12 of the coolest dining chairs designed for stylish seating and eating

Are you sitting comfortably?

Best contemporary dining chairs in dining room around a table boucle table with stool at large modern dining table
(Image credit: Made.com)

If your default dinner party style when you're entertaining a few more guests than usual is to grab your WFH desk chair, or repurpose a storage box, it is time that you upped your hosting game. Whether it's a birthday or if the festive season has rolled around, having a full set of stunning dining chairs on hand, so that you and your friends, roommates, or family can wine and dine together, in comfort and style is the ultimate goal.

There are a ton of cool dining chair options out there that offer up all the interior design edge you could want, without a hefty price tag. And actually, investing in a new set of dining chairs is a simple and affordable way to spruce up your space, without completely redecorating. There are chairs with arms for you to sit, back and relax, even after dinner is done, and those with high backs for more formal arrangements. Yes, there are plenty of seats to scroll through. 

So pull up a chair, because we’ve done the research for you and found 9 of our favorite contemporary styles for you to shop. From plush velvet chairs with arms to worn leather or natural rattan finishes, these contemporary dining chairs will ensure that your entire household will be sitting happy at your dining table all season. 

12 contemporary dining chairs: the Real Homes edit

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Whether you need to replace an old worn set or are getting organized ahead of Christmas and New Year, it's always a good time for an upgrade and, it doesn't have to blow your entire month's budget either. 

How we selected these seats 

Louise Oliphant author illustration
Louise Oliphant

These chairs have been chosen with an equal emphasis on practicality and style. Of course there's no use in a dining chair that isn't comfortable enough to sit at, nor should it have to lack contemporary design. With so many styles to sort through, I've made sure there's a seat at the table for everyone. There's a mix of subtly chic colorways, statement styles and even sculptural pieces to pick from. But of course, price comes first– trust me, if I can find contemporary furniture on a budget, you can too. These chairs are relatively affordable, with cheaper options and great value-for-money buys that are sure to last you a lifetime. Some are even available in packs of two. 

A couple of these chairs I actually have at home. Four Dunelm Astrid dining chairs neatly tuck under my round dining table and IKEA's acrylic chair I use to sit at my desk with. What's great about all the options on this list are that are versatile too. As a renter, and small space owner, I know the need to have furniture that fits away neatly and doesn't take up too much space. 

How to choose the best dining chairs for your space

With so much choice, it's easy to get carried away in a game of musical chairs as you struggle to decide which ones to go for. To help you park on a pair, or set that suits you there are a few factors to think about., including how many chairs your table will allow, what material will work with your needs and the color, pattern or print that'll go with your dining room scheme. Not forgetting, price. We've broken it down below but otherwise take a read of our helpful how to choose dining furniture:  

Best contemporary dining chairs in dining room around a table metal legs and wooden table

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Space and style: Do you want a slimline row of seats at either side of the table? Or how about a curved chair to circulate around the table? Do you already have a dining set and need a spare foldable seat you get out when guests arrive? Or do you need a space-saving solution for a smaller household? Either way, we'd recommend checking the dimensions of the seat before you buy to make sure that they'll work well in the space you have. 

Color and fabric: Choosing the design of your chair isn't just about it being decorative mind. Forget picking the pink option to go with your color scheme, firstly make up your mind on material. Leather will typically last longer, and flatweave fabrics or polyester paddings are easier to clean, making them more durable. On the other hand, velvet is totally on-trend and boucle is a Pinterest-lovers dream. Just imagine spilling something on it... Then go ahead and decide on color. If contemporary isn't your thing either, they are more trad dining chairs out there too. 

Budget: New dining chairs can do amazing things for your space and make a cheap edit with maximum ROI when it comes to design impact. That being said, make sure you define your budget beforehand for ultimate success.

How much should a good dining chair cost?

The best quality dining chairs can cost a lot as you tend to pay for craftsmanship, premium materials and manufacturing processes. 

Single chairs of this quality may push above the £/$250 mark, but they could last you a lifetime and generally speaking, the higher the price, the more durable and long-lasting. That's not to say you can't find more affordable options of great value that will last a number of years.

UK retailers like Dunelm, M&S and Next now offer dining chairs for around £200 for a pack of two, with Habitat having sets for even under £100. 

Then if you shop stores like Wayfair (opens in new tab), West Elm (opens in new tab) and Overstock (opens in new tab)  or The Home Depot you can find sets of two starting from around $250. For a little less you could even consider buying unfinished dining room chairs The Home Depot (opens in new tab) and then painting them in a color of your choice for a bespoke finish! 

Louise Oliphant
Ecommerce Editor

Louise is the Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes, specialising in sleep content so you can wind-down well. With prior PR experience working for a luxury bedding brand, Louise knows the importance of getting a great night’s sleep. Joining the other side of the desk as a full-time journo, Louise brings her bedding expertise to writing sleep buying guides, reviews, and news for Real Homes. Aside from helping readers get essential shut eye, Louise also writes shopping content for homeware items that’ll add a decorative edge to your space. With an eye for design that won’t snooze on style, but a budget that won’t quite stretch, Louise loves nothing more than a modern designer dupe. From coloured glassware to contemporary storage, anything to upgrade the bare space of her rented East London flat. 

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