Easy to learn, but difficult to master, pool is undoubtedly one of the most popular casual sports. That satisfying clink of hearing the 8-ball drop into a pocket is like anything else. Whether you’re a relative novice or seasoned pool shark, it’s fun to imaging playing like the pros. But why waste time and money going to the local pool hall , when where you really want to be playing is in the comfort of your own home?
Part-entertainment and part-status symbol, a pool table would make a fantastic addition to your game room, den, or man cave. But buying a table can be a major investment, and when you’re looking for the best, it’s important to know exactly what you’re spending your money on. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up a list of the best pool tables in the world—regardless of budget—so whether you’re looking to get serious about your hobby or just want a stunning conversation piece, we’ve got it covered.
When you think of the typical pool table, it’s probably a Mizerak that comes to mind. This classic pool table is a staple of the sport and is the perfect option if you’re a first-timer looking to get acquainted with the game.
With a space-saving design and built on an MDF playbed, there’s no doubt that the Mizerak Dynasty is a budget table. Still, it is exceptionally durable thanks to its nylon cloth surface and can easily blend with any interior décor thanks to a matte wooden design.
The table also includes some nifty features like an automatic ball return system, which allows players to quickly reset games without wasting time. It even comes complete with balls, cues, and all the essentials to get started right out of the box. It may not quite be Olympic standard, but the Mizerak Dynasty could be the dream gift for a teenager or young person.
A definite departure from the norm, the G-1 provides the perfect way to stylishly sink into the world of pool. The ultra-sleek glass structure of this table makes it perfect for a modern home or corporate setting. Looking to wow employees and clients alike? The G-1 will do just that.
A glass structure might sound fragile, but the surface is built on a 15mm-thick layer of specially-toughened glass. A lighter and more modern alternative to the slate found in other tables, it’s still sturdy enough to handle all the trick shots you can dream up and even enough to play a legitimate game.
Of course, a ball wouldn’t roll properly on glass, which is why the G-1 features a Vitrik surface that fully replicates the classic feel of a standard cloth-surface table while also providing a cushion for the glass below. To complete the premium look, the G-1 features a fully-exposed ball return system, making it the “skeleton watch” of pool tables.
There’s no denying that pool tables are pretty sizable items of furniture, and it could be difficult to fit one into a small apartment. That being said, it doesn’t mean you have to go without owning a pool table.
A “fusion” table can act as your normal dining table during the day, and by night can transform into a fully-fledged, custom-built pool table. There’s never been an easier way to have a game night of dinner and pool to impress your friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
The dual functionality also makes it a fantastic choice for a small den or bar area, especially if you worry about friends leaving drinks on the table surface. Keep the top on while the drinks are flowing freely, then insist on coasters when the games begin!
For pool purists, manufacturers like Olhausen offer tables that simply outperform the competition. With the Grand Champion III, you’re getting Olhausen’s best offering with Uniliner support and Accufast cushions.
Built with the best materials—including Poplar wood—and a meticulous attention to detail, this table oozes professional quality. If you’re serious about the game, you seriously need to consider this table.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a Grand Champion yet, Olhausen has a number of other options available, from timeless looks to modern designs. They offer customization options from the type of wood to the type of finish, so you can design the exact table of your dreams.
For the tech-minded pool fan with more money than he knows what to do with, there’s the Obscura Cuelight. Not only is it not cheap, the price of $205,000 means this table alone is worth more than most people’s annual salaries. Of course, the jealous look on your boss’s face would be priceless, wouldn’t it?
The Cuelight is actually an otherwise normal table—albeit one that’s valued at $125,000—outfitted with an $80,000 array of sensors and a one-of-a-kind projection system that allows you to choose from special effects like “Mercury” and “Inferno”. Each ball is individually tracked around the table and accompanied by ripple effects or fiery blazes.
And in this case, one-of-a-kind isn’t hyperbole. It was produced for the 2009 Esquire’s Ultimate Bachelor Pad, which means it’s not really available for public consumption. Then again, if you showed up at Obscura’s doorstep with a pile of cash, they might consider making an exception.
The name of this pool table alone conveys elegance, and elegance is the very word that describes it. This 9-ft table is a behemoth, and it has the quality construction needed to last for ages. A professional-quality table that rivals the Olhausen Grand Champion III, this pool table features Brunswick certified premium slate and a 3.5” thick base of solid mahogany.
Brunswick Gold Crown Billiards Table
From a player’s standpoint, Brunswick offers its unique 75/25 CONTENDER series woolen cloth blend that provides a smooth, knot-free surface. Plus, with SuperSpeed cushions that have been the industry standard for the past 70 years, you’ll hit the perfect angles every time.
At just under $10,000, this table will set you back a pretty penny, but it’s hard to say it’s not worth it.
A vertically-integrated company, Presidential Billiards is able to offer superior quality tables without the middleman mark-up. All of their tables are built with a strong crossbeam frame supporting a 1”-thick, diamond-honed slab of slate. Diamond-ground to precision within ten-thousandths of an inch, every table is ready for a lifetime of perfect playability.
The Ashbury by Presidential Billiards mixes unique—yet minimalist—styling with an elegant, all-birch frame. Finished with a deep espresso stain and available with a dining top conversion option, it looks so good you might be tempted to replace your dining table outright. Regardless, you’ll have a work of art to display proudly and to hone your pool-playing skills.
Time to Get Playing
Quality comes in many forms, and at the end of the day you’ll have to choose what combination of looks, features, and price matters to you. The best news for you as a buyer, though, is that the marketplace is competitive and filled with top-notch options. Whether you’re just starting out with a Mizerak table or are ready to splurge on something from Olhausen or Brunswick, know that your investment will bring generations of fun to you and your family.