5 Must-Have Tips For Choosing a Coffee Table

Stylish small coffee tables with marble tops in front of elegant grey couch with emerald pillows

When it comes to pulling your living room together, few pieces are as essential as the humble coffee table. Far more than just a place to set your drink (though it excels at that!), your coffee table can make or break the style and functionality of your space. With so many options out there though, settling on the right one can seem downright dizzying. Should you go bold with a vivid lacquered number or keep it sleek and understated? Do you need lots of storage space or a lift-top for easy cleaning access?

Never fear this trusty guide will walk you through all the key considerations, from size to shape to style, so you can feel fully prepped to find your perfect coffee table match.

Determine its Style and Function – When it be used mostly as place for drinks while at the couch, showcasing decor items or have the need for book storage underneath? Consider the style as well to ensure it goes with your other decor pieces for a cohesive design theme.

Keep in Mind the Height of the Coffee Table You Will Purchase – Nothing is more unpleasant than a tabletop that is either too low or too high. Choose a coffee table design that is the exact height of the cushioning on your couch, or 1 to 2 inches lower, to guarantee maximum comfort in your living area. 

Take Note of the Proportions – Similar to selecting the proper height for a coffee table, you must opt for one that is in the correct length in proportion to the width of your couch. Generally, a coffee table measurement will be roughly two-thirds the length of your couch.

Identify the Clearance Rules – Choose the appropriate shape once you have determined the right length and height. Picking between a square, rectangular, circular, or oval shape is frequently determined by the length and clearance necessary around it. Generally, your coffee table must be 12 to 18 inches apart from your couch.

Consider Your Lifestyle – Take into account your lifestyle while selecting. If you prefer a piece with lots of storage,  pick a design with a larger surface and racks below it. If you want to spend a lot of time in your living room playing board games, check to see if it is a comfy tabletop to socialize and engage with others.

Or, if you like to put your feet up on the coffee table while watching Netflix, perhaps an ottoman would be a smart option. Read our guide on ottoman vs coffee table for additional information.

How To Match A Coffee Table With A Sofa

Bright living room with grey sofa, table, plants, and large rattan pendant light

Begin by taking measurements of your sofa. You should pay special notice to the heights of the sofa’s armrests and cushion. The standard height of sofa arms varies depending on the style of the sofa.

A higher-than-average sofa seat height necessitates a higher-than-average coffee table. A lower-height sofa, on the other hand, will necessitate a lower-height tabletop.

A coffee table around 3/4 the sofa’s length would be an excellent choice. This leaves ample space for traffic to flow around both sides. Furthermore, this will provide you with plenty of space to place decorative objects.

If your living space is limited, a rectangular tabletop may be preferable. If your space is bigger or the sofa is versatile, a round shape may work effectively to create a contrast to the sofa’s shape. There will be ample space to move around the tabletop, provided at least 2.5 feet of clearance between it and your sofa. 

Lastly, select a style that complements the design features of the majority of the furniture in the area, especially your sofa.

What Shape Of Table Is Best For A Sectional?

When choosing a coffee table to anchor your living room, consider the shape that will best suit your space and lifestyle. The versatile rectangular table pairs nicely with longer sofas or larger rooms, offering ample surface area for entertaining.

For a cozy fit, try round or oval shapes – their soft corners make them ideal for kid-friendly homes. A round coffee table would be a smart option for sectionals, particularly U-shaped sectionals. Their circular design generates space in small spaces and makes them easier to move, particularly when accompanied by chairs.

Or opt for handy nesting tables that slide snugly together when not in use, then expand to accommodate guests. Whatever your needs, there’s a shaped table to anchor your style – squared for large gatherings, rounded for smaller spaces, rectangular to match sofa size, or nesting for adaptable flair. Let the furnishings follow the function when picking that perfect platform to rest your feet and décor.

Best Type Of Wood To Use?

Interior of living room with grey sofa, wooden table, pillows, blankets, and rattan lamp

Arguably, oak would be the best type of wood for your coffee table as it combines style and durability. Because of its longevity, durability, and weight, oak remains a popular hardwood for building furniture.

Furthermore, many individuals prefer the look of stained, unpainted oak. Therefore, if you prefer a more natural aesthetic, oak would be an excellent option.

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