The side table — otherwise known as the end table, occasional table, or cocktail table — is not the world’s most thrilling home purchase. (When was the last time you or anyone you know said, “I can’t stop thinking about my side table!”) But, in its own quiet way, a side table can really set the tone of a room, as it dutifully holds a lamp, remote control, snake plant, or a bowl of Magic Spoon. A bright-yellow one is a nice way to introduce some color without going full-on Sesame Street; a Lucite one is a nice way to add a minimalist ’80s vibe without going full-on Wall Street. We did the work of finding the right one for you by rounding up cheap (no more than $200), but expensive-looking, side tables on Amazon (some of which are actually stools but do the same job) all of which are available. The below selection includes colorful side tables, clear options, ones made of brass, all-white side tables, others made of wood, and even a few that do double duty as places your (small) pet could hang out. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, you can click on any of the links in the previous sentence to jump straight to that section.
Colorful side tables
A bright side table like this one is a great way to add some life to your living room without, say, reupholstering the entire couch — and then regretting it.
This circular red piece is just as much of a mood-lifter, with the added benefit of two storage areas that help reduce clutter.
This blue side table also has storage in the form of a small shelf for anything (candles, books, booze) you might want to display.
Working out to just more than $10 per stool, any one in this kindercore-esque set would pop as a side table. The stools you don’t use as a table will come in handy when you need extra seating for guests, and their stackable nature makes them easy enough to tuck away when not in use.
Few side tables on this list are as guaranteed to start conversation — or be confused for an actual piece of art — as this one.
We think this statement side table would make a great home for some flowers or a mushroom lamp.
Clear side tables
As we mentioned earlier, an acrylic side table is a great way to conjure 1980s-era minimalism without your space veering too hard into American Psycho territory. In addition to providing instant style, it’s incredibly easy to clean. This one has the added benefit of folding away easily.
This acrylic end table has a handy extra shelf for magazines, coffee-table books, or a laptop.
The nifty thing about this S-shaped glass table? It can be flipped to become a horizontal coffee table, should you ever be in the mood for a refresh.
Okay, so this isn’t technically clear, but we think its mirrored finish makes it just as unobtrusive. Like the two side tables above, it also has a convenient two-tier storage system.
Brass side tables
This brass table has a (faux-) marble top that, like real marble, can support as much as 50 pounds.
For the clumsy, this teal-accented brass table has a handy lip around the top to help prevent anything you might knock over from falling to the floor.
And for purists, an all-brass table with a lip around its surface that feels rather elegant in an understated sort of way.
Wood side tables
One of the most handsome options we uncovered, this set of three wooden side tables can be nested, arranged together (as shown), or divvied up throughout your home.
We’re also admirers of this pair of all-bamboo side tables that have deep storage and, as shown, can be stacked atop one another.
If you’re looking for a less literal way to get the Aalto stool–as-table look, this minimalist Christopher Knight end table would be a good, less-expected choice.