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How to Choose the Right Cloth for Your Pool Table

Pool table cloth is a very important part of a pool table. It affects the look, the feel, the performance, the durability and the amount of enjoyment you’ll get out of your table.

The amount of enjoyment you get from your pool table can be enhanced when the cloth you select matches the primary use of the table. Consider these points below to help with your decision.


Pool table cloth comes in many colors and patterns. The bed of a pool table is a large space, so the color you choose will be very prominent. Consider the overall room décor and color tones of your room, in addition to the color of the pool table itself when deciding what will look best in your room.

The Feel

The feel of the cloth affects how the balls roll and react during play. Cloth that feels fuzzy and soft typically plays slower, which makes it more forgiving for inexperienced players. Other cloth feels faster and smoother. Some cloth appears and feels very smooth. These cloth types can play very fast and make it feel like the balls go a long way with a small amount of force.

Feel and Performance

The feel of the cloth affects how the balls roll and react during play.

  • Recreational-grade cloth has a higher nap (feels softer), and typically plays slower, which makes it more forgiving for amateur players or children.
  • Intermediate grade cloth typically plays faster and is more durable than the recreational-grade cloth.
  • Professional-grade cloth is what you may have seen in high-end pool rooms or professional events on television. Professional-grade cloth has very high wool content and a very tight weave, which makes them very smooth, so they play very fast. These are excellent for home use when more experienced players want the best performance out of their table. If you want your table to perform like a professional table, get professional cloth.


The durability of cloth varies widely. How long your cloth lasts, regardless of the type, grade or style is largely dependent on who is using the table, how they play on the table, and how the cloth is maintained. You could buy the most expensive cloth in the world, but if it is played on carelessly, and or not maintained, it will not last any longer than the lowest grade cloth.

In most cases the higher the grade of cloth, the more durable it is. The higher grades are heavier, have a tighter weave, typically a higher percentage of wool, and often include chemical treatments like Teflon that make it more resistant to spills and stains.

These types of cloth are excellent for home use.

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