Choosing Between a Round and Rectangular Dining Room Table

Amy Pawlukiewicz
Written by Amy Pawlukiewicz
Updated March 22, 2022
Extended family toasting drinks at lunch
Photo: Compassionate Eye Foundation/Gary Burchell / DigitalVision / Getty Images


  • The shape of your dining room table can set the mood for your space. 

  • Round dining tables offer less room but are cozier. 

  • Rectangular dining tables are more formal and have room for more guests

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If you’re redecorating your dining room or just looking for new dining room ideas to bring a fresh vibe to your space, a new table may be just what you need—but do you go round or rectangular? Here’s what you need to know about choosing the right shape for your table. 

Round Dining Room Table Pros and Cons

An open dining room
Photo: / Adobe Stock

If you’re looking into buying a round dining room table, think about these pros and cons before making your selection.


Round dining room tables come with many benefits, like drawing your eye to the center of a space and making the table the focal point of your dining room. Some other advantages include:

  • Round tables take up less space, so you can potentially fit one in your kitchen layout to entertain guests

  • The rounded edges bring a softer look into the room. 

  • The possibility of a pedestal base instead of four table legs provides more legroom. 

  • There are no sharp table edges, which is safer in homes where children are playing and exploring. 

  • Playing games or socializing with friends is easier when everyone can see and talk to one another. 

  • Many come with a leaf you can put in if you have more guests and need more space. 

  • Round tables offer an intimate, casual feel, with no one person feeling alone at the edge of the table. 


While round dining room tables have their perks, they also have drawbacks. 

  • Round tables offer less surface area than rectangular tables.

  • You can’t push them up against a wall if you need more space in the middle of the room. 

  • You’re limited with seating because round tables can’t comfortably host a large number of guests. 

  • There’s no option to use benches instead of chairs, and benches can squeeze in more people during holidays or parties. 

Rectangular Dining Room Table Pros and Cons

Spacious minimalist style dining room
Photo: Casa imágenes / Adobe Stock

Rectangular dining room tables are a popular option because of their versatility, but they also have some cons you should think about before making your selection.


There are many reasons that rectangular dining room tables are a classic choice.

  • Rectangular tables are great for hosting large gatherings, and you can maximize your space at the table by using bench seating.

  • You can push dinner benches under your table when not in use, saving space in your dining room.

  • You can push your rectangular dining table up against the wall if you need more space.

  • You may have more space for traffic to flow around the table during gatherings if your table is on the narrower side.

  • Rectangular tables generally look more formal, so they work well in traditional dining room setups.


Though rectangular tables bring greater capacity and a more formal feeling to your dining room, they also have less than favorable attributes.

  • Rectangular tables aren’t great for an odd number of guests, as someone may end up the “odd” person out.

  • If you’re trying to save on space, a rectangular table isn’t the best choice as they take up more real estate than round tables.

  • Their sharp edges make rectangular tables a hazard in homes with small kids.

  • If you buy a table that’s too narrow, you may end up having trouble fitting people on both sides of the table and having room for dishes and plates. 

Round Dining Room Tables vs. Rectangular Dining Room Tables

A family having lunch together
Photo: Maskot / Maskot / Getty Images

Picking the right table shape can set the tone of your dining room—whether you want it to be a formal affair, you’re looking to entertain guests, or simply plan to host casual family dinners. 


Round dining tables create a relaxed, homey feeling in the room, serving as the true centerpiece. They tie together surrounding decor, though the style and material also play a role in the feel of the room. Rectangular dining room tables look more formal and, depending on their design, can make a room feel grand. They go well in formal dining rooms rather than in casual spaces or an alternative kitchen table.

Most visually appealing: Tie

Options and Customizations

With round tables, you have the option of choosing a pedestal base as opposed to four legs, which is good if you need more legroom or to seat more people around the table. Benches are a great alternative to chairs on the rectangular table side because you can fit more people at the table, then tuck the benches underneath when they’re not in use.

Most options and customizations: Tie


In general, round tables tend to take up less space in a room than their rectangular counterparts. If you’re hosting a party and have a larger rectangular table in your dining room, your guests may feel more crowded than they would with a round table. However, rectangular tables can be more easily pushed up against a wall to create more space in the room. While you can put a round table up against the wall to save space, it’s less visually pleasant.

Best spacing: Tie


As a general rule, you’ll be able to fit more people around a rectangular dining room table than a round one. But round tables, while they offer less capacity, have a more intimate feel because you can make eye contact and speak with everyone at the table. In some cases, you can extend your round table into an oval with a leaf to create more space for guests.

Most capacity: Rectangular 

Ease of Installation

When it comes to installing a round or a rectangular table, the size of the table matters more than the shape. Make sure you don’t choose a table that’s too big to fit into your space. If you choose a larger table, you might be able to bring in separate pieces and assemble them once it’s all in your dining room. If you’re not super handy, you can always take advantage of handyperson services near you and hire a pro to help.

Easiest to install: Tie

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