Coffee Table Buyers Guide

Coffee tables are often a warm gathering point among friends and family, serving more than just a functional purpose. They can come in various different types and materials, but generally speaking, coffee tables are characterised by their low height. These tables have long been associated with a sense of relaxation and ease.

Types of Coffee Tables


Marble coffee tables are decorative pieces with a strong influence in the room. A versatile option, these are incredibly durable and can be quite aesthetically stunning. With marble being a rather costly material, this type of coffee table conveys a sense of luxury.


A common choice for most, glass coffee tables are popular for being able to blend easily in any room due to their transparency, allowing light to diffuse through easily. Mostly, glass coffee tables only have the tops be made of glass, but with a little patience, you will be able to find tables completely made of glass.


For a rustic and homely feel, a wooden coffee table will be the perfect addition to a much-needed space. Wooden coffee tables are lightweight, environmentally friendly and even modern. The versatility of wood can extend between the extreme spectra between affordable and luxury.


For a much-needed decorative piece, a gloss coffee table is an excellent addition. Made from high-quality plastic covered with a coat of gloss for that extra shine, gloss coffee tables are durable, lightweight and affordable compared to the other options. Being made of plastic, you can expect these to come in all shapes, styles and colours.



Traditional coffee tables are one of the most common styles you can see. Since it was first designed over a century ago, the traditional coffee table has not changed much as they are still mostly made of ornately carved wood.


As opposed to traditional, contemporary coffee tables are pretty much the opposite. However, the problem with this style is that the term ‘contemporary’ is essentially used to describe a wide variety of designs that make use of modern styles.


Interestingly, although contemporary coffee tables are used to describe modern styles, the modern design genre is highly specific to the 20th century and is characterised by minimalism and straight lines.


Gaining more and more popularity, the rustic style is gaining momentum as it is aesthetically pleasing and it evokes a sense of cosiness. This kind of style is designed with old and traditional aesthetics and materials to convey a country vibe.


An interesting style that borders between rustic and modern, the coastal style of coffee tables are sort of in between - not as clean as modern ones, but not as casual as a rustic model. This style specifically aims to convey a natural feeling with the use of light-toned wood and natural shapes.


Industrial coffee tables heavily use glass and metal - especially metal. This style is inspired by the industrial age as the name implies and easily conveys a sense of strength and resilience.



With its cost, marble or stone coffee tables easily give a room a boost in the sense of luxury and elegance. With marble specifically, people have started opting for marble more and more because unlike the other materials, it has a natural design to it which varies from table to table.


Glass is a popular choice as a material for coffee tables with its ability to easily diffuse light, making it a versatile piece. Glass is also an excellent choice because it is easy to wipe down and clean.


Being a small piece of furniture, woodworkers enjoy making wooden coffee tables as a simple woodworking project. Wood is light and can give a rustic or modern feel to a room; it is also an excellent material for beautiful coffee tables because wood can easily be stained between a light chestnut to the darkest oak.


Metal is a popular material to use, especially in industrial coffee tables. Although it is not common to see one using only metal, metal coffee tables usually make use of a glass top.

Features to Look Out For

Shelves and Drawers

This feature may be the most common one you can see and expect from coffee tables. Drawers and shelves are excellent features to look for in a coffee table because everyone can use that extra space.

Adjustable Height

This may not be the most common coffee table feature but if you can find one, then consider getting it. The ability to manually adjust the height makes this kind of coffee table perfect for multiple uses.


As the revolution of the modern and minimalist design keeps going strong, there has been a rise of modular coffee tables with one, two, or even four seats integrated inside, like a little Russian nesting doll. It’s a utilitarian design feature that most people (especially those with limited seating space) will be able to appreciate.

Factors to Consider


The material of the coffee table you will choose is integral because the material essentially dictates the mood the table gives the room. Aside from the aesthetics, the material also dictates a number of other factors, such as the cost and the difficulty it would take to clean it.


The size of the coffee table depends on things such as the size of the room and its purpose. For a small room, it would be visually appealing to match it with a small coffee table.

The purpose should also be an important factor when choosing the coffee table. Will the coffee table just be a small decorative piece, or will it serve as the main table in the living room?


Like the size, it’s also good to consider the features of a coffee table if it will serve a specific purpose in your house. It should be noted that some options can provide extra space for some books and such, while others may not.

On the other hand, the height of some coffee tables can be adjusted and some even have wheels.

Care and Cleaning

Use Coasters

An easy way to make a coffee table look dirty is by leaving water rings and other related marks on the surface of the table. The solution to this is a very simple fix: coasters. This would be easier if you keep coasters nearby to avoid a mess in the first place.

Wipe Spills Immediately

While some coffee tables are more liquid proof such as those made of glass or metal, there are others that do not like liquids at all, such as leather. Make it a habit to wipe down spills immediately, regardless of the material of the coffee table.


Although the humble coffee table is a relatively simple piece of furniture, this little piece can go a long way for setting the mood of a room. Make sure to choose the best material that suits both the room and your lifestyle to get the most out of it. Choose one with features if you need them and make your coffee table last long by taking good care of it.