A good coffee table is a practical piece that can pull together a whole room. More sculptural designs make a style statement and provide a focus within a large space.

Others include hidden storage, drawers or shelves to help keep on top of magazines, remotes and the usual living room clutter.

Light tables on legs work well placed on a rug, and make easy work of cleaning around them. Heavier styles are boxier in nature, but might prove more practical for storage.

Increasingly popular are upholstered ottoman-style tables that can provide extra seating, or a footstool as well as a place for magazines and books.

Cox & Cox Aalto Occasional Table: £175, Cox & Cox

The Aalto table from Cox & Cox is made from carbonised bamboo, a hardening technique more commonly used for flooring. This material makes the coffee table durable yet light, with the looks of natural wood but not the cost. The slatted shelf gives added storage, but a drawer would have been a welcome addition. A matching console table for the hall costs £250. 

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La Redoute Lunja Pine 4-Drawer Coffee Table: £219, La Redoute

La Redoute’s Lunja table has four drawers for stashing away remote controls, magazines, letters and other living room clutter. It’s made in solid pine with a teak stain and wax for a traditional feel. The finish is good for the price – drawers slide easily, the handles have a smart antique look, and the 5cm-high base gives the whole piece a solid feel.

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FUWL Cage table: £159.95, Skandium

Designed by Stockholm-based studio Form Us With Love, the Cage storage series has bags of modern style. A stained-ash top sits on thin metal legs that loop together to form the base. At 30cm high, it can easily accommodate a basket underneath for magazines or blankets. It’s a little smaller and squarer than traditional coffee tables, and could be used as a side table too.

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Marks & Spencer Darcey Coffee Table: £499, Marks and Spencer

This Regency-style table is made from solid oak and veneer, with a grey-painted finish that contrasts with the natural top. It’s a good size, including two slim drawers and a bottom shelf. At 50cm high and 110cm wide, it’s among the largest on the list and would suit a grand living room where it can really be appreciated. There’s a matching range of other table styles, and delivery is free.

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Habitat Orrico Rose Gold Coffee Table: £225, Habitat

Inspired by India, the Orrico range by Habitat has an exotic feel to it. This statement round coffee table comes in gold, silver or on-trend rose gold. Each has a unique texture, made by hundreds of tiny hammer marks that catch the light. Despite the heavy appearance, the table is light to move around. Beware: the metal finish can scratch easily, and requires regular dusting. 

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Normann Copenhagen Ding Table: £299.90, Clippings

The three legs of this striking table slot together like a giant puzzle. Ding has a fun design, rather than practical, and would suit a living room that’s in need of a dramatic centrepiece. The table comes in combinations of smoked or transparent glass, and oak or black legs. No fixings are needed and the table arrives flat packed. 

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Maisons Du Monde Bahia Table: £195.50, Maisons Du Monde

Ideal for adding a bit of colour to the living room, the top of this coffee table is made from strips of reclaimed wood, salvaged from old houses in India. The recycled nature of the product means you can’t be quite sure what you’re going to get. Edges and legs in riveted metal continue the industrial look of this simple table.

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Houseology OH Maison Malvern Coffee Table: £265, Houseology

This wooden coffee table has just a hint of country styling, with turned legs and base in birch with a light grey painted finish. The oak rectangular top has been left natural, handy for disguising any small scratches or marks it may acquire over time. It’s a solid, timeless piece that would work well in a traditional or contemporary living room. 

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Astor ottoman: £429, Swoon Editions

The Astor ottoman is expensive compared to most, but with a soft cushioned top it can function as much more than just a coffee table. The foam and fibre feeling is comfortable enough to rest your feet on or use as occasional seating. The tufting of the neutral fabric and traditional brass stud details are well done by hand, and match the distressed mango wood frame well. Avoid staining the light-coloured fabric by keeping your hot drinks on a tray.

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Oakland trunk coffee table: £349, Cotswold Company

Measuring 90 x 90cm, the interior of the Oakland table packs in a lot of storage. It’s ideal for hiding away toys, blankets and newspapers just before your guests arrive. The two piston-assisted lids are handy if you need to access the storage but still keep a few things on top. They also hold the lid open. It’s made in solid oak and veneer, and given a traditional lacquer finish. No assembly is needed with this fuss-free design.

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The Verdict: Coffee tables

The quiet simplicity of the Aalto table by Cox & Cox means it can fit with most decor. It’s lightweight, made from sustainable bamboo, and comes at a very reasonable price. The slatted shelf makes a good place for putting magazines and remote controls out of the way.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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