The best kitchen tables

No matter what size room you’ve got to work with, or how many surprise guests you’re lumped with, our selection of the best kitchen tables will see you right

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Open any interiors magazine (guilty!) and you’d think that the kitchen is one of those rooms that seems to sit at one end or the other of an enormously long spectrum: cavernous country-style space with an AGA in pride of place, or cramped galley with pots and pans jangling overhead.

Of course, in reality, there are also those of us squarely in the middle with our comfortably-sized open-plan kitchen diners, but when it comes to buying a kitchen table rather than a dining table, it does seem to be that they’re specifically engineered to fit one of those two models. While it probably goes without saying that big kitchens can plump for an oversized table worthy of the mess hall and bijou rooms might be better off with a smaller surface, there are plenty of options out there offering really rather clever ways of saving — and even creating — space.

If you’re lucky enough to have a roomy kitchen with floor space to spare, you can really push the boat out when it comes to the size of your table, but if you have a big brood, you can make it work even harder by going for an extendable kitchen table. An extending table starts off small and adds extending leaves to build up capacity, so you can work with a space-friendly six-seater table for day to day, and bump it up to eight, ten or even twelve seats for parties. For smaller rooms, a drop-leaf table can offer the same effect, or for really petite spaces, a dinky two-seater breakfast nook.

1. John Lewis Croft Collection Glendale 6 Seater Dining Table

A sturdy, solid oak table with a gorgeous finish

Specifications
Best for: Big family kitchens
Dimensions: H75 x W180 x D90 cm
Material: Solid European oak
Colour: Oak
Seats: 6
Reasons to buy
+ Gorgeous solid wood top + Sturdily built 
Reasons to avoid
- More for country kitchens 

If your ticklist for the family kitchen table includes “solid wood”, “beautifully made” and “big enough to seat the whole clan”, then this oak table from John Lewis has you covered — and then some. This is truly a proper kitchen table, with chunky wooden legs, a beautifully finished surface with a rustic natural edge, and an official capacity of six, although some reviewers say they’ve comfortably seated nine. It’ll need a little oiling now and then to withstand the ravages of particularly raucous households, but aside from needing that little bit of TLC, it’s a hard-working investment piece that’ll become the centre of your kitchen for years to come. 

2. John Lewis Adler Bar Table & Stools

In country cream with thoughtful details, this bar is ideal for teeny tiny diners

Specifications
Best for: Very small kitchens
Dimensions: H95 x W107 x D40 cm
Material: Lacquered rubber wood
Colour: Cream
Seats: 2
Reasons to buy
+ Clever space-saving solutions + Classic colourway 
Reasons to avoid
- Only seats two 

Perfect for cramped diners, this streamlined breakfast bar and stool set adds a touch of the country kitchen, even if you’re several stories up in a dinky flat. As well as its extra-small footprint, it really works for the little space that it does take up, offering storage solutions like an integrated drawer that’s ideally suited to storing silverware, and even three knobs on the end for hanging coats or handbags as you sit down to dinner, and the combination of the all-over cream paintwork and exposed rubberwood surface and accents is delightfully rustic, no matter where you’re putting it! 

3. John Lewis Calia 8-12 Seater Extending Dining Table

A huge, industrial kitchen table for standout style

Specifications
Best for: Big groups
Dimensions: H76 x W190-290 x D95 cm
Material: Solid oak, steel
Colour: Oak, dark
Seats: 12
Reasons to buy
+ Seats up to 12 + Amazing rustic-meets-industrial look 
Reasons to avoid
- No storage for extending leaves 

The Calia is the ultimate kitchen table for frequent hosters or anyone in need of increased work space while trying out new (and invariably messy) recipes, with its ability to transform from an 8-seater table to a 12 seater with the simple application of the extending leaves. That gives it the best capacity of any of the tables on our list, making it perfect for dinner parties. But like all of our favourite things, it’s not only practical but beautiful too — the industrial-look metal legs are incredibly modern, while the thick solid oak surface is beautifully grained and grooved for a rustic feel. 

4. Neptune Harrogate 170-260cm Extending Oak Dining Table

Traditional meets modern in this marvellous matte table

Specifications
Best for: Large modern table
Dimensions: H73 x W90 x D170 - 260cm
Material: North American white oak
Colour: Grey/brown
Seats: 10
Reasons to buy
+ Traditional shape with an up-to-date finish + Large capacity 
Reasons to avoid
- Bar between legs could get in the way 

If you like the idea of a big, family kitchen table being the heart of the home, but don’t have the space to indulge such fantasies, allow us to introduce you to the Harrogate extending dining table. It’s great if you like the family table concept, but unfinished wood just isn’t your aesthetic as, just like John Lewis’ Glendale, it’s sturdily built from solid oak, but goes that extra mile towards modernity, with a chalked oak top and on-trend matte grey paintwork. It also extends to seat up to ten guests, so if the kids have a habit of turning up every time they smell a roast, this is a good ally to have. 

5. House by John Lewis Luna 6-8 Seater Extending Dining Table

Surprisingly hard-wearing, this elegant soft grey table fits right in with modern schemes

Specifications
Best for: A contemporary extender
Dimensions:
Material: HPL, acacia
Colour: Grey/White
Seats: 8
Reasons to buy
+ Eye-catching contemporary design + Low-maintenance 
Reasons to avoid
- Not the sturdiest when extended 

From its slim, splayed, rounded legs to its fashionably contrasting surface, John Lewis’ Luna is every inch the contemporary table, and its extendable size and surprising durability means it’s suited to contemporary kitchens too. While it might have the modern good looks of a designer piece, it’s built from sturdy solid acacia and coated in HPL, which makes for a hard-wearing, wipe-clean surface. Even if there are no kids in the house, there are a few tables on our list that’ll make you want to ban anyone from coaster-less drinks or red wine top-ups — this ain’t one of them, but it’s good-looking enough that you’d never know. 

6. House by John Lewis Dillon 4 Seater Drop Leaf Dining Table

Room for one more? This drop-leaf diner creates space as if by magic

Specifications
Best for: Creating capacity in small kitchens
Dimensions: H75 x W64.4-90 x D90 cm
Material: Ash veneer, solid rubber wood
Colour: White
Seats: 4
Reasons to buy
+ Very customisable  + Slim and minimal 
Reasons to avoid
- Shade as shown online is deceptively light 

This petite drop-leaf table is ideal for couples who like to host. It seats two to four people depending on the occasion, and thanks to its double drop-leaf design, it won’t take up more space than necessary day to day, but can equally be ready at the drop of a hat for unexpected guests. Extend it on one side or both for maximum flexibility, and whatever configuration you have it in, you’ll benefit from that slender design and perfect soft grey shade that its reviewers are so taken with. 

7. Hazelwood Home Jump Extendable Dining Table

An ultra-modern extending table to suit the coolest kitchens

Specifications
Best for: A modern centrepiece
Dimensions: H75.5 x W160-210 x D90 cm
Material: Solid and manufactured wood
Colour: Concrete/white, Stirling oak
Seats: 8
Reasons to buy
+ Modern design + Inexpensive extender 
Reasons to avoid
- Not the most stable 

If you’re in the market for a table that’ll form the centrepiece of your home but won’t cost the earth, the Jump dining table from Hazelwood Home is a great bet. It self-stores its extending leaf, so even if you’re stuck for space, you can whip up some extra capacity as if by magic when dinner guests come knocking, and its central pedestal base means there’s room for even the longest legs. And then there are its good looks — not content to be merely practical, the Jump’s super-fashionable grey and white colourway gives it a covetable clean, sleek look for a surprisingly small price.