Glass Vs. Wood Top Coffee Table (Pros & Cons)

Last Updated on April 5, 2022 by John Moretti

I recently purchased new living room curtains, and it has completely transformed the room’s appearance. This has inspired me to finally upgrade some of the other furniture in the room, starting with the coffee table.

This sturdy wooden table has been a part of the family for years, but I firmly believe that a glass table might be an exciting change to fit the new aesthetic. Therefore, I did some research to compare the different tabletops.

A glass coffee table is more visually appealing. Even if it is large, the glass top makes it appear to take up less space. Glass can be dangerous if it has sharp edges. Wooden coffee tables are preferred because they are more robust and less susceptible to chips and damage to the surface. 

Even in these two categories, there are different types of glass and wood coffee tables in different shapes and sizes. By considering your price range, the traffic in the room, the amount of space you have, and the aesthetic you are trying to maintain, there is a lot of information to consider in these comparisons. Let’s look at the details. 

Glass vs. Wood Top Coffee Table

Characteristics Of A Glass Top Coffee Table  

A glass coffee table is characterized by a thick slab of tempered glass supported by a metal base structure. Tempered glass is the best option for making a coffee/dining room table because it is significantly thicker than standard glass. This ensures that the glass is correctly shaped with rounded corners to avoid injury.

Tempered glass is also preferred because it can reduce the visibility of nicks and scratches on the table. A glass top is effortless to clean and will maintain the room’s elegance without taking up too much space.

Glass Table

The transparency of clean glass means the table does not look as solid because you can still see all the floor underneath. Therefore, it does not have to be the center of attraction in the room. 

Even though tempered glass is strong, it may not be the best for putting heavy objects on top of it. Glass coffee tables look better when only used for light snacks during a coffee time and then cleared of any clutter for the rest of the time. 

Pros Of A Glass Coffee Table

  • Glass is more delicate than wood – this would be an excellent incentive to prevent clutter from accumulating on the table because you would not want to leave nicks and scratches behind from careless dumping. 
  • Glass is clear and neutral – since glass is clear and neutral, it can be paired with any number of materials without clashing, and it will complement the room.
  • Room apperas much brighter – the reflective and transparent nature of the glass tabletop means that the room will appear much brighter. 
  • Room appears much larger – the room will also appear much larger than it actually is. 

Cons Of A Glass Coffee Table 

Glass Top Coffee Table
  • Glass breaks easily – this is something to keep in mind when considering where you position the table and making sure the edges are not sharp enough to cut someone. 
  • Glass coffee tables are often more expensive – higher quality-stained glass can be stunning but at an additional cost.
  • Glass gets dirty much faster – due to its transparency, glass gets dirty much faster than wood or ceramic tables. This means you can see all the dirt and will have to wipe it down more often.
  • You cannot store and hide things under your table– because people will still see through the tabletop.

Characteristics Of A Wood Top Coffee Table 

Wood Top Coffee Table

Wood top coffee tables are more traditional and popular than glass top coffee tables. Wood guarantees a sturdy base and surface, and you have fewer worries about sharp edges. These tables can be made from most types of wood, and these will all produce a different finish. 

Wooden coffee tables are popular because they naturally fit into any space without seeming out of place. They are practical and easy to move as well. Since wooden tables are not necessarily intended for elegance, the tabletop can hold décor like a fancy bowl, flower vase, or even magazines.

As with glass tables, wooden coffee tables are available in various shapes and sizes. Finding a perfect fit for your room is all about your taste! Wooden-top coffee tables are more rustic and can be used as the center of attention in the room. 

Pros Of A Wood Top Coffee Table 

Wood Top Coffee Table
  • Eco Friendly – since wood is a natural material, wooden coffee tables are an eco-friendlier option. The wood can come from different types of trees, which will influence the appearance, cost, and longevity of the table. 
  • Good Quality – wood is exceptionally sturdy, and this is because of its great quality. This also ensures that your table will last for years after purchase without significant wear and tear.
  • Neutral – the advantage of wooden furniture is that it is neutral enough to compliment and balance any living space you choose.
  • Timeless – wood is timeless, so you will never have to worry about replacing it with a new furniture trend. 
  • Versatile – wood is very versatile. This means that you can choose from different shades to suit your preference and theme. Walnut, mahogany, and teak are all different, and there is one for everyone. 
  • Can be elegant – even though wood is usually considered for a more traditional interior, it is possible to find a wooden coffee table that will complement an elegant setting as well. 

Cons Of A Wood Top Coffee Table

Wood Top Coffee Table
  • Wood is very bulky – wood is very bulky and thus will visually take up a lot of space. This can result in a small room looking even smaller.
  • Wood is expensive – finding good quality and elegant wood top table can be very expensive, and taking proper care of it will incur the costs. 
  • Wood is not easy to clean – wood is not easy to clean, and improper care can lead to permanent damage. This means that you would have to be very careful with beverages on the table because the spilled liquid is damaging to wooden tables. 


Coffee Table

As this article has shown, both these types of tables are practical and fulfill their purpose. I prefer a wooden table for the space that I have in my living room. The rustic and natural essence created by a wooden coffee table is definitely what I am trying to emulate. My living room is small and cozy, and the wood would fit in perfectly.

Space and aesthetics are two of the most important factors to consider when choosing your coffee table. So, make sure to do your research and make an informed decision.