How to Choose the Right Size Coffee Table

Choosing the right size coffee table for a room isn’t as easy as it looks. But once you understand the proportions, it becomes a lot easier.

How to Choose the Right Size Coffee Table for a Room

I have a love hate relationship with sofas and coffee tables. These are the two items in a home that I have struggled with the most. Finding the perfect sofa is not an easy task, and then to match it with the right coffee table..takes time. These two decisions should not be rushed, if it takes months to find the perfect coffee table in the style, color and size you want…that’s ok. Better to wait, then hurry and regret a purchase (which I am all too familiar). I want to share a few tips I have picked up along the way to prevent you from making costly mistakes.

To get the perfect size coffee table for a room, you must measure your existing sofa. These dimensions will help determine the width and length of the coffee table.


A standard coffee table height is between 16″ and 18″, I recommend choosing a coffee table with a height that is the same as your sofa cushions, or 1″ – 2″ lower. This will allow you to easily grab any drinks or food off the tabletop.


In order to avoid overwhelming the space, and picking a coffee table that is too large, I recommend choosing a coffee table that is approximately two-thirds the length of the sofa. Coffee table length dimensions that are proportional to sofa length dimensions help make the living room look more balanced.


To determine the proper width of the perfect coffee table and allow for easy maneuvering around the table, I recommend leaving between 12″ and 18″ of space between the coffee table and the sofa. To ensure comfortable foot traffic around the rest of your living room, I also recommend leaving 30″ of space between the coffee table and other pieces of furniture, like a TV stand or entertainment center.

Most of the coffee tables in my house came from our prior home. I have held off on purchasing new ones as I haven’t found the perfect match. When I bought furniture for our family room, I worked around an existing table, which was way too big. I have recently replaced that table with one I had in another room. Not a perfect match…but that’s ok. I presently have my eye on this one, and this one.

TIP: I enjoy moving items of furniture around and seeing what sticks. I do it often and always do it before buying new pieces. If I can make do with what I have, that’s always the preferred option. If that fails, then I will look into buying new.

If you are not doing so already, and you enjoy these posts you can also follow along on Instagram HERE and Instagram stories HERE for daily updates and happenings at Happy Haute Home.



Please Subscribe to Happy Haute Home

For more posts about home improvement projects, please subscribe to Happy Haute Home and follow along on Pinterest HERE, and Twitter HERE and feel free to pin and tweet your favorite pics from Happy Haute Home.

*Affiliate links are used in this post for your shopping convenience*




10 thoughts on “How to Choose the Right Size Coffee Table

  1. Great tips Denise! I love the proportional method of choosing, rather than just hauling tables in and out, which has been my usual method – Until Now! Thanks for saving my back and my floors! 🙂

    1. Science definitely helps in the decision making process of choosing a coffee table 🙂 I’ve learned the hard way Barbara

  2. Good advice……I bought a new coffee table which I loved but it was the wrong height for the couch, so it now resides in the basement.

    1. Oh no Joni. Hopefully it looks and functions well in it’s new home. I’ve learned the hard way as well…many mishaps on my side too.

  3. After read this..It’s a very good advice for interior decoration…Some principles are following to do this..I was study that earlier..Proportion , emphasis, rhythm, etc

Leave a Reply