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Coffee Tables Buying Guide

It's not entirely clear when or where the first coffee table came into use, but it's certainly a ubiquitous piece in today's homes. In a living room in particular, a coffee table can elegantly show off a decorative centerpiece, or it can be put to use holding drinks, snacks, a collection of remote controls, or -- of course -- coffee table books. With all of these uses, it's no wonder there are myriad styles and materials for these indispensable pieces.

Types of Coffee Tables

Types of Coffee Tables

Here's an overview of the vast range of coffee tables, from the basic versions meant to humbly hold items within close reach, to the scene-stealers with unusual designs or unorthodox materials that grab attention as they perform their tasks.

Simple

The simplest design for a coffee table is a rectangular surface measuring about 30 inches wide and 40-48 inches longóthe size you choose depends on the size of your sofa. If you have a long sofa, you need a longer coffee table so the people seated on the end cushions can reach it. Coffee tables can be made of wood (or a woodlike material such as particleboard and veneer), metal, glass, stone, or a combination of materials. As for shape, a coffee table can be a square, rectangle, circle, oval, or any design, as long as it's in proportion to the seating pieces grouped around it.

shop Simple
La Fuente Imports

This affordable Mexican rustic pine coffee table features two large drawers for keeping all of your remotes and living room items ...hidden away. Handmade in Mexico, this classic pine design is great for any home decor. This charming rustic furniture... read more

La Fuente Imports

Use this square piece of Mexican rustic furniture as a Mexican rustic pine coffee table or a storage trunk. The top opens on both ...sides to access the single large storage compartment where you can keep toys, books, or bedding for a foldout couch. The... read more

Westminster

"The Westminster Craftsman Teak Coffee Table makes a nice addition to any Westminster Teak wooden bench, steamer or lounger. The p...erfect match to the Craftsman Teak Coffee table is our Brighton Teak Side Table 14125" read more

Household Essentials
$86.42 $134.95
at Wayfair

Household Essentials Coffee Table Features: -Material: Seagrass.-Contemporary rectangular design.-Storage space.-Rigid woven const...ruction.-Style: Contemporary.-Top Finish: Seagrass.-Base Finish: Seagrass.-Distressed: No.-Powder Coated Finish: No.-Gloss... read more

Zuo Modern
$539.99 $599.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! Flowing in form and function, the Discovery is made from a single piece of bent semi-tempere...d glass with frosted bands. Color: Clear. read more

LumiSource
$275.49 $289.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! Tempered smoked glass rests gracefully atop bent wood legs in this elegant coffee table. Thi...s modern classic fits beautifully with almost any decor. Color: Brown. read more

Office Star
$159.99 $199.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! The Office Star Helena Coffee Table in Greco Oak Finish is packed with beauty that you just ...don't see everywhere. The stunning cocktail table features a wood veneer with a Greco oak finish that goes with so many... read more

CPC

Our 51'x27'x14' Ivory Origami marble coffee table also named Authentic Persian Travertine marble. Designed for high end interior d...ecoration. The outstanding opportunity to make your world unique.This coffee table will seduce you by its unique look.... read more

CPC
ModernInDesigns

Isamu Noguchi created the Original Noguchi Coffe Table in 1954. The Noguchi Table is Famous today for its simplicity and Design.

Furniture of America

Display your favorite decor pieces atop this charming coffee table. The stylish table features a airy beveled glass top with warm,... dark cherry base panels to create unique visual appeal. read more

KD Furnishings

This westwood oak finished coffee table by KD Furnishings features two (2) wood drawers with matte black drawer pulls and steel sh...elf for extra space. This will be a beautiful addition to your decor standing 20 inches high and 48 inches long. read more

Overstock.com

This brown wooden coffee table features a sturdy metal frame with a beautiful spiral-pattern design that adds class to any living ...room. The coffee table has a useful bottom shelf in addition to its top surface that can hold a variety of objects. read more

Upton Home

Eye-catching mirror panels and a contemporary, black finish add an air of sophistication to this cocktail table. Two felt-lined dr...awers provide convenient storage space for living room accessories and a bottom shelf is perfect for displaying books, art. read more

Panama Jack

The Panama Jack Bora Bora sunroom coffee table brings the classic look of rattan poles intricately positioned by hand to draw the ...natural extension for your inner space. Bring the casual, relaxed feel of upscale tropical homes right to your living area. read more

Overstock.com

Style meets functionality with this sophisticated coffee table with drawers. Ideal for displaying treasured keepsakes, the tables ...three drawers offer discreet storage of your items. The beautiful walnut cherry finish will complement any decor. read more

Kid- and Pet-Friendly

Coffee tables are both assets and liabilities in homes with small children and pets. Many toddlers have learned to walk by first cruising around the edge of a coffee table, which is the perfect height for such an activity. However, a coffee table with sharp corners can cause bruises and injuries for the same teetering toddlers. If you have an angular table, add foam bumpers. Or choose a more child-friendly shape, such as round. Beware of painted wood tables, which can flake or peel when chewed on. And finally, a glass or stone table can pose a hazard if it breaks or chips.

Built-In Storage

There are many reasons to choose a coffee table with storage, such as drawers, shelves, or cabinets, built into it. You can keep remote controls contained, tidy up magazines, or hide away throw blankets. Some coffee tables even have deep inner cabinets under a hinged table surface, which you can use to stow everything from board games to sheets for a nearby pullout bed.

Unique Designs and Materials

Coffee tables are commonly made from stained wood, polished stone, or glass. But you can also find unusual materials, including enameled metal, chrome, hammered bronze, poured concrete, smoky glass, colored glass, textured glass, slices of tree trunks, leather, and plastic. A coffee table made from one of these unusual materials functions as a decorative punctuation point in a room, fostering conversation and comment.

Upholstered

Some people like to use large upholstered coffee tables because they may have a casual look, can match your upholstery, and are ready footrests. With a tray or another hard surface on top, they can also hold drinks. Larger than an ottoman, which is sized to match a chair, an upholstered coffee table should have dimensions that relate to your sofa. It may be a circle, square, oval, or rectangle, and the surface may be taut or tufted. And it may be upholstered in fabric or leather. Some upholstered coffee tables can be quite elegant, with carved legs, high-end fabric upholstery, and trimmings such as nailhead or fringe.

Specialty

Specialty coffee tables have additional concepts or abilities built into them. For example, some have chess boards painted on the surface. Some contain small propane fire pits. Others have a top that rises to lap height to become an eating or work surface. Chances are good there is a design available to meet your specific needs.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Here are a couple of other factors to keep in mind when purchasing a coffee table.

Height

When a coffee table is the proper height, a person sitting on the sofa can easily reach forward to set down a drink or pick up a cracker. This means most tables should be 16-18 inches tall, but if you have a taller sofa or one with tight, plump cushions that boost you up a bit, the coffee table should be a bit taller. If you frequently eat at the coffee table, you may also want it to be talleró20-22 inches should do it.

Care and Cleaning

For a piece of furniture that handles everything from feet to fish sticks, it's important to know how to clean and care for the type you're buying. Glass and polished-stone tables will show fingerprints. Wood tables need occasional oiling, and you should always use coasters under drinks to prevent damp glasses from damaging the surface. Upholstered coffee tables will benefit from a stain-retardant coating as soon as you bring it home and periodically thereafter. Specialty materials, such as poured concrete, will have their own care requirements.

Furniture on sale

Household Essentials
$86.42 $134.95
at Wayfair

Household Essentials Coffee Table Features: -Material: Seagrass.-Contemporary rectangular design.-Storage space.-Rigid woven const...ruction.-Style: Contemporary.-Top Finish: Seagrass.-Base Finish: Seagrass.-Distressed: No.-Powder Coated Finish: No.-Gloss... read more

Household Essentials Coffee Table ML-6410
Office Star
$159.99 $199.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! The Office Star Helena Coffee Table in Greco Oak Finish is packed with beauty that you just ...don't see everywhere. The stunning cocktail table features a wood veneer with a Greco oak finish that goes with so many... read more

Coffee Table: Office Star Helena Coffee Table (Greco Oak Finish)
Threshold
$119.99 $149.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! Exceptional quality and smart design come together to make the Threshold Windham Coffee Tabl...e a beautiful focal point for your living space. And in a sharp shell color, this coffee table is an unexpected detail... read more

Coffee Table: Threshold Windham Coffee Table - Shell
Threshold
$111.99 $139.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! The Avington corner media TV stand offers a space-saving option for displaying your home ent...ertainment equipment. It fits perfectly in a corner, letting you conserve wall space and also giving a great TV viewing... read more

Coffee Table: Threshold Avington Coffee Table - Dark Tobacco
Simpli Home
$244.99 $349.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! Carlton 44 inch wide Coffee Table in Tobacco Brown . . Spectacular. There is no other word. ...The Carlton Coffee Table gets you noticed. With a dramatic presence and unique appeal, this coffee table will really wow... read more

Coffee Table: Simpli Home Carlton Coffee Table
Blu Dot
$111.99 $159.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! A stately example of taste and refinement, the handsome Arch Console Table is a piece of hom...e furniture you can't deny. This attractive table offers both form and function with its gracefully curved design and wide... read more

Coffee Table: Arch Coffee Table
TMS
$157.49 $209.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! Clean, and modern lines add elegance to this Sakura coffee table. It features a shelf suitab...le for books or decorative items. Shelf has vertical and horizontal slats for added design interest. Color: Brown. read more

Target Cocktail Table: Sakura Coffee Table - Brown
TMS
Alaterre
$300.99 $429.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! Revive Collection of reclaimed wood furniture features handcrafted design and a reduced impa...ct on the environment. Reclaimed wood wears its history proudly and is long lasting. Oval coffee table has unique styling... read more

Coffee Table: Alaterre Oval Coffee Table - Natural
Alaterre
$230.99 $329.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! This Alaterre Mission Coffee Table provides the style and quality you desire, at a price you...'ll love. A touch of contemporary flair combined with classic styling makes this mission-style coffee table a great... read more

Coffee Table: Alaterre Mission Coffee Table - Cherry
Blu Dot
$112.49 $149.99
at Target

Find Standalone Tables at Target.com! Isabella Coffee Table - Blue Color: Blue.

Coffee Table: Isabella Coffee Table - Blue

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