6 Best Folding Tables, According to Food Network Kitchen

Whether you need an extra table for entertaining or more surface area for food prep, these are the best folding tables you can buy.

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November 09, 2021
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By Sharon Franke for Food Network Kitchen

When the holidays come around and family and friends gather at your house, chances are you’ll need extra space whether it’s to seat your guests, set up a buffet, or give yourself more prep room. A folding table that’s easy to store and then pull out when you need it can be a lifesaver. We know that some of you have no dining room table at all and want to figure out how to have a dinner party for just two or four, while others need enough seating to accommodate the entire extended family. Just like us, many of you don’t have enough room on your countertop to hold all the ingredients you’re prepping and plates and bowls you’ll be filling with food for a holiday feast. Our selection of best folding tables includes one for every purpose.

Things to Consider About Folding Tables

  • Size: As with many things, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Think carefully about what you need the table for. If it’s for seating, how many people do you need to make room for? Then check to see how many can fit at the table that you’re considering purchasing. Also, be sure to measure the space where you’ll be setting the table up and that it’s big enough to hold the table with room to pull out chairs and walk around.
  • Ease of setup: You want a table that’s convenient to open and close without a struggle. Keep in mind the weight of the table which will affect how easy it is to turn upside down to close or open the legs.
  • Stability: The last thing you want is a wobbly table or even worse, one that collapses. Look for an automatic lock that prevents the table from folding when you’re using it. Legs that resemble a wishbone tend to be steadier. For many tables, you can find a specification telling you how much weight they can bear which will also help you to determine its stability and sturdiness.
  • Ease of transport: Any table over 50 pounds is considered heavy and hard to carry, but for some people even something less than that is a lot of weight. Handles will make it easier to transport, as will a latch that keeps the table in the closed position.

How We Picked

In making our selections for best folding tables we relied on years of experience using folding tables. We did an exhaustive overview of the category, comparing features and specifications. As we always do, we read what professional reviewers had to say as well as user comments on shopping sites. Our goal was to find a selection of reliable models that satisfied a variety of different needs and situations.

$49.98

You’ll spot this table just about everywhere from tag sales to barbecues to church suppers. Its popularity is well-deserved. Not only is it very affordable, it’s easy to set up and has legs shaped like wishbones that give it stability. It automatically locks in the open position, so it won’t collapse. When it’s folded up, it has a slim profile, a latch that sandwiches the two halves together, and a handle make it easy to carry or stash in a closet. It weighs about 25 pounds. Depending on the width of your chairs and whether or not you seat people at the ends, it gives you room for another six to eight people. According to the manufacturer, it can hold 150 pounds which should be more than enough for your holiday feast as long as no one dances on the table.

The utilitarian hard plastic tabletop, which comes in black or white, is easy to wipe clean and will be fine if it’s serving as a prep station or craft table. However if you’re going to be using it at a company meal to seat guests or set up a buffet of platters and dishes, you can top it with a tablecloth and no one will know what’s underneath. Rubber tips on the bottom of the legs protect your floor from scratches.

If you need additional space, Walmart also sells an 8 foot size that can seat eight to 10.

Buy It
$72.98

Sure, this "card" table is ideal for gin rummy, Scrabble, or Monopoly game nights but it’s also a great choice if you’re just looking for a small table for an intimate dinner party, a kid’s table, or a drinks station. Made of solid wood with your choice of oak, cherry or fruitwood finish, it doesn’t need a table covering and is even attractive enough to keep out as an occasional table for a lamp or mail, and keys. However, as with all wood furniture, you will want to use coasters for glasses and a tray for beverages and wipe up any spills immediately. The legs fold down diagonally for storage. At 38 pounds, it’s manageable but heavy for its size.

Buy It
$204.99

This is a real problem solver if you live in a small apartment and can’t dedicate space to a dining room table but occasionally like to host a dinner party. With its walnut finish, it’s a lovely console to sit behind a sofa or in a hallway. Pull out the gate leg supports and the drop leaves on either side and it becomes a full-size dining room table that can seat six. Some assembly is required. You should be able to easily put it together in an hour or less but if you need if for Thanksgiving, don’t wait until the last minute when you’re concentrating on the turkey and the pies.

Buy It

Round tables are more convivial. No one sits on an end and everyone can easily see and talk to everyone else. They’re also easy to maneuver around if you’re filling glasses or serving the sweet potatoes. At this table, you can comfortably seat six for dinner or a poker game. It would also be a good choice for setting up a cocktail or appetizer station. The table top is made of white plastic so for most uses, you’ll probably want to top it with a cloth. As Flash Furnitures claims it can hold 440 pounds, it should be able to withstand any load (within reason) that you’re likely to place on it. When it’s time to stash it away, it folds in half and the legs tuck under. It weighs 34 pounds, but a handle makes it easy to transport whether you’re carrying it up from the basement or to a tailgate.

Buy It

Set up this model and you have enough room at the table for 10 additional guests. While the National Public may look very similar to less expensive tables, this is the Cadillac of the category because of its solid construction. It’s exceptionally durable and strong enough to hold 800 pounds. The extra-thick gray speckled plastic surface can withstand temperatures up to 212 degrees F, which means you don’t have to use trivets to protect it. Although the legs fold under for storage, the table itself doesn’t fold up, so it will take up a bit of room in a closet. It also weighs 50 pounds, which makes it heavy to maneuver and transport.

Buy It
$64.99

If you need extra room in the kitchen to hold all your ingredients or the servingware you’ll be using, this table is ideal. It’s also the perfect size to accommodate just a few guests, seat the kids, or use as a card table for games of Uno or doing jigsaw puzzles. It’s strong enough for 165 pounds of dishes and food or Lego pieces. The white plastic table top is easy to wipe clean, but is utilitarian looking so if you use it as a dinner table or even for a Trivial Pursuits party, you’ll want to cover it with a cloth. As it folds in half, weighs only 17 pounds, and has a handle, this table is very portable.

Buy It

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