Unless you’re interested in interior design or furniture making, you’ve maybe never given a second thought to the exact height measurements for different types of tables—from the table you eat breakfast at in the morning to the bedside table you put your phone on right before you go to bed. What you may have thought about, however, was whether you could fit your chair and legs comfortably under the dining table, whether you felt too low or too high when seated at the kitchen table, and whether the height of the end table felt like a stretch to reach to or not.
Since table height can make such a huge impact on how you’re able to go about daily activities (like working from home which it feels like everyone is doing these days), it’s something that designers and manufacturers give a lot of thought to. Let’s check out what the average table height is for the various types of tables you’ll find around the house and how people get to those numbers!
What is the Average Table Height?
The average table height varies significantly depending on what kind of table you’re looking at, but the normal dining table height is between 28 to 30 inches.
Examining Normal Dining Table Height
If you ask someone to name the most important table in their house, chances are they’re going to mention the table that they eat at. For many families, that means the dining table or kitchen table, which puts in a lot of work, from hosting the whole gang during meals to occasionally being used like a temporary home office or for homework too.
With a standard dining table, its height should be suitable for the many different ages of the people who may be sitting there (both kids and adults should be comfortable!). You also want anyone seated at the table to have enough space to cross their legs and for the arms of the chairs to fit smoothly under the tabletop (if you have chairs with arms that is). Factoring all of that in, the average dining table height ranges from 28 to 30 inches while the best matching dining chairs generally sit at 18 to 23 inches height.
What About the Average Bar Table Height?
Depending on their personal tastes and the arrangement of their space, some people may opt for a bar table as their main table for eating instead of the more standard dining table mentioned above. In this case, a bar table means a taller, often smaller table accompanied by tall stools with or without backs—like the kind of casual seating you may find at your local sports pub.
The average bar table height is around 40 to 42 inches, which is a foot taller than your average dining table. This higher seating can help create a more relaxed atmosphere and add a unique touch to a room’s design. And since bar tables are normally smaller in width, they can be a great space saver as well. With that range, the stools for the bar table should be around 29 to 32 inches off the ground. People don’t necessarily need their feet to reach the ground like with dining tables since the stools often have footrests!
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How the Average Countertop Height Measures Up
Another place people like to sit down for a meal aside from their dining table or kitchen table is by the kitchen countertop. With a couple of well-positioned stools next to a more open part of your countertop, you can maximize your space and add a whole new seating area perfect for more laid-back dining.
Since countertops should be at a height that the average person can work at without hunching over or standing on their tippy-toes, the average countertop height stands at 36 inches above the floor although some go up to 39 inches. Given that measurement, the matching counter stools should be between 24 to 26 inches.
The Difference with the Average End Table Height
Moving to another part of the home, you’ll find an entirely different story when it comes to the height measurements of end tables. As their name suggests, end tables refer to the type of small tables you put next to another piece of furniture, like a couch or chair. These are where you put down your drinks, your remote controls, and other accessories that you need within close reach while sitting.
While the right height of a dining table depends heavily on how someone can comfortably sit under it, the proper height of an end table is based on the height of the furniture its next to for easy usability. In general, you want the table to be within two inches of the couch or chair arm its placed alongside. As such, the average end table height ranges between 18 to 24 inches.
How the Average Bedside Table Height Compares
Some may consider a bedside table as a type of end table since it does come next to the edge of the bed after all, but many times bedside tables (also called nightstands) are different in the sense that they offer more storage options rather than just serving as a tabletop surface. When looking at all the nightstands on the market, you’ll find many with at least one drawer, and more modern options even have USB ports built inside.
As the average bed sits at around 25 inches off the floor, the average bedside table is between 24 to 30 inches. You wouldn’t want your bedside table to be more than five inches off of your bed height otherwise it may not be that easy to use while you’re laying in bed. This general rule of thumb is good to keep in mind if you have a bed frame that’s much lower or higher than normal.
Deciding the Average Table Height for Your House
Functionality is just as important as aesthetics when it comes to home design. If you’re choosing new tables for your house, remember to check their height to see whether it’ll suit your needs. It may help to calculate your height relative to the general population in order to determine whether the standard table options out there will be too high or too low for your purposes and if you should check for specific height measurements. You can also predict how tall your child will be as an adult to make sure that whatever furniture you do choose will continue to be useful as your kids grow up and move about the house.
Getting a Table with a Custom Height
If your height varies pretty dramatically from the average height in either direction, that means that the table height you need at home can be quite different from what’s offered at your run-of-the-mill furniture store. For anyone who needs a higher table, there are some DIY tricks you can try, just as there are options for lowering table height. If you’d prefer to start from scratch rather than simplify modifying an existing piece of furniture, you can even try your hand at making your very own table with a custom height, perfect for your needs.
Cindy is a freelance writer and editor with previous experience in marketing as well as book publishing. Along with her content writing for a diverse portfolio of clients, Cindy’s work has been featured in Thrillist, The Points Guy, Forbes, and more.