Coffee table: what height should I choose for my living room?

Buying or making new furniture undoubtedly involves taking into account a few criteria. Indeed, many people choose furniture for their originality neighborhoods, are the appearance or its adequacy with the decoration of their interior. However, be aware that ergonomics is the first criterion to take into account in terms of furniture. Take for example a sofa! A beautiful seat is good, but a beautiful and comfortable seat is even better. Today we are going to show you the aspects to consider if you want to buy or make a coffee table

What is the ideal height for a coffee table?

Usually the recommended height for a coffee table is between 40 and 45 cm. As a reference point, you can use the seat of your sofa. Indeed, we generally recommend choosing a table that is the same height or slightly lower than your sofa.

This will allow you to enjoy a TV set or an aperitif with family or friends while being comfortably installed on the sofa.

idea wooden table with steel legs
Photo credit: deco_by_nmrk

However, there are other so-called “standard” table sizes. Depending on its usefulness, you can opt for a table lower or higher than 45 cm.

Less than 40 cm : There are models of tables located between 25 and 40 cm. With a table of this size, you can easily arrange a few decorative items or magazines without making them too visible. 

Over 45 cm : a height of 45 cm will allow you to have a side table or a pedestal table that you can place at the end of the sofa for example. On it you can easily put fragile objects or to put out of the reach of children for example.

Japanese spirit lounge
Photo credit: istock
living room side table
Photo credit: thegoodtrade

How to choose the right coffee table?

The usefulness of the coffee table will help you in the first place choose your height. Indeed, a side table at the end of the sofa or a central table on which you can eat, the height will not be the same. So, before embarking on manufacturing or spontaneous purchase, think carefully about his utility. It will then be easier for you to decide on the optimum height for your table.

For example, if you want a table on which you can place decorative objects or fragile objects, we advise you to opt preferably for a table of more than 45 cm.

It will then be higher than a coffee table but can be placed at the end of the sofa to serve as a small side table

side table at the end of the sofa
Photo credit: planete-deco
living room decoration for floor sofa
Photo credit: house side

Other option, you can choose to make a table with a height of close to 30 cm, for example with steel feet of 20 cm and a tray 4 to 5 cm thick. This will allow you to have a very low table to put items that you do not particularly want to highlight. Also, this type of table fits perfectly for low sofas made with floor cushions (height 20 to 25 cm) for example. 

Once that is defined, you will be able to refer to the heights indicated just above.

The height of the sofa:

Important thing to take into account when choosing your table: the height of your seat. Indeed, the latter will be decisive in the height of the coffee table. The higher the seat of your sofa, the higher the table is likely to be. Usually we advise our clients a table the height of the seat or slightly lower to allow them to eat while watching TV. To help you here are the dimensions to know according to the type of sofa: 

 Seat heightBackrest heightSeat depthSeat width Sofa widthIdeal coffee table height
Floor sofaabout 22 cmabout 45 cmfrom 60 to 80 cmbetween 38 and 80 cmfrom 120 cmbetween 20 and 25 cm 
2-seater sofa bed type BZbetween 39 and 45 cm from 45 to 50 cmbetween 50 and 60 cm about 70/80 cmfrom 140 to 160 cm between 40 and 45 cm
3 seater sofafrom 45 to 60 cmbetween 45 and 60 cmabout 50/60 cmbetween 70 and 80 cm *from 200 to 230 cm

between 40 and 45 cm 

> 45 cm for a side table

3-seater corner sofabetween 45 and 60 cmfrom 45 to 60 cmbetween 50 and 60 cm about 70/75 cm between 270 and 300 cm

between 40 and 45 cm 

> 45 cm for a side table

* It takes between 5 and 10 cm less per additional seat. 

Available space:

What is the point of putting a large table if the space between your TV and your sofa does not allow it? When choosing your furniture, make sure it fits perfectly into the room. Know that you have to count about 40/45 cm of space between your sofa and your table to be able to move freely. Indeed, a piece of furniture that is too large could quickly clutter up the space.

living room layout inspiration
Photo credit: Pinterest

To help you, here are our tips: 

For parlor : opt for a small side table that you can place on the side of your sofa or a round table 60 cm in diameter or square 60 x 60 cm. You can also choose the option of nesting tables which will allow you to store them one inside the other while having the possibility of putting them next to each other if you need more space on the table.  

For long living room : we advise you to choose a tray of rectangular table and place your table in the direction of the room. For the size of the board? It's up to you to see what you need. You can therefore opt for a 150 x 70 cm table as well as a 100 x 60 cm top. By placing the table lengthwise, you will not clutter the room so you can choose the length you want. However, be careful not to choose a table top that is too wide if your living room is not large in width. 

For lounges of various sizes : in this case no problem with dimensions! You can choose the table that suits you. Round, square, rectangular or any other geometric shape, anything is possible; just make sure it doesn't clutter the room. 

Small tip: If you have small children, opt for a coffee table with rounded corners to avoid injuries and shocks.

What materials to choose for a coffee table?

wooden table and steel leg
Photo credit: lily_and_thefrenchie

To have a table solid et resistant in time, we advise you to use durable materials like wood or metal. So, if you want to choose the option of DIY manufacturing, you can for example choose a wooden tray to be attached to metal legs like steel legs.

You will get a table that is at the same time durable, resistant while mixing the side authentic industrial style wood provided by the steel legs. 

Want to make your living room table? So let's go ! 

For the equipment you will need : 

  • 1 wooden tray of the desired size, at least 2,5 cm thick
  • 4 “Strong” legs of 30 or 40 cm
  • 1 screwdriver
  • 12 screws (supplied with the feet)
  • some nail polish 
  • 1 rule
  • 1 pencil 

Once the material is gathered, you will only have to varnish your tray in order to protect it. You can sand it lightly beforehand to make sure it is smooth and doesn't let loose splinters.

Let your tray dry before moving on to the next step. Next, get yourself a table leg et position it as you wish on the wood. Take your pencil and mark the drill holes to have a reference point when fixing the feet. 

Do the same with the other feet. To make sure you place them at an equal distance from each other, use a ruler! Then you just have to screw the legs to the table top. 

Once the 4 legs are fixed, turn the table over and voila you just made a coffee table!

Wooden table idea with steel legs
Photo credit: a beautiful mess

so here's our tips for choosing the ideal coffee table for your living room. Height, length, width and materials, all these elements must be taken into account when you want to buy or make your own table.

Source is the ideal height for my coffee table?

  • Between 40 and 45 cm : to fully enjoy your TV sets or aperitifs with friends while being comfortably installed on your sofa.
  • From 25 cm to 40 cm : for a small table (very low) which will allow you to put a few magazines or decorative elements. 
  • Over 45 cm : for a small side table at the end of the sofa on which you can place your cup of tea or coffee while reading a good book. 

How to choose the right coffee table?

To choose the ideal table for your living room, you will first need define its usefulness. This will allow you to choose the style and height of the table you need (coffee table, pedestal table, etc.). You will also need to watch the height of your sofa to choose the right height for your table. Usually a sofa height coffee table is perfect! Finally, theavailable space in your room will be a determining element in the choice of your coffee table.

What materials to choose for a table?

Here, no rule: you are free to choose the material that suits you best. Plateau in wood, marble, recycled plastic or concrete, indulge yourself and unleash your creativity. For the feet ? Why not opt ​​for steel feet for excellent strength and strength?

Also find all our tips, tricks and DIY to help you make your furniture or to inspire you! 

See you soon ! 

The Ripaton team 🚀

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