billiards Table Set & Dartboard Set – BEST NON-SLATE POOL TABLE
  2. Harvil 8-Foot Slate Pool Table – BEST SLATE POOL TABLE
  3. MD Sports 90” Titan Billiards Table Set – BEST BILLIARDS TABLE FOR A MIDSIZED REC-ROOM
  4. Barrington Urban 96″ Billiards Table Set – STURDIEST POOL TABLE
  5. Olhausen Billiards 8 ft Hampton Pool Table – MOST ELITE POOL TABLE
  6. GLD Products Fat Cat Trueshot 72” Pool Table – MOST PORTABLE POOL TABLE
  7. EastPoint Sports Masterton Billiards Table – BEST ENTRY LEVEL POOL TABLE
  8. Hathaway Fairmont Portable – MOST AFFORDABLE POOL TABLE

 

1. Barrington Hatherley 100″ Billiards Table Set & Dartboard Set – BEST NON-SLATE POOL TABLE

Pool Table Specifics

  • Table dimensions: 100 x 56 x 31 inches
  • Table weight: 290 lbs
  • Frame material: Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
  • Pocket type: Drop pockets
  • Assembly: Minor
  • Playing surface: Wooden
  • Felt: Woolen – 25 mm (1-inch)
  • Bumpers: Cushioned K 66

Accessories

  • 2 x 57-inch cues
  • 1 x Triangle
  • 1 x Table brush
  • 1 x Chalk cube
  • 1 x set of billiards balls
  • BONUS: Premium quality dartboard with cabinet and 6 x steel-tip darts

There’s no way I can review this table without first mentioning that it ships with A FREE FRIGGIN DARTBOARD. And not some cheapo plastic/magnet thing you’ll feel compelled to wrap up and give to your 6-year old nephew for his birthday, either. We’re talking about a proper competition-grade bristle board here. The real deal. Tired of waiting for your turn at the table while your friends finish up a never-ending game of pool? Simply turn your attention to the dartboard for an awesome distraction.

Right, with this little bonus out of the way, let’s get on to reviewing the Barrington Hatherley 100″ Billiards Table itself. Firstly, it looks fantastic. The lime-green felt is a very novel touch, especially when combined with the table’s luxurious aesthetics. Beautifully carved from walnut veneer, the Barrington Hatherley’s frame and legs have a classic, ornate look about them – an old-world elegance that’s further accentuated by the neat leather drop pockets.

Construction-wise, this pool table covers the basics perfectly. It’s more than ideal for casual gameplay, but I won’t recommend it for semi-professional players who take the game super seriously. The tabletop is made of wood rather than slate, and we did find a little bit of movement in the frame during gameplay. But let me be clear – none of this movement affected the match at all; in fact, it was hardly noticeable.

As far as assembly was concerned, this pool table was a relative breeze to set up. The table-top was fully assembled and felted, so that’s the biggest headache taken care of. Getting the remaining components attached took a little bit of effort and required some help from an enthusiastic friend. Something worth noting is that the assembled product is on the heavy side – 290 lbs – so be sure to set it up in the space where you’ll be playing; this is not a pool table you can carry up a flight of stairs.

Gameplay on the Barrington Hatherley was consistent and enjoyable. The woolen felt is obviously not going to give you the professional-level experience that a worsted fabric will, but you always have the option to re-felt your table with a higher-quality material at a later stage.

The Barrington range has several options – all of them available on the Amazon link. These tables span a broad spectrum of quality and price. We feel that the Hatherley 100″ Billiards Table Set is the cream of the Barrington crop.

Our Verdict

This is a beautiful pool table, and It’ll be a fantastic addition to any game room that’s aiming for a particular aesthetic tone. It plays well, is durable and sturdy, and the inclusion of a high-quality dartboard really makes it stand out from the competition. Considering all of this, it’s easy to see why we’ve chosen it as the best non-slate pool table on our list.

Pros

  • Beautiful ornate design, eye-popping felt color, and leather drop pockets.
  • Large, tournament-sized 100-inch pool table.
  • Pool table ships with a competition-grade dartboard set.

Cons

  • Slightly expensive for a non-slate pool table.

Check price on amazon

2. Harvil 8-Foot Slate Pool Table – MOST AFFORDABLE SLATE POOL TABLE

Pool Table Specifics

  • Table dimensions: 100 x 56.5 x 31.5 inches
  • Table weight: 780 lbs
  • Frame material: Cabinet-grade wood and MDF
  • Pocket type: Internal drop pockets
  • Assembly: None required – assembly and installation included
  • Playing surface: Slate
  • Felt: Stain resistant wool and nylon blend
  • Bumpers: Cushioned K 66

Accessories

  • 4 x 58-inch Canadian maple wood cues
  • 1 x Bridge stick and head
  • 1 x 6 cue rack
  • 1 x Table brush
  • 1 x Corner brush
  • 1 x 8-ball triangle
  • 1 x 9-ball triangle
  • 1 x Box of chalk cubes
  • 1 x Set of billiard balls
  • 1 x PVC table cover

Just writing about this table is giving me goosebumps. Not necessarily for its looks (I’m not a massive fan of the bulky, modern design), but for pure build-quality, playability, and astonishingly low price. Aside from the Olhausen (see #5 below), this was by some distance the best table I’ve ever played on and the only slate table that I could afford without having to eat shoe-soup for the rest of the year.

Let’s start with stability and durability. With a slate bed, 6-inch dense fiberwood rails, and heavy-duty pedestal-style legs, you’re going to need construction equipment to budge it from its assembled position. Forget about nudges or bumps causing unpleasant movements. It’s not going to happen. This table is as solid as a mountain.

This raises the question of assembly. Weighing well over a quarter tonne, you’ll need an army of heavily-invested friends to help you set this baby up, right? Nope. When purchasing the Harvil from their Amazon store, you’re also renting a helpful team of installation experts who will assemble the table while you sit back and yell unnecessary instructions at them.

What about playability? For those who know, the difference between an MDF table bed and a slate surface is significant. It doesn’t take a billiards pro to notice that the latter results in a far superior playing experience. I LOVED playing on the Harvil 8-Foot Slate Pool Table; every single game was a pleasure, and I can’t recommend this table highly enough.

In closing, I have to mention something pretty significant. There’s no other billiards table on this list that offers as massive a variety of accessories as the Harvil. I’ve taken the liberty of listing each of the tables’ accessories, so go ahead and make a comparison. I’m astonished by the amount of value that Harvil has packed into this fantastic product.

Pros

  • Superior construction with a high-quality slate bed.
  • Most generous accessory list of all the pool tables reviewed in this list.
  • Comes with an impressive two-year warranty.

Cons

  • Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the table’s “modern,” blocklike design.

Our Verdict

Gun to my head – this is the table I’d buy for my rec-room. There are some excellent non-slate choices on this list. There are smaller tables that prioritize portability. There is one “better” table. But the Harvil is the only one that combines the critical attributes of top-end build quality, home-installation, slate bed, and a full range of accessories at a very reasonable price.

Check price on amazon

3. MD Sports 90” Titan Billiards Table Set – BEST BILLIARDS TABLE FOR A MIDSIZED REC-ROOM

Pool Table Specifics

  • Table dimensions: 89 x 50 x 31 inches
  • Table weight: 186 lbs
  • Frame material: Metal and MDF
  • Pocket type: Drop pockets
  • Assembly: Minor
  • Playing surface:  MDF
  • Felt: Woolen – 18 mm (0.7 inch)
  • Bumpers: Cushioned K 66

Accessories

  • 2 x Wooden pool cues
  • 1 x Triangle
  • 1 x Table brush
  • 2 x Chalk cubes
  • 1 x Set of billiard balls

The first thing that’s likely to strike anyone upon seeing the MD Sports 90” Titan is its futuristic looks. Seriously, when I look at this sleek, angular table, I imagine Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock enjoying a game of billiards after a long, hard day of exploring the cosmos and preventing interstellar conflict. Which isn’t to say that the Titan is ostentatiously “modern.” The design may be contemporary, but definitely not pretentiously so.

I was also delighted that the Titan’s unique design didn’t come at the cost of stability and playability. Halfway into your first game, it will be obvious that this table is built to last. Its components are of very high quality and, despite its relatively light weight, it feels exceptionally sturdy. Its steel legs and their oversized 6-inch levelers are undoubtedly two of the main reasons for the Titan’s much-appreciated stability.

At 90 inches (7.5 feet) in length, the MD Sports Titan is somewhat of a non-standard size. It sits halfway between your usual “bar size” and standard home pool tables. I’ve spent a lot of time playing on 7-foot bar tables, and I’m being genuinely honest when I say that I could feel the difference in playing on a table that offers those extra six inches. At the same time, the Titan’s truncated length, when compared to eight or nine-foot counterparts, means that it’s the ideal table for a slightly smaller rec-room or garage.

In addition to its convenient size, appealing looks, and exceptional build quality, I can also praise the MD Sports Titan for its price. It’s not the cheapest table we’re reviewing here, and neither is it the most expensive. But it sure is at the upper end of the quality spectrum, rendering it pretty good value for money.

If I had to say one negative thing about the Titan set, it would have to be that the cues it ships with are of a pretty low standard. Sure, you’re not buying a pool table for its accessories, and very few tables come with competition-grade cues. However, it’s fair to say that I expected more in this regard from a pool table set that costs upwards of $1K.

Pros

  • Perfect pool table for a mid-sized rec room with limited space.
  • Exceptional build quality and stability.
  • Very appealing, contemporary design.

Cons

  • The pool cues that ship with the Titan aren’t of the greatest quality.

Our Verdict

The MD Sports 90-inch Titan is the perfect table for someone who has limited space but doesn’t want to compromise quality. It’s our pick for the best pool table for a midsized rec-room.

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4. Barrington Urban 96″ Billiard Table Set – STURDIEST POOL TABLE

Pool Table Specifics

  • Table dimensions: 95.5 x 53.5 x 32 inches
  • Table weight: 333 lbs
  • Frame material: Wood
  • Pocket type: Drop pockets
  • Assembly: Medium
  • Playing surface:  Wood
  • Felt: Woolen – 25 mm
  • Bumpers: Cushioned K 66

Accessories

  • 2 x 57-inch cues
  • 1 x Triangle
  • 1 x Table brush
  • 1 x Chalk cube
  • 1 x Set of pool balls

I was in two minds whether to award this fantastic pool table the title of “sturdiest” or “coolest-looking.” Ultimately, I realized that almost no one buys a pool table exclusively for its looks and decided that the former title would be more appropriate.

Having said that… the Barrington Urban pool table looks cool as Hell. Seriously. Brutalist, concrete-style legs? Richly marbled birchwood frame? Pitch black felt and leather drop pockets? I’d be tempted to stick this thing in my foyer so that people could admire my good taste as they entered the front door.

Believe it or not, there’s more to the Barrington Urban than the praises I just heaped on it. Quite a bit more, in fact. I’ll start by mentioning the standout quality – this is easily one of the sturdiest tables I’ve ever played on. Weighing in at over 330 lbs, it’s pretty heavy, confidently occupying its space like the proverbial immovable object.

While I wouldn’t recommend hosting a rodeo on the table, I’m comfortable to say that the Barrington Urban will easily cope with the challenges of a vigorous game of pool. At no point during the dozen games I played on this table did I feel like any of the components were in danger of shifting.

Obviously, all pool tables have components that are prone to wear and tear. The Barrington Urban’s wool felt is of decent quality, but it won’t last you as long as a worsted fabric. From a structural perspective, however, this pool table is built to last.

Worth mentioning also is the fact that this product is consistently ranked as one of Amazon’s top sellers in the “Billiard Tables” category. It’s an extremely popular table, and it’s easy to see why once you’ve spent some time playing on it.

Stability and durability are excellent reasons to buy a particular pool table, but rest assured that playing on the Urban is also a pleasure. It offers the exact level of consistency and enjoyment than any other table of a similar price does.

Pros

  • Extremely stable and durable pool table.
  • Constructed from high-quality materials for high-quality gameplay.
  • Very well priced for such an excellent product.

Cons

  • The table is pretty heavy and not easy to move once assembled.

Our Verdict

If stability and durability are your main priorities, the Barrington Urban pool table should be your first consideration. And don’t be too concerned that other essential aspects like playability and appearance are compromised; this table looks and plays like a dream.

Check price on amazon

5. Olhausen Billiards 8 ft Hampton Pool Table – MOST ELITE POOL TABLE

Pool Table Specifics

  • Table dimensions: 97.5 x 53.5 x 32 inches
  • Table weight: 650 lbs
  • Frame material: Solid maple wood
  • Pocket type: Drop pockets
  • Assembly: None required – assembly and installation included
  • Playing surface: Diamond-honed Slate
  • Felt: High-quality wool cloth
  • Bumpers: Accu-Fast cushions

Accessories

  • 2 x 58-inch natural maple cues
  • 1 x Plastic 8-ball triangle
  • 1 x Plastic 9-ball rack
  • 1 x Table brush
  • 1 x Chalk cube
  • 1 x Set of billiard balls
  • 1 x Two-piece cue rack

Sometimes, you just need to own one of the best pool tables that money can buy. Maybe you’re furnishing the mansion you’ve inherited from your uncle, the duke of Yorkinghamshire. Perhaps you intend to become the world’s best pool player. Maybe you’re just incredibly wealthy and want to own the best man-cave in the history of man-caves.

Regardless of the reason, if you’re in the market for a pool table that will make you the envy of every man, woman, and child in your neighborhood, the Olhausen Hampton is what you’re looking for. Obviously, this prestige comes at quite a cost. Literally. This beautiful thing will set you back upwards of $5k, but oh my, is it ever worth the price.

Olhausen is in the business of making some of the most gorgeous, reliable, and durable pool tables available to the general public. And the Hampton is near the top of its impressive range of products.

Let’s start at the very beginning. This table is going to be a massive headache to install. Its components are heavy and complicated. The assembled table weighs an astonishing 650 lbs. But fear not, lazy, wealthy pool table customer. When purchasing directly from Olhausen’s Amazon store, the Tennessee-based company will send a team of friendly experts to your home with the express purpose of assembling the entire product before your very eyes. Trust me – this is an enormous benefit. You do NOT want to be installing this beast by yourself.

The table itself is a thing of exquisite beauty. Every single aspect of it has been designed and built to radiate a genuine sense of craftsmanship. Nothing is synthetic. No part of it is manufactured to have the mere appearance of quality. It’s the real deal in every respect. The heritage mahogany finish on maple gives it the air of a table that belongs in the world’s most kickass museum or some whiskey bar where a cigar costs as much as your monthly car loan payment.

When it comes to durability, you’re not going to find a better pool table on this list. The hardwood construction and slate bed mean that the Olhausen Hampton has been built to last generations. No reasonable amount of dampness or direct sunlight is going to cause warping.

On the topic of the slate bed, it’s worth mentioning that Olhausen has framed the slate with a unique liner that results in quieter, more consistent play and also reduces the likelihood of frame and surface movement to virtually zero.

Discreetly hidden inside the table-frame is a wonderfully convenient drawer large enough to house all of the table’s generous accessories. While the product does ship with a cue rack, you do have the option to store your cues away inside the table if you so wish. In fact, the drawer is so large that it can comfortably accommodate a further three cues.

Pros

  • Comfortably the best quality and most attractive pool table on this list.
  • Integrated storage drawer for all the table’s accessories.
  • Free installation by professional company representatives.

Cons

  • At this price, I would have expected the playing surface to be covered with competition-grade worsted felt.

Our Verdict

I’m pulling no punches here. Aside from the non-worsted felt issue, this is the best pool table I’ve ever played on. It’s a work of art. It’s stable, durable, and makes me feel ten times the player I actually am. If you have the means to invest in their heirloom, don’t think twice.

Check price on amazon

6. GLD Products Fat Cat Trueshot 72” Pool Table – MOST PORTABLE POOL TABLE

Pool Table Specifics

  • Table dimensions: 76 x 43 x 32 inches
  • Table weight: 114 lbs
  • Frame material: Wood and metal
  • Pocket type: Drop pockets
  • Assembly: No assembly required
  • Playing surface:  MDF
  • Felt: Woolen
  • Bumpers: Basic rubber

Accessories

  • 2 x 57-inch cues
  • 1 x Triangle
  • 1 x Table brush
  • 2 x Chalk cube
  • 1 x Set of billiard balls

Every list of the best pool tables has to include one undersized, highly-portable product. Many pool enthusiasts live in homes that don’t offer the space necessary to house a giant, permanently deployed table that serves no purpose other than recreation.

These portable pool tables tend to be much smaller, lighter, and cheaper than their monolithic cousins. Sadly, in prioritizing these qualities, highly portable tables can’t offer as consistent and enjoyable a gameplay experience as standard tables. There’s no getting around this fact.

Fortunately, many manufacturers aim to find a neat balance between portability and playability – a goal that GLD Products have achieved beautifully with the Fat Cat Trueshot 72” pool table. Not only is this awesome little table perfect for use in confined spaces and incredibly easy to move around, but it’s also an absolute joy to play on.

The Fat Cat’s portability is mostly enabled by its foldable legs, lightweight material, and small dimensions. Setting this pool table up is a breeze, as is folding it up into its carrying or storage state. At 114 lbs, any healthy adult will be able to assemble or pack the Fat Cat away.

This is a pool table made for apartment living. If you’re having a shindig at your place but don’t have space dedicated to this kind of frivolity, simply move your furniture out of the way, fold the Fat Cat out of its slumber, and pack it away again when the dust from your party’s settled.

Once assembled, the Fat Cat Trueshot remains surprisingly stable thanks to its high-quality locking mechanisms. So put away any fears of the table collapsing onto your feet, guests, or pets. Barring a deliberate attempt to overturn it, this table will withstand any reasonable jolt.

Of course, gameplay can’t be compared to a traditional pool table. At only 72 inches (6 feet), it’s not going to feel like you’re playing on one of the other products on our list. However, you can rest assured that playing on the Fat Cat Trueshot is by no means unpleasant. When testing this table, my friends and I had some seriously competitive and enjoyable games.

For what it is, it’s the best money can buy.

Pros

  • Super compact and lightweight without major gameplay compromises.
  • Very easy to assemble and pack up for storage.
  • Very affordable, given its build quality and convenience.

Cons

  • At only 6 feet in length, it’s not ideal for serious players at all.

Our Verdict

Being the “Most Portable Table” comes with several added benefits that are worth summarizing here. It’s ideal for use in small spaces, it can be easily packed away when not in use, and it’s very affordable. On top of this, it’s also an ideal product to use when introducing your kids to the marvelous world of billiards. The size makes it perfect for youngsters who may struggle to play on standard-sized tables.

Check price on amazon

7. EastPoint Sports Masterton Billiard Pool Table – BEST ENTRY LEVEL POOL TABLE

Pool Table Specifics

  • Table dimensions: 87 x 50 x 31 inches
  • Table weight: 198 lbs
  • Frame material: Wood and plastic
  • Pocket type: Drop pockets
  • Assembly: Minor
  • Playing surface:  Wood
  • Felt: Woolen
  • Bumpers: Cushioned K 66

Accessories

  • 2 x Wooden cues
  • 1 x Triangle
  • 1 x Table brush
  • 1 x Chalk cube
  • 1 x Set of billiard balls

Not everyone buys a pool table because they intend to play every day – or every week, for that matter. Other pool enthusiasts may want to play constantly but can’t afford a high-end table and will happily sacrifice some quality for affordability.

If you find yourself in one of these categories, the EastPoint Sports Masterton is the ideal pool table for you. For a traditional table that (superficially) resembles the real deal and offers a more than adequate gameplay experience, look no further. The table has a very attractive wood finish, a lovely ball-and-claw leg design, and leather drop pockets.

I’ll be diplomatically candid and say that some of the components (like the legs and felt) don’t feel like they’re made from the highest-quality materials available to humanity. But neither does it feel like you’re on a seriously substandard pool table. Aside from being slightly disappointed with the build quality, I had literally no issues with playing on the table. It was stable, level, and easy to assemble. The Masterton delivers exactly what you’d expect for its price.

The EastPoint Sports Masterton is a product that aims for a very specific market: people who want a pool table that has the superficial appearance, but not the price tag, of a classic.

Pros

  • Very affordable for a traditional table with a “classic” design.
  • At 7 feet, it’s slightly larger than your average “bar size” table.
  • Perfect entry-level table for someone who plays infrequently.

Cons

  • Some of the components are made from below-average quality materials.

Our Verdict

As our best entry-level pool table, you won’t need to max out your credit cards or call in a loan from your dad. But neither will you be the first choice to host a pool competition among players who take the game seriously. It’s a great table for what you’re paying, as long as you manage your expectations.

Check price on amazon

8. Hathaway Fairmont – MOST AFFORDABLE POOL TABLE

Pool Table Specifics

  • Table dimensions: 76 x 43.25 x 32 inches
  • Table weight: 115 lbs
  • Frame material: Wood, chrome
  • Pocket type: Drop pockets
  • Assembly: No assembly required
  • Playing surface:  0.5-inch MDF
  • Felt: Blended wool
  • Bumpers: Basic rubber

Accessories

  • 2 x 48-inch cues
  • 1 x Wooden ball rack
  • 1 x Table brush
  • 2 x Chalk cubes
  • 1 x set of billiard balls

It was a tough call to choose between this table and the Fat Cat Trueshot as our most portable pool table. Ultimately, there was almost nothing between these two excellent tables in terms of portability. But the Hathaway Fairmont’s exceptionally low price meant that I had to award it our coveted Most Affordable title.

Basically, when considering this table, think about it as having all the benefits offered by the Fat Cat Trueshot, but at a slightly lower price. It’s a small, lightweight table that’s meant to either be permanently placed in a small room or set up temporarily when you feel like having a game.

The only major difference between this pool table and the Fat Cat Trueshot is the accessories. While the Trueshot ships with standard-length 57-inch cues, those that come with the Fairmont measure a much shorter 46 inches. Given that the table was made to be deployed in a very small playing area, this is more of a blessing than you might think; it’s very convenient having a set of shorter cues around.

I loved playing on this table.  It was incredibly easy to set up, move around, and pack away again. The playing surface was surprisingly fast and even given the price tag, and the build quality is of an adequate standard.

As you can imagine, though, it’s lack of heft, and slender frame does make the Hathaway Fairmont somewhat prone to movement during a game. An unintentional bump is likely to cause the balls to move around a bit. Although to be fair, this is a small price to pay, given how affordable this great little table is.

Another excellent feature the Hathaway Fairmont offers is integrated leg-levelers that helps you achieve a perfectly even playing surface. Despite being a “minimalist” product that prioritizes portability over bells and whistles, these are a great little touch that really impressed me.

Pros

  • Ships with a convenient carry bag.
  • Includes a handy non-rip nylon carry-bag.
  • Comes with a 180-day warranty.

Cons

  • Not the most stable product on our list.

Our Verdict

If price, portability, and space are your main considerations, this pool table is your best bet. Slight physical instability and short, slightly low-quality cues aside, the Fairmont Hathaway offers exceptional bang for your buck. Incidentally, the shorter cues and small dimensions also make it an excellent table for younger kids. So, if you’re looking for a pool table for the whole family, this product is a terrific option.

Check price on amazon

Our Pool Table Buying Guide

Buying a pool table is a major investment. Not only financially. In most cases, it’s going to be like a member of the family that never leaves a particular room. If you’re not happy with it, there’s very little you can do aside from selling it at a quarter of the price you paid.

So yeah, the stakes are high when buying one of these babies. But the rewards of buying the perfect pool table are enormous. Let’s take an in-depth look at what you should be bearing in mind as you start your shopping journey.

What Size Pool Table Should I Buy?

You should buy the largest pool table that can comfortably accommodate your movement around it. Most pool tables fall somewhere between 6 feet (72 inches) and 9 feet (108 inches) in length. Pool and billiard regulations stipulate that the width of the table must be half of its length, and most tables adhere to this rule.

Ideally, you will need around 5 feet (60 inches) on either of the pool table’s four sides to enjoy a game unencumbered with walls, pillars, and other obstacles. This is something that most first-time customers don’t think about. Before you go shopping, be sure to measure not only the space that the table will occupy but also the space you need to play a shot comfortably.

The length of the cues also plays a role here. If you’re a very casual player, you may feel comfortable playing with shorter cues to accommodate a large table placed in a small space. But I guarantee that you’ll regret this. In my experience, playing with a regulation-sized 57-inch cue on a smaller pool table is preferable to playing with a shorter cue on a large table.

What Is the Ideal Material for the Pool Table Bed?

The answer is easy: slate. No other material offers as smooth and consistent a playing experience as a custom-sliced and expertly treated section of volcanic rock. It’s also resistant to warping (the biggest risk you’ll face as a pool table owner) that results from humidity or an excess of direct sunlight.

However, slate pool tables are expensive and heavy. And there are many more-than-adequate alternatives on the market for players who enjoy a casual game. In fact, only two of our tables in this list have slate beds.

Non-slate pool tables are very accessible and offer a very consistent, enjoyable gameplay experience. The most common alternative is Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). It’s inexpensive, offers a pleasing, consistent gameplay experience but is not as durable as slate. MDF requires a bit of extra care if you want the table to last as long as possible -especially if you live in a hot, humid climate.

If you’re accustomed to playing on a slate surface, be aware that you will definitely notice the difference when playing on an MDF pool table. Be warned.

How Much Does a Pool Table Cost?

I’ll avoid irritating you by saying, “well… it depends,” in a super condescending tone before rattling off a bunch of reasons you don’t care about. Here’s a very broad list of general price ranges. Obviously, there are outliers, but they’ve not been included in our research. When compiling this list, we stuck to tables that were reasonably priced for the average customer.

Hyper-portable, undersized (6-foot) pool table: Between $400 and $600

7 foot to 9 foot MDF pool table: Between $700 and $1600

8 foot to 9-foot slate-bed table: Between $2500 and $6000

These prices vary wildly based on numerous aspects like the quality of the accessories and other table components. It’s not easy to give this question a very accurate answer since there are so many factors involved. But, based on our extensive research and testing, this is generally what you should expect to pay.

Can I Upgrade My Pool Table?

In my experience, the best and most cost-effective way to get more out of your pool table is to upgrade the felt. Honestly, your mind will be blown when you experience the difference between the standard wool cloth that all of these eight tables offer and a top-end worsted fabric. Head over to our comprehensive review of the Best Pool Table Felts for more detail on how to supercharge your billiard experience.

Getting hold of better cues also adds a new level of professionalism and enjoyment to your time at the table. Very few of the pool tables we reviewed here come with professional-level cues, and if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to supercharge your game, go ahead and invest in a couple of high-quality cues.

What Are the Most Essential Pool Table Accessories?

You can’t play a game of pool without a table (duh), a full set of balls (ideally they’re 2-1/4″ in diameter), at least one cue (typically 57” in length), and an 8-ball triangle. Those are the basics, and each of the pool tables we reviewed in this article ships with these items.

What you should expect from any online purchase, however, is two cues, some chalk, and a table brush. I’m happy to report that all of the products reviewed in this article also contain these extras.

Some of the higher-end pool tables ship with a fantastic array of value-added extra accessories. These include:

  • Additional cues.
  • A 9-ball rack.
  • A corner brush for cleaning those hard-to-reach parts of your table.
  • A cue rack.
  • A storage compartment inside the table.
  • A bridge stick with head.
  • A table cover.

How Important Are the Table’s Bumpers?

I can’t stress the importance of high-quality bumpers enough. If you’re playing even remotely competitively, consistent bounce off the sides of your pool table is as critical as an even playing surface. As you improve, you WILL start incorporating bounce shots into your gameplay strategy. You have to; it’s a critical part of playing a winning game.

Having well-cushioned bumpers is one of the main characteristics of a decent pool table. The majority of the tables on our list have bumpers that are manufactured from something called K66 cushions. This is the industry standard bumpers, and I’d think twice before purchasing a table that doesn’t offer these.

There are two exceptions, however. The first is if you’re looking for an inexpensive, highly portable table like the Fat Cat Trueshot. In this case, feel free to trade bounce-consistency for affordability.

The second exception is Olhausen’s AccuFast bumper. These conform to the benchmarks set by K66 products but offer slightly better consistency and bounce by using only 100% pure gum rubber. Olhausen has poured a lot of effort to raise the level of bumper performance with this product, and it shows. Only one of the pool tables we reviewed in this article uses the AccuFast bumper – the Olhausen Hampton. This is one of the main reasons we awarded it the title of Most Elite Pool Table.