How To Choose The Right Coffee Table: The Definitive Guide (easy step-by-step guide)

Are you confused about how to choose the right coffee table?

Believe me, I was too!

Hell yeah! The confusion is as high that after some time it converts into frustration and anger.

Because every time I search for how to choose the right coffee table?

All websites direct show the coffee table buy link and its useless content. They don’t explain how to choose the right coffee table or how to choose coffee table size and type.

Then, I start research on this topic. It takes some time ( good thing always takes time !)

This research taught me a lot and I learned a lot of new things about a coffee table.

If I say,  choosing a coffee table is as easy as cutting a cake in peace nicely!  you don’t believe it right!

But trust me my throughout research makes me confident to tell that picking the right coffee table for home is a super easy task.

How?  At the end of this Blog you will be able to choose a coffee table it’s my guaranty.

So, first of all, give me your all frustration and anger. you don’t need it anymore.

And without delay let’s begin the journey

What is a coffee table

What is a coffee table? how can you define !!!!! Now you will tell me that this is a super easy question! Right,

but when I ask for an explanation, it’s tough to explain.

Remember, sofas give the living room glory and absolutely they keep us comfortable. But the coffee table is the workhorse of the living room.

The coffee tables are mostly centrally located and they serve a practical purpose and different roles in the living room or bedroom.

Just think without a coffee table, where would we put our favorite drinks, super usable tech-Device, decor magazines, remote control, and yes iPhone????

It holds our drinks, remote control, our take-out dinner at the end of a long day.

With such a big diverse job, you had surmised that it would be one of the first furniture pieces you thought about when you redecorate your beloved house and/or when you move into a new place.

I think now you understand the importance of the coffee table in the house, so from this moment if anyone asks “what is a coffee table”? You should be able to explain.

Alright moving to the Interesting next part,

How to choose the right coffee table

First thing first, major confusion for choosing the right coffee table is,

The basic question Ask yourself Before choosing a coffee table

pick your right coffee table such that,  it fits with your lifestyle and works well in a living room or Bedroom.

It even needs to suit the need of your family, whether this means that it has to be kid-friendly or have enough storage for TV remotes and other miscellaneous items.

First Take pen and paper and note down your answers ( It will short-List your choice at the end)

Do I need a piece with a lot of storage?

If you have a small room or you imagine a coffee table that will carry your small things like remote control, your tech-devices, your favorite magazine of course then choose a coffee table with storage.

It’s quite simple, right? Moving to the next question.

Are you one who plays board games or doing work in the living room constantly?

if you love to play board games or if you like to eat while watching your favorite show on TV, then choose a coffee table with higher height.

If you are using a coffee table for dinner or work purposes then you may choose a little higher coffee table than a regular one.

Does your sofa have high skinny legs or low skinny legs? ( optional )

If your sofa has high skinny legs, choose a table that’s solid all the way to the ground or has shorter legs.

One Interior designer told “ when the room feels too leggy, it doesn’t feel as grounded”

On the other side, if your sofa has no visible legs, choose a coffee table that has higher skinnier legs. ( this question  is optional, its works only  as a filter in your coffee table list)

So, if you Short-List your answer on paper then your notes look like this


How to choose coffee table size

If you really have your heart set on a specific coffee table size, then it’s very easy to choose.

But if you don’t know what size coffee table to buy?

Don’t worry Let me help you.

People search this question on Google in a different way like-

  • how to choose a coffee table size?
  • what size coffee table should I buy?
  • what size coffee table?
  • what’s the average size of a coffee table?
  • what size coffee table should I get?
  • what size should my coffee table be?
  • how to pick the right size coffee table?
  • typical size of a coffee table?

The answer to these questions is very easy.

if you are struggling in what size coffee table should I buy?

First look at your sofa size.

  • Specifically, As a good rule of thumb, your coffee table should be at least HALF the length of a sofa or approximately two-thirds the length of your sofa. ( but, Not more than 2/3 the length of the sofa )
  • A nice happy medium coffee table length of roughly 1/2 to 2/3 is perfect.

So, for a 96-inch sofa, you should look for a coffee table that’s  48-64-inch long.

  • However, if you have sectional with a chaise, and your table is going within the open L-shape, then it’s batter to consider only horizontal seating length, rather than the full length of the sofa.

What is the height of a coffee table

So now you know how much length of table you want. But with length, hight is also playing a major role to choose the right coffee table.

You may be surprised to know that more than 500 people search this question every month in different ways on Google,

  • average coffee table height?
  • what is the average height of a coffee table?
  • what is the height of a coffee table?
  • what is a coffee table?
  • what is the standard height of a coffee table?
  • what is the average height for a coffee table?
  • what is the normal height for a coffee table?
  • what is the normal height of a coffee table?

Maybe you have the same question, Right? , So

  • The height of your coffee table should be about even with the height of your sofa seat or one to two-inch lower.
  • the standard height of a coffee table is 16 to 18 inches.
  • but as I mentioned earlier if you are a working person or you like to eat with your favorite show on T.V, then choose a coffee table with three to four-inch higher then the sofa seat.

So, if your sofa is 96-inch long and 20-inch tall then your coffee table should be around 50-64 inches long and 18 to 24 inches tall.

And with this knowledge of the right size and height, Congratulation your 70% work is complete now.

How to choose coffee table shape

what shape coffee table works best with a sectional? All people have this question even I had to.

The most common question people search in Google is,

  • what shape coffee table works best with a sectional?
  • what shape coffee table for a sectional?
  • what shape coffee table with the sectional sofa?

Choosing a coffee table shape is a little confusing task, it’s more about making the right design choice for your space.

  • Rectangular or oval coffee table suit nicely with a standard horizontal sofa.
  • If you have a sectional or L-shaped sofa, then a round or square-shaped coffee table fit in nicely.

Of course, you definitely choose a coffee table without following these rules, if you really have a heart set on a specific coffee table.

Different types of coffee table

The major types of the coffee table are,

  • Oval coffee table
  • Rectangular coffee table
  • Round coffee table
  • Square coffee table

Oval coffee table

  • The best thing about an oval coffee table is, it promotes movement and offers ample space for storing things on top.
  • An oval coffee table is kids friendly, because of no sharp edge here.
  • It is great at balancing form and function.

The cons of this table are,

  • If you have a sectional or L-shaped sofa than Ignore this shape because it takes more space which reduces clearance or movement space.
  • (but, it have a solution, consider only horizontal sofa length and choose a coffee table of exactly half of this horizontal length)

Check, Best oval wood coffee table for living room in this article I shortlist the top 15 best wood oval coffee tables which is the best table for your living room.

1-P PURLOVE Rustic Natural Coffee Table with Storage (Brown)


2-Walker Edison Modern Coffee Table Living Room (Amazon choice- 2000+ review)



3-Traditional Oval Coffee Table


Rectangular coffee table

The rectangular coffee table is looking more modern and offers the most amount of surface space to work with.

That’s why this coffee table suits best with a standard horizontal sofa ( or a long sofa with chaise)

Do you search a coffee table that fits in a narrow space?

Hey, then this coffee table fits nicely in a narrow space with minimal walk-around clearance.

If you are a household with more books, magazines, or tech devices than you can choose a coffee table with some functional but with a sleek drawer.

A table with a drawer is a smart idea, right?

The best Rectangular coffee table on Amazon

Walker Edison Rustic Rectangle Frame Coffee Table


Square coffee table

The square coffee table is the most practical shape and mostly offer storage beneath the surface.

It provides a nice and symmetrical look to your living room.

If you have a large comfy sectional or my favorite traditional set-up with a sofa and a couple of chairs, without any doubt square coffee table is nicely fit.

Do you have a sectional sofa ( L-shape sofa) or a big space in the middle?

Then the square coffee table perfectly fits in that empty big middle space.

The best Square coffee table on Amazon

Convenience Concepts Omega Square Coffee Table



2-Square Rustic Square Coffee Table with Storage


Round coffee table

For a small living room or for small space, where wide space furniture is not fit nicely, the Round coffee table plays a hero role.

  • It is a good choice to pair with a sectional sofa with chaise since it is a good nook shape.
  • A round coffee table can really invite to guest and families
  • who may want to occasionally eat around the coffee table while watching a movie.
  • Add some floor poufs to the other side of the table and it’s a party.

The best Round coffee table on Amazon

1-Walker Edison Modern Round Metal Base Coffee Table


Congratulation, you successfully completed your “how to choose the right coffee table” Task.

After this, there is some clearance rule that you keep in mind while you put your coffee table in your living room or bedroom.

Know your clearance Rules

After choosing between square, rectangular, round, or oval coffee tables, it’s time to know clearance required around it.

  • Traditionally, a coffee table should be 12 to 18 inches away from your sofa. Any more or less than that will fill uncomfortably close or far.
  • Between your coffee table and T.V stand or fireplace, you should calculate at least 24 inches to 30 inches minimum space for circulating around the space.

But it’s not and hard and fast rule, these rules are made for easy to understand how much space is required for the circulation of the room.


Alright, if you read the whole article then you have enough knowledge about “how to choose the right coffee table”.

Let’s summarize this article,

  • The coffee table holds personal items and decore accents from the homeowner, reflecting their personalities.
  • Your coffee table should be proportionate in size to the sofa.
  • A nice happy medium coffee table length of a minimum of one-half to two-thirds of the length of the sofa is perfect.
  • The height of the coffee table should be the same as sitting on the sofa or 2-inch less or 2-4 inches more.
  • Oval and rectangular Coffee tables are interchangeable, they fit nicely with any shape of the sofa. ( if you choose this shape with a sectional sofa then consider coffee table size as the one-half length of the sofa, but consider only horizontal length. )
  • Round coffee table best suit with a sectional sofa.
  • The square coffee table gives a traditional look to your living room.

Do you noted down your choices or not? If yes then, your notes look like this,  right?


Also, Read this Article It will help you in choosing the right coffee table

#1 Best oval wood coffee table

#2 best 7 solid wood rectangular coffee table for living room

3 thoughts on “How To Choose The Right Coffee Table: The Definitive Guide (easy step-by-step guide)”

  1. “This Blog is a perfect guide on choosing the right coffee table, making it easy for everyone as you have included almost every query one could have about coffee tables. The Pictures are add on to the Blog.

    Thank you for such a detailed article.”


Leave a Comment