January 31, 2023

Victorian England, feudal Japan, the Ottoman Empire and even the ancient Greeks all stake some claim as inventors of the coffee table. But one thing is certain — it is integral to figuring out your living space. A good coffee table is low enough to avoid obscuring TV screens, high enough for feet-propping and wide enough for dinner. Today, options range from verified pieces of art to examples that cost you less than a trip to the grocery store. This guide to the 20 best coffee tables covers the cheap, the design-forward, the plain, the weird and more.

Article Lenia Walnut Oval Coffee Table

Beautifully simple and ideally priced. Oval coffee tables provide a balance between someone who isn’t into a living room that’s entirely made up of right angles and the folks who find round coffee tables lack usable space when they’re couch lounging. This one from Article is inspired by classic surfboard coffee table designs from the mid-century and offers 53.5″ of table space, a solid walnut base and a lower spindle shelf for storing books and magazines.

WLive Lift Top Coffee Table

Mock it if you want, but this is the best-selling coffee table on Amazon. Its rustic looks may not be for everyone, and it probably prioritizes function over form, but it sure does pack in. a lot of function. Boasting a ton of storage, both hidden and displayed, this table’s standout feature is its lift-top floating table that makes working (or eating) from your couch a breeze. It’s well-reviewed, dirt cheap and can be at your door in a day or two.

Inside Weather Latte Round Coffee Table

Inside Weather is the ultimate upgrade from Ikea, but with similarly approachable price points. The brand makes its products in the US, and shoppers can customize each piece to match their unique specifications. Shipping is free, and assembly for the coffee table is as simple as attaching the four legs to the surface.

Hay Tulou Coffee Table

Round, colorful (if you want it to be) and made of steel, this coffee table from the Danish designer favorite is as minimal as it gets. The top is a removable spun steel tray that can be removed from the base, so it’s functional as well as stylish.

ClosetMaid 1311 Coffee Table

This one is for all the clean-line nerds who also happen to be broke or frugal. A laminate wood tabletop and sturdy steel base are secondary to the two open cubbies ripe to stack brand-new magazines.

Castlery Andre Coffee Table

Elegant, high-quality and unique. These are words that could be used to describe anything in Castlery’s catalog, but they’re especially apt for the Andre Coffee Table. The storage base is fitted with a central swing mechanism and two differently-finished tabletops — one in walnut veneer and the other in a glossy white lacquer — that pivot to different positions as you see fit, allowing you to mix things up whenever the mood strikes.

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AllModern Paul Coffee Table

A marble coffee table has long served as a sign that you’ve “made it,” but you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on one. This example from Wayfair spinoff AllModern features a top made from a slab of naturally-veined solid white marble that’s paired with a solid acacia wood base, and it’s priced right around a thousand bucks. Not cheap, by any means, but this is a seriously luxe and well-made piece of furniture.

Burrow Carta Coffee Table

Sleek modern looks, modular functionality and fantastic customization options — these are the tenets of Burrow, and they’re all exemplified wonderfully in the Carta Coffee Table. Choose between hairpin or straight legs, pick your wood finish, and then put this coffee table to work. It features loads of hidden interior storage to keep your living room tidy, and its top panels are removable so you can use them as TV trays, laptop stands or even serving trays.

Floyd The Modular Table

Speaking of fan-favorite direct-to-consumer brands that specialize in modular furniture, we have Detroit-based Floyd. The unique Modular Table is an exercise in simplicity, consisting of a solid wood frame wrapped in plywood to form a continuous, unbroken line. The hollow interior is great for storage, and the table comes in both large and small sizes.

CB2 Peekaboo Acrylic Coffee Table

Looking to mix up the materials in your living room even more? Well, you probably don’t have any clear acrylic pieces in your living room. Time to change that. This disappearing coffee table makes for a unique conversation piece, and its quirky form lends itself well to anyone pursuing the currently-in-vogue post-modern look.

Parachute Strand Coffee Table

Bedding brand Parachute released its first collection of living room furniture in 2022, and the collection has fast become a favorite for lovers of laidback style. Parachute’s furniture interprets classic mid-century Danish designs through a contemporary California lens, and the result is full of pieces that effortlessly mix natural materials and visually-pleasing silhouettes. This striking coffee table features a natural hunk of travertine stone that’s held up by thick, contoured solid oak legs and would make a beautiful centerpiece in any living room.

Sundays All We Need Coffee Table

Canada-based Sundays wants to make shopping for furniture easy like Sunday morning, and with pieces like the bestselling All We Need, I’d say they’ve accomplished their mission. Made from solid reclaimed oak, this simple and versatile design isn’t trying to do too much, but it might be the perfect coffee table.

Schoolhouse Andy Coffee Table

Operating out of Portland, Oregon, Schoolhouse’s specialty is making goods that endure, both in style and form. This timeless coffee table recalls art and architecture of various design styles, but does so in a way that’s not completely unfamiliar in the present.

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Blu Dot Circula Coffee Table

The Circula table is designed to withstand the elements, so this works inside the home and out. The powder-coated aluminum comes in a variety of colors from a modest oyster to a bold tomato. The thick base and delicate top make this a standout piece in any living room.

Herman Miller Polygon Wire Table

Studio 7.5 out of Berlin practices a somewhat out-of-date form of iterative design — basically, they prefer to avoid using computers, and work with their hands throughout the design process. This table, like many they’ve made, is for design giant Herman Miller, and is circular, triangular, light, heavy and gorgeous all at once.

Offi Embrace Table

A designer piece without the designer price, Offi’s Embrace Table has an immensely clever design that might just make it the most versatile piece of furniture you own. Made from two interlocking pieces of plywood, the Embrace is more than a coffee table. It actually functions as seven different pieces of furniture in one: a bench, magazine rack, breakfast tray, media unit, two individual side tables and, of course, a killer coffee table.

Knoll Coffee Table by Alexander Girard

Mid-century modern at its most pristine and playful, which is to say it’s just a bit quirky, which is to say it’s asymmetrical. The coffee table with a hump was released in 1948 and designed by one Alexander Girard. This coffee table was one of the last full furniture pieces the American-French-Italian wound up making, later moving on to work with Herman Miller developing textiles for the likes of Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson. This table stands on legs of tubed cold-rolled steel with an ebonized wood veneer tabletop.

Herman Miller Noguchi Table

This table is so legendary and so ubiquitous it has essentially become a meme (see here for more on this). Designed in 1942 by sculptor Isamu Noguchi, it is widely regarded as one of the most iconic pieces of mid-century furniture ever. Noguchi was the son of a Japanese poet and an American writer, and a lover of one Frida Kahlo (these both count as artistic bonafides in my book). The original design was literally made for the President of The Museum of Modern Art, and its final production version has a place in the museum’s permanent collection. You’ll also be one step closer to a Westworld-approved living room.

Herman Miller Eames Molded Plywood Coffee Table

Godparents of mid-century design Charles and Ray Eames produced many incredible and incredibly weird products (like the famed Eames Elephants), and this coffee table is a little of both. The culmination of a perfected method of bending plywood and pressing it to a super-heated membrane to hold it in place, this coffee table is not kin to what you’ll find at Lowe’s. The bentwood spider legs and pressed tabletop resulting are simultaneously familiar, alien and brilliant.

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Herman Miller Nelson Platform Bench

Another Herman Miller entry? What can I say, they know their way around a coffee table. This one was created by the legendary George Nelson, one of the masters of mid-century modernism, who penned this iconic slatted bench in 1946. The Platform Bench was designed during his stint as Herman Miller’s design director and it doubles as a coffee table. It’s also one of the most frequently knocked-off pieces of furniture in the world.

Vitra Guéridon Bas Coffee Table

As a company, Vitra is in contention for most influential design group in the world. Its product designers include names like Charles and Ray Eames, Jasper Morrison, George Nelson and the mind behind this piece, Jean Prouvé. The Guéridon Bas carries quintessential Prouvé features like bent sheet metal (his prized and most-used material) and smoked, oil-finished woods.

Kardiel Leaf Nesting Coffee Table 2-pc

One coffee table not meeting your needs? Then why not grab this two-pack from the small-batch furniture experts over at Kardiel? These two tables can be arranged in a number of ways depending on your needs, and the use of two different woods mixed with their classic mid-century modern leaf design makes this coffee table combo as stunning as it is practical.

Levity The Round Scandinavian Coffee Table

The furniture-focused sister brand of Ruggable, Levity makes what they call “Life-Proof” furniture, and this coffee table lives up to its billing. The table features Levity’s Life-Proof coating that protects against water rings and heat stains, and it looks good doing it too thanks to its mid-century Scandi-inspired design. Our tester has spent several months with this table, and despite trying his best to stain it with mugs of hot coffee and a lack of coasters, it still looks brand-new.

O&G Studio Buck Coffee Table

The product of one of our favorite new-age Shaker furniture makers at O&G Studio, the Buck table is made-to-order by hand, and allows you to choose which hardwood to make it out of.

Ikea Lack Coffee Table

Lack might be Ikea’s most appropriately-named product. It lacks most things — quality materials, defining features, a high price tag and so on. Apart from its absurdly low price, there is nothing notable about it. This all makes it the perfect coffee table for a college student, or a particularly frugal young adult. It’s made of recyclable, dirt-cheap particle board and its acrylic finish cleans as quickly as you can apply water and wipe. Get it, abuse it, break it. Whatever happens to it, it won’t ruin your day.

Assistant Editor, Home and Design
Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor.