Believe it or not, the right set of billiard or pool balls can really impact your performance and is vital to playing your best game ever. Even if you’re playing on a subpar table, a good set of billiard balls can make the game smoother and your shots more precise. There are a lot of different styles available, but there are some things you should look for when trying to find the perfect set. In this guide, we’ll give you some guidelines to follow to make sure you’re getting the best set for your needs. Then, we’ll take a look at the 5 best billiard ball sets of the year.
Top Billiard Ball Set Comparison Chart
Not all billiard balls are alike. In fact, you might be surprised how much the quality of the balls really impacts your gameplay. Before we take a look at our reviews, it’s important to know what to look for when buying a set of pool balls.
Standard pool balls have a diameter of 2 ¼ inches and weight 5 ½ to 6 oz. These are the dimensions of balls that are used in competition and the kind you should really get for home use. They do make smaller balls but if you’re playing on a regulation sized table, there’s really no use for them. Smaller balls are best used with smaller, scaled down tables. While these smaller tables are great for people with minimal space, for the purposes of our reviews, we only looked at standard size sets.
You’ll see some sets that are labeled “TV.” The only difference between these and a regular set is the colors. TV sets are the kind used in televised pool tournaments and the colors are brighter so that people watching at home can more easily distinguish the balls from one another. That’s really the only difference. A TV set is a good one to choose if you prefer brighter colors to the standard sets that are made using only primary colors.
In the past, billiard balls were made of a variety of material – clay, wood, and even ivory. Ivory was preferred, but the trend shifted to a more sustainable material in the mid-19th century. Eventually, technology advanced and companies began making balls out of plastics and synthetic polymers which were hard, durable, and chip resistant.
Today, the best material you can get is phenol resin and it’s only used by a few manufacturers, most notably Aramith, which has been making pool balls in some form or another since 1923. 80% of player worldwide use Aramith balls and they are the standard bearer in the industry.
Balls made from phenolic resin are very dense and keep their polish and shine up to 5 years longer than other materials. They’re also chip and scratch resistant and are less affected by the covering of the pool table.
There are other brands that make high quality billiard balls. In addition to phenolic resin, they’re also made of various polyesters and clear acrylics. Generally, the material the ball is made of will directly affect the price. If you’re looking for something in the low to mid price range, polyester or acrylic balls might be a better choice.
In addition to being able to buy standard sets of 16 balls (8 solid including the 8 ball, 7 striped, and a cue ball), there are also a lot of fun gimmicks you can find. There are balls that are patterned with swirls and tie-dye, designed with the logos of sports teams, or even made to glow in the dark.
You can also find gift sets that will have a full set of balls along with some extra pool related items, like ball cleaned, practice cues, and instruction manuals showing you how to make difficult shots.
Best Pool Ball Set Reviews
Aramith Regulation Size Crown Standard Billiard/Pool Balls
This complete billiard set from Aramith contains a total of sixteen balls – seven stripes, eight solids, and one cue ball. These are regulation size balls with a 2 ¼ inch diameter.
They’re made of high quality phenolic resin, which lasts up to five times longer than balls made from polymers. They’re highly scratch resistant and meet the highest specifications in the industry. They’re perfectly round, uniform in weight and firmness, and roll smoothly. They’re also made of bright, vivid colors and are perfect for players of any skill level.
When playing pool, you need the balls to roll with precision to make sure you make your shots. These are some of the most reliable balls to shoot pool with. You will even see an improvement in play if you use these balls on a cheaper table. Aramith pool balls are frequently used in professional matches so you know this is a brand you can trust.
- Made of high quality resin
- Last 5 years longer than other brands
- Professional quality
Imperial Officially Licensed NFL Home vs. Away Team Billiard/Pool Balls
If you’re looking for a billiard ball set that’s a little different, the Imperial Officially Licensed NFL Home vs. Away Team Billiard/Pool Balls are perfect for a football fan. You can merge your love of pool and pigskin by choosing your favorite team and getting a full set of pool balls in home and away colors rather than stripes and solids. The eight ball is fairly standard looking while the cue ball bears the official NFL logo.
The balls themselves are made from high quality A Grade polyester resin that will resist chipping and cracking so your team’s logo will stay fresh and bright no matter how much you use them to play. This makes a unique gift for a die hard football fan regardless of whether or not he likes pool. That said, if you do buy them to actually play a game with, they’re regulation size. One thing to note, though, is that they do not have numbers. So only buy these if you’re not planning on using to play variants of pool that require you to use the numbers.
- Perfect for a football lover
- Can choose any NFL team
- Balls do not have numbers on them
Aramith Regulation Size Professional Billiard/Pool Balls
We’ve already talked about Aramith and the high quality of their billiard balls. This set is made from the same high quality phenolic resin that other Aramith sets are. They’ll last five times as long as other polymer balls and have a classic design that won’t scratch or chip.
This is a nice set that includes a full regulation size set of 8 solids, 7 strips, and a cue ball. You also get a bottle of ball cleaner, a micro-fiber cleaning cloth, and a training ball and manual. If you want to up your game and learn some different shots, this is the perfect kit for you.
The training cue ball has different lines, rings, and targets marked on it designed to show you where and how to hit the ball to elicit numerous different shots – sidespin, topspin, and backspin to name a few. The training manual is 56 pages of tips and tricks to learn how to have precise control over your cue strokes. This is a unique set to give as a gift to someone who is looking to advance their pool game beyond casual play.
- High quality
- Includes ball cleaner and microfiber cleaning cloth
- Also comes with a practice cue and instruction booklet
Super Aramith Tv Pro-Cup Pool Ball Set
This set is not just by the same manufacturer as the balls used in professional tournaments; they’re the exact same balls. If you’ve ever seen a pool tournament on TV, you might have noticed the red dots on the cue ball, and you’ll get that with this set.
The phenolic resin that Aramith uses in all their balls makes them durable and impact resistant. They’re also meticulously calibrated so that consistency between each ball is close to perfect. This means each ball will react in the same way and will help you play a better game of pool.
They’re not only the best performing balls, they’re also just gorgeous to look at. Bright and shiny with oversized numbers, you get a unique look with this set that you just won’t find anywhere else. This set is the most expensive one we reviewed, but if you’re looking to invest in an amazing set of pool balls and in turn improve your playing performance, no other set will match this one.
- Meticulously calibrated
- Same balls that are used in televised tournaments
- Very expensive
Diamond Billiards Cyclop TV Pool Ball Set
For another professional level pool ball set, try the Diamond Billiards Cyclop TV Pool Ball Set. They’re becoming more and more popular and respected in the industry and are used in various tournaments world wide.
These are constructed of highly engineered phenolic resin that makes them extremely durable and keeps them looking shiny and new for a long time. The colors in this set are the unique, bright, and vibrant colors that are also used on television for easy recognition. The color is actually the only difference between the standard set and the TV set because the latter has been optimized for television viewing.
These pool balls perform great and are really beautiful to look at. That said, they’re quite expensive. This might not be the best investment for someone just learning how to play or anyone who has young children in the house who will undeniably be attracted to these pool balls and want to play with them.
- Durable and reliable
- Professional quality
- Beautiful, vivid colors
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
For a high quality moderately priced option, check out the Aramith Regulation Size Crown Standard Billiard/Pool Balls set. They’re made of high quality materials that will last a long time. They may cost more than some of the cheaper sets, but you won’t need to replace them nearly as often. Plus, they’re smooth and precise.
If you’re looking for a unique gift idea for a sports lover or if you love football yourself, the Imperial Officially Licensed NFL Home vs. Away Team Billiard/Pool Balls might be a good fit for you. While these balls are somewhat of a novelty because they aren’t numbered, you can certainly play a simple game of pool with them while showing off your team spirit.
A really cool option for anyone who’s looking for a little something extra either for themselves or as a gift is the Aramith Regulation Size Professional Billiard/Pool Balls. Not only to you get a set of high quality Aramith billiard balls, you also get cleaner, a microfiber cloth, a training cue, and a training manual. This set will certainly help you advance your game.
If you want Aramith pool balls but you’re looking for brighter, more vivid colors, look no further than the Super Aramith Tv Pro-Cup Pool Ball Set. You get the standard, high quality craftsmanship of Aramith with gorgeous, eye catching colors.
The Diamond Billiards Cyclop TV Pool Ball Set also comes in cool, bright colors that are made for TV tournaments so that viewers can easily see them. They’re meticulously crafted for quality and are a great option if you’re looking to invest in a set that will last a long time.
As you can see, there really is something out there for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a high quality, competition level set, something gimmicky, or even a kit with some extras for a nice gift, you’re sure to find a pool ball set that will give you just what you’re looking for.