Dining Decisions: How to Pick the Right Table for Your Home

Author: Kate Nusbaum

Published: December 14, 2021


Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Midnight snacks. Board games that last way too long. Late night conversations. Tricky math homework that makes no sense. All these events, these memory-making experiences happen at the table. You eat, talk, laugh, and even cry here. Everyone has a favorite chair or couch in their home, but nothing carries the same sentimental value as your dining set. Many people consider their dining room (or eating area) the heart of the home because that’s where all the important things happen.

Since the dining set is such an important part of your home, it’s important to pick the right one for you. Some of the biggest factors that play into this decision include where you want the table to be in your home and what the main use of the table will be. Let’s enroll in a short table-education by looking at the most common table heights/sizes and what activities work best with each of them.  Once completed, you should be able to pick out the perfect dining set and have fun doing it. Let’s learn about tables!


Standard Table Height: 


Most of the tables that you’ll find in stores, restaurants, and dining rooms are at ‘standard’ height (a.k.a. dining height) – it’s basically the default for tables. A standard table is usually 28 to 30 inches tall, which is the most comfortable height for sitting. The standard height of a chair is about 17-20 inches at the seat. This style is more traditional and formal due to its popularity over time. Because of its popularity, there are more options to choose from when shopping for tables. Tables at dining height also tend to be larger and longer, so it can sit more people at once.

What Works Best… 

Standard height tables are great for dining rooms or large kitchens. Since standard height tables tend to be larger/longer, they are great for family meals and parties! Other activities could include board games, study groups, and working from home. If you’re in the middle of a board game and need to eat dinner, you can leave the game on one side of the table and eat at the other! The same can go for homework and work projects, as well. Dining height tables are also the best height when it comes to sitting for long periods of time, so experiences that include longer-lasting conversations or meals are great with this height!




Counter Table Height:


Tables that sit a little higher than standard height are known as ‘counter height’ tables. These are normally 34 to 36 inches tall, so just a smidge taller than standard height. The stools for counter height tables are between 24 and 27 inches tall at the seat. This table height is a little less common, but still quite popular, so the selection is just as diverse as standard height tables. The extra four to eight inches make the table appear bigger, giving the illusion of taking up more space. The added height is also great for taller folks who appreciate more legroom. Some counter tables even have storage bins or drawers underneath! These tables may not be quite as big or long as a regular dining table, so some may not fit as many people.


What Works Best… 

Counter height tables are a great addition for small dining rooms or medium-sized kitchens, potentially doubling as extra counter space if needed (or if you mainly eat in the kitchen). They’re also a good option for informal seating or entertaining spaces. If you have a man cave or some type of game room in your home, a counter height table would be great for guests! Casual, shorter meals are best eaten on a counter height table, and perfect for a round or two of cards. If you have a big family or like to host events with a lot of people, having multiple counter height tables guarantees a seat for everyone!





Bar Table Height:


Bar height is 40-42 inches tall, making it the tallest table height (try saying that 5 times fast :D)! In many instances, bar tables are also referred to as ‘high top’ tables since they’re so high off the ground. Bar table stools have the greatest range in height, going from 28 inches up to 33 inches high at the seat. Out of the three different table heights, bar height is considered the most informal due to its namesake. Bar tables are usually the smallest size table, meaning that it doesn’t usually sit more than four or five people. However, since these tables sit higher, they can act as a faux wall between open rooms if necessary. You may have to do a little more snooping when shopping for a bar height table, since they aren’t quite as popular as the other two table heights.


What Works Best…

Bar height tables are great for smaller size kitchens, possibly acting as extra counter space (or, again, if you mainly eat in your kitchen). Given their name, bar tables are recognized as socializing spots, which makes them perfect for party or event rooms. Since they sit so high up, bar tables can also be used without stools, such as for a standing-room-only event. In open-concept homes, bar tables can work as a faux wall if you want a distinct line between rooms. So, bar tables work for small kitchens, social spaces, and open concept homes.





Now that we’ve read and learned all that information, it’s time to recap!


What are the different heights for tables? 

- Standard Height Tables are 28-30 inches tall 

- Counter Height Tables are 34-36 inches tall 

- Bar Height Tables are 40-42 inches tall 


If you have a dining room, big family, or like to do your work at the table, then a standard height table is the way to go! They’re great for games, homework, work, big meals, and lots of people! Counter height tables are great for small/medium dining rooms and kitchens! They’re kind of the hybrid between standard and bar tables, so they’re flexible for almost any situation. Bar tables are best for small kitchens, informal/social events, or for dividing open-plan rooms.

Remember, dining sets are more than just furniture; they’re a home staple. The table is where the most important conversations take place, where the most delicious meals are eaten, and where the most important things happen. Now go find the perfect dining set, the one that’s right for you.