Leslie Joblin is a professional writer based in Oxford, Mississippi. Earning her Ph.D. in English Literature in 2020, Leslie focused on sociability in early 20th-century literature and culture. She brings her knowledge of decorative arts and salon culture to modern-day home design. Highlights: * Writing has appeared in Real Simple, The Spruce, MyDomaine, and Brides * 6+ years as a scholar of sociability and domestic design * Presenter at the conferences Narrative, The Space Between Society, The Hemingway Society, and NeMLA
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Living in a small space doesn't mean you have to miss out on eating meals at a dining table. You don't have to give up on hosting intimate dinner parties, either: There are plenty of extendable and drop-leaf dining tables available that make it easier to entertain. Even if you don't need a table that allows you to double the surface space when you have guests over, there are some design tips and tricks to help you choose a compact table that fits in apartments and small homes.
To find the best small dining tables, we devoted hours to researching the various models on the market, considering factors like shape, style, footprint, and even material. We also received recommendations and advice from interior design experts Young Huh and Alyssa Kapito, who both agree that circular tables tend to work better in smaller spaces.
Our top pick, the Pottery Barn Rae Round Marble Pedestal Bistro Dining Table, is both practical and stylish, so it wastes no space in small areas. Its pedestal-style base keeps the footprint small while maximizing tabletop surface area.
Here are the best small dining tables.
Who it's for: People who need a chic dining table that seats a few people at a time.
Who it isn't for: People who like to host and could benefit from an extendable or drop-leaf table.
A round table is the simplest solution for small dining areas. This is especially true for pedestal-style tables, like this one from Pottery Barn, that provide maximum surface and seating area with the smallest possible footprint. This also creates more leg room for the people gathered around your table and reduces visual clutter, which can make a smaller room feel more spacious.
Though practical, the Rae Round Marble Pedestal Bistro Dining Table is far from utilitarian. Featuring a stylish matte-black metal base and polished marble top, this bistro-style table exudes both coziness and class at the same time. The marble tabletop has a lacquered finish, making it a durable pick that shines through every meal. We also like that there are adjustable levelers, which add stability on warped or uneven floors (meaning there will be no unsightly cardboard or napkin props in your future).
Price at time of publish: $649
Also available at Walmart and Nathan James.
Who it's for: People who like the casually classy bistro style but not the typical price tag.
Who it isn't for: People who want an heirloom piece that will last decades.
If you like the chic look and small footprint of a bistro-style table but don't want to spend a pretty penny on real marble, the Amalia table from Nathan James is the next best thing. It features a faux white marble laminate top that resembles the look of real marble and provides more heft than you might expect from a budget pick. The anti-scratch laminate helps extend the lifetime of the table, and the solid wood legs ensure stability and durability.
Additionally, the tapered legs of this affordable table provide a touch of mid-century flair that some people may prefer over a more traditional pedestal-style support, regardless of budget. (Users accustomed to pushing their chairs all the way under the table should note that they may not be able to do so given the spacing of the table supports, though a more casual arrangement with chairs slightly pushed under at an angle could work for some chairs.) Assembly is easy and should take less than 20 minutes for most people—meaning you won't have to wait long to enjoy a meal at your new table.
Price at time of publish: From $156
Who it's for: People who need an extendable table that can comfortably accommodate six people.
Who it isn't for: People who need a compact table to squeeze into a kitchen or living room.
If you're small on space but big on hosting, an extendable table, like this one from Castlery, is a great option. It has a butterfly leaf mechanism that extends the length of the table from roughly 60 to 80 inches, which leaves enough room for six adults to dine without the risk of clashing elbows (and you can likely squeeze two more people for a casual game night).
Made of solid acacia wood, this table is incredibly durable and seriously resistant to dents, scratches, and water damage. (Acacia is naturally harder than other popular types of wood like oak and maple.) The muted honey tone, preserved natural imperfections, and subtly tapered legs coalesce into a modern-yet-warm dining table that's suited to both contemporary and rustic spaces. Assembly is a breeze—you only have to attach the legs—and levelers are included for those with uneven floors. If desired, you can complete your setup with matching Seb chairs or benches for a more casual approach.
Price at time of publish: $899
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Who it's for: People who prefer the sharp edges of a square-shaped table and want plenty of colors to choose from.
Who it isn't for: People who want something less industrial looking.
Don't confuse the need for furniture that's small with a need for furniture that's subtle. Using a dining table to add a pop of color to a small space can enliven a room that feels cramped or economical. This metal cafe-style table from Wrought Studio is available in nine colors, from silver to copper to mint green.
While metal may feel like a counterintuitive choice for an indoor table, it works well with many industrial, minimalist, and contemporary spaces, and it looks right at home in retro and eclectic rooms, too. Measuring 31.5 inches wide, this table comfortably accommodates four people. There's even a supportive brace located beneath the tabletop that adds stability while maximizing leg room. The other good news? Powder-coated metals are easy to clean and maintain.
Price at time of publish: $411
Who it's for: People who prefer sleek furniture with a contemporary style.
Who it isn't for: People who want an expandable dining table.
The Zipcode Design Joaquin Dining Table might be simple, but its sleek appearance and various color combinations make it a versatile pick that's great for small spaces. The round dining table can be customized in three neutral tabletop colors (black, white, or gray) and three base colors (natural, walnut, or black), so you can choose the finishes that best complement your existing furniture.
Although it's not expandable, this round table comfortably seats up to four people, making it a great size for small gatherings. We particularly like that the base of the table has metal cross-wiring details, which adds extra support and a bit of visual interest.
Price at time of publish: $357
Who it's for: People with bigger families and those who like to host.
Who it isn't for: People who only need a dining table that seats two people.
Most dining tables support your statement piece—an heirloom vase, some local handmade pottery—but this walnut dining table from World Market is a statement itself. Though its distinctive U-crossed legs are sure to steal the show, the warm walnut finish and wood grain complement traditional, modern, and rustic aesthetics.
We especially like that this round table includes a center extension leaf that transforms the contour of the table from a round table for four (a diameter of 47.25 inches) into an oval table for six (a generous 63 inches). Assembly is relatively easy, though it does require two people to pivot and adjust pieces as you go. Once assembled, one person alone can easily insert or remove the center leaf.
Price at time of publish: $650
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Who it's for: Those who need a versatile table that can be adjusted to fit up to four people.
Who it isn't for: People who regularly need to seat more than five people.
A drop-leaf table is one of the more modular types of expandable tables. While butterfly and center leaves can generously expand the surface area of a table, they're less versatile when you need only a little more room. Luckily, the West Elm Box Frame Drop-Leaf Expandable Dining Table has two drop leaves, giving you the option to only use one extra side. Unexpanded, this table is a mere 24 inches wide—perfect for small or particularly narrow spaces and a sufficient table for two.
You can expand both leaves to double the surface area to seat four (an ample 48 inches wide) or expand only one leaf for a table ideal for three guests. The leaves of this table are secured by sliding bars located directly beneath the tabletop. These bars facilitate effortless adjustment and eliminate the need to crawl beneath the table to fiddle with cumbersome brackets. The solid mango wood top and sturdy steel frame are attractive and durable, so you can gather around this table for years to come. Users will also appreciate that this mango wood tabletop is sustainably sourced and crafted in a Fair Trade Certified factory.
Price at time of publish: $649
Who it's for: People without a designated dining room who need a narrow and tall table.
Who it isn't for: People who aren't willing to purchase bar-height chairs or stools.
Tall and narrow tables are ideal for homes without designated dining rooms or built-in dining areas in the kitchen. At nearly 18 inches deep and 47 inches long, the Wade Logan Mequon Bar-Height Dining Table boasts a slim profile perfect for tight spaces. With such a small footprint, this walnut dining table can be placed in your living room in a way that coheres with your other furniture and decor. Just keep in mind that its height (just over 42 inches tall) will require bar-height chairs or stools.
To establish an impression of a different dining zone, place this bar table against the wall and hang a picture or print right above it. Or, consider installing a floating shelf that features your favorite kitchen accessories or finishing oils. This can be done in living rooms as well as larger hallways. Alternatively, you might place the rectangular table parallel to the arm of your couch to function as a room divider.
Price at time of publish: $560
Who it's for: People who want their dining area to feel open and airy.
Who it isn't for: People who don't like the idea of a see-through table.
Glass tabletops and small spaces are the perfect pair, because the transparent surface visually minimizes the amount of furniture and allows light to filter through the room, making it seem open and airy. That's exactly why we like the Lifestorey Trita Round Glass Table. This small dining table achieves an even greater feeling of airiness thanks to its three tapered legs and soft edges reminiscent of Noguchi's playful yet sophisticated style.
These three sculptural legs create a greater sense of movement than a typical four-leg design. Plus, the warm walnut finish is compatible with retro and contemporary aesthetics and the glass tabletop gives you endless styling options. While this piece is incredibly stylish, it's also uber functional because it's easy to clean yet difficult to stain or scratch.
Price at time of publish: $420
Who it's for: People who want a matching table and chairs for a pulled-together look.
Who it isn't for: Those who are looking for a rectangle- or square-shaped dining table.
When outfitting a small space from scratch, opting for a dining set ensures that your chairs and tables work well together. (It's a serious downer to get a new table only to find that your current chairs are too wide for the table legs.) Plus, if you don't already have chairs, purchasing a set can be a great way to save even more money. We like this stylish dining table set from Edloe Finch, which comes with four mid-century modern chairs and a 40-inch round table. The chairs, which each have a 250-pound weight capacity, have foam padding and are upholstered in linen-blend fabric.
With thoughtful design elements like tapered legs, beveled edges, and Scandinavian-style contoured chair backs, this set will make any small dining area look put together. We suggest having a friend lend a hand when it's time to assemble this set. While the table assembly is effortless, the chairs will likely take two people to put together.
Price at time of publish: $795
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Our top pick is the Pottery Barn Rae Round Marble Pedestal Bistro Dining Table. Its round shape comfortably seats two to three people, and we especially like the sleek marble tabletop and pedestal-style base. For something more budget-friendly, we recommend the Nathan James Amalia Bistro Dining Table because it's sleek, small, and just a fraction of the price of the Pottery Barn option.
To prevent everyone's elbows from bumping into each other, round tables are a great choice for small spaces. If you find that round tables protrude too much for everyday use, consider a drop-leaf table as a compromise. The sides of these tables collapse, reducing the tabletop to a narrow rectangle that can be pushed against the wall (like a console or entryway table) or used like an island in a narrow, rectangular space. Square, rectangular, and oval tables also come equipped with different extension mechanisms and insertable leaves, so there's bound to be a table out there that works for you and your space.
Pedestal-style tables (with one central leg) are ideal for smaller spaces, as they offer maximum surface area and the smallest footprint for the base. The reduced number of table legs reduces visual clutter, too, so you'll even notice a difference in tables with three (rather than four) legs. Plus, "a pedestal-style table makes it easy for an unexpected guest to pull up a chair and feel comfortable," says Huh. (They're also great for game nights when it's imperative that all guests be able to crowd around the tabletop.)
In addition to structural style, consider the table's design. When choosing a dining table for a small space, Kapito gravitates towards tables with "contemporary" lines. "Clean and modernist is the way to go," she says.
Dining tables come in plenty of different materials, like wood, metal, and glass—and the latter is especially great for small spaces. That's because transparent surfaces visually minimize the amount of furniture and 'heft' in a room and allow light to pervade a space. This goes for shinier tabletops like marble, too: While not transparent, glossy dining tables help reflect light and give the room an airy feel. (This effect can be amplified further by choosing chairs upholstered in white or lighter-toned fabrics.)
However, if a glass table works best for your space, you might also consider investing in a tasteful tablecloth that you can whip out at dinner time. Though glass tabletops can help lighten the visual load of a room, they can "make for awkward dining," according to Huh. "We want the focal point to be on the place settings, food, and conversation, as opposed to someone's lap," she says. (Luckily, swapping out tablecloths is a fun and relatively inexpensive way to transform your space for an evening or season.)
For most layouts, a circular table is best. Pedestal tables are more versatile, however, "a rectangular table can work nicely if you have the opportunity to do a built-in banquette," says Huh, which is bench-style seats. "Built-in seating allows you to forego some of the space needed to pull out chairs."
"In smaller spaces without a dining room, the dining table often needs to be incorporated into the main living space," says Huh. "Consider putting a smaller round table in the corner of the room, keeping in mind its proximity to the kitchen."
And don't be afraid to let your furniture pull double duty. Kapito is partial to dining tables that can also function as a desk or work table when meals are done. "Place a lamp on it to really have it feel convertible," she says.
Whether you're having a casual lunch or a formal dinner party, properly setting the dining table can dictate the tone of your meal. "Just because a space is small doesn't mean you can't dine in style," says Kapito. "I still love a linen tablecloth for company and linen placemats for a smaller group."
Huh also likes to "embrace maximalism" when setting small tables. "Since there isn't a lot of surface space, [try] adding some height with items like tall candles that don't block views." She also suggests adding multiple small flower arrangements for an added touch.
This article was written by Leslie Joblin, a writer with two years of experience evaluating products and producing lifestyle content. Her work has also appeared in The Spruce, Brides, and MyDomaine. To compile this list, she thoroughly researched small dining tables and solicited advice from interior designers Young Huh and Alyssa Kapito.
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