Coffee Table Safe For Baby

Keep your little guests happy with this fun and functional baby shower gift. It’s a great coffee table centerpiece or perfect for little hands to hold!

With all that experience, I’ve learned the best kid-friendly coffee tables AND simple ways to style them.

1. RECTANGULAR WOOD

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A durable option for a kid-friendly coffee table will always be something made with wood, and I especially love our Modern Farmhouse Herringbone Coffee table. Because I built it and finished it, I know what to use if touch-ups are necessary, and if something devastating happened to it, I know it can be re-built easily and inexpensively. But we have had this coffee table for 4 years now and I’ve only needed to touch up the legs with paint a couple times.

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Because this coffee table is long and skinnier, I like to either have a tray (with books and beads) and a vase, or a group of 3 objects. Below you can see I used a planter/vase, stacked books, and a small bowl. All of these items are pretty indestructible if small children come around playing with stuff (or they are too heavy to move).

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My friend, Carli, made this beautiful rustic coffee table (go to her site for the DIY) and styled it similarly: stacked books, a vase, and a small decorative object.

Made By Carli

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Eureka from My Cozy Corner, used a larger wood coffee table, which by itself is pretty indestructible. The corners are sharp though, so if you have toddlers, maybe pass on this design. The finish is varied so it hides marks well, and because of the large size, she was able to put a several stacks of books, a vase with greenery, and a low bowl. Still– most of these items are not breakable, and this type of wood coffee table will stand the test of time.

My Cozy Corner

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2. ROUND WOOD

A round wood coffee table is a great option for all age children, because there are no sharp corners! Round coffee tables can be trickier to style, so I suggest keeping it simple. In my front room, I used a low woven bowl or basket and place a few decor items inside.

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Round Wood Coffee Table

My friend Alma styled hers using 4 groupings: a glass vase with a candle inside, a stack of books with a decorative object on top, a low bowl with an air plant in it, and a candle. By using 4 groupings on a round table, the objects feel more balanced because of the placement. Notice the visually lighter objects are opposite each other as well as the visually heavy objects.

Almafied

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Julia from Chris Loves Julia Blog, used this solid round wood coffee table in her basement. This is a popular design for children because it is sturdy, fits in tighter spaces (perfect for a sectional sofa), and has plenty of top surface area for a grouping of 3. She uses a low planter with greenery, a stack of books, and a sculptural decor object.

Chris Loves Julia

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Round Wood Coffee Table

3. LEATHER OTTOMAN OR BENCH

We just recently were gifted a leather ottoman from Article for our basement living area and I am in love with it. It is an oversized ottoman with a very firm filling so while the leather will soften and show signs of wear over time, the shape will remain. I was surprised to learn how easy it is to clean as well! A common concern when using any sort of fabric on a coffee table is cleaning spills. However, I was able to clean some food spill marks with just a damp rag and it left no water marks!

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Sectional: Ikea Vimle, LampEnd TableArea RugTeal Chenille PillowBlack with Diamonds LumbarGolden Chenille Pillow, Dark Gray Pattern Pillow (discontinued from Tonic Living), Teal velvet lumbar pillowBlack grid pillowDark Blue Knit ThrowMedia Cabinet

Because this ottoman serves triple duty as a seat, foot rest, and a coffee table, I wanted to style everything on a tray that is easily moved. I chose a larger round tray with a smooth bottom (steer clear of woven trays as they can scratch leather).

Timpani Charme Tan Ottoman

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Even though I am using a tray, I kept my objects in groups of 3: a stack of books with decorative beads, a small planter (with a faux plant because it’s our basement), and a candle. I still have a bit of room to hold a drink if needed.

Leather ottomans don’t have to be oversized to work great as a coffee table. Below is an example of a leather tufted bench that is perfect for smaller spaces but still allows adequate space for a low planter and a tray or basket which are both easily moved if you want to prop up your feet. I love the dark color which hides marks or dirt easily and the metal legs which give a visually lighter feel to the space.

Our Dwelling Place

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Tufted Bench Faux Leather

4. HAMMERED METAL

If you have an eclectic, bohemian, or even contemporary style in your home, a hammered metal coffee table is a fantastic choice for a kid-friendly coffee table! It is very durable but not too heavy to move around. They are easily cleaned and with no sharp edges, they are a great option for children of any age.

Life on Shady Lane

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I like how this designer used 2 round metal coffee tables side-by-side in a larger room to serve the purpose of 1 big coffee table. The shiny brass finish adds texture and the unexpected shape gives this room a ‘collected’ feel. The styling objects of a taller faux plant and book are kid-friendly and can’t really be damaged if they are messed with, and I love that she only styled one table leaving the other free to use as a drawing or playing surface, or place a tray with drinks and snacks.

CM Interiors

Here is another example of using 2 coffee tables, but this time the tables are two different sizes and heights. The same finish and grouping keeps it feeling a cohesive and the styling is very simple and effective: a single planter.

Gold Hammered Metal Coffee Table

Mama Puma

Silver Hammered Metal Coffee Table

5. WOVEN – ROUND OR RECTANGULAR

Another great material for kid-friendly coffee tables is anything in the natural woven variety. They are soft and forgiving for a toddler who might bump around them, but can be smooth enough to place a cup, or at very least a tray or books to give a smooth flat surface for a cup. The texture and warmth that a woven coffee table adds to the room is a huge bonus.

Sarah Sherman Samuel

Woven Coffee TableRound Woven Coffee Table

Many times, these woven coffee tables have lids with storage inside so you can store toys! This is a great feature and if you use a woven ottoman, it can be a seating option in a pinch as well. My friend, Fariha, used this woven ottoman in a playroom which is a great play surface since it is lower, can be used to prop your feet upon, and it also can be styled as a coffee table with books and a small vase.

Pennies For A Fortune Blog

Woven Storage Ottoman

Lauren from Blesser House Blog also used a woven coffee table trunk in her living room. She has 2 young children and chose this material specifically because it is softer when bumped into, it stores toys and books, and she styled it with objects that can get played with and not ruined.

Blesser House

Natural Woven Basket Coffee Table

6. CLEAR ACRYLIC

I love the how kid-friendly a clear acrylic waterfall coffee table is but also that it is a stylish and unexpected choice. Clear acrylic definitely has a vintage modern feel and is highly functional while being virtually non-existent for visual weight. Jessica from Domicile37 has this clear acrylic coffee table in her kid’s play room. I love how she kept the styling simple with a single tray and a group of three items: faux plant, a small bowl, and a cup.

Domicile37

Clear Acrylic Coffee Table

Cassie has 3 kids including a toddler and her clear acrylic coffee table has served her well. She slid a leather pouf under it which adds a little more visual weight, but reasonable for the size of the room. Plus for a family room, its nice to have fun seating that can be tucked away. The styling is simple and again uses unbreakable objects.

Cassie Bustamante

Clear Acrylic Waterfall Coffee Table

Below, Angela also tucked a couple of leather poufs and they blend in with the bold pattern rug. This room is full of style and vintage touches, but is also very kid-friendly!

Angela Sprinkle

7. RATTAN – ROUND OR RECTANGULAR

Giving another nod to vintage style with a bit of a coastal vibe, is rattan coffee tables. Whether you have a round or rectangular rattan coffee table, this is a great material that is kid-friendly. It is similar to a woven coffee table, but less visually heavy without sacrificing sturdiness.

Pure Joy Home

Rattan Coffee Table

Brooke kept her kid-friendly styling groupings to two– one plant and one large vase of candles on top of a book. This coffee table styling is a more practical option since it allows more space to play or draw or look at books. I love how the corners are all rounded, which makes it a great option for a toddler!

Nesting With Grace

Rectangular Rattan Coffee Table

8. A PAIR OF UPHOLSTERED CUBES

A pair of upholstered cubes is a versatile kid-friendly option to serve as a coffee table. When pushed together you can place a tray across them to hold books or a vase. What I like the most is how easy they are to move around for additional seating, to prop your feet up, or for fort-making! ????

All Things Natural

Woven Leather Ottoman Cube

If you select a lighter-colored fabric for the ottomans, make sure to treat the fabric with a protectant so it will clean up easily.

Boneill At Home

Stripe Upholstered Ottoman Cube

When breaking up a larger room into several smaller seating areas, a pair of upholstered cubes is the perfect solution to a space-conscious coffee table that is kid friendly. The edges are soft and forgiving, and with a sturdy and firm fill-material, you will have so much versatility that will last for years if taken care of.

One thing to keep in mind if using a woven seagrass tray, is to make sure it has a very smooth underside so it doesn’t catch a thread on the upholstery material.

Evelyn Eshun Design

Upholstered Cube Ottomans

9. ROUND OR SQUARE UPHOLSTERED

The last option that I love is similar to the round leather ottoman I mentioned earlier, but uses just regular fabric. Like anything upholstered, the fabric is soft and ouch-proof when you bump into it. A darker material is easier to hide dirt, and this option is– again– versatile! Use it as additional seating and a comfortable place to prop your feet.

This Borrowed Home

A tray is a must-have when styling almost any kid-friendly coffee table but especially an upholstered coffee table. It gives you a smooth flat surface to hold a vase, a cup, and other objects, but it also make it easy to remove if you need to clear the surface.

How To Make Coffee Table Safe For Baby

The best way to make your coffee table safe for baby is to put a plastic table runner or mat on top of it. You can find these at any store that sells home goods and furniture. They are designed to cover tables safely, and all you need to do is place one over your coffee table. You can also use a tray placed on the coffee table, or even a large piece of cardboard covered with fabric. But if you want something that looks nice as well as being functional, look for a plastic runner or mat.

Firstly, we’ll get into what specifically is a problem for babies and coffee tables. Basically, you need to understand the anatomy of the coffee table and how that will impact your baby. This is assuming you’re going to keep your current coffee table. If you’re thinking about replacing it with something safer, we’ll discuss what to think about for this purchase a little later. When thinking about your current table, make sure to get on the floor at their level to see what is visible. Your best bet is to pretend you are them and shove, pull and prod that table to see how it reacts. Obviously, your baby won’t be as strong as you, but they’re getting there. Let’s first determine how to make a coffee table safe for baby.

1. Corners

How to baby proof a coffee table
Coffee table safe for baby – corner safety

Corners are a big hazard for babies. A crawling or stumbling baby could fall on or into the corner causing injury. Not only that but they might use the corners as anchor points. They could grab the corner to pull themselves up or grab a leg to pull themselves up. If the table isn’t heavy enough, they could tip it towards them when they pull on the corner. We’ll discuss tipping in another section but note that a corner is a good grabbing point.

The most popular option for corner protection is foam corner protectors. These easily stick to your table on all edges creating a padded surface. They come in black, brown and white for all table colors. Just make sure that as they get stronger, they don’t get curious and rip it off and eat it. I know that’s what I would have done as a curious toddler.

Another option is clear corner protectors. This one is not for the full edge but just for the corner and also includes adhesive. It only covers the side of the corner and the topside or bottom side of the corner. Make sure to test how well the adhesive works on the material that you install it on. The stickiness may work better on some materials. Otherwise, if they fall off they could be choking hazards.

2. Drawers

Coffee table safe for baby
Coffee table safe for baby – drawers

If your coffee table has drawers, you’ll want those to be off limits for your little ones. Little ones don’t understand drawers, so their fingers or hands could get caught when playing with them. Additionally, you don’t want your baby to have access to anything in the drawers if there are any choking hazards in there or anything that might be sharp or unsafe in anyway.  

An option for how to baby proof a coffee table with drawers is using adhesive magnetic cabinet locks. These don’t require drilling or screwing for install and they fit inside the drawer or cabinet. They’re secured with two-sided tape and come in a pack of 12 with two keys. If you lose the key, any strong magnetic can be used to open them.

Another option is adhesive cabinet or drawer straps. These fit on the outside of what you’re trying to secure but also do not require any drilling or screwing. They also don’t need any keys to unlock. You just unclick the lock from the outside and it opens.

3. Tipping

Furniture tipping is a big issue when it comes to children and furniture. There’s a lot of data showing it’s a leading cause of injuries in children, With that said, you’d think the biggest issue is with chest of drawers or bookcases but I could see this happening with coffee tables and side tables as well.

Tipping is when a child or infant pulls, knocks down, or somehow makes a piece of furniture go off balance. When this happens, it falls over on its side or face. The problem here is that anything on top of the furniture comes crashing down on your infant or child. Additionally, the actual piece of furniture could topple onto your baby crushing them or trapping them. No one wants that to happen, so let’s see how to prevent it.

Antitipping straps
Antitipping straps

Straps are one way to baby proof against tipping. Straps for tipping are usually secured to walls, but you can secure these to the floor if you have a hard surface. Just attach one side to the leg of the table and the other to the floor. This one is super heavy duty and made of stainless steel while this one is made of plastic. Both include heavy duty adhesive, so you won’t have to drill into your flooring or furniture.

Another option is to weigh your furniture down. If it’s heavy enough, then it won’t be able to tip. One option is to use patio weights. The foot of the furniture fits into the weight. It can’t tip over since the weight is holding it on all sides. The other option is canopy weight bags. You could fill these with anything of your choice to make your table heavier to prevent tipping. If you’re also worried about your baby and doors, you many want to look into door limiters as well.

4. Tripping

Babies are trying to learn to walk so they’ll trip on anything including their own feet and any obstacle that’s near them. With that said, you’ll want to limit the amount of obstacles they have access to.

Furniture Baby Blocker
Furniture Baby Blocker

If you have a table with multiple legs, what you could do is use these clear blockers. They’re mainly used to keep toys or any objects from getting under furniture. In this case though, it will make sure there’s not just one leg that your baby’s foot can get hooked on. Instead there will be an obstacle around the whole piece of furniture so there will be no hooking action here.

Baby proof different shaped coffee tables

Coffee tables come in all shapes and sizes. You can use the above suggestions to safeguard your current tables. But maybe you’ve decided you’d rather buy a different table you can baby proof? Or you want to know what issues come with different shaped coffee tables. Next up, we’ll go through all table shapes to determine which is easiest to babyproof and why.

1. Rectangular or Square Coffee Table

Rectangular or square coffee tables are probably the easiest types to find. They’ll align with any sofa or entertainment center you might have.

Keep in mind that of course these shaped tables will have corners. You’ll either need to make sure to grab some corner bumpers as suggested above or you’ll need to think of it in a different way. You could look for a table specifically with curved corners.

Curved Corner table with more floor contact

Another thing to consider are the four legs that most of these comes with. In order to limit tipping and tripping, you could find a version with a bottom that has more contact with the floor. That extra surface area spreads the weight better limiting how it can be tipped. Options include the Convenience Concepts Graystone table. Another option is this white cube table with no legs at all. Obviously, I don’t know your style but the possibilities are endless. Just keep in mind the concept of dangerous corners and the tipping hazard when shopping.

2. Baby Proof Round Coffee Table

How to baby proof a coffee table

Round tables will fix the problem of the corners that rectangular and square tables give you. You’ll still want to be conscious of the legs though. Having the legs attached to a hoop at the bottom of the table limits the likelihood of your baby’s foot getting hooked in there and tripping. Additionally, the extra surface area reduces tipping.

Even better is if the round coffee table is fully solid. Without a ledge or opening, the table is much heavier meaning it can’t tip. It also has no way for your infant to trip. An option is the Urban Port Coffee table.

Again, I don’t know your style but what to keep in mind is the placement of the legs and surface area that comes in contact with the floor when looking for a baby proof round coffee table.

3. Pedestal vs Legs on Baby proof coffee table

How to baby proof a glass coffee table
Pedestal Coffee table

Pedestals are where the whole bottom of the table is the support for the table. Unlike having four small supports with legs that have tables. Having a pedestal table not only limits tripping since there’s not one leg sticking out for a foot to get stuck on, but it also limits tipping.

Pedestal Square Table
Pedestal Square Table

Pedestal tables come in all shapes, styles and sizes. An example of another round table is the Safavieh coffee table. A couple of square options include the Sauder Manhattan and Simplihome. Both of these still have corners which would need to be padded. Any with drawers would also need drawer locks.

4. Coffee table safe for baby – Open Bottomed or Solid Bottom

It seems that there are three options for the bottom of coffee tables. It’s either 1) just a table top with legs, 2) a tablet top with one shelf underneath, or 3) a tabletop with a completely closed bottom with either a drawer or nothing underneath. We already discussed tables with legs. Let’s discuss the complexities of open shelving vs closed.

Open shelfed coffee tables with a lot of contact with the floor should be fine from a tipping perspective. You just want to think about what you’ll keep on that shelf if anything at all. Whatever you put there needs to be safe for your baby to pick up, eat, or lay on. If you put nothing, know that your baby will probably crawl under there. Make sure the table is heavy enough so that your baby can’t tip it if they hit it just right when they seated on that shelf. Also since you know your baby will want to get there, make sure it can hold their weight or they break the shelf.

Baby Proof Coffee Table - Round with Drawer
Baby Proof Coffee Table – Round with Drawer

A completely closed bottom coffee table would be safest. If there are drawers there, just make sure you install locks. Options include the Simplihome square version with a drawer that seems chunky enough to prevent tipping. Another round option with a drawer is the signature design. It has four legs holding it up but then has full contact on the bottom which helps with tipping.

Baby proof different coffee table materials

You can get coffee tables in all types of materials. The most common are particle board or wood. Then there’s glass, acrylic and the most baby friendly – fabric covered. We’ll discuss the issues with babyproofing each material below.

1. How to baby proof a glass coffee table

How to baby proof a glass coffee table
Glass Round Table

First things first, is you’ll want to make sure that the glass coffee table has toughened glass that at least 6mm thick for inlays or 12mm for fully glass versions. Glass that are toughened are etched with EN12600 or EN12150 to denote that they are toughened. You should be able to find this in an inconspicuous place for your current table. Otherwise, it should be in the listing for a table for sale. Toughened glass if ever broken will not break into large pieces but into tiny harmless shards.

With thickness, you’ll also want to make sure the glass is polished glass. The polishing prevents cuts from the edges. A 12mm to 15mm glass table would need great force to break it. Something very heavy would have to be dropped at a very high height.

Some options include this round version that’s inlaid into wood. It also features a shelf. Another option is this triangle shaped artistic table. It has no hard edges, and the glass is super thick and heavy making it an option for a baby proof glass coffee table.

2. Coffee table safe for baby – acrylic coffee table

Acrylic is another option for a baby proof coffee table. If you’re worried about how to baby proof a glass coffee table, choosing acrylic might be the better option. Acrylic gives you the look of glass without the weight of glass. It’s also much stronger than glass. It’ll give you that feel that the room is bigger since it won’t block your view of the middle of the room.

An option for an acrylic baby proof coffee table is the Wahfay coffee table. It has a rounded design so it wouldn’t need corner bumpers either.

3. How to baby proof wood coffee table

Unlike glass, wood is not going to crack and harm anyone. While trying to determine how to baby proof a wood coffee table, you’ll want to focus more on protecting the wood from the baby. Wood is prone to warping or staining due to water absorption. Make sure to wipe up any spills as soon as possible. Additionally, make sure your baby isn’t trying to draw or carve anything into your wood. Wood can scratch easily and unless the surface is super shiny, it’ll absorb any drawings from markers. Acrylic or glass on the other hand can just be wiped down and isn’t damaged with water the way wood or particle board might. If you’re also wondering how to protect your dining room table, check out our post on that here.

4. Coffee table safe for baby – Fabric covered coffee table or ottoman

How to baby proof a coffee table
Fabric Ottoman

The fabric covered coffee table or ottoman is probably the safest version for a baby. A lot of families go this direction when their baby starts walking. The fabric pads everything so there’s no reason for bumpers. Additionally, they’re solid with a lid usually. That means it has no legs for a baby to trip on. The lid is also too heavy for a baby to lift so a drawer or cabinet lock might not be needed. Tipping won’t be a problem either since the whole bottom of the ottoman would have contact with the floor.

It does mean you’ll lose this as a table. But can you really leave anything on a low table with a baby? Another thing to keep in mind is staining. Make sure to grab some stain protector spray so that the fabric is easy to clean. Other tips on protecting fabric can be found here.

Ottoman with table top
Ottoman with table top

The OSP Home Furnishing ottoman is faux leather. That means you won’t have to spray this one with a stain protectant. You can just wipe away any spills since faux leather doesn’t absorb stains like other materials. If you have a furry family member before investing in a faux leather product, you may want to read our post on how to protect leather from pets.

Finally, the last option is round with the full bottom coming into contact with the floor. With this one, you won’t have to sacrifice your tabletop. It still includes a tabletop that can be removed to access anything you store in your table.

Coffee table safe for baby – Conclusion

How to baby proof a coffee table
How to baby proof a coffee table

There are so many things to think about when trying to determine how to baby proof a coffee table.

First up is the anatomy of your coffee table. Areas that need attention are corners, drawers, and legs. All corners need to be padded. Drawers need to be locked. Legs need to be protected from tripping and tipping.

The second consideration for how to baby proof a coffee table is the shape and options that a table can have. Square and rectangular tables will obviously have more corners versus a round or oval table. All corners need to be padded. A pedestal table versus a table held up with four separate legs is a better option since a bottom with more surface area limits tipping. Ones with solid interiors or drawer interiors will limit your baby from climbing on the shelf and either breaking the shelf or hitting their head.

The third consideration is material. How to baby proof a glass table is more complicated than baby proofing acrylic due to the strength and properties of acrylic. Wood tables also have their complexities and need protection from your baby and not the other way around. Fabric ottomans on the other hand will need stain protection.

The possibilities really are endless, just keep in mind your corners, drawers, tipping, and tripping whenever you’re looking at an option or while you’re baby proofing your own table. With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to a coffee table safe for a baby.

Making a coffee table safe for your baby is not difficult, but it does require some thought, patience and a few simple tools and materials. Your baby needs to reach the right developmental stage before he can play with the coffee table safely. Protect your child from a potential trip and fall with a sturdy baby-safe coffee table. A baby-safe coffee table is designed with a smooth top surface that’s easy on your baby’s soft skin and has no sharp edges or loose parts.

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