Best Pool Tables for your Man Cave

Man Cave Pool Table

Are you looking for a great man cave pool table? Here are some of the best options currently available, as well as some additional information to help you decide between them. Pool tables may look the same from the outside, but they do have plenty of features that can set them apart from each other.

Pool Table

How To Choose A Pool Table

Pool table man cave setups vary, but the first and most thing to consider is the size. Pool tables do vary in size, though most fall into one of four popular sizing options. These are:

  • 7 feet
  • 8 feet
  • 8.5 feet
  • 9 feet

Smaller and larger tables do exist, but most people do not buy those.

All regulation-style pool tables have a 2:1 size ratio, which means they’re twice as long as they are wide. The rims of pool tables may vary further based on factors like what extras come with the table, but most don’t go past a few inches.

Every foot matters when you’re designing a man cave, so make sure to measure your space before going shopping.

Pool Tables vs. Billiards Tables

While people often associate these products with each other, and companies may even use the names interchangeably, pool tables are not the same as billiards tables. Pool tables have six pockets, and many modern tables have a manual or automated ball return system that deposits all of the balls together.

It’s always better to have a ball return system when possible. While pool tables without ball returns are a little cheaper, the pockets can fill up and require emptying mid-game. This is noticeably less fun for most players.

Billiard tables do not have pockets, which makes identifying them on sight easy. That said, some tables may have removable inserts that you can use to convert a pool table into a billiards table, so you don’t necessarily have to buy two tables if you want to play both types of games.

Common Features Of Pool Tables

Here are the most common features you may see when shopping for a man cave pool table.

Covers

Pool tables sometimes come with hard covers that match the table’s main material, usually some type of wood. These covers allow for easy conversion between gaming table and regular table, allowing you to eat, prop your feet up, or otherwise enjoy using your pool table for other things.

We don’t recommend doing shop work on top of a pool table, even if you have a hardwood cover on it, but these covers do support most other activities.

Style

Most pool tables sold in the United States are, unsurprisingly, known as American tables. These types of pool tables are a little larger than their main competitors. More notably, they also tend to have wide corner pockets and narrow center pockets.

English pool tables are rarer (unless you’re in England, of course) and have a reverse pocket design from American tables. That is, the corner pockets tend to be narrower, while the middle pockets tend to be wider. This can have a significant impact on strategies during a game, so deciding between them is important.

We recommend getting the American style because that’s what most people you invite over are likely to be familiar with. 

Commercial Tables

Commercial tables are more expensive than a traditional man cave pool table, but they also have more options. For example, you may have push-button operation, coin payment systems, or other features. Commercial tables also tend to have better ball return systems and may have storage cabinets or other decorative features.

Bed Materials

Pool tables usually use one of two bed materials, either of which can be covered by the traditional green cloth.

The most affordable option, and what you’re likely to see while shopping, is an MDF bed. This acronym stands for medium-density fiberboard, which is a type of durable wood mix shaped into boards. However, while it’s light and easy to ship, MDF can also warp over time and won’t play as true. If you want to play pool regularly for a long time, do not buy an MDF bed.

The other common bed material is slate. While it’s heavier and more expensive than MDF, it’s also fundamentally better because it will not change or deteriorate over time. This is the bed style you’ll see in any professional or commercial environment, such as pubs or pool halls.

We recommend getting a slate bed if you can afford it. Remember that you do not have to replace the entire bed if the cloth on top gets worn. You can fit a new cloth over the top without much difficulty.

best pool table

Pricing

Pool tables have an extremely wide pricing range compared to many other types of products. Knowing the categories is essential for getting the best table for your family.

$100-$1200: Toy Tables

Toy-tables are the cheapest versions of pool tables. They rarely go below $100 and typically use plastic, wood laminate, or other cheap materials to keep costs down. While these aren’t anywhere near commercial-grade, they are worth considering if you only want to play a few games every now and then and don’t need heavy use.

$1200-$2000: Basic Tables

Basic tables are made of wood but typically last for at least a decade without issue. They tend to be heavier and more solid than other tables, and this is where you’ll start to see decent ball return systems. With refurbishing, basic tables can last considerably longer.

$2000-$3500: Mid-Range Tables

Mid-range tables are a significant upgrade over basic tables. They also come in many more styles to help match the decor of your man cave. These are a good choice for lifetime investments, and you can often pass them down to your kids.

$3500+: Heirloom/Commercial Tables

These are the best tables. Heirloom tables are generational products meant for your children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren to enjoy, which is why they’re heavier and more durable than others. Commercial tables also tend to fall into this price range.


Best Overall: Olhausen Billiards 8 ft. Belmont Pool Table

Olhausen Belmont Pool table

While this heirloom-level table is expensive, it’s also extremely high-quality. It includes your choice of many cloth colors to match the rest of your man cave, and more importantly, it has professional installation from the dealer included in the purchase. That’s good because it weighs about 650 pounds.

Pros:

  • A top-quality product that’s worth the price
  • Excellent customer service
  • Flexible installation plans to ensure it can get into your man cave
  • Comes with diamond-honed slate surfaces for accuracy

Cons:

  • Significantly more expensive than the other options on this list
  • Too heavy for some locations
  • Could come with more accessories for the price

Best Budget Table: RACK Draco 7-foot Table

Rack Draco pool table

RACK’s Draco Pool Table is still relatively expensive, but it’s far more affordable than the Olhausen above. Oversized leg levelers make it easy to adjust this table to different flooring environments, while the professional-grade felt offers a bold appearance.

Pros:

  • Excellent table for the price range
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Weighs 282 pounds, which is sturdy enough to support people
  • Has a scratch-resistant coating

Cons:

  • The exterior looks fundamentally cheaper than real wood
  • Smaller than most professional-style pool tables
  • An awkward middle ground between price and quality

Best Mini Table: Goplus 48-inch Billiard Table

Far smaller than a regulation-size table, this miniature pool table is great for cramped man caves or casual games where you just want to have fun. The Goplus Billiard Table offers…

Pros:

  • Far more affordable than a full-size table
  • Excellent starter table for anyone who wants to practice before investing in a full table
  • One of the best pool table options if you want to play with kids

Cons:

  • Not a regulation-size table
  • Not as durable as a proper table
  • No ball return system

Best Folding Table: GLD Products Fat Cat Trueshot Pool Table

Fat Cat Trueshot pool table

Sometimes portability is the most important factor when you’re designing a man cave with pool table options. GLD Products’ Fat Cat Trueshot is a 6-foot pool table (which makes it slightly smaller than regulation), built on easy-folding metal legs.

Pros:

  • You can store it when you’re not using it
  • It’s surprisingly durable for its design
  • Good for newcomers

Cons:

  • Weighs 114 pounds, so it’s not as portable as it looks
  • Not as sturdy as a proper wooden table
  • A little smaller than a proper table

Best Multi-Game Table: RACK Scorpius Pool Table

Rack scorpius pool table

Tack scores another one on our list with the Scopius model – this pool table is a decent option in its own right and on the high end of the toy table pricing range. However, what sets it apart from the other options on this list is the two-piece table tennis top that slides under the main body of the pool table, giving it added flexibility for other types of games. The Rack Scorpius pool table features…

Pros:

  • Allows you to play games besides pool
  • Comes in a stylish red-and-blue color scheme
  • Uses oversize leg levelers

Cons:

  • The table tennis part weighs about 70 pounds, making it hard to set up alone
  • Does not support angles table tennis play

Conclusion

The Olhausen billiards table is easily the best product on this list. It’s full-sized, sturdy, and designed for regular use over decades of play. However, it’s also much heavier (and more expensive) than most people want for a man cave. If you’re looking for a “regular” table instead of a premium option, look at the RACK Draco instead. If you’re looking at turning in that old foosball table for a new billiards table, we have you covered there too.


About the author


The staff at ThatHelpfulDad says thanks to our friends at Beyond Yard for writing this guest post article.  Beyond Yard is a site all about grilling and backyard fun so if you enjoyed this write-up be sure to check out their site to learn more.


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