How to Choose the Perfect Dining Table: Expert Tips and Advice

Gathering around the dining table with loved ones and savoring a home-cooked meal is an incomparable moment of warmth in life. However, with varying family sizes and preferences, choosing the right dining table can be a daunting task. To help you make an informed decision, Home Quarters shares some insights on selecting a dining table that is perfect for your family, based on style, size, and material.

1. Style of the Dining Table

Rectangular Dining Table

  • Pros: The rectangular dining table is the most popular style of dining table that exudes a formal vibe, ideal for creating a sophisticated ambiance. It is suitable for large and small dining areas alike.

  • Cons: The sharp corners of a rectangular dining table can pose a risk of injury.

  • Suitable for House Sizes and Families: The rectangular dining table is suitable for families of all sizes, especially those with more than 3-5 members. It is a great choice for rectangular dining spaces.
OSWELL Ceramic Extendable Dining Table

Round Dining Table

  • Pros: The round dining table is a popular style among many families. Its circular shape symbolizes family reunion and fosters a sense of togetherness. Unlike rectangular tables, it has no sharp corners that could potentially cause injury.

  • Cons: Due to its size, it is recommended to be used in restaurants that are larger than 10 square meters to maintain an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

  • Suitable for House Sizes and Families: This style is ideal for households with a large number of diners, accommodating 6-8 people. Its suitability depends on the size and shape of the restaurant. If the space is sufficient or square, a round dining table can be used if it is larger than 10 square meters.
MARCEL Marble Dining Table

Square dining table

  • Pros: A square dining table is a great option for small-sized families, providing an upright and stable surface for dining. Resembling the rectangular Eight Immortals table that was popular among ancient Chinese, it implies a sense of stability and durability for the family. Additionally, square dining tables save space and are perfect for compact apartments.

  • Cons: The sharp corners of a square table can be hazardous and may cause injuries if not careful. It also limits seating to a maximum of four people.

  • Suitable for house types and families: ideal for families with less than four members and a restaurant area of less than 5㎡, making it suitable for small houses or apartments.

Oval Dining Table

  • Pros: The oval dining table offers the best of both worlds by combining the advantages of a rectangular and round table. It has no sharp corners, making it safer for families with children. The table can seat a large number of people, making it great for gatherings and family dinners.

  • Cons: When choosing an oval table, it’s important to pay attention to the design and quality, as a poorly designed or cheap-looking table can detract from the overall decor.

  • Suitable for households and families: The oval dining table is ideal for families of 4-6 people who enjoy hosting dinner parties. It’s recommended for medium to large-sized homes with a restaurant area of at least 10 square meters.
ST. CHARLES Double Pedestal Dining Table

Folding Dining Table:

  • Pros: The folding dining table is a great solution for those who want to save space without compromising on functionality. It can be easily opened up to accommodate up to 10 people for dinner parties and then folded away for storage when not in use.

  • Cons: Folding and unfolding the table can require significant effort, so it’s important to invest in a high-quality table that can withstand frequent use.

  • Suitable for households and families: A folding dining table is a great option for those who frequently entertain guests at home but have limited space. It’s best suited for small to medium-sized homes with a restaurant area of less than 8 square meters.

2. How to Determine the Table Size

When choosing a dining table and chairs, it’s important to consider more than just the material and appearance. The size of the table is a key factor to ensure it’s suitable for the available indoor space. For instance, using a large dining table for six people in a small apartment can make the space feel cramped. It’s also important to consider ergonomic principles, as choosing tables and chairs with inappropriate height can significantly reduce dining comfort.

Here are some guidelines for choosing the optimal dining table and chair heights:

The height of dining tables on the market typically comes in fixed standards of 70cm, 72cm, 74cm, and 76cm, while seat heights for chairs and stools range from 40cm to 44cm. When choosing the height of your dining table, it’s essential to adhere to ergonomic principles. This means selecting a chair that conforms to the natural shape of your body and does not require you to adapt to it actively. The ideal sitting position is to have your feet on the ground, your back leaning against the back of the chair, and your calves and thighs forming a natural 90° angle. If your chair has armrests, your forearm and upper arm should form a 90° angle as well.

When purchasing dining tables and chairs, it’s recommended to try them out beforehand to ensure they are comfortable. If you are shopping online, consider selecting a table and chair set with ergonomic measurements that follow the guidelines above. For instance, the minimum size for a one-person dining table should be at least 60cm x 60cm, and for more spacious settings, 75cm x 75cm or more.

Next, let’s explore the size of dining tables for different user areas and number of diners.

Rectangular dining tables are best suited for indoor spaces with specific dimensions and the number of people using them. A table for two should measure around 76cm x 60cm, while a table for four people should measure between 106cm to 145cm in length and 60cm to 80cm in width. A table for six people should be around 152cm to 190cm in length and 76cm to 80cm in width, and a table for eight people should be approximately 182cm x 76cm. Square dining tables should measure between 60cm to 80cm for two people, 90cm for four people, and 106cm for eight people, with the length and width being equal.

To determine the suitable size of your dining table, consider the area of your house and the number of people using it. For a house with less than 100㎡ of indoor space and a dining area less than 9㎡, consider purchasing a rectangular table less than 150cm in length. For a house with an indoor area between 100-150㎡ and a dining area of 10-15㎡, select a rectangular table over 150cm in length. For a large apartment with an indoor area of over 150㎡ and a dining area of more than 15㎡, a rectangular table with a length of 180cm is recommended. As for the number of diners, it’s best to choose a table length of 1-1.2 meters for a family of two, a length of over 1.5 meters for a family of 4-5 people, and a length of more than 1.8 meters for a family of six or more.

Lastly, round dining tables are another option to consider, with their size varying according to the number of people who will use them. A table for two people should measure around 60cm in diameter, while a table for three people should measure

3. Other Important Factors

In addition to the previously mentioned factors, there are three additional factors that can affect the size and type of dining table one should purchase.

Work at the Dining Table

If you like to work from home, it’s best to buy an extra-long, large rectangular dining table that can double as an office desk. Consider purchasing a dining table with a small drawer storage area below, allowing for easy switching between working and dining environments.

Open Kitchen

For those with open kitchen spaces, the size of the dining table can be increased by connecting it with the cabinet countertop or island bar. A small dining table connected with the cabinet countertop is suitable for spaces under 7 square meters, while a super large dining table can be created by connecting the dining table with an independent western kitchen bar for spaces over 15 square meters.

Common Dining Table Materials

There are four common dining table materials, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

  • Solid Wood: A popular choice due to its good texture and suitability for various styles. However, it is delicate and susceptible to oil and water stains, so maintenance is required. When purchasing a solid wood dining table, consider open lacquer or wood wax oil treatment for high-grade wood species like oak, black walnut, and ash. For hardwoods, choose a closed coating method to reduce the likelihood of cracking and deformation.

  • Glass: An environmentally friendly option that is easy to clean, but it is fragile and has a lower aesthetic appeal. When purchasing, look for a glass dining table with the 3c logo for tempered glass, ensuring safety.

  • Marble: A high-end option with a smooth and luxurious appearance, but it is prone to bleeding and costly, especially for larger sizes. When purchasing, ensure the surface is bright and free from scratches and that the inlay between the marble and the legs is firm and secure.

  • Ceramic: Resistant to dirt and wear, waterproof, and easy to maintain, but it is also bulky. When purchasing, look for supporting materials like steel frames and solid wood to ensure durability.

  • Artificial Board: A moderately priced option that requires less maintenance than solid wood and has stable physical properties. When purchasing, opt for a wood-based panel dining table made of blockboard or multi-layer board with a 1mm or more solid wood veneer for strength, durability, and resistance to high temperatures. Avoid purchasing particle board or density board + non-solid wood veneer options, as they are less environmentally friendly and prone to water damage and foam.


Consider the environmental impact, price, and durability when choosing a dining table. Glass is the most environmentally friendly, while marble is the most expensive. Ceramic has the highest durability, while solid wood is the least durable.

SOPHIE Natural Veneer Counter Table

Frequently asked questions

Measure your dining area carefully, allowing at least 36 inches (91 cm) between the edge of the table and walls or furniture for comfortable seating. Consider the number of people you want to accommodate regularly and ensure there's enough room for chairs to be pulled out comfortably.
Rectangular: Ideal for formal dining and larger families. It fits well in rectangular rooms and offers ample seating.

Round: Promotes conversation and is space-efficient. It's great for smaller dining areas and eliminates sharp corners.

Square: Suitable for small spaces and promotes an intimate dining experience. However, it may limit seating compared to rectangular tables.

Oval: Combines the benefits of rectangular and round tables, offering a versatile shape that suits various room sizes and accommodates more diners.
Solid Wood: Durable and adds warmth to a room but requires regular maintenance to prevent damage from spills.

Glass: Easy to clean and modern-looking, but it can be fragile and prone to scratches.

Marble: Luxurious and durable, but it's heavy and requires careful maintenance to avoid staining.

Ceramic: Resistant to scratches and heat, making it durable and easy to maintain, though it can be heavy.

Artificial Board: Affordable and stable, but less durable than solid wood and may not withstand moisture well.
Standard dining tables are around 28-30 inches (71-76 cm) high, suitable for most chairs. Ensure the table height allows for a comfortable seating position with feet flat on the floor and knees at a 90-degree angle. Consider adjustable or custom-height options for optimal comfort.
Opt for space-saving designs like folding tables or extendable options that can be adjusted based on your needs. Consider square tables that fit snugly into corners or against walls without overwhelming the space.
Regularly clean your dining table according to its material type to prevent stains and damage. Use coasters and placemats to protect surfaces from heat, moisture, and scratches. Follow manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and avoid abrasive cleaners that could damage the finish.
Look for features like extendable leaves for flexibility in seating, storage options for table linens or dinnerware, and unique design elements that complement your home decor. Consider how the table will function beyond dining, such as for work or entertaining guests.