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Ensure the apt end table height for homey visual harmony

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End tables are seating accompaniments generally placed next to a sofa/ couch in the living room and beside the headboard in the bedroom. Mostly overlooked, these low-key elements are quite important to the overall appearance & function of the living area. End tables often serve as the resting spots for drinks & the ideal landing pads for table lamps. Expert professionals also endorse the fact that end tables help to give a space a well-rounded, polished, tasteful look, hence conveying the homeowner’s careful attention to detail. 

With so much riding on them, it is important that the correct size & end table height is chosen to keep from straining to set a drink down or being blinded by the illumination from the lamp. That said, end tables can be tricky to get right. The daunting array of styles, heights, surfaces, base styles, sizes, materials & finishes makes it quite challenging to zero in on the most perfect ones because you typically need only 2-3 of them. The key is to strike the perfect balance of function and finishing, but the most significant aspect is the end table height. This article offers useful size guidelines to follow when looking for an end table. Read on to know more… .

Typical end table height.

As per the size & end table height rules, the rule of thumb is that the surface area of the end table should be equal to or just below the height of the sofa arms (approximately 25 inches for a standard sofa). It is advisable to measure your sofa arm height so that the accompanying end table you select is perfect in height. Normal end table height falls in the range of 22-30 inches. In case you are unable to find end tables you like within the desired height range, it is a good idea to err on the side of shorter rather than taller end tables. Styles jutting above sofa arm level not only look odd, but they also can make it difficult for people to set down a glass on the end table or pick up a book from it.

The ideal sofa end table height.

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Pudding sofa


Talking of standard end table height, these tables should be within 2 inches of the height of the sofa arm. For example, if the sofa arm is 22 inches tall, proper end table height can be anywhere from 20-24 inches. The ideal depth of an end table is same as the depth of the chair/ sofa it is placed next to.

For armless sofas, there are 2 options: end tables which suit the height where arms would sit and low models that are at the same height as the sofa seat. Both the options can work well, depending upon your preferences & the visual balance of your space.

If you dig the mismatched look, tables similar in size and weight are perfect for visual harmony. Each of these reaches nearly the same height as the sofa arms.

Homify tip: Don't shy away from using unconventional objects like shipping crates, sewing machine stands, old suitcases and garden stools as end tables. Just ensure that they fall in step with the average end table height & scale guidelines mentioned above, so that they are jazzy conversation pieces rather than unsightly nuisances. 

End table height with respect to bed.

Bedroom Modern Bedroom by homify Modern



End tables are very commonly employed as bedside conveniences. The proper height of a bedside table essentially depends upon personal preferences, but certain industry standards determine a usual height range. Mostly, this is based on the size of the adjacent bed. Opting for the bedside table best suited to your own needs largely decides how comfortably you access the items placed on it throughout your waking & bedtime hours.

Most end tables & nightstands available in the market range in height from 24-28 inches. This corresponds with the most commonly encountered bed height of 25 inches (mattress to floor). It is always a good idea to go for an end table which stands a couple of inches above the mattress height, making it easy to reach the bedside lamp, alarm clock, books, etc. on the table. It is generally easier to reach up from a bed when you are lying down, rather than down. When you are standing, a table height of 27 inches or more does away with the need to stoop for reaching the items kept on the end table. Regardless of whether you choose a high or low table, it is better to keep the end table height range within 6 inches of the mattress height.

If you already have your end table by the bedside, but its height is not perfect, you can conveniently compensate its height by lowering or raising the height of your bed as need be. Mostly bed frames are adjustable, making them easily customizable as per requirements.

End table lamp height is important.

For lampshades placed on the end table, the bottom of a lampshade shouldn't reach higher than the eye-level when you're seated on the sofa/ chair next to the end table with the lamp. There exists a similarity between the height of a floor lamp, and that of an end table with a lamp placed on it. Normally floor lamps, measured from the bottom of the base to the top of the finial (if there is one), are 58-64 inches in height. The combined height of the end table AND the lamp on it should also fall in the range of 58-64 inches.

Contemporary end tables are usually 27-30 inches high, and are typically paired with table lamps having a height in the range of 30-36 inches.

The underlying reason for uniformity of heights (be it end table with lamp, or a floor lamp) is that you want to move your eye across the room in one even sweep. No one would like to jerk the eye up & down, from a high light source to a low one.

End table: a decorative utility item.

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Bombay Canada

Castleton End Table

Bombay Canada

Whether it is as an accompaniment to the living room sofa or your cushy bed, the proper end table height & well-suited table format go a long way in adding to the overall visual appeal of the room. 

Keen on a bedside table for your snug sanctum of repose? Here are some pocket-friendly & modish ones to guide your selection. Our free consultation service is right here to address any home inspiration queries you may have… try it out!

How did you select your end tables? Share with us in comments!
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