Do Dining Chairs Have to Fit Under the Table? [Answered]

Have you ever fallen in love with a dining table but couldn’t find the perfect chairs?

If yes, then you are not alone. Customers often find ideal dining tables but getting the perfect chairs is another story.

You will hear several arguments about why having mismatched chairs is trendy and they do not need to fit under the Table. But honestly, your dining room chairs should fit under the Table to create a symmetrical look.

Having the chairs fit under the Table has aesthetic and practical benefits. Aesthetically your dining room looks more compact and organized, and practically, chairs according to your dining table height will provide a comfortable posture for sitting, making your mealtime more enjoyable and relaxing.

According to Havard Medical School, improper sitting posture can lead to constipation, heartburn, and other digestive problems. So if you want to know more about the ideal measurements of dining tables and chairs, read further. This article will also discuss ergonomics chairs and ways to increase your Table’s height for a comfortable dining experience.

JUMP TO: Determining the Height of Dining Chair & Table | Tips for Chairs not Fitting Under Table | Clearance Needed Between Table and Chair | Ergonomic of the Dining Chair | Essential Measurements |

Key Takeaways:

  • Ideally, dining chairs should fit under the Table, providing a comfortable seating posture.
  • There are several ways to increase the height of your tables, like furniture risers, pads, and adjustable cranks.
  • Always keep the ergonomics of dining set in mind before buying one to ensure optimal convenience.
  • Always measure your dining chair height and the cushion to get accurate measurements.

How to Determine the Ideal Height of Dining Chairs and Table?

In simple words, if your chair fits under the Table and your feet touch the floor while sitting on the chair, it is the perfect fit. But, it isn’t always accurate as dining chairs come in different types and shapes and requires a more detailed analysis to find the ideal size.

Let’s look at the following illustration, describing the ideal measurements for the dining table and chair.

chair measurement

Picture Courtesy

As you can see in the image, the ideal chair height (measured from the cushion you sit on to the bottom) should be around 1 foot and 6 inches, while the dining table’s height should be 2 feet and 5 inches.

To ensure a comfortable posture, you must keep a difference of around 10-11 inches between your table legs and the tabletop. 

The ideal width of the chair should be 2 feet 10 inches, as it will allow the chair to fit under the Table and help you support your elbows on the Table while eating.

In addition to good posture, ideal chair height also has health benefits. Research shows that a chair higher than standard measurement can increase pressure on the underside of the knees while a lower chair can put pressure on your sit bones.

Fun fact: The word Table is derived from the Latin word “Tabula,” meaning a plate or frame. Ancient Egyptians invented the earliest table models, but European emperors gave them an elegant look for grand feasts and dinners

What if Your Chair Doesn’t Fit Under the Table?

You might feel like you have absolutely found the perfect dining set at the store. You sit on the chairs, and it feels like the ideal height, and the Table looks like the most exquisite piece of furniture ever until they are delivered to your home.

Subsequently, you start feeling the chairs are too high, or maybe the tabletop is too low, making the whole experience quite uncomfortable. If that is the problem, don’t fret because we have three practical ways to make things workable for you.

Add Furniture Pads

Chair Pads

Picture Courtesy:

Furniture pads, also known as moving blankets, are soft cushy coverings under your table and chair legs. They have multiple benefits like 

  • Protecting your floors from damage.
  • Keeping your furniture clean.
  • It makes moving heavier items quite easy.

Furthermore, it also helps you increase the height of your furniture. A standard pad has a height of 1 to 2 inches that can help improve the overall size of your dining table or chairs.

Use Furniture Risers.

Furniture Riser

Picture Courtesy

If your Table feels too low or you feel discomfort while eating, place bed risers under each table leg to increase the height of your Table.

It is a great way to make your furniture functional without breaking the bank. Typically you will find a pack of 4 risers for around $30.

Moreover, it is also a safe way to increase the Table’s height without compromising the furniture’s stability and sturdiness.

Add Adjustable Height Crank

Height Crank

Picture Courtesy littletreefurniture. co

Use adjustable height cranks if you have a trestle table that feels uncomfortable for dining. Adjustable height crank will look trendy, and apart from this, It is another budget-friendly solution to increase your dining table’s height, but it requires some good DIY skills.

You can also ask your local hardware store or artisan to do the job for you.

Did you know?

Vietnam was the largest source of wooden dining tables in the United States in 2019. The value of wooden tables imported from Vietnam was 423.33 million U.S. dollars.

How Much Clearance Do You Need Between the Dining Table and Chair?

There must be at least 10-12 inches of space between the chair and the dining table top to sit comfortably and get up without hitting your knees on the Table. Always measure your chair seat by keeping in mind that upholstery also adds some height to the chair.

Also Read: How to Clean Fabric Dining Chairs?

In addition to this, If you have a large table and space in the dining room, make sure the aisles and edges of the tables have at least 24 inches of dining space to ensure easy movement for guests without feeling cramped up.

Here is a great illustration of the dining table layout that can help you place your Table optimally.

Dining Table Layout

Picture Courtesy

The Ergonomics of the Dining Table and Chair for Comfortable Seating

The biggest mistake we often make while designing our dining area is focusing on the aesthetics of the place rather than the comfort.

Don’t get me wrong, appealing furniture and aesthetically pleasing elements in space make a difference, but we often forget an essential part of home design: ERGONOMICS

Ergonomics is the study of enhancing human efficiency by using products specifically designed according to the human body. You can maintain a correct posture and increase productivity by using ergonomic furniture.

Moreover, it also aids in back pain, stress, and musculoskeletal pain. You must remember a few things to get the best dining set for your home.

Essential Measurements to Keep In Mind for Optimal Comfort

Let’s look at this Table to understand the ergonomically correct measurements of the dining table and chair for optimal comfort.

Measurements of a Rectangular Table

The shape of the TableLengthWidthHeightNo of people

Measurements of a Square Table

The Shape of the TableWidth from all sidesHeightNo of people

Measurements of a Round Table

The shape of the TableDiameterHeightNo of People
Round36″ -44″30″4
44″ -54″30″4-6
54″ -72″30″6-8

Measurements of a Dining Chair

Standard Height of Dining chair18-20 inches
The Vertical distance between the seat of the chair and the bottom of the tabletop10 inches

Factors to Remember for Buying the Perfect Chair

  • Make sure the chair is stable, comfortable, and has adequate depth.
  • The chairs should easily slide under the Table and not bump into the chair legs or edges.
  • It is preferable to use chairs without arms as they require more space and can cause inconvenience while eating.
  • When you sit on the dining chair seat, you must have enough space to fit your legs without hitting the Table.

Helpful Tips to Remember

  • Always choose the shape of the dining room table according to your family size and space. A rectangular table is ideal for larger families as round tables have extra inaccessible areas, making it an impractical option.
  • Ergonomically, each person on the dining table requires 60 cm of space for easy eating and moving.
  • Not to mention, never place the Table near a wall, as it can make your dining room looks small and cramped up.
  • Ideally, you must keep 36 inches of space around the Table to ensure maximum freedom for movement.

Related Read: Why Are Dining Chairs So Expensive? Answered With 11 Reasons


It is your choice whether you want a compact dining set or an elaborated one but makes sure to prioritize comfort over aesthetics. Choosing chairs that fit under the Table is better as it creates symmetry in your dining room and accumulates less space.

Similarly, never ignore the ergonomics of dining chair seats, as a wrong slumped posture can cause severe back pain.

In any case, your dining table is where you share delicious meals, and good memories with your family and friends, a comfortable and relaxing experience will only make things more pleasing for your guests and yourself.

As a furniture enthusiast, I love making furniture that's both aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic. My master's degree is in ergonomics, and I have worked in the field for over 5 years. Email me: [email protected]

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