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Oak Coffee Tables buying guide

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What is a coffee table?

A coffee table, also known as a “cocktail table”, has a dual purpose in the modern home. It serves as both a personal style statement as well as fulfilling a variety of functions in modern homes.

Coffee tables are generally low tables that found a permanent place in front of a sofa or chairs. They are the perfect place to set a cup of coffee or tea along with a plate of biscuits during relaxing moments at home.

They can also serve as a beautiful focal point in the living room or family room, or they can be used to combine with and draw the other furniture pieces that are in a room, into a harmonious whole.

They also serve a prime place in our homes to express ourselves. This self-expression is accomplished by how we choose to decorate our coffee table.

Here is a short list of all the functions that a coffee table typically fulfils in the modern home. It is the place:

  •  to set down beverages and plates of food or snacks
  • where a makeshift laptop centre is made
  •  to spread out books for study or conduct other school projects
  • often used for storing games, remote controls, blankets etc., when style allows
  • that families and friends gather
  •  That is perfect for assembling a puzzle
  •  to put your feet up

Why is oak wood furniture so popular?

Oak wood is renowned for its strength, durability and its incredible beauty. It is no wonder that it is arguably the most popular of woods desired for furniture. Oak has long been recognized for the longevity it renders to a piece of furniture.

In the main, this is why it was a popular choice for furniture making in medieval Europe when furniture was designed primarily for functionality and its ability to last. A good deal of England’s medieval oak furniture still exists today, which is a powerful testament to its ability to endure.

However, it is only part of the reason that oak remains a popular choice for tables of all types including coffee tables. Oak furniture is prized today as much for it beauty and its extensive variety of style characteristics as it is for its functionality.

Why the oak coffee table is such a popular choice?

Lasting beauty

In the main, oak’s durability, longevity, and beauty are likely key to its recently regained popularity as a coffee table choice. Moreover, the fact that many oak coffee table’s designs have answered the call and are meeting various modern consumer functionality requirements is likely an equal factor in oak’s re-established popularity.

Easy care

Oak holds up extremely well to daily use. Although proper care of any wood furnishings is a necessity to ensure lasting beauty and strength, oak requires minimal, easy maintenance to achieve that goal. A few simple rules adhered to will guarantee your oak coffee table’s beauty and long life. You will be able to find these rules in the Buyer’s Tips section of this buyer’s guide.

It is because of the oak coffee table’s durability that it is most often chosen for energetic families. It is not easy to damage oak but when it does occur on oak wood, it often adds to the table’s character. In addition, as oak ages, it mellows and acquires its own distinctive patina.

Style and colour versatility

Oak is extremely style versatile with regard to both style versatility and colour. The natural colours of oak can range from golden to fawn and deep brown. In addition, the natural colours of oak are easily altered by staining. Oak can blend equally well in the period home or contemporary home. Modern combinations such as glass atop an oak base can add elegance, timelessness and sparkle to a room, all at once.

Oak tables of every kind, regularly become family heirlooms because their beauty grows with age as their patina becomes unique. A little care of your new oak coffee table today will ensure it becomes the treasured antique oak coffee table of your great, great grandchildren. See the Buying Tips section of this guide for tips on caring for your oak coffee table.

Things to consider before buying your Oak Coffee Table

Quick list of the benefits of buying an oak coffee table

Oak coffee tables:

  • Possess a natural beauty that gets better with age
  • Are strong and durable enough to handle active families
  • Are easy to care for and maintain
  • Come in a range of natural colours ranging from light to medium to dark and each colour sets a different mood for your room
  • Come in a variety of stain finishes that enhance its natural tone.
  • Blend well with any period, contemporary or modern style
  • Can come topped with glass to create a light drawing spot in the room
  • Come in just about every shape imaginable
  • Cost slightly more but with care last more than one lifetime

Oak coffee table basic care tips

To ensure your oak table lasts as long as possible:

  • Always use coasters, placemats, and heat absorbent pads under hot dishes placed on your coffee table
  • Wipe up spills promptly
  • Dust regularly
  • Protect against extreme changes in temperature and humidity
  • Ensure the room is not too damp 
  • Ensure the room is not too dry, plants and/or a humidifier can help
  • Polish or wax with the product that the manufacturer suggests at least once every 4 to 6 months
  • Never use harsh chemicals on your oak coffee table as they may strip the finish
  • Avoid application of certain wax polishes that have a white appearance. A light oak coffee table may be suitable for this type of polish but a medium oak coffee table or dark oak coffee table can bear evidence of its use in the grain.
  • Always use the wax or polish that the manufacturer recommends first. If none is recommended or the type recommended is unavailable, try using a beeswax polish.
  • By keeping liquids that can cause staining away from the oak coffee table as oak stains easily
  • By using a soft, damp buffing cloth or sponge with vinegar and water, once a year, to remove the build up of waxes and polishes that have been insufficiently buffed.
  • By never dragging the oak coffee table as dragging weakens joints
  • By gently opening and closing all drawers and cabinets
  • Rooms that have under floor heating are unsuitable for solid wood furniture.
  • Some oak tables come with factory finishes that should not be waxed or polished.
    Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when given over any other advice.


Popular oak coffee table brands

Best Buys and Price Range

The price for an oak veneer coffee table starts at about £79.79 and moves to a mid price range of approximately £200.00 to £300.00 for a solid oak / oak veneer combined coffee table. There are a few good, cheap priced, solid oak coffee tables for under £200.00. In the main, solid oak tables run upwards of £400.00. However, when one weighs quality and longevity against the price, oak usually comes out a best buy. Below are some especially excellent buys.

Cotswold Oak Coffee Table


This is a rustic style, rectangular table with the beauty of contemporary lines. It is made of solid reclaimed oak with oak beam coffee table styled joints. This sturdy, chunky oak coffee table is made to last and finished in high quality wax. It is a best buy at merely £179.99.


W120cm x D60cm x H45cm

Baizen Oak Coffee Table


This rectangular Baizen is a solid dark oak coffee table designed in an elegant traditional style. This beauty will only get better with age and minimal care since it is solid oak. It is well worth the price of only £179.98. Its minor catch is that it comes RTA; ready to assemble. Its plus is that it can be purchased with a matching lamp and/or console table. Both are priced equally low for solid oak.


W120cm x D60cm x H48cm

Nyon Oak Glass Coffee Table


The Nyon modern oak coffee table exemplifies the extraordinary beauty that is attainable by combining the beauty of oak and glass. This oak coffee table glass is rectangular and made of solid oak with oak veneer. Solid, knotty oak is used to create x shaped legs. The beauty of the knotty oak crossed legs is displayed through the clear glass tabletop. It will require assembly but at a price of £189.98, it is well worth it.


W120cm x D61cm x H43cm

Greenham Coffee Table


The Greenham medium oak veneer coffee table blends well with either traditional or contemporary living or family room styles. It is designed with two drawers and a shelf for storage. This medium oak coffee table will add a touch of elegance to any room. It is priced at an affordable £189.98.


W100cm x D50cm x H45cm

Set options:

Set options include the Greenham Lamp Table and the Greenham Widescreen TV Unit which are similarly priced.

Brooklyn Oak 6 Drawer Coffee Table


This oak coffee table with drawers offers ample room for the additional function of storage. It is made of solid Russian White oak and is finished in Tung tree oil, which will not age. It also has the option of shelves if you prefer to show off your collectibles instead of hiding them away in a drawer. Let us recap, storage, solid oak, non-aging finish, all packaged in a superb design for £229.00. That seems more than reasonable.


H48cm xW116cm x D57.5cm

Maryland Storage Coffee Table


This faintly distressed, chunky oak coffee table offers classic styling in oak veneer. It also displays subtle woodworm effects, which give it a unique personality. It will work well with traditional as well as modern room styles and 4 drawers and lift top make this square oak coffee table a must have, especially with a sticker price of £279.98.


W75cm x D75cm x H46cm

Jargon Explained

Banding This term refers to contrasting colour or grain inlaid in the surface of a table.
Bun foot This is a bun or flattened ball, shaped foot on the legs of a table.
Cabriole A term that means a flowing, elegant curved leg that curves outward at the knee of a leg and inward at the bottom of the leg; a convex leg.
Dowel This pin is both headless and made of wood. It is used for joining pieces of wood.
Focal point This design term refers to any element in the room that draws that attention or draws the eye. The focal point of a room can be a colour that is predominant, a piece of furniture or art, or even a fireplace.
Golden threadA Golden thread is a design term that refers to the predominant style or theme used in a home. It is what ties everything in your home together or makes it your personal statement.
Knocked downThis term is often abbreviated as KD. It means furniture that will require partial assembly or complete assembly by the buyer.
Oak VeneerThis term means that the piece is not solid oak but rather that the surface has had thin sheets of oak applied to it for decorative purposes.
Occasional tables This term is a catch all for a variety of tables including coffee tables, consoles, end tables, or generally, any other type of small table.
Patina A sheen and texture produced on the surface of wood either by rubbing or natural wear.
Personal stylePersonal style refers to the expressing of your personality, character, and fancy. We express our personal style in a variety of ways from the clothes we choose to wear to the furniture we select.
RTA This is an abbreviation for the words, “Ready to assemble." It means that the buyer will be required to assemble the product to some extent.
ScaleThis term refers to the size of a piece of furniture in relation to the size of the room and other furnishings in the room. It is about what proportion of the room a particular piece of furniture takes up. For example, some pieces may take up too much space in a room, rendering an imbalanced look and feel to the room.
Veneer See oak veneer.

Buying Guide to Oak Coffee Tables
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