How to Choose a Coffee Table

How to Choose a Coffee Table

Your living room is the heart of your home, and the coffee table serves as its centerpiece. The perfect coffee table is not only a decorative piece for your living room but also a hub for relaxation, conversations, storage, and more.


Choosing the right coffee table for your living room may seem like a small task, but it plays a significant role in adding both style and functionality to your living room, tying the whole space together.


When looking for a coffee table that will be the perfect fit for your space and your personal needs, you can follow just six key steps to decide on the right one:


1. Choose the appropriate size for your space and your sofa.

2. Pick a shape that suits your living space.

3. Consider your storage needs.

4. Look for the most durable materials.

5. Complement your décor with the right color coffee table.

6. Budget wisely without compromising on quality.



1. Choose the appropriate size for your space and your sofa

Size is an important consideration when choosing a coffee table, as you must choose a size that suits both your space and your sofa.


The first step you should take in choosing a coffee table is measuring your space to gauge how much room you can allocate for your coffee table. As a general rule, your coffee table should be about two-thirds the length of your sofa and positioned 16 to 18 inches away from your sofa. For example, for a couch that is six feet long, a 40-inch small coffee table would likely be the best fit. If you have a sofa that is seven feet long, a large coffee table may be a better way to go.


Solid wood coffee tables with storage


Pro Tip: Use painter’s tape to outline the dimensions of your desired coffee table on the floor, giving you a visual of how it would complement your space.


2. Pick a shape that suits your living space

The shape of your center table for living room can significantly impact the flow of your space.


For tighter spaces or rooms with L-shaped seating, a rectangular coffee table should be your go-to choice. It seamlessly fits alongside your sofa, maximizing the use of your limited space.


Solid wood rectangle coffee table in blonde with light colored couch and blue decor


If you’re looking to create a more social atmosphere in your living room, a round coffee table is the way to go. It’s perfect for gathering with friends and family, creating a cozy and inviting vibe. Plus, it’s an excellent choice for homes with active little ones, as there are no sharp corners to worry about.


Solid wood circle coffee table in white sand with dark gray couch and white rug


No matter what shape you choose, finding a coffee table to fit your unique space is the most vital consideration.


Pro Tip: If your other furniture features more angular lines, a rectangular coffee table may be best. If your furniture has softer curves, a round coffee table might suit your space better.


3. Consider your storage needs

Beyond the aesthetics of your living room, it’s important to consider the functionality of your coffee table, including its storage capabilities.


You may use your coffee table to display décor, kick your feet back, or set down drinks. However, if you need extra space to tuck away living room essentials, a coffee table with storage shelf is the best choice.


Modern solid wood coffee table with shelf in white sand


With a built-in shelf for storage, you can store blankets, remotes, your favorite board games, and any other items that may otherwise clutter your living room. A coffee table with storage is the best way to streamline your space in style.


Solid wood coffee table with storage shelf in blonde


Pro Tip: Add baskets to the shelf underneath your coffee table to make sure all your belongings stay neat and tidy. Plus, add a tray to the tabletop of your coffee table for a decorative touch that can also keep your space extra organized.


4. Look for the most durable materials

Durability matters for a frequently used piece of furniture like a coffee table. Some common coffee table materials are visually appealing but may not be the best fit for your space. For example, glass can show smudges and fingerprints and could crack or scratch, while metal is prone to rusting or tarnishing.


Solid wood, however, reigns supreme for its sturdiness and durability. It can easily withstand daily wear and tear without losing its charm, ensuring that it will be a staple in your home for years to come.


Solid wood coffee table in blonde wirebrush


Plus, solid wood fits in with living rooms of any style. Adding a touch of coziness to your living space, you can never go wrong with choosing a solid wood coffee table for your home.


Classic solid wood coffee table in seashell with light colored couch


Pro Tip: Clean your solid wood furniture with just a damp cloth—no extra cleaner required!


5. Complement your décor with the right coffee table color

The color of your coffee table sets the tone for your living space.


If you want to add a bold accent and a touch of contrast to your space, try a black coffee table.


Black modern coffee table with rounded edges


Want to create the illusion of a larger space while maintaining a bright, airy feel? Try a white coffee table.


Solid wood coffee table with storage in white sane


For a warm and cozy touch, try a pecan or walnut coffee table.


Classic round wood coffee table in pecan wirebrush


Your coffee table has the potential to make or break the style of your living room. You can match it with your other living room tables, creating a cohesive look, or mix colors for a more eclectic vibe.


Pro Tip: Make sure to keep one element in common between all your living room furniture, whether it's style, color, material, or something else.


6. Budget wisely without compromising on quality

High quality doesn’t always come with a high price tag. When buying furniture for your home, you should always stay within a realistic budget, but that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on quality or the features you want. Your bank account will thank you when you shop for affordable coffee tables, and you’ll thank yourself for investing in quality furniture.


Round solid wood coffee table in white sand wirebrush


Pro Tip: Check out Plank+Beam for a wide variety of affordable, high quality coffee tables.


When hunting for the perfect coffee table, make sure to keep these six steps in mind, and you can ensure that your coffee table not only complements your living space aesthetically but also serves its functional purpose seamlessly.



How do I know what coffee table to buy?

Before beginning your search for a coffee table, you should decide on an ideal size and shape that fit your living space, the function you need it to serve (storage, décor, etc.), the most durable material, and a color that will match your living room. Once you’ve decided what you want in your ideal coffee table, browse options until you find one that meets all your needs while staying within your budget (it is possible). Whether you’re looking for a modern coffee table, a farmhouse coffee table, or another unique style, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your living space.


How high should a coffee table be compared to a sofa?

Ideally, the tabletop of your coffee table should be about the same height as your couch cushions, or up to an inch or two shorter. This ensures that you and all your guests can easily set down drinks and kick up your feet and that your coffee table has maximum functionality.


What is the best surface for a coffee table?

Solid wood is the best and most durable surface for a coffee table. Not only is there a solid wood coffee table to match every living room and unique personal style but they are durable and low maintenance. With proper care, solid wood can withstand years of wear and tear, allowing your coffee table to become a staple centerpiece in your space.


How much should I spend on a coffee table?

You don’t need to break the bank to buy the best coffee table for your space. Even on a tight budget, you can find a high quality, long-lasting coffee table that costs between 150 and 300 dollars. Don’t be fooled by a coffee table’s price; some of the best options are more affordable than you may think.


Now that you know how to choose the perfect coffee table, consider these factors and make a decision that fits your space and budget while reflecting your unique style.


If you’re looking for an affordable coffee table that prioritizes quality, Plank+Beam has got you covered. Our range of solid wood coffee tables offers a variety of gorgeous neutral finishes in all shapes and sizes. Not only will a Plank+Beam coffee table serve as a beautiful centerpiece, but it will also serve all your functional needs with shelf options available while withstanding the wear and tear of your daily life.


Find your perfect coffee table today at Plank+Beam and tie your living room together with function and style.


Shop Plank+Beam’s collection of solid wood coffee tables today and get free shipping when you spend $200 or more.