Chairs, Benches, or both? The Dining Dilemma

Chairs, Benches, or both? The Dining Dilemma

Incredibly photogenic and often space-saving, benches have, over time, earned their place at the dining room table. But while benches can look cool, are benches well-received by guests? Just how practical is bench seating at a dining table?

We’ve made a short list of pros and cons as a reference for you.

ProsTraditional natural walnut sap wood and heart wood bench

• Casual look to your living space.

If you are going for a relaxed look in your dining area, benches can contribute to that easy-going feeling.

• Space saving.

Benches are ideal for small spaces and walkways to ensure easy traffic flow.  For maximum space saving, a bench placed along a wall, provides just enough space for your guests. They don’t need to move their chair in or out. Each guest simply slides along the bench to their dining place.

extending bench with leaf storage in the legs.• Fit extra people.

A bench is great for children and smaller people. The space needed for two chairs could serve three smaller people on a bench. How about an extending bench that adjusts to the number of guest at your table.

• Extending Bench.

Love the bench idea? Here is a bench that starts at 48 inches and utilizes 4 “boards” to extend the bench 4 more feet, allowing the bench to adjust from 2 to 4 people. Customize the bench to meet your seating needs. See VIDEO of extending bench in action.

• Easy to clean.

Simply wipe the top surface down and you are done! The furniture is protected with a water resistant catalyzed clear finish that prevents those ugly water marks while allowing the natural grain to shine.

• A Safer option.

For children, benches can be a safer option as they are less likely to tip over.


• Lacks comfort and back support.ladder back table set

Obviously, there is no back support. Benches often have less seating surface and are not contoured which can result in discomfort over longer time periods.

• Heavier and longer to move around.

Although only slightly heavier, benches are longer and cumbersome to maneuver around the room. While children gravitate towards benches, adults naturally choose the comfort of a chair as their first choice of seating.


The Dual-Purpose Extension Tablewalnut blend extension table

With the rise of the open floor plan in home building, formal dining rooms are less common. Many homeowners find their kitchen table serving as their dining room table. The need to save space clashes with the need for seating, making a bench or two an appealing option. Aesthetically, benches contribute to the “open space” feeling because they can be tucked under the table, with no backs to visually block the room. Extension table accommodate any size of gathering large and small. Simply decide your desired smallest size and add up to 16 leaves for your room size and maximum seating. See VIDEO of extension table in action or come to the showroom and experience the easy of extension.  The table leaves are conveniently stored in a leaf storage cabinet in the same room for easy access for your next gathering.

Is There a Solution?

Ultimately, the answer to the question of whether bench seating is practical depends on you. Ask yourself questions like:

1.  Do I have children or grandchildren dining at my table regularly?

Would they benefit from the ease and safety of a bench? Would I appreciate the ease of cleanup that a bench can provide?Stackable chairs stack of 5

2.  Do I entertain mostly adults who would prefer the comfort of a chair at my table?   

If I walked into my friend or family member’s dining room for the first time and saw a bench on one side of the table, would I avoid sitting on the bench if possible?

3. Do I need more seating than my space allows?   

Try the stackable chairs that store in a closet for the next dinner party.

4.  What is the look and feel of the living space?

Do I want a formal or informal room?  Will it fit with the look of my living space?


From these questions, you should be able to determine if benches, chairs, or both are right for you! Visit George’s showroom and explore the seating options as well as other solid hardwood, custom handcrafted furniture designed your way.  Explore what makes George’s furniture last for decades.  If you have questions, please contact George’s Furniture. We will be happy to discuss what table and seating options will work best for you.