Quicklist: End Tables
- Nesting Tables
- Round End Table
- Square End Table
- Rectangle End Table
- Triangle End Table
- Free-Form End Table
- Oval End Table
- Half-Circle End Table
- Wood End Table
- Glass End Table
- Metal End Table
- Granite / Marble End Table
- Rattan / Wicker End Table
- Four legs
- Three legs (tripod)
- Flat base
- Cross Legs
- Tray Top
- Storage Compartment
- Adjustable Height
If I had to choose between a coffee table or an end table for my living room, I’d go with the end table.
In fact, that’s what my wife and I did — we don’t have a coffee table and instead have two end tables (along with two ottomans, both large enough for trays).
I much prefer end tables over coffee tables because they’re so much more convenient. Who wants to bend over and reach for food and drinks on a coffee table when you can comfortably swing your arm to the left or right without really moving any other part of your body?
Moreover, if you’re in a recliner or have your feet up on an ottoman, the last thing you want to do is get up for a sip of coffee or a bite.
And that’s what makes this article and photo gallery so relevant — end tables are a must-have furniture item in any living room or family room.
The question is, how do you go about choosing the best end table for you.
That’s where this article comes in. Admittedly we don’t tell you what are the best end tables. That’s an impossible task because it really is a personal choice and of course depends on your interior design and furniture.
What we can do is give you an idea of the different types of end tables available to help you categorize them in your mind for your purchase.
End Table Cost
Fortunately, you can get away without spending too much money on end tables and still up with something quite nice.
$100 to $300 offers a huge selection. Of course, as with anything in life, you can spend a fortune, but it’s not even close to necessary.
End Table Height
There isn’t one universal end table height. They vary because the ideal height for your space varies.
The right height matches the height of the top of the armrest to which furniture item it’s adjacent to. Sometimes if it’s in between two furniture items it won’t be perfect, but that’s a good rule of thumb. As you shop for end tables you’ll notice that they range from 20 inches to 30 inches in height; the bulk being somewhere in the middle.
How many end tables should you buy for your space?
Our living room has two wingback chairs flanking the fireplace, one long sofa and one club chair. We have end tables between the club chair and sofa, and then again between the sofa and one of the wingback chairs.
A good rule of thumb is that you definitely want to provide end table access for each seat in the room. The one exception may be the middle seats on a sofa. So, if you have one sofa and one love seat, you’ll want at least two end tables, but three is better.
If you’re like us, we could definitely use one more, but the two serves us fine.
A. End Table Design Types
The main types pertain to design. Your options are:
2. Nesting Tables
Nesting tables were a design fad that started in the 1980’s. They’re still around today, but while it looks like you get more functionality, you actually don’t. How often do you un-nest? Probably not often. The cost is no shelves/drawers or compartments below… so while nesting tables look functional, I don’t think they are.
The C-table design offers tray space over the sofa/arm chair. The bottom slides underneath to create an eating tray. It’s great for family/rec rooms but not the living room. It’s a very utilitarian design.
I like the trunk look but if you have piles of stuff on top of the table, accessing the trunk means moving everything. Our end tables are trunk style and whenever we need to get inside, it’s a hassle. The big plus is they have a lot of storage space.
B. End Table Shapes
The next consideration pertains to the shape of the end table. Generally, there are three shapes to choose from:
1. Round End Table
2. Square End Table
3. Rectangle End Table
4. Triangle End Table
5. Free-Form End Table
6. Oval End Table
7. Half-Circle End Table
The half-circle is ideal if you like curves because it sits against the adjacent furniture flush. It’s efficient and looks great. Check it out.
What’s the best end table shape?
Overall all, rectangle is the most popular. Clean lines with furniture is the design style of the day. I too prefer rectangle tables over round tables. However, if your living room is more ornate, round can add a nice touch.
C. End Table Materials
Like most furniture, you have options with respect to the materials used. Table materials include wood, metal and glass. There’s plastic too, but I wouldn’t consider a plastic table so I won’t discuss it.
Wood/manufactured wood is very popular. It’s probably your best choice for an end table. You can avoid the wood look (if you don’t like that look) by buying a painted version… end tables come in pretty much any color you can imagine.
Here are examples of each material.
1. Wood End Table
2. Glass End Table
3. Metal End Table
4. Granite / Marble End Table
Doesn’t that look totally out of place? Every time I see a marble/granite end table I think it’s a misplaced kitchen island. I’d avoid this option.
5. Rattan / Wicker End Table
I’m not a huge wicker/rattan fan, but funnily enough our two end tables are rattan, and even funnier is I like them. They’re trunk-style. They’re light. They look good. But, you do need to place a tray on top if using them for beverages.
D. End Table Legs
One design feature that significantly impacts the overall look are the legs. End tables come with several types of leg designs:
1. Four legs
2. Three legs (tripod)
Not the sturdiest design. I prefer four legs or solid base myself.
A classic design that is the extremely ornate. This type of end table is great for a formal living room.
4. Flat base
5. Cross Legs
The cross-legged end table is a casual, cottage design that can look great. However, as with most cross-leg designs, they aren’t as sturdy as four legs.
E. End Table Features
There are several other features you should consider a decision. While some are very simple in design and functionality, others offer more functionality.
Nine features to consider include:
At the very least, unless a pedestal base, most end tables have at least one shelf.
There are many fabulous end tables with drawer options. I like the drawer/shelf combo look.
3. Tray Top
Functional, but ugly. It looks too much like “we eat here a lot” which is not the look you want.
If you’re going for that glam look, mirror up! I’m not a fan, but in the right room it could definitely look cool.
5. Storage Compartment
I love storage and so a cupboard storage compartment with your end table is a smart choice.
I wouldn’t buy an end table with casters but you may have the need. There aren’t too many but they’re out there. Here’s an example:
7. Adjustable Height
If you have adjustable height needs for your end tables, they do exist. They aren’t super popular, but you can find them. Overall, I think they’re ugly, but you can find a gem here and there. The following is an example of quite a nice adjustable height option:
I’m a big fan of table leaves but not so much for end tables. It makes sense to be able to expand a dining table, but an end table? Not so much. Nevertheless, here’s an example:
Interestingly, end tables come with built-in lamps. That’s kind of convenient assuming you like both the end table and the accompanying lamp. Here’s an example.
Mix or Match?
If you buy more than one, should you buy all the same or mix n’ match designs? This is a tough question. Personally, I like symmetry so I think matching end tables look best. However, if you like a more eclectic design or your room is a more eclectic design, it can be better to buy different end tables for each spot.
Top Brands of End Tables
Furinno Turn N Tube End Table
If you’re looking for something affordable and stylish, this simple end table from Furinno ticks all the boxes. You can find this small table on Amazon, and it’s perfect for placing next to a bed or sofa, or in any small space.
It features three shelves you can use for storage and display, and each tier holds up to 15 pounds. Have fun stacking books or collectibles on each of the bottom two shelves and a nice table lamp on top.
Perhaps one of the best things about this table is that it comes in 10 different colors, including neutrals like black and white, as well as wood grain, for those who prefer a rustic or farmhouse-inspired look. There’s also the choice of plastic or stainless steel poles for certain options, too.
Use this table from Furinno as a nightstand in your bedroom or an end table in the living room. It’s super easy to assemble and should take just a few minutes. You can’t beat the style and available color options for the price.
IKEA Lack Side Table
When it comes to stylish and affordable furniture, you can never go wrong with products from IKEA. The brand’s Lack Side Table is a classic staple thanks to its clean and simple design and affordable price. This side table is sturdy and versatile, making it great for almost any room of the home.
It’s also easy to assemble and lightweight, and perfect for those who prefer a more minimalist look. You can choose from four different colors to match your pace, and they’re easy to move around anywhere you like thanks to the lightweight construction.
The Lack Side Table is also compatible with many other tables from IKEA, so it’s easy to mix and match it with other pieces. This table is such a classic that it’s been part of IKEA’s product line since way back in 1979.
That just proves that it’s a popular option for anyone from college kids to first-time homebuyers and much more. Look for the Lack Nesting Tables set to get more than one for a single purchase, too.
The Nightstand from Thuma is a beautiful choice for upscale homes. This durable nightstand is from Thuma, a brand most well-known for its extravagant line of bed frames. This nightstand is crafted from recycled wood for an eco-friendly option.
It also comes in three finishes, including walnut, natural and espresso. And while it has a simple and clean look, don’t let that fool you. It is a beautiful night and it includes a bottom open shelf and a drawer for easy storage. It’s made of re-purposed, real wood with no MDF or veneers.
You’ll get to appreciate the unique grains and knots of each piece that give every individual its own unique look. All corners have pre-applied cork bottoms to protect your floors and give the piece a bit of extra cushion.
And although it’s sold as a nightstand, this durable table from Thuma could easily be used as a side or end table in your living room, too. There’s no assembly required, either.
Simply order your nightstand and wait for delivery, then enjoy it right out of the box. It also includes optional legs if you want to give it more height, but the cork bottoms give it four more inches of height right away.
If you’re into the hygge look, then the Scandinavian from Levity is a great choice for your home. This durable table features a high-quality coating that protects the surface from stains like water rings, marks, and dents.
The company claims that the special coating is also heat resistant to protect your table even further. You can choose from two finishes including a rich dark walnut or a lighter white oak. Each one provides you with classic wood grain that blends beautifully with virtually any interior design style.
This small, compact table fits nicely into corners or next to a comfortable accent chair. It also has a removable bottom shelf for additional storage you can use for displaying items or stacks of books. Remove the shelf if you want the table to look taller or if you want to make the space look more open.
The durable quality solid wood, MDF, and veneer construction give this table excellent longevity, but it’s also in a higher price range than some other options. The angled legs lend it a stunning modern finishing touch.
Its clean lines and rounded corners bring it a classic touch of Scandinavian design with a slightly sculptural twist. It also pairs beautifully with the brand’s lounge chairs for a perfect match.
Where to Buy End Tables Online
Wayfair has amazing selection. They have over 10,000 end tables for sale on their site. You definitely want to check them out.
When shopping for end tables, don’t forget to check out inventory at Amazon. They have a huge selection.
Hayneedle is a higher-end furniture store with some real beauties. Don’t worry, they have reasonable prices, but if you’re looking for something a little high-end, you must visit Hayneedle.
4. Joss & Main
Joss & Main offers amazing furniture collections. You definitely want to stop by there when shopping for furniture.
If you want to buy a high-quality end table for less, HomeGoods could be a great option. This store is a sister company to Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx. They carry furniture and home decor at discounted prices.
“I love going to HomeGoods,” says interior designer Valentina. “To me, it’s like an adventure or a treasure hunt.”
The selection at HomeGoods can vary based on when you shop, but you can always find end tables here. Shopping at this store is an amazing way to save money and find unique pieces.
6. Crate & Barrel
The first Crate & Barrel store was in an elevator factory in Chicago. Now, this retailer has more than 100 retail stores and outlets. No matter what type of store you visit, you’ll find plenty of modern end tables.
Crate & Barrel has an amazing selection of contemporary furniture. From pedestal side tables to storage tables, you’ll be able to choose a piece that you’ll love.
People have been shopping at Macy’s department stores for over 150 years. Macy’s has more than 400 locations, including 46 stores with large furniture galleries. You can also find a limited selection of furniture at many other Macy’s locations.
When you shop for end tables at Macy’s, you’ll find a wide selection of products and a variety of price points. Some of the brands they carry include Design Toscano and Walker Edison. From budget-friendly pieces to premium options, there’s a little of everything.
8. Pottery Barn
Founded in 1943, Pottery Barn is an upscale furniture chain. They carry a large selection of end tables for the living room and bedroom. Many pieces are made from durable materials like solid pine and mahogany.
Currently, there are almost 200 Pottery Barn stores across the United States. Before you visit your nearest store, you can make a free design appointment to get expert advice.
9. Bed Bath & Beyond
Despite its name, this retailer offers more than items for the bedroom and bathroom. Bed Bath & Beyond carries a variety of home furnishings, including end tables.
Some of the brands available here include Everhome, Madison Park, and Forest Gate. If you need to pick up a few towels, stop by one of these stores and browse the selection of end tables to see what you can find.
Kirkland’s started out with one store in Jackson, TN. Today, the furniture retailer has more than 350 locations. It’s a terrific place to shop for home furnishings like end tables.
The accent and end tables at Kirkland’s are sturdy and stylish. Many products have affordable prices and use a blend of real wood and wood composite.
Target is a big box retailer that carries all kinds of products, including end tables! Furniture selections can vary based on location. With more than 1,900 stores in the U.S., there’s a good chance there are options near you!
Many of the products sold at Target aren’t available anywhere else. They carry end tables in a variety of styles, including farmhouse-inspired tables! Make sure you check out the furniture at Target the next time you shop there.
Ikea started out in Sweden, but they now have hundreds of stores in 50 different countries. The brand is known for making affordable furniture that’s easy to assemble.
“Ikea has so many great options that actually mimic designer pieces,” says Kristen McGowan, an interior designer. “And you can get them at a fraction of the price.”
If you’re looking for an end table with a clean and simple design, the selection at Ikea should impress you. There are options for every budget here. You can even find end tables with unique features, like a built-in air purifier.
13. World Market
This specialty chain models its stores after international bazaars. When you shop here, you’ll find end tables inspired from designs from across the globe.
Many of the accent tables sold here are made using unique materials. For example, they carry tables made from aged driftwood and hammered metal. If you want a statement end table, check out the selection at this store.
The Kohl’s department store chain launched in Wisconsin more than 60 years ago. Today, they have over 1,160 locations and offer a huge selection of products. It’s a nice place to shop for many types of items, including furnishings like end tables.
At Kohl’s, you can find furniture from brands like Sonoma, Novogratz and Madison Park. There are frequent sales, making it easy to save on your future purchases.
Photos of My Favorite End Tables
Here’s a gallery featuring more of my favorite end table designs. I chose a smattering to reflect different designs and types for variety from a variety of online furniture retailers. Click the images to visit the retailer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How tall are end tables?
The average end table is about two feet tall. However, some are taller or shorter depending on the style you are going for. For example, a higher-end table might be better if you use it as a lampstand. A shorter end table might work better in a child’s room.
How wide should end tables be?
The width of an end table depends on the size of your room and how many you would like to have. Typically, they are about a foot wide, but this also varies depending on the style. A popular trend is a narrow table in your living room’s corner.
What to put on end tables?
There are a few things you can put on your end table. The most popular item is a lamp. You can also set up a vase with fresh flowers, a family photo, or a book.
What color end tables go with a grey couch?
There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on the style of your home and what you are trying to achieve. Some people suggest a black or white end table, while others say go for a pop of color.
What size lamps for end tables?
Again, this depends on the style of your home and the look you are going for. A small lamp might look best on a narrow end table, while a larger one might be better suited for a wider one.
Do end tables have to match?
No, they do not have to match. In fact, it can be quite trendy to mix and match different styles of end tables.
Are end tables out of style?
No, end tables are not out of style. They remain a popular piece of furniture in many homes.
Do I need end tables in the living room?
This is a matter of preference. Some people like to have them, while others do not feel the need. Also, not everyone has the space for end tables.
How many end tables should go in a living room?
Again, this is a matter of preference. Some people like to have one end table on each side of the sofa, while others only want one in the room. Also, many lack the space for two.
What to do with old end tables? Will Goodwill take end tables?
There are a few options for old-end tables. You can donate them to Goodwill or another charity. You can also try to sell them at a garage sale or on websites like Craigslist.
Do end tables have to match the coffee table?
No, they do not have to match. In fact, it can be quite trendy to mix and match different styles of coffee and end tables.
Can you use end tables as nightstands?
Yes, you can use end tables as nightstands. This is a popular trend in many homes.
What kind of paint to use on end tables?
You can use any type of paint on end tables. However, most people use stain or semi-gloss paint. These types of paint are easy to clean and maintain.