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  • Console Table vs Side Table: The Most Differentiating Factors

    When designing your living room, you have to consider so many furniture types because spoiler alert - sofa and centre table aren't the only furniture pieces that go in your living room.

    Right now, you're more concerned with the difference between a console table and a side table. This doubt is only natural since both serve similar purposes... but at different scales.

    This means that these two aren't the kind of tables that you could easily swap with each other for multipurpose desires and call it a day. So, it would be best if you made the right choice now when you still can.

    Anyway, for a quick answer -

    A Console table is a tall & slim table placed against a wall primarily for decorative purposes. In contrast, a Side table is a short & small table that you place at the side of another furniture piece, with the reasons ranging from decoration to storage.

    Both tables come in various sizes and designs. And the console table can even be used for many different purposes.

    So, let's get to the nitty gritty to set your expectations right.

    Origin of Console Table's and Side Table's Name

    Although the term 'Console' means to comfort someone during grief or disappointment, it has nothing to do with the Console table's name.

    Instead, the term Console table is believed to come from an abbreviation of the French word 'consolide', which in turn comes from the Latin word 'consolidare', meaning 'to strengthen.' This name then likely entered common vocabulary due to the table's unique design.

    And there's a good chance you may already have a console table in your home. But you just didn't know its name.

    On the other hand,

    Side table is a broad term. Any small table placed adjacent to a furniture piece is a side table. 

    So, both a bedside table and an end table are types of a side table. Hence, You could even be looking for one of them, actually.

    But if you're sure it's not a bedside table or an end table you're after, then keep reading.

    Design Overview

    Both tables now come in different shapes and structures. So, the main differentiator will always be their size and purpose. And their design is so different that you can't swap one for the other.

    Once you have figured out which of the two you actually need to buy for your living room, give a good look at the place where you want to put it. Then see what shapes from our available catalogue of console tables, and side tables would best complement your space.

    By the way, both the table types come with the options of - built-in storage, no storage, and semi-storage (just one little drawer or cabinet, for example).

    You have to pick one that will work best for you, depending on what other purposes you want your table to serve.

    Size Difference Between Console Table and Coffee Table

    Console tables typically come in a height range of 71 cm - 86 cm and a depth range of 25 cm - 45 cm. However, their width is variable, and you should pick the width depending on where you want to place this table.

    Side tables come in a width range of 56 cm - 41 cm.

    Besides this, a side table's height also stays within the range of 5 cm above or lower than the adjacent furniture's height - so it doesn't look odd. But either way, your side table should be at most 51 cm.

    Purpose of Getting Either of These Tables

    Originally, the console tables, fitted with a mirror, were made to be placed in entryways against both walls purely for decorative purposes.

    But nowadays, people are increasingly inclined towards making the best out of space.

    Don't get us wrong, though. People still place console tables in their entryways.

    But now, these tables have also become the perfect place to put your keys, umbrella, shoes, bags, etc., near your home's entry door without looking unattractive.

    Furthermore, you don't just have to be restricted to placing console tables only in your entryway anymore. You can now put them wherever and however you want to use them. In other words, forget the word 'console' and think 'multipurpose'.

    The term 'console' just tells you the typical size & proportions of the table, but you have to decide where and how you want to use it.

    To jog your mind through examples, you can also use a console table as -

    • your makeshift workstation
    • an extra counter in or near your kitchen
    • a showpiece stand in your living room
    • a buffet table in your dining room
    • a makeup station in your bedroom
    • an accent table to complement a wall picture
    • an extra or extended vanity in your bathroom
    • a sofa table to liven up the dead space behind your exposed sofa back

    On the contrary, a side table has 3 usual purposes - decoration, storage, and as an armrest for adjacent armless seating.

    Placement Decision

    A console table is basically a large but slim decorative table that you should place against a wall or, if needed, behind your sofa. And then you can even decorate this decorative table with accessories if you wish to.

    Or you can just put your daily need items as long as they don't look ugly sitting on this table.

    For any other use mentioned in our last section above, you can decide on this table's placement according to your desired purpose. But you must ensure that your multipurpose console table doesn't start looking ugly, which would be against its primary purpose - because of your placement or use choices.

    A side table should only be placed adjacent to another furniture piece, usually on either side of a chair.

    But if you wish to, you can place it wherever you want.

    By the way, when you place a side table adjacent to a sofa, then you'd call it an end table.

    Price Range

    Besides the size, shape, and design, the wood used in the table plays a vital role in its pricing. However, our console tables range from - $150 AUD - $2200 AUD and our side tables range from $130 AUD - $930 AUD.


    Each table type is made for a different reason. So ideally, your choice of the table should be based on its purpose.

    But if you're low on budget or space and also want a multipurpose use, then pick the table based on your primary intended use. It may be a little uncomfortable for other use cases since that's not what it was made for, but it'd still get the job done for you.


    A side table is supposed to be placed adjacent to another furniture piece, preferably beside a chair. But you can place it wherever you want if that satisfies your aesthetic needs.