There are many different shapes and sizes for Chinese tables. However, we can divide them into five main styles:
Square tables, round tables, long tables, short tables and side tables with drawers.
For square tables, we have got 4 people tables and 8 people tables. Round tables arrow more people to sit together. It also means "reunion" in Chinese. Altar tables are the most common long tables.
They are usually long and narrow and used to be placed against the back wall and carried offerings to the gods and ancestors. Before Tang and Song dynasties, people sat on the ground in the home, so tables were very short at that time. Though standard tables were gradually developed, the short table styles were also reserved. In north China, winter is cold and people set up Kang, a large heated platform made from brick or unbaked clay. It plays the role of beds. And they are usually much larger than beds. They are not only for sleeping, but for meals and many other activities.
These kinds of short tables can be used as coffee tables in homes today. Side tables with drawers are usually standard height tables. They can be used as office tables, studying tables, meal tables, lady's desk or dressing tables, bedside tables, etc.