From glass to wood, steel to plastic, the material choices for coffee tables is almost limitless. But remember that like a sofa or favorite chair, the hard working coffee table tends to see a lot of use. Unlike other pieces of furniture, though, these tables tend not to fall out of fashion easily, making the investment in a well-designed, piece worthy long-term investment.
Expensive contemporary coffee tables, which are made from precious materials or are one-of-a-kind designs, may be visually arresting, but may also require extra care and maintenance. The key is to focus on how you expect your coffee table to be used, and which materials make more sense for your particular needs. Glass, certain metals, and plastic composites typically are low-maintenance materials, requiring little more than a wipe with a damp cloth, while polished, high-quality wood may be easily marked by liquids, for instance, requiring coasters or other maintenance considerations. When shopping for designer coffee tables, simplicity, quality and longevity remain good guidelines—as they do for all modern design.