How to buy dining chairs

How to buy dining chairs

How to buy dining chairs

We spend a lot of time sitting at our dining tables these days. And not just eating. We’re working, crafting, playing board games and all manner of other activities. So your choice of dining chair is as important as your choice of table. Comfort is paramount, of course, and strength, but the look of the chair matters too. And with so many styles available, making the right decision can be difficult. Our handy guide should make things a little bit easier but if you’re still in two minds, consider buying a dining set if you haven’t yet chosen your table.

Things to consider

Things to consider

The shape of your table may lend itself to some styles more than others. Make sure chairs can easily be pushed underneath when not in use, particularly important in smaller rooms where space is at a premium. A round table might not be suitable for chairs with arms as you can’t fit as many around it. Bonded leather chairs tend to be bulkier than wooden ones so check you have enough table space for the amount of chairs you need.

How many do you need? Make sure you buy enough chairs to balance the table and provide enough seating for when you have extra guests. Don’t push chairs too close together as there needs to be space for guests to sit comfortably. It may just turn out that you need to buy a bigger dining table or smaller chairs.

If you only use extra chairs occasionally and don’t want to keep them at the table, it may be that you can find an everyday home for them elsewhere in the room.

Consider the other furniture in your room. Your dining chairs don’t have to match your dining table if the decorating scheme tends towards the eclectic, but in a more formal setting, chairs that match the style of the table would be preferable.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Whether you prefer a padded seat or a wooden seat, comfort is essential. Make sure the proportions of the chairs are adequate for everyone that’s going to use them. Consider the back of the chair. Wooden styles tend to have backs with a subtle curve so they are comfortable to lean back in and will usually have a traditional ladder back or slatted design. High backs offer extra support and can look stunning but might not be suitable in a smaller space due to their visual impact.

Wooden chairs tend to have shaped seats and curved backs so offer excellent support and comfort.

You still the get the natural beauty of the wood and the curved back, but the addition of a padded leather seat makes sitting for long periods a bit more forgiving.

For a real touch of modern luxury, only a bonded leather chair will do. Fully upholstered, they are available in a variety of colours so you can add a real splash of drama to your dining space.

Other things to consider

Other things to consider when buying dining chairs

Although most tables and chairs come in standard heights, do check that the height of the chairs you want to buy is compatible with the height of your table.

Check whether chairs are sold in pairs or singly.

When you get them home, check they don’t wobble when you set them down. If one wobbles, it’s probably the chairs. If they all wobble, you might want to check the level of your floor.

Wood Type

Dining Chairs Wood Type

Bonded leather chairs are perfect for more contemporary settings but if you are after a traditional country-style look, wooden chairs are the way to go. They offer warmth and timeless beauty and will sit well in most decors. Good quality wooden chairs will have been made using traditional joinery techniques and are incredibly strong and durable, perfect for the rough and tumble of everyday family life. Chairs made from oak and sheesham wood are particularly suitable.

How to care for your dining chairs

How to care for your dining chairs

With a little bit of regular care, your dining chairs will be in business for years.

  • Keep them clean and protected with high quality beeswax. This nourishes the wood and ensures the rich grain is always shown at its best.
  • Wipe food and drink spills immediately with a damp cloth then finish off with a dry cloth.
  • Keep your chairs away from direct sunlight to avoid fading and colour changes.
  • Don’t put your chairs near radiators as the variations in temperature can cause joints and veneers to split or weaken.
  • Leather chairs can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and will also benefit from an occasional treatment with a dedicated leather cleaner and conditioner to prevent cracking.