Tips for Choosing the Right Dining Table Size

From reconnecting with family at the end of a long day to welcoming guests from far and wide, the dining room plays a special role in bringing people together in your home.

That’s why it’s so important to choose dining room furniture that’s comfortable, functional and inviting. 

Your dining room table anchors your space and provides the focal point for many of life’s special moments, from routine meals to holiday gatherings to doing homework. In addition to selecting the perfect style and materials, the size of your table is a big priority when it comes to making the right choice.

But how do you know if your table is too big, too small or just right? Important considerations include measuring the size of your room and making sure your table is large enough to accommodate the size of your gatherings. You’ll also need to decide whether you’d prefer a table that is round or rectangular. 

Here are our helpful hints for purchasing a dining room table that looks fabulous and is also the perfect fit!

Measure Your Space

Always measure your dining room before purchasing a table. Don’t be shy about bringing a tape measure to the store, by the way, to make sure the table you select is the right size.

A typical American dining room is about 200 square feet, or 14 x 16 feet. Larger dining rooms usually measure 14 x 18 feet. These are just broad estimates, of course, as every space is unique. 

In addition to these basic measurements, you want your dining table to complement the proportions of the room. Round and square tables, for example, look right at home in a square-shaped dining area. Elongated rectangular or oval tables look best in a long, rectangle-shaped room. 

Allow Comfortable Seating

Let’s face it. Nobody likes bumping elbows at the dinner table!

No matter how much you look forward to that holiday meal with loved ones, everyone needs enough space to eat comfortably without feeling crowded. A good rule of thumb is to allow at least 24 inches of space for each person at the table, plus 15 inches for plateware in front of them. 

Leave Ample Clearance

Along those same lines, you want to make sure there’s enough space to walk comfortably and safely around the table. Plan to leave at least 3 feet of clearance between the table and the wall or other furniture such as a buffet table. That gives you ample room to pull chairs out all the way and to move freely about without the room feeling cluttered. 

Know Your Table Shapes & Sizes

Knowing the standard shapes and sizes for dining tables makes it easier to find one that fits your space in a style that you love. You top priority is choosing something that will comfortably seat everyone in your gatherings.

Rectangles are the most common shape for dining tables. Many come with leaves that let you extend the table for large gatherings and reduce the length for day-to-day family meals. You’ll want to match the size of the table to the number of people: 

  • 36 by 48 inches: seat up to 4 people
  • 36 by 60 inches: up to 6
  • 36 by 78 inches: up to 8

If you have a small space, a square table of 33 or 36 inches per side should be comfortable for up to 4 people. 

Round tables give off a cozy atmosphere and make it easy to see everyone, making them a good choice for entertaining guests. Here are the typical dimensions:

  • 36 to 44 inches in diameter: up to 4 people
  • 44 to 54 inches: up to 6
  • 54 to 72 inches: up to 8

Oval tables are typically round tables that come with adjustable leaves. You can use them for everyday meals with a small family and simply extend them for larger gatherings.

  • 36 to 44 inches in diameter: up to 4 people
  • Extend to 36 by 56 inches: up to 6
  • Extend to 36 by 72 inches: up to 8
  • Extend to 36 by 84 inches: up to 10

Finally, you’ll want to consider table height. Look for something that’s tall enough to allow everyone’s knees to fit comfortably underneath. Most dining room tables are about 28 to 30 inches from floor to surface. 


At Lifestyles Furniture, you’ll find a wide selection of high quality dining tables from leading manufacturers. Our design experts are right here to answer your questions and help you select a model that’s built to look fabulous and withstand the wear and tear of everyday living for years to come. 

Visit our store today or give us a call at 573-874-1550. You may also contact us online at any time.

Jerome Rackers

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