Who doesn’t love cookouts? Having that nice, relaxing feeling… There is nothing like having a good time and sharing moments with friends and family. You’re outside with nature, soaking up the sun, feeling a nice cool breeze brush against your skin, with delicious food, and good music…
You grab a sizzling, hot and beefy burger fresh from the grill, slap a piece of American cheese on it, and dress it up with some mustard, mayo, ketchup, pickles and tomato. Throw some potato chips on the plate with it, grab an ice cold drink from the cooler, and get ready to sit down and devour it all.
But right as you do, you find out that all the tables around you are very flimsy and jerk in every direction when you brush up against them. You try not to let it bother you and set your drink on one of these so-called tables. Next thing you know, your drink tips over and spills all over the place and the table collapses along with your plate of food. And your wonderful day at the cookout… ruined.
So, before you have a cookout, make sure you have tables that will keep your guests happy. You don’t want your tables collapsing on everyone when they’re trying to enjoy themselves. You can even get some of the best quality folding tables without breaking the bank.
Qualities to Look for in a Folding Table
A good table for a cookout would be one that can fit a lot of seats, one that won’t move an inch when folks lean against it, and one that’s real easy to put away once it’s all over and your belly is full of flame grilled goodness. And most importantly for crowds, you’ll need a rectangular table to fit more folks to each side. Fortunately, just about all tables fit that description these days,
But if you’re only going to be putting yard sale goodies on it, maybe you’ll be fine with something cheaper, but still trusty. You’ll probably just need something small unless you’re planning on cleaning out the house sometime soon. For yard sales, try a table that has a fabric or rubberized surface so your stuff won’t be so quick to slide off.
Square tables may be fine for smaller gatherings, like a game night. They could hold condiments at a cookout too, so they are indeed an option regardless. Most square folding tables are no more than five feet by five feet due to their more complex build requirements.
Rounded tables are best for poker, as any folks down south already know. They could also be good for temporary dining setups such as a community event in the park or a block party.
Take a look at the list of tables below and compare their descriptions to your expected needs. Remember: folding tables are usually pretty big, meaning they’ll be tedious to return as far as handling and shipping return costs go if you end up changing your mind. You may even find that your needs aren’t as much as you thought!
7 Best Folding Tables
Key Features: A carrying handle, 5 foot, stain-resistant, matte finish, lightweight (for its size)
This table would be pretty good for all uses, considering it’s pretty darned cheap and still pretty big. If you’ve got a messy family member who just can’t seem to keep the mustard and ketchup on their sausages or patties, this table would be amazing for you since Lifetime decided to make this table stain proof. The sun won’t hurt this table either, it has protection from the harmful UV rays the sun gives.
Or better yet, what if you’re going to set up at a flea market? The finish of this table is matte. That makes the table rough so your stuff won’t be slipping all over the place. Plus, it weighs about 25 pounds, so you won’t break a sweat getting it where it needs to be. It’s pretty thick so you probably shouldn’t worry about the surface being durable, but pay attention to the frame which seems a little weaker.
Key Features: Squared, 3 foot, lightweight, can easily fold flush, easy storage
Do you want a table you could play cards at? This table here would be good to put four chairs, four people, and high stakes to. It may not be a round table like you’re used to playing around, but it’ll get the job done wherever you need it since it only weighs about 20 pounds. It may be a little worse for getting dirty, and isn’t really made for outdoor use but it’d be a good temporary solution.
It’s a nice table coming in at about 3 foot by 3 foot, which ought to be enough room to move around with, even if your family might be a bunch of sore losers while you win every round. The table is composed of a sturdy metal frame with a plastic surface. Each leg folds flush to its left, meaning storage is simple and doesn’t take much space.
Key Features: Extremely durable, bottom heavy, 3 feet, square, Made in the USA
This table prides itself on being really durable. Apparently you could try to beat this table to a pulp and it’d still look pristine. That’s not without adding weight to it though, making it about 30 pounds. Most of that weight seems to be in the legs, which is reasonable since it’s made of straight up steel.
Iceberg is a brand that isn’t very well known, but it’s not to say that the tables aren’t reliable. They have actually been known to be more durable than most of the other brands listed in this article due to their steel builds.
IndestrucTable would be pretty good for card games or board games, just like the last one. It could be pretty good for arts and crafts, maybe even construction too. Yeah, it’s another square, but the rest of the tables here are rectangles for your rectangular needs, promise.
Key Features: Rectangular, 4 feet, lightweight, affordable, reputable brand
If you’re just planning on making a little lemonade stand or a small yard sale, this 4 foot rectangle is sufficient. It’s a small, lightweight table, and it’s white. There’s not much to say about it, because it meets every standard you’d expect out of a folding table. It’s really thick, but it’s really hollow throughout so it’s still light. It could be tucked away in a garage or shed pretty easily since it’s so small and light, and it’s sorta cheap too, unlike many other tables on the list.
As you may have found out by some of the other tables on this list, Flash Furniture is a pretty reputable brand when it comes to folding tables and chairs. For a priceless experience, it’s recommended to pair them together if you’re looking for chairs as well.
Key Features: Rectangular, durable, 4 foot, ANSI certification, ability to link with other identical tables, matte black finish, 10-year warranty, holds up to 300 lbs
If you want a table that will hold some weight, this one is probably your best bet. It has been ANSI certified for safety and has been tested to hold 300 pounds. If you’re getting more than one of these, you could even lock them together as they have been made for linking, which is good for large family gatherings.
The sun won’t hurt this table as will nothing that usually would cause a stain. This table was made to last with its UV protective coating. The black matte coat on the table looks stunning and plays a big part in keeping the surface looking pristine.
All of those premium features certainly do come with a premium price tag though, so at over eighty dollars a table, you may have to resort to something more affordable if your event is on a budget. The next table may be an option for bulk…
Key Features: Rectangular, 8 feet, steel frame, available for bulk purchase
First off, this thing is heavy duty. It’s also a bit expensive compared to others on this list. That said, you get what you pay for.
This model is made for business, but that doesn’t mean it’s dedicated to business. The table is eight feet in length. You’re pretty much guaranteed to seat at least 8 people, but you might even manage twelve to fourteen if you tried.
It’s also built to withstand almost anything. The entire frame is made of steel and built to keep warping away even if it’s right next to a fire. Bonfires won’t be a problem for this one.
If you are able to go online to purchase your tables, you can find a bundle of two of these tables and save roughly fifty percent on the additional table. If you’re buying large tables in bulk, this would be a pretty good opportunity to put money toward other aspects of the event. NPS also makes folding chairs, so you may be able to find a bundle including chairs.
Key Features: Rounded, 4 foot diameter, folds in half, commercial grade, granite top, lightweight (for its type)
Here’s one more table that isn’t rectangular, this one is more for the poker crew. A round table is best for any game night. This one especially, since it is commercial grade meaning it is durable and is guaranteed not to budge while it’s folded out. It’s a bi-fold table, splitting right in the middle with a handle at the edge when it’s ready to store. The rounded top edge of the folded table would be a little more difficult to work with when storing among other items.
What are the caveats? In addition to the rounded edge mentioned above, like most, if not all circular tables, this one is really expensive for its size. Online, it is listed as a granite top, but judging by the fact that the table is only thirty pounds in weight, it would seem that the “granite” tag listed is only the color scheme of the table.
As mentioned previously, Flash Furniture also makes folding chairs. You could pair their chairs and tables together for a better overall experience as they were designed to be used in tandem.
The Best Table on the List is Flash Furniture, 3 foot square
This table is the best on the list because it has a lot of convenient features, such as a sturdy but light build and easy storage. No other table on this list has this many convenient features without compromising its integrity.
It may be a smaller table, but it is effectively packed with features that none of the other tables have in combination.
Summary: Best Folding Tables
Tables can fulfill any purpose, as none of the seven tables listed above were actually built to satisfy a single particular need. A table is a table. Some tables are just easier to use for certain things.
Make sure to check for bundles including tables and chairs, you may be able to find a cheaper solution for your seating needs if you buy bundles of the same brand. If you aren’t looking for seats but need a lot of tables, you may be able to buy in bulk from a wholesale company.
Additionally, tables are large items which are more difficult to handle, so it isn’t unusual for shipping costs online to be outrageous. If you don’t pick one up locally, they’ll be handled by UPS or FedEx most likely, depending on your retailer.
There are many folding tables that can fit many different needs and interests. Visiting hardware stores or a few online marketplaces might reveal a few more viable options for you, so keep your eyes peeled even if you don’t fancy these tables so much.