Can A Coffee Table Be Taller Than The Sofa?

can a coffee table be taller than the sofa

Wondering whether your coffee table can be taller than your sofa? Don’t worry, you will find the answers in this article. Many people unknowingly buy the wrong coffee table with their sofa and mess up their room decor.

A coffee table generally cannot be taller than a sofa. In fact, it should sit 1-2 inches lower than the sofa’s seat. The standard height for a coffee table should be anywhere between 16-18 inches.

In this article, I will talk about why coffee tables are generally lower than a sofa. I request you to read this article to the end if you wish to know more regarding this topic.

Why Do Coffee Tables Sit Lower Than Sofa?

In order to answer this question, we have to look back at the time. Coffee tables first originated during the Victorian era.

At that time, coffee tables were generally placed behind the couch and were much taller than sofas. They did it so that people could easily access the table, and put their stuff on it.

Over the years, designs changed and people started using coffee tables in front of their sofa. Furniture experts say it was Japanese influence that compelled people to lower their coffee tables.

In Japan, people usually sit on the ground for dining, and consequently, their tables also sit very low to the ground. This could be one possible reason why coffee tables sit lower than the sofa.

There are many other reasons why a coffee table generally sits lower than the couch. Some of the reasons are:

1. For Having A Clear Sightline:

Coffee tables as much as being used to put your beverages down are also used to showcase decorative showpieces.

Many people place large vases, table lamps, photo frames, flower bouquets on this piece of furniture. Now imagine, you have a tall coffee table with all these ornaments and decors on. You will quickly realize how awkward it looks and how badly it blocks your view of the other side.

A tall coffee table with all these decorative showpieces will make it very difficult to see the person sitting on the other side of the table. Moreover, it will also block the view of the television and the window.

For this exact reason, coffee tables generally sit much lower than the couch. A short coffee table can easily store tall decorative ornaments without blocking your view upfront.

2. For Being More Practical:

A short coffee table definitely provides more practical uses than a long table does. Apart from being used to put on decorative stuff, coffee tables serve the purpose of keeping down and picking up drinks.

A coffee table that is taller than the couch will make this job a lot harder. It will be much difficult to put down and pick up drinks if the table sits higher than the couch. Moreover, the chances of spilling beverages on the coffee table will also be much higher.

3. For Maintaining The Aesthetics:

Coffee tables can have a great impact on room aesthetics. A well-furnished coffee table has the ability to lift up the room aesthetics. On the contrary, a coffee table that is taller than the sofa can ruin the whole room decor. It can look unnatural and act as a barrier.

Generally, you want a coffee table to look natural and want it to go with the flow of the sofa. A tall one can destroy that flow.
So these are the main reasons why coffee tables should normally sit below the sofa’s couch.

When Should Coffee Tables be Taller Than The Sofa?

Although it is not recommended to choose a tall coffee table, there can be a few exceptions. You may have to break the rules and choose a tall coffee table if you encounter certain situations. The situations are:

1. If You Have A Pet:

You don’t have to get a tall table if you have a well-behaved pet. But, if you have a small puppy or a cat, then you should definitely get a tall coffee table.

Generally young or newly adopted pets have a tendency to snatch any food they see. They simply cannot resist the temptation of a treat. Having a small coffee table will make that job a lot easier for them. But if you have a tall one, they won’t be able to reach it.

Moreover naughty, playful pets can easily knock down glasses and plates. In many cases, they themselves get injured while doing this. That is why you must get a tall coffee table if you have a frisky pet.

2. If You Have A Short Sofa:

A short sofa can look really good depending on the layout of your living room. But the caveat is, you might be forced to buy a tall coffee table. Sometimes it becomes almost impossible to find a coffee table that matches the height of a short sofa.

3. If You Dine In Living Room:

Many people prefer dining in their cozy relaxing living room rather than dining in the dining room.

If you or your family member does that, then it would be a great idea to buy a tall coffee table. Having a meal on a coffee table that sits higher than the couch will be much more comfortable than having one on a short one.

Moreover, you won’t have to bend over and stretch your body to reach for drinks and beverages if you have tall tables.

4. If You Have A Small Child:

A toddler requires constant attention and care. If you have a toddler in your house, it would be a wise idea to buy a tall coffee table.

Kids often like to climb on top of anything they see. Coffee tables are no exception. Sometimes, they can end up crawling on top of coffee tables and get into the danger of injuring themselves. If you are not careful, your child may fall from the coffee table and get badly injured.


Lastly, the height of coffee tables entirely depends on your taste. If you think a tall coffee table would look good in your living room, then go for it!

But be cautious, buy a coffee table that goes with other furniture in the living room. Most importantly, try to buy a table that looks natural and blends in with your sofa.


Hey guys, This is Md Muktar Hossain, I have been working on home / office furniture for a long time. I thought I would share things with everyone through a website. If you like my articles, please share them with everyone. Stay well Stay healthy.

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