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How to Measure a Coffee Table Guide

So. You found what you thought was the perfect coffee table. You did your research, you shopped around, but now you’re staring at your new purchase in confusion. Its height doesn’t match your accompanying couch. The width is a tad too long for your area rug. The shape doesn’t match the room.

Don’t worry! When you’re looking to invite a new addition to your home, you need to do your research. Get the scoop on coffee table measuring and matching by reading our coffee table measuring guide below.

Coffee Table Placement

It’s so common for people to spot the coffee table they’ve been fantasizing about and purchase it on the spot. Then, it doesn’t fit with in their living space.

Avoid this disappointment by doing your homework. Yes, homework—but we promise it isn’t as bad as high school chemistry. Use this cheat sheet and make sure that your new coffee table will ace the big moment.

  • Before you bring home your new coffee table, mark prospective locations with painters’ tape so you can actually see the scale of the coffee table in your home.
  • Always be sure to jot down the coffee table dimensions – height, width, and depth – before you put down the painters’ tape.
  • You can learn about our coffee table dimensions in each coffee table product’s provided specifications.

Coffee Table Height

Make sure to measure the height of your sofa or chairs that will be matched with your coffee table. You don’t want a coffee table that is higher than the seat height of your accompanying furniture. Just imagine all the bruises that your knees will surely suffer. Plus, that height difference would just be awkward.

Keep in mind that a proper height for a coffee table is typically the same height or 1 to 2 inches lower than your sofa cushions.

Coffee Table Length

Take room size into consideration. A tiny table in huge room will look out of proportion and will make your coffee table inaccessible to those seated around it. If you don’t take this into account, say hello to your days of stretching to reach that popcorn or getting up to grab that book on the coffee table.

Make sure to plan for accent pieces when deciding on the length of your prospective coffee table. The less space you have length-wise, the less space you will have for coffee table accents. If your prospective coffee table feels cluttered with only a few accents, go bigger. Read more about styling coffee tables here.

Alternatively, a really long table can easily overpower a living room space. An over-scaled coffee table can compete with its complement seating and no one wants that. Your coffee table should never be the same length as the main couch or sectional that is paired with. Over-scaled coffee tables limit traffic flow and take away that precious leg stretching room.

A friendly tip – your coffee table length should be approximately 2/3’s the length of the primary seating option that it will be in front of.

Coffee Table Width

While your coffee table’s height and length are the most important factors to consider when measuring potential tables, it also helps to plan for coffee table width as well.

The most common industry coffee table width is roughly 18 inches.

Coffee table width should be determined by how much space can be afforded to walking space around the coffee table. If you can provide at least 16 inches of space around each side of your coffee table, go with the industry recommended width of 18 inches. 

Coffee Table Size Guide

Did you ever imagine there was so much to learn about measuring for a coffee table? It’s almost as much as a chemistry course. Okay, not really.

Here’s a handy chart that sums up all of our coffee table measurement recommendations:

Dimension Industry Standard Notes
Coffee Table Height 15 - 19 inches Height should be same height or 1-2” lower than sofa cushions
Coffee Table Length 36 - 48 inches Width should be approximately 2/3s the width of associated seating
Coffee Table Width 18 - 24 inches Plan for at least 16” of,walking space around sides of coffee table

Learn More About Coffee Tables

Congrats! You’re now an expert on measuring coffee tables for your home. Find out more fun tips and facts by visiting the our other coffee table guides:

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