Victorian England, feudal Japan, the Ottoman Empire, 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 ranges 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.
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.
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.
Songmics Coffee Table
Mock it if you want, but this is the best-selling coffee table on Amazon. At just about two feet tall and three-and-a-half feet wide, it’s a good size for those whose living room doubles as a dining room. Its look leans factory-chic, and it’s made of materials that almost back that up — the legs are painted iron, while the tabletop is particle board. It’s well-reviewed, dirt cheap and can be at your door in a day.
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 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.
Langley Ranchero 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 circle coffee tables lack usable space when they’re couch lounging. This one isn’t overly fancy or overly remarkable, which is exactly what makes it great — it is unadorned, waiting for you to throw shit on it.
Muji Oak Low Table
Muji is Japan’s most popular home retailer. The brand, which is pushing further into the North American market, is enormous and stocks hundreds of product categories, yet it manages to tie its quiet, steady design aesthetic through each and every one, including this no-frills oak coffee table.
Latrell Coffee Table
Because not everything in your home needs to be hardwoods and shiny metal. The Latrell table is a translucent acrylic coffee table that’s meant to quite literally blend in to its living room surroundings — providing a kind of color magnification in the process.
Hem Alle Coffee Table
Hem’s products are part of the wave of nuovo-Scandinavian that’s seen a tradition grounded in quality materials, light colors and functionality retain those qualities and tack on a bit more playfulness. The Alle is entirely oak and is round (obviously) with rounded legs. Though this one is listed as the large size, it’s still small by American standards.
Article Maggi Coffee Table
A more subtle riff on the warpy, curvy Atomic style of the later mid-century movement, the Maggi is subtle yet appealing. It’s not the cheapest of Article’s mountain of a coffee table collection, but it’s easily one of the most interesting. It also happens to be made with pretty sturdy materials as well — a black vegan leather shelf, walnut wood top and powder-coated metal legs. It also ships with no assembly required.
CB2 Macbeth Natural Coffee Table
If you’ve still not come across Crate & Barrel’s attempt at selling to someone other than moms, consider yourself in the know. More modern and more affordable than its parent brand, CB2’s product catalogue is enormous. Use it as a centralized lookbook, or just pick up this natural table made from Canadian hemlock wood and be done with it.
Umbra Shift Tier Coffee Table
Umbra Shift is the smaller, more contemporary arm of Umbra, whose wares ride the line between aesthetic and invention. The Tier table is a bit more undertated than its usual fair but no less impactful — two spacious levels of powder-coated steel legs and tabletop mean plenty of room for storage, and its width and materials make it a worthy candidate for a media center, too.
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.
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.
Studio 7.5 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.
Rove Concepts Truman Coffee Table
Want storage that doesn’t look like storage? Want to have what amounts to a trapdoor of storage? Maybe you want neither, but that doesn’t make Rove Concepts Truman coffee table any less attractive. A walnut veneer-finished, white lacquered and frosted glass top contemporary monster of a coffee table. The thing is all of 53 inches wide, and gets wider when you slide open the sneaky storage compartments. This coffee table is new design coffee-table-meets-dinner-table, perfected.
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.
Noguchi Coffee 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 lovers with 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.
Eames Molded Plywood Coffee Table
Godparents of mid-century design Charles and Ray Eames’s 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 bent wood spider legs and pressed tabletop resulting are simultaneously familiar, alien and brilliant.
Sean Woolsey Studio X Coffee Table
Anyone who tells me they don’t want Sean Woolsey’s X table is either a liar or has some odd slant against satisfying things. This is a made-to-order, fortified glass-topped, white oak table that oozes cool even before considering the quarter-sawn magazine and book rack hanging out under the tabletop.
Resident Offset Coffee Table
Consider this your very luxe intro to New Zealand design in all its odd, wonderful beauty. The Offset coffee table is, well, offset — the legs are off-center from the tabletop — and made with oak. The designer, Philippe Malouin, is a French-Canadian who trained under famed designer Tom Dixon.
George Nelson Bench
It turns out the man responsible for designing America’s first shopping mall isn’t too bad at making furniture, either. George Nelson, one of the masters of mid-century modernism, designed the iconic finger-jointed bench in 1946. The Nelson 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 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.
Yield Design Duotone Rectangular Coffee Table
If you’re into glasstop coffee tables, this one is the goddamn truth. It’s visually light, but sturdy as a glasstop can be (it’s frame is powder-coated brass). Designed in 2016 by Yield Design Co.’s founders, Rachel Gant and Andrew Deming, the unit comes in a variety of different materials, sizes and finishes (the black on black being another personal favorite of mine).
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.