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dining chairs

Dining Chairs Buying Guide

Dining chairs should complement your dining table and dining room, and above all be comfy for your guests. But there are several areas you should look into before settling on your dining chairs.

Measuring for your dining chairs

Don't take it for granted that any dining chair can be placed with any dining table - their differing dimensions and styles can wreak havoc on your well-laid plans! You'll need to check the following to avoid a dining room disaster.


Seat height

You should be able to tuck the chair beneath the table top, whilst also leaving room for your guests' legs. This means you'll need 25-30cm of space between the seat and the underside of the table.

If the table has a design feature beneath the table top that will also obstruct your guests' legs, such as a skirt, this will also need to be taken into account.

Arm height

If your dining chair has arms, you'll need to make sure the arms will fit beneath the table.

Chair depth

In the case of a pedestal table, a chair that is too deep may not be able to tuck under the table fully, leaving your guests a bit too far from their dinner plates. Check how much space there is between the pedestal base and the edge of the table top and compare this with the depth of your chosen chair. Don't forget your guests' legs need to fit under there, too!

How many dining chairs can I have?

If your dining chairs do indeed fit comfortably beneath the table, you can start looking at how many people you can seat. For this, you'll need to consider a few factors.

Chair width and space between chairs

The width of your chairs will naturally help you to determine how many chairs you can fit around the table.

You'll also need to leave around 15cm on either side of each chair. This will give your guests enough elbow room to eat, as well as a comfortable amount of breathing space. If you'd like to set places at the ends of the table, each place will require 30cm of room.


Some tables have designs which make it difficult to sit in particular places. For instance, a double pedestal base may make it difficult to sit at the ends of the table. Likewise, you'll need to measure between the table legs of a four-leg table.

Styles of dining chair

dining chairs
dining chairs

Different styles of dining chair have their own unique advantages.

Fully upholstered dining chair

Fully upholstered dining chairs have a more formal look, so they will impress on important occasions. The upholstery makes them better at absorbing sound, so they can be a good choice if you're experiencing a lot of echo from high ceilings or wooden floors.

Fabric upholstered chairs are cosier and retain more heat, so they are ideal if your dining room is a bit chilly, or to complement a stone or marble table. Leather look chairs look fantastic and are low maintenance.

Upholstered chairs can come with metal or wooden legs to suit your dining area.

Stacking chair

Does exactly what it says on the tin. Stacking chairs are ideal for compact living because they can be stacked together and placed out of the way.

Wooden chair

Wooden chairs are a versatile type of chair that can come in a variety of styles, ranging from traditional to rustic to modern. The most popular type of chair, they can be found in many different woods, painted or in a variety of finishes, and with a wide range of back styles including ladder back, slat back, spindle back, splat back and solid back. They are also available with wooden or upholstered seats – wooden seats are easier to clean while upholstered seats are comfier for guests.

Speak to an expert

Still unsure about what chairs to purchase? Why not speak to one of our sales experts, either in store or on the phone on 0333 200 1552.


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