If you give a living room a sofa, it’ll want a coffee table to go with it. Or at least that’s what those traditional interior design rules say. And it’s true that sofas and coffee tables are generally the focal point of your living room.

With that, there are many things to consider when landing on the right coffee table for your space. You’ll want to consider the coffee table shape and size in relation to your sofa, as well as the coffee table material, to make sure it blends with your living room’s style. And then there are the lifestyle needs to consider—like if you need a kid-friendly coffee table or one that includes storage.

coffee table ideas

But just because they’re a key piece of furniture in your living room doesn’t mean you have to go for something traditional or expected. In fact, you can get pretty creative with coffee table ideas. There are actually quite a few coffee table alternatives out there to suit your interior design style and your preferences and lifestyle. So, if you’re interested in exploring some alternatives to coffee tables, keep reading for seven of our favorite ideas!

Whether you’re struggling to design a small space, or if you want your living room to be a bit more kid-proof, here are 8 coffee table alternatives that will work in any space.

coffee table ideas – ottoman

1. A Plush Ottoman

Ottomans are an awesome coffee table alternative because they can act as a table but are kid-proof. With soft edges, there are no corners for kids to bump into. And if you still want to style it, add a few of your favorite coffee table books or place a tray on top as a stable surface for drinks! Plus they double as extra seating options so your kids and guests have space to sit!

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coffee table ideas - 2 poufs

2. A Pair of Poufs

Similar to a plush ottoman, poufs are another kid-friendly favorite for living room areas. Two poufs can make a perfect replacement for a coffee table and are just right for smaller spaces and for people who like to entertain. We love that they can easily double as a footrest, side table, and extra seat!

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coffee table alternatives

3. A Bench

Not a fan of using a large table as your centerpiece? One of our favorite coffee table alternative ideas is to use a bench instead. Using an attractive wooden or upholstered bench as a coffee table can add surface space, extra seating, and even additional storage. Talk about a triple-threat!

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coffee table alternatives

4. A Cluster of Side Tables

A coffee table doesn’t always have to be one large table. In fact, one of our favorite coffee table styling ideas, when you want something out of the box, is using a cluster of side tables as a coffee table alternative. This allows you to easily move them when you are entertaining in order to give your guests an easy place to set their drinks.

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coffee table ideas

5. Side Tables With Varying Heights

Two small, mismatched side tables can also be a good alternative for smaller spaces that don’t have room for one large table. Make your space feel less cramped by opting for one short and one taller table. This is one of our favorite coffee table ideas for people who want to make their space feel more dynamic.

coffee table alternative

6. A Storage Ottoman

Need some extra storage? Opt for one of our favorite small apartment furniture ideas: A storage ottoman. It not only acts as a coffee table alternative but also an extra seat and hidden storage. Simply open up the lid in order to store things inside. It’s great for storing blankets, books, magazines or other things you want to keep handy but out of sight.

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coffee table ideas - c-side table

7. A C-Side Table

If you have no room at all, you can try a C-side table in order to maximize space in a small living room. C-tables are small and easy to move; and, because of their shape, they can snuggle up close to your sofa so they don’t take up much floor space. You can also use them as an impromptu desk when you don’t want to leave the sofa to work.

8. A Single Stool

Another coffee table alternative that’s great for small spaces? A single stool. It’s a great pairing with low-profile sofas, as the low height of the stool works well with the lower sofa seat. And speaking of seating—using a stool as a coffee table gives you an extra seating option, which is perfect for small or multipurpose spaces, like a studio apartment. It’s also more affordable than a traditional coffee table, which makes it a great budget-friendly coffee table alternative as well! And if you move and decide to upgrade to a larger coffee table, you can easily use a stool elsewhere in your home.

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These are just a few suggestions for you to use other pieces of furniture in lieu of a coffee table! What are your favorite coffee table ideas?

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6 replies
  1. Coffee Table Lover says:

    This article special for coffee table lover and I am sure they will get many useful tips from this post. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post.

  2. Meghan says:

    Can you share sources for the products in your blogs? Specifically the coffee table alternatives – plush ottoman, poufs, side tables, etc. ,

    • Modsy says:

      Hi Meghan, thanks for your feedback! We’ve updated the post with all the links to the specific products. Don’t forget, you can try these (and 100s more products) on in your home with Modsy!


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