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Types Of Furniture Tables

Updated on January 1, 2012

A table is a piece of furniture which is mostly used to put decorative things upon or to provide elevation and base for certain type of work. A table generally has a flat top surface and legs to support that surface. The table top can be of any shape, size, color and texture and can be placed on two or more legs. When and how were tables invented can not be said but they were known to be first used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks.

When it comes to dividing tables into different types, there are many criteria based on which we can distinguish tables into various groups. There are many variations that can be made on table tops. They can be either wooden, made of glass, aluminum, steel and iron. They can be of different shapes like rectangular, oval, square and circular; in terms of size they can be either large small or medium sized.

Large tables mostly have more legs to balance out the table surface while those that have a smaller surface, might have two, three or four legs. Some tables like the Pedestal tables have a single leg which supports a small table top. These tables are mostly placed against the walls. While those which have two or three supporting legs are also considered as small tables.


Tables can also be differentiated on the basis of their use; for example dining tables are used for eating food on. These tables can yet again be small, large or medium or can be of any shape. Then there are dressing tables on which mostly make up or beauty products are placed or in general are tables bearing mirrors. The writing tables and desks are made specifically for writing upon and are quite simple, however some tables can be all in one multi purpose tables. Other tables are drawing tables, bedside tables and gate leg tables. Then there are tables which are used for playing sports on. Examples include:

  • Billiards table; used for playing billiard games. They are flat and are composed of slate and are covered with cloth. They are elevated a little above the ground.
  • Chess tables; these tables are plain square and small tables on which a chess board is placed to play chess
  • Table tennis table; as the name suggests is the table on which table tennis is played. It is mostly made of timber and is layered with a smooth and low friction coating. There is a small net in the middle which divide the table into two halves
  • Poker table; used for playing poker on
  • Pool tables; on which pool and snooker is played.

Let’s highlight some important types of tables which are used commonly in houses, offices, schools and many other places:

A tripod table with a trapezoidal surface
A tripod table with a trapezoidal surface | Source

Tripod Tables

The tripod tables came into being around the 18th century. These tables are small with round tops and three legs.

They were at that time called the candle stands or tea tables. Tripod tables have a tilting mechanism on the tops which enabled the table to be slightly folded. This allows the table to be easily stored and packed when not in use.

The tripod tables are mostly used in drawing rooms and are used for serving tea or coffee.

Pembroke table with drop leaves and drawers
Pembroke table with drop leaves and drawers | Source

Pembroke Tables

Pembroke tables are multi purpose tables which were invented during the 18th century. The size of these table ranges from small to medium and either have rectangular or round tops.

The Pembroke tables have drawers on their sides and in some types the four legs are also connected with a stretcher. Pembroke tables are used for writing, putting things and serving tea etc.

Complete sofa set with sofa table
Complete sofa set with sofa table | Source

Sofa Tables

The sofa tables are narrow, small to medium sized, rectangular shaped tables made exclusively to be placed in front of sofas to serve tea, writing and for other purposes.

Usually sofa table tops are long in width but small in length.

They may also be place behind the sofas for placing lamps and decorative pieces.

A sewing table
A sewing table | Source

Work Tables

Work tables though sound as simple tables made for office work.

However, they were actually invented during 19th century so that the sewing machines and its materials could be placed on it, so that a tailor could easily sew clothes.

They are rectangular small tables with drawers on sides. They can also be folded.

An elegant looking drum table
An elegant looking drum table | Source

Drum Tables

Drum tables are small or medium sized tables with rounded tops and drawers around the corner and are mostly used for writing purposes.

However, there are some other barrel shaped drum tables as well, which are perfect for adding decorative items to on top of it.

They stand out as being noticed due to their unique shape.


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