What is the Average Chair Size?

Choosing the right chair for any room may be a challenge. Many people have never given thought to the standard chair height for various rooms and purposes. A chair’s height will impact how comfortable it is for both family and guests. In most cases, anybody sitting in a chair should be able to place their feet comfortably on the floor.

Understanding what to look for in a chair requires some information and guidance to ensure that the chair you buy (or build!) is right for your home. Let’s “take a seat”!

Why Does the Average Chair Size Matter?

Chairs may be in any room of the house or in an office or backyard to give people a place to sit down. But, to be comfortable, a chair must be the proper height for its use (or, rather, its intended user!). 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the proper height of a dining room chair. Anyone buying a chair can begin with an understanding of average chair height and go from there. It may be helpful to take the heights of the people who will be using the chairs into consideration. For instance, a child won’t sit comfortably in the same chair as an adult.

What is the Chair Standard Height for Dining Room Chairs?

Measuring dining room chairs before buying them is essential because if they are too tall or too short, they may be uncomfortable for diners. To calculate the proper height, the first step is to measure the dining room table where the chairs will be placed.

According to the Spruce, most dining tables are between 28” and 31” tall. For anybody to sit comfortably at a table, they need sufficient clearance to leave room for their legs, clothing, and a napkin. The height range for most dining room chairs is between 17” and 20” when measuring from the floor.

How to Measure the Height of a Chair Seat

The best way to measure the height of a chair seat is to measure from the floor to the top of the seat. Use a measuring tape to ensure that the numbers are accurate and keep these considerations in mind:

  • Is the chair upholstered are not? If it is upholstered, it’s important to measure the chair both with and without someone sitting in it, since the upholstery may compress significantly when the chair is occupied.
  • Where will the chair be used? Many dining tables have an apron around the rim and the proper height to measure with an apron is the distance between the top of the chair and the bottom of the apron.
  • Who will be sitting in the chair? In most situations, diners will want their feet to sit comfortably on the ground without dangling and with ample clearance to sit comfortably.

Some chairs have a slight slant in the seat. In such cases, measure from the floor to the highest point of the chair and from the bottom of the table⁠—or the bottom of the apron⁠—to the highest point of the chair. Many people are comfortable with a clearance of about 10 inches between the top of the chair and the bottom of the tabletop or apron.

Average Chair Size by Type

Dining room chairs are not the only chairs that require measurement. It’s important to measure any chair before buying it to be sure that it will serve the needs of the people who use it. Let’s explore some average chair sizes by types of chair:

Bar Stool Average Height

Bar stools are designed for use at a counter or breakfast bar. Since the average height of a countertop is between 40” and 42” tall, choose bar stools between 28” and 30” tall.

Armchair Average Height

The most common height for armchairs⁠—which also applies to sofas⁠—is between 17” and 18”. Ideally, anybody sitting in the chair should be able to plant their feet on the ground with their knees at a 90-degree angle.

Highchair Average Height

Highchairs may be designed for stand-alone use or to be used at a table. Babies who are unable to sit on their own will do best in a traditional highchair. Many highchairs are between 35” and 45” tall at their highest point.

Other options are available, including clip-on highchairs that attach to a dining room table or breakfast bar and booster seats. Young children require less clearance between the top of a chair and the bottom of a table.

Find the Right Chairs for Your Home

Investing in good quality chairs requires careful consideration of your options. But, because chairs like this can get expensive, it may be helpful to estimate the future height of your children prior to buying any new chairs for the dining room or living room.

This entry was posted in DIY, Home & Garden and tagged , , . By Aimee Parrott