Does A Sectional Need End Tables?

A sectional sofa is usually the most important piece in the living room. Thus, it’s important to surround it with supportive pieces of furniture. For many people and situations, this includes end tables. But is that a necessary accessory for a sectional sofa?

A sectional does not need end tables, though they are useful pieces of furniture that give you a space for decorations, lamps, drinks, and other items. They are also an important decorative piece in many living rooms, giving the room a sense of completion. But if you don’t want them or don’t have space for them, that’s okay! They aren’t essential for sectionals.

Decorating your living room is an important task, so we understand that this is important. That’s why we’ve researched sectionals and end tables thoroughly and are happy to help you think about what’s best for your living room. Please keep reading for more information on end tables, their purposes, and how to pick the best end table for your sectional.

Red leather sectional sofa with silk pillow on one end, Does A Sectional Need End Tables?

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Does a sectional need end tables?

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Scandinavian interior design living room with beige colored sectional sofa and wooden elements

End tables are generally small tables that are designed for living rooms. Typically, you would place these tables at the end of sectionals, sofas, or other couches; or, between armchairs. They have a couple of main purposes.

End tables as decorating tools

For many people, end tables are used as a decorating tool. They can give color and variety to a room that’s lacking. End tables are an excellent way to insert an accent color into a room, as they are one of the smallest pieces of furniture. You can also introduce a different material into a room via an end table. If everything else in the room is wooden, a glass or metal end table can balance the materials. 

They can also help furniture feel grounded and complete so that it doesn’t appear that your sectional, sofa, or chairs are “floating” in the middle of the room. If the space feels bare or too dominated by large furniture, think about adding some small, unassuming end tables. You can also put some attractive decor such as frames, books, or potted plants on an end table for style purposes.

Functional purposes of end tables

But perhaps the biggest benefit of end tables is their functionality. How often do you sip a drink, nibble a snack, or read a book in your living room? An end table is a great place to set these things for the sake of convenience. They’re within reach — more than a coffee table, in most cases — and are at arm-level. Or, if you need more brightness in a room, a nice table lamp would fit perfectly on an end table.

One thing to keep in mind about sectionals, in particular, is that it is often difficult to find a coffee table that fits proportionately. If this is the case, end tables can take on some of the duties a coffee table would normally fulfill. 

End tables can fulfill different functional purposes, depending on your specific needs. For example, if you only need a surface to set things on, opt for a table like the one below. It’s simple yet functional.

Click here to view this table on Amazon.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for storage space, there are end tables with drawers or multiple surfaces, like the one below. This would be a sensible place to store TV remotes, DVDs, or gaming systems when not in use.

Click here to view this table on Amazon.

Consider how much surface area you need. If your room is small, you might opt for a slimmer, less conspicuous end table. If you have plenty of space, on the other hand, you might find a larger table with more storage to be useful. 


Oftentimes, sectionals are larger than other types of sofas or couches. One way to think about a sectional is that it is two couches pushed together. While this space efficiency is one of the reasons people purchase sectionals, it makes it more difficult to find places for end tables.

Fortunately, there’s a type of furniture that solves this problem: C-tables. C-tables, like the one pictured below, have a base that fits under most sofas, a stand that comes out of one end of the base, and a table that runs parallel to the base. This shape allows the table to sit above the sofa. 

Click here to view this table on Amazon.

Since there isn’t a way to fit an end table between the two pieces of a sectional, you might find a C-table helpful. In addition to being an excellent surface for food and drink, it’s also a convenient desk for your computer, tablet, or book.

Do End Tables Need To Match?

No, end tables do not need to match each other. Instead, focus on making sure the tables complement each other and connect the room. Think in terms of making sure the sizes and styles of the end tables are connected. Sometimes, complementing means contrasting with the other elements in the room. 

For instance, if you have three end tables in your living room, consider making one of them an accent color. The table below is an aqua blue that would make a great accent color in a living room. It is also somewhat intricate in design.

Click here to view this table on Amazon.

Pairing it with two simple white tables, such as the one below, is a great way to make the room colorful without overwhelming it.

Click here to view this table on Amazon.

In this case, you’ve combined end tables that complement each other and the room’s decor, even though they don’t match. Similarly, the living room pictured below has two different types of end tables. In this picture, however, the end tables are similar in style and color. Even so, they diversify the room and keep it from becoming plain.

Modern living room with gray sectional sofa and dark wooden furniture

As discussed above, end tables can serve multiple purposes. For instance, if you want the convenience of a table with drawers but don’t have enough space for two or three large tables, that’s okay! Use one big end table and combine it with one or two other small tables.

Have a coffee table and are wondering how to pair it with end tables? Check out this article for more info: Do Coffee Tables and End Tables Have to Match?

What Shape/Size Of End Table Is Appropriate For A Sectional?

Really, any type of end table is appropriate for a sectional. Instead of focusing on the end table in conjunction with the sectional, pay attention to how it fits in the rest of the room. If the room is small, don’t make it feel smaller by adding an end table that’s too big. 

Similarly, the shape has less to do with the fact that the end table is next to a sectional and more to do with the rest of the room. Shape is a great way to balance the room. If you have too many sharp angles in the room, rounded end tables can offset that. On the other hand, square or rectangular end tables can give definition to a room that lacks it.

Looking to buy a sectional but aren’t sure where to find one? Here’s an article that will help: Where To Buy A Sectional (Top 20 Online Stores)

How Tall Should An End Table Be Next To A Sectional?

Ideally, an end table should be within an inch or two of the height of the sectional’s armrest. This not only makes it more convenient to reach from a seated position but helps one piece not feel like it’s towering over the other. If you can’t find the right size end table, make sure to err on the short side. It’s better for the couch — the bigger, more dominant piece — to be taller. 

In Closing

Sectional sofas do not need end tables, though you might find them useful for a variety of decorative and functional purposes. If you decide to use multiple end tables, think in terms of the tables complementing each other. This often means they match each other, but it doesn’t have to: it can simply mean they connect to each other and the rest of the room. 

If you’re looking for a practical surface for the middle of your sectional, consider using a C-table. Otherwise, the shape and style of an end table for your sectional depends on the rest of the room. Make sure the table’s surface is within an inch or two as high as the arm of the sofa.

We hope this guide has helped you decide whether or not end tables are right for your sectional and living room!

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