Coffee tables are the staple of sensible interior decorating and often the epicenter of the living room. Being that they’re usually used to set a drink down, place popcorn and other snacks on, or even play board games on for family game night, a coffee table’s design can often be overlooked.
It should be one of the first things in your living room that people notice, to make a statement and receive compliments from guests, but what’s important to know before we get into some of the best coffee tables is what makes a good coffee table.
What Makes a Good Coffee Table?
A coffee table should be both functional and decorative without forgetting to compliment the rest of the living room. While it used to be a popular setup, matching coffee and end tables are now dated and old-fashioned.
In some cases, your coffee table doesn’t even have to be just a table. There are ottomans or wicker trunks/chests with a removable tray on the top and a storage space inside for things like extra blankets, pillows, snacks, etc. Double-function coffee tables are pretty popular among modern decorators since they save a lot of space.
Low coffee tables (the ones that don’t go higher than your knees) are often awkward to use because of their proportions. One that is a bit higher than the knees (around 20 inches in height) can be more useful and eye-catching.
Aside from uniquely shaped coffee tables, round ones are easy to walk by without worrying about dangerous corners and can fit most furniture arrangements. Square or rectangle coffee tables are also great if you have furniture that’s set up to be parallel from each other and are often more adaptable.
Overall, a coffee table that’s functional, decently high, accommodating to your other furniture, and adaptable can really set the scene for your living room.
Best Coffee Tables of 2018
Sporting a slightly abstract and rounded triangular shape, this table has a delicate aesthetic that can fit virtually any modern household.
Two identically cut base pieces hold the table up by meeting at a single point of balance – one from above, and one from below.
The tabletop is made from 19mm tempered glass with gently rounded corners while the bottom two base pieces are made of walnut wood.
It’s quite a heavy coffee table considering it is a little over 100 pounds and it’s around 16 inches high. This coffee table is considered an innovative combination of sculptural style and practicality.
|Easy assembly||A little heavy|
|Simple design for easy decorating||Triangular shape may make it tricky to fit in corners|
|Doesn’t take up too much space||Lower than 20 inches|
This rather unique coffee table is carefully hand crafted using natural coconut shells and can be a perfect fit for any contemporary or “beach house” theme. The top of the table is a flat hexagonal shape with convex sides along with a hollow inside, weighing a total of 36 pounds.
These hammered, ethnic inspired coffee tables are suitable for indoor or outdoors, and great for coastal homes.
With a coconut shell inlay and a whitewash finish, this table can definitely be a conversation piece when placed in the middle of the living room.
There’s plenty of space to place things on top of it such as a tea set or decorative plants, and the whole thing measures out to be 18 inches high and 33 inches in length.
|Quality craftsmanship||Awkward fit in corners|
|Great for contemporary spaces||Convex sides may be a hazard|
|Under 40 pounds|
If you love Scandi-style, this is the best coffee table for you. Classic shape and design in neutral colors will make this coffee table slip easily into your Nordic decor.
You can decorate your living room with this paint-dipped, round cocktail coffee table with a tray top.
Its round shape makes it fit into most areas with ease and can complement any furniture arrangement or specifically minimalist décor. The top is made of Bentwood while the legs are made of rubber wood and metal.
This is a decently high coffee table at 18 inches and 35 inches in length, which is plenty of space on top to put party snacks, drinks, games, and pretty much anything else to make this table fully functional while still maintaining its simple and elegant design.
|Can fit virtually anywhere||Not suited for the outdoors|
|Ideal for minimalist arrangements||A bit large in size|
|Easy to assemble|
The table is made of high-grade MDF and a gorgeous and durable walnut veneer to withstand accidental spills and scratches.
The shape and style of this coffee table is very flexible so it can adapt to almost any furniture arrangement and bring the whole room together. It’s also very light at barely 20 pounds and is 18 inches high.
|Small enough to fit almost anywhere||Odd fit in corners|
|Flexible design||Not sturdy enough for heavy items|
Underneath the tops are tapered steel legs finished in an attractive brushed brass, making this table set a great addition to any contemporary or mid-century living room.
The simple design of this coffee table makes them fit for many purposes. Use one as a side table for a lamp or flowers.
The mid century design gives off a minimalistic, Danish uncluttered vibe in your living room and it’s very easy to assemble and re-arrange.
Because it’s a set, you can have two people enjoy each table at the same time for multiple functions. They’re fairly light so you can effortlessly move them around to enjoy dinner, do some work on your laptop, or enjoy some drinks with some friends.
|Comes as a set||Not good for heavy items|
|Lightweight and small||Awkward in corners|
|Plastic floor pads to protect floor|
This coffee table can be quite the conversation starter with its fiberglass teardrop shape and tempered glass top. It’s an ideal decorative table to place in any creative or contemporary style living room and won’t take up a lot of space.
A retro side table like those in the luxe to less below add fun to your living room and really take your space to a more modern era.
The teardrop boasts a simplified mid-century style with just a dash of modern flair for a rather flexible design to suit any taste in interior decorating.
The teardrop acts as a fluid shape that won’t take up too much attention but can still establish a comfortable and settled pace to your room.
|Small enough to fit anywhere||Can’t place a lot on it|
|Unique teardrop shape||More of a side table than a coffee table|
|Easy to clean|
Perfect for any decorator who’s into elegance and simplicity, this round coffee table has a simple glass and gold design. Style meets practicality while complementing virtually any aesthetic as this coffee table is made of high-grade MDF, a sturdy metal frame, a painted metal X-base, and a durable tempered glass top.
Choose the black powder coated frame for the Nordic look of the moment. Top with Kubus 4 candle holder:
The height is pretty decent at 19 inches and it weighs under 50 pounds so you can easily re-arrange it anytime you’d like. This table can help you achieve that expensive and classy aesthetic without making too much of a statement.
|Elegant style for contemporary interiors||A bit tricky to assemble|
|Round and easily adaptable||Not sturdy enough for heavy objects|
|Effortless to pick up and move|
This is the perfect modern coffee table for those that are fond of timeless designs. It can add a touch of elegance to any urban or industrial style home and is complete with both storage and function in mind.
The glass top can make it through daily use as the painted wooden shelf underneath adds functionality and style and the solid bamboo legs give it structure.
Magazines, remote controls, books, and other items can be kept within easy reach in the storage compartment to heed to the practical needs of the 21s century.
|Visually appealing||Might be a little low|
|Functional storage||Not recommended for small living spaces|
|Easy to clean|
There’s not much to look at yet there’s a lot to talk about with this classic acrylic, transparent coffee table. It sports a mid-century waterfall design that can literally blend in with any clean and minimalistic theme. The acrylic material is similar to glass with a super clear edge that has a clear surface and edge tint.
This classic design has been around since the mid-70’s, it is a timeless coffee table design that you can re-purpose into many uses.
This coffee table can also be used as a bench considering it’s 17 inches high and any carpet colors will show right through without any tint for a nice effect. Obviously, there’s no assembly required and it’s lightweight, making it easy to move when you’re deciding on the best place for it in your living room.
|No assembly required||Can get dirty easily|
|Shows rug color without color tint||Not recommended for small spaces|
|Less visual density so room appears larger|
Coffee Table Buyers Guide
The main factors to consider before purchasing a coffee table are size, function, and form.
With size, you don’t want a coffee table that makes the room look smaller, crowded, or too spacey. If you wish to get an oblong table, try opting for one that’s half the length of your couch so it won’t be too awkward to get around. For square, rectangular, or round coffee tables, try looking for a table that’s around the same height as the seat on your couch (around 20 inches or so) to create a strong horizontal line to tie the room together.
When it comes to function, coffee tables that have a storage space incorporated into its design may come in handy. If you like to entertain, oval or round coffee tables can get people to naturally gather around it and enjoy snacks and drinks. Glass coffee tables are sleek and easy to keep clean, perfect for bringing more attention to collectables and decorations.
Depending on what you wish to use a coffee table for, form is important so you don’t find your table collapsing under too much weight or getting scratched up which can make it unattractive.
Materials such as bamboo, wicker, or reed are some of the better budget choices and are sturdy enough to hold a decent amount of weight. A more family friendly material is wood for durability and versatility, while glass or molded acrylic can create the illusion of more space and is long lasting.
Glass Coffee Tables vs Wood Tables
Glass and wooden coffee tables can both add style and functionality to any living room and both have benefits as well as drawbacks.
Glass tables often give off an elegant and modern aesthetic and can come in many different shapes and sizes. They’re usually shorter than wooden tables and have rounded edges to avoid getting scrapes.
While they’re very easy to clean, they’re not too ideal if you have children that can get rough while playing. Cleaning broken glass isn’t fun and can be very dangerous around little hands.
Wooden coffee tables can give a room a classic and comfortable look as they bring definition and become more of a centerpiece. They often bring contrast compared to a room’s overall décor, but are a little more complicated to clean since you need a special wood cleaner that restores shine rather than remove the finish.
Wood is especially safer around children compared to glass since it’s less likely to break but can still be a hazard if you choose a rectangular or square shape because of the corners.
Ultimately, if you want some contrast to your furniture arrangement, a wooden coffee table is your best option. If you want your room to look more spacey, glass is best to blend in with the rest of the room.
Coffee tables can either make or break the look of your living room depending on what style, shape, and material you go for.
They are one of the staples to decorating any living room or den whether you live in a mansion, suburban home, townhouse, or studio apartment.
Hunting for the perfect coffee table can be quite the hassle but hopefully after reviewing this buying guide and looking over the tables that were recommended above, you’ll come across one that’s the best fit for your lounge room.