How Tall Should an End Table Be?

Tim Parry


End tables play an important function in our everyday lives. When we sit down for a good read after supper, the halo of a lamp is our companion to dream freely. When the light is off so we can relax with our favorite shows, it is a handy surface that is within short reach.

People often don’t use end tables because they might clutter their living rooms. Some consider them in the way, often being an obstacle that is not worth their function. The number one question when planning your room's space, is how tall should an end table be? This will, however, be affected by the intended function of the end table.

Standard End Table Proportions

Standard manufacturing sizes of end tables are made proportionate to the factory heights of most seating furniture. The practical maintenance of basic end table proportion manufacturing is kept to a standard that upholds ergonomic function. It should be within easy reach when sitting.

It should not be far lower nor too much taller than the seat’s armrest. In proportion, it should be level with the chosen chair, sofa, or lounge. Choosing the material is up to your creativity and decor styling. If used for a night lamp, the purpose will change the necessary proportions of the end table.

In general, the end table should then be a bit taller to allow the efficient spreading of the lamp’s halo. If used in a secluded reading corner, the height of the end table should spread the light for comfortable reading. Certain end tables may be manufactured only for this purpose.

Keep an eye out for manufacturing specifications. The common height of a couch’s armrest will extend anything between four to eight inches above the seat height. The average seat height ranges from 15 to 18 inches from the floor.

Thus, end tables usually range between 22 to 30 inches tall to accommodate sofa proportions. End tables can also be made much shorter for unconventional furniture. An example is a kind often used in Japan that hardly extends from the floor. Choosing the correct height is up to your decor and purpose.

Choosing the Correct End Table

There are only a few basic rules for choosing the correct height for your end table.

The length of the end table should be equal to the height of the armrest’s highest point. It should only extend higher if used as a lampstand, especially with a shorter lamp, or if otherwise preferred.

You are allowed to keep the end table shorter than the couch’s armrest, but for the best ergonomic fit, keep it fractional. If you are opting for a shorter end table that will blend easier and will be less of an obstacle, it should at least reach the height of the seat.


When buying the correct end table, take measurements of the couch or chair it will be sitting next to. Measure and compare it to the height of the end table at the shop to be certain.

About Author

Tim Parry

Leave a Comment