Pros and Cons of Wooden, Metal and Glass Coffee Tables for Living Room

When the time comes where you need to buy a coffee table for your living room, you will look for a table that meets a certain set of criteria. You also need to decide what type of coffee table you want. The choices are very many ranging from wood, glass and metal as well as a combination of both. It must meet the following requirements.

  • Is it functional - you need to be able to leave food or drinks on the table without getting wobbly or unsteady with the extra weight. If the coffee table only weighs a few pounds and your child is able to lift it because it's so light, then it's less likely to carry a lot of weight.
  • Is it durable - If you have a busy household or have kids running around the room, will this table last more than a few years or will it break or scratch within a few months.
  • Is it affordable - Most of the time when you go shopping for furniture, you will have a budget that lists how much you want to spend. When buying your coffee table, the price should be close to this figure. Not only that but it may also be necessary to match the list of characteristics with respect to what you are looking for.
  • Is it aesthetic - you need to buy a coffee table that matches the rest of the furniture in your living room. You don't want a table that is too large or too large or a table that overpowers the entire room.
  • Does it fit into the space - When you buy a coffee table, you need to consider all the other furniture in the living room. If you have a small living room, then you can't get a table as long as your sofa. You need to know the exact size of your living room and also have an idea of ​​the size of the coffee table that will suit the space. Don't buy a coffee table that will take up all the free space in the living room.

Wooden Coffee Table

Wooden Coffee Table. midascode, Public Domain, via

Advantages of Wooden Coffee Table

  • Wooden coffee table is very practical and easy to clean. If it is made of solid wood it will sometimes require a coat of varnish or oil to preserve the wood.
  • A wooden coffee table can withstand a lot of wear and tear and if you take good care of it, it can last for years.
  • Wood is also very durable and practical and if you have children or pets in the house, there is no chance of them breaking it if they drop something on it. They might get a few bumps if they hit it themselves but it won't break or fall apart.
  • After a few years if you want to change the color of your coffee table, you can sand it, smear it and then paint the table another color.
  • There are many types of wooden coffee tables on the market. Some are manufactured with a veneer surface. This will give you a variety of options to choose from when choosing a coffee table with a veneer finish.
  • There are so many places you can go when you're looking for a coffee table that it shouldn't be a problem to try to find one that fits your décor before buying one.

Disadvantages of Wooden Coffee Tables

  • When you buy a wooden coffee table, you really have to be sure of the quality of the wood. Some tables can be made from chipboard/particle board which is not as high quality as real wood.
  • Some wood coffee tables can come with a thin layer of veneer on the surface which means this type of coffee table will be cheaper to buy. A solid wood coffee table or a table that has a high-quality veneer finish are better in this case.
  • Some types of veneers may vary in quality between manufactures. If the veneer is not of high quality and is very thin, it will peel or scald if damaged. You may even see it start to peel off the wood or scratch if something is chipped or if you accidentally bang it against the wall while moving it.

Glass Coffee Table

Glass Coffee Table. Derick McKinney, Public Domain, via Unsplash

Advantages of Glass Coffee Table

  • If you have a small living room then getting a glass coffee table can trick the eye into thinking that the small sitting room is bigger than it really is.
  • Most glass coffee tables will have a wood or metal frame. The size and thickness of the frame will vary between manufacturers so you will need to check the seller's specifications to see if the frame is strong enough. If the frame is made of solid wood or metal, the frame will be stronger than a frame with a hole in the middle.
  • If you have a rug in your living room then having a glass coffee table means that visitors to the room can see the design of the rug.
  • A glass coffee table can help open up a small living room because it doesn't overpower the room and you can get a small table that takes up less space.
  • A glass coffee table will go well with any type of living room décor because it usually comes with a frame with clear glass as the focus.

Disadvantages of Glass Coffee Tables

  • If you have children or pets, they can easily hit the table and scratch or break the glass.
  • Overtime the glass can peel off if items fall on the table or if you accidentally bump into something.
  • The thickness of the glass will vary between manufacturers so you will need to check the specifications before buying as well to find out the thickness of the glass. You want a table that is sturdy and resistant to wear and tear.
  • If the manufacturer does not use tempered glass on the coffee table then when it breaks it will shatter into millions of tiny pieces.
  • If people don't use coasters for their drinks then they will leave water stains on the table. You should clean these stains after each use to avoid water stains from building up.

Metal Coffee Table

Metal Coffee Table. Hannah Busing, Public Domain, via Unsplash

Advantages of Metal Coffee Table

  • Metal coffee tables can be very versatile. Many manufacturers sell them in a variety of colors and finishes so you should be able to find one that matches the decor you already have in your living room.
  • Metal is also strong and durable and will not deteriorate over time as long as you clean it with a damp cloth every time it gets dirty.
  • The price of a metal coffee table will vary between manufacturers depending on the quality of the metal they use to make the table. Some metal tables are cheaper to use perforated metal for the frame.
  • A metal coffee table made of good quality metal that doesn't have holes means the frame will be much sturdier and will be able to withstand the weight of the food or drink remaining on it.
  • Metal is also fire resistant so it won't catch fire.
  • Also if you have pets that chew or scratch your furniture, then they will not be able to do these things with a metal coffee table.

Disadvantages of Metal Coffee Tables

  • Some versions of metal coffee tables can be made of very cheap metal or tin which will be very thin and useless.
  • Some metal coffee table manufacturers will sell coffee tables that have perforated frames. In this case the coffee table will not be as strong or sturdy as compared to a solid metal frame.
  • You will need to check the specifications of the coffee table to see how much it weighs. If the specs say 250 lb or lower, chances are the coffee table will be very light. If possible, try to go and have a look at this type of coffee table before buying it to see how strong and sturdy it is.
  • Even though metal tables will still stain or rust if left outside unless they have been coated with weather-resistant paint.


When the time comes for you to choose a coffee table for your living room, you need to think about the type you want as well as its durability. You will either invest in a piece that will last or buy a table that is fashionable this year.

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