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The uncontested hero of any living room setup is the coffee table. Beyond serving as a spot for your favorite design books or morning cappuccino, this workhorse staple can completely change how a room functions—especially when you’re short on square footage and need a surface designed to work overtime. There are a few key questions to ask yourself when looking for the best coffee tables for small spaces: Can it be easily moved out of the way when guests arrive? Will there still be room for all my living room lounging essentials? How well does it disguise clutter? To help you on this shopping journey, we scoured the Internet for streamlined styles that do just that (and more).

Take a look at our favorites, below. (If you need help pairing it with some size-conscious seating, check out our guide to the best sofas for small spaces.)

Our Favorite Coffee Tables for Small Spaces

Coffee Tables With Built-In Shelving

Tiered coffee tables are a great option for those who need additional space. The bottom shelf acts as a catchall for everything from magazines to mail to remotes, while the top can display all the cute stuff—like a sculptural vase or an artful candle

Ottoman Coffee Tables

If you truly lack the space for a weightier furniture buy, try investing in a midsize ottoman that can function as everything from an easily movable footrest to extra seating for a table—all while adding an extra layer of textural character, whether that be by cozy upholstery or posh details. The only accessory you’ll need to complete its coffee-table transformation is an extra-large book or tray to top it with for added surface stability.

Glass Coffee Tables

When your space is cramped, visual clutter is just as noticeable as a mess. Enter glass and acrylic. An ideal alternative to heavy wood, the transparent material promises clear sight lines. Even a large table will belie its bulk thanks to a frame with vanishing lines. 

Coffee Tables With Secret Storage

If a coffee table with built-in shelving is no match for your hoard of living room stuff, we suggest trying a secret-storage style to conceal your not-so-pretty essentials within its depths.

Nesting Coffee Tables

The best nesting tables are all about versatility: Keep them together for movie night or spread them out when friends come over for cocktails—or a candlelit dinner for two.

Narrow Coffee Tables

While the best coffee tables for small spaces aren’t necessarily a size play, certain square-footage limitations call for the straight and narrow. If you live in a shoebox, we culled together a few strategically streamlined styles to suit. (Two of these long boys even boast tiered storage bonus.)