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How Big Should A Coffee Table Be?

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By Blake Lockwood | Curated by Blake Lockwood | Reviewed by Blake Lockwood

Blake Lockwood, the seasoned interior designer behind Decor Snob, has made a name for himself with over 30 years of industry experience. As a member of esteemed associations such as the NCIDQ, CIDA, NAAB, and CCIDC, he upholds high standards in his work.  His content is always people-first, reliable, and engaging.

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Your home would not be complete if you don’t have the right coffee table to match your existing decorations. A Coffee Table is great for entertaining guests and displaying your books and arts. It serves as a place to rest your tired feet and relax after a busy day at work.

So how big should your coffee table be? A coffee table should be big enough to be positioned 12 to 18 inches away from all adjacent sofas and chairs. It should be 2/3 the length of the adjacent sofas. The height of the coffee table should match the height of the sofa cushions.

To better understand, let us first define what a coffee table is. And then we can discuss in detail how you can find the perfect coffee table for your home.

What Are Coffee Tables?

According to Wikipedia, a coffee table is a piece of furniture that is commonly placed in a sitting area. It supports beverages, books, magazines, remotes, and other objects for convenience purposes.

This type of furniture is typically made of wood, metal, or glass. Some may feature drawers and cabinets for storage.

Coffee tables originated in Europe during the late Victorian era. It complements a sofa or couch and is usually found inside a living room.

How to Determine the Size of Your Coffee Table

To determine the size of the coffee table to use in your home, you need to consider the following:

Height of the Coffee Table

A coffee table will look its best when it has the same height as the top of the cushion on your chairs or sofa. But, coffee tables that are one to two inches lower or higher are quite acceptable.

Using a higher table than the recommended size can overpower other furniture. While anything lower may force people to reach things further than necessary.

An average coffee table ranges from 16 inches up to 18 inches in height. It is perfect for the standard height of a sofa which measures 17 up to 18 inches from the ground to the top of its cushion.

The higher or lower your sofa is, the higher or lower your coffee table should be.

Length of the Coffee Table

Choosing a coffee table with an ideal length is important too. Using one that is too long can obstruct or restrict movement inside the room. While a shorter one may be insufficient to support the objects that you need to place on it.

To get the ideal coffee table length for your home, pick one that is about 2/3 the length of your sofa.

For example, if the length of your sofa is 72 inches, then the ideal length for your coffee table is around 48 inches.

Using one that is close to the recommended length is preferable. It will allow people to reach things and walk around the room with ease and comfort.

Coffee Table Placement

The last thing to consider for your home coffee table is its placement inside your house. You should never place your coffee table where it can impede movement.

The goal is to arrange your coffee table in line with your other furniture inside the room. As a rule, it will be best to position your coffee table 12 to 18 inches away from your chairs and sofa.

This will provide people with plenty of space to move around, while at the same time making it close enough to use it.

Tips on How to Get the Perfect Sized Coffee Table for Your Home

Picking the wrong size coffee table can interfere with your goal of having the perfect living room. To increase your chances of success, here are some helpful tips that you can follow:

  • When measuring the height of your sofa, measure from the ground up to the top of the cushion of your sofa
  • To measure the length of your sofa, make sure that you cover from the end of one side to the other
  • Select a coffee table that is no more than 2 inches higher or lower the measured height of your chair or sofa
  • Pick a coffee table that is about 2/3 the measured length of your sofa
  • If you need to adjust the height of your coffee table, you can use a stable riser to increase its height

Final Thoughts

A coffee table should be the last thing you buy to complete your living room decor. This will allow you to perform the necessary preparation and measurements needed.


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