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Everything You Need To Know About Purchasing Glass Coffee Tables

Written by Andrew | Last Updated 2019-10-22

About Andrew

Not only a home designer, Andrew is also the founder of BFA. He always have full enthusiasm for the industry and his job, and he enjoys to share some new ideas to others. His professional advice can help you choose furniture better and home style which fits you.
Everything You Need To Know About Purchasing Glass Coffee Tables

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Getting the right size, shape, design, and features in the coffee table of your choice for your living room or family room is as important as finding the right sofa and chair set for your family to gather around in for years and years to come. Coffee tables are often the centerpiece of the room, depending on how you use and place them, and they do many different things. They hold books and magazines, as well as food and drinks. If you have a storage coffee table, your table will also likely hold remote controls, various devices and wires, and other game, movie, or entertainment accessories. Finally, if all of the above weren’t good enough reasons to take your time in choosing the right table, coffee tables tend to be right in the middle of your living room or lounge, meaning it will be the very first thing people see as they enter the room. That said, it is worth your while to make sure the table you get is a good one.

Don’t just jump into the decision, however. Many experts contend that the styling of coffee tables is something of an art. Coffee tables tend to take up the middle, main, and most prominent spaces in your living areas, so it is important that they are pleasing to the eyes while simultaneously being functional and budget-friendly. Getting the right balance between the different design, color, and shape themes in your home, getting the right composition (the combination of colors, design, theme, layout, décor pieces, the way you arrange the room, and even the traffic patterns in and across the room and the way the coffee table will likely be used alongside or even instead of other furniture items such as TV consoles or multimedia cases) are also areas that people tend to overlook when buying a coffee table.

It is important you work with the room you have as it is now, the color themes, your budget, the features you need the table to have, and get the right material and size you need so as to avoid overcrowding and discomfort for your guests.

Doing this is not especially challenging, but you do need to know where to start and what to do. With that in mind, here we discuss how to choose a coffee table, the pros and cons of various table materials (especially glass), and things to keep in mind when making a purchase.

Why Buy Glass?

Glass Coffee Table

As compared to wood, glass is lightweight, can be designed with any shape, curve, or cut you desire, can be painted, frosted, and engraved, and is relatively easy to transport. If you are worried about children or pets in the home hurting themselves on sharp table corners, you can opt for an oval or round table, and if you want storage space, you can find glass coffee tables with plenty of storage as well. As compared to heavy and traditional woods, glass coffee tables are also budget-friendly, and you can still find tables of all shapes, sizes, design themes, and even high-end brands made of glass. Glass coffee tables are also relatively easier to clean than wooden tables (all you have to do to clean your glass coffee table top is wipe it with a damp cloth), you won’t have issues with water rings or water damage, and glass (especially tempered glass, which is the standard you should go for with your glass coffee table) is less susceptible to nicks, cuts, and gouges than wood.

Given these advantages, if you think a glass coffee table might be right for you, read on below to learn more about how to choose the right glass coffee table, as well as for additional styling and design tips when it comes to staging your new coffee table the right way.

Coffee Table Do’s and Don’ts

Glass Coffee Table

Here is a quick summary of things to do – and things to avoid – when buying a coffee table.

First of all, your table needs to be the right size, so don’t go too big (meaning you will crowd your space, your family, and your guests), and don’t go too small (meaning you will not have enough place for everyone to comfortably set down their drinks or magazines). Buying a table that is too large or too small will also throw off the proportions of your living room or family room. Don’t get a table that is too tall either, as it can be awkward to reach higher than expected to place whatever you are holding on the table. Ideally, coffee tables should be an inch or two lower than the seat level of your sofas or chairs.

As for things you should do, make sure to break up the various angles of your living space. People generally think or round and rectangular when it comes to coffee table shapes, but you can buy lovely glass tables that come in oval, geometric, triangular, and other shapes as well. You can even create a single or multiple coffee table landing places for your guests by breaking up a single table into smaller, customizable tables that can be set side by side or moved around as needed.

Another thing you should do is consider buying a coffee table with storage such as shelves, niches, and compartments. Such tables can make the organization and cleanliness of your living place a cinch.

Recommendations for Buying Glass Coffee Tables

Glass Coffee Table

Now that we have the basics out of the way, here are a few extra points to keep in mind when buying a glass coffee table.


Keep the height of your desired coffee table in mind. It can be awkward to have a coffee table that is either too high or too low. Ideally, you should have a table that is either equal in height or a little lower in height than the top edge of your sofas and chairs.


As discussed above in the section on getting the size right, look for a coffee table that has the right proportions in relation to your sofas. A sofa that is too short or too long as compared to the sofa set with which it is to be used can give you an uninviting look. As a rule of thumb, your coffee table should be about two-thirds the length of your sofa, so if you have a 6-foot sofa (72 inches), go for a table that is 4 feet (48 inches) long.


Once you have decided on the right height and proportions, choose the shape you like. In many cases, choosing either a square, rectangle, circular, or oval coffee table will come down to the space you have around the table. Anything too far can feel uncomfortable, and anything too near can feel constricting. You need to strike a certain balance when it comes to choosing the right shape, which brings us to the next section.

Striking A Balance

When we speak of coffee tables, striking a balance is important. This means your new coffee table should complement – not distract from – the other items in your room. The design theme should be similar (or at least go together well) to what you already have, and try to get a mix of themes and designs if you are looking for something new. So, for example, if you have a sofa whose legs you cannot see, consider getting a glass coffee table with visible legs. On the other hand, if you have a sofa whose legs you can see, you might want to get a more understated glass coffee table with the legs not visible. Mix and match themes and styles to determine what would look best in your living space.

Consider Your Needs

What does “right” mean when we talk about the “right” coffee table? Is it just whatever table fits your budget? Or is it just whatever table looks good at first glance?

We can argue a number of points, but for the sake of simplicity, the “right” coffee table is a combination of things. It is the table that is the right height and width given the size and dimension of your living space, it is the table that falls within the budget you have decided for the table, and it is the table that does what you need it to do. This means if you need storage space, it provides you with storage options, and if you need ample tabletop space (or color option, or visible lines and color hues, etc.) then the “right” table provides you with all of those things. Buy the table that will do what you need it to do.

Pro Tips For Making The Right Purchase

Glass Coffee Table

Here are a few insider tips to consider when purchasing a glass coffee table.

As above, think about what you need the table to do, and buy the table that does the job for you.

Choose the right size by marking off your coffee table space and buying whatever shape and design work best within your given space parameters.

Break up a larger coffee table space with multiple smaller coffee tables that can be arranged side by side, front and back, or even with a space in the middle, depending on where you need to place your tables and how and where your guests want to use them.

Think of buying a table that comes with a lip edge or tray. Coffee tables with this feature are a good idea if you tend to spill drinks or if your coffee table will be used by kids (who will then be the ones to spill drinks on it!)

If your home décor is modern, go for a stately glass coffee table that you can see through, and place an ornate ornamental rug underneath. If you want something simpler, a simple glass-top coffee table looks just as good.

Many glass coffee tables come with built-in storage features such as space for stash baskets, trunks, and old suitcases underneath so that you can close up the open space under the table while simultaneously converting an otherwise plain coffee table into a storage coffee table.

Even with glass, you can find upholstered coffee tables that look very upscale and are not necessarily very expensive, especially if you do not buy the table from a branded design home. Just keep in mind tuft cleanliness, especially if you, your guests, or your kids will be eating on or around the table, as tufts can accumulate dirt, debris, and leftover crumbs.

The Final Word

Glass Coffee Table

Glass coffee tables are great items to have in the home. You can buy a lightweight, cost-effective table with the right design, theme, color, features, functions, and brand name that you desire if you just take the time to determine what it is you need and how and where to find tables using online filters and other purchasing options available to you. Use the guidelines above to buy your table, and then stage your new glass coffee table with decorative items, magazines, or other items that go with the rest of your room.

If you are unsure about what to do to make your table stand out after you have purchased it, think of what the classical approach would be. You can’t go wrong with books, flowers, decorative objects, or even fancy coasters just sitting on the table waiting to be used. Some experts recommend placing a single statement piece on your glass coffee tabletop instead of multiple smaller items that, alone, might not be as striking as a single standalone item that is higher-end and luxe in looks.

Finally, remember that you have the right to be picky. Coffee tables come in every shape, size, color, and design with every imaginable feature (including storage, device charging ports, and more). If for any reason you cannot find the table you want, reimagine things and return to the search after some time and look at things from a different angle. You are bound to find the right glass coffee table that fits your home space and gives you years of use for you and your family.

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