Dining Benches - All Questions Answered

Dining benches are long overdue for their moment in the spotlight. They are versatile and comfortable, add a unique visual dynamic to your dining room, and can accommodate more people in a limited space than chairs can. To help you take the leap into solid wood dining benches, we put together a comprehensive FAQ and highlight some of our favorite pieces.

Practical Benefits of Dining Benches

  • Accommodating to Extra Guests, Especially Kids: As mentioned previously, dining benches can often accommodate more people in less space compared to individual chairs, making them ideal for smaller dining areas or rooms with limited square footage. They’re particularly kid-friendly, as the lack of pre-set physical boundaries between sitters (as found with chairs) enables you to host significantly more around your dining table. 
  • May Free Up Floor Space: Some benches can be pulled far underneath the tabletop due to their backless design, meaning that they stick out significantly less than some chairs (especially those with arms). In turn, they near-eliminate their footprint when the benches are not in use, making them particularly practical for smaller homes. 

  • Storage Solutions: Some dining benches have built-in storage, offering a convenient place to stow away items like table linens, placemats, or even dining accessories.

  • Versatile Use: Beyond the dining room, benches can be used in various rooms around your home, such as entryways, bedrooms, or even outdoor spaces, adding functional seating wherever it's needed.

  • Adds Visual Layers to Your Dining Decor: Benches are often paired with chairs to add nuance to the look of your dining room. While some dining sets combine dining benches with chairs that share similar features, others choose to have the two seating types dramatically contrast one another for a more eclectic (but handsome) aesthetic. 

  • Can Make the Room Feel Larger and Show Off the Table: Yet another reason why dining benches accommodate smaller spaces is that the svelte, backless design of many benches makes the environment feel airy and spacious. Similarly, backless benches won’t obstruct views of your tabletop, letting the table be the true star of the dining room. 

  • They’re Perfect for Breakfast Nooks: If you browse through the solid wood breakfast nooks offered by Countryside Amish Furniture, one common theme may jump out–almost all incorporate benches!

Ready to partake in a dining bench of your own? Browse for various options using the links below:

Mission-style benches | Windsor benches | Benches shown in white oak | Benches shown in red oak | Unique Dining chairs

FAQ About Dining Benches

How do I Calculate How Many People Can Sit on the Bench?

The specific number depends on the size of the individuals and how closely they’re willing to sit with one another. However, as a general rule, assume that adults will want at least 20” of space. 

Does the Dining Bench Have to be the Same Wood and Stain as the Table?

There are no rules when it comes to home decor! That being said, most people opt to make their bench the same lumber species and color of the table for the sake of cohesion. 

Our advice? Make sure that there are shared commonalities between the bench and other elements of the dining set. For example, if the chairs are upholstered, a similarly upholstered bench could look right at home. If the table and seats have black metal legs, perhaps the bench should have the same. 

How High Should a Dining Bench Be?

Height rules that apply to traditional chairs also apply to dining benches. Most benches will position the sitter about 17”-19” from the ground, though there are exceptions. For example, the Eloy Rustic Dining Bench shown below is 18” high.

Also, be mindful of choosing the height of the bench so users can comfortably place their knees underneath the table; 17”-19” will accommodate almost all tables with the exception of those that are particularly low and stout. 

Can Dining Benches be Longer Than the Table?

Most dining benches match the table’s length, at maximum. Longer benches will jut outward to create a slapdash aesthetic and prevent the bench from being pulled underneath the table, leading to it taking up a larger than necessary footprint. Plus, any individuals sitting on the ends of the benches will struggle to access the plates on the tables, semi-defeating the purpose of the bench’s added length in the first place. 

Should Dining Benches Fit Under Table?

It’s ideal that your dining bench fit underneath your table unless there are tall backs that prevent your dining bench from doing so. This helps maximize the walking area of your dining room. What’s more, it contributes to your dining room’s streamlined appearance.

What Side of the Table Should the Dining Bench Be On? 

There is no universally accepted answer about which side of the table the bench should be on. However, consider these three benefits: 

  • Benches are easier to access sideways than is true of chairs

  • Many don’t have backs that interrupt the visual flow of the room

  • They’re particularly kid-friendly. 

Scenarios in which these three elements may influence positioning:

  • If you have limited space between the table and the wall - in this scenario, the dining bench should be positioned in the tight area, as guests can slide in sideways rather than needing to pull the chair back. 

  • You are keen to show off your new table - in this scenario, place the bench on the side closer to the entrance to the dining room so the table can have the greatest first impression uninterrupted by the chairs’ backs.

  • You have kids and a semi-open floor plan - In this scenario, consider positioning the bench so sitters are facing the kitchen. This way, you can communicate face-to-face with the children as you cook and prep snacks (rather than talk to their backs). 

Are Dining Benches Going Out of Style?

Not at all! In fact, their long, simple build makes them feel quite at home in contemporary dining decor (which tends to favor minimalism). As is true for most furniture pieces, whether or not a bench is “in style” depends on its individual characteristics. 

Complete Your Dining Set With the Help of Countryside Amish Furniture

Partake in celebrated Amish woodworking while shopping from the comfort of your home with Countryside Amish Furniture.

Our commitment to quality shines through as we meticulously select premium materials to ensure that every piece of dining furniture meets the highest standards. Each dining bench is meticulously crafted to order, affording our customers the luxury of choosing their preferred wood species and stain to harmonize with their existing dining decor. 

Buy your dining bench individually or as part of a larger solid wood dining set. We’ll handle furniture straight from our Amish craftspeople’s hands to your home free of charge!

Author, Baileigh Basham

Bailiegh Basham is Lead Sales & Marketing Strategist at Countryside Amish Furniture. She's been a team member since 2014. Bailiegh is deeply passionate about furniture design and home decor.