“Coffee” tables are also interchangeably called “cocktail” tables.
- The primary distinguishing factor is that they are:
- Larger than end tables.
- Lower and narrower than sofa tables
Brookside modern coffee table, end table and sofa table shown above.
If the end tables are square or rectangular the coffee or cocktail table would be a larger square or rectangle.
- If the end tables are circular, the coffee or cocktail table would be a larger circular table.
Coffee tables, matching end tables and sofa tables often have varying heights.
- Coffee tables are usually around the same height as the top of the seat cushion and slightly lower than the end tables.
- I have never seen an official explanation for this, but my assumption has always been that the end tables are higher because you need to reach over the sofa arm to pick up items from the table top.
- Sofa tables are higher than end tables. Typically the top of a sofa table would be just below the top of the sofa back.
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