The right Table Tennis Balls for you

The main deciding factors for choosing which balls to use are Quality, Durability and and whether they are good Value.

Star ratings:

Table tennis or Ping pong balls have a star rating, ranging from 3 star to no star. The 3 star rating means the balls are of the highest and most consistent quality and (assuming it is ITTF approved) it should be within the stipulated  parameters that the ITTF specify. Although 3 star balls without ITTF approval status are generally still good balls, there is no guarantee since they manufacturers don’t need to justify their ratings to anyone!

The 1 and 2 star balls are generally still decent quality, and are often the discarded balls from a 3 star production run, because (after tight quality control checks) they are just outside the specification of the ITTF. However there is no reason why they can’t be made using a cheaper production method that make inferior balls, as there is no approval process for these balls. In general I have found these balls of quite adequate quality, good enough for social play or basic practice.

With no-star balls there are no quality checks required at all, and some are of very poor quality. Since the cost of 1 or 2 stars balls is usually only a little more than no-star balls, it’s probably well worth the extra few dollars.


The legal colours as stipulated by the ITTF are white and orange. I have not found there to be significant performance difference between the colours… any significant differences are more likely to be because of a different manufacturing runs, then the actual colour. The colour chosen for a particular event or venue may be related to the background of the floors or walls (although for ITTF endorced events there are restricition on the colour of wall and floors as well). More commonly the ITTF decides what colour to use for future events, and most table tennis organizations tend to follow suit.




Well they don’t make them like they used, that’s for sure! These days balls can be expected to last for a only few session (if that!), after which they are often worn or develop small cracks. As soon as there is the slightest crack in the ball, it’s well worth changing over, since the gas inside escapes, making the ball softer and less bouncy.

Some brands of balls last longer than other, and there are often significant variations from the same balls from one batch to another. Generally the 3 star balls are more durable, but this is only a general guide. Check out the reviews and poll to see which balls the players think are the best value for money.

Note: You might also reduce the lifetime of a ball by playing on concrete floors, but this should affect all balls, not just a specific brand.



If you want to be serious, and want to improve and play competition, there is little choice, you really should use 3 star balls. However if you only play socially, or want to practice serves or drills, then 1 or 2 star balls are usually good enough. This will save you quite a bit of money since with practice drills you usually step on a lot more balls. I would not recommend to no-star balls, unless it’s a very casual muck around, like outside or perhaps with a group of kids.

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Click here for pricing on Table Tennis Balls from Megaspin

See also:

Table Tennis Balls Part 1 – Manufacturing

Table Tennis Balls Part 3 – Most Popular and best value balls