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Best chess tables guide

Chess tables and chairs are essential for lovers of the classic board game – here’s our guide to the best outdoor chess tables, chess coffee tables, and more

Chess tables - product photo of open drawer showing chess pieces

What are the best chess tables? For fans of one of the world’s most beloved tabletop game, chess tables and chairs are a must-have. There’s never a bad time to begin a game of chess, and the right table means you can take the game anywhere. Play in a sunny garden, in a library on rainy nights, over morning coffee, or even on a camping trip. Chess is a versatile game, and the surface you play on can be too.

It’s important to consider what makes a chess table right for you. Do you want a multipurpose table that won’t look out of place in your dining room? Would you prefer a full sized gaming table? Or are you looking for an elegant set piece to class up your home? However you like to play, there are plenty of chess tables and chairs to suit.

We’ve compiled a variety of options below. These range from masterfully crafted furniture to portable options that won’t break the bank.

Here’s our guide to the best chess tables and chairs available:

Chess tables - photo of a wooden chess table on a metal frame

Budget chess table

Not everyone’s looking for antique chess tables crafted from the finest materials. Sometimes, you need a gaming table that’s as cheap as it is cheerful.

Our choice of budget chess table is this Metal and Wood Chess and Checkers Gaming Table. At just over $50 / £40, it won’t break the bank. It’s also a very convenient size and shape – it can slide under a sofa for easier play, and it’s small enough to store without difficulty. If you know how to play checkers, you’ll also appreciate the checker pieces that come with the set.

Canvas foldable chess table at a campsite

Outdoor chess table

Rather than recommend a hefty stone outdoor chess table, we’ve opted for something more portable. The ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table is a foldable camping table with a chess board printed on top, so you can take your game night pretty much anywhere. Chess is just as good on the side of a mountain as it is in your back garden.

Portability does come with a price, of course. This table unfortunately doesn’t come with chess pieces. It’s also one of the less sturdy options in this guide, so you’ll need to be careful not to knock any pieces over during play.

Chess tables - photo of a round coffee table

Chess coffee table

Unless you’re an absolute chess fanatic, you probably don’t want a dedicated chess table in front of your sofa at all times. That’s why we’ve chosen the ASYA 2-Tier Round Coffee Table as our best chess coffee table.

It’s a compact, round table that means you won’t struggle to reach the game board, and it has some handy storage space underneath for your chessboard of choice. It’s also an appealing table in general – and one that won’t look out of place in a tidy, modern lounge.

Camaratta chess table with open drawer

High-end chess table

If money is no object, you’ll want the best of the best. We’d recommend the Camaratta Signature Master Chess Table to anyone looking for a high-end chess table. Crafted from high-quality mahogany, this table was designed by Frank Camarratta, an international chess master and expert on antique chess tables.

The Camarratta table is designed with official tournaments in mind, so there’s room for a chess clock and scorepad as well as your drink of choice. At around $700 / £600, it’s no small investment, but this is a table designed for chess players by someone who really knows their stuff.

Three-in-one chess table with open drawer, removable chess board, and backgammon board

Three-in-one chess table

If you love chess, chances are you’re a fan of other classic board games. This three-in-one chess table lets you play chess and checkers on one board, and you can lift this board out to reveal a second board – one that lets you play backgammon.

There’s a storage drawer to keep your pieces neatly stashed in. You can also flip the top over to hide the game boards completely, leaving you with a nice end table. The one drawback is no checker or backgammon pieces are included, so this remains a chess-only table without some further investment.

Foldable wooden chess table

Magnetic chess table

If you want portability and sturdiness, we recommend the Ark Wood Art International Magnetic Chess Table. Its foldable legs and magnetic pieces mean it’s ideal for playing while travelling – whether that’s on a train or in a hotel room. The rosewood gives this chess table a classic look, so it wouldn’t look out of place permanently set up at home either.

Perhaps the only downside of this table is that it’s rather small. This makes sense when you consider its perks as a travelling chess table, but it does mean you might be hunched over when moving your pieces.

Chess tables - a dining table and two chairs

Chess table and chairs

So far, we’ve only recommended chess tables. Any chair could technically be a chess chair, but it can be nice to have a set designed to complement the table you’re playing at.

Because of this, we recommend the VECELO 3-Piece dining table set. The table isn’t specifically designed for chess, but its size and shape make it the perfect place to set up.