How to choose dining chairs
A dining chair buying guide
Dining chairs are essential seating in any home. Use this guide to help determine how to choose dining chairs that work for you and your home.
>> How many chairs do you need?
Table size is important as you learn how to choose dining chairs. Dining room tables fit from two people to 12 people or more. The most common table sizes seat four to six people. If you plan to buy dining chairs for a table, look carefully at the table to determine the number of chairs you will need.
Square and round tables usually seat four people. Oval and rectangle tables often seat six to eight. Many tables have extra leaves to lengthen the table. If you plan to have guests over often, having a few extra chairs would be helpful.
>> How much space do you have?
The space in your dining room or kitchen will dictate how many chairs you can fit at the table and how big those chairs should be. If you have a small space, you may have to look for smaller dining chair dimensions. Luckily, there are many different dining chair sizes to choose from. You can buy a standard wooden chair, but folding dining chairs or smaller plastic chairs may complement the room better. Large padded or bench-type seats work well in a larger room.
>> Consider types of dining chairs
There are many different types of dining chairs. The best dining chairs for your home will depend on your taste, your sense of style and the rest of the furnishings in your home. Look for dining chair styles that complement your table. The following types of chairs are common in many homes:
- Bar stool: A bar stool is a tall chair that may or may not have a back. You can use it for seating at a bar, but some table sets include them.
- Bench seat: Bench seats are long seats that may seat up to three people. The bench may have a seat back, but some do not.
- Padded chairs: Some dining chairs have padding and material that covers the seat or the entire chair. Parsons chairs are a popular style of padded dining chair.
- Folding chairs: Folding chairs are small chairs that fold. You can store the chairs out of the way when you are not using them.
- Plastic chairs: Plastic dining chairs can look modern, and some can be stacked for easy storage.
- Traditional dining chairs: Traditional wood dining chairs are the most common type of dining chair.
See the following comparison chart for further details on different types of dining chairs.
| || |
Traditional dining chairs
|Size ||23 inches to 36 inches in height; seat sizes and shapes vary greatly ||23 inches to 30 inches in height; 24 inches to 60 inches in length ||23 inches to 30 inches in height ||23 inches to 30 inches in height ||23 inches to 30 inches in height ||23 inches to 30 inches in height |
|Material ||Wood or metal ||Wood ||Wood, various linens ||Wood, metal ||Plastic with metal frame or legs ||Wood |
|Style ||Modern, industrial, contemporary, traditional ||Modern, traditional ||Modern, contemporary ||Modern ||Modern, contemporary ||Traditional, Shaker |
>> Consider dining chair styles
As you consider types of dining chairs, also consider different styles of dining chairs. The best dining chairs will add to your decor. These are the most common chair styles:
Modern dining chairs have a futuristic look, similar to contemporary chairs. Both styles offer smooth edges and slick designs. Euro-style dining chairs fall under modern and contemporary styles, which usually consist of wood, metal and plastic. For a unique dining area, consider this style of chair as you figure out how to choose dining chairs.
If you are aiming for a more homey look, traditional or industrial-style dining chairs might fit the bill. Industrial-style chairs offer an interesting take on a traditional dining room. Bar stools or swivel dining chairs fall under the industrial category. Traditional dining chairs are stained wood chairs that match the dining room table in color and style.
>> Consider dining chair materials
Dining chairs usually come in one of three materials: wood, plastic or metal. Consider these materials when learning how to choose dining chairs.
Wood dining chairs are very popular. You may like oak dining chairs or other types of wood. Different woods are stained in different colors, allowing for a large selection of chair types. Oak is one of the most common types used, but cherry, pine and cedar are often used in kitchen furniture.
Plastic dining chairs are increasing in popularity. If you want a modern dining room, plastic and glass furniture makes a bold statement. One of the benefits of plastic chairs is the vast color palette you can choose from. You can match bright and dark plastic chairs to the theme of your dining area or kitchen.
You can buy dining chairs with metal legs or a metal frame. The most common metal dining chairs are bar stools. Some plastic chairs are partially made of metal, usually in the legs and frame. Metal chairs with cushions are uncommon, but you can find them.