The Best Ping Pong Balls in 2021

Whether you are a recreational or professional ping pong player, having the right equipment will make the playing experience much better. And while many don’t consider having the best ping pong balls as important as having a good table or a reliable ping pong net, the quality of the balls is perhaps equally important.

With that in mind, we have decided to take a closer look at some of the best table tennis balls available on the market and offer our advice on how to choose the best ping pong balls.

butterfly a40 3 star table tennis balls
  • 3-Star Rating
  • Made from ABS Plastic
  • Have a Thin Seam
  • 40mm Diameter
  • ITTF and USATT Approved
CHECK PRICES

Without any doubt, Butterfly A40+ ping pong balls are the cream of the crop. These 3-star balls are meant for the biggest tournaments, including World Table Tennis Championship. Of course, they are approved by both ITTF and USATT. This product is available in packages of 3, 6 and 12 balls.

These ping pong balls are perfectly round and highly durable. They are a bit on the lighter side, or at least they feel that way during play. In this respect, they might feel similar to celluloid balls. One of the reasons for this could be the fact that the outer shell is thinner compared to other ABS balls.

A40+ offers great and consistent bounce paired with spin and speed. These balls have a very thin seam that makes them appear seamless. They don’t wobble during flight and, most importantly, they are as durable as they come. However, they do make a certain high-pitch noise on contact.

Pros:
  • Available in Different Packages
  • Made from High-Quality Plastic
  • Durable
  • Provide Consistent Bounce
  • Good Spin and Speed
  • Great for Professional Players
Cons:
  • Very Expensive
  • Produce a Noise when Hit

Nittaku 3-Star Premium 40+ Table Tennis Balls

The Best Ping Pong Balls for Professionals

nittaku 3-star premium 40 table tennis balls
  • 3-Star Rating
  • Made from Plastic Polystyrene (Poly)
  • Come with a Thin Seam
  • 40mm Diameter
  • ITTF Approved
CHECK PRICES

Nittaku is one of the most prominent manufacturers of table tennis balls, so it’s not a surprise that Premium 40+ balls are considered to be one of the best. In fact, when the ITTF announced a switch from celluloid balls to plastic balls, many manufacturers failed to deliver great quality in the beginning but not Nittaku.

These balls have been on top of the lists from the very start, back in 2015. They consistently delivered perfect roundness, consistent bounce and extraordinary durability. These balls don’t wobble in the air and they are quite fast as well. However, they won’t give you a lot of spin – they offer medium spin at best.

On the downside, Nittaku Premium 40+ are very expensive balls. And while usually everything is fine, some users have complained of receiving packages with some balls having a defect of some kind and not being perfectly round.

Pros:
  • Made from High-Quality Plastic
  • Durable
  • Provide Consistent Bounce
  • Great Speed
  • Ideal for Professional Players
Cons:
  • Very Expensive
  • Mediocre Spin
  • Some Reports of Defective Balls

Killerspin Hardball 4-Star ABS 40+

The Best Ping Pong Balls for Consistent Bounce

killerspin hardball 4-star abs 40
  • 4-Star Rating
  • Made from ABS Plastic
  • 40mm Diameter
  • ITTF Approved
CHECK PRICES

Although Killerspin rated these balls 4-star, you should keep in mind that 3-star balls are considered to be the highest quality and rating them more is simply the manufacturer’s desire to stand out. That being said, these balls are quite great and worth the money.

Made from Plastic Polystyrene, these balls adhere to all ITTF rules regarding weight, size and color, which means that they can be used in tournaments. They are also good for practice because they are very durable. They offer consistent bounce and solid speed and spin.

However, these balls do feel a bit heavier than other 40+ balls but that’s just a subjective feeling since the official weight is not far off the ITTF weight standards.

Pros:
  • Made from High-Quality Plastic
  • Durable
  • Provide Consistent Bounce
  • Good Speed and Spin
  • Good for Professional Players
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Only Come in One Package
  • Feel a Bit Heavy

STIGA 3-Star Superior-Quality Orange Table Tennis Balls

The Best Orange Ping Pong Balls

stiga 3-star superior-quality orange table tennis balls
  • 3-Star Rating
  • Made from Plastic Polystyrene (Poly)
  • 40mm Diameter
  • USATT Approved
CHECK PRICES

Unlike previous items on our list, these ping pong balls are orange and they are one of the best on the market. The package includes 6 ping pong balls that are USATT approved for tournament play but they are also good to use for practice purposes.

These balls are rated with 3-stars and they offer great quality when it comes to consistent bounce and good spin and speed, although they are not as fast as some other balls on our list. They are also lighter than standard ITTF-approved balls.

These balls are made from high-quality plastics and provide good control of the shots. However, there are some reports of poor durability of these balls, although the balls from the package we received proved to be quite durable.

Pros:
  • Made from High-Quality Plastic
  • Durable
  • Provide Consistent Bounce
  • Good Spin
  • Great Visibility
  • Good for Professional Players
Cons:
  • A Bit Expensive
  • Only Come in One Package
  • Lighter than Standard
  • A Bit Slow

PRO SPIN White 3-Star 40+ Ping Pong Balls

The Best Ping Pong Balls for Practice

pro spin ping pong balls white 3-star 40
  • 3-Star Rating
  • Made from ABS Plastic
  • Seamless
  • 40mm Diameter
CHECK PRICES

These ping pong balls adhere to ITTF standards regarding weight, size and color but they are not ITTF approved. That being said, they can be used in some tournaments but they are much better used for practice and casual play.

These seamless ping pong balls are quite durable and perform consistently, allowing you to hit your shots with good spin and speed. They offer consistent bounce and they don’t wobble in the air as some poorly made practice balls do.

That being said, the overall quality of these balls is not as high as our previous entries, which is luckily reflected in a bit lower price. If you need practice balls or if you are just starting out your ping pong career, they are a solid choice.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Made from High-Quality Plastic
  • Durable
  • Provide Consistent Bounce
  • Good Spin and Speed
  • Good for Beginners and Practice
Cons:
  • Not ITTF Approved
  • Average Overall Quality

JOOLA Training 3 Star Table Tennis Balls

Most Affordable Ping Pong Balls

joola training 3 star table tennis balls
  • 3-Star Rating
  • Made from ABS Plastic
  • Have a Thin Seam
  • 40mm Diameter
CHECK PRICES

These are one of the most popular ping pong balls on the market, especially for training purposes. They adhere to ITTF regulations regarding size, weight and color, although they are not ITTF approved for tournaments and official matches.

With a 3-star rating and great durability for practice balls, these ping pong balls offer a great performance all around. While they aren’t as good as official tournament balls, they still provide consistent bounce and solid spin and control.

That being said, some of these balls may not be perfectly round. Combined with the fact that they are not seamless, that may cause wobbling during flight in some cases. Some users also reported that the package itself was damaged during shipping.

Pros:
  • Very Affordable
  • Made from High-Quality Plastic
  • Durable
  • Provide Consistent Bounce
  • Solid Spin
  • Good for Beginners and Practice
Cons:
  • Not ITTF Approved
  • Average Overall Quality
  • Some Balls May Not Be Perfectly Round
  • Some Reports of Damaged Packaging

KEVENZ 60-Pack 3 Star Ping Pong Balls

The Best Ping Pong Balls to Buy in Bulk

kevenz 60-pack 3 star ping pong balls
  • 3-Star Rating
  • Made from ABS Plastic
  • Have a Thin Seam
  • 40mm Diameter
CHECK PRICES

If you are looking for ping pong balls that are perfect for training and cheap enough to buy them in bulk, KEVENZ 3-star ping pong balls might just be your perfect choice. With smooth seams and measurements that stick to ITTF rules, these balls allow you to get your game on and get ready for tournaments.

Of course, these training balls can’t really compare in quality with the more-expensive, official tournament balls but they do offer average overall quality. They have pretty consistent bounce and solid spin and speed but they are also a bit overweight.

In addition to this, there are some reports of getting a few damaged balls in the package, which is not that odd for a large package of 60 balls.

Pros:
  • Very Affordable
  • Made from High-Quality Plastic
  • Durable
  • Provide Consistent Bounce
  • Solid Spin
  • Good for Beginners and Practice
Cons:
  • Not ITTF Approved
  • Average Overall Quality
  • Some Reports of Damaged Packaging

How to Choose the Best Ping Pong Balls

While many ping pong players and enthusiasts will agree that choosing a ping pong paddle is more important than choosing ping pong balls, that opinion isn’t completely true. Ping pong balls can significantly vary in quality, which is important if you want to have the best playing experience.

Official Rules for Table Tennis Balls

Ping pong balls have changed a lot since the invention of table tennis at the start of the 20th century in England. For example, the first table tennis balls were made out of rubber and cork. Some people even played with golf balls or improvised balls of string.

However, as the sport advanced, there was a unification of the rules and the characteristics of ping pong balls were clearly defined. Today, official ping pong balls for tournaments have specific standards:

  • The ball should be spherical, with a 40mm diameter
  • The ball should weigh 2.7g
  • The ball should be made of celluloid or similar plastics material
  • The ball should be white or orange
  • The ball should have a matt finish

These standards are set by the International Table Tennis Federation, the highest authority on the matter.

Features to Consider When You Shop for Ping Pong Balls

We mentioned ITTF standards for table tennis balls but these rules are not important if you are a recreational player. They should only matter if you are a professional table tennis player but even then, you can get practice balls that are only slightly different if you don’t want to use expensive competition balls for practice.

So, let’s take a closer look at the most important things to consider when you look for ping pong balls.

Star Rating

One of the easiest ways to determine the quality of ping pong balls is to take a look at their star rating. Ping pong balls can have a star rating of 1 to 3 stars. However, keep in mind that this rating is given to the balls by manufacturers themselves and it may not always be honest.

Generally speaking, 1-star and 2-star balls are not as durable and they are usually cheaper and sold in mass packs of 100 or even 200 balls. These are not suitable for tournament play, although some of them may even satisfy some of the official rules. However, they can be a good choice for training and casual play.

Ping pong balls that have a rating of 3 stars are ITTF-approved and used in official games and tournaments. Some manufacturers may even add stars to their products to try and differentiate themselves from others but, basically, there is no difference between a 3-star rating and a 4-star or 5-star rating.

Materials

Table tennis balls have been made from celluloid for a long time and some manufacturers still use it, although it is pretty rare.

Instead, ping pong balls today are made from plastic, or Plastic Polystyrene, to be more specific. This material, also called Poly, makes the balls a bit heavier and provides more bounce. Also, it is environment-friendly.

On the downside, Poly balls offer less spin than celluloid balls. They are also more difficult to manufacture, which is why they are more expensive than celluloid balls.

Ping pong balls labeled “40+” are made from poly or plastic, while those labeled “40” are made from celluloid.

Size and Weight

We’ve said that ITTF requires official table tennis balls to be 40mm in diameter and to weigh 2.7 grams. However, ping pong balls don’t have to be made by those exact measurements – there is some leniency there.

For example, ping pong balls that weigh between 2.67 and 2.77 grams are accepted, as well as those with a diameter between 40mm and 40.5mm. Most manufacturers stick to these measurements.

That being said, 40mm ping pong balls have become standard fairly recently, after the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Before that, ping pong balls were 38mm in diameter and it is still possible to find some of them on the market since some recreational players still prefer them to 40mm balls.

Color

Ping pong balls come in two colors – orange and white. Most tournaments are played with white table tennis balls to provide better contrast for viewers.

Choose the color that will make the balls more visible against the background. For example, if you play in a room with white walls or a white floor, it is best to play with orange balls. Meanwhile, if the room is dark, white balls are the better choice.

How to Check the Quality of Ping Pong Balls

If you are buying ping pong balls in person, you can check their quality on the spot. However, if you are buying online, you will have to do it after you receive the package. There are two tests you can perform to check the quality of table tennis balls:

  • Spin Test – Place the ball on top of the ping pong table and spin it. When you do it, pay attention to the top of the ball to see whether the ball is wobbling. If it does wobble, it means that the ball is no perfectly round, which shouldn’t be the case with 3-star balls.
  • Hardness Test – Take the ball in your hand and press it with your fingers. Do it firmly and in different areas. The ball that is rated with 3 stars shouldn’t deform at all, while it is acceptable to notice slight but not permanent deformation for 1-star and 2-star balls. If the ball deforms permanently, it is of poor quality.

How to Care for Ping Pong Balls

You may not be overly concern about preserving ping pong balls if you buy them cheap and in bulk of 50 or 100 but if you go for balls of the highest quality, you may want to know how to extend their life.

The most important part of it is learning how to properly clean ping pong balls. However, you should also avoid leaving them in excessive heat or direct sunlight, as well as highly humid places.

How to Clean Ping Pong Balls

  • Apply water and wipe the ball with a damp cloth, tissue or cotton
  • Use circular motions when you wipe the ball
  • Don’t use soap or any kind of detergent
  • You can restore the grip of the ball with baking soda
  • After you clean it, dry it off

If you regularly clean your ping pong balls, your ping pong table will also remain as clean as a whistle.

Conclusion

Finding good ping pong balls is not that difficult, especially if you need them for practice or recreational play.

Hopefully, our guide was helpful enough and we’ve managed to assist you in finding the best ping pong balls for your needs.

About The Author

Vladimir Kovacevic

Vladimir is a former journalism student and an active freelance writer. He has a lifelong passion for sports, especially soccer, basketball and tennis. His basketball playing days ended after high school but he still likes to play hoops with his friends. Vladimir also likes to ride his bike at some of the most popular green areas in Belgrade, Serbia.

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