12 Types of Tables and How to Choose One

wood dining table and chairs

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While it may seem like a table is a table, there are many different types of this key piece of furniture. From dining and coffee tables, to drink or console tables, you will find they come in various styles, materials, sizes, and colors, as well as price points, of course. Some have a clear function and only work in certain rooms in a home, while others are incredibly versatile and could serve a number of purposes. Use our guide to learn about the 12 most commonly used types of tables and learn how to choose the right one for your home.

  • 01 of 12

    Dining Table

    Dining table and chairs with red and yellow pendant lights above

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    Best for: dining room or breakfast room

    A dining table, as the name suggests, is a square, rectangular, oval, or round table whose primary function is dining. It comes in the aforementioned shapes and typically seats four to eight people. Dining tables are made from a variety of different types of materials with wood being the most common—some feature a mix of materials, especially when it comes to the tabletop, with glass or marble being common choices.

  • 02 of 12

    Coffee Table

    Living room with wood coffee table, plants, futon sofa and floor lamp

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    Best for: living room or family room

    A coffee table serves two functions—its practical role is to provide a surface to hold items and its aesthetic purpose is to add style. Most often used in a living or family room, it's a low-sitting table that sometimes has a lower shelf or drawers for additional storage and is typically round or rectangular in shape, although oval and square coffee tables are also popular choices. When it comes to its construction, you will find coffee tables in almost any material—from wood, metal, or rattan, to plastic, acrylic, and marble.

  • 03 of 12

    End Table

    Wood and metal end table next to a sofa

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    Best for: next to a sofa or an armchair

    An end table sometimes referred to as a side or accent table is a small table that sits next to a sofa or an armchair—it serves as a surface to hold decorative accents such as picture frames or candles, as well as a spot to put down your drink when you sit down. To create a more visually interesting space, go with a different style of end table to add a contrasting shape and material to the room.

  • 04 of 12

    Console Table

    Wood and metal console table in an entryway

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    Best for: any room or behind a sofa

    If you're looking for a versatile piece of furniture that can be used in a number of different rooms, a console table is it. One of the most common spots for it is an entryway, which is why it is sometimes called an entryway table—you will also find it behind a sofa, in which case it's called a sofa table. Most often made from wood or metal, it can have a glass top or shelves, and some feature drawers and cabinets, while others only have a top surface.

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  • 05 of 12

    Bedside Table

    Wood nightstand with a vase and small bowl next to a bed

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    Best for: bedrooms

    More commonly referred to as a nightstand, a bedside table is an essential component of any bedroom. For a practical choice, go with a bedside table that offers storage such as drawers or shelves—if it doesn't have either one of those features, you can always use a decorative basket underneath it for extra storage.

  • 06 of 12

    Nesting Tables

    Two mirrored brass nesting tables in front of a sofa

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    Best for: small spaces

    Nesting tables are an excellent option for small spaces as they can be used instead of a larger coffee table. They usually come in a set of two or three tables that have staggered heights so that they can "nest" together. They also work well as end tables, either arranged together or separated.

  • 07 of 12

    Outdoor Table

    Blue outdoor table and chairs in a backyard

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    Best for: balcony, patio, or deck

    If you are going to place a table in an outdoor space, you want to make sure that it is specifically designed for the outdoors so that it can withstand various weather conditions. Depending on the size of your outdoor space, you can get anything from a picnic or bistro table to a larger outdoor dining table.

  • 08 of 12

    Ottoman-Style Coffee Table

    White ottoman coffee table in a modern living room

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    Best for: living room or family room

    An ottoman-style coffee table is a great alternative to a classic coffee table and it can be both comfy and homey as well as incredibly chic, depending on its style and the material it's made from. Sometimes, you will see an ottoman coffee table upholstered in the same fabric as the seating in the room, or perhaps only matching an armchair—it's also a great way to add a contrasting pop of color or pattern into a room. For a stylish, sophisticated option, a tufted leather ottoman is always a beautiful choice.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    High-Top Table

    High top tables and chairs in an outdoor space

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    Best for: breakfast room, family room, or game room

    A high-top table that you may know as a pub table, is similar in size and function to a dining table—it's taller, hence its name. It therefore also requires taller, barstool-style chairs. A high-top table isn't just meant for restaurants or pubs, it's a great choice for your own home, like a game table in the family room.

  • 10 of 12

    Drink Table

    Marble drink table with a champagne glass

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    Best for: next to a sofa or an armchair

    The table's name instantly gives its function away—it has a very small surface designed to hold a drink. It's sometimes also called a martini table, and unlike an end table that's larger in size, a drink table doesn't get any bigger than a 15-inch diameter.

  • 11 of 12

    Pedestal Table

    Pedestal table with a large floral arrangement in the distance

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    Best for: traditional spaces, a dining room, or a large foyer

    When you think of a pedestal table, perhaps a large stately foyer comes to mind. Usually made from solid wood, it's either round, square, or rectangular in shape, and instead of four table legs, it is supported by one central column. Besides a foyer, you'll also see pedestal tables used in more traditional-style dining rooms or breakfast rooms.

  • 12 of 12

    Extendable Table

    Extendable wood table with a leaf inside

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    Best for: small spaces

    An extendable table is one whose length is adjustable thanks to a sliding mechanism that allows you to pull the table apart and insert a leaf or two in the center of the table to extend its length. This type of dining table is particularly useful for small spaces when you don't want a large table, but there are occasions when you need to seat more people.

Choosing a Table

The best way to choose the right table is to determine its primary function, location, and style. Once you've answered those questions for yourself, consider your budget and start measuring your space. Use this list of 12 tables to guide you through the shopping process and to help you look for exactly what you need.