The Perfect Coffee Table Buying Guide

As the centerpiece of most living rooms, the coffee table plays an integral yet often overlooked role in tying together your living space. More than just a surface for holding drinks, feet, and remotes, your coffee table can make or break the overall aesthetic of your decor.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to find your dream coffee table, from measuring your space to matching your style. Read on for pro tips, shopping recommendations, and decor inspiration to help you create a warm, welcoming living area you’ll love coming home to.


Nesting Coffee Table

Take Measurements First

Before visiting any furniture stores or browsing online, take measurements of where you plan to place your coffee table. Consider the size of your sofa(s) and the flow of the room. Do you need plenty of walkway space? Will people need to be able to walk comfortably around the table?

As a general rule of thumb, your coffee table should be at least half the length of your sofa. A typical coffee table is around 35-36 inches long. For sectionals, measure the length of the longest part and halve that number. The standard coffee table height is between 16 to 18 inches tall. Anything lower may be uncomfortable to eat and drink from.


Determine the Main Functions

Besides holding decorative objects, what do you need your coffee table to do? Will it double as an eating surface for casual meals in front of the TV? Do you envision leaving plenty of magazines, books, or board games out for easy access? If you have kids or pets, durability may also be a priority.

Consider finishes that will stand up to water rings, scratches from heavy use, and more. For example, wooden coffee tables should have a protective finish to prevent damage over time. Tables with built-in storage like drawers, shelves, and lift-top mechanisms can help corral remotes, toys, and other household items.  


Match Your Style

When choosing a coffee table, consider what aesthetic you want it to complement. What is the overall decor of your living room? Do you want your table to contrast dramatically with your sofa or blend seamlessly into the background? Perhaps something in between that pulls an accent color from a patterned rug or artwork?

The style options for coffee tables are nearly endless. From sleek glass, marble, or metal tables for modern spaces to carved wood tables with cabriole legs for traditional decors and everything in between. More eclectic rooms may even use a quirky object like an antique trunk or ottoman in place of a traditional coffee table.


Modern Coffee Table


Choosing the right material for your coffee table is key to getting both the look and functionality you desire. Natural wood tables bring beautiful organic texture and come in a range of stains to match any color palette, though they require more careful use with drinks. Metal and glass tables have a light, airy quality and sleek modern aesthetic, but scuff more easily under heavy usage.

Other unique coffee table materials to consider include stone tables for an earthy yet sophisticated look or concrete tables that take on an urban industrial vibe. If you entertain often, a marble table adds timeless elegance that's easy to wipe clean. For a natural touch, woven rattan or seagrass tables infuse breezy, beachy charm. Or make a statement with an acrylic or lucite table, which appears to float elegantly in the room.

Whatever material you choose, be sure it aligns with your lifestyle needs. Finished wood or marble best withstands scratches and water rings while glass and acrylic show marks more readily under heavy use. And if you have kids or pets, avoid sharp corners and fragile materials in favor of durable, rounded-edge tables that can handle some wear and tear. The right material both sets the aesthetic tone and meets practical needs for a living space you can truly live in.


Top Coffee Table Picks

Now that you know what to look for in your dream coffee table, here are some of our top picks across a range of styles:

  • Best Classic Coffee Table  

The AALTO SLEEK Coffee Table is my top pick for a classic coffee table that works in a wide variety of home decors. This table features clean lines and a versatile neutral gray tone that pairs nicely with any color palette from bold hues to neutrals. I love the sleek, modern design that brings subtle contemporary flair while still remaining classic and understated. Whether your aesthetic is mid-century modern, boho chic, or farmhouse minimalist, this coffee table fits right in while making a stylish statement.  

Classic Coffee Table
  • Best Nesting Coffee Table

For smaller spaces needing to maximize function, the AALTO ROSE QUARTZ SINTERED-STONE TOP Coffee Table is perfect pick. With their elegant oval shape, natural marble tabletops, and gold accented metal frames, these nesting tables instantly elevate any living area with a dose of luxurious modern glamour. The inclusion of floating tempered glass shelves adds a touch of airy lightness, preventing the aesthetic from feeling overly heavy. Not only do these tables neatly tuck together to save on space, they also can be pulled apart for flexible styling options when additional surface area or multi-tiered dimension is needed. Whether grouped together closely or spread further apart throughout a room, they enable customized coffee table vignettes.

Nesting Coffee Table
  • Best Storage Coffee Table

If keeping remotes, coasters, and other everyday items out of sight but within reach is a priority, the AALTO MODERN WOOD Coffee Table is an excellent choice. The true ingenuity lies in its split lift-top design - the tabletop is split in the middle and each side slides outward horizontally to reveal spacious storage compartments and shelves underneath. The interior shelves and surfaces offer ample room for storing books, blankets, board games and more while keeping them concealed from view yet conveniently close at hand. When not in use, simply lower the lift-top back down to regain a clean-lined, decorative coffee table perfect for curating styled vignettes or catching crumbs during movie night. This storage table effortlessly blends form and function.

Storage Coffee Table

The sliding tabletop panels, neutral wood tone, and industrial metal accents make this coffee table versatile enough to suit both modern and traditional decors alike. No matter your interior design style, this ingenious table handily helps organize high-traffic living areas in a sleek, aesthetic way.



The ideal coffee table elegantly anchors your living space while suiting your family’s lifestyle and aesthetic tastes. With so many styles to choose from, avoid decision paralysis by first defining your needs, carefully taking measurements, and understanding how you want the table to complement your existing furnishings and overall design vision. We hope these coffee table shopping tips guide you toward finding your dream piece to gather around for years to come. Let us know if you have any other questions - happy furniture hunting!