Best Ping Pong Balls (Updated in 2021!)

Finding the right ball is as important as finding the right paddle. But unlike searching for the perfect paddle, narrowing down the right, Ping Pong ball requires less work. The diameter, color, and material of the ball are the only factors that one needs to consider, which makes this a relatively simple search.

Nonetheless, the abundance of Ping Pong ball choices still makes this search a challenge. In this buyer’s guide, we’ve arranged a list of the best ping pong balls available on the market. 

  1. Nittaku Premium 40+ 
  2. XuShaoFa 40+ Seamless Poly
  3. Butterfly A40+
  4. Stiga 40 
  5. Kevenz 40+ 
  6. Mapol 40+ Training
  7. Joola 40+ 3-Star Training 

#1. Nittaku Premium 40+: Top Pick for Competitive Playing

Nittaku Premium 40+

ProsCons
Company’s rigorous testing assures qualityA little on the expensive side
Consistently excellent performance 
Lightweight

 

Specifications

 

  • Rating: 3-star
  • Performance (out of 10): Speed – 9 Spin – 8 Bounce – 9 Weight – 8
  • Size: 40 mm
  • Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Plastic
  • Color: White
  • ITTF and Japan Table Tennis Association (JTTA) Tournament Approved

The Nittaku Premium 40+ is suited for the advanced player who wants to experience what it’s like to play in the big leagues. The International Table Tennis Federation’s decision to shift from celluloid to plastic balls posed a challenge on manufacturers then, but Nittaku rose to the occasion. While most manufacturers struggled to create the perfect plastic ball in 2015, Nittaku outdid its competition by providing the best ping pong balls. Their competitors mostly ended up producing egg-shaped, inconsistently performing balls, but Nittaku was able to avoid producing low-quality ping pong balls. Nittaku made it a point to do rigorous quality testing before releasing, which certainly has an impact on the final quality of their product. 

Playing with this ball proves that plastic balls could perform as well as celluloid balls. Plastic balls tend to lose their bounce, and controlling trajectory poses quite a challenge. But even after a significant amount of playing time, this ball’s durability still holds up. It has a consistent and stable trajectory with a sufficient bounce and above-average spin. 

 

#2. XuShaoFa 40+ Seamless Poly

XuShaoFa 40+

ProsCons
The seamless technology accounts for its exceptional performance.Relatively heavier
Durability significantly improves as well, given that the ball has no weak spots.
The ball trajectory is more accurate.

 

Specifications

 

  • Rating: 3-star
  • Performance (out of 10): Speed – 7 Spin – 8 Bounce – 8 Weight – 7
  • Size: 40mm
  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Color: White
  • ITTF Tournament Approved

 

The XuShaoFa 40+ Seamless is fit for a player who prioritizes spin and durability. XuShaoFa is a relatively new brand, but that does not stop them from producing some of the best ping pong balls. Xu Shaofa, the player who lends his name to the brand, has been a staple name in table tennis, even regarded as one of the Top 5 Most Influential People in Sports of All-Time by China’s CCTV.

This ball is Xu’s most significant contribution to show his undying passion for the sport. The ball’s seamless technology removes the chances of unevenness in the ball, allowing for a more consistent bounce. This same technology also takes away the ball’s risk of having a weak spot, making it more durable than other balls.

Playing with this ball creates a different experience as well. The ball responds to impact better, with a trajectory that one can fully control. Moreover, the ball’s spins and bounces are better and more consistent than any other brand in the market.

Finally, it’s worth noting that this ping pong ball’s durability is outstanding. Even after copious amounts of playing time, the ball is still in pristine condition, not something one could say for other brands.

 

#3. Butterfly A40+ 

Butterfly A40+ 

ProsCons
Tournament approval assures qualityMakes a high-pitched noise upon contact
Durable
Lightweight

 

Specifications

 

  • Rating: 3-star
  • Performance (out of 10): Speed – 9 Spin – 8 Bounce – 8 Weight – 8
  • Size: 40mm
  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Color: White
  • International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and USA Table Tennis (USATT) Tournament Approved

 

The Butterly A40+ will allow you to play a faster game, thanks to its ample bounce and speed. This ball was officially used for both the 2018 and 2019 World Table Tennis Championships. The committee’s trust proves that this ball is one of the best ping pong balls out there and that its quality is exceptional enough to be used in the big leagues. 

Since the ITTF started preferring plastic over celluloid balls lately, Butterfly has been focused on producing high-quality plastic Ping Pong balls. The Butterfly A40+ certainly falls in that category. 

As for the playing experience with this ball, the A40+ has received rave reviews from table tennis players. The bounce, although it decreases as time passes, is impressive. Moreover, the ball’s durability can withstand many smashes, which is reasonable considering that this is not precisely one of the market’s cheaper variants.  

 

#4. Stiga 40

Stiga 40

ProsCons
The level of firmness is unparalleled by Stiga’s competitorsThis ball being more substantial than most might need some adjustment time
Celluloid makes for better ball control More expensive than other brands

 

Specifications

 

  • Rating: 3-star
  • Performance (out of 10): Speed – 8 Spin – 8 Bounce – 9 Weight – 7
  • Size: 40mm
  • Material: Celluloid
  • Color: Available in White and Orange
  • USATT Approved, within ITTF’s approved size and weight 

 

Stiga 40’s relatively heavier weight is suitable for beginners who still need to work on their control. Stiga is a Swiss company that has been producing quality equipment for table tennis since 1944. Their reputation for providing players with a wide range of consistently excellent materials makes them highly regarded as a trusted brand. 

It’s worth noting, however, that the Stiga 40’s celluloid material may be a downside to players looking for Ping Pong balls that are approved by the ITTF. Plastic balls have been the preferred over celluloid ones by the ITTF since 2011. Nonetheless, like any other product the brand offers, Stiga’s ping pong balls assures its players superior quality. The firmness of the Stiga 40 gives a predictable bounce and the capacity for fast volleys and powerful serves.

The celluloid gives this ball’s user better ball control, making this adaptable for all levels. This ball may lean on the heavier side, but that does provide the player with a bit more control in gameplay. 

 

#5. Kevenz 40+: Top Pick for Practice and Leisure Playing

Kevenz 40+

ProsCons
Super affordableNot tournament approved
Exceptionally durable for the price point 
Lightweight

 

Specifications

 

  • Rating: 3-star
  • Performance (out of 10): Speed – 8 Spin – 8 Bounce – 9 Weight – 8
  • Size: 40mm
  • Material: Plastic
  • Color: Orange
  • ITTF’s approved size and weight

 

Kevenz 40+ is the perfect traning ball for recreational players thanks to its affordable price point. Kevenz is a company based in California that is an affiliate of Shenzhen Kewooo Sports Goods Co. Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer, and distributor of assorted goods. Kevenz is the sole authorized distributor of Shenzhen’s products in the US and has mainly focused on its eCommerce customer base.

This brand is probably one of the cheapest brands out there, but make no mistake, the quality is far from substandard. It performs beyond users’ expectations for its price point, giving enough bounce and ball control apt for practice and leisure games.

This ping pong ball is hollow, but it only makes controlling the ball more natural, with an exceptional bounce to compliment it. The thick wall makes up for its hollow center, though, which still makes this brand durable enough to withstand a lot of pressure.

While this ball is not tournament qualified, users may find its performance and quality suitable for recreational use.

 

#6. Mapol 40+ Training

Mapol 40+

ProsCons
Super affordable and comes in bulk packagesWith the cheap price tag comes the slightly disappointing durability
Great for practice and leisure gamesRelatively unknown brand
Playability is fit for intermediate to professional players.

 

Specifications

 

  • Rating: 3-star
  • Performance (out of 10): Speed – 8 Spin – 10 Bounce – 9 Weight – 8
  • Size: 40mm
  • Material: Plastic
  • Color: Orange
  • Within ITTF’s approved size and weight

 

While Mapol has yet to establish itself as a brand to rely on for ping pong balls, this offering seems to deliver more than enough for its price range.

With its affordable bulk packages, the Mapol 40+ an excellent competitor for Kevenz 40+, although the Mapol could certainly work on its durability. 

Performance-wise though, this ball works well as a training ball, giving the player an impressive response rate and an exceptional bounce. It’s worth noting that the ball only comes in the color white, which may make for visibility issues. 

While it is not tournament approved, its affordability makes this ball worth using for recreational, non-competitive play.  

 

#7. Joola 40+ 3-Star Training 

Joola 40+

ProsCons
Established brand The advanced player might not appreciate the speed
Durable enough for practice games
Playability is fit for beginners to advanced players.

 

Specifications

 

  • Rating: 3-star
  • Performance (out of 10): Speed – 6 Spin – 8 Bounce – 7 Weight – 8
  • Size: 40mm
  • Material: Celluloid
  • Color: Available in White and Orange
  • Within ITTF’s approved size and weight

Since 1952, Joola has been proving itself to a reliable brand for table tennis equipment. The alliance with the North American Table Tennis (NATT) early on shows that this brand could be excellent enough to be in the tournament scene. Joola became one of the table tennis community’s most trusted brands as they are to produce tables, paddles, and balls of top tier quality. The USATT’s decision to chose Joola to become the official table sponsor at the US Open and National Championships simply affirmed its exceptional quality. 

The Joola 40+ 3-Star Training is a clear testament to this, as its design caters to withstand intensive one-on-one training sessions. The durability is astounding as well, considering how it could last despite the intense usage of players. Users have also appreciated its exceptional quality, for playing with it already feels like playing in the pro leagues.  

While the celluloid material makes this ball durable, unlike most training balls, this variant by Joola does not offer as much speed. It works for players who prioritize ball control more than anything. The ball grip is impressive enough to get more than decent spins as well bounce. 

 

Top Pick: Nittaku Premium 40+

Nittaku Premium 40+

 

 

Nittaku Premium 40+ is our pick for competitive play, ultimately because of its unparalleled quality. This ping pong ball’s performance confirms the company’s dedication to providing nothing less than excellent equipment. Moreover, Nittaku’s decision to use environmentally friendly materials in its Ping Pong balls also factored into the Nittaku Premium 40+’s selection as the top pick. Finally, Stiga 40’s use of non-ITTF approved material (i.e. celluloid) is another reason why we’re picking the Nittaku over the Stiga 40.  

Although the XuShaoFa+ Seamless Poly is a close second, the weight difference between the two made this writer go for the Nittaku Premium 40+. The weight Nittaku Premium 40+ would take less adjustment time than Xu’s relatively massive ball.

Choosing the Right Ping Pong Ball

Ping Pong balls have star ratings to classify them according to durability. Three as the highest possible score entails that the ball could relatively withstand tedious amounts of playing time. Ping Pong balls that are included with the usual paddle set usually have low star ratings, which is indicative of their lack of durability. 

Although the ITTF has endorsed plastic balls over celluloid ones, some celluloid balls are still available in the market for purchase. The speed and amount of bounce are significantly higher in plastic balls, which helps in fast rallies at players who do not require much spin power. 

Another factor to consider is the size of the ball. ITTF standards require 40mm-diameter balls, but for the recreational player who wants a faster game with a higher spin rate, 38mm balls would be a better fit. 

Overall, deciding on the type of ball to use depends on the intensity of the game a person would play. Start there, and the decision-making process flows more naturally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What made the ITTF decide against the use of celluloid balls?

A: Aside from celluloid nearly becoming obsolete, its flammability became a factor in using plastic balls instead. The creation of these balls also posed harmful effects on the health workers, and many countries prohibited its manufacturing. Playing with celluloid balls also made the games relatively slower; with plastic balls, the game has become faster-paced increasing its appeal to its viewers

Q: What is the standard material for ping pong balls?

A: While the ITTF prefers plastic balls for tournaments, the requirements are more rigid on the weight, size, thickness, color, shape, and hardness. Tournament approved ping pong balls must be uniform in all those aspects, but other materials are viable for recreational use. Innovations for ping pong balls are said to be open for consideration by the ITTF as long as there are proper research and testing.

Q: Are 40mm plastic balls bigger than celluloid balls?

A: The ITTF has become more understanding of this issue because plastic balls are, in fact, more prominent than celluloid ones by more or less 0.5 millimeters. The diameter acceptable for tournament use is between 40 – 40.6 mm.

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