Coffee Table Vs. Cocktail Table: Let’s Clear Out The Differences

Coffee table Vs. Cocktail table: these are the two most often confused pieces of furniture. Let’s demystify the difference.

Can we furnish our house without a table? Regardless of shape and size, tables are those furniture items that every home has, especially indoors. The living room is where tables play the most critical role as they add both beauty and functionality. 

Coffee tables and cocktail tables are staple pieces of furniture found in every home. But people often get confused between a coffee table vs. cocktail table. They think cocktail tables are low tables, just like coffee tables, but in reality, they are not as common as coffee tables. Often, both terms are used interchangeably. 

To give you a clear answer on the Coffee table Vs. Cocktail table debate, we are providing you all the answers that you need. 

In this content, you will learn: 

  • What is a coffee table? 
  • What is a cocktail table?
  • Difference between Coffee table and Cocktail Table 
  • Different ways of using coffee table and cocktail table 
  • How do the two tables enhance the look of the room? 

What Is A Coffee Table?

The most found table in front of the couch is the coffee table. It is designed with a low height to decorate a living room. It is the place where you can add flair and uniqueness to your living room with coffee cups, vases, magazines, books, and other small items. 

Coffee Table Vs. Cocktail Table - Coffe Table

The British originally made the coffee table during Victorian times. Initially, it used to be taller (about 27 inches), but by the 20th century, the height went down. 

Today an average coffee table stands at about 18-20 inches. Today, coffee tables come in different styles and sizes, making it easy to find the one that meets your taste. 

What is A Cocktail Table? 

When you need a more versatile option than a coffee table, it is a cocktail table. The cocktail table can be tall or low; it depends on how you are using it. 

Cocktails tables came into existence in the 1920s by WPL Interior designs; they introduced them because many cocktails were being served at the time and there was no dedicated furniture for them. 

Coffee Table Vs. Cocktail Table - Cocktail Table

The taller cocktails tables are specially designed for restaurants and bars to be used along with bar stools. They are often called “highboy’s.” Highboys are typically 42 inches and taller.

The smaller cocktail tables can be placed in front of chairs or sofas to enjoy a pleasant conversation and to keep your items like mobile, purse, and keys. These are about 30 inches tall. They are best used for entertaining guests who may need a place to put down their cocktail or drinks glasses.

Similar to coffee tables, cocktail tables come in various designs and shapes. All you need to do is find the one that matches the decor of your living room. 

What is the Difference Between Coffee Tables and Cocktail Tables? 

Just like people confuse a sofa and couch, coffee table and cocktail table are a source of constant debate even for furniture enthusiasts. There are a few differences between the two that one should know before buying one. 


A coffee table is a low table in the middle of the living room, in front of the sofa, or a couch. On the other hand, the first thing that comes to mind when people hear a cocktail table is a high table, mainly in bars or parties.

So the significant difference between a coffee table and a cocktail table is their height. However, there could be minor differences, but it is a point that distinguishes the two. 


Another difference between a coffee table and a cocktail table is the shape. Most cocktail tables come with a square or a rectangular tabletop, whereas coffee tables are consistently round or oval-shaped. 

However, that does not mean that you cannot find the reverse. There are many square coffee tables and round cocktail tables in the market. 


Cocktail Tables

  • Keep coffee cups or wine glasses at the time of parties. 
  • Whenever you are hosting an adult game party, store cards along with snacks on the table. 
  • Place the cocktail table in your bar to place some cocktail glasses to entertain guests. 

Coffee Tables

  • Use them to transform the look of your living room by putting art pieces, decorative items, or flowers on it. 
  • If it is a smaller one, you can always use it as a side table. 

How Do Coffee Tables And Cocktail Tables Enhance The Decor Of The Room? 

A coffee table or a cocktail table is the centerpiece of a living room. So it is essential to choose the right one that matches the room’s theme and incorporates well with other furniture pieces. Here are some points to consider: 

Coffee Table Vs. Cocktail Table
  • Both a coffee table and a cocktail table are the focal point of the room.
  • When we talk about a coffee table, its design, height, and shape help balance out the furniture you already have, and it even maximizes the space of the room. 
  • You can also improve the room’s overall aesthetics by the design of a coffee table and a cocktail table. 
  • They are best used for decorating a room by displaying art and decorative elements on it, right in the focal point. 
  • Before you get one, always consider the color of the sofa and space of the living room so that a table can help you increase the visual impact.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

# Is the cocktail table the same as the coffee table? 

Although, both tables are pretty similar in terms of functionality. But they also differ. When it is about the height, they both are different from each other as coffee tables are among the lower tables that may or may not have legs. Even coffee tables come with shelves, but we hardly see cocktail tables with shelves. Also, most coffee tables come with a round tabletop, whereas cocktails tables are usually square or rectangular. But it can be vice versa depending on the design. 

# What is a cocktail table used for? 

A cocktail table is well used for placing wine glasses or other essential things like serving snacks and more. You can even display a vase or an art piece to give a fantastic look to the room. 

Coffee Table Vs. Cocktail Table

# Why is it called a cocktail table? 

The cocktail table is known as one of them because, in earlier times when it was introduced, there were many cocktails served, and it was majorly used in a bar or parties to keep long or cocktail glasses. 

# What is the difference between a coffee table and a tea table? 

A coffee table is a short table placed in front of the sofa, and it comes in various shapes, whereas a tea table is around and a tall table where a tea set is kept for serving tea to guests. 

Wrap Up 

So we hope the above-detailed guide on Coffee table Vs. Cocktail table has helped you in choosing the right one as per your requirement. It is common to get confused with so many similarities, but once you get into the clear difference between the two, you can make your decision in the right way.