The best, most design-forward side tables that our shopping editor thinks will bring something special to your living room

Is your living room even complete without a side table? These are our shopping editor's favorite buys to snap up now

A selection of side tables
(Image credit: Future)
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Side tables are often eschewed in favor of coffee tables. Smaller in size, they offer limited space to be decorative, but this doesn't mean they don't have a very real purpose, and a well-placed side table can elevate your living room, tying a room together in perfect harmony. 

There are plenty of different styles out there, all of which work for different styles of home. For minimalist interiors, a dramatic plinth made of wood or natural materials can call to nature, while for spaces with a vintage focus, I love a three-legged look. 

The low profile sofa has definitely taken over in our living rooms, and we're also loving the C-shape tables that curve over the sofa cushion, saving you valuable space and functioning as the perfect working from sofa spot. Here are 9 side tables I've spotted on the market that I'd happily add to my living room furniture set-up.

Best C-shape side tables

Best plinth side tables

Best three-legged side tables

What is the difference between a side table and an end table

The difference between a side table and an end table is all down to the placement and where you sit your table within your home. 

The side table has a functional and decorative purpose, while an end table is all about the proximity next to bigger pieces of furniture. 

How to pick a side table?

When it comes to picking the best possible style for your home, there are some guidelines to take note of according to Mallory Wackerman for Emily Henderson Design.

'There aren’t a ton of rules on height — if you can, try to keep the top of your table roughly in line with the arm of your sofa or chair, give or take a few inches — but you definitely don't want your end table to be too deep. 

'Make sure the depth of your table isn’t bigger than the depth of the sofa or chair it’s next to!'

Aside from height and scale, think about the materials already on display in your room and what else you might like to bring to the space. Look at the console table or coffee table for inspiration. Don't feel like your pieces have to match and bring in material that complements pre-existing furniture. I like the look of wood mixed with natural stone.

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.