What is Butterfly Leaf Table?

With the advancement of technology, there are emerging more and more new styles and designs of tables. If you are not someone in the interior design, or furniture crafting industry, it is almost impossible to know the names of all different types of tables. Therefore, when you encounter some new name of a table, and there is not much information about it on the Internet, it can be frustrating. 

Unfortunately, that is the case with the butterfly leaf table. As many people were interested in saving space, they kept encountering this table, but they could not quite comprehend what is butterfly leaf table and what its mechanism of work is. But, worry not, as we got your back. We did thorough research and we will provide you with all the essentials regarding the butterfly leaf table you need to know. 

After reading this article, be sure that you will finally understand what this table is, and additionally, you will maybe even consider buying one as a new addition to your kitchen or dining room. So be attentive and start reading.

What is Butterfly Leaf Table?
Image Credit: foter.com

What Is Butterfly Leaf Table and How Does It Work?

As its name says, this table has a unique appearance and mechanism of work. Namely, on first look, this table looks as if it has butterfly wings that later unfold to make the table surface wider and longer. The leaves it contains can fold out to extend the table when required as well as they can be completely removed when the table is not in use. Other types of leaves can be concealed and integrated under the table discreetly.

So now that we have made it clear what a butterfly leaf table is, it is only right to take a look at how it works. To keep it simple, all you will have to do to extend the table is pull one of the ends so that you create a gap where the leaf can be slid into place. After the leaf is in the right spot, slide the end of the table back to its primary position and ensure no gap is left inside. When you complete these steps, your new extended table will have a full-length and larger tablespace.

History of the Butterfly Leaf Table

If you thought that the butterfly leaf table was some discovery and achievement in the furniture crafting industry, we are sorry to inform you that you are wrong. This table dates back to the 17th century. The original idea and design for this table were first conceived in the United States, where people needed bigger table space without buying large tables that would take up all of their dining room’s space. Regarding the name, this table got its name symbolically from its appearance and mechanism of work. 

Ultimately, before it got its final design, this table’s simplest form was a bracket table, which is a small side table fixed to the wall while being supported by a bracket. Since then, thanks to the industrial revolution, this table has become a beautiful and complex piece of furniture that saves dining space for millions and millions of people all around the world.

What Is Butterfly Leaf Table Made Of?

The traditional way of making this table stuck to it, so mainly the butterfly leaf tables are made of wood. Besides the fact that wood gives them the best appearance and rustic feeling, it also is the most convenient material to craft this table from, considering that it is not just a regular table but one with unfolding properties. Besides wood, you can sometimes find butterfly leaf tables made of metal ball-bearing extension slides, which is about it.

Many people required these tables to come in other materials, such as glass, but just imagine the risk it would be to fold and unfold glass slides. It would be an absolute nightmare and stressful. That’s why, when it comes to this table, the traditional way of crafting and using traditional solid hardwood materials comes first.

Read More: What Is a High-Top Table?

Benefits of the Butterfly Leaf Table

This type of table persisted through the centuries for a solid reason. Thanks to its appearance and unique function, people appreciated it no matter the times they lived in. It is safe to say that this table is the absolute classic in the space-saving tables category, and because of that reason, many other varieties and designs based on this table were made later in the years. So besides the amazing-looking exterior, we will look at the three top most popular benefits of purchasing the butterfly leaf table.

Easy to use

Although by reading about the butterfly leaf table’s mechanism of work, you might get the impression that there is some complicated mechanism that is hard to learn to operate, the reality is the opposite. Remember that this table was first invented in the 17th century. Therefore as the technology was not as advanced as today, its mechanism was and still is super simple. 

All you are required to do is simply insert the leaf into the center or end of the table. Securing and removing the leaf is equally easy as inserting, so you will not encounter any hassle or trouble. Thanks to this, when unannounced guests come over, you will be able to expand your table and make table space for everyone in less than a minute.


If you do not know that the table is a butterfly leaf table, it is almost impossible to notice that by only looking at it. That is why discretion is one of the strongest features of this piece of furniture. Moreover, the butterfly leaf is the most discreet way to add length to the table without disrupting the aesthetics, as it is hardly noticeable. All tables come with a corresponding extension leaf that perfectly matches the table’s finish itself, so you will not have to worry about the table’s appearance after it is expanded.

Save on space

As the primary function of this table is space-saving, you will be grateful for how much free space you will have when the table is not extended. This means you can maximize your living space, especially if you live in a smaller place, without exempting yourself from the basic furniture you need for normal functioning.

Also Read: What Are Nested Tables?


We hope this article helped you clarify what is butterfly leaf table, how it works, and what are the main benefits of owning one. So if you think this table would work great at your place, now you are equipped with all the necessary knowledge to make the right decision and choose the butterfly leaf table that would work best for you.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top