Rectangular vs. Round Coffee Tables

Rectangular vs. Round Coffee Tables

The shape of your coffee table might seem like a small detail, but it can completely change the vibe and functionality of your space. Are you trying to maximize space for friend group hangouts? Or maybe you want to create a cozy, intimate nook. The right coffee table shape can make all the difference.


So, which is best for you: round or rectangular? Spoiler alert: there’s no wrong choice, just the one that fits your needs best. In this guide, we'll talk all things rectangular and round coffee tables, including all the pros and cons of each. Let's find the perfect coffee table shape for your space so you can create a living room where everyone loves to hang out.


What to Love About Round Coffee Tables

Small-Space Friendly

If you’re living in a cute little apartment or a smaller home, a round coffee table is your new best friend. Their smaller footprint makes them perfect for living spaces where every square inch counts. Plus, their circular shape of these small coffee tables allows for easy movement throughout the room. That means no more awkwardly squeezing around tight spaces or running into sharp corners.


black coffee table for living room


Easy Socializing

Round coffee tables are a social butterfly’s dream. Because of the circular shape, everyone can easily reach the table and see and interact with everyone in the group.


Having friends over for a game night or happy hour? A circle coffee table means no more awkwardly craning your neck to talk to someone on the other side. Plus, solid wood round coffee tables are perfect for those intense Uno battles at game night where everyone needs to reach the table. Victory has never been so sweet – or so accessible.


wooden white coffee table


Flexible Seating Arrangements

Got a chic arrangement of chairs and loveseats? A small round coffee table can tie it all together. The round shape complements grouped seating arrangements, allowing you to configure your living room however you like. Whether you’re going for a cozy, intimate vibe or an open, airy feel, a round table fits right in.


36 inch round coffee table


What to Keep in Mind With Round Coffee Tables

Limited Storage

One thing to note about round tables is that they often don’t come with built-in storage. If you’re someone who loves to keep magazines, remotes, or knick-knacks neatly tucked away, this might be a bit of a drawback. However, if you prefer a minimalist look, this might be just what you need.


A round wood coffee table is perfect for setting down drinks, displaying decorative items, or kicking back with your feet up. But if storage is a must, you might need to look elsewhere or get creative with additional storage solutions.


Smaller Surface Area

Round coffee tables typically offer less surface area than their rectangular counterparts. If you like to use your coffee table for dining or working from home, you might find the smaller surface a bit limiting.


If your table’s main job is to look pretty and hold a few essentials, a small round coffee table can do the job beautifully. By understanding your needs, you can find the right fit for your lifestyle.


What to Love About Rectangular Coffee Tables

Fill Large or Open Rooms

If you have more space to work with in your living room, first of all, we’re jealous. Second of all, a rectangular coffee table can add a focal point to a large space you may not know what to do with.


They anchor even the largest of rooms, making them feel balanced and complete. If you have a sprawling sofa or a sectional that seems to go on forever, a rectangle table complements it in a way that feels effortlessly chic.


mid century coffee table for living room


Provide Storage Solutions

Got a lot of stuff? Same. Rectangular tables often come with awesome built-in storage solutions.


With solutions such as bottom shelves, coffee tables with storage keep your living room essentials out of sight but easily accessible. Say goodbye to clutter and hello to easy cleanup – your future self will thank you.


light wood coffee table with storage


More Surface Area

Love spreading out while working from home or having dinner in front of the TV? A rectangle wood coffee table offers plenty of room for all life’s activities. From laptops to plates to snacks for your reality show watch party, these tables provide the space you need for all your multitasking moments.


modern black coffee table


What to Keep in Mind With Rectangular Coffee Tables

May Overcrowd Smaller Spaces

Bigger isn’t always better, especially in small spaces. A rectangular table can dominate a small room and make it feel more cramped. If your living room is on the smaller side, you might find yourself constantly bumping into corners. Large rectangular tables can feel like a maze to navigate in small spaces, so they are better suited for larger rooms.


Less Adaptable for Group Settings

In social settings, rectangular tables might struggle to bring people together in the same way round tables do. You might find yourself getting up more often to see or reach items on the other end of the table, making it less ideal for group hangouts.


Making Your Decision: Rectangle or Round?

So, how do you choose between a round and a rectangular coffee table? It all comes down to your space and lifestyle.


If you’re living in a small apartment or love hosting intimate gatherings, a round coffee table might be the perfect fit. Its smaller footprint, easy flow, and conversation-friendly shape make it a great choice for cozy, social spaces.


If your living room is large and you need more storage space, consider choosing a rectangular coffee table. This type of coffee table can provide both a surface for drinks and snacks as well as additional storage options. Its ample surface area and storage options make it a versatile and practical choice for bigger spaces.


long rectangular coffee table and wooden circle coffee table



What are the advantages of a round coffee table?

Round coffee tables offer several advantages. Their circular shape is ideal for small spaces, as they often have a smaller footprint and allow for easy movement around the room. Additionally, they facilitate easier conversation by allowing everyone to face each other, making social gatherings more enjoyable. They also seamlessly fit with grouped seating arrangements, providing flexibility in how you arrange your living room furniture.


Does a round coffee table make a room look bigger?

A round coffee table can make a small living room appear bigger because its circular shape allows for better flow of movement. It also occupies less visual space, creating a more open and spacious feel in the room.


Should I get a rectangle or round coffee table?

It depends on your space and preferences. If you have a smaller living area or prioritize easy movement and group interaction, a round coffee table might be the way to go. However, if you have a larger space and value extra surface area and storage options, a rectangular coffee table could be the perfect fit. Ultimately, choose the shape that best suits your lifestyle and complements your existing furniture.


At the end of the day, the shape of your coffee table is all about what works best for you and your space. Both round and rectangular coffee tables have their unique perks and potential drawbacks. You can't go wrong with choosing what fits your needs and style. Think about how you use your living room the most – whether it's for large gatherings or cozy evenings with a book – and let that guide your decision.


No matter what you choose, Plank+Beam has your back with a solid wood coffee table that will tie your living room together. From farmhouse coffee tables to mid-century modern coffee tables, we offer a variety of wooden coffee tables to suit any living room. Whether you're team round or team rectangle, we've got the perfect real wood coffee table for you. Find the best coffee table for your space today with Plank+Beam and create the living room you've always dreamed of.


Decided on the perfect fit for your space? Shop Plank+Beam coffee tables (both rectangular and round) and get free shipping when you spend over $200.