How to Buy a Coffee Table

How to Buy a Coffee Table

by Sushant Mehta

From studio apartments to suburban mansions, country homes to townhouses, living rooms everywhere noticeably feature a piece of furniture that’s a must-have for every home — the coffee table.

No single furniture item serves so many functions as the coffee table, available in so many materials, shapes, and styles that one get easily lost in choice.

But worry not. This guide will help you pick a coffee table that perfectly fits your lifestyle.

So let’s dive right in.

  1. Think About Material

Coffee tables are made of all sorts of materials — glass, iron, wood, you name it. To choose the material that’s perfect for you, consider the following three things:

  • Your color palette
  • The overall aesthetic of the living room
  • How you will use it

Do you want your coffee table to serve a purely decorative purpose? Go for glass then. Would you want it to serve as a footrest or hold books? Try soft upholstery or sturdy wood.

We’ve outlined all top options here.


If you want ample surface in a tiny space, think glass coffee table. Thanks to its see-through quality, it prevents a room from looking or feeling too cluttered. Do you have pets or children at home? Remember that although glass coffee tables are pretty easy to clean, they have sharp edges and are prone to shattering.

Wicker & Rattan

These coffee tables have a lightweight feel and a laidback style, making them an ideal choice for boho aesthetics. You can move this coffee table around as you deem fit, but it is not very suitable for snacking over it. Woven fibers mean that such a table, while durable, has hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.


Sturdy and solid, wood coffee tables can effortlessly hold a pile of books, food and drinks, intricate vignettes, and even tired feet. However, mind you, wood tables are prone to scratches, discoloration, and stains. So before you sit back with a bowl of popcorn to catch up with the latest flicks, make sure the table is properly sealed.

If you can stretch your budget, go for a table with inlaid polished stone, since this kind of a table is practically scratch and stain-proof.


An upholstered coffee table can be used for snacking and for extra sitting. A great alternative to your classic coffee table, it is a perfect option if you have young children.


Just like a glass table, an acrylic coffee table, thanks to its translucent nature, takes almost no “visual room.” They are a great option for not only modern spaces but also almost any aesthetic, from glamorous to traditional and timeless. The fact that such tables have a smooth surface that’s super easy to wipe is an added benefit.

  1. Decide The Shape

Before you zero in on the shape of the table, consider your room’s shape. Is it narrow and small? And what about the existing pieces of furniture? Do you wish your new coffee table to mimic the style and shape of your furnishings or contrast it?

Let’s find out the benefits associated with different geometric shapes.


Most-suited for bigger rooms, rectangular tables go best with large, long sofas. These tables have a lot of surface area and, as such, are a perfect option in case you use the space as the central gathering spot of your home.


A circular coffee table is just about perfect for tight spaces, since it is easy and simple to navigate around and snugly fits with different furnishings such as L-shaped sectional and love seats.


With a square coffee table, you can effectively unify seating areas which otherwise would appear too spaced out. However, if your room is compact, you may well want to keep away from of a square-shaped coffee table, since it will amplify the small-room effect.

  1. Consider the Size

The overall feel and look of your living room can be greatly affected by the width, height, and weight of the coffee table. To prevent your new table from dwarfing other surrounding furniture pieces or vice-versa, keep in mind scale and size. For instance, pairing a small, decorative coffee table with an overstuffed couch will put off both functionality and proportions.

Here are two tips to help you pick the right size.


Pick a coffee table which is roughly 2/3rd of the length of the couch. If it’s bigger than that, it may dwarf the sofa and make the whole room look out of proportion.


Ideally, you would want to keep a gap of 12-18 inches between the surrounding furniture and the coffee table. Such a gap will provide ample room for people to pass through and also ensure the table is always within arm’s reach.

Wrapping Up

Coffee table is available in so many choices that it’s easy to feel a tad overwhelmed when you shop for one. However, with the help of these tips, you’ll be easily able to find the perfect multitasker of your dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do you match a coffee table with a couch?

You should select a coffee table that is approximately two-thirds of the length of your sofa. It will allow ample space for people to pass around at both ends and ensure you have enough room to put decorative objects if you want.

  1. Do glass tables scratch easily?

Unfortunately, the answer is YES. While surfaces such as glass tabletops are an awesome design element, they are prone to scratches if you put them in a high-traffic area of your home, like the dining room or the kitchen. However, if you can avoid putting hot items like bowls, cooking utensils, and plates directly onto the coffee table, you can use glass table tops practically any where you like.

  1. Do end tables have to match the coffee table?

No, not really. There’s no hard-and-fast aesthetic rule that dictates your furniture such as end tables, TV stand, and coffee table must match. Your end tables may or may not match your coffee table; it is entirely up to you and either way is fine.







$1 Days
$2 Hours
$3 Minutes
$4 Seconds