How to Choose the Right Size Coffee Table

How to Choose the Right Size Coffee Table

So, you’ve got your cozy living room all set up – comfy sofa, check. Snug armchairs, check. But something's missing... a coffee table. Your coffee table is the centerpiece of your living space, the platform for your snacks, and the foundation of your living room décor.


Before you dive headfirst into your search, let’s talk about size. Because let's face it, the wrong size coffee table can completely throw off the feel of your living area.


When making this decision, there are a few factors you’ll need to consider to find the right fit:


1. Length: Make sure it’s 2/3 the length of your couch

2. Width: Leave enough space between furniture, ideally 12-18 inches

3. Height: Keep your tabletop 1-2 inches shorter than your cushions


Let’s get into everything you need to know to find a living room table that ties your space together perfectly.



Picking the right length for your coffee table is key to setting the tone for your living room. Go too big, and suddenly your living room becomes an overcrowded maze. But swing too small, and it just feels, well, empty and awkward. Find the perfect “in-between” and watch your living room become the hangout spot everyone's talking about.


Here's the golden rule: the ideal coffee table for living room should be roughly two-thirds the length of your sofa. Let's break it down with some examples:



Remember to measure your sofa before you start browsing table options. This ensures you choose a table that will complement the size of your seating area.


mcm coffee table



Now that you've nailed the length, let's talk width. You want your coffee table to be functional and comfortable. Ideally, it should sit 12 to 18 inches away from your sofa. This gives you all the legroom you need to stretch out after a long day.


Additionally, you want to leave at least 30 inches of space between your table and any other furniture in the room, like your TV stand.


Need a handy trick to determine the perfect width for your space? Measure the distance between your sofa and other furniture, then subtract 48 inches. This will give you the ideal table width.


For example, say you're eyeing a rectangular Plank+Beam coffee table that comes in at 24 inches wide. Using our formula, you'd need at least 72 inches of space between your sofa and other living room furniture to ensure a comfortable fit for this real wood coffee table.


modern black coffee table for living room



Standard coffee tables typically range from 16 to 18 inches in height. However, it's always a good idea to double-check the height of your chosen table before hitting that "buy" button.


The key here is functionality. You want your table to be one to two inches lower than your sofa cushions. This makes it easy to grab drinks, snacks, or that remote that always seems to disappear.


Plank+Beam offers a variety of wooden coffee table heights, ranging from 15 to 17.75 inches, to ensure a perfect fit with a variety of sofa styles.



modern coffee table with storage



Quick Tip

Sometimes, a traditional rectangular coffee table might not be the best fit for your space. Here's where a round coffee table can come in handy. Small round coffee tables are great for smaller living rooms or L-shaped seating arrangements. They create a more open feel and can help with traffic flow.


But don't worry, the same sizing rules still apply. Choose a round table that's roughly two-thirds the length of your sofa (for example, a 30-inch round coffee table with a 45-inch sofa) and maintains the recommended height and clearance from other furniture.


36 inch round coffee table in white sand wirebrush


We've touched on the big three factors to think about before you start your search. Now, let's answer some common questions to help you along the way.



How do I choose the right size coffee table?

The best way to choose a coffee table size is to consider your sofa. Aim for a table that's about two-thirds the length of your sofa and roughly the same height as your sofa cushions. Allow 12 to 18 inches of space between the table and your sofa, and at least 30 inches from other furniture.


How tall should a coffee table be compared to couch height?

Ideally, your coffee table should be about the same height, or one to two inches shorter than your sofa cushions. This ensures easy access to items on the tabletop.


Now that we've covered the ins and outs of finding a perfectly sized coffee table, it's time to start your search. Remember, it's all about striking that perfect balance between style, size, and function. Don't just jump at the first table that catches your eye. Instead, take a moment to consider the length, width, and height in relation to your sofa and space. This ensures your coffee table isn't just a placeholder in your living room, but a centerpiece that brings the whole room together.


Whether you're hosting movie nights, game days, or just need a spot to rest your popcorn while binging your latest Netflix obsession, the right coffee table makes all the difference. Trust us, get this right, and your living room will not only look spot on but will become the cozy spot you'll never want to leave.


Plank+Beam is the best place to start and end your coffee table hunt. With solid wood coffee tables of all shapes and sizes, we have no doubt you’ll find the right fit for your living room here. Plus, we have options for all tastes, from modern coffee tables to mid-century modern coffee tables. With sturdy construction and lasting style, your Plank+Beam coffee table will quickly become a staple in your living space.


Get the living room look you've been loving for less when you shop Plank+Beam coffee tables. Get free shipping when you spend over $200.