A Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Coffee Table

Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

When decorating your living room, a coffee table is considered a cornerstone piece that can make or break the space. It acts as a feature furniture item and is a suitable place for drinks, snacks, and display pieces. 
When shopping for the perfect table, you must consider multiple factors to guarantee it is the right fit. From size to material, round coffee tables or square, the choosing process should be stress-free and enjoyable.

a complete guide to choosing the right coffee table


When it comes to selecting the perfect coffee table, bigger isn’t always better. If the table is too large, the space will feel cramped and cluttered, causing the whole room to feel impractical. So, ensure you have correctly measured the area, including the size of your sofa and surrounding furniture. You need to be able to move and sit around the table comfortably. 


There are many different shapes of tables to choose from, and each has something unique to offer. Selecting the correct form can create a pleasant focal point. When making your selection, consider the other furniture in the living room. 

If you plan to style and decorate the table, you must factor in additional space for these items without taking away function or usage.  


The oval shape offers a sleek, curvy look that is more unique than a traditional round table. It can complement various décor styles and takes up less floor space than a rectangular option. You will be happy with this shape’s range if you live in a small apartment or are tight on space. 

Additionally, it is excellent for entertaining. 


Square coffee tables are modern and functional. The geometric style is straightforward to style and can effortlessly fit into most homes, regardless of design choices. In addition, they take up less space than rectangular tables, making them suitable for small apartments and living rooms tight on space. 


Round coffee tables are both classic and elegant. Like the oval shape, the curvy design complements various styling options and can match nicely with other accent tables within the room. 

In addition, with no sharp edges or corners, they are perfect for households with small children or pets. 


Rectangular tables are incredibly versatile and will easily fit into any home with the space to accommodate them. They come in many different styles, sizes, and finishes to perfectly match your home and existing pieces. Because they are easier to make, they are often the most affordable shape to purchase compared to other options.

rectangular tables 1


Material is another important factor when deciding on the best coffee table for your living room. Each offers unique advantages and disadvantages and can be used to create different design features. 

When choosing a suitable material, you need to consider your lifestyle. For example, a more durable material might be easier to maintain if you have pets or young kids. Additionally, will you use the table frequently, or will it be more of a display table? 


Marble is a premium material and will instantly give your space a luxurious feel. It is very durable, and because it is a natural stone, no two pieces are the same, allowing you to add a unique touch to your home. So if you are after drama, marble will be the option for you. 


Wood is a classic choice for adding a rustic touch to your living room. It is the most versatile material and can come in multiple styles and shades, from a more traditional look to modern aesthetics. 

It is ideal for those who are unsure about their design choices or unwilling to commit to a more dramatic selection.


Glass coffee tables are an elegant and sophisticated furniture piece in the home. It is a modern design and, because of the transparency, will make any room feel larger than it really is. Although easy to clean, it shows dust and finger marks quickly, so bear this in mind if you have young children or pets. 


Metal furniture and design features will give your home an industrial feel. It is a prominent feature in interior design for those who want a sleek yet edgy feel to their space. As a material, it is incredibly durable and can stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

metal furniture

Final Tips

Deciding the right shape and material to fit your needs is essential when narrowing down your options. But before making a final purchase, there are three final tips to tick off the list to ensure you have made the best decision for your living room. 

Measure Your Space

Often overlooked, correctly measuring your space is one of the most important steps when buying a new coffee table. The table should be at most two-thirds the length of your sofa, with consideration being given to the space between the chair and the table itself. 

Ensure you have correctly measured the length, width, and height suitable for your room, making it comfortable and accessible to use. 


Like all practical pieces of furniture in your home, you should think about how you plan to use the table. For example, if you know it will be used mainly when you have guests over, buying a larger option with plenty of surface area for food and drinks would be the best choice. 

Alternatively, a coffee table used mainly while reading or watching television can be smaller and easier to move. Lastly, consider whether you need extra storage, as a table with shelves would be required. 

Consider Décor

Finally, you need to think about the overall design of your room before making your definite choice. The option you may love might not suit the décor you chose for the rest of the room, causing the two designs to clash in an unpleasing way.

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of OmniHomeIdeas.com. With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.