Choosing Appropriate Chair and Table Sizes for Students

Choosing Chairs and TablesChildren are more likely to pay attention and are more open to learning if they are comfortable during class. You can positively influence the overall learning environment in your classroom by choosing chairs and tables that are the right size for the children in your care. At Kaplan Early Learning Company, we understand that figuring out appropriate chair and table heights can be confusing and a little frustrating, which is why we’ve created some simple guidelines for you to remember as you choose chairs and tables for your classroom.

How to Choose the Appropriate Chair Size for Students

Chairs are available in a variety of sizes, designs, materials, and finishes. Be sure to pick chairs that will be comfortable for children to sit in while also complementing the other furniture in your classroom. A general rule to remember when you’re trying to determine a suitable chair size is that children’s feet should be able to touch the floor when they sit back in the chairs.

Appropriate chair seat height is often based on children’s age, but you should also research any state licensing or accreditation requirements on chair size you may have to meet. You can use the chart at the bottom of the page to help you choose comfortable chairs for the age group in your care.

How to Choose the Appropriate Table Size for Students

The general rule for tables in early care and education classrooms is the space between the seat of the chair and the underside of the table should be 7-8 inches. That’s just the right amount of space for children to be able to fit their legs under the table, and it also ensures that the table is low enough for children to comfortably rest their elbows.

When picking out tables, you should also consider any special needs students who are in your class. If a child is in a wheelchair that doesn’t have a built-in table, they will need a table in the classroom that is high enough for them to sit at comfortably. Licensing and accreditation regulations may also play a role in which table size is appropriate for your students.

You should mainly focus on the table height, chair seat height, and children’s age when deciding which table size is the right fit for your students. The chart at the bottom of the page makes chair and table recommendations based on those three factors.

Alternative Seating Options

Some kids need movement to concentrate, which is why ergonomic Hokki stools and other similar seating options are a popular way to help students pay attention. Read product descriptions for age recommendations when considering alternative seating options. Recommended age groups for Hokki Stools are 3 – 4 years (12” stool), 5 – 8 years (15” stool), 9 years – adult (18” stool), and adult (20” stool).

Remember that these guidelines won’t necessarily work in every situation, because there is no one size fits all for classroom furniture. This is an especially true statement for tables and chairs because children are a variety of sizes and heights at any age. Be sure to browse our Furniture section to view our diverse selection of tables, chairs, and alternative seating.

AgeChair Seat Height
12"6 – 15 MonthsYes            
14"12 – 24 Months YesYesYesYes        
15"18 – 36 Months  YesYesYes        
16"2 – 3 Years  YesYesYesYes       
17"2 – 3 Years  YesYesYesYes       
18"2 – 3 Years   YesYesYesYesYes     
19"2 – 3 Years    YesYesYesYesYes    
20"4 – 5 Years     YesYesYesYesYesYes  
21"4 – 5 Years      YesYesYesYesYesYes 
22"4 – 5 Years       YesYesYesYesYesYes
23"4 – 5 Years        YesYesYesYesYes
24"6 – 8 Years          YesYesYes
25"6 – 8 Years           YesYes
26"+8 Years            Yes

Related Products

Hokki Stool Flexible Ergonomic Seating - 15" Blue
Hokki Stool Flexible Ergonomic Seating - 15" Blue
Item: 24496-BL
In Stock
5 years & up. The 15" HOKKI is an ergonomic stool that transforms stationary sitting into an activity, ideal for brainstorming sessions and other active sitting environments. You're moving, even when you seem to be sitting still. The convex base allows for movement in all directions, which is critical to student development as physical movement both increases well-being and encourages the physical and intellectual maturing process. The polypropylene body is highly stable and durable, but… More »
Nature Color Chunky Stackable 11 1/2" Chairs
Nature Color Chunky Stackable 11 1/2" Chairs
Item: 2011P
In Stock
4 - 5 years. Stackable chairs are made with rugged polypropylene shells and powder coated steel frames. Arched legs provide handles. 11 1/2" seating height. Choose color.
Nature Color Tapered Leg Stackable 7 1/2" Chairs
Nature Color Tapered Leg Stackable 7 1/2" Chairs
Item: 5107P
In Stock
2 years. Tough, lightweight, stackable chairs with one-piece polypropylene shells and matching powder coated steel frames and legs. Seating height is 7 1/2". Choose color.
Stackable 13 1/2" Chairs
Stackable 13 1/2" Chairs
Item: 7113P
In Stock
5 - 6 years. Tough, high-impact plastic stackable chair offers comfort while providing firm back support. Heavy-gauge tubular steel frame includes non-marring, cushioned-swivel glide feet. Seating height is 13 1/2".
5" Toddler Stacking Chair (Set of 2)
5" Toddler Stacking Chair (Set of 2)
Item: 93714
In Stock
Designed to meet the needs of your youngest learners, these stackable chairs are the perfect fit for any toddler classroom. Made of durable Carolina Plywood, these sturdy stacking chairs are designed with rounded edges and wide-bottomed legs for extra stability, adding comfort, safety, and style to your classroom. Seating height is 5". Set of 2. Ships Fully Assembled. 10 Year Limited Warranty.