A chairside table is well suited to be beside or between chairs that do not have easy access to a table surface to put items on. If your room is set up in such a way that you have a rogue chair sitting in a corner alone, the chairside table works wonderfully. They are small enough that they don’t take too much room but allow for a spot to put down a drink. The same goes for when you have two chairs close together, but not enough available space for a conventional end table.
Most of the time chairside tables are rectangle in shape however, there are other options one can choose. They generally come in 24” high and approximately 12” to 15” wide. Small and compact. Again, there are other shapes and sizes depending on the manufacturer you are looking at. Some are table top only and some can have a storage component added. Units can come with one drawer, multiple drawers, open bottom shelf, single swing door, double swing doors, and of course combinations of all the different types of storage together. The list is endless.
The more traditional chairside tables are solid wood and wood veneer however, you can find them in any combinations of metal, stone, plastics, glass and wood. Because these units are generally smaller than a coffee or an end table they do not tend to look too heavy in the space if you have storage in the bottom of the unit. Castors are a nice option provided that your floor will allow for the unit to be rolled around. Carpet tends to be a little more difficult to roll the tables around on.
One newer feature that I have seen in chairside tables is the power outlet, or charging station for our cell phones and iPads, etc. Look over the sample in the store to see if it has any of these gems tucked away in hidden compartments.
The construction should be solid but usually doesn’t need to be as rigid as a coffee or end table. If it is built well you could probably sit on it, but because it is a table for books and drinks it doesn’t need to be as tough as other tables in your home. You still want to check all the connections to be sure the joinery is glued and screwed wherever possible. It must be stable with no wiggling. Always check the doors to be sure they swing easily opened and closed. Open and close the drawers to make sure they are smooth with no sticking. Check the drawer construction to see if they used butt joints or dovetail connections. Remember that butt joints with nails/staples and glue can work but dovetail joints are almost impossible to break or to fall apart in the future.