How to Choose the Best Coffee Table: A Buyer's Guide

How to Choose the Best Coffee Table: A Buyer's Guide

Choosing furniture is something that can be a hit or miss with homeowners. You're either someone who knows how they want their space to look and, therefore, can buy furniture easily or someone who doesn't know what they want and cannot pick quickly.

A coffee table is one piece of furniture that many homeowners seem to have a problem choosing. Selecting the perfect coffee table isn't as easy as it appears because several factors need consideration. For one, a coffee table should meet the correct scale and proportion to fit in your existing space and other furniture while remaining functional.

So, if you're someone who wants to know how to choose a coffee table, this guide will tell you all that you need to know.

Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Coffee Table

1. Shape

Choosing the right shape of your coffee table all boils down to the length and clearance required around it. So, how far should the coffee table be from the couch? Usually, it should stand around 12 to 18 inches away from your couch or sofa; anything more or less will make it feel uncomfortably far or close.

Height also plays a significant role in the decision-making process. How tall should a coffee table be? To ensure comfortability, go for one that's the same height as the cushions on your sofa with a margin of 1 to 2 inches lower—any more and you risk the space looking off.

Here are some coffee tables according to their shape and which couch they go with:


Rectangular coffee tables are a bit more modern, and they offer the most workspace. They look the best with standard sofas or an extra-long sofa with a chaise. This shape allows everyone easy access to the table.

Direct Marketplaces offers some great rectangular coffee tables for your space:


Square coffee tables give a nice balance and symmetry to your living space. They are often the most practical shape and can provide extra storage. This coffee table will work best if you have a large sectional or a traditional conversational set up with a sofa and a couple of chairs because it will fit perfectly in the space in the middle.

Check out the Kamilia Coffee Table, for example. This 38-inch square table has a weathered antique finish, giving you that added layer of warmth perfect for a spacious living room with a large sectional sofa.


A round coffee table can be inviting. Add a few floor poufs and it can turn into a great space to watch movies or play games. If you live in a small area, cutting corners (literally) would be pleasing to the eyes. A round coffee table would be good to pair with a sectional or sofa with a chaise since it's a good "nook" shape.

Here are some great round/circle coffee tables for your space:


This shape of the coffee table is great for form and function balance. Oval promotes movement and provides ample space for storing things on top. There are no sharp edges to worry about, which makes it great for a place with kids. An oval coffee table is ideal for a sofa set up similar to a circle's.

These great round or circle coffee tables from Direct Marketplaces give you the cozy feeling you want in your space.

2. Style

Another thing to consider is the coffee table's color, texture, and silhouette. These factors should be in contrast with the couch to create style balance. For example, If you have a plush, solid-color couch, you can opt for a glass table with thin legs, such as thisGold Metal and Clear Tempered Glass Coffee Table.

3. Material

There are a lot of different materials to choose from when it comes to coffee tables. The variation gives you the freedom to assess which kind matches the décor of your space. For example, a glass top over a steel or brass coffee table provides a sophisticated look, while a designer wooden table looks classy and modern. Some other examples of materials used for coffee tables are:


  • fits most styles
  • diverse
  • lighter finishes look modern
  • darker finishes look rustic


  • perfect style for glam or contemporary aesthetic
  • color and finish present the overall style
  • easy to clean and maintain


  • perfect for the industrial look
  • easy to clean
  • falls more modern or glam


  • looks the most modern
  • minimalist
  • adds statement
  • low maintenance and easy to clean

4. Use

Coffee tables aren't exclusively for decorative purposes; they also need to function. Choosing the right table will depend on how you'll use it. Here are some questions to ask before buying a coffee table:

  • Is it for you or your family?
  • What's your lifestyle?
  • Do you need extra storage?
  • Do you put your feet up?
  • Do you eat while watching TV?

Frequently Asked Questions about Coffee Tables

There are still many questions about choosing the right coffee table because not everyone uses it the same way. Here are more frequently asked ones.

What size coffee table should you get?

The size of a coffee table is relative to the surrounding space and other furniture around it. The ideal size should be around ½ to ⅔ of the sofa's length.

How tall should a coffee table be?

Interior designers Robin Rains and Heather Hilliard said that the coffee table height should be about 14 to 20 inches tall, preferably around 2 inches lower than the seat height of your sofa.

How far should a coffee table be from your couch?

As a general rule, it should be close enough for you to reach items placed on top of it but far enough to allow you a bit of legroom when sitting or walking in the clearance around it.

It's More Than Just a Statement

Choosing a coffee table may seem like an easy task; however, if you're serious about bringing life into your space, utilizing a stylish and functional coffee table can significantly pull together your living area.

Use this guide to know how you can choose the perfect coffee table. Decision-making is made easier when you buy a coffee table online. See our catalog here.

Feb 1st 2022

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