The humble dining table has always been a hard working hero in our homes. A desk while working from home, a study space for homework, a crafting surface, and the host of family dinners, our dining tables receive a lot of attention. So when it comes to choosing a new dining table for our changing lives and families, it may seem overwhelming. How do you pick a dining table to make new memories around?

We take a closer look at which dining table you should choose, depending on your lifestyle and needs.

Dorset dining table styled with white table runner, white crockery and white flowers in small vases.

Dorset dining table | @athomewiththelloyds

Best dining tables for entertaining

If you thrive on being the host with the most, you need to make sure that your dining table lives up to the challenge. If you’re looking for a show stopper that will impress your guests, you can’t go wrong with a modern industrial look. With its galvanised legs and warm solid oak top, our living edge Brooklyn dining table looks perfect as the centerpiece to your dining space. Plus, it’s a flexible piece that offers the choice of having benches, chairs or a combination.

If however, you don’t have the footprint for a 6ft dining table, or you need flexibility, you’ve got a few options. Extendable dining tables can stretch to accommodate up to 12 guests comfortably, but don’t have to take up permanent space. The easy-to-use mechanism means that when the party ends, your table can shrink back to a smaller size and maximise space in your dining room once more. Another sociable and space-saving option is using benches. Pull them out when you’ve got guests for dinner, but tuck them away for your day to day activities – it’s a win win!

Brooklyn dining table and benches in a light-filled dining room, styled with greenery and summery tableware.

Brooklyn dining table and bench

Best dining tables for small spaces

Whether you’re a city slicker, or a tiny home enthusiast, just because your home is small doesn’t mean you can’t find a great dining table. For a quick meal or a chat with friends, a small round table will work best, as they’re sociable, but compact. Round tables have smaller footprints than their rectangle counterparts, and the softer edges give an illusion of more space. Or, opt for a slim framed 4-seater extendable dining table if you occasionally host guests.

Knightsbridge oval extendable dining table with upholstered chairs in a modern dining room.

Knightsbridge dining table | @thesuffolktownhouse

Best dining tables for families

When choosing a family table, you’ll need function and form in mind. We all know that family tables see a lot of mess, but this doesn’t mean you have to settle for a terrible table. A solid oak table is a great solution as they’re perfect for holding up to the wear and tear of everyday life. Why not check out some of our rustic oak styles? The warm honey tones not only bring out the grain pattern, but they also help to hide everyday spills and messes – even when surprise guests pop in for a cuppa…

If you’ve got little ones, getting chairs that are easy to clean is a necessity, so opt for natural oak or leather chairs.

Vibrant green dining room with a Parquet dining table and a little boy reaching up to the in-built shelves.

Parquet dining table | @hausfifteen


Whether you’re setting the kids up with crafts, or you’re a dab hand yourself, you’ll want an area where you can stretch out all of your tools and materials. Opt for a larger table, or an extendable piece, to give you the creative space that you need. If this is a regular hobby, you might want to choose benches over chairs as your dining seating, as these can be easily tucked away for tasks where you might need to stand.

Dorset dining table and matching chairs in a modern kitchen, with peonies displayed on the table.

Dorset dining table | @our_radleigh_home

You should now be ready to find the best dining table for you and your home. Shop our range of dining furniture now and choose your shape, size, style and seating to create the ultimate set that works for you. Show us how you style it over on Instagram using #OakFurnitureland. Need a little more inspiration? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at our guide or favourite dining room design ideas.