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Round Vs Rectangle (or Square) Coffee Table – a Serious Designer Dilemma

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We all know just how pivotal a good coffee table is in helping to complete a living space, but the question is – do you go for a square or round coffee table? The answer to this depends on several factors, including style, room shape and stylet, in this post, we’ll be helping definitively explain which table is right for which circumstances. First, then, let’s look at round coffee tables.

When to Use a Round Coffee Table

Round coffee tables are perfect for rooms where space is limited. That’s because they have a smaller footprint than many square/rectangular alternatives, and can be used to maximise the space that there is. In other words, choosing a round coffee table can help create the illusion of a room having more space.


Stylistically, round coffee tables are very versatile, coming in a wide variety of styles and materials. What’s more, because most rooms are inherently angular (either square or, in most cases rectangular) implementing a round coffee table can introduce a really nice difference in shapes.


The only room we’d suggest that round coffee tables mightn’t be your first choice is if you’ve got a huge amount of space to play with, as then a rectangular (or square) coffee table can work very effectively.


Many designers also like to choose round coffee tables for clients with children; the lack of sharp edges makes them perfect for those little bundles of energy tearing about the living room, and parents can relax knowing that they’ll not injure or hurt themselves.

What Coffee Table Shape For a Sectional?

For sectionals, we’d suggest round coffee tables rather than a square or rectangular alternative. The reason? Again, it boils down to space and maximising efficiency. You can easily place a round corner by a sectional sofa and still have enough room to navigate around the table without it feeling cramped or cluttered. This makes it the ideal coffee table between two sofas.

When to Use a Rectangular (or Square) Coffee Table

If your coffee table is being placed in a more formal setting, perhaps a drawing or dining room, as opposed to a more casual ‘snug’-style living room, then rectangular coffee tables work well. The angular nature of rectangular (and square) coffee tables also lends themselves to stylistically modern, minimalist properties, or those which utilise a lot of geometric shapes.


They add a grandeur and elegance to any room to which they’re added, and also can seat a large number of people around, which is ideal if you’re entertaining lots of family and friends around and want to give them, you guessed it, coffee! 


For smaller spaces, we wouldn’t recommend rectangular coffee tables, however, because they can cramp people up as a result of their edges.

What Shape Coffee Table is Right For Me?

Besides the space considerations we’ve talked about above, determining which shape of coffee table is right for you is very much a subjective, personal matter.


Do you like flowing forms? Is your living room furnished with soft throw cushions, a Boho style and plenty of abstract art prints? If so, then the more organic shape of a round coffee table is going to suit your room better than something formal and regimented like a rectangular coffee table.


By contrast, if your room is sparse on furnishings; if it’s clean-cut and striving for a contemporary and refined look, then something more formal like a square coffee table would arguably work better.

That isn’t to say that you can’t have a round coffee table in a more formal room, or a rectangular coffee table in a more relaxed atmosphere, it’s just in terms of what they most naturally lend themselves to, these are what we’d recommend.

What Material For My Coffee Table?

If you’ve decided on your shape, then it’s time to decide on the type of material; the most common materials for coffee tables are:


  • Wood. Nice and classic, wooden coffee tables give your living space a traditional feel.
  • Stone. Although an uncommon (and expensive) choice of materials, stone coffee tables are a real statement piece.
  • Glass. Glass coffee tables lend any space a contemporary, refined feel.
  • Metal. Perfect for industrial, loft-style apartments and modern properties.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! Whether you get a round or square (or rectangular) coffee table very much depends on what look you’re after, as well as the shape (and style) of the room you’re trying to furnish. If you want any more interior design tips, tricks or advice, then why not check out our blog, here. There, you’ll find a wealth of interior design information and guides.

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