A guide to choosing dining chairs to complement your table and room.

Most dining tables come with matching dining chairs. However, if you’d like an individual look or want to keep your existing table but refresh your dining room, you might want to buy separate dining chairs.  

Here’s our guide to choosing dining chairs.

Size of Chair

Dining chairs come in a variety of sizes. We recommend avoiding chairs that are narrower than 30cm as these don’t provide enough support, particularly for bigger bottoms! For maximum comfort, choose chairs that are around 50cm wide.

As a rule of thumb, try to allow a minimum of 30cm between the top of the seat and the top of the table. This will give you enough room to sit easily at the table. If you have too big a gap, you’ll struggle to reach the table and won’t be able to eat comfortably.

Size of Room

If your dining room is small, opt for dining chairs with slatted backs that you can see through. A partly open back gives an illusion of greater space. If you have a small round table, avoid carver chairs as the arms limit the number of people you can sit around the table.

Andrena Pelham slatted dining chair

If you space is restricted opting for a bench instead of chairs is a good choice. A bench is a good solution when you need to seat lots of children but might not be so good for adult dinner guests and won’t work with a round table!
If you have a large dining space, you can afford to have large statement chairs with solid backs.

Chair Material

Wooden dining chairs are the most versatile and if you have children, the most practical as they can be wiped clean. They are available in a variety of shapes and finishes so you should easily be able to find a style to suit your dining table and room. To give wooden chairs extra comfort just add a seat pad.

ercol Capena wooden dining chair

Upholstered dining chairs are more comfortable than wooden chairs. They come in a huge choice of fabrics and colours so can be matched to the look and feel of your room. Leather upholstered chairs are a more practical choice if you have children as they are easier to keep clean than upholstered chairs.

Andrena Barley upholstered dining chair

Metal dining chairs are not as popular as wooden or upholstered chairs, but they are a good option for a modern look.


Try to find chairs that share a common element with your dining table. That common element can be the period, the colour and finish, or the design. If the table is square or rectangular, consider chairs with a square or rectangular seat. If the table has ornate legs, look for chairs with the same line in the leg or back. 

For a traditional look, wooden chairs are your best option. Go for natural wood in a shade that complements your dining room.

ercol Windsor traditional wooden dining chair

If you prefer a modern style, dining chairs with metal legs or cantilever frames are perfect. 

ercol Romana cantilevered dining chair

For the latest on-trend look, mix and match shades and textures.

We stock a range of dining chairs and tables from leading manufacturers including ercolSkovby,and Andrena. You can browse a selection here, or pop in store to view our complete collection. During January, we have up to 25% off the MRP on dining furniture.