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The Dining Chairs That Will Meet All Your Comfort Needs + Rules for Picking Them Out

Today’s post has been in the works for a while. It’s a topic that has been talked about many a time in the EHD office, requested by more than a few of our readers and that one piece of furniture that Emily had been on the search for years til she found them here. That’s right. It’s time for a comfortable dining chair roundup! As someone who has truly never owned or had a comfortable dining chair growing up, I feel your pain (especially in the buttocks region) but fret no more since we have 96 chairs with and without arms for you to choose from at all different price points. Plus, some very useful tips to consider when choosing the right chair for your own dining area.

Before we get into all of those pretty and more importantly comfy dining chair options below, let’s first take a moment to go over some of our tried and true ‘rules’ (aka guidelines) you can implement in your own space. Even as a trained interior designer I am constantly referring back to all of our design rules posts because let’s be honest sometimes design can be a tad overwhelming and very subjective so it’s nice to go back to the basics of why a space will visually work better than others. It all comes down to measurements which is something that makes sense to me. Not really the math aspect since that is not my forte…shhhh, I know it’s used a lot in interior design (hello best friend aka my calculator). But proportions and spatial planning is ‘my thing‘, it’s probably the reason why I also love to organize and help others pack to move.

OKAY, enough about my odd hobbies, let’s get into those Dining Chair Rules…

Figuring Out Your Table Size & How Many Chairs to Buy

photo by tessa neustadt | from: griffith park formal dining room reveal

You can’t really pick out your dining chairs without first knowing the scale of your dining table. I mean you can but it will probably be easier to start with the larger furniture piece and then add in your chairs later. So what size table do you have and how many chairs will you need to purchase?

Here is a seat guideline for rectangle tables depending on size:

  • 48″ long table: seats 4
  • 60″-72″ long table: seats 6
  • 80″-87″ long table: seats 8
  • 92″-108″ long table: seats 10
  • 120″ long table: seats 12

And for round / square tables depending on size:

  • 42″- 48″ diameter table: seats 4
  • 60″ diameter table: seats 6-8

Keep in mind that no matter the size of your table you will want to leave approximately 24″-26″ width of eating space per person + an additional 6″ between the chairs to account for elbow room and ease of a person getting up, out of their chair from a fully occupied table. This will spare your guest (once we have those again) from an awkward moment of asking the person next to them to ‘scooch over a bit’ to be able to get out to use the bathroom during a dinner party. The width of most dining chairs will be between 16″-20″ with the ‘more comfortable’ ones in the 20″-25″ range.

Hot Tip

To make sure that the number of chairs will work with your table size, measure from the widest point of the chair and from the inner of the legs of your dining table instead of the top of the table.

Two other things to take into consideration – 1. If your dining table is on the smaller side try opting for a chair without arms to save on space. 2. If you buy additional chairs for when the table is extended to the maximum length be sure to figure out a designated spot for them to live since that might happen only a couple of times throughout the year.

Choosing the Right Scale Chair & Finding the Comfy Factor

photo by geneieve garruppo | from: a boathouse makeover with the frame + shop the look

Now, let’s figure out the right scale of your chairs for your dining table. Most standard dining tables range in height between 28″-30″ but there are some dining tables that are more counter height in the 34-36″ range so make sure to take a second look at the dimensions before you ‘add to cart’. We are going to focus on the standard dimensions today as they are the most common.

The seat height of a dining chair will be between 17-23″ and there should be about 12” of space between the top of the seat and underside of the tabletop or bottom of the apron. If your dining chairs have arms they should be able to slide under your table with ease so be sure to have at least 7” of clearance between the top of the arm height to the underside of the table or bottom of the apron.

Speaking of height let’s talk about your chair’s overall height in consideration to the scale of your table. Meaning that if you have a table that seats 4, approx. 42-48″ in diameter, steer clear of the chair that measures 48″ high overall and leave that to the larger more formal dining table sizes. It will just feel more proportional

6 Factors to Consider that Will Make Your Dining Chair More Comfortable:

  • Seat Width: 18”-22″ for more ‘wiggle’ room
  • Opt for an upholstered seat or sling seat (see the white director chairs in the photo above)
  • Seat Depth: 20-24” for the lounging element
  • Which brings us to the lean-ability of the chair, an angled seat back or upholstered back for those long post meal conversations
  • If you have the space, dining chairs with arms will be much more ergonomic. If you are one to have long dinners it will allow you to truly relax because you can rest your arms making it easier to lounge.
  • Materials Matter: It’s a simple fact that an all upholstered chair will be more comfortable, it’s like a sofa but smaller.
Hot Tip

On big box retailers websites take a look around to see if you can search by customer rating, that way you are starting with the furniture pieces that others have verified to be comfortable or to be a quality product.

Now that the school lesson portion of this post is over, let’s talk about the fun stuff and get into our comfortable dining chair roundups. 🙂

The ‘Armless’ Comfortable Dining Chairs

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a modern and organic dining room makeover

Personally, I am a fan of the “armless” dining chair because typically they are less expensive than those with arms. Who wouldn’t want to save some cash on a surprisingly expensive piece of furniture that you have to buy multiples of them??? Speaking of cost, be sure to take a close look at the prices cause some of these beauties come in a “set of 2”.

1. Faux Leather and Metal Dining Chair (Set of 2) | 2. Middleton Side Chair | 3. Ardi Side Chair |4. Trysta Dining Chair | 5. Proper Chair | 6. Modern Curved Upholstered Dining Chair | 7. Leather-Backed Dining Chair| 8. Anderson Upholstered Dining Chair | 9. Astrid Mid Century Dining Chair (Set of 2) |10. Sadove Dining Chair | 11. Nadia Cane Chair | 12. Velvet Channel Back Dining Chair (Set of 2) |13. Manteli Upholstered Dining Chair | 14. Blythe Square Back Dining Chair | 15. Neat Dining Chair | 16. Lecture Upholstered Chair | 17. Aspinwall Upholstered Side Chair (Set of 2) | 18. Curran Quilted Granite Dining Chair |19. Addison Golden Flange Slipcovered Dining Chair | 20. Corella Cane and Wood Dining Chair | 21. Lowe Navy Upholstered Dining Chair | 22. Curran Crema Dining Chair | 23. Woven Rattan Dining Chair (Set of 2) |24. Keyra Folkthread Dining Chair

Out of our first round of picks I have to say that I am very into the style and pop of color of #3, the clean lines and comfort level of #8, & the very low price point but high rave reviews of #17.

25. Leon Dining Chair | 26. Brix Dining Chair (Set of 2) | 27. Zoey Caned Armless Dining Chair | 28. Boucle Dining Chair | 29. Portside Dining Chair | 30. Bayley Side Chair | 31. Oak Park Cane Dining Chair | 32. Salduro Sculptural Wood Dining Chair with Upholstered Seat | 33. Copely Upholstered Dining Chair (Set of 2) |34. Roadhouse Black Leather Chair | 35. Rhodes Green Upholstered Chair | 36. Holland Dining Chair | 37. 2pk Copley Armless Dining Chairs | 38. Naomi Dempsey Flax Tufted Dining Chair | 39. Lennox Dining Chair | 40. Baltimore Dining Chair (Set of 2) | 41. Palma Dining Chair in Various Colors |42. Zoe Dining Chair, Basketweave Slub Oatmeal, Set of 2 |43. Cowhide Black Chair | 44. Andover Side Chairs (Set of 2) | 45. Quincy Basketweave Dining Chair | 46. Ceylon Woven Dining Chair | 47. Finley High-Back Upholstered Dining Chair | 48. Burano White Leather Sling Chair | 49. Framework Leather Dining Chair | 50. Ninette Dining Chair |51. Holmdel Mid-Century Dining Chair

Yes, we did have to divide up the graphics cause we rounded up so many options in each category for you all, fingers crossed at least a few might work for your own dining room. The chairs I have my eye on are #26 for a comfy take on a classic style and I would splurge on #38 and save on #40.

The ‘with Arms’ Comfortable Dining Chairs

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the portland dining room reveal + how to create a room that is interesting yet sophisticated

Up next, we have all of your ‘with arms’ options. Debatably more comfortable than the armless counterpart given that after a long meal with family or close friends you could casually tuck your legs up, slouch down a little and enjoy a long conversation over many cocktails or play one of EHD’s favorite board gamesAnomia.

1. Lerri Dining Chair | 2. Leather Upholstered Dining Chair (set of 2) | 3. Dexter Arm Chair | 4. Audrey Heathered Dining Chair Beige | 5. Curvo Mid-Century Modern Dining Accent Chair| 6. Lee Faux Leather Dining Armchair (set of 2) | 7. Weber Chair | 8. Azalea Brown Chair | 9. Elise Cane Arm Chair | 10. Unruh Upholstered Arm Chair in Gray (Set of 2) | 11. Callie Upholstered Tub Chair | 12. Cleo Black Cantilever Chair | 13. Balboa Armchair | 14. Sandia Leather Dining Chair | 15. Velvet Open Back Shawn Dining Armchairs (set of 2) | 16. Gaff Metal Frame Chair | 17. Coppice Upholstered Armchair | 18. Islesboro Chair | 19. Matleena Dining Chair | 20. Modern Upholstered Dining | 21. TOSSBERG

The muted jewel tones of #1 & #3 are calling my name & I am loving the leather detail of #10 plus it looks absolutely so comfortable.

22. Mast Leather Director’s Chair | 23. Viceroy Chair | 24. Feast Dining Chair | 25. Burta Upholstered Arm Chair (Set of 2) | 26. Salvi Velvet Arm Chair in Denim Blue (Set of 2) | 27. James Armchair | 28. Pensil Armchair | 29. Wingback Upholstered Dining Side Chair | 30. Dexter Leather Arm Chair | 31. Boxwell Linen Arm Chair | 32. Lyon Dining Chair | 33. Muller Dining Chair | 34. Upholstered Arm Chair | 35. Mazie Chair | 36. Aesop Armchair | 37. Edward Lounge | 38. Soren Chair | 39. Foley Faux Mohai Dining Chair | 40. Evan Chair | 41. Bayley Armchair | 42. Hawkins Dining Chair

The simplistic style and price point of #24 would be a great chair in either a traditional or modern home, of course, I am drawn to #32 because it is a part of the semi-new Leanne Ford’s Crate & Barrel Collection which I am obsessed with everything from the line (Leanne, if you are reading this it’s amazing!). And if you are a part of the EHD Insider Community you might’ve already seen the special sneak peek of the mood board where we are using these nightstands from her line in an upcoming project! Also, I can personally attest to the comfort factor of #40 since we used them in the dining room of Portland project (see photo above) and where I did countless hours of work in that very chair on the end by the french doors.

So there you have it! I hope by now you feel confident to pick out the most comfortable dining chair for your home and again if you need to check out the rest of the dining room rules do so here. And if you don’t really care so much about only the comfort factor but want some more affordable options check out this post here or want to know how to mix and match dining chairs like a boss click over to this post here. Fair warning both of these posts are over a year old so some links may be broken but maybe it’s time for us to update them? Yes, no, or maybe? Let me know your thoughts on that or if you have any other design questions in the comments below, talk to you soon!

Opening Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Mountain House “Reveal”: The Dining Room Built-in Dilemma (+ The 3 Mistakes We Made)

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Linda
1 year ago

Love this post! Still on the hunt for the perfect dining chair that is stylish, has upholstered seating, AND can handle a toddler spilling food.

I would LOVE a post like this with stylish but comfortable options for office chairs, since our home office is also in the living room.

Courtney
1 year ago
Reply to  Linda

Agreed. Love the comfort factor of upholstered, but not sure it’s worth the chair looking like garbage after my kids eat on them a few times. 😂

Rachel
7 months ago
Reply to  Courtney

Check out Levity Home’s dining chairs. I ended up not using anything from this company (the chair height wasn’t quite right for my antique table) but I was intrigued. I don’t have kids, but I have pets and I am still wishing the chairs could have worked.

Katie
1 year ago
Reply to  Linda

+100 to the stylish but comfortable office chair round up!

SG
1 year ago
Reply to  Linda

Leather is easiest to clean. SW airlines switched to leather seats many years ago for this reason.

Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  Linda

If there’s a post about office chairs, the biggest predictor of comfort has to do with ERGONOMIC functions = adjustable tilting seat and a backrest that goes up and down and tilts.

Jessica
1 year ago

We have #29 and everyone comments on how comfortable they are! You can find that style at cheaper price points, too. I paid around $175 per chair.

Liz
1 year ago
Reply to  Jessica

Oo, where? I like those, too!

Susanna
1 year ago

“Who wouldn’t want to save some cash on a surprisingly expensive piece of furniture that you have to buy multiples of them???”

I would assume someone who sees furniture as a long-term investment and wants their dinner guests to be as comfortable as possible.

isabelle
1 year ago
Reply to  Susanna

Armless chairs are actually preferred in a lot of situations, and tend to be cheaper simply because there’s less chair there, which doesn’t mean a compromise in quality. I recommend them especially for older relatives or people with limited mobility – much easier to pivot and stand up with assistance rather than pull the chair in and out. Also more comfortable for people who need more space because they’re taller, larger, pregnant, etc.

And sometimes it’s a matter of simply not having the money to buy a more expensive version. I’d rather my family sit in a decent, comfortable armless chair than have to sit on the floor 😂

Christy
7 months ago
Reply to  isabelle

I was about to chime in regarding bigger people and dining chairs with arms – sometimes they can’t fit in them. I have “big & tall people” in my family (I’m one of them) and there are a lot of chairs that are very uncomfortable if you have to squeeze yourself in. Stinks, especially when restaurants have no other options. The most comfortable dining chairs with arms I’ve ever sat in is from O & G Studio – wide, perfect seat & back height. I’m saving for those bc they are investment/heirloom pieces for sure! https://www.oandgstudio.com/atlantic-elbow-chair-1

Jeffrey C
1 year ago

I think fabric selection is another critical element for dining room chairs. How durable is the material? How easily does it show stains? What is involved in cleaning?

And while I love that inexpensive West Elm chair with arms, it is so cheap it really gives me pause. What’s wrong with it lol?

margaret
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeffrey C

What’s wrong with it? It’s from West Elm! Stuff falls apart, starts to look like tattered cast-offs within weeks. Dining room chairs, lamps. I’ve learned my lesson. Maybe I’d buy a plant pot from them. Maybe.

Lane
7 months ago
Reply to  margaret

I like some of their curtains, but I find their furniture to be low quality.

Megan
1 year ago

I love this!!! I do wish more non-upholstered options would have been included. I only see 1 option that does not include any type fabric/upholstery/caning. Of course I selfishly want this because that’s what I’m currently on the hunt for. Cat with claws and children have ruined my upholstered ones 🙁

Gigi
1 year ago

I have had #3 from the first group of chairs on my wish list for months now. I need to just do it already.

Kelly S
1 year ago

Just ordered 6 modern windsor chairs, but looks like I might need a couple more!

I would love a post about finding stylish dining chairs that hold larger or heavier people. It’s a real issue even finding out the weight limit on many chairs.

Also, for those of us with wooden chairs, how to find stylish chair pads or cushions?

Jen
1 year ago

Do you have any styling tips for the extra dining chairs you don’t use every day? I currently have two extras in the corners, but they are just sitting there. Would love for them to be a bit more “styled”

kk
7 months ago
Reply to  Jen

Get a cat.

Bek Kim
1 year ago

I love the beautiful chairs, but my problem isn’t finding options, but trying to figure out what goes with my table.

I have the French Fluted-Leg Restoration Hardware (https://images.app.goo.gl/hppAsB2veU8zBXBE9) in black. I dislike it now, but my husband won’t let me get rid of it. He will let me buy new chairs, but I can’t seem to find anything a bit modern that will match a vintage looking black table!

Niki
1 year ago
Reply to  Bek Kim

I’d really love some guidance on how to mix chairs and tables of different styles too. For example which of the comfy chairs would work with a Victorian antique mahogany table or a Saarinen tulip table?

Sarah
7 months ago
Reply to  Bek Kim

I would do Breuer cesca chairs with that table. Either black or natural. I have cesca chairs with a very classic ash shaker table from Pompanoosuc Mills and they look fab. They really edge up anything, but they’re also totally classic at this point.

kk
7 months ago
Reply to  Bek Kim

I like that table! I would not bother trying to match it, I would go for contrast.That table has a lot of texture and looks 19190 style so I’d go for 1960’s and later chairs in simple swooping forms in modern materials. I would do knockoff or real MCM teak and wool or Eames shell chairs… they are comfy, cleanable, and a good modern accent to any antique or vintage table. If you are into a more eclectic look I’d thrift or CL some chairs, very often they’ ll get sold in sets of two, so you can mix and match sets of two to get to 6-8 chairs… you can get designer dining chairs for cheaper in sets of 2… I have a huge rosewood MCM oval dining table simple lines so I have ornate chairs – 2 inlaid rosewood chinese chairs, 2 Steelcase wool chairs, 2 white Eastlake chairs, and a 2 white chairs: a Kevi chair and a 70’s chrome and canvas Milo Baughman ripoff chair. As long as each chair set is nice it looks great and highly intentional . HOWEVER I just got a MIlo Baughman style glass and brass dinging set and I am… Read more »

Joan Renee Stark
1 year ago

When one gets older, I am 69 now, one LOVES chairs with arms. The arms make it so much easier to get in and out of the chair. I have also notice that for those of us 5’ 4” or less most dining room chairs leave our legs dangling. I have taken some chairs to a carpenter to have the legs shortened.

isabelle
1 year ago

That’s interesting! I’ve heard the opposite, with my mobility challenged clients preferring armless. But I suppose it’s different for everyone, you just have to think about it ahead of time.

Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  isabelle

I think when people are getting up unassisted, arms help.
When getting assistance, no arms is better, so the assister can get in close.

Carrie
1 year ago

I’ve been searching for a single padded armless dining chair to use at my craft table (a mid-century dining table). I might have finally found some options! Thank you!

Sarah
1 year ago

This is exactly what I needed! Looking for new dining chairs plus a stylish desk chair that doesn’t look like a desk chair. So helpful. Roundups are my favorite!

1 year ago

Great post! I have the armless n.27 and I love it, but I would like to try n.40 with arms.
XO
Anna From Italy

Mario
1 year ago

Hola que bueno su proyecto

Luis
1 year ago
Reply to  Mario

hola

Thea
1 year ago

Hi team!
Regular reader from Europe here, truly love the content and inspiration on the site.

I was wondering if you guys have ever considered adding an “international” dimension to your guides – i.e giving us the guidelines in metric format as well?

Living in Europe I (obviously) cannot buy anything you link on site, but love the site for inspo ever so much. Guides however are so hard for me to use as everything on EHD is in imperial. Suspect you might have more international readers that would love this as well 🙂

Leah
7 months ago
Reply to  Thea

Yes! Please! It’s such good info but my eyes glaze over because imperial may as well be a different language.

Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  Thea

I agree!
Readers have asked for this before, since the majority of countries actually exist in a metric world.

Grace
1 year ago

I’m so confused- I have a 60″ wide and 30″ tall round table. It’s quite thick and the underside is 26″ from the floor. So if I were to buy chairs with seats 12″ below that, they would be 14″ from the floor… which is extremely low. Do you mean 12″ from the top of the table to the seat of the chair?

Leah
7 months ago

I’ve been trying to make a decision on dining chairs for years! Considering Thonet 18 (classic bistro chair look) for my antique beat up farmhouse ish table but worried they won’t be comfortable/not enough contrast with the table.

Barbara
7 months ago

Would love to see this same discussion with a roundup of swivel dining chairs. For persons with mobility issues, the swivel dining chair is very helpful.

Rachael
7 months ago

Love this post! I spent way too much time looking for the perfect modern but comfortable chairs with a low seat height since the underside of our table top is low. Finally found my Goldilocks chairs so wanted to share! It comes in many more color combinations, and come in a single fabric or two toned as pictured. I bought them in blue. https://lazzoni.com/products/tolina-chair?variant=40821272314033

Jessica
7 months ago

Thank you!!! I desperately need new dining room chairs and am on a tight budget. I love these selections.

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