This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which dining chair is best?

Whether it’s for everyday dining or elaborate special occasion meals, sitting in your dining room should be a pleasure. While the company around the table is most important, the dining chairs they sit in matter, too.

For an elegant look in a very comfortable chair, try the Agastya Tufted Parsons Chair. This set of two chairs adds a classic touch with tufted backs and gracefully curved tops.

What to know before you buy a dining chair

How many chairs do you need?

Most people buy dining chairs based on the number of people they have, but it’s important to think about the available space around the table, too. For a comfortable dining experience, plan on 24-30 inches of space per person when seated.

This translates into:

  • Four chairs for a 48-inch round or square table
  • Six chairs for a round or square 60-inch table or 72-inch rectangular or oval table
  • Eight chairs for a 72-inch round or square table or a 96-inch rectangular or oval table
  • 10 chairs for a 120-inch rectangular or oval table

Chair type

Whether your style is fun and funky or clean and classic, the type of dining chair you select should reflect that. Consider the following styles.

  • Armchairs: Armchairs are formal options that are usually placed at the ends of the table. These are also good for people who struggle to stand up when seated.
  • Side chairs: Side chairs are more casual and compact. For this reason, they are often on the sides of the table and work better in dining rooms with less space.
  • Parsons chairs: This type of chair resembles a side chair but is slightly more formal. They’re often tailored and upholstered with a curving back.
  • Benches: Benches are a great option for seating more people than individual chairs would allow. They are casual and appropriate in less formal dining rooms.


Further customize the look of your dining room by considering which chair material you’d like.

  • Wood: Wood is a common and durable material that can be simple or intricate. These may also come with an upholstered cushion or accents on the back of the chair.
  • Metal: For an industrial look at home, choose metal. These are easy to store and often stack, plus they are lightweight and easy to keep clean.
  • Wicker: Natural materials are woven together to create a chair that works well in bohemian or rustic dining rooms.
  • Fabric upholstery: Upholstered chairs are a good choice for formal dining rooms in households without children. They are more able to be personalized than other options, but they are harder to keep clean.
  • Plastic: Plastic chairs come in a wide variety of styles and colors. They are lightweight and easy to clean and store. This is the best option for homes with small children.

What to look for in a quality dining chair

Floor protection

Simple rubber stoppers on the bottom of each chair leg protect your floors from scratches and damage. These also prevent the chairs from skidding.

Easy-care fabric and materials

Even upholstered chairs are available in easy-care fabrics that are treated for stain resistance. This is important if you like the look of a fabric chair but don’t want to spend a lot of time maintaining them.

Easy storage

If you purchase extra chairs for large gatherings, they must be easy to store when the party’s over. Stackable chairs are perfect for compact spaces.


Slipcovers let you change the look of your dining room in a flash. The best slipcovers are machine washable and offer protection for the fabric underneath. Some slipcovers are also available for metal, wood and plastic chairs.

How much you can expect to spend on a dining chair

The price varies dramatically depending on the number of chairs you purchase, the materials used and the overall quality. Expect to spend $35-$300 per chair.

Dining chair FAQ

What are some tips for selecting dining room chairs that match the decor?

A. The most important factor when selecting dining room chairs is to make sure you have room for them. Measure your dining room and dining room table first.

To find the best dining room chairs for your decor:

  • Coordinate the shape of the chair with the shape of the table. Square or rectangular tables look great when surrounded by chairs with square or rectangular backs.
  • Customize your cushions to match the colors of your walls and table accessories.
  • Change the look of your dining room with slipcovers.
  • Consider neutral colors if you prefer that your tablescape gets all of the attention.

Do you have to buy a matching set of table and chairs?

A. No. If your decorating style is more eclectic, choosing different chairs and coordinating the color of the chair or the pattern of the cushion can pull the look together.

What’s the best dining chair to buy?

Top dining chair

Agastya Tufted Parsons Chair

Agastya Tufted Parsons Chair

What you need to know: These chairs bring an elegant, comfortable touch to the dining room.

What you’ll love: The rolled tops and tufted buttons are graceful and fit a variety of decorating styles. They come in a set of two and are available in one additional color. The legs have plastic glides to prevent scratching the floor, and they easily assemble. These hold up to 260 pounds.

What you should consider: These cannot be stacked, and they are only able to be spot-cleaned.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

Top dining chair for the money

Fdw Store Tolix Side Metal Kitchen Trattoria Chairs

FDW Store Tolix Side Metal Kitchen Trattoria Chairs

What you need to know: The clean lines of these chairs are modernist and classic.

What you’ll love: If you prefer the clean lines of a stool, the backs are removable. They are steel, stackable and sturdy. These sets of four chairs come in nine colors. Nonslip rubber feet keep them in place and protect your floors.

What you should consider: You’ll need to add cushions if you want a more comfortable seat.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

GreenForest Dining Chairs

GreenForest Dining Chairs

What you need to know: They have the mid-century modern style and look of leather in an easy-care faux material.

What you’ll love: Assembly is easy. The legs are paintable and can be customized to your decor. Nonslip rubber leg pads protect floors. They hold up to 250 pounds. They come in sets of two or four chairs.

What you should consider: Because the chairs are not actual leather, they wear more quickly and puncture easily.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.