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The one thing every home needs? Dining chairs, and not just any old chair, you need the best dining chairs. You pull one out to eat, but they’re also the perfect perch for tackling homework or projects that require a table-size worksurface. Stylistically, they are essential to enhancing your room’s look. To help narrow your search for the dining chair that suits your needs, consider ergonomics and upkeep as your main criteria, then factor in your desired look. Special Chair
In all settings, you need to consider how you can move around the furniture and other scale issues. If you’re up for mixing and matching your chairs, make sure they share a few shared characteristics, such as color or design that will suit the space they’re in, and have the same seat height, so no one is sitting lower or higher than anyone else at the table. Cristina Lunt, a Houston-based interior designer and owner of Principal of CLCL Design, agrees, telling Better Homes & Gardens, “You want to think about the relationship between your table height and your chair height and who will be sitting there.”
We researched a wide array of dining chairs, factoring in chair dimensions, material, care, weight capacity, and the number of chairs included in the price when making our selections. The overall dimension of each chair listed is measured in width x height x depth. Our best overall dining chair is the Shaker-inspired Design Within Reach Salt Chair. Available in eight colors, the chair’s simple lines and timeless appeal enhance a variety of décors. It’s well-constructed, durable, and sturdy enough to handle family, pets, and entertaining needs.
Why You Should Get It: Available in eight colors and outfitted with nylon floor glides, this versatile chair sports a simple profile and is also available in a stool height.
Keep in Mind: The chair is pricier than other options and on the smaller side.
The DWR Salt Chair won our top pick because it’s constructed of sturdy solid beech wood and can support up to 253 pounds. Sold individually, it has a classic Shaker style and is available in an array of colors that will update a variety of dining spaces. The brand also offers a matching stool, should you need something higher. While its armless design isn’t the best for lounging for long periods, the 18.5-inch deep seat is molded and designed with a waterfall edge for built-in comfort. Seven hand-smoothed spindles support the sitter’s back.
With its lightweight and compact size, you can effortlessly slide in and out of even in tight areas. To maintain this chair, wipe up spills immediately with a dry cloth, keep it away from direct heat and sunlight, and dust it regularly with a damp cloth and wipe it dry. The brand also recommends using waxes and oils periodically to protect the finish. While it is one of the more expensive options on this list, the Salt Chair has a two-year warranty to protect your purchase.
Price at time of publish: $275
Why You Should Get It: Available in four colors, the universal style of this stackable chair works with multiple tables.
Keep in Mind: On the smaller side, it may feel too kid-oriented, and assembly is required.
If your dining space is at a premium, the compact-sized Teodores Chair can fit right in. It is constructed of a steel frame and polypropylene seat. Measuring 18.12 x 31.5 x 21.25 inches overall, this chair is lightweight, sturdy, easy to wipe clean with mild soap and dry cloth, and can support up to 243 pounds. Transport it to your workspace to use as a desk chair and stack and tucked away when needed. This chair may feel too petite to accommodate long periods of sitting. Assembly is required, and you will need to periodically re-tightened the screws.
Price at time of publish: $45
Why You Should Get It: This classic Parisian bistro chair is available in five colors and sold as an armchair at a higher price point.
Keep in Mind: It’s designed for indoor use only.
A fresh take on the Parisian café chair, the Riviera Dining Chair utilizes the French technique of hand bending and shaping the sustainably-sourced rattan to achieve its iconic woven look and shape. The high-grade rattan ensures the seat preserves a rich, consistent coloring. The handwoven seat, which measures 15.25 x 18.5 inches, has just enough dimension for comfortable sitting. Easy to wipe down, this chair is a good choice for families and frequent entertaining. Each chair is sturdy enough to support up to 300 pounds.
Price at time of publish: $218
Why You Should Get It: Available in five frame and upholstery combinations, this elegant Queen Anne-style chair has a rounded back and armrests and an upholstered seat for cushier seating.
Keep in Mind: Price varies based on color selection, requires some assembly, and the armrests take up more room.
Sold in sets of two, the French Country-inspired Judith Dining Chair combines a signature ovular natural cane back with a weathered rubberwood frame, fluted legs, polyester fabric seat, and 27-inch-tall armrests with padded detail. It will complement a modern farmhouse or traditional setting. Each chair can support up to 300 pounds and needs only a gentle wipe clean.
Price at time of publish: $386
Why You Should Get It: The chair features a gently angled back and synthetic web suspension seat that conforms to the sitter and is available in four colors.
Keep in Mind: This chair is expensive, delivery time can vary, and the quilted design is at a higher price point and only available in three colors.
A simple but sophisticated Italian-inspired design, the Curran Dining Chair features easy-care synthetic leather with self-welting details that only require a wipe to clean. It has a seat height of 19 inches and sports a wood frame with solid beechwood legs in a walnut finish. The chair’s low-profile curved padded back and polyform seat built with synthetic web suspension conform to the sitter to accommodate leisurely dining.
Price at time of publish: $349
Why You Should Get It: Available in eight colors, this easy-to-clean chair is family-friendly and suitable indoors and outdoors.
Keep in Mind: Despite its single-price listing, Article only sells and ships this chair in pairs, which require some assembly and should be stored out of direct sunlight to preserve color when not in use.
Take this ‘50s style, Scandinavian-inspired molded high-quality polypropylene UV-resistant chair wherever you need to dine in style inside or out. With an overall dimension of 18 x 34.5 x 20.5 inches, the Article Svelti Dining Chair offers a versatile, modern design that is family-friendly and easy to clean. It can support up to 225 pounds and is available in eight colors to provide various decorating options. The Svelti comes equipped with arms, in counter height and bar height versions, and as an office chair with casters at different price points.
Price at time of publish: From $69
Why You Should Get It: There is no assembly required for this classic Windsor-style chair that is sturdy enough to withstand up to 600 pounds. Keep in Mind: It is a pricier option, and you need to use felt pads to protect your floors.
Sold in sets of two, the armless, functional Windsor-style Flash Furniture Solid Wood Spindle Back Chair features a comfortably-sized saddled seat that speaks to the classic farmhouse and cottage aesthetics. The painted glossy finish, available in black or white, gives it a refined but casual look that pairs well with most dining tables. With a weight capacity of 600 pounds, this chair is constructed of solid rubberwood to handle heavy everyday use. Overall, it measures 16.75 x 34.75 x 17.75 and is easy to wipe clean between uses.
Price at time of publish: $272
Why You Should Get It: It features upholstery with stylish French typographic details, a comfy 21-inch wide seat with two-inch thick padding, and elegantly curved front legs.
Keep in Mind: Keep this chair, which requires some assembly, away from direct sunlight or heating or cooling vents to prevent the fabric from fading or the frame from cracking.
With a weight capacity of 250 pounds, Ophelia and Co’s Parisian-inspired Padillo Upholstered Side Chair features an upholstered 19.5-inch high back and 21-inch wide seat, 2-inch foam-padded seat, and solid wood legs. French typographic details, weathered wood, and curved front legs add a touch of charm and vintage feel that works with a country-chic ensemble or cozy cottage aesthetic. Its neutral hues complement any color palette. Arrange the armless chairs around the dining table or utilize them as accent side chairs. Remove stains from the cotton and linen upholstery using a damp cloth with mild soap and water.
Price at time of publish: $400
Why You Should Get It: There is no assembly required for this durably constructed chair with a solid wood frame.
Keep in Mind: The arms are short, and the back legs are slanted to create the angular Z-shape.
The Zola Black Leather Dining Chair’s contemporary, angular Z-shape makes it a showpiece in and of itself. Its foam-padded black pebble-textured leather seat measures 19.5 inches high and 21.5-inches wide. While it does sport arms, they are short. The chair is constructed of solid wood and wood veneer with a walnut stain that gives it a sophisticated sensibility. Coated with a protective finish, the semi-aniline leather needs only a wipe-down to clean. The Zola is available in a dark gray or black fabric-upholstered seat for $229.
Price at time of publish: $269
Why You Should Get It: The sleek mid-century modern chair has an upholstered cushioned seat in four colors.
Keep in Mind: This smaller-scale chair requires some assembly, and there is color variation in the natural wood grain.
With an overall measurement of 19.5 x 31.5 x 19.5 inches, the George Oliver Putnam Side Chair effortlessly fits in apartments, tight spaces, or anywhere you want a softer mid-century vibe. It combines a foam-padded upholstered seat and back for comfort and a rubberwood frame that can support up to 250 pounds. This versatile side chair can slip into a dining space while adding a touch of color. Even better, they’re sold in sets of two. Spot clean the stain-resistant polyester upholstery with a damp cloth and mild soap and water solution.
Price at time of publish: $200
Why You Should Get It: It features a cushioned seat, mortise-and-tenon joinery, and corner blocks to provide extra stability, and a slipcover, available in 86 fabric options, that retains its shape and can be removed for cleaning.
Keep in Mind: This chair is expensive, requires more maintenance, and the hardware may loosen over time which would mean periodically checking and retightening connections as needed.
A traditional slipcovered foam and polyester-filled chair with romantic appeal befitting formal to cottage settings, this tailored, ample-seat version features a 21-inch-tall backrest and rolled top design. The Pottery Barn Comfort Roll Slipcovered Dining Chair is available in 64 easy-care performance fabrics from velvet to outdoor-friendly options. Plus, there are 21 additional choices, from twill and denim to stripes, so you can update your dining area by swapping in a new slipcover. Price will vary based on fabric selection, starting at $399.
The espresso-finished solid wood frame’s sturdy construction with a weight capacity of 275 pounds will take years of wear. The kiln-dried wood helps prevent warping, splitting, cracking, and mildew growth. For spills, blot immediately and wipe with a clean, damp cloth.
Price at time of publish: From $399
Why You Should Get It: Available in six upholstery colors and two bases, the cover can be unzipped to spot clean.
Keep in Mind: You may need to add padding to bolster seat comfort, and some assembly is required.
For a plush yet sleek look, the 33.5-inch-tall Meridan Karina Velvet Dining Chair will bring a soft, textural feel to a dining area. This chair’s polished metal slatted legs and back zipper detail combine with the velvet foam-cushioned seat, which measures 18 inches deep, to create a lush yet retro-contemporary vibe. Price will vary depending on your choice of upholstery color, but the chair is sold in sets of two. The spot-clean velvet is available in six colors: green, navy, pink, black, or cream. There are also some counter stool and dining armchair options in the Karina Collection at different price points.
Price at time of publish: $290
Why You Should Get It: Available in five stain finishes, this chair boasts durable construction and requires no assembly.
Keep in Mind: This chair is expensive and should be kept away from direct sunlight and excessive temperatures.
With an overall dimension of 22 x 37 x 23.5 inches, the Aaron Dining Chair features a timeless design and details like an “X” back and a lacquered finish that seals in the stain’s color. There is also a contoured seat and a slightly distressed frame giving the chair an artisan look suitable for traditional and cottage settings. Constructed of kiln-dried sustainably-sourced rubberwood, it can handle everyday wear and tear and support up to 275 pounds while maintaining its good looks. Simply blot spills immediately and wipe clean with a damp cloth. It is available in five stain finishes and dining armchair and bar and counter stool options at different price points.
Price at time of publish: From $349
Why You Should Get It: Sold individually or in sets of two or four, this is a transitional take on an upholstered chair available in three colors.
Keep in Mind: The black lacquered legs contrast with the upholstered seat, and the chair requires some assembly.
Sit back in this polyester fabric upholstered 38.5-inch tall chair with finely tufted button details and a dense foam-padded 21-inch wide seat for a comfortable, stylish dining experience. The seat is constructed of a solid wood frame with webbing and springs to prevent sagging. With a weight capacity of 286 pounds, this chair features stylish flared back legs and is outfitted with non-marking caps to help prevent damage to wood floors. Gently wipe clean to maintain. Sold individually or in sets of two or four, the prices will vary based on color selection.
Price at time of publish: From $152
Why You Should Get It: Available in natural/white and black, it has a modern Scandinavian-inspired look that feels fresh but not too edgy.
Keep in Mind: Some assembly is required, and the seat fabric is a nubby bouclé that is highly textured and may require extra care.
Influenced by iconic Bauhaus design, the AllModern Walsh Side Chair’s look is sleek yet airy. It pairs a tubular steel frame with solid wood and a woven cane backrest for an overall dimension of 19 x 33 x 19 inches. The flexible cantilever construction lends the dining chair a contemporary vibe that is softened by the foam padded bouclé fabric seat and cane back. It is sturdy enough to support up to 250 pounds and simple to clean with a damp cloth. At $304, it is one of the more expensive picks on our list, but it is sold in sets of two, giving it a great value.
Price at time of publish: $304
Why You Should Get It: There is no assembly required for this swivel-seat dining chair with stain-resistant and moisture-repellent leather.
Keep in Mind: It’s pricier than other options and is only available in one color.
If you like some motion in your dining chair, the Rivet Contemporary Leather Dining Chair’s swivel seat will allow you to turn to chat with guests and get in and out of the chair without pulling it out from under the table. It sports a comfortable 18-inch deep seat and a 14-inch high back. Constructed with a solid wood frame, it is built to withstand everyday use. The chair’s neutral brown leather upholstery can fit in various settings. It’s also stain-resistant and resists moisture if quickly blotted with a dry cloth.
Price at time of publish: $224
The Shaker-inspired Design Within Reach Salt Chair was our overall best choice because its sturdy solid wood construction, simple lines, color options, and timeless appeal will enhance a variety of décors. This lightweight, compact, and comfortable chair is well-built to handle family, pets, and entertaining needs.
Lunt says, “You want to think about the relationship between your table height and your chair height and who will be sitting there.” You should also think about practicality. If you have kids, you’ll want an easy-to-wipe-down chair. If you own pets, you’ll want to pick materials that will stand up to their paw work. If you want something with pizzazz for entertaining, you’ll want a knockout silhouette.
According to Emily Henderson, interior designer and author of “The New Design Rules,” another factor is functionality. “Unless you are trying to buy vintage, which I would be wary of if you can’t sit in them first, I would focus on the measurements, materials, and, of course, reviews.” Both Lunt and Henderson recommend family seat-testing before buying to see how comfortable a chair is or ordering just one chair to try it out before ordering a complete set.
Before you buy any chair, you first need to know if it will work with your table’s height and scale. A tape measure is your best friend when it comes to picking a chair to see how many will fit around and under your table. Henderson suggests several key measurements to take. Begin by measuring your tabletop’s overall dimensions and the height between the underside of the table to the floor. If your table has a lip or an apron, measure from the bottom of it to the floor to find out what size chair will fit. Most standard dining tables range between 28 to 30 inches tall, but some are closer to counter height or 34 to 36 inches tall. A dining chair’s seat height (from the floor to the seat) is typically between 17 to 23 inches.
For an armless chair, there should be 12 inches of space between the chair’s seat height and the underside of the tabletop or bottom of the apron. When measuring a chair's arm, there should be seven inches between the top of the arm to the underside of the table. Wider chair seats tend to be more comfortable and provide more wiggle room, but they also take up more room around the table, so fewer chairs will fit.
Find out the chair’s overall size to see how much space the legs will take up under the table. Note the seat height and arm height if it has arms, then compare it to your tabletop measurements to determine if the seat will comfortably fit under the tabletop or apron. The seat’s depth dimensions will also tell you if the chair will feel less roomie or cushier when you're sitting. Look for a chair that supports your back and allows you to maintain your posture while you’re eating.
Cristina Lunt says, “Most people may not think there’s a huge difference between a dining chair with a 17-inch seat height and an 18-inch seat height, but that one inch can make a big difference in terms of comfort.”
Chairs without arms require less space but may not be as comfy for longer lounging. Keep in mind that chairs with arms can vary in how comfortable they feel to different family members. Henderson says, “I personally want comfort first, so I will opt for a seat width of 18 to 22 inches and depth of 20 to 24 inches. I’m also a big fan of arms because if you’re like us and host dinners, it will allow you to truly relax because you can rest your arms, making it easier to lounge.”
Look to see if the chair’s seat back is several inches taller than your tabletop so it won’t look too small and out of scale in comparison with the table.
Care will vary by material. Molded plastic chairs are the easiest to wipe down. Upholstered chairs are usually the most comfortable, especially ones with padded seats, but they require more upkeep to stay clean. You can ask an upholstery room if they can add new padding when needed. Faux leathers are not made from animal hides, so they are easy to wipe clean. But they can split over time and may need to be reupholstered. Genuine leathers require more maintenance, including special leather cleaners to tackle any scratches or stains that occur and to help prevent cracking. Unless directed in the owner’s manual, do not use household or kitchen cleaners on dining chairs. They can cause damage to frames, seats, and upholstery. Clean plastic chairs with a soft cloth and mild soap mixed with warm water. Avoid using abrasive kitchen or household cleaners. Wipe wood furniture down with a damp microfiber cloth and dust regularly.
Polish twice a year with a wood-furniture cleaner. Avoid any waxes or polishes that contain silicone, which can scratch. Keep humidity consistent to prevent cracking. It’s also helpful to store table leaves in an area with similar humidity levels. Avoid putting all types of dining chairs next to heat or air-conditioning vents, which can cause cracks or other structural issues. Do not put dining chairs in direct sunlight, which can cause the wood’s stain, upholstery, or plastic color to fade. Tighten a chair’s hardware if it starts to feel wobbly or squeak, but take care not to overtighten screws or bolts.
Confirm a chair’s weight capacity to ensure the seat will be structurally sound when a family member or friend sits down. If a chair’s weight capacity is not listed in the product description, contact the manufacturer or retailer for more information. Also, check what the chair itself weighs, which is typically listed under the item weight. Heavier chairs won’t fall over easily if a kid jumps on them, but they are harder to pull in and out from under the table or move around when it's time to entertain.
Dining chairs are sold individually and in sets online. Confirm how many chairs are included in the price before purchasing. If possible, order one chair or the fewest number of chairs to test out how comfortable it is before ordering a complete set.
Cristina Lunt says a good rule to follow when determining how many chairs can fit at your table is to make sure you have a placemat-wide space for each chair with a few more inches tacked on either side to ensure there is room to maneuver without elbowing your neighbor. If your chairs have arms or are on the heftier side, plan on adding a few additional inches between each chair, so a sitter can easily pull the chair out, take a seat, and push the chair back in. Plan on at least three to four feet of open space around your table and chairs so people can freely walk around the table without bumping into a wall or other furniture.
Lunt recommends finding a reputable upholstery shop to ensure you select the best fabric and get a tailored fit if you want to reupholster. If you’re only looking to revamp an older chair or a thrift-store find with a fun pattern or color, check out these DIY tips on how to reupholster a dining chair’s seat.
Cleaning and maintaining a dining chair will depend on the material it’s made of. For almost all types of chairs, it is best to immediately blot any spills with a dry, absorbent cloth so the liquid won’t sink into a fabric or finish. Most manufacturers recommend using a damp cloth for cleanup. Also, avoid using household cleaners or chemicals that can damage upholstery and frames. Look for a link to the manufacturer’s owner's manual in the product description before buying to ensure you are comfortable with any cleanup or maintenance recommendations.
Designer Stool Samantha S. Thorpe is a freelance home and garden editor writing about home design, decorating and organizing tips, gardening how-to, and entertaining guides. She researched the variety of dining chair options on the market, considering dimensions, materials, construction, design, weight capacity, care, and price. She also consulted with interior design experts like Cristina Lunt and Emily Henderson to get a better sense of what shoppers should look for when selecting dining chairs.