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Can a Coffee Table Be Higher Than a Couch? (Answered)

Though Coffee tables are usually seen to have a lower height than a couch, your curious mind still can wonder about whether or not a coffee table can have a higher height than a couch. 

Thus, keep on going through the findings added ahead regarding this query to end your curiosity.

Can A Coffee Table Be Higher Than A Couch?

A coffee table can be higher than a couch only if there is an exceptional situation such as a shorter couch, small child, enthusiastic pet, low-profile seating structure, storing area under the coffee table, or people dine in the living room. Otherwise, it isn’t recommended. 

The height of a coffee table practically can’t be higher than a couch’s height because a coffee table is used in front of a couch to serve practical purposes such as keeping things down or picking things up. A coffee table higher than a couch can make this task difficult. 

However, exceptional situations can halt this rule and one can have a coffee table taller than the couch.

Such situations include having a short sofa, the height of a short sofa is so low that it’s nearly impossible to get such a lower-height coffee table that would match the couch. The shortest coffee table might seem tall even in this case. 

Then when there’s an enthusiastic pet that can’t avoid the temptation of the scent of food and climbs up the coffee table, the coffee table should be higher than the couch so that the surface above stays away from the pet’s eye and nose point. 

Also, many homeowners prefer to get a hand on their books/magazines without bending too much, in this case, an elevated coffee can be used as the space underneath the table will come in useful to store books and magazines. 

Besides, several households prefer eating in their living room instead of the dining room.

In this situation, a taller coffee table with the couch is acceptable as the elevated height of the table saves one from bending over and stretching his body to get food and drinks. 

Should A Coffee Table Be Lower Than The Couch? Should The Coffee Table Be The Same Height As The Sofa?

A coffee table indeed should be lower than the couch so that people seated on the couch can have a clear view of the opposite side over the coffee table. Besides, a taller coffee table can be the center of attraction which may look odd.

Thus, a coffee table should be lower than the sofa so that it only can be complimenting the room’s décor and the sofa rather than drawing all attention to it. 

Also, it’s a general rule of thumb that the coffee table should be the same height as the sofa or 1”-4” shorter than the sofa seat.

It’s because this height of a coffee table will not hinder the sight of the other sides. Neither does look unnatural nor do people need to bend and stretch much to get drinks. 

Why Do Coffee Tables Sit Lower Than The Sofa?

There are several practical reasons that make clear sense why coffee tables sit lower than the sofa. Below those reasons are discussed in detail for your better understanding. 

To Have A Clear Eyeline:

Many households use a coffee table to showcase ornamental showpieces too. For example, someone may display a large antique vase or place a bouquet of fresh flowers. 

So if a coffee table is taller than the sofa, the decorative items on the table will block people’s sightline who are sitting on sofas while making it hard to see the people sitting on the opposite side of the table. Also, can make it hard to watch the TV. 

Therefore, coffee tables sit lower than the sofas so that households can use a coffee table to showcase ornamental items without blocking the sight upfront. 

To Be More Functional: 

A coffee table with a shorter height than the sofa offers more functional uses in terms of picking food/drinks up from the table and keeping the food/drinks down. 

A coffee table taller than the sofa would make this task a lot more inconvenient and harder as every time people had to stand up to reach their drinks/food.

To Uphold The Aesthetics: 

A coffee table higher than the sofa can completely destroys the room’s décor by looking absolutely unnatural and functioning like a barrier. 

Thus, coffee tables tend to have shorter heights than sofas so that they can lift up the aesthetic of a room by looking all-natural and go with the sequence of sofas and décor. 

To Not Be A Focal Point: 

Coffee tables taller than the sofa will create an oddly looking focal point in the room that might dominate the look of sofas and other areas. 

So, for not creating an odd focal point, coffee tables are shorter than sofas. 

When Should Coffee Tables Be Taller Than The Sofa?

The first situation where a coffee table should be taller than the sofa is when the seating arrangement in your living room is short-profiled, which means when you have ground sofas or the seating arrangement is at ground level.

It’s because finding an even shorter coffee table for such a low-profile seating arrangement is impossible.

Also, when there is a toddler in your home, there should be a taller coffee table so that the baby can’t crawl on top of the coffee table, thus, it lessens the risk of falling.

Another time to have a taller coffee table is when you have guests coming over to your place often because a taller coffee table offers easy access to the foods and drinks. Thus, those people don’t have to bend and stretch every time for each bite. 

Besides, having a pet, a short couch, habit of eating in the living room, or using the elevated space under a tall coffee table can be a time when a coffee table is needed to be taller than the sofa.  

How Tall A Coffee Table Be In Relation To The Couch?

A coffee table should be either at the same height in a relation to the couch seat cushions or should be 1”-4” lower than the couch seat cushions. 

But if the height of a coffee table is any lower than 4” than the couch, it may seem completely out of symmetry with the furniture around it. It also may be at a strange height to keep food/drinks and pick them up while being seated on the couch. 

How Do You Make A Coffee Table Lower?

You can’t make a tall coffee table low. However, you can make a DIY low-profile coffee table on your own. Here the step-by-step guide for a 17” tall coffee table is given for you. 

Cut Wooden Boards For The Top: 

First, use a hand/table saw to cut wooden boards for the top. You can use a 2” thick and 8” wide wooden board and cut them to your preferred length.  

Then cut sides for the top at the same width and length that you have used for the top portion and attach the sides with the top with wood glue and nails. 

Cut The pieces For Legs: 

Now cut the leg pieces of the table at 17” height or 1” lower if you want a more lower coffee table. Then cut 4 pieces of wooden board to 3.5×26”. Lastly, chop 4 pieces more to a length of 19”. 

Put The Leg Pieces Together: 

Attach the 19” long wood pieces between and over two leg pieces, do it for both the leg parts. And then position one 3.5×26” wood piece in middle of the bottom wood piece and secure with nails.

Then position the rest 3 3.5×26” wood pieces with the upper 19” wood piece and secure them with screws. 

Attach The Top To The Legs: 

Lastly, attach the too wooden piece to the leg portion with screws. If you want, you can paint the coffee table as well. 

Can A Coffee Table Be Higher Than Seat Height?

A coffee table can be higher than the sofa seat height. If you really are wanting a coffee table higher than your sofa’s height, go for a tall coffee table that has a maximum of 4” higher height than the sofa seat, but remember that the table shouldn’t be more than 4” taller. 

Generally, the standard height for a coffee table ranges from 16”-18”. When you are wanting a taller coffee table than the average height, choose one with a height up to 21” max. 

Final Thoughts 

Usually, a coffee table shouldn’t have a higher height than a couch. But in certain conditions, like if there is a toddler, energetic pets, a shorter couch, a ground sofa, storage area underside the table, or a coffee table is used for dining, a coffee table can be taller than a couch.