What is the Ideal Distance Between a Coffee Table and Sofa

Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

Designing a living room gives you plenty to consider, including color schemes, lighting, and where to place your furniture.

It can be stressful with the pressure to get your room right often being overwhelming. As a result, there is an important element that is often overlooked which is the distance between your coffee table and sofa. This forgotten detail makes a huge difference to the overall look and feel of the room but don’t worry, we are on hand to help you get it just right!

what is the ideal distance between a coffee table and sofa

Coffee Table Placement: Summary

  • The ideal distance between a coffee table and a sofa is 14-18 inches.
  • You will also want to consider the size of the room, other furniture, the shape of the table, and your personal taste. 
  • Leave enough space for movement but keep it close enough that you can still grab what you need from it!

Key Considerations: Placing your Coffee Table

There are a few things you will want to think about when deciding the ideal distance between your coffee table and couch. These include:

1. Room size

The size of the room is highly important when it comes to placing your coffee table. Smaller rooms can feel cramped and uncomfortable if you have a large sofa and coffee table that doesn’t leave much room to walk around. On the other hand, large living rooms with too much distance between the coffee table and sofa can feel sparse and lack personality, not to mention it will be hard to reach for your cup of tea! 

2. Furniture size

Alongside room size, you will need to consider furniture size too to keep everything in proportion. As a general rule for how big a coffee table should be, aim for it to be around half to two thirds of the size of your sofa as this will be a visually balanced coffee table to couch ratio. 

3. Table height

As well as the overall size, you will want to think about how high the coffee table should be. We would recommend ensuring it isn’t more than 1-2 inches lower than the seat cushions as it can look odd if any lower or higher. 

4. Shape

To ensure you leave the ideal distance between your coffee table and the sofa, you will want to think about the shape you choose for the table. For example, using an oval coffee table may allow for a closer distance between the table and couch, but a rectangular table may need more space and not be able to sit as close. 

5. Personal preference 

Personal preference is another important factor to consider when determining the ideal distance between your couch and table. Consider whether you want a cozy, intimate space or something more spacious and open as that will help you decide both the size and position of your furniture. 

Mastering Your Coffee Table Distance: Top Tips

When it comes to choosing the ideal distance between your coffee table and sofa, there are several tips you can follow to get it just right. First and foremost, you will want to aim for a balanced living space, ensuring that it is a harmonious environment but still functional. Take a step back and think about how each piece of furniture contributes to the overall look and feel of the space and make adjustments as needed to ensure that everything works together.

Of course, when placing your coffee table, you want to be sure that there is enough space to move around it, but still be close enough to grab your cup of tea! The ideal distance between a sofa and coffee table is between 14-18 inches, which is perfect for reaching the remote, stretching out your legs, and moving around.

When it comes to how to choose a coffee table, you will want to pick a shape that can be easily placed alongside your sofa. Oval tables can allow for a closer distance between the table and couch, while rectangular tables may require more space. Avoid sharp corners that could become a hazard in a tight space.

Finally, don’t forget to take other furniture into account when determining the ideal distance. You may need to adjust the distance based on the placement of chairs, ottomans, or other pieces in the room.

Laying it out! How to arrange

Arranging furniture can be a bit of a puzzle, but with a few tips and tricks, you can create a living room that’s comfortable and functional. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

1. Create zones

Divide the room into different zones based on the activities you want to accommodate. For example, you might have a seating area for watching TV, a reading nook with a comfortable chair, and a dining area. You could even use color blocked paint on the walls to create the specific areas. 

2. Leave space for movement

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to leave enough space between the coffee table and sofa to allow for easy movement. You should also make sure there’s enough space to move around other pieces of furniture in the room, such as chairs and ottomans.

3. Group furniture for conversation

Arrange furniture in a way that encourages conversation. For example, you might place two chairs facing the sofa to create a cozy seating area for chatting with friends.

4. Consider traffic flow

When arranging furniture, think about how people will move through the space. Avoid placing furniture in a way that blocks natural traffic flow.

5. Use rugs to define spaces

Rugs can be a great way to define different zones in a living room. For example, you might place a rug under the coffee table and sofa to anchor the seating area, this could also be done with open living areas where there might be a dining table.


We know that placing furniture in your living space can be hard to get right, especially when it comes to your sofa and coffee table as they form such a central part of the space. Whilst the ideal distance between the two items is around 14-18 inches, as this allows enough room to move around whilst still being able to reach the remote, you will also want to think about the aesthetic you are trying to achieve. 

Remember to keep the space feeling balanced to ensure you have a visually appealing and harmonious living room that remains functional too!

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of OmniHomeIdeas.com. With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.