How to Buy a Dining Bench

How to Buy a Dining Bench

From sharing a meal with the family to swapping stories with friends, a dining room bench offers an intimate alternative to traditional dining sets. Whether you invite a more casual feeling in your kitchen-diner with a communal rustic bench, or bring in a statement bench for your formal dining room, read on for inspiration and insights to help you make your decision.

Dining Chairs vs. Dining Benches

Dining Chairs

  • Can be easily moved
  • Good back support
  • Comfortable
  • Difficult to clean
  • Take up space

Dining Benches

  • Space-saving design
  • Fit more people
  • Easy to clean
  • Less back support
  • Difficult to move around

Deciding between dining room chairs and benches ultimately comes down to what is most important to you. If you frequently host family or guests and you need extra seating, choose a bench to fill seating gaps. Backless benches can visually open up a space, but when you need a designated area for homework, a backrest is more motivating. That being said, if comfort and support are the most important thing on your list, dining room chairs may be the best option. If you can’t decide between the two, mix and match chairs and benches or choose a dining set that offers a combination.

Types of Dining Bench Materials

It’s important to find a dining bench material that can withstand wear and tear. For example, plastic and heavily upholstered pieces may stain easily. Your bench material can also elevate your dining experience and add a distinctive look to your space. Here are the most popular bench materials.

Wooden Dining Bench

Solid wooden dining benches offer style, longevity, and durability all in one. If you’re keen on rotating decor, the natural grain and texture of a wooden bench can easily transition between styles (especially distressed woods). You can paint over a wood dining bench to switch up your palette.

Your lifestyle and personal taste will also influence your decision. For example, an oak wooden dining bench can handle the rough and tumble of the busy family home. The heavy-duty material can withstand scrapes by fallen cutlery or messy spills when the grandkids come to dye Easter eggs. In a low traffic dining room, a beautifully crafted mahogany dining room bench seat is durable enough to last for generations, but requires proper care.

Fabric Dining Bench

A fabric dining bench offers plush support, perfect when comfort is your first priority. Upholstered bench chairs can add an air of formality with a touch of softness. Tufted backing implies casual elegance, while a solid-color upholstery can break up patterned seating. Coordinating your upholstered benches with your carpet and wall color ties decor together. As for maintenance, a light vacuuming or lint roll can have your upholstered dining bench looking brand new.

Dining Bench Features

Dining benches come with a host of features. They have versatility to be placed in the foyer to showcase seasonal decor or at the foot of your bed for a perch to put on shoes. Beneath a window or in front of a fireplace, a bench also provides convenient accent seating beyond dining. But when that need arises, like when your friends crowd around the table for game day (or game night), simply pull your dining bench up to the table.

Bench Chairs

When you have an open floor plan, bench chairs makes an attractive addition to define your dining space. If you’re low on space, the compact design of bench chairs makes them the ideal solution. Unlike dining chairs, benches can tuck under your table completely — just right if your table is situated in a narrow space that’s tricky to pass, like a breakfast nook. No matter what your taste — whether you like boho chic or sleek modern styling — you’re sure to find the bench to suit your decor.

Dining Bench with Storage

A dining bench with storage adds an extra dimension to seating. Featuring a handy compartment under the seat, storage benches combine comfort and practical use in one. Store away cushions, throws, toys, or seasonal tablecloths by lifting the seat. Some storage benches feature cupboard space, too, and are ideal for decluttering and tucking items out of sight.

Dining Bench Dimensions

Measure your dining room and determine the right bench size before placing an order, especially if your dining bench is for a tight space or corner. The standard bench height for a dining bench is around 18″ – 20″. A taller bench is necessary for benches that provide seating at a bar or counter. Look for counter height benches around 23″ – 25″ tall. Make sure you allow enough clearance between the seat and the table. Around 12″ is sufficient.

Dining benches offer so many possibilities for enhancing your kitchen-diner or dining room. They’re a practical and stylish alternative to traditional dining room chairs and convenient for large families and entertaining. Shop your dining bench or dining set at Overstock for free shipping* on your order.