With so many options available, choosing the right size coffee table to proportionately fill the space to your sofa and any other seating in the room is essential. An appropriately sized coffee table can improve the flow and function of a living space. You don’t want your table to be overly difficult to reach or so big that it blocks you from getting around the room. In order to identify the ideal coffee table size for your space, it is imperative to take the time to measure and consider the following 3 factors: height, length, and placement.
Coffee Table Height
To look its best, your coffee table should be the same height or one to two inches shorter than the top of the cushions on your sofa or chairs. Any higher, and the table could overpower the rest of your furniture in the space. Any lower, and the table will require you and your guests to have to reach farther than necessary to grab items off the table.
The standard height of a coffee table typically ranges from 16 to 18 inches, a size that pairs well with a standard sofa. The average sofa seat height measures 17 to 18 inches from the floor to the top of the cushion. The higher the sofa is, the higher the coffee table can be. Likewise, the lower the sofa is, the lower the table should be.
Choose a coffee table that’s the same height as the cushions on your couch or 1-2 inches lower.
Coffee Table Length
When choosing an ideal coffee table length, you will again want to use your sofa as a guide. Scale is an important consideration and just as a coffee table that’s too tall can overpower your sofa, one that’s too long can overwhelm your sofa and impede movement throughout the room. To find the ideal length, choose a coffee table that’s roughly two-thirds the length of your sofa. For example, a sofa whose length is 84 inches would need a coffee table around 56 inches long. This will make it so the table is easily within reach when sitting on either end of the sofa but still allow for plenty of room to walk around it.
The length of your coffee table should be about two-thirds the length of your sofa.
Coffee Table Placement
Your coffee table shouldn’t be an obstacle you have to navigate when trying to walk around your room. The key is how you arrange your coffee table in relation to the rest of the furniture in the space. As a general rule, you’ll want to place your coffee table about 12 to 18 inches away from your sofa and/or chairs. If you place it too close it could become something you trip over. If it’s too far away, you might find you and your guests reluctant to use it.
Allow for 12 to 18 inches of space between the coffee table and the seating around it, such as sofas and chairs.
How to Measure and Determine the Right Coffee Table Size
The wrong size coffee table has the potential to make the proportions of your furniture look off. To measure for success, grab your measuring tape and follow these steps:
- Measure from the floor to the top of the sofa or chair cushion.
- Measure the length of the sofa, chair, or seating grouping.
- Choose a coffee table with a height that’s no more than two inches lower than the top of the chair or sofa cushion. The coffee table’s length should be roughly two-thirds of the length of the sofa.
A coffee table should be among the last major pieces of furniture you choose for your living area as this will make figuring out what size coffee table you need for your space much easier. While you’re shopping for a coffee table, keep height and length in mind along with the overall size of your room to avoid overcrowding, overwhelming, or underwhelming your space. Choosing the right color, shape, and material in a coffee table are also key to setting the tone in your room. For more advice on how to pick the perfect coffee table, visit our Coffee Table Buying Guide.