Benches vs. Chairs: Which Is Best for Your Dining Room?
One of the hardest parts of designing a room is figuring out how much seating to include. If you have a family, you need to plan for how big it might get. If you live alone and like to entertain, you need to consider how many people you might regularly invite over.
Determining the appropriate number of seats can be a challenge in most rooms, but the most difficult is the dining room. Not only do you need a large enough table, but you need adequate seating for your family or guests. Finding adequate seating means determining which type of seating is best for your dining room: chairs or benches. Lucky for you, we’re here to help you figure out your best option.
The Argument for Benches
Let’s start by covering the pros and cons of benches. While this seating option is far less common than chairs, they’ve been gaining popularity in recent years. The main reason is their ability to seat more people in a smaller area. Of course, this comes with the caveat that people might have less elbow room at the table. However, if the ones sitting on the bench are children or you only seat one or two adults, this won’t be as much of an issue.
The other major plus is that most benches have storage options underneath. Most of the time, this is in the form of a seat that lifts, revealing an interior cabinet. Other styles simply have shelves. Either way, having an accent bench with storage is very useful.
The critical flaw of most benches is that they typically don’t have backs. Not having any back support leads to an uncomfortable dining experience for many. Fortunately, some benches do have built-in backs. However, with or without a built-in back, benches provide a challenge for guests stuck in the middle. They may find it difficult to get up and down without disturbing their bench mates. The whole situation is not entirely ideal, especially if you and your guests spend a lot of time at the table.
The Argument for Chairs
The main reason why people opt for chairs is their comfort. While not all dining room chairs will be as comfortable as a recliner, having a back and enough space to move your arms and get up when needed is a must for most.
Of course, with these comforts, you sacrifice the number of spaces where guests can sit. You could solve this issue by providing extra chairs, but dining chairs can be difficult to store when you don’t need them.
Which Should You Choose?
Now that you know the key differences between benches and chairs, it’s time to figure out which is best for your dining room. Obviously, no matter your choice, your dining room table must have seating. The remaining question is if you want a bench or chairs.
If you have small kids or often invite family members over, benches are a great option. Also, if you have many kitchen items you don’t currently have storage options for, benches will work well for you. However, chairs will be your best bet if you don’t do much hosting and want to prioritize comfort at your table.