17 Different Types of Dining Chairs

Types of Dining Chairs

The dining room is just as much the heart of a home as the kitchen is in many ways. You gather around the table with friends and family, hopefully, surrounded by décor that you love. Choosing the right chair to compliment the table, room, and your guests is tough, so what are the various types of dining chairs?

Four main different types of dining chairs are armchairs, side chairs, Parsons chairs, and folding chairs. You can also find dining chairs in numerous styles, including slat back, wishbone, shaker, contemporary, and various materials including wood, metal, wicker, and more. Design styles for dining chairs include farmhouse, French country, Queen Anne, modern, and even bar stools.

Consider whether you want a coastal, rustic, vintage, or modern look for your dining room. Each type of dining room chair creates a distinct vibe, and there are countless possibilities for design. Let’s take a close look at the types of dining chairs, and which ones are best suited for certain styles.

Related Guide: Why Are Dining Chairs So Expensive?

Different Types Of Dining Room Chairs

Armchairs are great for comfort but can be cumbersome, whereas side chairs and bar stools take up little space. Wooden and wicker frame chairs are classy and comfortable, while plastic ghost chairs offer a sleek, contemporary look.

Deciding on the dining chair style that works best for you depends on your design, budget, space, and personal preferences. Here are 17 different types of dining chairs to help you find one that works best for you and your space.

1. Armchair

Dining rooms are just as much about comfort as they are style, and armchairs are a great example of that. There is no limit to styles, colors, materials, upholstery, and designs for armchairs which makes them great for anyone. The only trait that you can count on for any armchair is, well, arms that stick out of the chair.

Armchairs are great because they allow you to rest your arms for a more comfortable dining experience. You can buy armchairs with upholstered arms, or you can upholster the arms yourself as a fun project. Some armchairs have high backs, and others have backs meant for better lower back support.

Choose your armchairs carefully to suit your dining room, taste in materials, and personal comfort. They vary in cost, and some armchairs cost $200 or more for a single chair, while others cost $300 for a set of four. You can find armchairs to suit your taste and home aesthetic without spending a fortune.

2. Side Chair

different types of dining chairs

Side chairs, as the name suggests, are typically used along the sides of dining room tables to conserve space. The chairs lack arms which makes them great for giving you and your guests plenty of space at the table. Side chairs work just as well at the head of the table as they do along the sides, but they can be paired with armchairs as well.

You can find solid side chairs, or you can pay extra for side chairs that are upholstered to your liking. Expect to pay between $130 and $500 for a set of two side chairs, depending on the material. Don’t limit side chairs to the sides of your table as they are an affordable way to accommodate a full table.

3. Folding Chair

different types of dining chairs

Among the different types of dining chairs that offer flexibility, you’ll find folding chairs. Folding dining chairs are a great option for filling up your dining room table.

They are generally made out of wood and feature an upholstered cushion of some sort. These chairs are perfect for homeowners with limited space, or if you only need extra chairs for a special function.

You can fold them up easily and tuck them away so that you can make the most of the space in the dining room. Folding chairs are ideal for having guests over as you can bring them out as needed and tuck them away when necessary. The name folding chair evokes an image of cheap aluminum chairs you may bring to a barbeque.

However, that’s not the case with these folding chairs, and they may be cheap, but they don’t look like it. You can find nice folding chairs for your dining room for $120 or more for a set of two depending on the type of wood.

4. Parsons Chair

This selection comes right from the iconic Parsons School of Design in Paris, France, and it shows through its elegance. Parsons chairs are sleek, comfortable, affordable, and come in many designs to choose from. Color schemes do not matter when it comes to Parsons chairs as they are available in almost every color.

You can also customize Parsons chairs to suit your color scheme, but that will cost you more money. Parsons chairs are soft and comfortable on the back, and they fray out slightly where your head and shoulders are. You won’t have to worry about arms getting in the way as Parsons chairs come without chair arms.

Parsons chairs can be expensive at times, and high-end options cost $140 for a set of two. Tufted and upholstered Parsons chairs generally cost more, and you can spend $300 or more for a set of four chairs. This option is great for builder-owners with an artsy and modern aesthetic throughout the house or living room.

5. Bar Stool

different types of dining chairs

Bar stools are a great choice for many rooms in the house, such as kitchens, bars, sunrooms, and even dining rooms. That is because there are many types of bar stools that suit different rooms in the house and design preferences. Bar stools are slim and don’t take up much space horizontally, so they are great for small and big spaces.

You can find bar stools that suit your need regarding how much back support you prefer. Some bar stools have backs and others don’t, and there are many types of upholstery to choose from. Bar stools are so abundant that they are highly affordable, and you can spend less than $200 for a set of four.

With that said, bar stools are tall, so they are best suited for tall dining room tables. You can also pair bar stools with island counters if your dining room has one. Consider bar stools for your dining room if you want to save money and create a laid-back vibe.

6. Different Types Of Dining Chair Materials: Wooden

different types of dining chairs

Wooden dining room chairs without arms are iconic, classic, affordable, and easy to find. They come without any upholstery, but you can choose to add materials for comfort later on. You will find standard wooden dining room chairs in every furniture store and many homes.

This is a great option whether you want to add stains later on, or simply leave your wooden chairs as they are. Wood is a classic and comforting material that can be found in many homes to suit any style. You can find wooden dining room chairs that suit a rustic, vintage, or modern look based on your taste.

Wooden dining chairs run you $150 or more for a set of four of them, but it all depends on the wood. Expensive woods, such as mahogany, cost more and you can expect to pay just under $200 for a set of two. You can find wooden chairs that fit into your budget, and you won’t regret it when you see the classic style it adds to the room.

7. Different Types Of Dining Chair Materials: Wicker Frame

different types of dining chairs

These chairs are fitted with wicker frames to create a distinct and memorable outline around the upholstered seat. The back wicker frame chairs are also made of wicker, and it is more comfortable than it looks. Wicker is usually wound tight enough to be sturdy without creating lumps and, in turn, discomfort.

You often see wicker frame chairs in sunrooms, family rooms, and even on porches beyond dining rooms. That’s because wicker frame chairs work well in several lighting situations and room tones throughout the house. However, wicker frame chairs stand out the most in dining rooms because of the unique, rustic vibe that they create.

You will spend up to $300 for a set of two wicker frame chairs, and that makes them one of the more expensive options. With that said, most homeowners will tell you that they are happy with the money they spent on a wicker frame chair considering how gorgeous they are.

8. Different Types Of Dining Chair Materials: Plastic Frame

Plastic frame chairs are a durable and comfortable alternative to wicker frame chairs that aren’t as expensive. A set of four plastic frame dining chairs costs $180 or more, and they look just as good as wicker frames. Instead of wicker backing and framing, you get a plastic frame to support the chair and your back.

You can find plastic frame dining chairs that are upholstered, and most come with cushioned seats at least. Some plastic frame chairs have intricate and detailed weaving and framework that is almost too good for the price. That is why plastic frame chairs are the best dining room chair option if you want to save money.

Plastic frame chairs are also a great option if you have limited space at your dining room table. They aren’t cumbersome, are lightweight, and complement any dining room.

9. Different Types Of Dining Chair Materials: Metal Frame

Metal is one of the most durable materials, and naturally, it’s one of the toughest chair frame materials. Dining room chairs made with metal frames are classic, lightweight, and can support a lot of weight. Many homeowners choose metal frame chairs for rooms that have a modern flair, but they even add a modern look to rustic rooms.

Metal frames look great with any type of upholstery, from velvet and cloth to leather. You can find metal frame chairs that match any room, and you can also use them to create a contrast. Retro metal frame chairs are also popular, and they go great with a “ray gun gothic” aesthetic that harkens back to old diners.

You don’t have to worry about the frame breaking if it is made of metal, and that’s a good enough reason to consider them. Consider metal frame dining chairs to liven up space and bring in some modern tones that mix things up.

Different Types Of Dining Chair Styles:

10. Slat Back

Different types of dining chairs offer various degrees of comfort and aesthetics. Slat-back chairs offer comfort, but they also stand out for their unique visual appeal.

They suit any style and aesthetic that the room or house may have, and there is a wide variety of them. The vertical slats in a slat-back chair make the chair more comfortable and less harsh on the back.

Slat back chairs vary in cost and style widely, but high-quality sets of four generally cost $180 or more. Costs vary depending on the type of wood or metal used to make the slat-back chairs. You can choose between many styles to suit modern, rustic, or vintage dining rooms without breaking the bank.

There are slat-back chairs that are upholstered, but you can always upholster solid chairs on your own. Consider slat-back chairs if you want a set for your dining room that compliments any style that you choose.

11. Wishbone

Do you want a set of dining room chairs that have an unmistakable visual charm to them? Look no further than wishbone chairs, named after the wishbone style design on the back of them. Wishbone chairs have low backs which are less supportive than, say, Parsons chairs but are comfortable, nonetheless.

The main appeal to wishbone chairs is the visual style and charm that they bring to a room. Wishbone chairs are one of the most diverse types of chairs, and they work in other rooms, such as kitchens and bars. They translate well throughout the house, but wishbone chairs excel in dining rooms where they add elegance to gatherings and dining opportunities.

Wishbone chairs don’t support the upper back, but they are quite supportive and comfortable for the lower back. They are the perfect happy medium between comfort and style, and that makes wishbone chairs one of the best types of dining room chairs.

12. Shaker

different types of dining chairs

Shaker chairs are similar to slat-back chairs, but the slats go horizontally on shakers instead of vertically. The back of a shaker chair is designed like a ladder, and that means that you can hang them up when you don’t need them. That makes shaker chairs the best type of dining chair for small spaces as they are only around when you need them.

Shaker chairs are great even if you don’t plan to hang them up when you’re not using them. They stand out visually and come in a variety of styles which makes shaker chairs easy to shop for. You will pay top dollar for shaker chairs, and that is one of their downsides for homeowners on a budget.

A set of two shaker chairs costs $140 on the low end and sets of four often run over $300 total. Shaker chairs are a great choice if you have money to spare and want a visually striking dining room chair set.

13. Coastal

Choose your dining room carefully and you can add an entirely new aesthetic to the room as a whole. Coastal chairs exemplify that sentiment and can suddenly transform your dining room into a seaside haven. Dining rooms that get a lot of sunlight complement coastal chairs the most and contribute to that unforgettable coastal aesthetic.

Many coastal chairs have wicker in the back or around the seat to contrast with the often soft-toned wood. Coastal chairs are breezy and go well with beach-inspired interior design, but they stand on their own regardless. The main downside to coastal chairs is that they are one of the most expensive types of dining room chairs.

For example, you might pay between $350 and $600 for a single coastal chair, and that adds up quickly. They are best for dining rooms that don’t need many chairs, as you could spend up to $1,400 or more to accommodate four people.

14. Plastic Ghost Chair

Don’t let the name scare you away because there is nothing to fear when it comes to ghost chairs. The clear design of ghost chairs makes them create a modern look that goes well with any color scheme. Ghost chairs look great in the sun, moonlight, and any style of lighting inside of your home.

They are made out of clear plastic, so they complement and amplify any light that hits them. Ghost chairs can create glares in some lighting setups, but that isn’t generally a problem. You will have to clean your ghost chairs frequently as the plastic is prone to smudging and can become dirty quite quickly.

Ghost chairs come in designs that feature arms or have no arms at all, depending on your preference. No arms are the way to go if you have to fit more than four chairs at a single tab, as the arms can make it cramped. Look into ghost chairs if you have a modern aesthetic that you want to stick with as you choose your dining room chairs.

15. Leather

different types of dining chairs

Leather is a comfortable, classy, and timeless material that goes well over furniture from couches and ottomans, to dining chairs. Many types of chairs, such as slat back and wicker frame, can be fitted with leather upholstery. The addition of leather contributes to a rustic and outdoorsy vibe that many modern homeowners look for.

Leather dining room chairs are comfortable, but they’re considerably classier than a cloth alternative. The one downside to leather dining room chairs is that they can be ruffled or scratched easily, and it can make them look bad. Exercise caution when you use leather dining chairs as they are expensive to repair or replace.

Leather chairs afford you luxury and class, and they go great with dining room tables made of dark wood. There are many shades and colors of leather dining room chairs, and you can easily find one to match your table.

16. Queen Anne


Add a sense of elegance to your dining room with Queen Anne-style dining room chairs. Queen Anne-style chairs are immediately recognizable for their regal flair and large size. They take up a lot of room with their wide backs and rounded tops that most Queen Anne chairs have.

Some Queen Anne chairs have solid backs, and others have shapes with portions left exposed. Ultimately, Queen Anne style chairs go well with any style of a dining room, and you rarely have to worry about clashing. They are made of wood and come in a variety of finishes that you can choose to cater to the surrounding room.

Prepare yourself to spend up to $500 for a set of Queen Anne chairs, but the high price is worth it. Consider Queen Anne dining room chairs if you want an option that accentuates the elegance of your dining room, and ultimately, your home.

17. French Country

Another elegant and timeless classic dining room chair is the French Country chair. They are the perfect mixture of class and comfort that is sure to turn heads. The addition of a French flair to your dining room makes the room and your home more dynamic as a whole.

French Country dining chairs are just as durable as they are unique and attractive. You can expect your French Country chairs to last up to 30 years. Even then, you may simply have to replace the seat and upholstery and you can still use it.

Things To Consider When Choosing Between Different Types Of Dining Chairs

When shopping for dining chairs, it’s important to first know your available space. You want to ensure you have adequate space for the number of chairs you plan to get.

The rule of thumb is to allow 24 inches of space for every person around your table. When measuring chairs, measure the width at the widest point, whether it is the seat or the chair back.

It’s also wise to consider your table. The ideal is to have between 10 and 12 inches of space between the bottom of the table and your chair’s seat. Of course, once you know what size chair you can fit, find one that suits your style and make sure it fits within your budget.

What Did We Learn?

There are 17 different types of dining room chairs and frames that you can choose from to complement the room. Options such as French Country and Queen Anne dining room chairs contribute to a specific, classy look. Homeowners that prefer a modern aesthetic would love clear plastic ghost chairs or metal frame chairs.

Consider folding dining room chairs and shaker, or ladder back, chairs so that you can conceal them when not in use. This is a great option if you have a small home or don’t use the dining room unless you are entertaining guests. Leather, wicker frame, and coastal dining chairs are expensive, but they also make the dining room look unique and comfortable.

Side chairs are ideal if you have a large dining room table and don’t want your guests to feel cramped. However, if you have a big table with plenty of space, you can go with armchairs all around for maximum comfort for everyone. Dining room chairs can be difficult to pick out, but hopefully, this guide gives you a great place to start.

Related Questions

Do all dining chairs have to match?

Once upon a time dining sets featured all matching chairs. However, nowadays, the trend is to mix and match your chairs more. You can find one element that helps tie them together. For example, perhaps they are all made of wood but feature different backs.

Or, they might all be the same style and design, but you choose to paint them various colors. You could also use chairs on the ends of the table and opt for a bench along the sides. What’s important is when you look at the overall picture, it flows well in the space and makes you happy.

What if I need to seat more people around my table but too many chairs look cluttered?

If you have a smaller dining room or dining table, crowding too many chairs around it can look cramped. For example, say you have a table that comfortably holds 6 chairs around it, but 6 chairs look cluttered.

You could keep four chairs around the table, only bringing in the two extra when needed. Or you could opt for benches along the sides that can scoot under the table when not in use.

If your dining room is on the smaller side, consider getting a table with a leaf or extension. You can keep it in the smaller position with fewer chairs, only expanding it when you plan to have more guests.

More Related Guides

Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

Recently Published