Short on square footage? Then our pick of the best small dining tables will be perfectly sized for your humble surroundings
Some might be lucky enough to have a huge room for entertaining a crowd, but the majority will have distinctly less space to position a dining table. And it’s just as likely that your dining space is part of another room. In such instances, a small dining table can prove invaluable, happily seating your family for their day-to-day dining needs at breakfast, lunch and dinner times. You’ll even find plenty of compact dining tables that will extend, allowing you to seat friends and additional family members for social and special occasions.
Thankfully, with the movement towards small-space living, there’s now a large amount of choice when it comes to choosing a small dining table, with furniture available in a range of materials and styles to blend with your existing decor. We’ve selected some of the best small dining tables you can buy right now, in a variety of styles and suitable for a range of budgets. And to help you make the right choice, our buying guide reveals the key questions to answer before you part with your cash.
Best small dining table: At a glance
- Best extending small dining table: Everyday Panama Extending Dining Table | £139
- Best classic small dining table: Chester Midnight Blue Round Table | £750
- Best modern small dining table: Kigumi Table | From £1230
- Best marble-effect small dining table: Gracili 4-6 Seater Extending Dining Table | £799
How to choose the best small dining table for you
What shape and type of table should I choose?
- Round tables – If you don’t have a dedicated dining room, meaning your table will be destined for the kitchen or lounge, a round table is often the best option. The shape sees it to occupy less space, while still seating plenty of people around it. In addition, you’re likely to be able to squeeze it into a tight spot, where a rectangular table would never fit. Round tables also tend to be more sociable; it’s easier for everyone to chat, rather than you being limited to your immediate neighbour.
- Rectangular and oval tables – Although they can be space hogs in multi-use rooms, oval and rectangular tables can be the best choice for a separate dining room, especially if the room is rectangular, and a round or square table would look odd.
- Square tables – If you lack the space for a rectangular table in your dining room, or your table will be going in an open-plan area, a square table can be a great option. It will usually provide more tabletop than a round table and, like a rectangular table, it can sit against a wall or tuck into a corner when it isn’t in use, freeing up valuable floor space.
- Pedestal base – When space is at a premium, opting for a table with a pedestal base can improve the functionality of a small dining table. Maximising leg-room, it will prevent those seated from knocking table legs. They’re also good for boosting visible floor area.
- Extending – Choosing a small dining table that can morph from one for daily meals to cater for dinner parties works well if you have more space at your disposal. There are different styles of extending table, from sliding leaves to drop leaf and butterfly-style (where the extra leaves emerge like wings), so opt for the one that best suits your space.
READ NEXT: The best extendable dining tables to buy
What else do I need to think about when choosing a small dining table?
Alongside finding the right shape of table to best fit your space, it’s also important to give some thought to the material of the tabletop. Think about how often you’re likely to use it – everyday use calls for a material that’s easy to clean and scratch-resistant: ceramic, glass and lacquered solid wood are good choices. If you’ll mostly use the table at the weekend or when catering for a crowd, veneered wood can offer a wide choice of stylish grains; however, it will be less durable for heavy use.
Size is an important consideration, too. To avoid a cramped dining environment, aim to leave around 90cm of space on each side of your table: this will allow room for chairs to be pulled out, while also leaving sufficient space for you to walk past it with ease.
How much should I spend on a small dining table?
Depending on the style and the materials from which it is made, you should budget at least £150 for a small, affordable dining table; £200-£500 for solid wood dining tables; and £500 plus for those with extra features or designer tables.
The best small dining tables to buy in 2023
1. Chester Midnight Blue 4-6 Seater Round Extending Dining Table: Best classic small dining table
Price when reviewed: £750 | Check price at Cotswold Company
There’s a lot to love about this more traditionally designed table. First is that it’s round, with a pedestal base, which helps to maximise floor space. Another plus is that it extends from the centre section, comfortably making room for two additional diners. Topped with a hard-wearing oak veneer, this table is sufficiently durable for regular use. But, in my opinion, it’s the on-trend deep blue colour that gives it extra appeal: allowing a classic table to suit more modern rooms without seeming out of place.
For those who like a cohesive feel, the Chester Midnight Blue range also offers several pieces of complementary furniture, from ladderback chairs to a dresser and larder. Perhaps the only sticking point is the price. However, for that you get a 15-year guarantee and partial assembly, too, so you’ll be up and dining in style in no time at all.
Key specs – Finishes/material: Painted, oak veneer and oak; Dimensions: 110-145 x 110 x 76.8cm (WDH); Seats: Four to six; Weight: 52.6kg
2. Kigumi Table: Best modern small dining table
Price when reviewed: From £1,230 | Check price at Case
Created by furniture designer Nazanin Kamali, the Kigumi Table manages to be several things at once: it’s both modern and timeless; lightweight yet sturdy; and casual yet perfect for more refined dining. In addition, it takes up minimal space while maximising its elegant good looks. Its veneered top has a simple yet stylish chamfered edge, while its slim legs are less likely to collide with yours while you’re dining.
Crucially, it’s low maintenance, too: unlike many wooden tables, its non-yellowing lacquered top requires no polishing at all. To keep it looking its best, simply wipe over with a damp cloth, followed by a dry one, from time to time. It’s very much an investment piece, however: ideal for those who appreciate an elegant silhouette, but less so for those on a limited budget.
Key specs – Finishes/material: Lacquered solid oak, walnut or black stained oak, veneered top; Dimensions: 125 x 125 x 75cm (WDH); Seats: Four to six; Weight: 36kg
3. Gracili 4-6 Seater Extending Dining Table: Best marble-effect small dining table
Price when reviewed: £799 | Check price at Dwell
For serious durability, you won’t go far wrong with this strikingly designed ceramic-topped dining table. The stain-, fade- and heat-resistant (up to 150ºC) tabletop features a marble-effect pattern in white or grey, for beautifully contemporary vibes. It easily extends, too: rotate it on its powder-coated metal base to reveal a pair of leaves that turn it from a four-seater into a table that accommodates six.
Unlike timber, which doesn’t always handle direct sunlight so well, the Gracili’s ceramic and metal construction makes it ideal for sun-soaked spaces – next to glass doors or in a kitchen extension, for example. The only quibble would be the position of the legs when it’s extended, which means that in order to seat six, a couple of people might have to straddle a leg.
Key specs – Finishes/material: Ceramic, glass, metal; Dimensions: 120-180 x 90 x 75-77cm (WDH); Seats: Four to six; Weight: 82kg
4. Everyday Panama 80-160cm Extending Dining Table in Dark Oak: Best extending small dining table
Price when reviewed: £139 | Check price at Very
Perfect for small rooms, or for tucking into a corner when not in use, this square oak-effect dining table simply flips its tabletop open to double the amount of surface space for meals. L-shaped legs give it an extra chunky contemporary appearance, while its foil-wrapped construction means it’s easy to wipe clean: perfect for those with younger children, as well as accident-prone adults.
Plus, if you love its look, the Panama collection includes plenty of coordinating pieces including sideboards, as well as a chic white oak-effect finish for a more minimal look. For an extending table, it’s great value; but be aware of the hefty delivery charge, plus the fact you have to assemble it yourself.
Key specs – Finishes/material: Chipboard, foil, metal; Dimensions: 80-160 x 80 x 77.6cm (WDH); Seats: Four to eight; Weight: 39kg