What wood, metal, or stone coffee tables can do well, a glass coffee table can often do better. See, coffee tables serve so many purposes: impromptu dining table, home theater, drink holder, footrest, homework perch, and, of course, display area for your art books. But as versatile and essential as they seem, they can also present problems. Because they often go in the middle of the room, they can create visual clutter, making a room feel more crowded—and smaller.
If a clunky coffee table will crowd your living room, there is one easy way to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak: glass. No matter the size, a glass table will trick the eye into seeing an open space, and its light-catching surface will further brighten up the room.
The materials used vary, with bases made out of metal, wood, and even concrete. Here, glass also provides a striking contrast to heavier materials, creating what seems like weightless optical illusions.
Materials, as well as form, also allow glass coffee tables to fit into a number of different decor styles. A glass top coffee table with a wooden base can veer from earthy to midcentury-modern to sleek and contemporary, all depending on the shape. Bright copper and glass, on the other hand, will often feel luxe and glamorous. And then, of course, there are the more industrial styles, employing glass and slick silver detailing or concrete bases.
Translucence allows for room to play. You could opt for a glass-top coffee table with storage and fill the shelf just with decorative books, mementos, or objects, making for a mini showcase of sorts in the center of the room. Alternatively, a simple sheet of curved glass makes a striking statement when topped with flowers, or, for the smallest of spaces, kept nearly bare. Solid glass coffee tables can even be used to simultaneously store and show off ottomans or poufs for extra seating. Here are 31 to choose from, whatever your style or needs.