The right coffee table can tie all the style elements of your living room or family room together. Follow our guide to learn about all the different types of coffee tables and how to choose a coffee table that will look best in your home.
How to Choose a Coffee Table
Here’s a rundown of coffee table shapes, styles, and features to help you decide which piece would best suit your space.
To find out how long your coffee table should be, you should first measure how long your couch is. As a general rule, your coffee table should be between ½ and ⅔ the length of the side of the couch it will be facing.
The standard height of a coffee table is between 16" and 18", but depending on the height of your couch, you might want to go taller or shorter. For maximum comfort and cohesiveness, the coffee table height you choose should be within 2" of the height of your sofa.
For diagrams and placement tips, check out our guide on coffee table sizing.
Rectangle: The most popular coffee table shape, rectangular tables pair well with longer couches. If your room has a lot of soft lines, consider breaking them up with a rectangular coffee table.
Round: A round shape works with shorter sofas and more condensed seating arrangements since long sofas tend to make round coffee tables look small. They are a good option if you have small children or pets as there are no sharp corners to bump into.
Square: Like round tables, square coffee tables tend to work best in a smaller or square-like seating arrangement. However, square tables may not be long enough for everyone to reach if they're seated on a lengthy sofa.
Oval: An oval coffee table will work if you like the shape of a round table, but have a longer sofa.
Free-form and more: If conventional isn’t your style, free-form coffee tables are for you. Geometric styles, like triangular, hexagonal, and half-circle tables would look good in a funky yet casual setting. If you choose a more abstract shape, your everyday coffee table can fit in your space like a sculpture or a work of art. We recommend a free-form style if your living area has a modern, sophisticated look.
Wood: The most common coffee table material, wood is durable, reliable, and accommodating to any room style.
Glass: If your room is small or cramped, a glass coffee table will help open it up with style. Glass is not optimal for homes with smaller children, in case it breaks.
Stoneware: Marble, granite, and slate coffee tables look best when paired with hardwood floors or muted rugs. To keep these scratch-free and ring-free, use coasters and clean regularly with a nonabrasive cleaner.
Metal: Industrial or structural themes pair well with metal coffee tables.
Plastic/Acrylic: Durable and light, plastic or acrylic coffee tables are easy to move around and clean. Their sleek look fits well in a minimal setting.
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