What To Consider When Choosing the Right Coffee Table

What To Consider When Choosing the Right Coffee Table

When choosing furniture for a living or family room, coffee tables are just as important as sofas and lighting. Coffee tables help provide a centerpiece to the room and complement your seating arrangements by allowing you to place objects, food, and drinks somewhere while you socialize or relax.

So as both a practical and stylish addition that makes a room feel cohesive, it’s no wonder there are so many different coffee tables available on the market. With so many different shapes, sizes, styles, and features, deciding which coffee table will benefit your living room the most can be difficult. Here’s what to consider when choosing the right coffee table for your home.

Consider Location

People typically put their coffee tables in living rooms or family rooms, both of which often have their own design needs to fit and function comfortably in those spaces. Depending on the room you intend to place your coffee table, there are design specifications that come along. Below are some helpful things to note for popular coffee table locations.

Living Room

If your coffee table is going into the living room, then you may want something that looks a bit more elegant or formal. Living rooms, after all, are typically a room to entertain guests and give the best impression of your home. A popular type of coffee table for these rooms is a glass model. Though more fragile, such tables often appear very elegant and complement a wide range of themes and designs.

Family Room

For the family room, a sturdier coffee table that can endure more frequent use is preferable. Unlike a living room, the family room is used daily, so you’ll also likely prefer a coffee table that is more casual and complements a more relaxed environment. Wooden coffee tables are a popular choice for a casual setting—especially because the material won’t smudge or show fingerprints as glass would.

Other Areas

Of course, you may want to put a coffee table in other areas of your home—such as sunrooms, bedrooms, or even an outdoor space. Whatever your intentions, select a coffee table material appropriate for the environment and ensure the table will fit in the space provided.

Match Your Design Scheme

The next aspect to consider when choosing the right coffee table is your design philosophy. A good coffee table only serves as an effective centerpiece when it matches the same theme as the rest of your furniture. Otherwise, the coffee table will stick out like a sore thumb.

So don’t dismiss picking out a coffee table based on appearance alone. Choose materials and designs that fit your aesthetic. For instance, modern coffee tables may utilize details such as aluminum extrusions that appear sleek and simple, offering a more contemporary aesthetic. Alternatively, options such as intricate wooden coffee tables depend on a more nostalgic, vintage design.

The Table’s Main Elements

We’ve touched on the dimensions and materials of the coffee table being important factors to consider, but we should take an even closer look at these aspects.


Depending on your seating arrangement, the shape of your coffee table could significantly impact the room’s appearance. Square or round coffee tables are great for larger seating arrangements, as more people can comfortably use the coffee table, and they can help accommodate large sofas or sectionals.

If you’re a younger family and have children running around the house, a circle or oval shape is also a good shape to consider because there aren’t any sharp corners for kids to seriously hurt themselves running into.

If you want a more interesting centerpiece for your designs, uniquely shaped tables add another dimension to the room. These might be triangular shapes or shapes that are altogether nongeometric.


The size of your perfect coffee table should be proportional to the existing furniture in the room. You can use your sofa as a handy guide for coffee table sizing by seeing how the table compares when next to it.

The scale is just as important as the actual measurements. For a coffee table to fit, it should ideally only be about two-thirds of your sofa’s total length, allowing ample leg room and space to comfortably arrange other seats around the table.

Generally, you also want your coffee table to be as tall or just a bit shorter than your sofa’s seat cushions. If you choose a table that’s shorter, you only want it to be one or two inches lower so that it’s still comfortable to use.


As previously stated, coffee tables made of glass or another delicate material work best in the living room, while coffee tables made of metal and thick wood are better for recreational areas such as the family room.

However, the size of the room also comes into play. If the room is smaller, acrylic glass coffee tables will help make the space feel more open and larger. Otherwise, aluminum or mahogany coffee tables can really steal the show as centerpieces in a larger room.

Functionality Considerations

While the basic function of a coffee table is to provide a flat surface to place objects upon, some coffee tables that include other functions. The most basic example would be a coffee table that has built-in storage—shelves, drawers, or compartments—that makes it easy to store and retrieve objects as needed. For example, if you have books on your coffee table, you can put them away when you have company over to provide a clean surface and then put the books back afterward.

Other useful functions include surfaces that can be raised and lowered for easier eating or wheels that allow the coffee table to be moved as necessary if you need more floor space. There are plenty of small tweaks and additional features that coffee tables can provide. You’ll find a greater variety of such features with more modern furniture, which is designed to be practical yet stylish.

Coffee tables are an important feature of your home, so there are many things to consider when choosing the right coffee table. With these considerations in mind, you should have an easier and more efficient time identifying and choosing your perfect table. Inmod is here to help you in this process. We have modern coffee tables that prioritize both aesthetics and function and might be the perfect option for your home. Browse our selection today!infographic

About Alexandra Dedovitch

Alexandra Dedovitch has a B.A. in Multimedia Communications and English. She is a professional writer, artist and designer. Her passion for writing, travel and design has led her to settle her roots in Arizona, a hub for modern and eclectic style. She is the founder of Folk Heart Creations, a blog dedicated to travel and self-expression through art and design. She has worked for Inmod since 2013, both in-house and freelance.

Leave a Reply

Scroll To Top