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Proud manufacturers of Gopak tables, benches, trolleys and Ultralight staging.

How to choose a folding table


A folding table can be infinitely useful, being a multi-functional item of furniture that is quick to put up and down and will take up very little space when not in use. If you want to make sure you buy the right folding table for your needs, there are various factors that you should take into consideration.

Some folding tables are so light and flimsy that they will fall over with a puff of wind or slightest knock, others are really heavy and cumbersome making them difficult to carry or put up and down.  You also need to think about the size and strength of those who will be putting the tables out and clearing them away. 

General guidance for the lifting of weight for men is a maximum of 25kg and for women 16kg, so look out for folding tables that fall within these perimeters.  Some heavier tables will need a two person lift, another important consideration if you have limited resources around you. 

There is no way any of us would like to put things out on a folding table and for it to sink in the middle.  This can happen when using a plywood pasting table or a folding table which is hinged in the middle.  

They may be really cheap but you will regret your purchase as this type of table may prove to be a total waste of money and will probably need throwing away after a couple of outings.  Ideally, look out for a strong folding table that is both lightweight, durable and hard-wearing and that comes with a lifetime guarantee so you can be assured of value for money.

Think about the space you have where the folding table is to be used.

•    Are there going to be multiple tables in use at any one time?
•    How many people do you need to sit around the table or in total for an event or function?
•    Will you be using folding chairs or benches as seating with the tables, or will people be standing at the table to serve or sell?

Find out the width of the chairs or benches you plan on using and consider the actual clearance under the table, which is often not the length of the table, when you do your calculations.  Many folding tables are supplied in restricted sizes, making it difficult to find exactly the right one you need. 

Our folding tables are supplied in a choice of four lengths (from 3ft tables to 6ft folding tables), three widths and six heights so that you can choose the right height for the use and user.  A lower table is also a great choice if you enjoy camping or caravanning as outdoor chairs tend to be much lower than the ones you would use inside. 

The importance of cleanliness and hygiene has never been so prominent, especially with the continued presence of COVID-19.  Choose tables that have a wipe-clean surface ideally with a plastic laminate top. 

Some folding tables are available with antimicrobial tops that help to inhibit harmful bacteria and microorganisms.  Shy away from wooden table tops as these can be harbourers of germs and are harder to keep hygienic. 

How many folding tables are supplied in just one colour?  Sadly most are, but this is not the case with Gopak folding tables.  Choose from a wide range of seventeen colours, including traditional woodgrains and a fantastic selection of eleven popular colours, including whitegreybluered and green, through to more eye-catching colours like orange and pink.   

There are no other folding tables that can be supplied in such a huge choice.  We get particularly excited when some of our customers including schools and businesses order some great colour combinations – Acid Green paired with Fuchsia, cool Storm grey mingling with sizzling Orange.

Not only will a folding table be infinitely useful for all your day-to-day activities it can be a great way of generating revenue by hiring your space for community events, fund-raising, as a wedding venue, for parties and celebrations.  It doesn’t take much effort or imagination to transform a village hall into the most magical setting.  You can create extra space for jumble sales and summer fetes when selling produce and homemade gifts and wares at farmer’s markets. 

Some children’s nurseries hire a village hall during term time if they do not have their own premises and it is scenarios like these when folding tables come into their own, being so easy to put up and down and then stored away in the cupboard so the hall can be hired for other uses.   A folding table is ideal for hotels and conference centres that need to be adaptable with their space for training events and social functions.

The list is endless but here are a few suggestions.  Village halls, community centres, churches and other places of worship including mosques, temples and chapels, church halls, wedding venues, restaurants, outside caterers, businesses, farmer’s markets, antique dealers, social clubs, charities, youth clubs, scouts and guides, training centres, conference centres, toddler groups, playgroups, nurseries, primary schools, secondary schools, academies, colleges, universities, GP surgeries, dental surgeries, hospices and hospitals.

Yes, yes and yes.  Have a folding table in your home and you will wonder how you lived without one.  Save wear and tear on your kitchen or dining table and use a folding table instead for crafting, sewing, painting, as additional tabling at Christmas or for other family gatherings.  You can use your folding table outside for summer parties and BBQs and then pop it in the garage, a cupboard, under the bed or behind the sofa when it is not needed. 

Folding tables have been invaluable for those who have found themselves working from home, with nowhere to put their laptop or PC.  With limited space in the home, our work from home table and chair set can be used during the working day and then folded away to return your room into domestic bliss for the out of office hours.

There are certainly some folding tables that we recommend you try and avoid as you will be disappointed with their performance and we want to help you identify where there are pitfalls. Some tables are still made with old-fashioned sliding clips to release the legs.  The clip can be a real finger trap and these are definitely not suitable for use by children or anyone who isn’t built like a sumo wrestler as they are normally really heavy too. 

We mentioned plywood pasting tables as not being strong enough.  They are fine for the job for which they are intended, wallpaper pasting but beyond that should not be used for other tasks as they will sag in the middle.   You may be tempted to consider purchasing folding tables with a moulded plastic top as these can also be picked up for very little cost, but again the durability of these types of table is very questionable.  We know this because we have customers who have purchased them for their organisation and then come back to us, as they know our folding tables last much longer. 

If you would like further help in choosing a folding table, make sure you take a look at our best folding tables guide and find the right table for your specific needs. If you would like any advice or assistance, our wonderful team are on hand to make sure you make the right choice for you and your organisation.

Making folding furniture since 1954