Coffee Table vs. Sofa Table: Which One Do You Need?

Coffee Table vs. Sofa Table

Confused about choosing between a coffee table and a sofa table? Then look no more. Having the proper knowledge and knowing about the differences between these tables can help you to decide better which one to go for.

Many people make a costly mistake and regret their decision because of not having a clear idea about which table to buy. Don’t worry, as a furniture expert, I can certainly clear all your confusion and stop you from making the same mistake.

In this article, I will explain the differences between a coffee table and a sofa table. Please read this article to the end if you wish to know more about them.

But first, let us know what exactly a coffee table is and how it originated.

A Head-to-head Comparison Between Coffee Table And Sofa Table: 

A head to head comparison chart between coffee table and sofa table is given below:

Comparison Coffee Table Sofa Table
Height Between 16 – 18 inches Between 25 – 30 inches
TableTop Pretty bit tabletop Inexpensive tabletop
Size and Shape Available in both round and rectangular Only rectangular shape
Legs Short legs Long legs
Price Relatively pricey inexpensive
Usages Both practical and aesthetical uses Only used for aesthetic purposes

What Are The Differences Between Coffee Table And Sofa Table? 

Although both coffee tables and sofa tables are typically placed around a sofa, there are some major differences between them. The differences can mainly be noticed in their design and construction. Some of the differences are:

1. Height:

Probably the most noticeable difference between a coffee table and a sofa table can be found in their height.

A coffee table is a lot shorter in height than a sofa table. The standard height of a coffee table is between 16-18 inches. Moreover, a coffee table must be 1-2 inches shorter than the seat of the sofa.

However, the height of a sofa table should match the height of the sofa itself. The typical height of a sofa table is anywhere between 25-30 inches.

2. Shape And Size:

Some stark differences in shape and size are also noticed between coffee and sofa tables.

Almost all coffee tables have much wider and more surface area than sofa tables. Typically, coffee tables tend to have an oval round tabletop. But, sofa tables often have a much thinner and longer tabletop.

In addition to that, coffee tables generally have a more spacious and wider tabletop than sofa tables.

Furthermore, coffee tables take up a good chunk of space and leave a larger footprint in the living room. But sofa tables don’t. Because of being longer and taller, sofa tables take up a lot less space compared to coffee tables.

There are some distinguishable differences in the construction of coffee tables and sofa tables as well. For instance, the legs of the sofa tables tend to be longer and thinner than coffee tables.

3. Their Purpose:

As said before, a coffee table mainly works as a centerpiece for your living room. Apart from complementing your sofa set’s look, a coffee table also serves the very important function of keeping everything clean and tidy. Moreover, guests can put down their cups and beverages on the table. You can also put your feet up on a coffee table and relax.

On the contrary, a sofa table mainly serves the purpose of improving the room decor. You can display your showpiece and favorite items by placing them on top of a sofa table. A sofa table can also be used to store stuff if you wish to do so.

4. Design:

A good coffee table acts as a great conversation piece. A guest entering your living room will always notice the coffee table first. So naturally, coffee tables tend to have a more eye-catching and noticeable design.

Sofa tables can also have good designs, but they are generally not as creative and striking as coffee tables. Some coffee tables may also have a beautiful multi-tiered tabletop design. Yet, no such design is seen in sofa tables.

5. Price:

The cost of coffee tables and sofa tables vastly depends on the material and the design. A wooden table can cost a lot more than a metal one and vice versa.

As a rule of thumb, coffee tables cost considerably more than sofa tables. A decent coffee table will normally cost you around $200-$400. However, a good sofa table can be found for less than half of that amount. Expect to pay around $70-$200 for a reasonably designed sofa table.

What Are The Similarities Between Coffee Table And Sofa Table?

There are actually more similarities between coffee tables and sofa tables than you might think.

For starters, both coffee tables and sofa tables are used in the living room to enhance the room decor. Moreover, they also supplement the look of your sofa set.

Some coffee and sofa tables have cabinets and drawers that can be used to store stuff. Furthermore, many models of coffee tables and sofa tables have the ability to house multiple small stools. These stools can then be used to extend the seating capacity of your living room.

Which One Of Them Should Be Bought For What Purpose?

Before you head out to buy a coffee table or a sofa table, take a moment to think about why you are buying them. Think about what purpose they will serve. 

  • A coffee table will be best if you are looking forward to filling up empty spaces in your living room. It will also serve great utility purposes. For instance, you can put a lot of stuff on the big tabletop of a coffee table. Moreover, you will be able to store a lot more stuff in the cabinets and the drawers of a coffee table.

    Again, buying a coffee table will also help you to extend the seating capacity. You can accommodate more guests if you go for one that comes with extra stools.
  • As said before, sofa tables are mainly used for aesthetic purposes only. Their utility purpose is almost nonexistent. If you have empty space lying around behind your couch or if you want to showcase your other objects, then go right ahead and buy a sofa table.
  • Now you may wonder which one of them you should buy if you are on a tight budget. Well, the answer to this question really depends on your needs. If you are short on cash but need something useful to decorate your living room then go for the coffee table. A coffee table will significantly lift up the atmosphere of your living room. It will also be a more practical and more economical decision.

But if you don’t have any budget concerns, then my recommendation would be to buy both of them. They will really improve the aesthetics of your room.


Buying the wrong furniture for your house can really ruin the home decor. Choose your tables carefully. Make sure they match the aesthetics of your room before buying them.

You certainly don’t want a funky-looking coffee table or a sofa table in a room with a minimalist setup. So, buy a table that matches the contrast of your room and goes with the decor.


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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