Dining rooms are a vital part of any home. You sit there in the morning to eat your breakfast and read the newspaper. If you’re lucky you can gather the kids around the dining table for a semi-regular family dinner (away from the television!).
Every once in a while you may even hold a fancy dinner party with family and friends. So it makes sense to take a second to consider if your chairs are up to scratch.
Style and substance, form and function; there’s a lot to consider when researching dining chairs. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the comfort. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy guide to show you how to buy a dining chair you and your guests can be ready to sink into all night.
Get the right size
With the average dining room table measuring in at about 75 centimetres high, you’ll want your dining chair to be about 50cm high, so your legs can enjoy at least a 30cm gap between the seat and the table. And to make sure your chair is comfy for all sizes, aim for a seat width of about 45 to 55 centimetres.
Even the most comfortable chair can be uncomfortable if it doesn’t match up with the table. So if you’re able to, make sure you can test out the chairs with the table to ensure you’re happy with the fit.
The chair legs provide the base for the rest of your chair. Without a firm foundation, your chair will feel flimsy, badly balanced and uncomfortable so make sure your chair legs are sturdy and made from solid wood or another high quality material.
Check the frame
With chair size out of the way, your next important consideration is the frame. Designs are constantly evolving and traditional lines are making way for the funky and futuristic.
The trouble is these innovations aren’t always comfortable. In fact, some of the new designs are just plain hard to sit on. Luckily it’s possible to strike a harmonious balance between traditional ergonomics and new-age radical designs.
An example is our Mokuzai [木] dining chair, a wonderful hybrid of old-fashioned design and modern techniques. It offers a slightly angled back for extra support but still keeps a fresh, crisp look.
Consider the back height
What suits one person may not work for another and there are so many different types of back support out there that the best way to find the right one for you is through trial and error.
You’ll probably know from previous experience what your preferred back height is. But if you want to get a good cross-section opinion, ask your family and friends what they look for in a dining chair back. Slanting or straight back? Tall or short? Try to find something that will suit everyone.
Do you want arms?
Arms on dining chairs offer equally polarising opinions. Modern designers often do away with them and if space is tight or if you get up from the table a lot, armrests may not be practical.
But for the most part, arms can add to the level of comfort if you’re going to be seated at the dining table for the obligatory long political conversation with your father-in-law, or for that three-course meal your partner insisted on cooking.
This Jesper Chair showcases armrests without sacrificing elegance or style. It also has a cushioned, ergonomic back you’ll love.
Don’t forget the cushioning
Your chair material can make a big difference to the feel of a dining room; upholstered dining room chairs can add softness, comfort and style to the room. Of course, this can affect the feel of the chair as well.
Perhaps the most important aspect is the amount of cushioning. In this respect, more isn’t always better; a well-designed chair doesn’t necessarily even need a cushion for added comfort.
But as a rule of thumb, you’ll be able to sit in a well-cushioned chair for longer. Bear that in mind when you begin your window shopping for chairs!
The detail and colour do count!
You might be drawn to small details, like borders, studding, tufts or pockets. And we can’t deny they’re a great touch. But it’s crucial to ask whether these extra details add value to your chair’s comfort as well as its aesthetics.
Whilst the colour of the chair itself has no effect on the actual comfort, the way your chairs look can impact on your mood. Did you know the colour blue can be calming, while red is the colour of passion?
That’s not to mention that you might feel confused or overwhelmed if your chair colour doesn’t match your existing dining room décor. And that’s not going to help you relax at all!
So there you have it: a beginner’s guide to the comfy dining chair. We hope this will help you make an informed decision the next time you’re in the market for dining room chairs, because a comfortable chair will make or break your next dinner party! And if you’re ready to shop, check out our full range of designer dining chairs made for comfort here at Brosa.