Round Vs. Rectangle Vs. Square Coffee Table (What’s The Best)

Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by John Moretti

The coffee table serves the function of the centerpiece in most living rooms, lounges, and dens. These small tables are often as beautiful as they are functional, and no home is complete without the perfect coffee table, but which shape coffee table is best for your space? How do you choose between a round, rectangle, or square coffee table?

Round coffee tables are the true original coffee table design and are the simplest to use in any room. Rectangular tables must be aligned well but are also very easy to fit into a living room. Square coffee tables can be a challenge but bring along creative and unique design options.

There are hundreds of coffee table shapes and designs available out there right now, and the sheer number of options can be daunting. For the sake of our sanity, let’s reduce the number to three options: round, rectangle, and square. Which is best for you and your space?

Which Coffee Table Shape Is Best For You?

Let’s dive right into it. There are so many types of coffee table shapes to choose from but narrowing them to three basic shapes makes the decision much simpler. Why these three basic shapes? 

Well, these shapes are the typical shapes that standard coffee tables are formed into, and they are the most functional, useful, and aesthetically pleasing shapes while still being neutral enough to fit into almost any space.

To best determine which coffee table is best for you according to your needs, your space, and your preferences, let’s explore the possibilities, strengths, and weaknesses associated with each of these three basic shapes of the coffee table.

The Round Coffee Table

photo of some snacks on a small table

The round coffee table is one of the very best options for any space. These tables are classically styled coffee tables, and technically, a round coffee table is the only true type of coffee table. 

Semantics aside, round coffee tables are one of the safest choices for any space as they save a lot of space, they are easy to move around, and the smooth shape of the table helps to draw the eye to the center of the room without being camouflaged by the other pieces of furniture.

Round coffee tables are also very functional, as every edge of the table is even, which allows equal reach for everyone in the room to use the table, and the symmetrical shape of the table means that it can be placed anywhere in the room, even off-center, and it will not look out of place. 

The round coffee table is the easiest coffee table to pair with all furniture and is an excellent choice for any space.

The Rectangle Coffee Table

The rectangle coffee table is another classic design that works well almost anywhere.

This shape is best used in conjunction with a rectangular sofa, preferably one that is not too long. The rectangular coffee table should be between half and two-thirds of the length of a rectangular sofa that it is paired with to allow for even spacing on either side of the table.

The rectangular shape of the table allows it to fit into most spaces symmetrically and is also the perfect shape for anyone in the room to reach easily.

These coffee tables fit well into a multi-seating area with multiple sofas or chairs just as well as they pair with single sofas or chairs only. This shape is the safest style of coffee table for a room, and it is almost not possible to go wrong with a rectangular coffee table.

The only aspect of this shape to look out for is that it can very easily protrude or stick out of the styling in the room if it is not positioned well. A well-positioned coffee table will blend in with the rest of the furniture in the room, while a poorly placed one will stand out and look and feel uncomfortable, even without being obviously out of place.

The Square Coffee Table

The square coffee table, while it may not seem like it, is the type of coffee table that is the most difficult to work with. This is simply because there are so many various sizes of square coffee tables, as well as the standard shape that may be a challenge to pair with soft, rounded furniture such as sofas.

The trouble with square coffee tables is that the size of these tables is never perfect. It is very challenging to find a square coffee table that fits perfectly into the space. They are often too mall or too big for the space and feel out of place right from the get-go.

However, there are always several ways to overcome these types of hurdles. A very good option is rather than trying to find a square coffee table that has the perfect dimensions for your space, it is better to find two smaller square coffee tables and use them in tandem with each another.

Using two smaller tables makes finding the right tables far easier and makes the coffee table set up in your living far more functional as well.

The only circumstance that calls for a larger square table is if you have a very large space to fill with nothing on the other side of it.

For example, if you have several sofas and chairs all directed to one wall, facing the television, for example, and subsequently have a large space to fill in the center of the room. 

This is the perfect circumstance for a very large table, as it can also be used as a storage space, ornamental pieces can be placed on the table to fill up the space and balance the room, and a nice quality coffee table used in this way becomes a piece of functional art, as large tables often have decorative stylings as well.


At the end of it all, choosing between these three basic coffee table shapes can be a challenge, but so long as your coffee table serves to fulfill the function that you need it for, everything else is secondary. After serving a purpose, the next most important factor is a personal preference.

Your own preference must always be the deciding factor, as your coffee table will be the centerpiece of your living room, and you will have to live with it every day. Regardless of shape, if you like your coffee table and it serves its function well, it will be a piece that you will enjoy for years to come.