A rugged table that's built to last. Solid plastic top w/UV protection and 18-gauge steel frame capable of holding 1,000 lbs. Easy setup/fold; backed by a 10-year warranty.
Dirt and stains require effort to clean off the textured surface, but this isn't a major issue.
Made for commercial use. Can hold up to 1,700 lbs. of distributed weight. Powder-coated steel frame and secure leg-locking system.
It's on the heavy side and a bit difficult to fold. It's also quite costly.
Solid design that's easy to fold and move. Resin top is easy to clean and resists stains, scratches, impact. Has powder-coated legs and top that folds in the middle.
With a capacity of 300 lbs., it's less sturdy than some, but it's still a well-made option.
Attractive, clear-coated wood grain appearance and thick plywood construction. Legs are solid, powder-coated steel and designed in a wishbone pattern for easy folding/stacking.
At almost 70 lbs., it's heavy and awkward to set up and fold. Weight capacity is only 680 lbs. Also somewhat pricey.
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Anyone who regularly hosts holiday dinners or dinner parties knows that accommodating everyone is always a challenge. Most homes aren’t large enough to fit a dining table that seats more than eight people, which is why adding a folding table can be such a lifesaver.
But while a folding table may seem like a simple purchase, there are so many options out there that selecting the right one can be difficult. You have to choose the right tabletop material, size, shape, and other features to make sure that the table best fits your needs. With all the folding tables on the market, shopping can get frustrating.
At BestReviews, we help you narrow down your choices. Our in-depth product research provides all the key facts so you can make the best shopping decisions for your home. If you’re looking for a folding table, continue reading our handy shopping guide, which has all the tips you need to choose the ideal table for your next big gathering.
A folding table can come in handy in a variety of situations in your home. If you regularly host family holidays and other large dinner parties, a folding table makes it very easy to accommodate all the family members and friends that you’ve invited. You can set the table up in your dining room, living room, patio, or another area of your home just for the occasion, and then fold it away when the event is over.
Even if you don’t host sit-down dinner parties, you can use a folding table as a buffet station or bar for your next party. Or if you like to take on DIY projects around the house, a folding table can be an ideal option for a temporary workbench. You can easily set it up in the area where you’re working to hold your tools and supplies so you don’t have to worry about tripping over them as you work.
A folding table can also serve as a convenient workspace when you’re working on large crafting projects, such as making a quilt or sewing clothing. When you’re using your green thumb, a folding table makes an excellent work surface for holding gardening tools or potting plants.
If you need to accommodate temporary workers at your office, a folding table is often a more convenient, affordable option than purchasing another desk or cubicle.
Aluminum folding tables often last for 10 to 15 years.
Folding tables are available with a variety of tabletop materials that vary in terms of durability and price.
Particleboard folding tables are usually the least expensive type, but they aren’t particularly durable and can’t bear much weight. They work best for light use and are typically covered with laminate to make them easier to clean.
Plywood folding tables are more durable than particleboard options and tend to be sturdier, so they work well for heavier use. They can splinter and crack over time, though, because they are made of wood. Most plywood tables are treated with an acrylic finish to make them easier to clean.
Plastic folding tables are usually made from polyethylene for home use and are very affordable. Their tabletops are often textured and feature easy-to-clean coatings. Plastic folding tables are fairly durable, though they can bow over time. They can also suffer heat damage, so you should be careful about placing hot foods and other items on the tabletop. Plastic folding tables are usually the best option for outdoor use because they’re highly weather-resistant.
Aluminum folding tables are the lightest but strongest option on the market. They’re also more expensive than other options, though the increased durability, weather-resistance, and easy cleanup can make them worth the investment. They are prone to scratching, though.
Most folding tables are either square or rectangular, so you can easily push two or more tables together to increase your seating area or work surface. Square and rectangular folding tables also work well as buffet or bar tables because they can be pushed up against a wall and out of the way. However, some people prefer the intimacy and style of round or oval folding tables.
If you want to combine the benefits of a square/rectangular table with a round/oval style, opt for a half-round folding table. These folding tables have one straight edge and one curved edge, so you can still set the table against a wall.
In addition to the frame gauge, a folding table’s weight capacity can give you a good indication of its strength. Some tables offer as much as a 1,000-pound weight capacity, while others are closer to 500 pounds. For light use, weight capacity usually doesn’t matter much. However, for heavy-use folding tables, the more weight it can bear, the better off you’ll be.
Most folding tables have caps on the legs to prevent scraping or scuffing your floor.
The best size for a folding table depends on how many people you need to accommodate. Sizes usually vary based on the shape of the table.
For square folding tables:
42 x 42 inches: Seats four to five
48 x 48 inches: Seats four to six
For rectangular folding tables:
24 x 60 inches/30 x 48 inches: Seats four to five
24 x 72 inches/30 x 60 inches: Seats five to six
24 x 96 inches/30 x 72 inches/36 x 60 inches: Seats six to eight
36 x 72 inches/42 x 60 inches: Seats seven to nine
30 x 96 inches/36 x 96 inches: Seats eight to 10
For round folding tables:
36 inches in diameter: Seats three to four
42 inches in diameter: Seats four to five
Most folding tables have a steel frame, though the quality and strength of the steel varies. Pay attention to the frame’s gauge to determine its strength and durability. The smaller the frame’s gauge, the larger the diameter of its tubing. For most folding tables, look for at least an 18-gauge frame.
If you want to be able to easily carry a folding table from place to place, it’s important to pay attention to its weight. A table that weighs less than 50 pounds is usually the easiest to move. It also helps to choose a model with a handle that provides a comfortable grip when you carry it.
Some folding tables are equipped with extra features that make them even more functional.
Folding tables with locking legs have a mechanism that allows you to lock the legs in place so they’re as stable and secure as possible. For increased versatility, you can find folding tables with adjustable legs that allow you to adjust their height depending on your needs. In most cases, you can adjust the table’s height from approximately 21 inches to 32 inches.
In addition to folding the legs in, a bi-folding table allows you to fold the tabletop in half, so a bi-folding table is even more compact than other styles. A folding table with a flip top allows you to flip the tabletop into a vertical position when you’re not using it to make the table easier to store or clean around.
If you want to use your folding table for a cocktail party, a bar-height folding table provides enough height to comfortably place drinks when standing.
Bi-folding tables are often the easiest to fit in your vehicle’s trunk if you need to transport the folding table from one location to another.
Folding table prices vary based on the tabletop material and size. In general, though, you can expect to pay between $20 and $1,050.
Small folding tables
Small particleboard folding tables usually run from $20 to $40. Small plastic folding tables typically range from $30 to $45. Small plywood folding tables usually cost between $40 and $75, while small aluminum folding tables generally run between $45 and $100.
Medium folding tables
Mid-size particleboard folding tables typically range from $40 to $65. Mid-size plastic folding tables usually run from $45 to $100. Mid-size plywood folding tables typically cost between $75 and $200, while mid-size aluminum folding tables usually range from $100 to $500.
Large folding tables
Large particleboard folding tables typically range from $65 to $125. Large plastic folding tables usually run from $100 to $225. Large plywood folding tables generally cost between $200 and $650, while large aluminum folding tables typically range from $500 to $1,050.
Q. What type of folding table is best for outdoor use?
A. If you plan to use your folding table for picnics, barbecues, and other outdoor events, a model with a plastic tabletop is usually the best option. It’s water- and weather-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about the elements. Plastic is also very easy to clean and highly portable because of its light weight.
Q. What safety features should a folding table have?
A. Locking legs are the most important safety feature to look for when you’re shopping for a folding table. The locking mechanism protects the table from collapsing once you add items to the top. A gravity locking ring that slides down the legs to lock them is often the safest and easiest locking mechanism to use. You may also want to look for a table with a locking mechanism for the tabletop itself so that it stays perfectly flat even if it’s jostled.
Q. Do folding tables usually come with a warranty?
A. Not all folding tables provide warranty protection. In particular, lower-end, budget-friendly models usually don’t offer a warranty. On the other hand, higher-end folding tables often provide a one- to two-year warranty, so you can feel more confident in your purchase.
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