36 Different Types of Dining Room Chairs (Materials, Designs, Styles)

Last Updated on August 27, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

When you are looking for dining chairs, it can be difficult to find the right ones that will match your home and taste. Finding the best dining chair is a process of trial and error.

You have to go through many options before finding one that matches all your requirements and expectations. This can not only frustrate you but can take much of your time. 

Our guide below contains everything you need to know about dining chairs including their benefits, styles, materials used in manufacturing them, and their design.

types of dining chairs styles designs

Dining Chair Designs

1. Arm Chair

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These are the most formal option and it’s a must-have for dining rooms. It comes with an extended back and arms, as well as more decorative legs. With this design, you can expect to see thick cushions on the seat with rounded armrests.

The arms were added to give more comfort, stability as well as support. This is why armchairs are preferable over other types of chairs especially if you have a formal dining room.

2. Folding Chair

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Folding chairs are known for their durability, portability, as well as easy storage, and sometimes a folding chair is the only option.

There are many different styles of folding chairs available in the market. They can be used indoors as well as outdoors depending on how you use them.

3. Parsons Chair

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It is a modern design that has two vertical supports on each side. The back of the chair is usually slanted and it looks like an X from the front view.

You will find this type of dining chair in many restaurants all over the world, especially those with a casual ambience.

They’re streamlined to provide comfort and allow easy access to the chairs when they’re placed close together or when there is little space available.

4. Side Chair

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This is the most common chair in the kitchen and dining room. You will find chairs made in different materials and colors.

They have a straight back with four legs and the seat is usually upholstered. Most of these types of chairs provide functionality, durability, and comfort while serving dinner. They have no arms.

Dining Chair Design Elements

5. Ladder Back Chair

ladder back chair

The ladder back chair is the simplest of all dining chairs and it’s made with a wooden seat and five spindles or legs without upholstery.

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

6. Slat Back Chair

slat back chair

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

This design creates some upholstery options for you when painting or reusing as craft projects. With its timeless look, it’s mostly found in casual dining rooms and kitchen nooks.

7. Cross Back Chair

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This chair has a shorter back and wider seat. It’s the simple, modern and neutral dining chair you’ll find in many restaurants and cafes.

Cross-back chairs also come with a smaller height, making them ideal for small dining spaces. Its versatile design allows it to work in almost any room of your house.

8. Lattice Back Chair

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This chair features a solid back with diagonal bars. It’s an upgrade from the cross back, which is why you’ll mostly find it in casual dining rooms and kitchens.

You can also customize this chair with its neutral look to include them in your living room or bedroom.

9. Splat Back Chair

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This type of chair is characterized by a central geometric shaped (usually square) contour in the back. This design is preferred by many homeowners because of its unique yet timeless appeal, and it can be used in almost any room of your house.

It’s a simple and extremely decorative dining room chair that can instantly add a classy touch to your dining room.

10. Keyhole Back Chair

keyhole back chair

The keyhole back dining chair has a unique design that is reminiscent of the Victorian Era. It features a central key-shaped design in its back and it’s usually covered with floral or curvilinear carvings.

While this type of design is often too ornate for modern homes, you can still include them in your living room or bedroom. They can be quite expensive.

11. Bow Back Chair

bow back chair

This type of chair may fit into any type of room decor, as they are not very ornate or complicated to construct.

The bow dining room chairs have a back that is slightly curved and encloses the seat with its ends almost meeting at the center of the chair.

Some of the types of bow back chairs include paddle back chairs, arrow back chairs, and feather back chairs. They’re extremely versatile and durable.

12. Wing Back Chair

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The classic wingback chair with a low back, curved arms, legs, and outstretched wings is another form of dining chair.

These types of chairs are easy to find and can be used in a variety of different ways, such as lounge chairs or reading chairs. This type of chair is very comfortable but does not always have a matching piece of furniture for every room in the home.

13. Sheaf Back Chair

sheafback arm chair

These are very traditional-looking types of dining chairs. The name is derived from the sheaves of wheat that are carved into the backs of each chair.

Some feel that it is a very old-fashioned look, but others continue to use it as a focal point in their homes.

14. Press Back Chair

These traditional chairs feature a pressed back that has a pattern or design on them. This chair is very popular with the Victorians and those who live in Victorian-influenced homes.

This chair can be found in many different styles. Some have arms and some do not, but all of them have the same intricate design on the back.

15. Windsor Chair

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These are very specific types of bow-back chairs that have a slanted seat and come up higher in the back. This is a very traditional chair that has been around since the 1700s and continues to be popular today.

Seat Materials

16. Upholstered

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Upholstered seat materials are the most comfortable and an excellent option for those chairs that will be sat in regularly.

They come with a soft texture and a cushion on the bottom. However, they can wear out after time and need to be replaced periodically, which is an added expense for the consumer.

They can be found in any and every type of frame, from wood and metal.

17. Wood

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Wood seats are very traditional and can come in a variety of different types of wood. Cherry, mahogany, walnut, pine, oak, and maple are all very popular choices.

They come in various finishes such as natural finish or stained dark brown or black. This makes them fit in every decor style while providing comfort.

18. Metal

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Metal seats are a little bit newer on the market and can come in stainless steel or aluminum, both with their very own unique looks.

Like wood seats, metal seats also have a variety of finishes to choose from; however, most people prefer the chrome finish since that is what is seen most often in public areas like restaurants.

19. Leather

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Leather is very comfortable, especially if it is thick and soft. Leather seats are usually a little heavy but they are extremely durable.

They can come in a variety of colors from light tan to black or dark brown with many different finishes available as well. However, leather can develop nicks and other blemishes over time so you must maintain them.

They can bring a sense of elegance to your dining room, especially those with exterior wood finishes.

20. Wicker

wicker dining chair

A wicker dining seat can be a good investment if you have limited space. It can be used with other outdoor decor and will usually hold up well in all weather conditions.

The wicker is dense and heavy to give it optimum stability even when wet. However, the chairs may not last long like others since the material tends to the fray over time.

They can look amazing, hence bringing texture and style to your dining room.

21. Plastic

Plastic chairs are the most inexpensive type of deck chair. They tend to be smaller and lightweight which makes them easier to store.

Some even fold down, making them easy to transport from one area of your home to another.

However, they can easily crack or break when exposed to sunlight for an extended period so you must bring them indoors during the winter.

Frame Materials

22. Wood

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Dining seats with wood frames are the most popular you’ll find. They are relatively easy to clean and maintain, but the wood will expand or contract depending on your area’s humidity levels.

The metal screws that hold them together tend to rust over time so make sure you dry them right after washing them to avoid this.

23. Metal

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The metal frame dining chair is the most recent option available in the market. It looks amazing and can hold any seat in the dining room.

It is also resistant to corrosion so it won’t rust and there’s no need for extra maintenance. Metal frames will always be a popular choice because of their durability, but this material can be expensive.

24. Plastic

plastic chair

Plastic chairs are very easy to clean and maintain, but they aren’t as durable as other materials. These usually come with metal legs, but they may also be produced using a cast iron construction.

The plastic never rusts, doesn’t need any special treatment, and is very easy to clean.

Dining Chair Styles

25. Traditional

traditional dining chairs

When it comes to traditional style, your dining chairs are designed to look elegant and stylish.

They come in a variety of colors and this is the first option many people choose when they want to redecorate their home. They offer detailed, rich texture with ample colors.

26. Shaker

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This is a very specific style that has been trending in American culture. It’s commonly associated with the Mennonite community who is known to produce minimalist pieces of furniture for their household.

They’re equipped with a ladder back, simple style, and have a straight silhouette. They are also very sturdy so they can last longer.

27. Modern

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If you want to redecorate your dining living room, the modern option is best for you. It’s fresh and clean with its abundance of colors and classy lines that will surely capture everyone’s attention.

There are many designs to choose from. Modern dining room furniture is sleek, innovative and will give your home a fresh new look.

28. Rustic

rustic dining chair

Rustic dining chairs tend to have a more textured appearance because of their natural look and solid color.

It’s simple yet elegant design is perfect for any dining room, even if it’s located in a cabin or cottage-style house. It comes with leather upholstery that highlights its whole appearance.

29. Queen Anne Chair

queen anne dining room

Queen Anne style is traditionally ornate and is made of more detailed, sculpted, and curvy designs. A Queen Ann dining room set can be impressive and luxurious especially when it comes with a tufted back design and accent chair.

30. Coastal

coastal dining room

The coastal style evokes that seaside feel wherever it’s placed. It features simple lines and a rich finish, which is perfect for beach-theme rooms. The style is usually completed with straight legs that are meant to resist weather changes.

31. Contemporary

Contemporary dining chairs run a range of styles even though they are made and created in a modern fashion. The design, style, and pattern may be different but they have one thing in common; simplicity!

32. Craftsman

craftsman dining room chair
Source: Wayfair

Craftsman-style seats vary in their styles and designs. The design could be a simple-lined seat with tapered legs while others may have beautifully shaped chairs that feature stencil-engraved details. The key factor is that they are all made with historical styling and classic lines.

33. Mission Style

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This style of kitchen chair is sturdy, straight, and strong. The seats are normally capped with a square seatback. They have slats typically on the lower half of the chair and also exposed wood at the bottom.

34. Classic

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The distinctive feature of these dining chairs is their turned leg pieces. The top portion is plain and flat and the legs have a conical shape that tapers down, which gives it a classical look.

35. French Country

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French country style includes both the dining chairs and the table. They are typically painted in a country-looking color and have stencil decorations like flowers or fruits on them.

Not every chair lasts for long, but the life expectancy of French Country chairs is between 20 to 30 years.

36. Farmhouse

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The side or arm of this style is available in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are normally hand-turned and carved in many different ways.

A farmhouse dining room chair is normally made from solid wood and has a rustic or chunky look to them with the use of recycled materials. They can create a wonderful look when you mix and match them in your dining room.

Related: 28+ Stunning Farmhouse Dining Room Design & Decor Ideas


It may not be very easy to choose the dining room chairs that go with your table. There are a huge number of options available and it’s hard to choose which one matches your taste as well as the interior style of your home.

You have to determine what kind of material you want, then think of the design and style. Of course, your budget should also guide you.