Round or rectangular dining table: which is the best shape?
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Round or rectangular dining table: which is the best shape?

Natalia Kolomiets

Published on August 12 2020

Round or rectangular dining table: which is the best shape?

When choosing a new dining table, you will have a choice between round y rectangular. Choosing the right shape for your space ensures that your new table will look fantastic in your room and work for your needs. Round and rectangular tables have different advantages, so read on to make sure you choose the best one for you! 


The first thing to consider when choosing a round or rectangular dining table is the space you have available. Different shapes suit different sized spaces. Therefore, this has to affect your choice of table.

Space saving

If you have a small house or a dining room, keep in mind that round tables take up less space. They have a smaller surface area than their rectangular counterparts, so they will fit into tighter spaces much more easily. If you're concerned about space, it may be a better option to choose a circular table that won't make your room feel crowded or make your guests feel claustrophobic.

solid wood round dining table

Quick tip: When choosing the size of the table for your room, remember to consider the space for chairs!

Against the wall

While round dining tables take up less space overall, they don't fit against walls as easily as rectangular shapes. This can be a positive aspect, as it breaks up the lines in your space to make the design feel softer, but it doesn't work for every room.

Being able to place your table against the wall can be more beneficial to your kitchen or dining room setup and can help you use your space more effectively. This depends on your existing furniture and how you have arranged your room.

When choosing between round and rectangular, think about where your dining table will fit and how much space you have available.


Appearance is a high priority for anyone looking for a new piece of furniture, especially something as central to home living as a dining table. It is essential that your table looks great in your space, as it is usually the focal point of a dining room.

Round tables

Round tables have a way of drawing the eye and pulling in the surrounding elements. The circular design can help the table look more anchored in the room and can often look more like a centerpiece, although this is often more affected by other factors such as positioning and color.

Rectangular tables

Rectangular tables, on the other hand, can have more of an air of grandeur than round tables. This means they work very well in formal settings or dining rooms, rather than kitchen-dining rooms.

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to which table looks best, round or rectangular. It often comes down to personal preference and how you set up the rest of your room.

 solid wood rectangular dining table



Capacity, for some people, will be the deciding factor between round or rectangular tables. The size of your home, or how many people usually dine, may well determine what shape table you need.

Increased capacity

Round tables are limited in size, while rectangular tables have a much larger capacity - they can go from 4 people to 14 or more! The shape of the table means you have the freedom to choose a size that fits the amount of seating you need.

Extendable tables

While round tables are usually available for up to four people, there are often options for choosing an extendable round table. extendable round table. This can be a great idea if you are space conscious, but sometimes you have guests and need additional capacity.

A round table helps create a more intimate feel when you have a small number of people, while the option to extend it allows you to sit even more when you want to.

You can also obtain extended rectangular tables if you want the option for large numbers without having a large table in the way all the time.

Social elements

Rectangular vs. circular tables affect how sociable your table feels and experience.


Round tables facilitate better conversation as everyone has the same ability to talk to anyone else. Rectangle tables sometimes present difficulties with this, as the shape can separate people from each other, especially in larger groups.

Board games

If you are a tabletop gamer or just enjoy playing board games with the family, a round table might be better for you. Everyone has equal access to the board and there's no one you can't reach, which creates a better gaming experience.


Round tables also feel more informal. There is no head of the table, so it gives a more egalitarian feel and enhances the dining experience. The days of King Arthur might be over, but round tables are still useful if you want to create a less formal feel!

Unequal numbers

Rectangular tables are designed for symmetry and look best when there are an even number of places on each side. Round tables, on the other hand, are more flexible when dealing with uneven numbers. You can easily eliminate a place setting on a round table without drawing attention to the missing place setting - they're ideal for uneven numbers, or if a guest can't make it!

"The bad seat"

Everyone has experienced sitting in "the bad seat" at a table. It's the place where you can't talk to many people, can't reach your food, or feel isolated from group conversation. This tends to happen more with rectangular tables than round tables, so circular tables may be a better option if you want to avoid this.

 round dining table in solid oak wood



Circular tables generally have a singular leg in the center of the table, rather than four legs. This gives you more leg room when seated around the table. It's also easier to accommodate extra seating at Christmas or other special occasions, without someone having to negotiate sitting around the leg!

However, this is not always the case. There are more and more leg design options with rectangular tables that allow for more space and comfort. Cross legs, for example, can work well.



While the round table requires individual seating, the rectangular dining tables offer the additional option of benches. Benches may not be ideal for every situation (grandma may need additional backing), but they are generally worth considering, as they have a number of benefits over chairs. They can also add a more contemporary touch to a family home.

First, benches are usually more space efficient. While chairs can be tucked under the table, a portion of the chair will always be left out. On the other hand, a bench can be tucked in so that it is completely out of the way.

Second, benches can be incredibly useful if you have children who often invite friends over. It's easy to fit extra people on a bench, especially children, without having to move spare chairs from other rooms in the house.

 solid wood rectangular table


Insurance for children

Rectangular tables may present a greater hazard to children. Whether toddlers are learning to walk or energetic children are carrying, round tables do not have the sharp corners that otherwise pose a risk.

It's not just children who bump into table corners either: most adults know the feeling of a bruised hip or thigh when walking around the edge of a table!


When it comes to round or rectangular dining tables, the best shape for you will depend on the space you have available, the size of your family and ultimately your personal preference.

If you are looking for a quality wooden table, explore the range of dining tables at Oak.Store




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