Last Updated on October 26, 2023 by Sorin Petroj
Many people think that the best table tennis balls are all the same, but there’s a lot of variation among them in reality. Ping-pong balls are designed to be different in size or weight, so it is essential to learn how to differentiate between them.
When purchasing table tennis balls, there are numerous features you should consider.
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For instance, does the quantity (the amount of ping pong balls in the package) matter to you?
How about the diameter and number of stars? Ideally, you should purchase table tennis balls that meet the ITTF’s official regulations.
You can find a lot of information about ping pong balls on the internet, but where do you start?
We conducted a comprehensive review of competitive brands and found that, in most cases, these table tennis balls are the best ones in 2022 and offer the most bang for the buck.
Best Ping Pong Balls Consistency Comparison Chart
How the best table tennis balls are made?
1. Nittaku 3-star Premium 40+ Ball
The Nittaku 3-Star Premium is a favorite of professional table tennis players. It is seen in major ITTF-sanctioned tournaments, which means that players favor it over other brands of balls.
The ball provides the best consistent bounce of today’s table tennis balls. This is the kind that you would expect from a top-class ball. But then again, there is no such thing as a perfect ball.
Nittaku Premium 40+ is indeed a bit more expensive than other balls; perhaps that is why you will see its rank jump consistently from 1 to 5 and vice versa in the top table tennis balls reviews.
Another fact is that Nittaku Premium 40+ are seamed balls, and some critics claim that seam causes weak points.
Nittaku 3-star Table Tennis Balls Pros & Cons
That is a common misconception. If that were the case, you wouldn’t have seen Nittaku so popular in significant tournaments. There’s a lot to be said about preference; however, if you prefer the brand and don’t mind spending, then Nittaku Premium 40+ should be your first consideration.
- Approved by the ITTF
- Popularly seen in major ITTF-sanctioned tournaments.
- Perfectly round and durable
- Provides consistent bounce
- Seamed ping pong ball
- Very expensive
- Not available in different colors other than orange and white
2. Butterfly G40+ 3-star Ball
You’ll find Butterfly G40+ in every list of the top ten ping pong balls. The G40+ is an excellent option to consider if you’re looking for a plastic ball that feels similar to celluloid. Butterfly’s balls with a 3-star rating are best for ITTF-Sanctioned Events.
This Butterfly table tennis ball was designed by renowned table tennis players in Germany and is used by the pros in events sanctioned by the International Table Tennis Federation.
This set of competition balls was released in 2015 as the first non-celluloid ping pong ball and was the official table tennis ball of the 53rd WTTC.
Butterfly’s G40+ 3 Star Balls are designed for professional players, although amateur players will also love the consistency of the ball. According to official table tennis rules, the ball must have great consistency and bounce.
Butterfly G40+ Ping Pong Balls Pros & Cons
The ball is made of seamless rubber, which results in a more durable ball than one with seams. One or two Butterfly G40+ reviews mention that the high-pitched sound can be distracting.
However, what makes the ping pong ball stand out from the rest is its high-quality gloss surface and its durability of the ball.
- ITTF sanctioned
- Best suitable for tournaments
- The heavier balls and more stable in their trajectory
- Durable and provides a consistent bounce
- Star ratings: 3
- Creates high-pitch sound
3. STIGA 3-star Table Tennis Balls
Many professional players and amateurs prefer STIGA 3-Star table tennis balls in tournaments. STIGA 3-Star balls come in white, orange, and a selection of colors and are most recognized for their firmness.
If you’re serious about improving your table tennis skills, STIGA 3-Star balls have been named among the top choices for competitive players.
Most STIGA 3-Star reviews appreciate the balls’ spin and consistent bounce quality. Although the heavier gauge may feel bigger than other models, this will not affect your game adversely. The speediness of the ball is preserved despite the heavy gauge, as per many reviewers.
- Meets ITTF regulations of size and weight
- Approved by USATT
- Provides excellent consistency and swings
- Durable and highly firm
- Available in both orange and white
- It comes in a set of 6 and 12 balls
- Some reviewers mentioned that these balls might feel slightly more significant than other models.
- This ping pong ball can be pretty expensive.
4. Butterfly A40+ 3-star Table Tennis Balls
Butterfly has raised the bar on table tennis equipment, and the A40+ ball is touted to have unsurpassed durability and consistency. If you’re new to table tennis and want to get a feel for playing with a ball, we suggest going for the Butterfly A40+.
These ITTF-approved 3-star balls bounce consistently like the celluloid ping pong balls. A40+ provides almost a similar feel, bounce, and consistency as top tiers like Nittaku but comes at a lower price tag, making it a cheaper alternative to top tiers.
- Approved by both the ITTF and the USATT
- Almost similar to traditional celluloid
- Provides great bounce
- It comes in a pack of 3, 6, and 12 making it very affordable
- 3 Star ping pong balls
- It can be a little louder
- The surface is not as glossy as STIGA 3-star and G40.
5. JOOLA Prime 3-Star Balls
The Prime 3-Star balls from JOOLA are most popular in major tournaments and competitions worldwide. JOOLA Prime table tennis ball is made of ABS, an improved version of plastic that offers greater durability than its counterparts.
The JOOLA Prime ball is one of the best table tennis balls for league matches. The ball flies faster than other balls I’ve tried, including Nittaku Premium.
According to several table tennis ball reviews, the ball also feels harder, which means that when you hit it, you can feel the impact on your ping pong blades. It’s also suitable for attacking (flatter) shots. Best of all, it comes at a very reasonable price.
- Approved by both the ITTF and the USATT
- Highly speedy and spinny
- Available at a set of 3, 6, 72, and 144
- Because of the extra speed, beginners might not be able to keep up
- Ping Pong balls available only in white
6. MAPOL 50 White 3-Star Premium Training Ping Pong Ball
The MAPOL 50 table tennis balls are 3-star rated and 40+ making them ideal for tournaments and competitions. Plus, these plastic table tennis balls come in a pack of 50.
They are also great for beginning players because of their low price but are still responsive enough to withstand the playing style of even the most advanced players. Mapol 3-star is the best ping pong ball for the budget.
Based on some MAPOL reviews, there can be variations in weight or diameter between training balls. However, this should not affect recreational players when playing practice sessions.
- 3-star rated
- Ideal for all types of players and ping-pong robots
- It comes in a pack of 50 and is very reasonably priced
- It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Available in only white color
- There can be a slight variation in weight or diameter.
7. JOOLA Rossi 3-Star Training Balls
JOOLA continues to be among the top ping pong balls. The Rossi 3-star balls from Joola are designed for recreational play and come in a pack of 6 balls. These balls are 40 mm in diameter and are preferable for junior play or training purposes.
These balls are also available in both white and orange. Many reviewers note that these balls have the control and weight you need for intense matchmaking, suitable for younger table tennis players who are just learning to play ping pong. JOOLA is also the most affordable brand.
Although you won’t get the same bounce quality as a top-tier ball, it still gives a reasonably nice bounce that is perfect for beginners. These are good training balls that last a long time and are suitable for those just starting to play on their table tennis top.
- It comes in a selection of white and orange
- Best suitable for training and youngsters
- Star ratings: 3
- Very affordable
- Not approved by the ITTF
- Do not expect a high bounce from these balls.
8. Newgy Robo Table Tennis Balls
The Newgy Robo-Balls Ping Pong Balls are ideal for recreational play and suitable for ping pong robots. Newgy Robo balls are not 3-star; hence these are not suitable for tournaments. If your top consideration is 3-star ping pong balls, you can go for Power Pong 3-stars.
These orange balls come in a 144-count package suitable for multi-ball training. Some consumers reported that the balls were dusty when they unpacked them. It is the official ball for Newgy Robots.
- Best table tennis ball for ping pong robots
- It comes in a pack of 144 count
- Sturdy and durable
- Rated as 1-star, meaning not suitable for tournament
- It leaves a lot of powder behind
9. STIGA 1-Star Table Tennis Balls
The 1-Star table tennis balls from STIGA feature the official ITTF standard size and weight, and they come in packs of 38 in either orange or white. STIGA 1-Star is best for recreational play and training purposes.
The training balls received mixed reviews from testers, some of whom found slight variations in weight from ball to ball in the same batch, but most users were thrilled by the bounce and spin of these balls. Many testers mentioned that they performed well in casual play.
- 1-star table tennis ball with standard size and weight as approved by the ITTF
- It comes in a pack of 38 and is very reasonably priced
- Available in both orange and white
- Not suitable for league matches
- Available in only white color
10. Champion Sports Recreational 1-Star Balls
Champion Sports 1-star recreational balls are Recroompicks’ one of the best table tennis balls for practice. These best balls come in a pack of 144 poly balls, making it the best option for those who want to play multiple games without waiting for the balls to dry or replenish their supplies.
Also, it is most suitable for ping-pong robots. Plus, the whole pack of 144 is reasonably priced. Many reviewers of the Champion Sports Recreational ping pong balls rated the balls as providing a consistent swirl pattern, which allows the balls to be more durable over an extensive period.
Many reviewers of the Champion Sports Recreational ping pong balls rated them as providing a consistent swirl pattern, which allows the balls to be more durable over a considerable period.
- Suitable for recreational play and ping-pong robots
- Seamless and sturdy enough for several hours of play
- It comes in a selection of a variety of colors
- Not suitable for tournaments or competitions
11. GEWO Select Pro 40+ ABS 3 Star Balls
The GEWO Select Pro 40+ ABS 3 Star Balls – Pack of 6 is a plastic table tennis ball perfect for tournament play.
These ping pong balls are made under the strictest ITTF standards and are much more durable than previous generations of balls. The GEWO company uses the most economical selection methods possible to guarantee uniform wall thickness and hardness, resulting in a high-quality product that will last a long time.
Developed based on ITTF-compliant raw material, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS), this ping pong ball is of excellent roundness and hardness, providing a perfectly uniform bounce every time. These new plastic balls are perfect for international competitions, with a good bounce and consistent feel.
12. Killerspin Training 1 Star Orange Balls ABS 40+
The Killerspin Training 1 Star Orange Balls ABS 40+ are the best ping pong balls for training. They are constructed with higher-quality materials and can withstand more aggressive shots.
The ball’s color is orange, and the size is an official 40 mm. These ping pong balls are perfect for practice play, training, and fun. The ball is made of ABS plastic, a new generation of ping pong balls known for increased control. It’s a better option than Pro Spin poly plastic material for bouncing and durability.
The packaging includes a 25-ball pack, making it an excellent choice for practice, multi-ball training, or home/office play. The ping pong balls are orange in color, allowing you to see them during play easily.
When using these balls, you will be able to improve your game due to the increased control. These are one-star ping pong balls that are not recommended for ITTF-sanctioned events.
13. JOOLA Advanced Training ABS 3-Star Orange Balls
The JOOLA ABS plastic balls are the perfect training tool for all skills. Made of high-quality ABS material, these balls have star ratings of 3 and are highly durable. Also, they will withstand hours of training sessions. When looking for table tennis equipment, these are the best balls for the price.
You can’t produce an excellent spin and more advanced drills, but beginners are great. These plastic table tennis balls are excellent for daily practicing and learning a new service.
Best Table Tennis Balls – FAQs
What are the ITTF requirements for table tennis balls?
The ITTF has set some precise standards for a ping pong ball. The regulations are meant to make sure the balls behave the same way, which is crucial for tournaments and competitions.
- Diameter: The diameter of the official plastic ball must be 40 mm. However, there is always a variation, and the manufacturer must pass the ITTF sample test for final approval.
- Weight: The ball must weigh 2.7 grams. However, a ping pong ball may vary in weight. The International Table Tennis Federation will test 24 balls from a batch, and the mean of the sample must be between 2.69 and 2.76 grams.
- Roundness: ITTF’s official ball must be round. It is the difference between the maximum and minimum diameters. Celluloid balls must have a roundness of fewer than .25 millimeters.
- Must not veer: Veer is yet another roundness metric and the degree to which it deviates from a straight line. This metric tests whether the ball is round and how it differs from a straight line when rolling down an incline.
- Consistency: The new plastic balls must have the quality to provide a consistent bounce. When balls are dropped from 305 mm, they should bounce back to 240-260 mm.
You can download the ITTF Handbook here.
- Uniform hardness: ITTF competition balls must have a consistent hardness. The hardness of a ball is determined by measuring how much a pin indents it with a set amount of force, which is then calculated on the pole and the seam.
- Ball Colors: ITTF balls should either be white or orange with a matt finish.
- Labeling: ITTF requires that non-celluloid balls be labeled as 40+. Each ping pong ball must have the ITTF approval code on the packaging. Also, table tennis balls not bearing the ITTF-approved stamp color should be considered unapproved.
- Star rating: The balls must not exceed a star rating of 3. It’s essential to keep up with ITTF regulations as they change frequently. You can find a current list of ITTF-approved best ping pong balls: https://ittf.cdnomega.com/eu/2019/07/Balls_2019_11.pdf.
What type of ping pong balls are used in Olympic tournaments?
Table tennis balls approved by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) are used in the Olympics.
What does the 40+ stand for table tennis balls?
Table tennis balls labeled as 40+ indicate the diameter. Generally, the celluloid balls were 39.6mm. All quality balls, even for training or table tennis community, must have this diameter and a reasonable roundness.
However, the ITTF set regulations that the celluloid balls must be discontinued but allowed the plastic balls to be about 0.5mm larger. Since then, the plastic balls manufactured have measured around 40mm to 40.2 mm.
Currently, the 40+ mm top balls are only for competitive play. They have good bounce recommended for international tournaments. Today, the old celluloid balls are faster and more complex than most ping pong balls.
What is the difference between seamless balls and those with seams?
Seam vs. seamless ping pong balls: In general, celluloid ping pong balls used to be seamless and more durable and provided more spin. Manufacturers started supplying plastic balls with seams as the ITTF standard rules for ball material changed from celluloid to plastic.
The plastic balls are slower and easier, according to USA table tennis. A celluloid ball is harder and heavier, so, in that case, the game is a bit slower today.
However, you can get ITTF-compliant seamless balls. Some of the best seamless table tennis balls that comply with the ITTF standards are Xiom V40+, Raise 40+, JOOLA Flash 40+, and Xushaofa balls. On the other hand, Champion 1-star balls are also seamless balls.
Best Seamless Balls – Xushaofa Ping Pong Ball
What is the difference between 3-star and 1-star ping pong balls?
Firstly, the 3-star balls are used in official tournaments. These balls are usually available in a pack of 6-12 and are highly durable. On the other hand, 1-star and 2-star table tennis balls are preferred for practice.
Secondly, the 1-star balls are less durable than 3-stars; these balls are very affordable and are usually available in bulk of 100-200. However, not all 3-stars are approved by the ITTF.
Hence, if you plan to purchase a ball for the ITTF tournament, it is essential to identify if the ITTF approves the ball. You can check the table tennis equipment approved on the ITTF website.
What are table tennis balls made of?
As of 2014, table tennis balls are made of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) to avoid the flammability of celluloid. However, plastic and polymer technology advances have not stopped even with these new materials.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) policy is that table tennis balls are to be made out of non-celluloid material.
What are the best table tennis balls to use for practice?
Joola, Stiga, and Butterfly are three of the best table tennis brands of plastic balls consistently praised among professionals and amateurs alike. But the only catch is you cannot buy any of the brands in bulk.
For example, Butterfly G40+ comes at a pack of 12, STIGA comes at a pack of 12, and JOOLA comes at a collection of 72 highest. In the case of training, you would want at least 50-100 ping pong balls so that you don’t run out in the middle of a training session.
In the case of bulk buying, both Champion 1-star and Newgy Robo-balls come at a pack of 144, seamless and ideal for practicing for multiple hours.
Which table are tennis balls best for ping pong robots?
You can use the ping pong robot manufacturer’s ball; however, these robots are built for just about any type of table tennis ball. You must consider opting for at least 50-144 ping pong balls.
MAPOL 3-Star balls and Newgy Robo-balls can be your consideration. Other options for bulk buying are Sanwei ABS 1-Star and Kevenz. These are all plastic ping pong balls, and you shouldn’t use the celluloid balls for playing style with robots.
If you want to improve your table tennis game, using the highest quality balls for training sessions is best. New balls are great for professional play, and they have a very consistent bounce.
Where to buy table tennis balls near me?
How to clean table tennis balls?
Sometimes you may notice that your table tennis balls have gathered dust. This happens when you don’t play a lot or at times when you buy in bulk. Here are some ways to clean your table tennis balls.
It can be very tempting to simply put the table tennis balls in the washing machine and let it do the job. But be mindful of the spin cycle as it can be detrimental to the ball’s performance. If you own costly table tennis balls, it is best not to risk putting them in the washing machine.
Firstly, cold water is best for cleaning table tennis balls as heat can be detrimental to the quality. Full up your tub faucet with cold water.
Secondly, add a bit of dishwashing liquid to the water and let it soak for a couple of minutes.
Moreover, rinse them thoroughly, and dry them with a clean towel.
How to choose the best table tennis balls?
You need to decide what kind of table tennis ball you want to play with. Will it be for a professional tournament or your training? It is also essential to consider both your skill level and your budget.
Many brands and models are available, and we reviewed the best table tennis balls right in this article. This compilation includes 3-star professional table tennis balls to the best table tennis balls for practice and training.
These are durable balls and great for practice. They are 40 mm in diameter, but they also have an ideal weight making them a reasonable option for those who want the realistic feel of a tournament.
Eastpoint Sports also comes in packs of 100, so you know there are plenty in hand, and you don’t have to run out in the middle of a match. The only drawback is these are only available in white.
How fast do table tennis balls go?
Ping Pong players hit the ball at an average speed record for ping pong in the 70 mph range – more than twice as fast in the ping pong world!
Can you use table tennis balls for beer pong?
You can use a ball for several other things, not just table tennis. You can find plenty of people using table tennis balls for even beer pong. The 1 Star balls are designed for recreational purposes but will be perfectly serviceable for your beer pong needs.
Also, you can use the old celluloid balls and orange-colored balls for beer pong. It doesn’t matter which ones you use when playing for fun in the ping pong world.
Best Ping Pong Balls – Conclusion
For players of every experience level to enjoy, multiple brands of ping pong balls and models are available for purchase. However, before making a purchase, you should consider your personal playing needs, and this can be either for playing in a league or for introducing yourself to the sport.
The Nittaku 3-Star Premium is the best ping pong ball when you’re playing professionally. If you’re looking to play in ITTF tournaments, you might want to go with the STIGA or the G40+ from Butterfly.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a way to practice with your ping-pong robot, look no further than the Newgy Robo-Balls.
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