Dining Chair Dimensions (Size Guide)

different dining room designs with chairs

In this dining chair dimensions guide, you will discover the standard seat height and width for the dining room, home bar, and kitchen. Matching the height of your table to your chairs is important for aesthetics, comfort, and utility. For a comfortable and practical dining experience, the table should be at a comfortable level when seated. The guest should be able to rest their forearms on the table.

This requires approximately one foot between the seat and the tabletop. To determine what kind of chairs to purchase, measure the height of your table and subtract one foot. Look for types of dining chairs with seats that fit this size.

Standard Dining Chair Sizes

Standard Dining Chair Sizes

Height 32-34 inches
Seat  18 inches
Width 16-20 inches

The standard dining chair dimensions are between 32 and 34″ tall, with the seat 18″ from the floor. The standard width of a dining chair is 16 – 20″.

Dining Chair Height

Contemporary dining room with different chair sizes

The appropriate size for your dining chair depends on how high your table is.

Standard tabletops measure 30″ from the ground. Counter-height tables are 36″ tall.

Most chairs for sale are labeled as either standard or counter-height. Make sure you double-check before purchasing because it is not possible to use standardheight chairs at a counter-height table, nor the other way around.

Standard Height

Seat 18 inches off the ground
Table 30 inches high
Back Support 12-16 inches (from seat top)
Total Chair Back  32-34 inches
High-back Chairs Suitable for formal settings

Chair seat

The seat of a standard dining chair is usually 18″ to 20″ off the ground. Standard-sized tables are 30″ high, allowing 12″ of leg clearance from an 18-inch seat.

For the back of the chairs, 12 to 16″ of support is recommended, as measured from the seat top. A chair back height of 32 – 34″ is standard if measuring from the ground.

This supports the lumbar region of the back while still allowing adults to twist and turn without putting uncomfortable pressure on the back of the head.

The exception to this rule is high-back dining chairs, which can be much taller and are best suited to formal dining rooms.

Chair Width

Dinning Chair Width

Comfort Minimum 16 inches
Maximum 20 inches
Spacing Recommendation 24-26 inches per diner
People Calculation Tabletop width ÷ 32 inches


A comfortable chair can significantly improve your enjoyment of meals. Width is one aspect of comfort to consider when selecting new chairs.

The minimum width for a comfortable seat is 16″. Chairs smaller than this often feel flimsy or inadequate and don’t encourage lingering to enjoy a meal.

Chairs larger than 20″ across are likely to interfere with your seating arrangements. Each diner requires sufficient space to use utensils and eat without knocking elbows with their neighbor.

The absolute minimum amount of space each diner needs is 18″, which is only suitable for a crowded family holiday meal. For everyday dining, 24-26″ of space per diner is recommended, plus an additional 6″ for getting in and out of the seat.

If you measure from one table leg to the other and divide by 32″, the result is how many people you can comfortably sit at that side of the table on a day-to-day basis.

Seat Height

Clearance from Apron/Tabletop 12 inches
Armchair Fitting Ensure arms/seat fit under


The first task to complete before purchasing new dining room chairs is looking at your table—specifically, the underside of the tabletop.

Is there a piece of wood connecting the legs? This is called an ‘apron’ and is part of the structural integrity of the table. It’s also dangerous to you and your guests if you get the wrong-sized chairs.

Space between table and chairsTo avoid knocking your knees, the seat should be at least 12″ from the apron. If the table doesn’t have an apron, the 12″ of clearance should be measured from the underside of the tabletop to the top of the seat.

If your dining chairs features arms, ensure that the arms and seat can be pushed under the table and apron, if present. This helps keep your eating area tidy when not in use.

Ideally, there would be seven inches of clearance between the top of the arm and the bottom of the tabletop. Less clearance and your guests may feel thwarted by a chairs that can’t get close enough to the table. See ideas for different types of dining tables here.

Chair Depth

Chair Depth

Standard Chairs 15-18 inches
Traditional Accent Chairs 21-24 inches

An important factor for comfort is the chair depth. The standard dining chair should be 15″ to 18″ deep. This measurement is strictly for dining chairs, generally constructed more compactly than other traditional accent chairs with an average depth of 21″ to 24″.

To help make your chairs more comfortable, select products with upholstery, a softer surface like leather, or use pillows. Also, consider models with rounded backs to enhance comfort.

Kitchen Chair Height

Standard Kitchen Counter

Standard 12 inches clearance from the tabletop underside, seat 18 inches off the floor
Barstools Counter Seat 24-26 inches, Total 35-36 inches
Barstools Spectator Seat 33-34 inches, Total 45-48 inches

Kitchen chairs should follow the same height rules as dining seating. 12″ between the underside of the tabletop and the top of the seat is considered the minimum allowable amount.

Kitchen chairs generally have a seat 18″ off the ground. Not only does this allow adequate leg room, it puts most diners at an appropriate level for eating off a standard kitchen tabletop.

For bar stools, there are two primary sizes. These are counter bar stools or spectator-height bar stools.

Spectator Height Bar Stool Size

A regular kitchen counter bar stool has a seat about 24″ to 26″ from the floor and a total height of 35″ to 36″. On the other hand, spectator height bar stools for a bar countertop have a seat size of 33″ to 34″ and are between 45″ to 48″ tall.

Table Height Chairs

Bar Height Table

Bar Style (42 inches tall) Seat 30 inches high
Counter-Height (36 inches) Seat 24 inches high
StandardHeight (30 inches) Seat 18 inches high

In the case of a bar style table, which stands about 42″ tall, a seat that is 30″ off the ground would be perfect. For a counter-high tabletop, generally around 36″ tall, a 24 inch seat is recommended.

While using occasional or slipper chairs as an unconventional alternative to a dining chair may sound like a good idea, these types of seating are not designed to be used at a table.

A standardhigh table is 30″ tall and pairs best with a seat around 18″ from the floor. Read more about dining table dimensions here.

What Height Chair for 30 Inch Table

Square Dining Room Table SizeA 30-inch table is also called standard height. The tabletop is 30″ from the ground. Your guests need 12″ of space between the seat and the tabletop or apron.

The chair back can be any size you like, but the best chair for a 30″ length table is to have the seat located 18″ off the ground.

Chair Height for 36 Inch Table

Counter-high tables are grouped together by their height — 36″ off the ground. A chair made for a 30-inch, tabletop isn’t going to work.

Instead, look for chairs with a seat that is 24″ from the ground. This will boost your guests to the correct level for a 36″ table without compromising their comfort.

Bench Height for Table

Bench Height for Table

  Suitable height: 18 inches

Benches are a popular and attractive choice of seating that is particularly popular in an informal dining space, an open-plan living area, and a casual kitchen table.

You should be able to sit comfortably on the bench without feeling squeezed, have elbow room, and push the bench under the tabletop when it’s not in use. The best height for a bench that will be used for seating at a dining or kitchen table is 18 inches.

Do you have any questions, advice, or comments regarding these seating dimensions? Let us know in the comments below. For more related content, see our gallery of how to mix and match dining chairs.

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One Comment

  1. I have table 30 inches high and I feel an 18 inch floor to seat height is too short. I’m 5”7. It needs to be 20 inches high. The older tables with an 18 were 28 inches high. While seated with my 18 inch chair my wrists when placed on the table are chest high.

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