What is the difference between Dining, Bistro and Bar height chairs?

  • 4 min read

What is the difference between Dining, Bistro and Bar height tables?

Dining counter, bistro, and bar height are three common options for the height of tables or countertops, each serving different purposes and catering to different seating preferences. Here are the differences between them:

  1. Dining Counter Height:

    • Typically ranges from 34 to 36 inches (86 to 91 cm) tall.
    • Designed for use with standard dining chairs.
    • Provides a comfortable height for dining and casual gatherings where people sit on chairs with their feet resting comfortably on the ground.
    • Commonly found in kitchens, dining rooms, and casual dining areas.

We carry several sizes and styles of Dining table and chairs, click here.


  1. Bistro Height:

    • Usually ranges from 40 to 42 inches (102 to 107 cm) tall.
    • Designed for use with bistro or counter stools.
    • Offers a slightly higher seating position than dining counter height, providing a more casual and elevated dining experience.
    • Often used in bistro-style restaurants, cafes, and casual dining spaces.

To see the different bistro table options from My Outdoor Room, click here.

  1. Bar Height:

    • Typically ranges from 42 to 46 inches (107 to 117 cm) tall.
    • Designed for use with bar stools.
    • Provides a higher seating position suitable for bar areas or raised countertops.
    • Encourages a more relaxed and social atmosphere, commonly seen in bars, pubs, and entertainment areas.

In summary, the main differences between dining counter, bistro, and bar height are their respective heights, the types of seating they are designed for, and the atmospheres they create. Dining counter height is suited for standard dining chairs and is common in kitchens and dining rooms. Bistro height is slightly taller and pairs well with bistro or counter stools, often found in casual dining spaces. Bar height is the tallest option, intended for use with bar stools, and is typically found in bars and entertainment areas.

Which table is the right one for me?

Choosing the right height table depends on various factors including your intended use, the seating options you prefer, and the overall style and feel you want to create in your space. Here are some considerations to help you determine which height table is right for you:

  1. Intended Use:

    • Dining and Casual Gatherings: If you primarily plan to use the table for dining and casual gatherings, a dining counter height table (34 to 36 inches) may be suitable. It accommodates standard dining chairs and provides a comfortable seating height.
    • Casual Dining and Socializing: For a more casual atmosphere or if you prefer a slightly elevated seating position, a bistro height table (40 to 42 inches) could be a good choice. It pairs well with bistro or counter stools and encourages a relaxed dining experience. 
    • Entertaining and Bar Areas: If you want to create a bar-like atmosphere or plan to use the table for entertaining purposes, a bar height table (42 to 46 inches) might be appropriate. It works well with bar stools and promotes a social setting.
  1. Seating Preferences:

    • Consider the type of seating you prefer. Dining counter height tables accommodate standard dining chairs, while bistro and bar height tables require counter or bar stools, respectively. Choose the height that aligns with your preferred seating style and comfort level.
  1. Space and Proportion:

    • Take into account the size of your space and the proportion of the furniture. A taller table may visually "fill" a room with high ceilings or large open spaces, while a lower table might be more suitable for smaller rooms to maintain a sense of openness.
  1. Overall Aesthetic:

    • Consider the aesthetic you want to achieve in your space. Each height option contributes to a different look and feel. Dining counter height tables offer a traditional dining experience, while bistro and bar height tables lend themselves to a more casual or social setting.
  1. Accessibility:

    • If accessibility is a concern, such as for individuals with mobility issues, lower height tables may be more practical as they are easier to reach and sit down at.

By considering these factors, you can determine which height table best suits your needs and preferences, whether it's for everyday dining, casual gatherings, or entertaining guests.

Which one would we choose?

We find that a lot of people ultimately choose a bistro height for a few simple reasons;

  • Bistro provides over-the-railing views when you are sitting on a deck
  • Bistro also provides a natural transition to sitting, it avoids the lowering into a dining height chair, and on the other end climbing up into a bar height chair.
  • It also naturally has the same eye level for conversation if you are sitting, as to someone who is standing, making it a great choice for those backyard deck or patio parties when everyone is mingling.

So call us biased, but we think bistro has several great points that you don't find on either end of the spectrum.

We have a few great options to choose from when it comes to Bistro table and chairs, with a 10-year warranty and customizable colour options. Click here to view our lineup.

Thanks for reading!


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