The kitchen table is an important piece of the home. It's a spot to gather for casual meals; ones that don't require the formality of a dining room. Typically, the kitchen table is a comfortable place to grab breakfast and sip a cup of coffee, meant for shorter and less intricate use. The kitchen table concept can apply to nearly any space, based on the design of the home: anywhere from a few bar stools at a counter to a little nook in the corner to a separate table with matching chairs.
The standard height of a kitchen table is about 30 inches. Counter-height tables tend to be about 36 inches. In contrast, bar tables are 40 to 43 inches tall.
Kitchen Table Standard Height
While there are no absolute standards for the height of a table, most furniture companies have settled on certain heights for certain kinds of furniture. Parotas explains that, in the United States, kitchen tables are usually between 28 to 30 inches tall, most of them reaching 30 inches (approximately 76 cm). This is the standard height for dining room tables, as well. Many restaurants also use 30-inch tables to help customers feel like they're at home. Most commercially available tables fall within this range.
In comparison, kitchen counters often reach 36 inches (roughly 92 cm). While standard kitchen tables are more popular, some homeowners decide that a counter-height table may make more sense given the layout of their kitchen — consider an island or a peninsula that can be used as counter space while cooking, but then as table space to eat. The height can be awkward without the right chairs, but the convenience is absolutely a consideration. Bassett Furniture explains that a counter-height table is also about 36 inches on average.
Bar Table Standard Height
Bar tables are taller; they usually fall within 40 to 43 inches, with most of them landing at 42 inches (about 107 cm). The added height of a bar-style table can add some style and flair to a kitchen eating spot and also helps the table feel a bit separate from the rest of the kitchen and the home. Bar-height tables can be convenient because family members and guests can also use them to rest food and drinks on while standing, given the extra height.
Choosing Proper Chair Heights
It's important that the chairs match the height of the table for maximum comfort — no one wants to bang their knees or twist their backs having a quick sandwich. Chairs, of course, come in all kinds of heights and styles. A good standard practice is to leave 9 to 13 inches (around 23 to 33 cm) between the chair seat and the bottom of the table, which allows guests space to move around and cross their legs to get comfortable.
Based on this guidance, chairs for a standard 30-inch kitchen table should be 17 to 19 inches (about 43 to 48 cm) tall, with 18 inches being the typical height for most chairs designed this way. For a counter-height table, chairs should be around 24 inches (roughly 61 cm) tall, and a bar-style table will need chairs or stools that are around 30 inches (approximately 76 cm) tall. Keep in mind chair height is measured from the floor to the top of the seat — styles with armrests or elaborate backs may require more space depending on the table and the setup.
For a standard kitchen table, comfortable and simple chairs are usually the way to go. With a higher eating surface, stools or benches can give the illusion of more room at the table, and they can also be more comfortable, since most bar stools are constructed so that people can rest their feet on the stool as well.
Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com), and she enjoys writing home and DIY articles and blogs for clients in a variety of related industries. She also runs her own lifestyle blog, Sweet Frivolity (www.sweetfrivolity.com).