Best Table Tennis Balls

The Best Table Tennis Balls You Can Buy In 2024

Choosing a table tennis ball can be tricky. Not only do you have to worry about star ratings, but also brands, prices, materials, colors, approval status, etc.

Most people end up purchasing balls from non-reputable brands that are low quality, don’t bounce well, and crack easily. Occasionally, people even purchase even balls that are too good, and hence, too expensive for their needs. For example, you don’t need premium 3-star balls for multiball training.

Speaking of which, if you are going to do multiball training, how do you know which of those cheap balls are actually good?

And, if you want the best competition balls out there, which ones should you go for?

At Racket Insight, we have more than 15 years of coaching and playing experience, and we have tested virtually every table tennis ball there is. We’re sharing our personal favorite table tennis balls for every different scenario.

Our Top Recommended Ping Pong Balls

Best Match Ball

DHS DJ40 is the best feeling ball in the market, with high spin level and easy to grip. It has a logo on both sides for easy spin determination. However, it has low durability.

Best Training Ball
Nittaku J-Top Training 40+

Nittaku J-top training balls are expensive but worth it for their roundness, consistency, and durability. They are better than many 3-star balls.

Best Robot Ball
Neottec Neoplast-R

Neottec balls are the cheapest from a reputable maker, good for multiball training and beginners. A very affordable option for multiball training.

Best Competition Table Tennis Balls

When playing matches, it’s critical that you use a ball that’s going to produce a consistent bounce and speed. As ‘3-star’ balls are produced to much tighter quality specifications, you can be far more confident in the quality of every single ball.

However, not all 3-star balls are made equal. Having 15+ years of competition experience here at Racket Insight, these are our favorite and most reliable match balls.

Best Performance – DHS DJ40+ 3 Star

Best Performance
  • Exceptional quality control.
  • Easy to generate and read spin.
  • The perfect competition ball.

Summary: We describe the DHS DJ40+ as a “heavy and soft” ball due to its feel off the racket. It’s very easy to consistently generate spin and feel grip on your rubbers. The logos on both sides make it easier to determine spin on the ball. It is perfect for matches as the bounce is consistent and every ball is made to extremely specific specifications.

These are the most expensive balls that DHS produces, and, in my opinion, these are the best feeling balls in the market. These balls feel heavy, yet soft. It’s hard to explain, but they feel stable, heavy, and they’re really spinny because of their softness. 

When I used these balls, I felt that they were really easy to grip, and the spin level of the game was noticeably higher than with other balls.

You can find the DHS DJ40+ in a variety of designs. This ball was the official ball of the WTT events and the Tokyo Olympics, so you can purchase both variants.

That is another aspect I love about this ball. Because it was used in WTT events and in the Olympics, the ball has the logo of DHS and the logo of the event. 

Because it has a logo on both sides of the ball, the spin is a lot easier to see. 

We can tell how much spin is on the ball by watching it rotate, and the main indicator of spin is the logo. If we played with balls with no logo, the amount of spin on the ball would be nearly impossible to determine, unless the ball wasn’t round. 

This ball makes it a lot easier to see spin, so the game has fewer mistakes in general and rallies are longer, as players misjudge spin levels less often. Because of this reason, this ball is great to train with.

In addition, most of these are almost perfectly round, so their bounce is virtually perfect.

However, the DHS DJ40+ has one big disadvantage, its durability.

It’s not like the durability is terrible, but the DJ40+ is a lot less durable than its DHS brother, the D40+, and most other table tennis balls.

I attribute this lack of durability to its softness. Many of my balls ended up losing their shape when I hit them with the edge of my blade. 

Others didn’t lose their shape but they started showing more and more little cracks for that very same reason, until they started losing air and bouncing unevenly.

I’d say these balls lasted, on average, 10 hours of playing time each. For those hours, they were the best ball, but after, they had to be replaced, or used for multiball training.

DHS DJ40+ 3 star
Source: Tabletennis11

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Best Club Match Ball – DHS D40+ 3 Star

Best Club Match Ball
DHS D40+
  • Cheaper than the DJ40+
  • Ideal for a direct style of play.
  • Very durable for long playing sessions.

Summary: This is a fantastic all-round ball that is more affordable for clubs who play regular matches. We rarely get an imperfect ball, and these are more durable than the DJ40’s we’ve already recommended. These can feel less spinny than the DJ40’s but most players won’t notice the difference.

The DHS D40+ 3 star is the other premium offering by DHS. These are more typical plastic balls in the sense that they’re fast, hard, and not as spinny.

The D40+ is a great feeling ball, though not as much as the DJ40+. This ball favors a more direct style of play, while the other will favor players who rely on spin.

The advantages of this ball are that it’s very durable and it’s cheaper than the DJ40+.

This is a great all-around ball as it’s not that expensive, it feels great, and it’s very durable.

This is one of my favorite balls and they are the ones I prefer for training. I purchase packs of ten of these quite often, as I like to change balls relatively often.

I usually change these when they get very cracked, they lose air, or they lose their grip. Most of the balls I replace are still very playable after hours upon hours of use. The D40+’s material is quite hardy.

If you didn’t know, table tennis balls can also lose their grip. When the ball loses its white color, or it gets very shiny, then it should be replaced, as the rubber won’t grip it properly.

These balls also occasionally lose their shape when hit with an edge, but it’s less common than with the DJ40+. Speaking of which, most of the D40+ are quite round. In a pack of 10, all of them are good enough, and some are almost perfectly round.

DHS D40+ 3 star
Source: Tabletennis11

Best Alternative – Nittaku Premium 40+ 3 Star

Best Alternative
Nittaku Premium 40+ 3 Star
  • Highly durable, high-spin ball.
  • Strong all-round ball on both feel and durability.
  • Reliable, consistent bounce of every ball.

Summary: The Nittaku Premium 3-star is a highly durable, high-spin ball that rarely has any manufacturing imperfections. They strike a great balance between feel and durability, making them a great all-round ball that we love to see used in tournaments. Whilst they aren’t the best in any particular area, you can’t go wrong with a Nittaku Premium 3-Star.

Whilst we’ve already recommended two DHS ball, they aren’t the only brand with fantastic 3-star match balls available. Our favorite alternatives are the Nittaku Premium 3 star.

In our experience, these balls are almost always perfectly round with very few manufacturing imperfections. When playing with them, they feel quite heavy and react smoothly with the rubber.

These do the job of a 3-star ball very well, as they’re a high-spin ball and they’re highly durable.

In my opinion, these are a strong middle-point between both of the DHS balls. They don’t feel quite as good as the DJ40+ nor are they as durable as the D40+, but they strike a great balance between them.

Whilst they may not make the top of our lists on durability or feel, we love it when tournaments use the Nittaku Premium 3-star. They’re a solid all-round ball and are highly reliable.

As we said before, these are mostly perfectly round and their bounce is very consistent. Great for matchplay and competitions.

Nittaku Premium 40+ 3 Star
Source: Tabletennis11

Best Budget Competition Ball – Double Fish V40+ 3 Star WTT

Best Budget Competition Ball
Double Fish V40+ 3 star WTT
  • Half the price of the best 3-star balls.
  • Used in ITTF professional events.
  • Great consistency and durability during testing.

Summary: The Double Fish V40+ is a more affordable alternative to the Nittaku and DHS balls, at around $1.50 per ball. While there are slight differences, beginner to intermediate players won’t notice them. Double Fish is now the supplier for ITTF WTT events, so they can definitely be trusted. They also have double logos for better spin visibility.

Not everyone can afford to keep themselves stocked up with the DHS DJ40+ balls. Even the Nittaku balls cost nearly $3 a ball.

Since 3-star balls have a reputation for poor durability, you can easily find yourself playing through a lot of money in balls.

The Double Fish V40+ tends to be around half the price, at around $1.50 per ball.

The differences between these Double Fish balls and the previously recommended Nittaku and DHS balls are very slight. In fact, we’d suggest any beginner to intermediate players wouldn’t notice it.

Even though Double Fish is not the most reputable table tennis brand out there, they are now the suppliers for the ITTF WTT events, and these Double Fish balls are the ones that are currently in use.

If they are good enough for top professional players, then they’re definitely good enough for the rest of us.

These also have the added benefit of having double logos, so you can see spin a lot better when using them.

Source: Tabletennis11

Most Consistent Match Ball – Butterfly R40+ 3 Star

Most Consistent Match Ball
Butterfly R40+ 3 Star
  • Consistent bounce, strong durability.
  • Most expensive 3-star option.
  • Heavy ball causes a slightly flatter arc.

Summary: The Butterfly R40+ is a high-quality ball made by a reputable brand, with a consistent bounce and strong durability. However, they are one of the most expensive balls available. Advanced players may notice that the ball is fairly hard, resulting in a slightly flatter arc when playing aggressive shots. While they are guaranteed to be good quality, they may not be the most cost-effective option.

There are enough high-quality table tennis ball manufacturers that every ball we recommend has a really consistent bounce, strong durability, and great quality. The Butterfly R40+ is no different.

The Butterfly R40+s are excellent balls made by probably the most reputable table tennis brand around. With such a strong reputation, it’s unsurprising they produce one of the best competition balls.

We’ve played with them plenty of times in the past, and have always had a positive impression. The main challenge comes with their cost. As with most Butterfly products, they’re comfortably some of the most expensive balls available.

Advanced players might notice that the R40+ is a fairly hard ball and this means it has a slightly flatter arc when playing aggressive shots.

Their bounce is even and they are guaranteed to be good quality, so you won’t be disappointed if you buy these balls. However, you might end up poor. If you can, we would definitely recommend saving a few dollars with the DHS DJ40 (Amazon link).

Butterfly R40+ 3 Star
Source: Butterfly

Best Training Ping Pong Balls

There are usually three really good use cases for buying training balls, as they’re a lower quality and consistency compared to 3-star balls:

  • Purchasing in bulk for clubs, schools, and community centers.
  • Casual games at home with beginners or social players.
  • Multiball or robot training

Training balls are designed to be bought in bulk so that you get good prices for a large amount of balls and you don’t have to worry about changing them often.

However, you still need a ball that behaves in a similar way to competition balls. Imagine training with a completely different ball and suddenly having to change the way you play during a match.

If you purchase good training balls, these can be great quality, have consistent roundness, be reasonably durable, and most importantly be very price effective, so here are our favorite training table tennis balls.

Best Training Ball – Nittaku J-Top Training 40+

Best Training Ball
Nittaku J-Top Training 40+
  • Premium training balls.
  • Round, consistent, durable.
  • Great value for their quality.

Summary: The Nittaku J-top training balls are a worthwhile investment for those serious about training. We’re huge fans of the Nittaku line-up and find that these training balls are better than many 3-star balls you can buy. Perfect for long training sessions, community centers, or club nights.

Made in Japan by Nittaku, these training balls are on the premium side. However, we’re confident it’s a worthwhile investment if you’re wanting to take your training seriously.

Costing around $0.75 a ball, they’re still significantly cheaper than any 3-star competition balls so the damage to your wallet isn’t too painful.

Nittaku is one of the most reputable table tennis brands, known for their craftsmanship and quality control. Thankfully, their range of balls is no exception. We already recommended the Nittaku Premium balls for matches, so it’s little surprise that their training balls are also fantastic.

The Nittaku 3 star balls are some of our favorite balls because of their roundness, their consistency, and their durability.

The Nittaku J-top training balls are just a step below the premium 3-star balls, and we’ve found they are better than many “3 star” balls in the market.

The primary reason they’re lower cost is due to the lower ‘quality’ standards for roundness and imperfections. However, I’ll be honest in saying that I often find it difficult to tell the difference.

You can buy the Nittaku J-top for training sessions, without compromising on performance.

Source: Tabletennis11

Best for Multiball – Donic Coach P40+

Best Multiball Ball
Donic Coach P40+
  • Closely mimics a 3-star ball.
  • Favors direct, fast shots.
  • Great price for quality training balls.

Summary: The Donic Coach P40+ is a fantastic alternative to the Nittaku J-Top for training purposes, closely mimicking 3-star balls. They favor a quicker and more direct playing style, which makes them very fun to use. They are easily good enough quality for most training purposes, particularly for consistency in multiball training.

Normally a bit cheaper than the Nittaku J-Top, these are a fantastic alternative. They’re not our top recommended training ball mainly because they can be a bit difficult to get your hands on.

The Donic Coach P40+ are actually some of my favorite balls, period. I really like the Donic P40+ material, and I’m not the only one. These are the ones we use at my club, and the choice of hundreds of clubs worldwide.

I really like these balls because they feel light, but not in a bad way. In performance, they closely mimic a 3-star competition ball and many players would only be able to spot a minimal difference.

The main difference comes from the fact they’re not as spinny as more expensive balls, but we still find that they curve well in the air. As a result, the game can be played a bit faster and more direct.

These favor direct play, and, above everything, they’re super fun to use. They’re certainly good enough quality for most training purposes. In particular, we love using these for multiball training where consistency matters but you aren’t going to treat the balls with any care.

We don’t find it’s worth upgrading to the 2-star training ball. Stick with the 1-star version of this Coach P40+ ball.

Donic Coach P40+
Source: Tabletennis11

Most Durable Training Ball – DHS D40+ 1-Star

Most Durable
DHS D40+ 1-Star
  • Available pretty much everywhere.
  • Extremely durable for training balls.
  • Great color options for different venues.

Summary: The DHS D40+ 1-Star is a solid alternative to the Nittaku balls for training, although they are not as round or solid-feeling as the 3-star balls. They are, however, easy to get, very cheap, and very durable, making them a popular choice for many clubs around the world.

Honestly, we prefer the Nittaku balls for training. However, we felt it was necessary to mention the D40+ as a solid alternative.

The DHS D40+ are made of the same compound as the 3-star balls but they’re just worse in pretty much every department. These are only approved by the CTTA (Chinese Table Tennis Association) instead of the ITTF.

Most of these aren’t too round and they don’t feel as solid as the 3-star ones, but they have some crucial advantages.

These DHS 1 stars are the balls I used the most throughout my years of playing. These are the choice of thousands of clubs around the world, and I used these non-stop for 5 years. One of the clubs I frequent still favors these balls over the others.

The advantages of these balls over the others are that they are easy to get, they are very cheap, and they are very durable. 

They might not be the best feeling nor the most round, but they last very long and they’re good enough for training, especially if you aren’t an advanced player.

If you’re an advanced player, you probably want to go for the 3-star version of these or some other balls. You might be put off by some of the awkward bounces these balls have every so often, or you might want a better-feeling ball.

Another advantage of these balls is that they are available in 3 different colors, white, orange, and bicolor.

Bicolour DHS 1-star balls
Bicolour DHS 1-star balls. Source: Tabletennis11 

If you’re playing in a hall that has white walls, the orange DHS 1 star is a great option to train with, and the bicolor ball is superb when learning how to read different spins.

Best for Robots – Neottec Training Balls Neoplast-R 40+

Best for Robots
Neottec Neoplast-R
  • Incredibly cheap price point.
  • Reliable for beginners and multiball/robot training.
  • Trustworthy manufacturer.

Summary: The Neottec balls are the cheapest option for robot/multiball training where reliability, roundness, and consistency are less important. They are definitely still good enough for beginners learning how to play, although they are a downgrade from our other recommended options.

We added these Neottec balls to our suggestions mainly because of their price point.

When using robots for training, you need balls that can handle the harsh mechanics whilst being cheap enough that you don’t mind if they break. Reliability, roundness and consistency are less important.

These balls are the cheapest ones we could find from a reputable maker. We found that they’re more than good enough for multiball training, and they’re also good enough for beginners learning how to play.

You can get 144 of these for just ~35 euros, making these the most affordable on the list. Unfortunately, they can be a bit tricky to buy in the USA so a strong alternative would be the Sanwei ABS 1-star.

If you’re starting a club, you want balls for multiball or robot use, or you just want an acceptable quality ball, these are the cheapest you can get, and they will serve you just fine.

They are still a big step above those horrible balls you get in local sports stores that barely bounce and break almost immediately.

Source: Tabletennis11

How to Choose the Right Table Tennis Balls

Choosing a table tennis ball depends mostly on two factors: your budget and your needs.

Let’s say you want table tennis balls to play recreationally. You can go for good quality 1-star balls from reputable brands and you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between these and the best 3-star balls. You don’t need better balls.

Now, let’s say you’re an intermediate-level player or an advanced player, and you want table tennis balls to play matches with. You could go for good 1-star balls, 3-star balls, or 3-star premium balls, but the choice would now depend on your budget.

However, how do you know which ones are good balls and which ones are bad ones?

Choosing a good table tennis ball is mostly about choosing the right brand. Some of the most reputable brands for their balls are Nittaku, Butterfly, DHS, and Donic. If you choose any of their products, you can hardly ever go wrong with them.

In fact, a 1-star table tennis ball from a reputable brand is often better than a 3-star ball from a non-reputable maker.

Star ratings

There are 4 types of table tennis balls: Training balls, 1-star balls, 2-star balls, and 3 star balls.

There are also “novelty” and “fun” balls, but these aren’t worth considering, as their materials aren’t the best, they are light, flimsy, and usually not round at all.

Training balls are, as their name implies, used strictly for training. This doesn’t mean they’re the best quality for training, but rather, that many of these can be bought for lower prices. They are not competition balls but rather balls for everyday club use.

These are great if you’re looking to buy 30 balls or more for multiball or robot use. If you purchase training balls from reputable makers (such as Nittaku or Donic), these are actually super high quality and they can be used for other purposes as well.

1 star balls are the next step up from training balls. 

However, some manufacturers, such as Nittaku, don’t make 1-star balls, they just make training and 3 star balls, as 1-star balls can be portrayed as the inferior version of 3 star balls. It’s a matter of naming their products for marketing purposes.

1 star balls are similar to training balls but they’re usually a bit better quality. They are also used for everyday training.

2 star balls are the rarest balls to find, as most people will go for either 1-star balls or 3-star balls. In fact, most manufacturers don’t even produce 2-star balls. 

However, these are good balls, better than 1 star, and they don’t cost as much as 3 star balls, so they’re worth considering.

3 star balls are the best of the best you can get. These are usually reserved for matches and tournaments unless you don’t mind paying extra to train with the best balls possible. They aren’t used for multiball or robot training, though.

What matters when purchasing balls for multiball or robot training is how many balls you can get, as you’ll only hit every ball once. It doesn’t really matter whether every ball bounces perfectly every single time. If 115 of the 120 balls bounce well, then that’s more than fine.

However, when you’re going to utilize a single ball for extended periods of time, you’d probably be better off investing in good balls. 

As we said before, training balls from Nittaku and Donic are better than 3 star balls from other manufacturers, so you don’t need to pay that much for good balls. You could also get premium balls which would cost more, but most players can hardly tell the difference.

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The Controller

Alvaro’s been playing Table Tennis since he was 15 and is now ranked within the top 100 in his native Argentina. He loves to compete in provincial tournaments and is always looking for ways to improve. Alvaro made his favourite memories with a racket in hand, and he joined the RacketInsight team to share his passion with other players!

Blade: Butterfly Fan Zhendong ALC | Forehand: Butterfly Dignics 09c | Backhand: Butterfly Rozena
Playstyle: The Controller

David's been playing Table Tennis since he was 12, earning his first coaching license in 2012. He's played in national team & individual competitions, although he prefers the more relaxed nature of a local league match! After earning his umpiring qualification in England, David moved to Australia and started Racket Insight to share information about the sport he loves.

Blade: Stiga WRB Offensive Classic | Forehand: Calibra LT | Backhand: Xiom Musa
Playstyle: All-Round Attacker

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