The Man Cave Table Tennis Buyers Guide

The Man Cave Table Tennis Buyers Guide

Looking to introduce table tennis into your man cave? This guide covers everything you need to know

Table tennis is definitely a man cave feature that has been booming in recent years, and for good reason. It’s fun, easy to get into, and wildly competitive. Combine that with a man cave with ample space for a table, and you’ve got a recipe for success.

In this guide we take a look at table types, sizing, pricing, safety, maintenance, and even how to play (and progress) your table tennis skills. Let’s do this!


5 Reasons Why Your Man Cave Needs Table Tennis

1. It’s the ultimate in competitive gaming with your mates (outside of the screen)

Ever have that game where, try as you might, your mates just keep beating you? Now, we all know deep down they’re no doubt cheating (it’s never a skill issue, is it!?), so why not extend the rivalry and level of competition away from the screen?

It also helps if you’re all starting at the same level, and can be fun as beginners in a heated tournament or ten between PC games. Just be warned, you might actually get hooked to table tennis more than your consoles…


2. It’s actually great exercise

According to Fat Secret, table tennis can burn 294 calories in an hour of play. Okay, minus the beer breaks, this is still a great form of exercise, and sure beats staring into the abyss on a treadmill for 60 minutes per day.


3. It’s incredibly addictive

I feel like we’ve said this in not so many ways in point one, but it needs to be reiterated. You might not even be phased by the thought of table tennis at the minute, but just wait until the tournaments start!


4. You can take a break from the PC for half an hour (at least)

It’s a really healthy way of taking screen breaks, and getting your calorie burning time into the day without resorting to a boring form of cardio or gruelling gym workout. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but some people would much rather a heated game of table tennis instead (and who can blame them?).


5. It can be relatively inexpensive to start

You can find starter tables around the £150 mark (certainly under £200) that are still built incredibly well and will see you through many a heated game. Many of the tables we recommend also come with equipment too, so it’s essentially a ‘one and done’ purchase (that is, until you start accidentally standing on the table tennis balls).


With the points on why you should start your table tennis tournaments this being said, let’s look further into specific table tennis equipment, types to be aware of, and what beginners in particular need to know about getting started.

Standard model American pool tables

Types of Table Tennis Tables

There are many different actual types and brands of tables, however they’ll largely be categorised as either an indoor or an outdoor table. So, what does this actually mean for when you’re looking into buying the right table for your man cave?


Indoor Table

indoor pool table image

You’ll find that indoor tables can range from the smaller tabletop tables, right on up to larger wooden constructs that are built to last a lifetime.

Indoor tables are usually made out of a collapsable steel frame, particularly those that keep the ‘space saving’ aspect of adding a table to a man cave in mind. You’ll often find that the indoor table sections on an online retailer will be much more space-conscious than the outdoor table section, ultimately because indoor space is often of a huge concern for any potential buyers.

While you can find indoor tables with wheels and portability options, it’s typically not common, and instead many indoor tables will opt for rigid, sturdy legs and steel builds to handle being folded after every game, or being dragged around the room as you look to find space for other man cave additions.

Indoor tables can often be on the slightly cheaper side too, especially if you’re looking for a smaller beginners one. That’s not saying that you can’t splash out either, but in general you’ll typically not be paying as much in comparison to a starter outdoor table.


Outdoor Table

outdoor table tennis table

Even thought your garden needs a man cave touch? How about an outdoor table to keep the tennis rallies going?

Outdoor tables often very well-built in terms of their weatherproof capabilities, and they have to be, especially if they’re spending any time in the British summertime in a garden…

You’ll find that starter outdoor tables can be a little more expensive than their indoor counterparts, often due to additional features such as weatherproof resin alongside wheels and brakes to ensure the table isn’t running away from you mid-game.

What this does mean though is that you’ll likely be buying a table of the highest quality, as it’s built to withstand the weather and the open elements as much as it is heated table tennis tournaments.


What about a mini table tennis table?

mini table tennis table

Ah yes, the mini table! If you’re looking for a truly small means of playing table tennis without breaking the bank then you won’t be hard pushed to find a mini table under £100.

Are they as good as their larger outdoor or indoor counterparts? Well, when it comes to playing a serious tournament, no. But, are they much cheaper and require minimal man cave space? Absolutely.

Like any man cave accessory, you really have to think about the space you’re going to have available not only for the table, but to play effectively.

We’d recommend looking at a larger table simply because the playing experience is more inline with what you’re no doubt already used to, but having said that, a mini table is still tons of fun and is ideal for a man cave dweller who just wants to play the odd game every now and again without having to make a ‘full-sized table’ commitment.


Which to choose?

For beginners in particular, we’d recommend going for an indoor table that is built from premium materials and allows you the option to fold and store easily.

Unless table tennis is already a firm staple in your daily activities, there will no doubt come times when you need the floor space back in your man cave, and buying a table without fold-away or simple storage options can quickly turn into a headache.

You’ll also usually find cheaper introductory models for beginners within the indoor table category, so there’s no jumping straight to the premium tables (unless that’s what you’re after).

How To Learn Table Tennis Effectively

Like any game, if you want to seriously compete with your friends and be crowned man cave table tennis champion, you’re going to want to put the hours in. Here are some aspects to focus on to really up your game:

  • Get a really good serve ‘nailed’ – A lethal serve is one that can end games very quickly. Learning how to serve at various speeds and via various angles not only keeps your opponents on their toes, but means that you’re not stuck with the same serve each and every time
  • Work on your spin – Ever tried playing someone who can return a shot with an almost frustrating spin? Knowing how to add spin can not only help with your serves, but it can also really throw-off your opponent in terms of where they think the ball is going to land
  • Fold the table – The great feature of a foldable table is not only in the storage, but the ability to solo practice by serving shots and returning them at the folded side. Start slow and use this method to increase your racket speed gradually
  • Learn to pick your shots – Once you’ve got a few techniques down, it’s all too easy to try and unleash the ping pong beast at every turn. Often, this is what leads players to slip-up. Instead, learn to play at a pace that allows you to pick your shots, rather than trying to go all-out and either exhaust yourself prematurely or make simple mistakes because you’re too focused on that pending smash shot return!


Safety Tips For Playing Table Tennis In Your Man Cave

By safety we mean the safety of yourself, your visitors, and the other man cave items that you’ve got in the space. What do you need to keep in mind?

  • Playable space understanding – Even before you buy your table, you need to know your table space requirements, and also provide ample playable space room too. Without this, you’ll be bumping into anything and everything, and you’ve basically just bought a fancy table that you can’t actually play on because you don’t have enough room to manoeuvre! Table Tennis England recommends a minimum recreational playing space of 8mx4m, which is handy guideline to start your space calculations from
  • Warming up – Yep, just like any other form of exercise, you need to warm up properly. Do you really want to throw your back out and jeopardise future man cave gaming time just because you didn’t warm up effectively? Here’s a really good video on table tennis warm up stretches that you really should take a look at:
  • Know when to take breaks – If you feel like it’s time to take a breather, then don’t miss that opportunity between games or sets. Always stay hydrated (not just with beer), and take time to catch your breath or reset your pending strategy for smash shots in your mind. There’s no use going to your man cave to chill, only to be burnt-out by hours of table tennis play!


How To Keep Your Table Tennis Table Clean & Well-Maintained

Just like cleaning your man cave, what’s the best way to keep a table clean? By making it part of your playing routine.

We recommend wiping-down your table with a cloth after each use, and not going overboard on the cleaning products that you use. Many tables will be treated already, so you don’t want to use overly abrasive chemicals to reduce a coating.

Obviously, if you spill a pint on there then you may need to a stronger cleaning solution, but a typical game does not require a deep clean. The best thing you can do is to keep on top of wiping-down your equipment and using a light disinfectant or cleaning spray on the tables and the rackets, just to ensure they’re primed and ready to go for the next session.


How Much Should You Spend On Table Tennis Equipment?

We always recommend buying an indoor table for beginners because many of the tables will often include your starter equipment. This means reduced costs for balls, rackets and nets, although you may want to spend extra on some additional balls just to be on the safe side…

In terms of how much to spend, you really need to ask yourself how often you’re likely going to be playing on the table, and how the purchase aligns with the rest of your budget for outfitting your man cave.

If you’re not looking to play very often and don’t want to spend a lot of money, perhaps consider a mini table to see how you find the game itself and how often you play, then look to upgrade to a larger table at a later date (this also gives you a good sense of ‘true’ playable space within your man cave).

If you already know you have ample space and the time to play your table regularly, consider aiming for a beginner table around the £200-500 mark. Even if you’re not a beginner, these tables are often on the cheaper side and are just as well-built as many of the premium ones, plus you get that added equipment benefit throw-in like we mentioned earlier.



So there you have it. When it comes to introducing those all-important table tennis tournaments into your man cave, we’ve got you covered.

Remember that it’s not about how much you spend either, it’s about planning effectively and buying the perfect table that is right for your man cave.

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James Taylor - Head of SEO & Content
James Taylor Head of SEO & Content

My core areas of expertise include technical, local and organic SEO, alongside targeted content development and white-hat outreach strategies for link building purposes. When I'm not doing SEO you can find me gaming in my man cave!