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How Tall Should A Side Table Be?

While you may have had it in your head that you can select any t you like, you may want to give the size, particularly the height, a bit more thought. Here, we’ll discuss how tall a side table should be. Spoiler alert: it depends on how tall the rest of your furniture is.

The dimensions of furniture can make or break the flow of a space. When the size, including width or depth, length, and height, of all the pieces in a room are proportional to one another, the living room will flow and function with ease. It’s only when the size of one or two pieces is off that it’s noticeable. The thing is, you may not realize that what’s “off” is the size of a piece unless you know what size it is supposed to be. That said, you can learn how to check if it’s your accent table that’s causing a room to feel funky and how to choose one that fits just right.

When you’re done reading this, you’ll have no doubt about how tall the side tables in your home should be and be able to pick them out with ease.

The Right Height  

A side table, accent table, end table, or nightstand is typically placed next to a sofa, chair, or bed. Its height, therefore, should be relative to the piece of furniture it’s next to.

In the case of a side table next to a sofa or chair, the height of the side table should be within 2 inches of the height of the sofa arm or chair arm. In the case of a side table next to a bed, there is a more wiggle room. Your nightstand height should be within 5 inches of the height of the top of your mattress. 

The right height is all about being able to access what’s on the side table or be able to place something on it easily. Finding a side table that falls within these measurements is not simply to follow a silly design rule, but to help your space function more seamlessly and require less effort from you.

Our side tables range from 18.7” to 21.7” tall, so you can find the right table height to match your living room and bedroom furniture.

Shorter is Better than Taller

If you have fallen in love with a side table that doesn’t meet these table height requirements, that’s ok. You can still make a side table work for you, but it is better if it is shorter rather than taller for both aesthetic reasons and ease. Reaching down is a bit easier than reaching up. If the side table is noticeably shorter than the sofa or chair it is next to; you can balance its height by decorating your side table with a lamp or an accent piece of artwork behind it that brings the eye up. 

In addition to height, there are other important dimensions to consider when choosing a side table and placing it in your home. These guidelines will ensure your side table fits seamlessly into your space.

The Depth of a Side Table

A side table shouldn’t be any deeper than the sofa or chair it’s sitting next to. Similar to shorter is better than taller, shorter is better than longer when it comes to side table depth. This will ensure the side table doesn’t look awkward or bulky and no one bumps their knees, hips, or shins on its edges. 

The Height of a Side Table Lamp

You may also be wondering how tall a lamp should be that you set on your side table. To determine that optimal height, take a seat on the sofa or chair next to where you plan to place the lamp. The imaginary shade should be slightly above eye level, with the bottom of the shade landing right at eye level. This will give you a good idea of how tall your lamp should be. 

Where to Place the Side Table 

Side tables typically flank one or both ends of a couch or sofa, are set next to a chair or in between two chairs, and on either side of a bed. Wherever you set a side table, it should be 2-3 inches from the end of the furniture piece it is next to. This will enable anyone sitting on the chair or sofa to easily reach the side table to turn on the lamp, or set down their glass, book, etc. 

The Style of a Side Table

Size isn’t the only factor to consider when shopping for a side table. The right style is just as important to achieving a cohesive space. A custom side table can provide you with the options you need to complement the furniture you already have in your home and further incorporate your style.

For a variety of styles, shop the Inside Weather side table collection today!