July 23, 2021 4 min read

Counter Height Tables Vs. Dining Height Tables (Which Is Best For Me?)

If you’re in the market for a new dining set, you might be wondering, “what dining set height is right for me?” Most people don’t really put much thought into dining set height when eating cereal at seven in the morning or entertaining guests at dinner.

However, the height of your dinner table can either compliment or contrast your room design, and could in some situations, be wholly impractical for your room layout. But what is the difference between a counter height dining set and a standard dining height set?

At Furniture Fair, we’ve sold both sizes of dining sets in multiple lengths and shapes, with many being crafted from solid wood. We want to give you some more information on dining table set heights and which size might be right for you. Read on to learn the difference between counter and dining height furniture.

Counter Height Tables Vs. Dining Height Tables (Which Is Best For Me?)
Counter Height Tables Vs. Dining Height Tables (Which Is Best For Me?)

What Are Dining Height Tables?

Height is the main differentiating factor between a dining table and a counter height table. Dining height tables are 28 - 30” high on average and will fit dining chairs between 16 - 23” high.

Smaller casual style dining height tables are sometimes referred to as cafe tables. Keep in mind if you are buying your dining set piecemeal, you will want to make sure that the height of your table and chairs matches. The best way to keep from making height mistakes is to buy your dining furniture as a set.

Dining height tables are a more traditional height for dining rooms and are most likely what comes to mind when people think of a stereotypical dining room set. Dining height sets are made so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor while you eat, sitting much lower than counter height seats.

Traditional dining sets are ideal for formal private dining spaces and can be equally at home in formal events and family reunions. If you enjoy hosting intimate family gatherings or dinners with work colleagues, a traditional height dining set will be perfect for your needs.

What Are Counter Height Tables?

A counter height dining table is designed to match the height of your counter, which makes it easy to sit or stand at the table and is an excellent look if you like the pub-style seating feel but prefer the dining style look.

Counter height dining tables are typically around 35 - 39” high and are made to fit counter height dining stools, which average 24 - 27” tall. Counter height stools usually have built-in footrests or support beams which is an easy way to tell visually that they are higher than the standard dining height.

Once again, the best way to ensure you get the proper stools with your table is to buy them as a set rather than individually. With a complete dining set, you can guarantee that both the style and height of the group match perfectly, and many manufacturers offer special order or custom dining set options.

Counter height tables are modeled after the barstool design, meaning they sit higher and keep you closer to eye level with people who are standing. Counter stools sit high with built-in footrests often made so you can rest your feet as you sit. Higher tables are also great for smaller spaces where you want the room to feel less crowded by the table.

Counter Height Tables Vs. Dining Height Tables (Which Is Best For Me?)
Counter Height Tables Vs. Dining Height Tables (Which Is Best For Me?)

Which Height Is Best For My Dining Space?

Ultimately, deciding what height to get comes down to your preference, but here are some things to consider when determining or designing what height you want for your dining room or dining area next to the kitchen.

Keep your design style in mind when deciding which height to go with as well as the materials that will go into your tabletops, such as solid wood, copper, or glass.

Formal dining rooms tend to feel more traditional and thus may require a more conventional height and style. Unless you deliberately create a space that refreshes that formal feel, dining height is probably your best bet.

If you love to host dinners for holiday celebrations, a traditional dining height set will be perfect for such occasions. Lower seating allows for hours of conversation and catching up while surrounded by friends and family.

Suppose your room plan is particularly open or adjacent to the outdoors. In that case, a counter-height dining set can be ideal for creating a fun, relaxed atmosphere where you can host informal dinner parties, wine tastings, or buffets.

If your space is larger, make sure you get a table that comfortably seats more people since a large room means more room for guests. No one wants to run out of seating capacity or have limited table top space.

Counter height tables are handy for informal events where people are encouraged to meet and conversate. The dining table can act as a central point for getting snacks, charcuterie, drinks, or anything else that helps make the event enjoyable.

Counter Height Tables Vs. Dining Height Tables (Which Is Best For Me?)

Ready To Pick The Perfect Height Table For Your Dining Space?

Now that you know the average height differences between the counter and dining height tables, you can find the perfect style for your dining space. Remember that buying a complete set is more accessible than putting together a group from loose parts.

Remember that formal dining rooms tend to look better with standard dining height sets, while open dining spaces tend to look better with counter height sets. Don’t forget that traditional dining sets sit low and let your feet touch the ground, while counter height sets often use footrests due to the higher seating height.  

If you are unsure about which size dining set is right for you, check out our companion article on finding the right size dining set.

If you are in the market for a counter height or dining height table and other dining room décor, consider visiting Furniture Fair. For over 55 years, Furniture Fair has offered a wide selection of dining sets and dining room ideas at the area’s guaranteed lowest price.

Visit one of our 11 locations throughout the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Louisville areas, or make an appointment online. Our team is ready to help you find the perfect dining set for your home.

Counter Height Tables Vs. Dining Height Tables (Which Is Best For Me?)