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What is the Difference Between a Sofa Table, Console Table, & Coffee Table?

By March 31, 2021March 29th, 2024Furniture

Modern Sofa Table and Traditional Sofa | How to Combine Traditional & Modern Furniture When shopping for furniture, certain pieces are often difficult to differentiate. While the difference between a bed frame and a nightstand is easily discernible, the contrast between a sofa and a couch may be much more challenging. Our modern furniture experts are often asked about the differences between a sofa table, console table & coffee table, so we thought we should shed some light on the subject. What is a sofa table? Is it different from a console table? What makes a coffee table such? Keep reading to find out!

What is a Sofa Table?

Sofa table with natural wood finish and mid century modern style legs

Sofa Table

As the name suggests, a sofa table is designed to be placed against the back of the sofa in a living room. Not only does a sofa table turn dead space into something useful, but it often ties an entire living room together, making it look planned & intentional. According to our designers, sofa table décor should vary in size, accentuating the table without making it over-the-top. A modern sofa table should be tall enough to stand out in the space but should still be low enough to sit behind the sofa. Our experts recommend finding a sofa table approximately one inch below the sofa’s frame.

What is a Console Table?

Unique Modern Console table for entry from San Francisco Design

A console table is generally considered “standard size” at around 34 inches tall. Console tables are often used in entryways and hallways due to their narrow shape. Our designers love to pair console tables with large mirrors and paintings for an artistic style. Note: Console tables and buffet tables are often confused with each other. While they may look similar and serve similar purposes, a modern buffet table is designed with built-in storage.

What is a Coffee Table?

Expandable Modern Coffee Table imported from Italy

A coffee table is meant to stand at the center of the living room, in front of the sofa. Both functional and appealing, coffee tables serve many purposes, from soothing aesthetics to convenient tabletop.

What are the Differences?

Sofa Table vs. Coffee Table - Differences between coffee table & sofa table side by side comparison

Sofa Table vs. Coffee Table

So, how are coffee tables, sofa tables, & console tables different? Does it even matter? The answers may surprise you. Console tables and sofa tables share more things in common than differences. At first glance, a console and sofa table may look nearly the same side-by-side. With similar shapes and sizes, they are easily confused. The subtle difference between the two is their size, as a sofa table should be a few inches shorter than a console table. In contrast, coffee tables and sofa tables are vastly different. A coffee table belongs in front of a sofa, while a sofa table lies behind the sofa. Coffee tables are also much shorter yet wider than sofa tables, and their designs are often much different. While usually less adorned than a sofa table or console table, coffee tables can still be the focal point of a space.

Should I Look for a High-Quality Sofa Table or Coffee Table?

High-Quality Sofa Table for modern home interior design style in Utah

Now that you know the difference between a sofa table, console table, and coffee table, the next reasonable question would be, “Which is best?”. Is it better to spend more money on a high-quality sofa table or a coffee table? According to our furniture experts, the best choice for the money is a sofa table, as there are more options for style and design. While a coffee table is often the centerpiece of a living room, the sofa table is the real showstopper. After all, its primary purpose is to display the homeowner’s unique flair with coordinating décor. Our designers love sofa tables for endless options for design. A coffee table can only be dressed up a few ways, but a sofa table has limitless possibilities. Of course, no coffee table, console table, or contemporary sofa table is complete without an actual sofa to accompany them. The wrong combination of sofa and table can make your living space look uncoordinated, disorganized, and even unattractive. Luckily, our Utah interior designers are here to help.

Modern & Contemporary Sofas at San Francisco Design

Contemporary navy blue sofa with mid century modern legs in Utah living room

Our expert designers recommend looking for sofas that are both stylish and timeless, able to withstand the test of time while still staying on trend. Modern and contemporary styles accomplish both of these goals. With sleek lines and stunning details, modern sofas are the perfect fusion between the world of fashion and furniture. Accentuate your coffee table or sofa table with a contemporary sofa from San Francisco Design. We specialize in the highest quality modern sofas on the market. Whether you need a small sofa for your formal living room or a large modern sectional for your family room, we have the styles for you. To start your search for a modern sofa, coffee table, or contemporary sofa table, shop our living room furniture today! You can also stop by one of our furniture stores in Park City or Salt Lake City to see our styles for yourself.