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How to Choose and Buy Best Ping Pong Balls?

It is important for you to choose some best ping pong balls if you are serious about playing this sport. You can’t play the game at all without having a ping pong ball.

Every accessory used in ping pong game affects the overall game. Different accessories give different experiences to the game. Professional players can be very fussy in their choice of accessories and may take time to examine accessories up to the last degree, gram and inch.

This is because professional players understand the effect different dimensions add to the game of ping pong. Beginners do not need to be particular, they may even find simpler accessories serve them better and allow them to get accustomed to the game. The ball is an important part of the ping pong game.

What is the Diameter of a Ping Pong Ball?

The standard dimensions of a ping pong ball should feature a 40-mm size. The visible difference among the balls is measure on the shell thickness. Even though most of the balls are made of good quality, some reputable manufacturers are able to come out with premium quality balls that can hold up against the intense competition.

Circumference of a ping pong ball in:

  • mm: 40
  • cm: 4.0
  • inches: 1.57″

Do ping pong balls come in different sizes?

In a professional tournament, the ball must have certain specific dimensions. The current rules state that the ball must be 40mm in diameter. This was changed from an old rule that required the diameter of the ball to be 38mm.

The new dimensions slowed down the ball and made it visible to the TV audience. The market has many balls that come in many different sizes. Some people prefer variation in sizes because it makes the game more dynamic. It also allows a beginner to train with a slower ball until he can learn to play faster.

What is a 40+ table tennis ball?

In the year between 2014-2015, a new type of ball that is made with non-flammable plastic material was introduced to the table tennis world.  The ball is known as plastic ball, and some are calling it as 40+ ball or poly ball.

These balls are a bit bigger than the 40mm celluloid balls and that’s the reason why some people are calling them 40+ balls.

What Do Stars On Ping Pong Balls Mean?

As a buyer, you should look out for star ratings written on the ball. A rating of three stars represents tournament level quality and is the highest quality of the ball in the market.

Fewer star ratings indicate a lower quality than what is allowed in professional tournaments. These balls are cheaper than 3 star balls, but wear off very quickly.

Star Rating of the Balls

The ball has categorized in different quality with the star showing on the ball.

  • 1-star for practice balls.
  • 2-star for training balls.
  • 3-star for professional tournament balls.

There are some manufacturers come out with 4-star and 5-star balls but they are not in reality rated above 3-star. Because according to ITTF, 3-star is the highest and most consistent quality.


  • The weight is between 2.53 and 2.64g.
  • The roundness error is less than 0.15mm.
  • The hardness value is less than 0.80mm.


  • The weight is between 2.40 and 2.53g.
  • The roundness error is less than 0.25mm.
  • The hardness value is less than 0.90mm.


  • The weight is between 2.35 and 2.63g.
  • The roundness error is less than 0.25mm.
  • The hardness value is 1.10mm.
Desc 1-star 2-star 3-star
Purpose For practice For training For tournament
Weight 2.35 – 2.63g 2.40 – 2.53g 2.64 – 2.53g
Roundness Error < 0.25mm < 0.25mm < 0.15mm
Hardness Value 1.10mm 0.90mm 0.80mm

What Is Ping Pong Ball Made Of?

In the early stage, a ping pong ball is made of rubber covered with cloth. Then the material gradually replaced by celluloid.

However, the celluloid production is on declining and is gradually replaced by the non-celluloid ball that is made of poly-plastic material. It is officially Olympic table tennis balls that are approved by ITTF.

How To Choose For The Best Ping Pong Balls?

We have been asked how to choose a good ping pong ball. It can be quite difficult if you are not sure what you are looking for.

Firstly, the thing to look for is to ensure the ball does not have a seam around the middle of it that is visible. If you can see that seam you can reject that ball straight away. That ball will often have a flat spot around the seam area.

table tennis ball seam

The second thing to look for is how firm the ball is. You can try to press the ball to feel the level of firmness. If the ball caves in on the side with the press, then it may not a good quality one. With this trainer ball, you can see that the same amount of pressure and the ball does not budge.

That is what you are looking for in the firmness of the ball. And this 3-star ball again you can put quite a lot of pressure and the ball will not cave in.

How much pressure is put on a ball?

If you grab your thumb and push quite firmly so that you are going into the bone, that is the amount of pressure that you are looking for the ball to withstand.

The third thing to look for is how round the ball is. Now by just taking a ball in your hand, it often quite difficult to see that it is perfectly round. The best way to do it is to spin the ball with your hand.

By looking at it from the top you can see if it has any wobbles in it. Think about spinning an egg and you can see the egg wobbles quite a lot. With a perfectly round ball, you won’t see any wobbling from the top.

Air Filled with Oxygen

The ball is air-filled in order to get the required weight. Other materials used for filling the ball would make it heavier. A heavy ball would slow down the game and make it boring. The ball is normally filled with oxygen.

According to experts, oxygen allows the ball to bounce better and gives the proper weight for the required dimensions of the ball. The ball is usually made of celluloid which is one of the most inexpensive plastics. Celluloid gives the unique ivory white color of the ball.

The finish of the ball is made such that it can grip the racquet better and enable the player to create a spin by swerving the bat in one direction or the other depending on the kind of spin he wants for the ball. This technique can be used to deliver spectacular shots and spins.

Colored Accepted for International Tournaments

Most ping pong balls are yellow. International table tennis rules allow for two colors only during the game; white and yellow. The color yellow is preferred by many people because it is visible against any table color. In an official game, yellow or white may be used depending on the color of the table top.

Table tennis balls are made from many different types of plastics. Some plastics get worn out after being used for a long period of time. Even celluloid balls can smash when they are hit when moving at a high velocity. More durable plastics are more expensive than the ones that wear off quickly.

There are many brands and styles including colored ping pong balls, cheap ping pong balls, 1-star to 3-star ping pong balls, white & orange.  You can buy a net or a return board or a dispenser to practice on your own.  They’re also quite cheap and knowing where to buy ping pong balls is crucial. Buying online is by far the cheapest that you can get.

There is currently one type of very famous balls called XuShaoFa which is created with innovative technology to become seamless plastic balls, you may want to know more of this ball which can be a very quality ball for you to play with.

Different Between Plastic Ball With Seam, Seamless and Celluloid Ball

Ping pong balls are made out of celluloid or plastic substances like Polyethylene Terephthalate and are more air resistant.


The bounce of the balls:

  • Celluloid: 12.0cm
  • Plastic (with seam): 11.5cm
  • Plastic(seamless): 14.5cm

From the results of the bounce experiment, the strongest rebound ability is the one that made of seamless plastic, followed by the celluloid table tennis. The least bounce is the plastic ball with seam.

For the seamless ball, it is more uniform, and the energy loss during the stress process is also smaller. Therefore, it can also produce a stronger rebound.

At the same time, the new plastic ball with seam is having a bigger size, so it has some impact on the bounce of the ball, which makes it not bounce as high as the celluloid ball.

However, the difference between the two is only apparent after increasing the force conditions.


There was an experiment carried out which throw the ball and let it fall vertically. In the silent environment, the sound of the plastic balls either with seam of seamless is stronger than the celluloid ball.

Besides, the plastic ball has the slowest sound attenuation, which means this ball has the longest vocalization time, followed by the plastic ball with seam.  While the sound of traditional celluloid ball is short and concentrated.


The change in the feel of hitting the ball is caused by the change of the vibration. After all, when the ball is being hit, it will be transmitted to the player through vibration. Therefore, the vibration intensity of the ball is directly related to the change of the feel in the player’s hand.

  • Celluloid: 61.97
  • Plastic (with seam): 61.98
  • Plastic(seamless): 63.77

Through the vibration test after using the vibration measuring instrument, the average value was found. The highest vibration intensity in the experiment was the plastic seamless ball, followed by the plastic with seam. The celluloid ball is having the smallest vibration intensity.

The difference in the vibration amplitude between the plastic ball and the celluloid ball is almost can be negligible.

Therefore, for a player who is extremely sensitive when using it may feel the vibration of the seamless ball. However, it is difficult for the player to feel the vibration at the level of human perception for the plastic ball with seam and the celluloid ball.

Plastic and Celluloid Table Tennis Balls Comparison Video

This video shows the test of both plastic and celluloid ball by the Preston Table Tennis Association. the major test includes:

  1. Quality, packaging, and appearance.
  2. Seam, the surface of the ball and hardness.
  3. Luminance and color.
  4. Bounce and conformity.
  5. Veer – A measurement of the roundness of the ball.
  6. Size and sphericity.
  7. Weight conformity and regularity.

How it’s made – Nittaku Table Tennis Ball

If you would like to know how a table tennis ball is made, you can watch this interesting video from Nittaku that recorded the whole process for you.

Where Can You Get Ping Pong Balls?

If you want to buy some best table tennis balls but having no idea which one is the right ball for you. You may read the brief recommendation and reviews of the top 4 manufacturers from Butterfly, Stiga, Nittaku, and Joola. Then do your own comparison to figure out which balls you want to have.

Butterfly ITTF Approved 3-Star 40mm

Some people tend to wonder why Butterfly balls are more expensive compared to other brands. This is a mysterious question that needs to ask back Butterfly Company. Nevertheless, it is undeniably a high-quality ball where it is very durable and nearly flawless.

Butterfly 3-Star 40mm ping pong ball
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You may find this is a very lively table tennis balls that you can get. The ball can provide you with highly consistent bounce and speed. The big butterfly logo that coated on the ball lets you read the spin easily. You can have an effortless control for you to play a loop and counterloop rally.

The only drawback is the ball can easily crack if hitting on a sharp edge.

STIGA 3-Star

Stiga 3-Star table tennis balls are made with the specifications for USA table tennis. 3-Star means it is made of superior quality and is approved for official play in tournaments and competitive play.

It promises to provide consistent bounce, excellence spin, and longer volleys. This particular pack includes six official balls. They are well fit for both beginners and advanced players.

stiga ping pong balls

Nittaku Premium 3-Star Balls

When buying the Nittaku balls, you need to check if the ball is really Made in Japan. To figure out, you will observe all balls are having the word “PREMIUM” coated in blue color below the Nittaku logo.

So, if you are buying them online, you need to take note of if the package includes the “Premium” word. Some listed balls for sales may indicate 3-star, but they will not be the best quality if they don’t indicate the “Premium” word.

Nittaku Premium-3-Star Balls
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JOOLA Rossi 3-Star

This ball is of tournament standard for you to play in. It can offer a player with a consistent and even bounce without any wobble. You can have the feel of the right weight and control you need when playing with it. They are durable and as long as the kids don’t get hold of them carelessly.

Joola ping pong ballorder now

Killerspin 2 Star Practice Ping Pong Balls

Even though these balls are cheap, but they tend to light in weight and bounce irregularly. They are not really suitable for you to use to practice in your table tennis training. Most people are buying them in huge volumes for kid’s artwork or decorating stuff for Halloween or Christmas.

The balls can withstand for cutting for you to put any accessories inside. You can use a sharp razor knife and slip a small LED inside the ball. If you need to put the balls over Christmas lights, then this is the ideal accessories for you to carry out the task.

generic ballsorder now

These are some of the best ping pong balls that I would like to share with you all. Depends on if you are playing in the tournament or you need to use a lot of balls for practicing, the recommend balls would definitely are the right choice for you to do so.


xushaofa ball

It is about a brand that related to the innovative seamless ping pong balls that were invented by the company. This can be said to be one of the best ping pong balls that you can have. You may read more about this XushaoFa ball.

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Ping Pong Ball Collectors That Pick The Balls

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