An Introductory Dining Tables Buying Guide 

For many people, the dining table is the heart of the home. It provides a space for loved ones to gather for delicious food and intimate conversation. This versatile furniture also allows you to assemble puzzles, crafts, and other big projects.  

Furniture retailers offer thousands of dining tables in different colors, sizes, and styles. This huge selection means there’s a perfect dining table for everyone. Our handy dining tables buying guide will help you pick the right furniture for your home.  

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Choosing the Right Dining Table 

Spend a few hours browsing furniture retailer websites, and you’ll find countless dining tables at every price point. Consider these factors to help you narrow your choices.  


Dining tables come in a broad range of sizes, including:  

48”: These small rectangular tables comfortably seat four people but may not have room for a centerpiece and dishes. They're designed for apartments and other small spaces. 

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60”: A 60” rectangular dining table can seat four to six people. By contrast, a 60” round dining table seats up to eight. 

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72”:  A rectangular dining table seats six to eight, while a round one seats eight to 10. 

96”: This extra-large size typically comes in a rectangular shape and seats up to eight people. 

Many dining tables come with table leaves that increase their surface area. You can add these extensions when entertaining large groups and remove them when you want to conserve space.  


Here are the three most common dining table shapes:  

Rectangular: These classic dining tables offer plenty of space for decorations and serving dishes. Depending on their length, they can seat six to 10 people. 

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Round: These compact dining tables work best for small dining rooms, breakfast nooks, and other tight spaces. They can typically accommodate more people than rectangular tables of the same size, but have less surface space for decor. 

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Square: These small dining tables seat up to four people. They work best for small, intimate gatherings with family or close friends. 

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Seating Capacity 

Estimate the number of people you plan to host for future events. If you have the space, choose a dining table to accommodate the maximum number of potential guests.  

Don’t stress if you only have room for a small dining table. You can always set up a separate table in the neighboring room or squeeze in a folding chair to accommodate more people.  


Furniture manufacturers use a broad range of materials to build dining tables, including:  


Traditional dining tables are made from solid birch, oak, and other hardwoods. The color of these woods tends to deepen over time into a charming and warm patina. 

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A shiny glass table is a contemporary addition to your dining room. However, you’ll need to clean the surface regularly to remove dust and smudges. 

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These dining tables are typically made from aluminum or steel. A sleek metal dining table can fit an industrial or modern style. Durable metal also resists fading and water, making this material ideal for an outdoor dining setup. 

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Like metal, stone is often used for outdoor dining tables due to its durability. This natural material adds a sophisticated touch to your dining area. However, stone dining tables are heavy and can heat up in the sunlight. 

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Choose a dining table that fits the overall aesthetic of the room. Dining tables come in every imaginable style, such as:  

Styling Your Dining Table 

There are many ways to style your dining table to fit your tastes. Here are our top styling tips:  

Choose complementary chairs

Pick dining chairs that share a common element with your table, such as the same color or design style. You could also select chairs with legs made from the same material as your table. For example, if you have a mahogany dining table, look for upholstered chairs made with matching hardwood. 

Pick host chairs

If you have a rectangular dining table, place hosting chairs at either end. These chairs typically have armrests, tall backs, and more ornate designs than regular dining chairs. They add variety to the seating and help the homeowner or guest of honor stand out. 

Layer it with textiles

Add texture with a stylish table cloth or table runner. This material can add a pop of color and protects the table from crumbs and spills.  Next, choose complementary fabric place mats for each seat. For example, you could pair a solid cream table cloth with floral patterned place mats. 

Add centerpieces

Fill the middle of the dining table with gorgeous centerpieces. For instance, you can fill a vase with fresh flowers or small pebbles for natural decor. Alternatively, you could group a small collection of sculptures or candles in the center of the table for an artistic touch. 

Dine in Comfort 

A stylish yet functional dining table allows you to comfortably dine and entertain. Start your search by browsing dining room sets, or continue your research with our dining room guide.