Coffee Table Dimension Guide

Are you overwhelmed by the many coffee table height and length options available to you and have no idea of how to choose the right one? Are you confused about all the rules that you need to remember to avoid choosing the wrong one? Keep reading to find out what measurements you need to take and what coffee table dimensions you need to know in order to create a comfortable space for you and your guests.

Prior to embarking on your search, pull out your tape measure. Certain measurements need to be taken to find a table that’s a perfect fit. A coffee table in proper scale with surrounding furniture will keep the overall look in proportion.


Jot down your sofa’s height from floor to top cushion. As a general rule, the height of the coffee table should be the same height or slightly lower than the seat of the sofa.

The coffee table should be the same as or 1-2 inches lower than the sofa’s seat height.

However, there can be caveats to this rule. You may base the height of your coffee table on the sizes of other surrounding furniture or on your personal design preferences. For example:

Low Tables

A low height comes in handy for creating a modern feel, offsetting items in your room or providing an unobstructed view of another piece of furniture.

Tall Tables

The higher table dates back to pre-20th century, before lower coffee tables were invented and hostesses used taller tea tables for entertaining. Today, tall living room tables are ideal for rooms with higher sofas or if you entertain frequently. The extra inches make it easier to reach snacks and other items on the table top.


Coffee tables should measure about two-thirds the length of the sofa. Following this tip will help keep your choice of a coffee table in proper proportion to your sofa, resulting in a comfortable feel. Again, like other coffee table rules, this one is flexible, depending on sizes of other furniture in the room and your preferences.


Once you know the proper length and height of your coffee table, you can decipher the table’s depth, shape and style.

Your coffee table size will depend on the amount of available room space. If you have a lot of open space in front of your sofa, you may want to choose a table with added depth. This gives you more room to showcase your style and to serve snacks.

When deciding on shape, make sure it matches your furniture and design style. For a room with lots of space, consider a large coffee table in the shape of a circle, square or hexagon. Slender rectangular and oval tables are ideal for narrow rooms.

Tip: For a household with kids, an oval or round coffee table made of wood is a smart choice because it doesn’t have dangerous sharp corners that kids can fall on. Glass tables should be avoided as well. Messy fingerprints aside, if they get broken, kids can be severely injured by the shards of glass.


From Sofa

Once your new coffee table is home, it’s time to get it in the right position. The most accommodating distance is 18 inches from the sofa, leaving plenty of leg space while keeping the table within easy reach. Also, if the table has drawers or cabinets that face the sofa, this amount of space gives you the room needed for drawer access.

Apply the 18-inch rule when pulling chairs within distance of the coffee table as well. Like other rules, this one is not set in stone. There is flexibility with a range of 12 to 18 inches of space between table and sofa, depending on your preference. Sometimes an ottoman coffee table needs to be pulled closer to accommodate someone with short legs.

From Other Large Items

Keep the coffee table from turning into an obstacle in the room by allowing at least 30 inches of open space between it and other pieces of furniture. In narrower rooms, this space can be sized down to 24 inches.

Keep an open space of 12″ to 18″ between a coffee table and the sofa. Allow 24″ to 30″ between the coffee table and TV stand.

Having all the necessary measurements will make finding the right coffee table a breeze. It will be the perfect accessory for your living room, giving everyone a place to set down their drinks or even prop their feet.