It’s not possible for everyone to have a full-size pool table in their home. Some folks just don’t have the space to fit a 7 or 8-foot pool table comfortably in their house or apartment. And while most people agree that full-size pool tables are best, there are plenty of smaller pool tables on the market. So, this begs the question: Are mini pool tables worth it?
Mini pool tables are great for some people, but not for others. In general, a miniature pool table is better than no pool table at all. However, those who are used to playing on full-size tables find it hard to “downgrade” to a mini pool table. But their low cost and high portability make mini pool tables a great option for many people.
If you’re unsure about whether to buy a mini pool table, read on. This article is a complete guide to mini pool tables, and it includes everything you need to know to make an informed decision. Plus, there’s even a recommendation for the best mini pool table at the end!
Are Mini Pool Tables Fun?
Mini pool tables can provide hours of fun for the whole family. They’re exactly what they sound like: miniature versions of larger pool tables found in bars and pool halls. The key concepts remain the same on mini pool tables as they are on larger tables. It’s still all about accuracy, angles, power, and finesse.
Pretty much any game that can be played on a full-size table can be played on a mini pool table. Games like 8-ball, 9-ball, cutthroat, 3-ball, and others provide plenty of fun for kids and adults.
How Big Are Mini Pool Tables?
The term “mini pool table” covers a very wide range of sizes. Most full-size pool tables are 7, 8, or 9-feet long and half as wide. But mini pool tables range anywhere from 20-inches all the way up to 6-feet.
The nice thing about this is that you can find a size that will work well for the space you have available. Of course, the larger the table, the more “authentic” the actual gameplay will feel. But that doesn’t mean that you should go for the biggest table you can fit in your place. Instead, it’s a good idea to take a look at the different kinds of mini pool tables out there to see if one type will be best for your particular situation over the other types.
Different Types of Mini Pool Tables
There are three main types of mini pool tables available today: foldable, tabletop, and standard. Each has slightly different requirements, so it’s best to familiarize yourself with them briefly.
Foldable Mini Pool Tables
Foldable tables are convenient because they are easily stored. They are designed with legs that can fold under the playing surface, much like the legs of a card table. These types of tables are perhaps the most popular not only because they are easy to store and transport, but because they come in larger sizes up to 6-feet.
Tabletop Mini Pool Tables
Tabletop pool tables don’t have legs like other traditional tables do. If they do have legs at all, they’re only a few inches tall. This is because they’re designed to be placed on an existing table so you can play while standing up.
Tabletop pool tables are usually on the smaller side, ranging from 20-inches to around 44-inches. It’s possible to find a larger tabletop pool table, but you need to have a large enough table to hold it!
Standard Mini Pool Tables
Standard mini tables are essentially just smaller versions of those pool tables found in pool halls and bars. Their legs won’t fold in and they can’t be placed on tables (unless you’re super tall and can reach!). They are ideal for those people who are looking for a classic-style pool table but they don’t have enough room for a bigger one.
Do Mini Pool Tables Use Standard Size Pool Balls?
Some of the larger mini pool tables do use standard 2.25-inch billiard balls on their sets. But this is only common among 6-foot tables. 4-foot mini tables often use 1.5-inch balls.
As the tables get smaller, it only makes sense to downsize the balls as well. After all, a set of regular billiard balls would take up too much space on a small 20-inch tabletop table.
The smaller the table, the smaller the balls will be. And, for that matter, the smaller the pockets will be, as well. But this is a good thing. If you can get used to playing with smaller balls on a smaller table, it won’t be a big jump up to a full-size table eventually. This is why many people buy their kids a mini pool table and then upgrade when their kids are big enough to play on a regular table.
How Long Do Mini Pool Tables Last?
With so many different types of mini pool tables, and the widely varying quality accompanying them, it’s hard to answer definitively how long mini pool tables last. The best we can do is give you a ballpark estimate.
One thing is sure: a mini pool table won’t last nearly as long as a high-quality full-size pool table. With the proper care, full-size tables can last for generations. Mini pool tables are usually only good for a few years. Some of the cheaper mini tables on the market will not even last that long without proper care.
As with pretty much any product, the more you spend on it, the longer it’s likely to last. And the better you care for it, the longer it will last, guaranteed. The nice thing is that most mini pool tables are not expensive, so it’s not that big a deal when it doesn’t last more than 2 years or so.
The bigger, sturdier mini pool tables can last up to 5 years with proper care. But it’s also important to note that mini pool tables have one major difference that affects their longevity: the lack of slate.
Are Mini Pool Tables Made With Slate?
In the world of full-size pool tables, the best ones have playing surfaces made of slate, which is a type of rock. The slate provides a flat, smooth surface on which the balls can roll with minimum friction. Slate tables last years and years because they’re impervious to warping due to moisture and humidity.
Mini pool tables, on the other hand, aren’t made with slate. Instead, some kind of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is used to make the playing surface. And even with protective coatings on the fiberboard, it’s still wood. And wood will warp when exposed to enough moisture. But, when we’re talking about mini pool tables, is a slightly warped surface really such a big deal?
The Mini Pool Table Conundrum
Ideally, we would want the playing surface on our mini pool table to be completely flat and true. After all, we want the balls to move consistently on every game so we can get good by developing our skills. However, most people with mini pool tables are more concerned with entertainment than developing skill.
This is a bit of a conundrum for mini pool table owners. Of course, most people want to get better at anything they do, including playing pool on a mini pool table. But if they’re more concerned with having a fun time, a warped playing surface won’t make play impossible. In fact, it can often add a new challenge, forcing players to adapt to the warped surface.
This is especially true for kids playing on a mini table. Chances are they won’t care if the table gets a little warped over time. So it’s good to try and get the best mini pool table you can for your budget, but depending on who’s using it, you may still get several years of use out of it even if it does warp.
How Much Do Mini Pool Tables Weigh?
While we’re on the subject of slate, let’s talk about how much mini pool tables weigh. Slate is the major component that makes full-size pool tables so heavy, so you may not be surprised to learn that mini pool tables are, on average, incredibly light.
The smallest tabletop pool tables weigh under 10 pounds. Mid-size mini pool tables usually weigh between 25 and 50 pounds. The largest of the mini tables, those that are around 6-feet, generally weigh somewhere between 100 and 150 pounds.
When compared to full-size tables that weigh 800 to 100 pounds, even the heaviest mini pool tables are incredibly light!
What Length Cues Are Used With Mini Pool Tables?
As you might expect, the cues that are used with mini pool tables are shorter than regular pool cues. This is necessary for ease of use and so they’re compatible with the smaller table size. Like ball sizes, the length of the cues used varies depending on the size of the table itself. Longer cues go with larger tables and shorter cues with smaller tables. The average cue lengths for full-size tables are 57 and 58-inches.
- A 6-foot table will generally have 48-inch cues.
- A 4-foot table will have cues around 42-inches long.
- An average 40-inch table will have 36-inch cues.
- A 24-inch table will have 25-inch cues.
Not every mini table maker has the exact same size cues for their tables. The sizes above are approximate and should be within 1 or 2 inches of the cue length for the corresponding size.
What Size Room Do You Need For a Mini Pool Table?
Room size for mini pool tables really only matters on the larger tables; those 4-foot or larger. Tables smaller than 4-feet and tabletop pool tables should fit easily into most rooms. The nice thing about tabletop tables is that, if you have a table large enough to place the pool table on, you’ve probably got enough room to play the game.
Of course, if the table you plan on using is tight up against a wall, you may want to pull it out or find another place for the mini pool table. Players need to be able to get to every side of the pool table to take shots.
Required Room Size for Mini Pool Tables
For mini pool tables that are 4-feet or larger, you’ll need to make sure you have enough room. To determine room size, we’ll need to look at both the size of the table and the length of the cues. Let’s start with a 6-foot table.
- A 6-foot table with 48-inch cues will need a minimum room size of 11-feet by 13.6-feet.
- A 5-foot table with 44-inch cues will need a minimum room size of 10-feet by 12.6-feet.
- A 4-foot table with 42-inch cues will need a minimum room size of 9-feet by 11.6-feet.
Keep in mind that this includes any obstructions, such as furniture, decorations, or other objects that may make shooting difficult. Ideally, the whole area is cleared. Luckily, most people can find enough room for one of the larger mini pool tables. And those who can’t find the room can always get a tabletop mini pool table!
Advantages and Disadvantages of Mini Pool Tables
There are some certain advantages and disadvantages of mini pool tables. But, some of the features can go either way, depending on what you’re looking for in a pool table. For instance, the small size of a mini pool table can be a disadvantage for those people looking to play seriously, while it can be an advantage for those who want a fun activity to do at home but don’t have the room for a big table.
We’ll try to cover both sides of every feature to give you a good idea of whether a mini pool table is right for you.
Mini Pool Table Advantages
- Saves space.
- Allows people to have a table who otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
- Little to no assembly required (on most models).
- Great for learning the fundamentals.
- Great for kids.
- Adults can use them, too.
- Better than no pool table.
Mini Pool Table Disadvantages
- Don’t have the same “feel” as full-size tables.
- Require some adjustment for those used to playing on full-size tables.
- Often not as sturdy as larger tables.
- Won’t last as long as larger, slate tables.
- Prone to warping when exposed to moisture.
- Not ideal for serious pool players.
Who Are Mini Pool Tables Good For?
Mini pool tables definitely aren’t for everyone. Some people, like players looking to make money playing pool, are better off getting a bigger table or sticking to the local billiard hall. But, they are a great choice for many people.
The number one reason to get a mini pool table is for kids. Maybe you’re trying to keep the kids away from videogames or their phones, or maybe it’s just too cold for them to go outside. A mini pool table is a great way to provide entertainment for kids.
It’s also ideal for those people who want a pool table in their home, but just don’t have the space for a full-size table. Since mini pool tables are fairly cheap, they can be ideal for those who want a table now and are planning to upgrade when they move to a bigger place.
Speaking of cost, mini pool tables are great for those on a budget. Full-size tables are often thousands of dollars, whereas you’ll spend a few hundred for a mini pool table. And that’s on the high side!
The foldable mini pool tables are great for those who can clear a space out temporarily but don’t have enough room for a pool table to sit around all the time. They can simply fold the pool table up and slide it under a bed or into a closet until they want to play again.
To summarize, mini pool tables are good for people who:
- Have kids who will enjoy playing.
- Are on a budget.
- Have limited space.
- Want a portable and easy-to-store table.
- Just want to have fun without the size and cost of a full-size table.
Do Mini Pool Tables Come With Accessories?
Every miniature pool table we’ve come across includes all the accessories you need to play pool. This is almost a necessity because the size of the tables requires accessories that have been made to fit that table. So getting a mini table without accessories would likely be a waste of money unless you knew exactly what size cues and balls to purchase.
As it stands now, mini pool tables come with:
- 15 object balls and 1 cue ball
- 2 cue sticks
- Triangle rack (usually plastic)
- Chalk (usually 2 cubes)
- A brush
How Much Do Mini Pool Tables Cost?
Along with the wide range of size, quality, and style comes a wide range of costs. It’s safe to say that the smaller the table, the cheaper it’s likely to be. But, among the smallest tables, there’s also a variation in price.
The most mini of mini pool tables can cost as little as $20. These are typically 20-inches or less. From 20-inches up to 48-inches, you’re looking at spending around $75 to $100 for a mid-range table.
For mini tables that are 48-inches up to 6-feet, you’re looking at between $100 and $200.
Most 6-foot tables are more expensive than that, ranging between $250 to $450.
But, we know how tedious research can be, so we’ve analyzed the marketplace and narrowed it down to the best overall mini pool table.
The Best Mini Pool Table
Rally and Roar Mini Tabletop Pool Table
- Wood frame
- Only 14 pounds
- 20” x 40” x 9”
- 200g cue sticks
- 1.37” custom-designed balls
- Sleek modern look
- Authentic rubber bumpers
- Gray billiard cloth
- Sturdy design and easy assembly
- Foam padded legs
- Designed in the USA
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Affordable and high-quality
- Great for kids and adults
This 40-inch table is the best of all worlds. It’s small enough for kids to enjoy and large enough for adults to play on. It’s ideal for those with limited space and all it needs is a table large enough to hold its 40” x 20” size.
While other similar mini pool tables have small balls and lightweight cues, this Rally and Roar table features 1.37-inch balls and heavier cues for accuracy and feel. The balls have been precision designed and balanced for smooth play.
The bumpers are made with real rubber, just like high-quality, full-size tables. The frame is made with real wood and it’s incredibly easy to assemble. The legs have built-in padding so you don’t have to worry about scratching your tabletop.
It’s designed in the USA, and the customer service team is also located in the USA, in the unlikely event that you have an issue. Plus, they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The sleek and modern design of this mini pool table makes it a great addition to any game room. It’s also small enough that it’s easy to store when not in use.
The table comes with everything you need to play: two 36” cues, a full set of 1.37” billiard balls, a triangle rack, two cubes of chalk, and a table brush.
While some mini tables don’t have the “feel” of a full-size table, this one is designed to be as close to full-size play as possible. The ball size and balance, cue weight, authentic rubber bumpers, and smooth playing surface make for a feel similar to playing on a 7 or 8-foot table.