Cafe Chairs: Types, Designs, Styles, and More

Cafe Chairs: Types, Designs, Styles, and More
Cafe Chairs: Types, Designs, Styles, and More

Scott Batori

Have you given much thought to what you sit on when you visit your local cafe?

Cafe chairs are an afterthought when they should be the priority.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading, and we’ll give you all you need to know when you go to pick out your new cafe chairs.

Common Chair Needs

Even though every cafe has different needs, there is a standard for chair types you can follow.

When you think about sitting on a chair or stool, you want to make sure your entire bottom fits on the seat. The depth of the seat should be about 16-18 inches, and your tabletop should be about 12 inches from the top of the seat.


There are also a handful of chair qualities you should consider when choosing the perfect cafe chairs.

Your customer’s comfort and safety should be a top priority. Making sure your chair of choice provides a stable and durable seat for their duration is a must. This includes how well the chairs maintain their durability throughout their life span.

When you think about cafe maintenance, you want to make sure your chairs are easily managed and don’t need a lot of extra care.

Even though your chairs should be comfy and durable, that doesn’t mean you should bend on the style. Your aesthetic is equally as important as well. On that note, let’s dive into types and styles.

Types of Cafe Chairs

The list could go on for different types of chairs, but we are going to discuss the most common.

Banquet chairs are lightweight and durable but are commonly sought after for stackability or folding. Typically, not the most stylish, but functional.

A side chair is your basic but functional four-legged, straight-backed option. Typically, on the sides of tables with two captain’s chairs at the head of the table. A captain’s chair is a side chair with the addition of chair arms.

For a more upgraded side chair, you can look fora a parsons chair. The chair structure is the same as a side chair, but the seat and back are covered and padded.

Modern and or contemporary chairs frequently have metal legs mixed with plastic or wood for the seat and back to give a stylish touch.

If you’re more of a traditional type, you might like the mission or shaker chair. This type is simple, with clean lines and no ornate details. The back is usually thin wood slats running vertically and then framed by thicker wood slats.


On the flip side of a shaker chair is the ladderback. The wooden slats run horizontally, like on a ladder. These chairs typically feature a wicker seat, but not always.

What Design and Style?

Now that you know the most common chairs, you have to consider the style of your cafe and what cafe chairs would compliment it best.

A simple way to match your design and style of your cafe is to incorporate like materials in your furniture. If you are going for a southern or western vibe, then you can mix wicker and wood. If you need a more modern or cutting edge, try some metal or transparent materials.

Common materials used in chairs for restaurants include:

  • Anodized aluminium
  • Mesh chair
  • Padded seat
  • Plastic chairs
  • Teflon-coated fabric
  • Tekwood seat and back
  • Vinyl upholstery
  • Weathered teak
  • Welded metal or steel features
  • Wicker-style seat and backrest
  • Wood slat back
  • Bentwood design 

When thinking about your style and design, you should also consider any needs you have, like adding a footrest, arms, barstool or chair, and so on.

Time to Start Shopping

Now that you have everything you need to know about deciding on cafe chairs, its time for you to start shopping.

Lucky for you, you have a one-stop-shop right at your fingertips. Check out the best cafe chairs for every style.