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The Coffee Table Styles That Won’t Injure Your Kids (+ Kid-Friendly/Design-Approved Options)

The living room, well more specifically the coffee table, is basically a kid command center. That’s where snacks are eaten, toys are built, games are played…it’s even a helping hand for little munchkins needing some stability when they are learning to stand up. SO because this piece of furniture is such a kid magnet it’s not a bad idea to choose a coffee table without sharp edges that can injure them pretty easily. And if I’m honest, I’ve been known to break some skin on a coffee table corner so it’s a 10/10 for adults too. Now unless you have a completely soft ottoman for a coffee table, there’s always a chance of injury. An edge maybe not be a corner but it’s still an edge, you know? But we came up with five different types of coffee tables that are far less “accident-prone” if you are currently shopping. Oh and there’s a special surprise at the end! But first, let’s look at what Emily used when Charlie was a toddler…

Em went straight for the round leather ottomans. Not only are these nearly injury-proof, but the leather also makes them insanely easy to clean! I personally love that she got two in different sizes. That means more soft places to play on and they help fill the space better. Notice how they are styled differently. On the left, it’s “Charlie-approved” with zero styling. Then on the right is for when the kids aren’t around and you want it to feel a bit more pulled together. A tray is your best friend for an upholstered ottoman. It makes it so you can actually set things like glassware on it.

Upholstered Ottomans

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: my friend’s kid and pet-friendly family room reveal

Since we were just talking about this type of coffee table I thought we should start with them. As I said above, an upholstered ottoman is probably your safest bet when it comes to avoiding potential trips to the emergency room. So not only are they great for kids but they can add a really fun and interesting texture to your living room. We recommend choosing a contrasting fabric like Emily did in Suzanne’s old living room (denim fabric sofa with a leather ottoman). You can also choose one that has a pattern and/or a different color. Basically, to make your space feel more “collected” stay away from anything too matchy-matchy.

1. Cove Woven Leather Ottoman | 2. Hustle Leather Ottoman | 3. Wilmington Upholstered Round Ottoman | 4. Unwind Slipcovered Ottoman | 5. Genuine Leather Round Pouf Ottoman | 6. Grant Rectangular Ottoman | 7. Theo Ottoman | 8. Colten Round Coffee Table Ottoman | 9. Aldora Round Ottoman | 10. Round Saddle Leather Ottoman Pouf | 11. Reagan Upholstered Ottoman | 12. Large Round Tufted Storage Ottoman | 13. HIRA | 14. Angolare Ottoman | 15. Dax Leather Ottoman

What’s great about an upholstered ottoman is that if you want a rectangle or square shape but are afraid of sharp corners you can have both! Take #2, #7, and #14 for example. Each has a totally different style but gives you those 90-degree angles. If you are looking for something more neutral #3, which I’ve seen in store and was much bigger than I expected, is great! Simple with interesting details. Also, remember to not be afraid of velvet! It’s actually a kid-friendly material and #6 and #8 are pretty options:)

Rattan Coffee Tables

design by velinda hellen design | styling by emily bowser | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: velinda’s first freelance client reveal: molding the ‘builder-grade budget’ + where they saved & splurged

Moving right along to rattan. So if fabric isn’t your thing or you just love a natural fiber material then rattan is both great for your design eye and child. Plus it’s a pattern without being “a pattern”. The only thing you want to be careful of (with any coffee table actually) is weight. Rattan especially tends to be very lightweight. A blessing if you are someone who needs to move their coffee table around a lot, but a curse if your child is using it as support and could likely topple over with it. Just some food for thought.

1. Melanie Woven Coffee Table | 2. Jimenez Round Coffee Table | 3. Lundy Solid Coffee Table with Storage | 4. Rosie Coffee Table | 5. Round Natural Ribbed Rattan Cyrus Coffee Table | 6. GAMLEHULT

Look at how different each of these are! #2, #3, and even #6 are great for storage which is always a plus and can make them heavier/more stable:) #1 could work in almost any style of home and if you love a trend, #5 nails the pencil reed style Caitlin talked about a few months ago. And how can you not love the detail of #4?! It’s freaking so cute.

Oval Coffee Tables

Who knew this post would be a chronological timeline of Emily’s coffee tables post-children but here we are! After the ottomans came her oval vintage Saarinen coffee table and later her well-loved Lulu and Georgia coffee table. What she has said is she loves about both of these tables is how sturdy and heavy they are. Her kids very zero chance of moving them around. Plus there are no sharp corners to worry about. So while a head could still bonk against the edge, an oval shape is still very kid-friendly. Plus it’s a fun yet elegant shape for any living room.

1. Paola Coffee Table | 2. Arches Oval Coffee Table | 3. Oval Natural Wood Zeke Coffee Table | 4. Thomas Bina Olivia Coffee Table | 5. Tony Coffee Table | 6. Panos Acacia Wood Coffee Table | 7. Brix Coffee Table | 8. Nero White Marble Oval Coffee Table | 9. Flyte Oval Coffee Table

When it comes to affordability you can’t beat #3 and #9. For something a bit modern but still natural you have #5, #6, and #7. You know I love #2 and, of course, #4! Those added details make my little design heart sing. And for those who want a little glam #1 and #8 are perfect.

Round Coffee Table

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the ultimate family-friendly media room + wet bar

A classic is a classic for a reason. Who doesn’t love a round coffee table?! So to my memory, Emily hasn’t used a round coffee table in her home but has used them a bunch in others she’s designed (like the Portland Project media room:)) They are great for sectionals and if you use them with a normal sofa just beware of the scale. Here’s a post with rules to help! HOT TIP: Nesting coffee tables are great if you need more length. Let’s see what cornerless beauts I’ve found for you today…

1. Maddox Coffee Table | 2. Curator Solid Wood Coffee Table | 3. Homage Round White Oak Wood and Marble Coffee Table | 4. Mullins Coffee Table | 5. Odeon Coffee Table Round | 6. LISTERBY | 7. Volume Round Pedestal Coffee Table | 8. Winona Marble Coffee Table | 9. Shaker Coffee Table | 10. Round Natural Wood Zeke Coffee Table | 11. Eatman Pedestal Coffee Table | 12. Jono Round Coffee Table

First off, I am wildly impressed with #10 from World Market. It’s not wildly expensive and it’s cool and modern. What’s not to love? Then for a higher price point, I love love #3. That pink stone is so good! Honestly, I would happily have any of these in my house. Which one is your favorite?

“Organic” Coffee Tables

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a quick update: the changes i’ve made to my la living room

What, did you think I wasn’t going to talk about the coffee table you see above? Not a chance. This was another iconic Emily Henderson coffee table that was great for the design of her living room and for her kids. This one is also super heavy/indestructible. Key for messy little kiddos:) Again, very few things in like can guarantee zero injury but organically shaped coffee tables aren’t your worst bet.

design by sarah zachary | styling by emily bowser | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a historic mid-century modern home that was completely brought back to life

One organic shape that has become very popular is the kidney shape. It’s less dramatic than a live edge but has more movement than say, a round or oval shape. It’s cool AND fun. Shall we see what we’ve got and even show you the coffee table Emily is getting for the farmhouse living room?!?!?!? SURPRISE!!

1. Keiko Mahogany Coffee Table | 2. Organic Modular Table | 3. 3 Legs Coffee Table | 4. Vestry Table | 5. Swole Coffee Table | 6. Abstract Coffee Table | 7. Floating Wood Live Edge Coffee Table | 8. Pisces Coffee Table | 9. Selby Coffee Table

Before we get into Em’s new coffee table, let’s dance our eyes around these beauties. I love how easily they can go from natural to modern to super trendy. There’s really something for everyone and every style!

Ok, ok Emily has decided to go with #4 for the farmhouse living room! But that table actually comes in two sizes giving you the option to nest them (which she is going to do). I love the wood tone, the subtle organic shape, and the super clean lines. Mixed in with her vintage pieces and cool art, it’s going to balance beautifully. Definitely go check them out on the site to really get a sense of them!

So that’s it from me today! Do any parents have any more tips? Can anyone personally speak to any of these? Let us know in the comments.

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credit: Photos by Tessa Neustadt


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14 thoughts on “The Coffee Table Styles That Won’t Injure Your Kids (+ Kid-Friendly/Design-Approved Options)

  1. Great round-up! When my kids were toddlers we had a Crate and Barrel chunky wooden kids’ table with matching chairs right in the middle of our living room. It was cute, I think?? and very functional. The chairs were sturdy enough for adults and we could have snacks, do puzzles and play games. For those few years when kids just dominate every inch of your home, especially if you are in smaller apartments as we were at the time.

  2. I *almost* bought the beloved Anthro table (before the price increase), but was worried a toddler might tip it over. Does anyone who owns the table have thoughts on that?

  3. Comment section is quiet today…maybe it is because this feels a bit like a post that has been done before. Or a backlash against the heated topic from the other day? Neat little surprise at the end re: the coffee table for the Farmhouse! I’ve been waiting for a while on purchasing “the” coffee table that is in the mountain house as it is absolutely perfect for my space. I’m always worried they will discontinue it before I get around to buying it…

    1. I think the team in general, and Jess in this case, do a good job with these types of articles but they are revenue raisers and walk a very thin, sometimes crumbling line between content marketing and outright advertorial. There isn’t a lot to comment on. Genuine blog articles on interesting topics tend to create the most interest.
      The article the other day was an outlier because readers felt the values of what they consider the community were betrayed.

      1. Wait, what was the heated topic from the other day? New mom over here and I haven’t been tuning in as regularly!

        1. Emily was (is?) thinking about putting artificial turf at the farmhouse to avoid mud with the dogs/kids.

  4. We have one that is square with storage drawers and a padded uphostered top. It was originally from Costco (they no longer make it), but we get compliments on it all the time because it’s both kid friendly and practical for hiding toys. 🙂 Thanks for the round up! Always fun to see these options.

  5. I’m surprised drum coffee tables aren’t mentioned here. I have an acacia one that is a bit like a geometric dome cut in half: I have two little ones and so far they (and the table) are undamaged!

  6. I grew up in the previous era of rattan and have very clear childhood memories of picking at it until it came apart- if you’re doing rattan furniture make sure it’s very sturdy and there’s no pieces sticking out to tempt little fingers! Same with caning- those cute little holes are exactly child finger sized and endlessly tempting 🙂

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