What is a Coffee Table Bench?

Sheri Cyprus

A coffee table bench is a furniture piece usually made of wood that is designed for setting food and other items on as well as to use for extra seating. Coffee table benches are sturdier with stronger legs than regular tables. The leg styles and finishing details vary, but the basic bench type of coffee table has a thick, rectangular wooden slab base and firm, steady wood legs. Some coffee table benches look similar to a smaller version of a church pew without any backrest. A bench-style coffee table can often work well in modern as well as traditional home decors.

Some coffee table benches look similar to a smaller version of a church pew.
Some coffee table benches look similar to a smaller version of a church pew.

This furniture piece can be used as backless seating at a dining table part time, while remaining in a living room or family room full time as a coffee table. Many people prefer a coffee table bench in a family room, as it can take more wear and tear than most other types of coffee tables. Coffee table benches are typically made from sturdy solid wood and as they're designed for sitting on and regular tables aren't, they tend to be more child-friendly. Plus, coffee table benches typically don't have glass tops.

When used as seating, some people like to add padded cushions on top of a bench-style coffee table. Two or more sturdy coffee table benches may even be placed side by side to be topped with a mattress to create a makeshift bed. A coffee table bench could be placed against a wall for seating rather than having it in front of a sofa for a table. If the finish is weatherproof, a bench type of coffee table may also work well outdoors as it's usually narrow and compact in size. Because of its many uses, a bench coffee table is a versatile piece that tends to coordinate well with other furniture in almost any home.

A coffee table bench may be natural wood or stained in a light, medium or dark finish, so it's usually possible to match it to other colors of wooden furniture. Coffee table benches are all rectangular in shape, but the exact length and height vary depending on each individual furniture piece. Most coffee bench tables have clean lines without any fussy details although some versions may have carving or other embellishments on the legs or seat. Rather than straight vertical legs, a bench style coffee table may have an X-shaped leg design.

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Discussion Comments


I have kind of an awkward situation in that I have a normal coffee table bench at a round coffee table.

Sometimes it has to get used and the people sitting at the ends are a few feet away from the table. It's kind of silly looking but oh well, it works.


My apartment is pretty sparse and I only have a couch, a coffee table and a coffee table bench. Usually it is just me and I can do everything I need sitting on the couch a working at the table.

But occasionally I will have guests over for a meal or a few drinks and they will need a place to sit. That's where the bench comes in. It's sturdy and surprisingly comfortable, and when I don't need it I can keep it in a closet. It's a great was to make the coffee table an all purpose table.

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