Game Table Topper Vs Gaming Table: What's the Difference?

You’ve decided to enhance the way you play board games and are pondering two different opinions: a game table topper vs gaming table. While each has its pros and cons, one of these is a clear choice for those who want the best gaming experience possible. But which is it?

While game toppers do offer a convenient way to turn any space into a sophisticated gaming station, they lack the qualities that make a true gaming table so great. That’s why most board game enthusiasts ultimately end up investing in a full-fledged board game table. 

But today, we’ll take a deeper look at both of these options to help you make the right choice. Let’s not waste any more time - what’s the difference between a table topper and a board game table?

What is the Difference Between a Game Table Topper vs Gaming Table?

To kick things off we’re going to fully break down both the game topper and gaming table - explaining how each works. Then, we’ll compare and contrast them to show you the key advantages each style offers - and why we ultimately believe the board gaming table to be a superior choice. First - what is a game topper?

What is a Game Topper?

The game topper is a relatively new addition to the board gaming scene. It’s been branded as an easy way to upgrade your gaming space without having to bring an entire table into the room. These started as a campaign on Kickstarter before ultimately launching - and since the original topper was released, countless others have spawned.

How game table toppers work is simple. They’re just a board you play games on. You simply add the game topper to an existing table - or countertop, ottoman, or any other flat surface you want to play games on. Thus, making it an attractive option for those short on space. It also means you can take board games outdoors without sacrificing the experience of gaming. 

To really enhance game toppers, you can add accessories like drink holders, poker chip trays, mat storage bags, and more. Game toppers are modular and can be as simple or sophisticated as you like. They range in sizes from as small as 36”x36” to as large as 48”x72”. 

What is a Gaming Table?

A gaming table, on the other hand, is a more versatile approach to gaming and entertainment. The main difference between a full-fledged gaming table and a table topper is simple: legs. A gaming table is just like your dining table, except it’s been modified to allow for a gaming experience unlike any other. This is where the board game table features come in.

These game tables contain individual player stations, allowing guests to feel comfortable and experience board games as they were intended. These stations are complete with drink holders (no more spilled drinks on your table - or worse, your board game), card holders, and slots for chips, dice, tokens - or figurines.

Along with individual player stations, board game tables have a unique playing surface that’s recessed - meaning lower than the rest of the table. This allows for a more seamless playing experience and prevents the common issue of things falling off the table. And when that playing surface is felted, even better

Now - not all gaming tables are created equal. There are rectangular game tables and round styles. You can choose different types of gaming table wood. All of this is to say that you can find a custom board game table design that meets your needs. If you choose an actual gaming table over the game topper, you have more variety at your fingertips. 

This is just one of the many advantages of game tables over game toppers. Speaking of which, let’s move onto the main topic at hand: helping you make the right choice for your home.

Game Topper vs Gaming Table: Which is Right for You?

If you want to perfect your game night set up, D&D setup, or host a poker night, the surface on which you play makes a world of difference. You likely already know that - which is why you’re here hoping to weigh the pros and cons between the game topper vs gaming table. 

So - without any further ado, let’s break down the advantages and drawbacks of each option - starting with the game topper.

Advantages of Game Toppers

There are two advantages game table toppers have over board game tables - but the most noteworthy is the low price. That’s because you’re typically buying a smaller playing surface than a full-fledged table would provide. And, you’re only getting half the table - this is just the top, so you don’t have to pay for production or shipping on the legs.

The other benefit of game toppers is the ability to play games anywhere. Is it a beautiful sunny day? Take your table outside and play games or do puzzles on the patio. Want to move your game from the kitchen table to the living room ottoman so you can watch the big game while you play? Just pick it up and move it.

However, after careful research it’s obvious that the drawbacks outweigh the advantages…here’s why.

Disadvantages of Game Toppers

While game toppers are certainly cheaper than board game tables, you get what you pay for. These are not made from the same durable materials as an actual table - because they aren’t ever forced to support weight on their own. 

Early reports from those who have invested in one of these show that they’re rather flimsy - as they’re nothing more than plastic-injected molding. They’re weak. That means if you accidentally drop the board game topper it’s prone to breaking - and at $500-1000 per topper, surely you’d expect better quality!

Another reason many board game enthusiasts ultimately end up choosing an actual table is storage. Where are you going to put the topper when not in use? They can be quite large, and they’re also a bit unsightly. You’ll have to find space under a bed, in a closet, or somewhere else in your home for this investment. For many, space is a precious commodity that can’t afford to be wasted.

And, most importantly, does it really add any value over a real table? Think about it like this: you buy your game topper, and you still need to place it on another table or counter to actually use it. Why not just buy a new table in the first place? To many, this makes a lot more financial and logistical sense. And, it can be tough to find a topper that fits your specific table. 

With all that said, let’s take a look at the advantages of your other option: gaming tables.

Advantages of Gaming Tables

Ask any die-hard board game or RPG enthusiast if a well-designed board game table is worth it - they’ll tell you firsthand that there is no better investment! 

This is especially true when you get an innovative table that can convert between gaming and dining instantaneously. For those who host gatherings, this is a godsend. You can stop gaming or puzzling at a moment’s notice when dinner is ready - just throw the tabletop back on with your game still underneath. Then, after everyone’s done eating and it’s time to get back to the action, remove the table top - you’re back in business. This is also a great approach for those looking to arrange furniture in a dining room living room combo or

No need to constantly clean up games that you play frequently. If you’re in the middle of a long campaign, you can leave it intact under the table top with no interruption to the rest of your life. This also serves as a great way to store board games if you don’t have a dedicated board game display shelf (but - we encourage you to check out our list of the best gaming shelves anyway!).

Simply put, a gaming table does everything a game topper does and then a whole lot more. You came here because you want the best gaming station possible - and only a full-fledged gaming table can provide that. So - let’s wrap this up by taking a look at some of the disadvantages these have over game toppers.

Disadvantages of Gaming Tables

Really, the only two disadvantages of gaming tables are cost and space. It’s no secret that you’ll pay more for a full-fledged gaming table. But, you get what you pay for. You’re getting a lot more features in your purchase. And so, we don’t really consider this a disadvantage. 

Similarly, you’ll have to find out where you’re going to fit your game table. If you have a small game room setup, no problem. But what if you don’t? That’s why getting a game table that converts to a dining table is the best approach here. 

This allows you to kill two birds with one stone - upgrading your dining table and your gaming station in one easy purchase. So - again, not technically a disadvantage, more so just something to keep in mind as you shop. And we’ll point you in the right direction in a moment. First - it’s time to bring this debate to a close.

The Verdict: 

If the answer wasn’t already clear which investment is the better choice, allow us to clear the air once and for all: gaming tables are better than game toppers for several reasons. As you can see, they offer a better gaming experience and fit better as an overall piece of your home. So - if you’re serious about enhancing your hosting and gaming experience, keep reading…

Want to Enhance Your Hosting & Gaming Experience?

As mentioned earlier, the best way to go about buying a game table is to take the multi-purpose approach - getting a table that serves as more than just a gaming station. Your table should also be the centerpiece of all your dining, drinking, studying, working, or socializing. And for that, you can count on the Dresden by Bandpass Design. It’s the #1 board game dining table. Once you see it yourself, you’ll see why.

With the tabletop on, this looks like nothing more than a stunning, sophisticated dining table built from durable hardwood. But once you remove the dining table top to unveil the stunning playing surface underneath, you’ll see why this is considered among the best multipurpose furniture for small spaces.

It has incredible features to elevate your level of play, no matter what games are on the agenda. It can be customized to your exact specifications - choose your style, color, size, and features. Making this table your own is easy. And after you get to play on it with friends and family, you’ll know you made the right choice.

Final Thoughts on the Board Game Topper vs Board Game Table Debate

We hope you gained a better understanding of the differences between a board game topper and a board game table - and why the gaming table is the superior choice. Ultimately, though, only you can determine which of these makes the most sense for your home. It’s time to make your own decision - and if you opt for the gaming table, look no further than Bandpass design!