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Choosing the Right Bench for Your Dining Table

When you look for seating for your dining room, dining chairs might be your first instinct. However, a dining bench can add an unexpected level of versatility and style to your space. Not sure if a dining bench is right for you? Check out the benefits and options before making a final decision.

Dining Benches vs. Dining Chairs

Dining benches have a number of benefits over traditional dining chairs, including a more streamlined look and feel. By their nature, benches have straight lines and a simple aesthetic. A single bench does a lot to open up the visual space in a room while still offering plenty of seating. Your typical dining bench takes up as much physical space as two dining chairs but can often seat up to three people. This essentially gives you extra seating for the same amount of space which is a pretty good win.

And if your dinner party moves to another room, you can quickly grab the bench to add more seating space without having to shuffle or rearrange several pieces of furniture.

How do I choose the right dining bench size?

Selecting the right size of dining bench or kitchen bench is important to not only ensure the bench works in your space, but also to allow for maximum comfort while seated. To get accurate measurements, start by finding the length and height of your dining table - this will give you a good idea of the size of your seating area. Then, if you want the bench to tuck fully under your table, be sure to measure the open space between the table legs. Plan on allowing for no less than 2 inches of clearance between the table legs and each side of the bench for easy sliding in or out. You'll also want to ensure the bench itself is at least 16 inches wide or larger if you opt for one with a backrest.

Quick Tip: Confirm the height of your bench before purchasing. When seated at the table, your guests will need 12 inches of free space between the bottom of the table and the bench itself to occupy.

What styles should I consider?

Like dining chairs, benches come in several styles to go along with just about any decor in your dining room. Leather benches have that classy and sophisticated look, while wooden benches can add a natural touch or traditional look to the space. Upholstered benches are warm and comfortable and are ideal for tables that you spend a lot of time at — perhaps for homework or crafting once dinner is done.

If extra comfort is what you're going for, check out a bench with a high back. These allow your guests to lean back comfortably without having to balance or maintain perfect posture. However, if the bench will sit in front of any windows, you might want to consider a low back or an open back design to allow a continual flow of natural light into the room.

Dining benches come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. Whether you're looking to increase seating space or maximize the comfort of your dining room, there are benches that can complement any space.