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Why Are Coffee Tables So Expensive?

If you are one of the 1.2 million people expected to move house this year in the UK, or even if you’re staying put but you fancy a change, you may have noticed that coffee tables can be somewhat expensive. Why is this? Why does it seem like coffee tables are so expensive, and how can you save money buying the perfect coffee table for your living room?

Read on for our in-depth analysis of coffee table retailers, including details on the average cost of a coffee table and insights into coffee table pricing in the UK.

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Average coffee table cost UK

NimbleFins analysis of 7 major retailers shows that while the cost of coffee tables in the UK ranges from £19 to £4,999+, the average cost of a coffee table is between £150 and £260, with the absolute cheapest tables coming from Argos and Ikea, both at £19.

For a range of well-priced tables we recommend Wayfair, with thousands (7521 to be precise) of coffee tables available from £28 in a range of styles. Runner-up, NEXT, has only 155 coffee tables by comparison.

If you are looking to splurge on a coffee table it is certainly possible to do so, again at Wayfair, where at the time of writing the current most expensive table stands at £5,399.99.

Whilst writing this article Wayfair’s prices and stock levels have appeared to vary at the top end of their table selection, so before splashing out consider calling them to ask if any discounts are available, as their top end pricing may be the result of algorithm or availability-driven pricing gone mad.

How much do coffee tables cost?

Lowest PriceMid PriceHighest PriceAverage Cost
Wayfair£ 28£ 423£ 5,399£ 828
Dunelm£ 32£ 158£ 219£ 148
Argos£ 19£ 180£ 280£ 177
Laura James£ 45£ 90£ 185£ 107
NEXT£ 70£ 278£ 835£ 357
IKEA£ 19£ 60£ 229£ 85
B&Q£ 70£ 136£ 145£ 117

Why are coffee tables so expensive?

Coffee table costs are a reflection of the wider furniture market’s sudden rise in recent years. The average cost of a coffee table increased by 14.2% from 2020 to 2021, in line with the costs of furniture in general. A contributing factor to this increase was the rise in timber price during the same period, which continues to make any wooden furniture or building an expensive proposition.

Add that to the fact that coffee tables are a statement piece—decorative, nonessential (yet still functional) additions to a living room, dependant on space and disposable income, and you have a recipe for some pretty steep pricing. Our research showed that some mainstream retailers are pricing as high as £2-5,000 for a single coffee table, with Wayfair pricing the highest.

How can I save money buying coffee tables?

We found that in terms of looks, there are several cheaper ‘copycat’ models available from alternative retailers if you take the time to check and compare. Dunelm produce a passable alternative to this Wayfair model priced at £4,999 for a much more reasonable £215.20 (on sale at the time of writing).

Where can I find the broadest range of coffee tables?

Our research indicates that Wayfair have the broadest range of tables in terms of both materials and sheer number of products on offer at over 7,000 different coffee tables currently in stock. Of course, they also have the broadest price range with some very expensive models on sale.

For a less expensive alternative our next best option is NEXT with 155 models to choose from and prices ranging from £70 to £835—still not cheap but certainly a viable alternative.

Honourable mention goes to IKEA, with 122 different coffee tables on offer, although several similar designs makes us question this number a little—is that number a bit of marketing to present the illusion of greater choice?

What alternative materials can coffee tables be made from?

Thankfully the price of coffee tables is not only tied to the price of wood. It’s perfectly possible to purchase a good quality, beautiful coffee table in an alternative material.

Our research shows that coffee tables in metal, glass, concrete, marble, bamboo, acrylic, leather and fabric are also viable alternatives, with prices ranging from £200-800 on the steep side, but as low as £19 for some basic coffee/side tables like this (still good looking and sturdy) Ikea model with honeycomb interior and particleboard construction.

Are coffee tables really that expensive?

As our research has shown, coffee tables can be very expensive. If you have a certain look in mind and you won’t compromise then you can end up paying huge amounts for the coffee table of your dreams.

If you’re willing to shop around, modify your expectations and remain open minded, you could still end up with something stylish and useful for less than £100, with all 7 of our compared retailers having at least one coffee table in this price range.