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How to Choose and Buy Best Ping Pong Balls?

It is essential to choose the best ping pong balls if you are serious about playing this sport. You can’t play the game without having ping pong ball.

Every accessory used in ping pong game affects the overall game. Different accessories give different experiences of 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.

 It is because professional players understand the different accessory dimensions add to the game of ping pong. Beginners do not need to be particular. They may even find more straightforward accessories to serve them better and allow them to get accustomed to the game. The ball is an essential part of the ping pong game.

What is the Diameter of a Ping Pong Ball?

The standard dimensions of a ping pong ball are 40-mm size. The visible difference between balls is the shell thickness. Even though most of the balls are good quality, reputable manufacturers make 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 specific dimensions. The current rules state that the ball must be 40mm in diameter. Preciously the ball was 38mm.

The new dimensions slowed down the ball and made it visible to the TV audience. The market has many balls that come in 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 master the game.

What is a 40+ table tennis ball?

Between 2014-2015, a new type of ball 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 more significant than the 40mm celluloid balls, and that’s why some people call 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 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 and wear off very quickly.

Star Rating of the Balls

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

Some manufacturers come out with 4-star and 5-star balls, but they are not in reality rated above 3-star. 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.


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 The Ping Pong Ball Made Of?

Previously the ping pong ball was made of rubber covered with cloth. The material was gradually replaced by celluloid.

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

How To Choose For The Best Ping Pong Balls?

It can be quite tricky if you are not sure what you are looking for.

Firstly, ensure the ball has no visible seam in the middle. If you can see the stitching, ignore 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 the ball’s firmness. Try press the ball to feel the level of firmness. If the ball caves in, it may not be good quality. With this trainer ball, you can see that the same amount of pressure and the ball does not budge.

 The 3-star ball does not cave.

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 the roundness of the ball. Now by just taking a ball in your hand, it is often quite challenging 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. A perfectly round ball will not swing.

Air Filled with Oxygen

The ball is air-filled with oxygen 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. 

According to experts, oxygen allows the ball to bounce better and gives the ball’s required dimensions the proper weight. The ball is made of celluloid an inexpensive plastic. Celluloid gives the unique ivory white color of the ball.

The ball’s finish is made such that it can grip the racquet better. It enables 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 is 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. Many people prefer yellow because it is visible against any table color. In an official match, yellow or white may be used depending on the color of the tabletop.

There is currently one famous ball called XuShaoFa. It is created with innovative technology to make seamless plastic balls. You may want to know more about this ball which can be a very quality ball for you to play with.

Difference Between Plastic Ball With Seam, Seamless and Celluloid Ball

Ping pong balls are made 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

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

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

Simultaneously, the new plastic ball with the seam has a bigger size, impacting the ball’s bounce, 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.


An experiment carried out by throwing the ball and let it fall vertically. The plastic balls’ sound either with the seamless is stronger than the celluloid ball in the quiet environment.

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


The transformation of the vibration causes a change in the feel of hitting the ball. After all, hitting the ball sends it to the player through vibration. Therefore, the ball’s vibration intensity is directly related to 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 experiment’s highest vibration intensity was the seamless plastic ball, followed by the plastic with seam. The celluloid ball has the smallest vibration intensity.

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

Therefore, a new player using it may feel the vibration of the seamless ball. However, it is difficult for the player to feel the pulse at the plastic ball’s human perception level 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 exciting video from Nittaku that recorded the whole process for you.

Where Can You Get Ping Pong Balls?

If you want to buy the best table tennis balls but have 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 make your 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. Nevertheless, it is undeniably a high-quality ball, that is very durable and nearly flawless.

Butterfly 3-Star 40mm ping pong ball
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You will find this is a very lively table tennis ball. The ball can provide you with highly consistent bounce and speed. The big butterfly logo embedded 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 it hits a sharp edge.

STIGA 3-Star

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

It promises to provide consistent bounce, excellence spin, and more extended volleys. This particular pack includes six official balls. They are reasonably excellent 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 made in Japan. To find out, check if the balls have the word “PREMIUM” coated in blue color below the Nittaku logo.
If you are buying online, check 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 show the “Premium” word.

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

This ball is of tournament standard. It offers a player with 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

This balls are cheap, light in weight, and bounce irregularly. They are not suitable for table tennis training. Most people buy them in huge volumes for kid’s artwork or decorating stuff for Halloween or Christmas.
The balls are easy to cut and put 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, this is the ideal accessories for carrying out the task.

generic ballsorder now


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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