To enjoy a great game of pool, you ought to take care of very many factors. You will need to do enough practice to ensure that you skill is well polished, you also need a table felt that rolls well, top quality balls and playing cues that shoots straight. You might have everything right but fail to enjoy the game if the felt is not great. To many the felt quality can be a minor detail but it has a great impact on the outcome of the game!
If you are repairing an old table or you want to renovate one that you just bought from Craigslist, or you just want to do an overhaul of your game room, first get the skills here and buy your pool table felt like a pro. We came up with this guide to walk you through every step and give you the best cloth in the market for casual and professional players.
Pool Table Cloth Buyers Guide
We analyzed all the key areas you need to think off before picking that cloth for your table. However, if you have been in this field for long enough and consider yourself an expert, you can jump to the reviews.
Types of Pool Table Felt
When you get to the market place, you will have numerous options of table cloths to choose from. However it is important to first understand the different types as this will make a huge difference.
The billiard table felt is made of a mixture of either wool and polyester or wool and nylon. The main difference comes in the thicknesses and the thread specifications making each cloth have a distinct feel and plays a different quality of the game.
There are two broad categories which describe the different table felts and each has unique properties that suit different types of tables and players. They are;
Woolen felt –
This is the felt you will find in public tables mostly in bars and clubs. This is the most common felt on cheap tables for casual players. The major downside of this type is that it develops balls of fuzz also known as pills after some time. The pool balls also move relatively slowly due to the friction between the ball and the felt. However, most people like it because it is quite affordable.
Worsted Wool Felt –
This is the felt you will find on most professional tables. It is also known as the speed cloth as balls travel relatively fast as there is no nap on the upper side of the cloth. For most serious players and major tournaments, there is simply no replacement for the smoothness and levels of consistency provided by the worsted wool cloth.
Different Billiards Felt Colors
The color choice of the felt cloth boils down to individual preferences among other factors like the color of your game room and the make of your table. For example a classic 50’s table would rhyme best with the traditional green felt while a bright blue felt would rhyme with a cream walls painting.
A quick scan through the market place will give you numerous options to choose from ranging from black, khaki, red, maroon, orange or even grey. You can pick any that matches with the other accessories in your game room.
Our observation over the years is that black and grey felts clash with the 8 ball and cue ball hence they should be avoided where possible as they impact your chances of making long pots. Always be guided by our preference and what will rhyme best with your table and game room.
The Pool Table Size
Most retailers stock felt cloths as per the standard pool table sizes. For a 7 foot pool table that measures 3.5’ by 7’ you will easily get a cloth to fit it. The cloth comes with some extra material to fit your surface and the rails.
If by any chance you table is not a standard size, measure is and get the square feet measurement of the felt that you will require. You will need to get a felt cloth that is not precut to size as most come pre – cut for 7,8 and 9 foot pool tables.
Pool Table Cloth Maintenance
Just like any other part of your table, the felt needs to be maintained for optimum performance and maximum durability. Do not expose it to the sun as it easily fades away and lifts from the surface when exposed to high moisture contents in the air. The cloth also wears and tears due to the friction generated during the game. You need to take care of the felt from time to time. Here are some tips that will be of great help to you.
Always use the recommended pool brush to clean excessive chalk from the cloth after every game. The best practice is to push the dust towards the pockets as it avoids build ups in the felt.
Buy a cover for your table and always cover it when not in use. This protects the felt from ultra violet rays and dampness.
Buy a micro fiber cloth and always use it to clean your balls. This prevents chalks distribution all over the table.
Over the years you will however need to replace your table felt as a result of wear and tear. You will see holes that appear over time due to miscues and burns on the felt due to high friction between the balls and the felt. These patches cannot be repaired hence you will need to replace the felt. A top quality cloth should last at least 5 – 10 years depending on the frequency of use before it requires a replacement.
Billiards Table Felt Installation
You will need to engage a professional handy man for this task as you can easily mess it up. However, if you are a DIY guy you can do it with the right tools at hand. You will need cut the felt to size or get the pre-cut felt, remove the rails, remove the old felt and re-felt with the new felt. You need to ensure that the new felt leaves no wrinkles or bumps on the surface. You can watch this video as see how it is done.
Best Worsted Felts
This are the best possible pool table felts quality you need on your table. We reviewed the best 4 in the market today!
Over the years Simonis have been the market leaders in the production of top notch quality table cloths. Theirs is a unique factory that is dedicated to the production cue sport cloths with a specialization on pool and billiards. Since 1680 the company has been making cloths which has earned them loads of experience. They simply know what you need on your table.
The 760 felt is ideal for a fast and long lasting surface that remains as good as new for several thousand games, the beauty of it is that you can get it in different colors raging from tournament blue, dark green, burgundy, camel and red. Many people love this felt because it is stain resistant meaning you need not to worry when you spill a drink on it, this is however not true with red wine.
This cloth is by far the best we have in the market today and made of70% worsted wool 30% nylon. You will however need to invest a lot more to get it but it is worth every cent you pay for it. Buy it and get the best performance for a long time.
Proform High Speed Cloth
Proform is a professional grade cloth that comes at an extremely affordable price. With a 70% wool and 30% nylon combination, this cloth gives a surface with great playability. If you do not want to break the bank to get a top level felt, then this is your best bet.
With this felt you will enjoy a fast game for a long time. It is weighs 23oz which gives it a high durability for both home and commercial use. This felt is greatly recommended for bar owners who like entertaining their clients with pool table.
The nylon blend in this cloths minimizes cases of ball burns and wrinkles that appear on the table after some time. It is made on precision thread weaves, making it nap free for a faster and more accurate roll.
Many players like this felt because of its price. Despite its low cost, the felt is extremely durable and it retains its speed over the years.
Simonis 860 Best For Snooker Table
Just like the 760 we reviewed above, Simonis produces this product called 860 which also fits the bill of a great felt. The main difference between the two is that the 860 is made of 90% worsted wool and 10 % nylon which makes it slower than the 760. However, it does not slow the balls in any way as they run just as they do on pro tables. This felt is a great choice for local tournaments as they are played on sluggish tables.
This felt is your best bet is you are looking for a felt that will last you long. It comes with extremely high thread count which minimizes any wear and tear and it does not shed over time. This cloth is stain resistant too meaning that you can use it for many years without losing its color not to mention that it does not produce fuzz.
The felt is available in many colors including light green and a brighter red. Though costly this felt stays long enough on your table to give you value for money. This is the best cloth for a snooker table and it fits in the large 9 foot perfectly.
Yves Empire USA Worsted Cloth
This is a high speed felt that comes with a 21oz weight. It comes at a cheaper price when compared to other options above. It plays way faster than felt and it rarely forms felt fuzzies making it a reliable cloth for home use.
We recommend this felt for anybody who wants to upgrade their home table. It is far much better than the woolen felt and it does not cost that much. It is available in different colors including gold, camel, green, powder blue, red, royal blue, wine and burgundy.
However some of the notable downsides is that you can get a cloth with thicker lines or bumps which slows the balls or deflecting them. The cloth also easily gets friction burns after a jump or break or any time the ball accelerates rapidly.
This felt works perfectly with a home table and it is long lasting. It plays just like Simons but for half the price!
Best Woolen Pool Table Felt
These are the most preferred felts by most pub and club owners as they are cheap and they do the job. The napped woolen cloths give great value for money. We reviewed 4 of the best in the market for you to choose from.
Championship Invitational Pool Table Felt
The invitational felt is a nice alternative for woolen cloth lovers. The invitational has been voted to be higher in terms of playability than Saturn II. This is simply because it does not have the Teflon.
Compared to other cloths this is a more affordable one considering that it is a bit faster. It is most suitable for intermediate players and professionals who are on a budget. The extra cost on this cloth goes to the slightly thicker material that makes it resistant to scratches caused by miscuing.
If you want to re-felt a table that you use with your kids, then this is a great choice. It comes in different colors that you can ever think of. We recommend it for all family tables.
The only downside of this cloth is that it is slow for advanced players who like the feel of tournament grade felt when they play. If this is you then you might need to invest a lit more and get the Simonis 760.
8′ Orange ProLine Classic 303 Teflon Billiard Pool Table Cloth Felt
This is one of the newest products in the market. It has been designed to give ultimate perfomance and the best value to players. The Teflon in it makes it very durable as it can withstand spills and stains. You actually have the time to clean any spills before the liquid sips in the felt.
With the 8′ Orange ProLine Classic 303 Teflon Billiard Pool Table Cloth Felt you will get any color of your choice as it comes in more than 30 different colors. This is a great choice for residential customers, bars, hotels and clubs as it can withstand the stress of regular play.
This felt is 80% wool and 20% nylon which makes it a little bit slower compared to speed cloths. It will however do for regular games at home or in the club.
Iszy Billiards Performance-Grade Cloth
This is one of the cheapest clothes in the market. However we picked it because it gets the job done. If you are learning to re-felt your table and do not want to risk your worsted cloth, you can try out with this one. This is a perfect surface felt for casual players.
This felt generates fuzz that forms into balls quite often and you need to keep wiping them off. During shipping it develops folding creases which means you might have to iron it before the installation to straighten it.
You get a whole piece and cut it to size by yourself. On play, the cloth is fast enough but not as fast as the worsted cloths. You will get several ball burns on the cloth during play. This felt will last but not for very long. Considering the price, you will have enough time to play on it before you need to re-felt.
Championship Saturn II Cloth
Is your table exposed to regular wear and tear? Then this is your best bet for a felt choice as it is coated with DuPont Teflon that prevents staining. This felt is resistant to any burn marks and it does not fuzz up to the surprise of many.
You need to know the size of your table as this cloth comes pre-cut. The material comes with some extra inches to allow for easy installation. Many DIY players like it as it is easy to install. Many people do not like the fact that this cloth is not available in color blue which is the most common, however it is easily available in many other colors.
This felt performs pretty well considering that it is cheap. It does not play as fast as worsted wool cloth but it is very consistent. It does not have any bumps to neither does it fray.
This cloth is a great pick for anyone who wants to re –felt for under $100
Now that we have come to the end of our reviews we hope you have made up your mind on which cloth fits your table and your Budget.
Now go ahead and buy and enjoy your game. You can check more accessories reviews on our homepage.