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A Guide to the Best Pool Table Felt: Material, Brands, and Maintenance

Pool table felt, also known as cloth, is one of the most crucial components of a pool table. The quality of the felt can significantly affect the game's playability, making it essential for any pool player, whether novice or professional, to understand what makes for excellent pool table felt. This article will delve into the best pool table felt available, their material, top brands, and maintenance tips.

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Material Considerations

When it comes to pool table felt, the material plays a critical role. The two primary materials used in the construction of pool table cloth are worsted wool and woollen cloth.

Worsted Wool

Worsted wool is a high-quality fabric known for its smooth, flat surface. It's a preferred choice for professional and serious players as it allows for a faster game and greater precision. Because there's no "nap" or fuzz on the surface, the balls roll more smoothly and predictably.

Woolen Cloth

Woolen cloth is a more common material found in recreational or pub pool tables. This fabric has a fuzzy texture and is generally slower than worsted wool. The nap of woollen cloth can influence the direction and speed of balls, adding an extra layer of challenge to the game.

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Top Brands of Pool Table Felt

There are several leading brands in the market known for their high-quality pool table felt, each offering a range of options to cater to different player preferences.


Simonis is one of the oldest and most respected pool table felt manufacturers in the world. Known for their worsted wool cloth, Simonis offers fast, consistent play and longevity. Their 860 and 760 models are renowned among professionals and enthusiasts alike.


Championship offers a variety of pool table cloths at more affordable prices, making it a popular choice for casual players and bar tables. Their Invitational line with Teflon coating provides good resistance to spills and stains, making it a practical choice for home use.


ProForm is recognized for their high-quality worsted wool cloth. It offers a performance comparable to Simonis but at a slightly lower price point. ProForm cloths provide a smooth, fast playing surface favoured by many experienced players.


Brunswick, a reputable name in the billiards industry, offers high-quality woolen cloths. Their Centennial Cloth is a blend of combed worsted wool with DuPont Teflon fabric protector, ensuring durability and resistance to spills.

Maintenance of Pool Table Felt

Maintaining your pool table felt is crucial to extending its lifespan and ensuring consistent play. Here are some tips for keeping your pool table cloth in top condition:

  • Regular Cleaning: Use a pool table brush to gently remove chalk dust and other debris from the surface. Always brush in one direction, from the end to the centre of the table.

  • No Food or Drink: Keep food and drinks away from the pool table to avoid accidental spills which could stain or damage the cloth.

  • Proper Ball Care: Clean and polish billiard balls regularly to prevent them from depositing dirt or chalk on the felt.

  • Cover the Table: When not in use, cover your pool table to protect the felt from dust and potential damage.

  • Professional Re-felting: Depending on usage, pool table felt typically needs to be replaced every three years for recreational home tables and possibly annually for high-usage or professional tables. Always hire a professional for re-felting to ensure the job is done correctly.

Pool Felt Colours

The primary function of the pool table felt colour is to provide a contrasting background against the balls, making them easy to spot and track. Traditional green cloth is designed to mimic the outdoor lawns where cue sports were originally played. However, modern tables come in an array of colors.


The most traditional choice, green contrasts well with most ball sets and is often easier on the eyes during prolonged play. It can, however, make a room appear more traditional or old-fashioned.


Blue felts, particularly electric or tournament blue, have become popular in recent years due to their use in professional tournaments. These shades provide excellent contrast for television cameras, but also work well in home settings, creating a fresh, modern look.


Dark felts like black or charcoal can create a striking, modern look, but they may not offer the same level of contrast as lighter colours, potentially making it harder to track the balls.


These warm colours can give your pool table a bold, distinctive look. However, they may be a bit harder on the eyes during extended play due to reduced contrast with darker balls.

Room Décor and Ambiance

Besides visibility, the colour of your pool table felt should ideally match or complement the room's décor. The table is a significant piece of furniture, and its colour can affect the room's overall feel.

Light colours, such as beige or camel, can make the room feel more spacious and airier, but they might show dirt or stains more easily. Darker colours, such as navy or burgundy, can make a space feel more intimate and cozier, but they might make the room seem smaller.

If your game room has a specific theme, you might choose a felt colour to match. For instance, a red felt might be a good choice for a sports-themed room if it matches a favourite team's colours.

Durability and Maintenance

Darker colours tend to be more forgiving when it comes to showing stains, chalk marks, or wear. Lighter colours, while they can make dirt and stains more apparent, often show less fading over time.

Professional vs. Casual Play

If you're a professional player or aiming to become one, you might want to consider tournament colours like green or blue, as these are the standard for competition play. Practicing on a table with similar conditions to those you'll experience in tournaments can give you a slight edge.

For casual players, the colour choice can be more about personal preference and how the table fits into the room décor.

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The pool table felt you choose will have a substantial impact on your gaming experience. Whether you prefer the speed and precision of worsted wool or the traditional feel of woolen cloth, there are many high-quality options available. Brands like Simonis, Championship, ProForm, and Brunswick provide a range of cloths to suit different needs and budgets.

Choosing the colour for your pool table felt is a personal decision that hinges on various factors, including visibility and contrast, room décor, durability, and your level of play. Ultimately, the best colour for your pool table felt is one that you find appealing and that complements your game room, creating an inviting space for hours of play.

With the right maintenance, your pool table felt can provide years of enjoyment and competitive play.

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