Living Rooms

Can a Coffee Table Be Higher Than a Couch/Sofa?

Written by

Rosanne Jones

Writer, Designer


Steven D. Carrico


can a coffee table be higher than a couch

To ensure a harmonious living room, you should make sure that all the pieces of furniture either match or complement one another in terms of colors, style, and height.

For instance, if you’re buying a coffee table to put alongside your couch, you’d want to take into account both of their height as well. So, can a coffee table be higher than a couch?

Generally, the standard is a low coffee table height equal to or slightly shorter than the couch. Nonetheless, you can go for a coffee table taller than couch, provided that there’s no more than a 4-inch disparity between them.

Can a Coffee Table Be Higher Than a Couch?

Yes, it is possible to have a coffee table taller than a couch if needed. However, the height disparity between the coffee and the sofa should never be more than 4 inches, regardless of which one is taller.

It’s also essential to take the users’ comfort and convenience into account. This means that the person sitting on the sofa should be able to comfortably reach the table to place their drinks, food, phones, etc.

1. Higher or Lower Sofa. Why?

coffee table height to couch

To determine whether you can have a sofa table taller than sofa, you should consider the latter’s height first and foremost.

This is because if the couch is already tall in the first place, choosing an even taller table may result in an uninviting vibe. In contrast, a too-low table will make the space feel cramped.

  • Generally, tall people with longer legs must purchase a higher sofa—up to 18 inches in height to ensure proper posture when sitting.
  • Petite people should choose a lower sofa, around 15–16 inches tall. Those who slouch while sitting would also benefit from these sofas.
  • Those within the average height range can simply opt for couches with a height of 17–18 inches.

Based on the measurements above, you can decide the ideal height for your sofas and, from there, decide how high should a coffee table be compared to sofas.

2. What happens if a coffee table is higher or lower than a couch?

Coffee tables were initially made to have a height equal to or lower than the sofa because it was made during the Victorian Era when people commonly drank tea and coffee with snacks.

However, such may no longer be the case nowadays. Hence, you can base the coffee table height on your preferences and needs. When deciding on the ratio of the height of coffee table to sofa, make sure to consider the following things first:

 01 Coffee table be lower than sofa


When you want to have easier access to the table, go for a coffee table that is lower than the couch, since it can provide a clear sightline. This makes it easier to see other people, even with decorations placed on the table.

In addition, lower tables make it easier for most people to put down or pick up things, such as drinks, books, and remotes. It also means people don’t have to stretch their backs or crane their necks as much.

 02 Coffee table higher than sofa


A higher coffee table will result in a harder time for pets or kids to reach the things on top of the coffee table. It’s also easier on a tall person’s back, as they don’t have to slouch or bend down as much.

And as mentioned above, a taller coffee table would keep the space from feeling cramped, if your sofa is already low, to begin with.

 03 Coffee table be same height as sofa


Since it is truly debatable whether to have a higher or lower sofa table, some people stick to a much safer choice—a coffee table of the same height as the sofa. This also creates the right proportion so the room feels inviting, natural, and neat.

Types of Coffee Tables

Coffee tables are often made from stoneware, plastic, wood, glass, metal, steel, or rattan. Shape-wise, there are four most common options.

1. Round Coffee Table


This type of coffee table is an excellent choice for a home with kids on it since a round coffee table has no corners where kids can bump into.

2. Rectangle Coffee Table


This type is paired with a lengthy sofa so that everyone can have access to the table.

3. Square Coffee Table


Pairing this with a short sofa is more convenient because of its smaller size. That said, we’d still recommend choosing tables with a width of at least half that of your couch.

4. Oval Coffee Table


Just like the round table, this is a safe option for kids because it does not have corners. If you want a rounded table for a lengthy sofa, this type is perfect.

When Should I Choose a Higher Coffee Table?


Higher coffee tables have many advantages over just how it looks. Here are some:

1. If you have a kid or a pet

A higher coffee table will prevent having a mess since your pets and kids will not be able to reach things on the table, especially the glassware or vases on it.

Moreover, this can also prevent accidents since little kids are prone to bumping themselves into the table corner.

2. If you plan to dine on it

Having a higher table makes it suitable for dining since you won’t need to crouch just to reach your plate.

3. If you make it your working station

Similar to dining on the table, reading or working on a higher coffee table gives easy access to your things and prevents you from suffering from back pains.

4. If you have a short sofa

Since the couch is already small, having a tall coffee table can balance the height of the furniture in your living room.

What Height Should a Coffee Table Be?


A coffee table lower than couch has become the standard type. This measures around 1 to 2 inches lower than a couch, and people commonly recommend this for an 84-inch sofa.

So, the estimated standard coffee table height cm (centimeters) is around 40-45 or, when converted, 16–18 inches.

Although there are standard or recommended sizes, there is no right or wrong answer when knowing how high should coffee table be, so long as it sticks to the 4-inch rule established above.

Aside from the typical estimations of coffee table height to couch, there are several things you must consider. Notable aspects include the purpose of the table, the people who use it, and its proportion to the room’s and couch’s size.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are some alternatives for coffee tables?

Since not all people have the wealth to buy a new coffee table, you can reuse things, such as old steamer trunks and chests, as an alternative.

What material is used for coffee tables?

Coffee tables are made from glass, wood, stoneware, metal, rattan, and plastic. Meanwhile, the most common material is wood and a combination of glass and metal.


The question “Can a coffee table be higher than a couch?” is definitely answerable with a “yes.”

Don’t be too intimidated when saying, “I want to make my coffee table higher,” because although you are not following the standard size, your comfort should matter at the end of the day. Just make sure that the table and sofa don’t look out of proportion with one another.

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