20 Different Types of Dining Room Chairs

Every house with a dining room needs dining room chairs. These chairs are an investment that will last for many generations. You can find meticulously crafted dining room chairs to meet your design specifications. Before purchasing your next set of dining room chairs, it’s important to consider the chairs’ style, functionality, and comfort.

If you find it hard to know which types of dining room chairs will work for your dining space, we’ve got you covered. This comprehensive guide breaks down all the major types of dining chairs to help you find the right option. Let’s explore!

Table of Contents

Types of Dining Room Chairs


This type of dining chair has armrests for added convenience. These armrests are comfortable so that you don’t have to lean forward to position your elbows on the table. And simply rest your arms on the armrests. In a formal setting, armchairs would go at the head of the table. These types of dining chairs are more expensive than those without armrests.

Side Chair

A side chair would go along the sides of a dining table. It has the same design as an armchair but doesn’t feature armrests. This type of chair is easier to get in and out of. Plus, side chairs are less expensive than armchairs and fit more easily underneath dining tables when they are not in use.

This type of chair is the most common chair seen in dining rooms throughout the world. Its solid frame features an arched back and plain wood seat.


Parsons Chair

The Parsons chair is also called a straight-backed chair. This type of chair is a creation of Parsons School of Design in Paris, designed in the 1930s.

Parsons chair is one of the most comfortable dining room chairs on the market. It is less ornamental and has a straight and solid back with no armrests. Some Parsons chairs also have slipcovers to go over the whole chair.

These chairs are very popular nowadays because they suit a wide range of interior design styles and are relatively inexpensive.

Traditional Chairs

The traditional style offers a detailed carved wood construction and rich texture. These chairs are timeless and have eternally popular flair. If you’re looking for classy and elegant chairs, consider choosing traditional dining room chairs. These chairs will enhance your dining room décor and inspire conversations.

Shaker Chairs

Shaker-style dining room chairs feature a specific strain of utilitarian, minimalist design. This type of chair has tapered legs and mushroom-shaped wooden knobs.  

If you’re looking for a sophisticated and elegant furniture style, the shaker dining room chairs make a perfect choice. Lastly, you can hang these chairs when you’re not using them.

Modern Style Chairs  

Modern style dining room chairs are a perfect blending of form and function with minimal embellishments.

Rustic Style Chairs

Rustic style dining room chairs evoke a pastoral, old-fashioned sense. They have unpolished natural wood and rough-hewn edges. You’ll also find “log” style dining chairs with patterned upholstered seats.

Coastal Chairs

This type of dining room chair evokes a seaside feeling. These chairs feature lighter tones, unstained wood, and a relaxed design for optimal comfort.

Folding Chairs

Folding chairs are commonly used as spare side chairs when additional seating is required. These chairs fold up to be stored away when not in use.

Ladder Back Chair

The ladder back chair is among the simplest dining chairs out there. It features a wooden seat and five legs without upholstery.

You can find this type of dining chair at most antique stores, thrift shops, and flea markets. This dining room chair is tall, narrow, and perfect for dining rooms.

Slat Back Chair

This is one of the most standard dining chairs, complete with a small seat and a tall back. Slat chairs have multiple strips of wood that run horizontally from one side to the other.

With its timeless look, you’ll find slat chairs in casual dining rooms and kitchen nooks.

Cross Back Chair

This type of chair has a wider seat and a shorter back. It’s the simple dining chair you’ll find in many roadside restaurants and cafes.

Cross-back chairs also have a smaller height, making them suitable for small dining spaces. The chair’s versatile design allows it to blend in almost any room of your house.

Lattice Back Chair

This type of chair features a solid back with diagonal bars. It’s a modern upgrade from the cross back and is perfect for casual dining rooms and kitchens.

You can also customize this chair to suit the décor of your living room or bedroom.

Splat Back Chair

This type of chair has a square-shaped contour in the back. Many homeowners prefer this design because of its unique appeal. This simple dining room chair can instantly add a classy touch to your dining room or kitchen.

Keyhole Back Chair

The unique design of the keyhole back dining chair is reminiscent of the Victorian Era. It features a key-shaped design, usually covered with floral carvings.

While this type of design is too ornate for modern homes, you can still include them in your dining room. They look opulent and sophisticated but can be quite expensive.

Bow Back Chair

This type of chair can fit into any type of dining room décor. It’s handmade and has a slightly curved back for added elegance.

Bow back chairs are heirloom-worthy seating options for your dining room. Some bow chairs include arrow back chairs, paddle back chairs, and feather back chairs. They’re incredibly versatile and durable.

Wing Back Chair

This wingback chair with a low back, curved armrests, and outstretched wings is another type of dining chair.

This type of chair is easy to find and can be used in various ways, such as a reading chair or lounge chair. It is very comfortable but doesn’t always have a matching piece of furniture for every room in the home.

Sheaf Back Chair

These are traditional-looking types of dining chairs. The name comes from the sheaves of wheat carved into the backs of these chairs.

Some people feel it is a very old-fashioned look, but others use it as a focal point in their dining rooms.

Press Back Chair

These chairs feature hand-carved patterns or designs. This type of chair is timeless and classic and very popular with those in Victorian-inspired homes.

Windsor Chair

These are specific types of bow-back chairs featuring a slanted seat. This dining room chair has been around since the 1800s and continues to be popular today.

Frame Material


Dining chairs with metal seats also have metal frames, and the whole chair is made from the same material. You might assume that metal seats on dining room chairs would be uncomfortable, but it isn’t always the case. Some metal seats have a comfortable shape to sit on, and many people are surprised at how pleasant metal seated chairs can be. Like metal frames on chairs, metal seats come in various finishes and colors. They are perfect for children who might spill their food at the dinner table because they can be wiped clean and won’t sustain any stains.


Chairs with plastic seats usually have metal or plastic frames. Like metal seats, cleaning plastic seats is a breeze, so this is a good material choice if you’re worried about your kids accidentally dropping food onto the chairs. Plastic seats are uncomfortable if they are completely flat, but professionally-designed seats can be surprisingly pleasant to sit on. That’s because they’re molded to fit with body shape.

Dining chairs with plastic seats can range from simple budget chairs to high-end minimalist chairs, so they vary enormously in cost and quality. Cheap plastic dining chairs are thin and brittle, and prone to breakage. You’ll need to keep a close eye on these dining room chairs because they crack under the weight of use. High-end plastic chairs use thicker and higher quality types of plastic which will be extremely durable and long-lasting, and resistant to cracking.


Dining chairs with wooden seats most commonly have a wooden frame. The seat can be flat or molded and may benefit from extra seat cushions for added comfort. If the wooden seat is painted or lacquered, it should be easy to wipe clean. Wooden seats in their raw state without a waterproof finish can sustain stains from ketchup or oil, as the food will penetrate the wood.


This type of dining room chair has a solid wood frame. A wicker seat is used on a wooden chair instead of a wooden seat because it provides a better comfort level. That’s because wicker seats, as a woven material, have a slightly more flexible surface that molds to the user’s shape. Wicker seats are sturdy but aren’t as long-lasting as solid wooden chairs. Over time with heavy use, the fibers begin to come loose at the edges, so you’ll need to repair the chair.


Upholstered dining room chairs come in a variety of upholstery types. Some dining chairs have a solid frame with a padded seat covered in fabric. And others have an entire seat, armrests, and backrest covered in padding and upholstery.

These upholstered seats or armrests might be removable from the chair, making them easier to reupholster if you want to change the fabric.

Some of the fabrics used to upholster dining chairs are:


Linen is a long-lasting natural fabric made from linseed or flax fibers. While linen isn’t stain-resistant, it is easy to care for and spot clean Try to avoid pale colors if you’re prone to spillages.


Leather-seat dining room chairs are incredibly popular for a good reason. They offer the comfort of a regular upholstered chair, with the luxurious quality that you can only get with leather.

Faux Leather

Faux leather is a more pocket-friendly choice if you prefer the look of leather but don’t like the price tag. It is easy to maintain and can be wiped clean. But, it can be slippery or sweaty to sit on.


Velvet is a great choice of upholstery on mid-century dining room chairs. It looks luxurious and sophisticated and comes in a variety of colors. Also, it offers a soft surface and can be spot cleaned.


Dining room chairs featuring polyester fabrics are the most cost-effective option out there. It’s a great choice if you like linen or cotton style upholstery but want an affordable price. Plus, polyester is durable and can be spot cleaned.

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