When furnishing a dining room, we face several dilemmas. One of the most significant decisions is whether to go with dining benches versus dining chairs or a combination of both.

All have their benefits, but which option is better? In this post, we'll look closer at the pros and cons of dining benches and chairs, considering factors such as space, design, style, functionality, and cost.

You can find out which option can work better with your home decor and needs.

View of a Walnut dining table with live edge and a walnut dining bench by Martelo and MoImage Credit - Lagoa Dining Table in Walnut and Andrade Walnut Bench by Martelo and Mo



Dining benches can save space, especially in smaller dining rooms or open-concept living spaces. They can be tucked under the table when unused, freeing up valuable floor space.

Dining benches can accommodate more people than chairs, especially if you have children, making it an excellent choice for smaller dining rooms or tight spaces. They are also great for large families or dinner parties, allowing for more seating options.

Haus Love Interiors _ Client Down Under _ Breakfast NookBanquette, Baby! - Apartment34

Image Credits - Left: Haus Love Interiors, Right: Apartment34.com

However, dining benches are less mobile than chairs, which can be a disadvantage if you need to move them around the room or to another location, and if your dining room has limited space, a long dining bench may not be feasible.

Individual chairs offer more flexibility in fitting the space if you have an unusually shaped or sized dining area. Dining chairs are easy to move around the room, which can be an advantage if you rearrange your furniture or add extra seating to accommodate guests.

Lydia Allen, Interior Design Studio
Image Credit - Lydia Allen, Interior Design Studio.


On the downside, dining chairs can occupy more space than benches, especially if they have armrests or a more prominent profile. Chairs only accommodate one person, which can be a disadvantage if you have a large family or frequently host dinner parties. 

Design and Style

Both benches and chairs offer a wide range of options regarding design and style. A bench can add a unique and stylish touch to your dining room, creating a more relaxed and casual atmosphere. They are available in various types and materials, from rustic wooden benches to upholstered benches with sleek metal frames.

Images Credit: Bergman and Mar - Triptych Apartment in Bankside. 

On the other hand, chairs offer more versatility in mixing and matching styles, colours, and materials to create a more eclectic look. Dining chairs come in various styles, colours, and materials, making them versatile options tailored to fit any design aesthetic.

Apartment Therapy - 9 Dining Rooms That Nail the Mismatched Chair Trend

Image Credit - Apartment Therapy


Both benches and chairs offer different levels of functionality. For example, a bench can be more practical for families with children, as they provide more seating and are easier to clean. They also offer a more relaxed and casual atmosphere for dining and socialising and can be more comfortable for long meals, providing a relaxed seating position and encouraging conversation.

However, dining benches can give a casual, informal feel to a dining room, which may not work for those who prefer a formal setting.

Wooden Oval Dining Table by Martelo and Mo, Photography by Bruna Balodis

Wooden Oval Dining Table by Martelo and Mo, Photography by Bruna Balodis 

Chairs may provide more comfort and support for more extended periods of sitting, especially for older guests or those with back problems, especially if they are upholstered or have a cushioned seat.

They are typically associated with formal dining rooms, which can give your space an elegant, upscale feel.


Cost is essential when choosing the right seat for your dining room. Benches are typically less expensive than buying multiple chairs, making them a cost-effective option for those on a budget. However, high-end benches can be just as expensive as chairs and may require additional cushions or upholstery to make them more comfortable.

Dining chairs can be more expensive than dining benches, especially if you opt for high-end, designer models. Chairs may also require more maintenance and replacement, increasing the long-term cost.

Lagoa Walnut Dining Table and Andrade Walnut Dining Bench by Martelo and Mo

Image Credit - Interior Design by Ricardo Abreu, Photography by Felipe Araújo/Disclosure, Lagoa Dining Table and Andrade Dining Bench by Martelo and Mo

In summary, there is no clear winner when choosing between dining benches and chairs. The decision ultimately depends on your preference, space limitations, design style, functionality needs, and budget. While benches offer more seating in less space and can create a unique and stylish atmosphere, chairs offer more flexibility in terms of design and may provide more comfort and support. Finally, consider the pros and cons of each option carefully to make the best decision for your lifestyle and design aesthetic.

Disclaimer: We always endeavour to credit the correct source of every image we use. If you think a credit may need to be corrected, please get in touch with us at info@marteloandmo.co.uk.

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