45+ Different Types of Tables (with Photos)

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

Sitting around the dinner table enjoying a meal and having conversations about your day is a routine that happens in nearly every household. It is a simple time of the day when everyone can catch up on how the family is doing; however, the table you are sitting at has a very long history of adaptation and revitalization.

There are many different tables that range from a side or bed to a dining table and even a conference table. However, you can’t forget the changing table and dressing table as well. Each table style serves a different purpose. For instance, you won’t see a picnic table being used as a dressing table, even though some can double as others.

If you’re looking into decorating your home and purchasing the furniture for it, then it’s essential to know which type of table goes where. Therefore, we’ve put together this list of over 40 different types of tables to help you understand them better. We’ve also included the table’s history so that you can know where this ingenious piece of furniture came from.

Where Did Tables Come From?

The use of a table dates back to 2500 BC using supplies like wood and alabaster. They were constructed of something that was more than stone but a platform nonetheless to keep things off the floor. However, some wooden tables instead of stone have been found in certain tombs. Egyptians used tables for various things like elevated playing boards, and the Chinese created them to pursue arts and writing.

Tables have evolved over time to adapt to our way of living. They are created in many different shapes, styles, and materials. They even accommodate us by changing height, folding to create more room, and opening to provide storage. So from wood to metal and glass to plastic, long and narrow to short and round, here are a few types of tables worth knowing about.

The Different Types Of Tables

When it comes to choosing a table, the decision may seem obvious; however, that could not be further from the truth. With so many different types, it could be confusing when to purchase which type of table and what type is best for specific situations. Therefore, we’ve created this expansive list of different types of tables so that you can be informed when making your decision.

1. Side Tables

A side table is simply defined as a table that is positioned beside something, like a chai. They are not to be confused with end tables since they are larger in size and more of a visual piece of furniture for your home. They are also taller and will be closer to the surface of your chair or sofa. They sometimes have a small drawer for storage. In here, you can put things like the tv remote or gaming controllers.

Side tables were first used as a place for servants to serve tea and coffee. Over time this has adapted as side tables are now more functional pieces of furniture. They have more surface area to accommodate items, like lamps and books. You can put them practically anywhere as long as they are beside something. They can even be in your bathroom.

2. End Tables

As mentioned above, do not confuse this with a side table. An end table is placed, of course, at the end of your furniture. Usually between the sofa and a wall but sometimes can be placed between two pieces of furniture. They are set to improve the design and flow of the room. They come in different styles and materials to add to the décor of your room.

They are smaller and fit into tight spaces but vary in height which can make them difficult to place around other furniture. End tables should be placed where they can be easily reached while sitting down. This is especially important if you have a recliner, then you would not have to get up at all to reach your drink. Ideally, you should have an end table for each seat in the room.

3. Coffee Tables

Coffee tables are thought to be used all the way back to the Victorian era. It is a table that is usually located in the center of a common sitting area. It is low in height and used as a place to set your beverage or a snack tray for guests. Some can even provide storage for comforters and accent pillows. It can also be a place to put books, magazines, and decorative objects, especially holiday décor.

Coffee tables are found in a living room or sitting area in the middle of the floor. If you purchase one that is too large, it could become an obstacle to get around. Generally, your coffee table should be 14 to 18 inches from your couch. Furthermore, it could create difficulty cleaning around and under if too heavy. Some coffee tables are equipped with wheels to make moving them more accessible for cleaning or to have extra room.

4. Dining Room Tables

A table found explicitly in the dining room is more prominent and sometimes used just for special occasions. Some people may use it for everyday use since it is a designated meal setting for family and guests. It sits about six people on average but can have an insert to add seating for more guests.

This table creates a focal point in the room and compliments the room as well. It can be decorated for seasons and holidays to add to the décor of your home. Due to the size of the tables and the chairs that come with it, it can be a little more on the expensive side. Just make sure it is not too large for the space that is provided.

5. Ottoman Tables

The ottoman traces back to the ottoman empire, where it was first used as residential seating. It is a low upholstered couch and does not have any arms or back. An ottoman comes in various sizes and colors, so you can choose one that appeals to the room.

There are many different styles, and some even lift for storage or have side pockets for smaller items. However, if it becomes too packed, it can prove to be too heavy to move. It is believed this is an adaptation of the coffee table because people were putting their feet upon it.

In order to provide a comfortable footrest, it is commonly placed in the middle of the sitting area. However, this is not a replacement for a coffee table as the material used for the ottoman can become easily soiled. In addition to not being a coffee table, an ottoman can also be found as a corner piece.

6. Kitchen Tables

A kitchen table is either in addition or in place of a dining room table. This table is smaller than a dining room table and only seats between two to six people. It can be expanded slightly to accommodate more seating, but its smallness can bring people closer together for more meaningful conversations.

A kitchen table is placed in the kitchen, or there is a small space designated for it off of the kitchen. It is a table that you will want to measure for, so it does not become an obstacle within the kitchen. Some cute additions, instead of chairs on one side, some people will use a bench. This can save space because the bench can be stored under the table when not in use.

7. Patio Tables

Patio tables are made to be outdoors. They are usually designed to withhold the elements like rain and snow. However, you may have to bring them indoors if you live in too harsh of a climate. Patio tables are a great way to provide a space to entertain your guest and enjoy some outdoor parties.

These tables are available in all different colors, styles, and textures. There are some that are made to accommodate an umbrella to offer shade while outside. This is beneficial when finding the perfect place for your table, so you are not limited to finding a shaded spot.

8. Drink Tables

This table serves one purpose only, to hold your drink. They were designed initially to hold ashtrays but found more convenient for your drink. To achieve their purpose of storing your coffee or wine, their diameter is only a few inches.

They are made in a variety of styles but maintain a small stature to fit into tight spaces. These are utilized where you need a counter surface, but a traditional table does not work in the area. You can even give your bathroom a luxury feels by placing this table next to the tub to hold your wine glass during your bubble bath.

9. Pub Tables

Pub tables, or formally known as bistro tables, were first established in Paris during the 1600s. These tables made it easier to tell the difference between a lounge and a tavern during that time. They are a round table about forty inches or taller that fits in smaller spaces and offer a more intimate dining appeal. Another form of this table is a bar table. It is taller to match the bar stools, but they are also called tall pub tables.

A pub table is designed to sit between two and four people and is made to fit different styles that look great anywhere. This table can be used as a comfortable space for dining in the kitchen or an accent table in a game room for playing cards. Once you know the purpose of your pub table, it will be a convenient spot to support any need.

10. Console Tables

A console table was originally a decorative piece of furniture dating back to the late 17th century. They were large tables supported by a console bracket, which is also defined as a corbel. They have been adapted into a modern-day table with legs to create a more supported freestanding table.

These tables are roughly between 24 and 58 inches long and 26 to 36 inches tall. They come in a variety of styles, shapes, and materials. Some are not just tabletop and offer shelving or drawers for storage. They are ideal to be placed in the entryway but can be put behind a couch. They have adapted to be a very useful piece of furniture while maintaining their decorativeness.

11. Work Tables

A worktable is more commonly known these days as a workbench. It is a sturdy table that provides a space for work to be done; this could be anything that ranges from woodworking to gardening. They vary in size to accommodate smaller projects like jewelry making to large woodwork projects like construction.

They are designed to provide a comfortable work area based on their height and ability to sit or stand when doing your work. They are even adaptable to mount additional tools for the work that you do as well. Due to their versatility, they can be essentially placed anywhere again, depending on your work.

12. Game Tables

Game tables are a great way to finish a basement or wait for a game room. There are many different types of the game table depending on what you want, but the four most prevalent types are listed as follows:

Foosball Table

This football-inspired table was named for the German wood for “foot.” It comes in many different styles to fit standards of luxury as well as classic. Depending on what you like, this can be made to fit your playroom needs.

Pool Table

A very classic game is the pool table, also known as billiards. It has a total of six pockets and a tabletop made of polyester or wool to play on. They come in different sizes that range from mini to large, depending on the amount of space you have for it.

Ping Pong Table

This is a table that can also be identified as table tennis. If you enjoy these sports but cannot get outside, this is a great alternative. It is a table that is divided by a net, and the surface is created to help the ball bounce effectively.

13. Bunching Tables

Bunching tables are also called nesting tables or stacking tables. They are a combination of two or more tables that fit together or can be stretched out. The concept of Russian nesting dolls and how they fit into each other. They have different styles and work well with all types of décor.

These tables can be a coffee table or a simple accent table. They are perfect for any amount of space, large or small, while still offering functionality. They are even helpful enough to hold plants or be a nightstand. Regardless of where you use a bunching table, they are the best balance between beauty and purpose.

14. Conference Tables

A large table that changes the environment of modern-day businesses. When someone says conference table, almost everyone thinks of the iconic board room scenes from movies. It is a large table that has a lot of space for seating, and the tabletop often has plugs to accommodate electronics, like laptops.

This table is the focal point of businesses’ decision-making by creating a room where formal meetings and intense collaboration of team members can be performed. Conference tables over time have changed within businesses, though. They are used for a team meetings, teleconferencing, and often times mingling.

15. Drum Tables

Rent table is another name for a drum table. This table was created in the 1700s and is a circular table with central support. It can be a heavy accent table but is tall enough to sit at. The top is sometimes made of leather and will occasionally have drawers or bookshelves.

The name rent table was adapted due to the different shapes of polygonal top and drawer’s underneath that acted like a filing system for rent collectors. This shows the versatility of this well-adapted accent piece to go anywhere in your home.

16. Computer Tables

In a world that is moving away from bulky desktop monitors and towers, our furniture the holds of these items need to change as well. A computer table is similar to a desk but not as bulky with storage. It offers an area for a keyboard and maybe a few drawers for storage. In addition, it may have some outlets or cord accessibility on the back.

This table is perfect to create a small office area and ranges in size to be a focal point of a dedicated room for an office. It comes in different shapes, such as an L-shape to offer more surface area for work as well as other materials to match the décor of the room you are trying to complete.

17. Bedside Tables

One beneficial table that becomes a necessity is a bedside table, or also known as a nightstand. There are usually two of these in the bedroom, one on each side of the bed. It is perfect for holding items that you need to put down before sleeping but require upon waking, such as glasses or a book. It keeps these items within the arms’ reach of the bed.

This is a side table that is adapted specifically for the bedroom. It can be an actual table or just a form of cabinets. There are different styles to finish your bedroom, and thankfully these nightstands are relatively inexpensive. Although if purchased with a full bedroom suite, added expense will come with that.

18. C-Shaped Tables

This table is named for its three-sided shape. Because of the lack of a fourth side, it can be moved easily and be utilized to hover over the arm of a couch. The bottom would essentially slide in under the furniture as the top is positioned over your lap. Some C-tables offer storage on or around the base for extra accessibility.

This table functions primarily anywhere in your home. It can be a side table and hold books and lamps. However, it can be easily moved to be similar to a coffee table or snack table.

19. Foyer Tables

A foyer table is also known as a sofa table. This is very similar to a console table but has a different dimension. The length is between 32 and 64 and an approximate height range from 30 to 33. The length is what you want to focus on, as this is an entryway table; you want to ensure you have enough space.

The significant part about a foyer table is it does not necessarily need to match the rest of your furniture. However, you should follow your style. This table is not just for decoration as it provides an entryway function of holding keys, shoes, purses, and you can even make space for the mail.

20. Writing Tables

Also called a library table, a writing table has a series of drawers to hold writing utensils. They are more common in an antique style due to having popularity back in the mid-18th century. The surface on some of the antique tables were covered with leather to help with writing with a quill and ink.

This table is found commonly in the house library in addition to other desks. The house library was an area where the family kept literature and business transactions were done. These tables in modern-day homes can be placed anywhere as accent pieces.

21. Card Tables

A popular relaxing activity that dates all the way back to the 1700s and 1800s warranted the production of its very own table. This table is usually oval or round but can sometimes be octagonal with a felt top. It is essentially used for gambling games like blackjack and poker.

These tables are classic casino-style tables, and some have been modified to fit in your home. Some are foldable for easy storage, but you may also find a stationary card table to finish your man cave. This table can even come with luxury options of cup holders and lights.

22. Dressing Tables

A dressing table is a small two to three drawer table that has been used since the 17th century. The ancient Egyptians used them to store face paints and perfumes; soon, it was a practice to hide the table’s contents when they were not in use. They are sometimes equipped with a mirror and have an area for a sitting chair.

Modern-day dressing tables are probably considered a vanity. With the storage and the mirrors, it makes a great addition to the bedroom or the bathroom when getting ready. You can store your jewelry and make-up on the dressing table.

23. Picnic Tables

It is officially unknown when the first picnic table was first used, but it is believed to be already in use by the late 1800s. It is a modified table designed to have built-in benches on each side. Even though the design has remained essentially the same since the 1930s, original tables were made of cedar, whereas modern tables are aluminum or plastic.

It is an iconic table found in small towns in public areas like parks. A lot of people now enjoy them as a backyard table for barbequing. They have adapted the style to accommodate residential use by having detached benches that can move freely around as well as a folding option for benches that are attached.

24. Cocktail Tables

When someone hears of a cocktail table, they do not think of a coffee table. However, they are very similar with small differences. The shape being one of them where a cocktail table is defined as square, and a coffee table is round. The similarities are so minuscule that within the furniture market, cocktails and coffee are almost interchangeable.

A more common cocktail table that most can identify with is a tall cocktail table. This form of the cocktail table is more of an evening table used for special events, such as weddings and dinner parties. It is a place for guest to place their cocktail with their hors d’oeuvre to eat and drink without a struggle before the main event starts.

25. Changing Tables

This is a common item to find in any nursery. It is a raised table designed to assist the parents in changing their baby’s diaper. It usually comes with storage to tuck away diapers and wipes from view but still within reach. The most significant benefit is that the parents do not have to place their newborn on the floor.

Changing tables are not just part of nursery furniture. They are found in many public restrooms, mainly women’s restrooms. However, in the 1990s, you can now find them in men’s restrooms through lobbying effort. They are made of hard plastic and hinged to the wall for easy access outside of the bathroom stalls.

26. Refectory Tables

Initially used for monasteries, this is an elongated table that monks used for their mealtimes. It gradually became popular to be used in noble residents like castles for large banquets. They were made of oak and had an arrangement of long stretchers, side rails, and legs at the bottom. This style has not changed over the years.

Later in the 16th century, the table was adapted for domestic use and was called the long table. It is now a typical style of dining tables for modern-day use.

27. Serving Cart Tables

Serving carts became popular in the 1920s to serve tea. They were considered a cocktail cart for the wait staff to easily place food and drink to serve guests. They adapted into restaurants to deliver or display food, especially desserts. The cart allowed people to select their own dessert.

This style of food cart can be stationary or can be wheeled from place to place. In Great Britain, they consider this a trolley and is very popular on airline services to supply passengers with food and drink.

28. Folding Tables

A lot of tables can have the description of folding tables, but usually, when one hears a folding table, they think of a tv stand. The folding mechanism was created to make storage more accessible and the table more portable. The tables are made of different sizes and materials but maintain a lightweight appeal to move them more easily.

A tv tray is a standard folding table that is found in many living rooms and gained popularity in the 1950s. This was to accommodate food and drinks while enjoying watching tv in the living room. It is usually collapsed and stacked for storage together in a group of four tucked away in the corner.

29. Desk Tables

You may think that a desk is not exactly a table, but a style of desk called a partner’s desk is very much like a table. It was introduced in the 1800s to provide accommodations to partners of businesses like banks. It has drawers on each side, and the partners can sit across from each other while they worked.

The partners’ desk has a huge surface area, which is almost like a table. They are made in a variety of styles and wood. They are found in lawyers’ offices, and even one of the most famous desks is the desk located in the Oval Office, a gift from Queen Victoria.

30. Restaurant Tables

There are many types of tables that are utilized in restaurants. The style that they use is going to be dependent upon the environment they are trying to create as well as the amount of floor space that is available. Restaurant tables are larger than tables found in a café and are usually a mixture of different styles to accommodate larger groups.

Booths, outdoor tables, two to four-person tables, and bar height tables are a few different styles you may find in a restaurant, particularly the same restaurant. They are appealing to families with dining tables that can fit 8 to 10 people but also offer more intimate dining for couples with booth seating.

31. Pedestal Tables

A pedestal table has a single middle pedestal that supports the tabletop surface. The base can be elegant which can offer a decorative statement to your room. They come in different sizes and styles, so you are not limited with your selection.

A pedestal table is popular for kitchen and dining room tables. However, you can also find a side table with as a pedestal. The tabletop can come in many different shapes. When getting a pedestal table for the dining room, you will be able to take advantage of extra leg space. Due to the middle pedestal, it offers more seating.

32. Parsons Tables

A parsons table is a straight-lined table, where the legs for the four corners have an overall flush surface. This table potentially dates back to the 1920s and 1930s to the Parsons School of Design. Early versions were small and made of wood, with the surface covered in parchment or leather. Now they come in different sizes and styles.

This table is geared toward modern and contemporary style furniture. It is very popular as dining tables and coffee tables. You can find them on a side table too. They are still primarily made of wood, but you can find some in metal and plastic, probably to appeal to patio or lawn furniture.

33. Trestle Tables

A trestle table is a table that uses trestle supports and its legs. Trestle support is a piece of wood place horizontally and fits into four deviating legs. On top of this support is a board or tabletop. It is a collapsible table that was very popular up until the 16th century when tables like the gateleg and refectory tables were discovered.

This type of table is commonly used at events such as weddings due to how easy it is to store and assemble quickly. However, it does remain a popular style for dining room tables.

34. Drafting Tables

A drafting table is a multipurpose desk that is used for any kind of sketching or writing on a large sheet of paper. It is sometimes referred to as a mechanical desk which had gears to move the table up and down. This table could look like a writing table or a pedestal desk when the surface is horizontal; the only difference is the surface can be given an angle and has a lip to hold its contents when upright.

This is a table used by architects so much that it is sometimes called an architect’s table. It was trendy in the industrial revolution and more recently used by engineers to modify drawings. However, with the advancement of technology and computer design software, like CAD, these tables have become less common.

35. Lift Top Tables

This is a type of table that is overlooked but can be a great asset to your space. A small section of the tabletop is on a hinge that lifts up to meet the user while sitting on the sofa. This table is mainly used as a coffee table and can be popular because it provides extra storage with built-in cubbies.

The lift top table is a feature that is able to be used as a work surface or a place to eat at in the living room. However, a lift top table does not necessarily need to be a coffee table found in your living room. It can be a console table or a table used in the foyer. The added storage would be great for outdoor clothing.

36. Utility Room Tables

Functional rooms for laundry and household items are becoming more popular. There is a need for a table in these rooms to assist with folding laundry, holding laundry baskets, and storing chemical cleaners. You can even have storage for towels and bed linens if you so choose.

These tables can be of any size and style to fit your needs. You can have drawers or open cubbies for storage, which will allow the tabletop to be free for clothes to be folded and organized.

37. Chabudai Tables

This short-legged table is a traditional piece of furniture found in Japanese homes. The table height originally ranged from 6 inches to almost 12 inches. Residents and guests would sit comfortably on a cushion or mat rather than on chairs. The legs are designed to collapse, therefore making this table easy to move and store.

This style of table is used for many different purposes. You can have them in a study or be used as a worktable. More commonly, they are used as a dinner table. A similar table replaces this table during the colder months, called a kotatsu, which has a removable top and an area for a heater underneath.

38. Wine Tables

Designed in the late 15th century, this table was a designated after-dinner drinking table and got the nickname “Gentleman’s Social Table.” It is a narrow table that is in the shape of a semicircle. The guest would sit on the outside of the circle, and the opposite side was fitted with a bag. This bag was believed to hold biscuits.

Today a wine table has been adapted with glass holders and bottle holders. It may or may not be in the form of a semicircle and take the shape of a console table. It can be used as a side table next to your seat or be, as it was initially intended as a designated area for drinks and snacks.

39. Bed Table

Breakfast in bed is almost a scene out of Downton Abbey that anyone wishes they could have. With a bed table, you can do this. This tray enables you to stay comfortable and warm in your bed while enjoying TV and eating your breakfast. You can even use this table to help with reading or to hold your laptop.

These come in several different styles and also have adjustable legs so that you can adjust it to the ideal height that’s right for you. They’re a great table, however, they’re usually quite small. It’s best to build one yourself as you can ensure its strength. We recommend you don’t get any from Ikea as they’ve been known to break.

40. LED Light Tables

This is a unique equipment table used for photographers and artists as a viewing device. It is a horizontal self-standing light box that illuminates the object placed on the tabletop from the light below. This table is used with professional tracing, design, and drawing creation.

THE TOMCAT TARPS SQUADRON USES an LED light table, which has a Navy photographer on staff to interpret aerial photographs. This is a table that may be used in art school to teach drawing, and you can find it in a tattoo shop. The tattoo artist used it to trace their drawing onto the special paper to transfer the picture to the skin.

41. Loo Tables

This table has a round or oval tabletop that is connected to the base with a hinge. The hinge allowed the table to be stored away easily. It was initially created for the card game, lanterloo. These tables were made of walnut or mahogany, and some tables were engraved with Japanese motifs. It is a table that can be used in any room and easily folded up for storage.

42. Gateleg Tables

Dating all the way back to 16th century England, gateleg tables were mainly made of oak and created to save on space. A fixed tabletop section has one or two hinged sections or leaves that fold up when needed and down when not in use. The folded-down section just hangs vertically below the fixed tabletop.

Gateleg tables are also known as dropleaf tables; some have a simple support that holds the leaf underneath, while others are a little more complicated. Some have legs that pivot and are joined at the top and the bottom by a stretcher, which mimics a gate. This table works great anywhere you are trying to save space, like in the kitchen, but you can even use it as a room divider, mini bar, or plant stand.

43. Lazy Susan

A lazy susan is a table on a table essentially. It is a turntable that is placed on top of a table. They are made from different materials but are always circular and placed in the middle of the table. They are used to make serving food easier as they turn to move the food to the next guest.

Although a lazy susan can be placed on any table, they are more common in Chinese restaurants, regardless of them being a western invention.

44. Overbed Tables

Overbed tables are a form of a C-shape table, but they are longer and narrower than a rectangle. The top is used to go above the bed, while the bottom, which is on wheels, slides conveniently under the bed. This table is utilized in hospital rooms as the patients easily move it.

45. Touchscreen Tables

Touchscreen tables are just a part of the ever-evolving world of technology. It is a table where the top has been replaced with essentially a very large computer screen that is interacting with your touch.

This type of table can virtually be anywhere. If it is something you feel is a necessity for your home, you definitely can do that. However, these types of tables are utilized at conference tables or for children’s play areas. Even doctors and professional agencies can take advantage of this table.

Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

More by Heather Robbins