Standard Coffee Table and Side Table Measurements

Standard Coffee Table and Side Table Measurements

Comfy and cozy, or overcrowded? Your living room is a place to gather with loved ones and relax at the end of the day. The living room also holds a lot of furniture. In a more minimal living room, this will include a sofa, coffee table, and a chair or end table. Other living rooms may also contain a recliner, another end table, and floor lamps. 

No matter what size your living room, or how much furniture there is, knowing common measurements for the coffee table and side tables can help make the room feel spacious. 

Coffee Tables

Coffee tables are generally placed near the center of the room – which means they are one of the focal points. But instead of selecting a table based on style or design alone, it’s better to make measurements your top priority.

Too big, and the coffee table will take up too much space, making it difficult to move from one area to the next. Too small, and the table will look more like a child’s toy than an element of the room. 

Here’s how you can make sure your coffee table is in the right proportion to the couch:

Height of Coffee Table

A coffee table certainly becomes part of the room’s aesthetic, but it should also be functional. The right height means you will be able to reach a drink or remote easily. First, measure the height from the ground to the top of the sofa cushions. The height of the coffee table should be the same height as the seat cushions, or one to two inches lower. 

Couch to Table Size Ratio

Once again, begin with the measurement of the sofa. The coffee table should be between ½ and ⅔ of the length of the couch. For standard sofas and sofas with a chaise, measure the length of the entire sofa, and select a coffee table a little more than half that length. 

L-shaped sectionals are a bit trickier. For these, measure the seat length of one section, and select a coffee table that is ½ to ⅔ that length. 

Coffee Table Placement

Place the coffee table 14 to 18 inches away from the sofa. This ensures legroom while still providing easy access to items on the table. 

Side Tables

Side tables are smaller and may hold lamps, photographs, or other small items. Side tables are also great for setting down a book or beverage, so, like the coffee table, you want to make sure the measurements are ideal. 

Height of Side Tables

The top of the side table should be somewhere between the seat cushion and the height of the couch or chair arm. As a general rule of thumb, aim for three inches lower than the arm. If a side table is next to a chair without arms, make sure the table height is about eight inches above the seat height. 

Side Table Placement

The side tables can be closer to the couch than the coffee table, because leg room is not needed. This placement may require you to sit down and feel it out, but is generally within two to ten inches from the couch or chair. If you can comfortably set down your coffee or phone, then the table is in the right position. 

When you understand the measurements that work best, you can begin to visualize what pieces will fit in your living room. From here, you can choose the shape and style that best fits your home. 

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