Oh, balls! Which ping pong balls need to I choose? If you’ve found this page, opportunities are this is what you’re trying to number out ideal now. Stick v us since we’ve got you covered: find out all around the different types of ping pong ball and how come pick the finest balls for her table tennis game. Let’s jump right into it.

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What room the main ping pong sphere regulations?Ping pong round colorTable tennis sphere plastic explainedCelluloid vs plastic ballsSeamed vs seamless ping pong ballsPing pong ball star ratings explained

Short Answer: best Table Tennis Balls (2021)

What is a ping pong ball?

A ping pong sphere is a lightweight, hole plastic ball offered in the sports of table tennis.

More than discovering the dictionary definition of a table tennis ball, you require to understand what they’re made of, how they’re designed and the main regulations governing your use.

Funnily enough, players often spend a many time (and method more money) choosing the ideal ping pong paddle, but fully overlook gaining the right balls. Playing with cheap table tennis balls is well if you’re simply messing around, but if you’re interested in boosting your game then you’ll need the ideal balls for the job.

What are the official ping pong round regulations?

All table tennis balls, as identified by the global Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) handbook (https://www.ittf.com/handbook/), room subject to 5 regulations:

The ball shall it is in spherical, with a diameter the 40mmThe round shall sweet 2.7gThe round shall be made that celluloid or comparable plastics materialThe round shall it is in white or orangeThe sphere shall have actually a matt finish

Ping pong ball size

Official tournament table tennis balls space 40mm in diameter (1.57 inch).

Most of the balls you uncover on the market will be this conventional tournament size, but you’ll likewise find 38mm (1.5 inch) balls because that sale, favor these Franklin sporting activities 38mm table tennis balls.

38mm ping pong balls space faster and also provide an ext spin 보다 40mm balls. The 40mm only came to be the conventional after the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and some football player still like 38mm balls.

If you’re playing through friends or recreationally, try both 38mm and 40mm balls and see which friend prefer.

Ping pong sphere weight

ITTF-approved table tennis balls need to weigh 2.7g. Yet there’s an accepted tolerance that between 2.67 and 2.77g.

Lighter ping pong balls space slower and more likely to wobble, whereas more heavier balls are quicker and an ext stable in your trajectory.

If you’re a beginner, go for the most difficult ping pong balls friend can find that is as close to 2.77g together possible. For example, these KEVENZ balls load 2.75g.

Ping pong ball color

A white table tennis sphere in usage by Canadian player Eugene Wang at the Rio 2019 Olympic Games

Table tennis balls can only be white or orange.

It’s assumed that these colors have actually the greatest comparison with most backgrounds, making the ball less complicated to spot during play.

Some players choose to use orange balls during training and also then switch to white balls throughout tournaments, but there’s no rule around this. You can use white or orange balls at any kind of time. But there’s one an ext rule come take keep in mind of: before an official tournament, you and also your adversary must agree on i m sorry balls to use, and also the ball have to be sufficiently different in shade to her clothing:

The main colour of a shirt, dress or shorts, other than sleeves and also collar that a shirts shall be clearly different from the of the round in use

Showing as much as a table tennis complement wearing fluorescent orange and also wanting to play with orange balls isn’t going to be a effective strategy!

White balls are usually used during televised tournaments because they provide better contrast because that viewers.

At the end of the day, color won’t affect the performance of any ping pong ball, however having color contrast v the background of the room you’re playing in and also the clothes of your opponent will assist you clues the ball and also react quicker.

Quick answer: what color ping pong balls shall i buy?

Pick balls that contrast with her environment. If girlfriend play ping pong in a room v white wall surfaces or flooring, choose orange balls. If you play in darker areas, walk for white ping pong balls.

What’s within a ping pong ball?

Surprisingly, there’s nothing within a table tennis ball aside from regular air. There’s a misconception the each ball have to be filled through flammable gas due to the fact that they burn so wildly, however it’s in reality the flammable celluloid plastic that causes ping pong balls to capture fire.

Table tennis round plastic explained

What’s a ping pong ball made from?

Short answer: table tennis balls are made from plastic.

But there are plenty of different types of plastic, and ping pong ball building and construction has readjusted significantly in the last couple of years. Let’s break it down…

Table tennis balls have traditionally been made native celluloid, a kind of transparent flammable plastic do in sheets indigenous camphor and nitrocellulose. Yes, it’s the same kind of plastic provided in old 35mm film. In 2014, the ITTF expanded their selection of accepted materials to incorporate other plastics, and gave manufacturers freedom to innovate and develop brand-new table tennis balls.

Officially, both celluloid and also non-celluloid ping pong balls are permitted by the ITTF, but celluloid balls space expected to decrease in popularity since they are more expensive to produce and cause troubles for manufacturers (like being incredibly flammable, because that example!).

So what does this all median for you as a player trying to buy the ideal balls? It way you have a most choice. There room a pair of differences in between celluloid and also non-celluloid ping pong balls; crucially more recent plastic balls have the right to be made through a seam or completely seamless.

Celluloid vs plastic balls


As you deserve to see in the above chart (Source: ITTF Plastic round Q and A), there room a few differences between celluloid and plastic balls, and plastic balls through a seam and also seamless balls. If you’re interested in learning much more about the physics the table tennis balls, this research file from the newspaper of human being Kinetics go a an excellent job of compare the power of celluloid and plastic balls.

According to USA Table Tennis, plastic balls room thought to it is in slower than celluloid balls, due to their material difference and also slightly increased size. Plastic balls also carry out less spin for players, as plastic is a stiffer product than celluloid.

Let your playing format inform your choices. The best way to figure out if you like celluloid or plastic ping pong balls is to shot both.

Best celluloid ping pong balls

It’s getting harder and also harder to uncover celluloid table tennis balls ~ above the market, yet there space still part premium manufacturers like Japanese professional Nittaku make them.


✅ Nittaku Premium 3-Star Celluloid Balls

Tip: celluloid balls are significant with a “40”.

Best plastic ping pong balls


✅ Nittaku Premium 3-Star Plastic Ping Pong Balls

Tip: plastic balls are likewise called “poly” or significant “40+”.

Seamed vs seamless ping pong balls

As us briefly touch on above, the newer plastic table tennis balls deserve to be made with or without a seam, whereas celluloid ping pong balls must have a seam.

What is the difference in between seamless and seamed table tennis balls?

There a couple of differences in between seamed and also seamless ping pong balls: smooth balls are an ext durable because they don’t have actually a weak suggest at the seam. Smooth balls are hard to find, however some players think they offer a similar playing endure to cellulose balls.

Here are few of the potential benefits you can expect native a seamless table tennis ball, follow to Baal from TableTennisDaily:

Among the plastic balls, the XuShaoFa (XSF) ITTF approved ball is clearly a exceptional product…. I would certainly actually say vastly superior. This is due to the fact that unlike every one of the Chinese seamed balls, the bounce is together high together celluloid. They administer a consistent playing quality. Your roundness is additionally superior. And there is certain no comparison regarding durability, the XSF balls critical much longer than any kind of other plastic ball.

Best seamless ping pong balls


✅ XuShaoFa (XFS) 40+ smooth Poly Table Tennis Balls

Best seamed ping pong balls


✅ Butterfly A40+ 3 Star Table Tennis Balls

Seamed table tennis balls can be do from celluloid or plastic. Plenty of of the cheaper balls you’ll uncover online room plastic balls.

While plastic seamed balls room not always revered, they are widely used and chances room you’ll be making use of them in tournaments or at your neighborhood table tennis club. If you’re serious around ping pong, it’s a an excellent idea to exercise with the form of sphere you’ll it is in using versus opponents, and plastic seamed balls have tendency to be the many popular.

Case in point: for the critical 3 years, seamed plastic balls have been the official balls that the people Table Tennis Championships (Butterfly’s balls in 2018 and also 2019, and also NITTAKU Premium 40+ balls in 2017).

Ping pong ball star ratings explained

You can be wonder what the stars average on ping pong balls. It’s simple: stars show quality. 3 stars is the preferably rating, representing the greatest quality balls. 1-star or no-star table tennis balls will be of lower quality.

As lengthy as the balls match the required regulations (size, load etc), the star rating does not matter when it comes to using balls in a tournament. It all comes under to durability: 1-star and 2-star ping pong balls tend to it is in less resilient than 3-star balls and also are far better suited come training or casual games.

However, manufacturers collection their own star-rating guidelines and there room still plenty of cheap 3-star table tennis balls on the industry (like this load of 50 KEVENZ 3-star balls) that room not as exceptional as other alternatives (like these smooth 3-star ping pong balls native XuShoaFa). Also in the 3-star ball market, there’s many of sport in top quality and an ext often than not you gain what you pay for so take it the brand reputation into account as soon as making a decision. If a brand only sell 3-star ping pong balls, there’s no means to compare them to any type of other ball.

Are there 4 or 5 star ping pong balls?

There is no such point as a 4 or 5 star ping pong ball. The maximum top quality rating is 3 stars. However, since star ratings room awarded by manufacturers themselves and also there is merged standard, there’s nothing stopping someone calling your balls “4-star” or “5-star”.

What is a 40+ ping pong ball?

A table tennis round labeled as “40+” is made native poly or plastic, no celluloid. Vice versa, a ping pong ball marked “40” is make from celluloid.

Best ping pong round brands

Most that the finest table tennis brands are from China and also Japan, together the sport and subsequent industry is huge there. Here are the optimal brands, many of i beg your pardon we’ve already touched top top earlier:

NittakuButterflyXuShaoFaFranklin SportsSTIGA

ITTF-Approved table tennis balls

For the full list that ITTF-approved ping pong balls, describe the ITTF website.

In 2021, the main list consists of 112 various balls: here is a selection that you deserve to easily find for sale virtual today:

Now it’s as much as you…

You now understand all you have to know about ping pong balls. It can seem how amazing complicated, provided the volume of options on the market, but, ultimately, over there are just a couple of decisions to be made: orange or white, plastic or celluloid, seamed or seamless. Try them all and you’ll have found a brand-new favorite in no time.

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Also in search of a new table tennis racket? review our guide to the best ping pong paddles in 2021.