Eating outside is one of the pleasures of a sunny day.
Whether it’s a spring picnic, a summer barbecue, or a potluck on the last warm days of fall, we all love sitting in the sunshine. But it’s hard to relax if you and your guests are sprawled on the floor!
Picnic tables are comfortable and convenient pieces of outdoor furniture. Combining bench-style seats with a slatted tabletop, they have room for several guests and plenty of plates!
The average picnic table measures 6 feet by 5 feet, but the dimensions are hugely variable.
In this guide, we’ll explore the different styles of picnic tables, plus the standard measurements.
What Are Picnic Tables (And Why Should I Buy One?)
Picnic tables are essentially dining tables made for the outdoors. Typically made of wood, but sometimes constructed of plastic or composite, they have a farmhouse-style aesthetic and a country charm.
Picnic tables are excellent if you’re looking to make the most of your outdoor space.
They might be named after picnics, but you can use these tables for any kind of dining experience. You might spot them in your favorite park, or outdoors at a local restaurant.
They’re designed to be hardy, so they can withstand harsh weather, hot plates, and enthusiastic guests.
The average picnic table has a rectangular top with bench seating running along the sides. These components are typically attached, making the picnic table one single unit. A standard picnic table can hold roughly 6 people.
However, just like the dining table, the picnic table comes in a lot of variations! While a rectangular top with bench seating might be common, it’s far from the only picnic table design out there.
Instead, you can get round picnic tables, square picnic tables, and oblong, oval, and hexagon picnic tables!
In this guide, we’ll start by focusing on rectangular picnic tables. These are the most common and they tend to come in some pretty standard sizes.
Understanding Basic Picnic Bench Dimensions
Rectangular picnic tables come in two basic designs: 6-seater and 8-seater. They both follow the same build of a long table top with bench seating on either side.
While the dimensions do differ, the height and width of the two table styles tend to be the same.
Most rectangular picnic tables measure 30 inches high and 29 inches wide. The bench seats typically measure 17 inches wide.
But as there are no standardized dimensions for picnic benches, there’s room for variety even in similar designs.
The average rectangular picnic table measures between 28 and 34 inches high with a width of 28 to 30 inches, similar to a standard dining table.
The big difference in picnic table dimensions is the length. Length changes depending on how many people the table is designed to seat.
Picnic Tables For 6 People
6-seater picnic tables are among the most common designs. You’ll often see 6-seater picnic tables in parks and public areas, and you can even spot them in restaurants and cafes.
With space for 6 people (and ample room for four), they’re ideal for family groups.
A standard 6-seater picnic table top measures 29 inches in width by 72 inches in length and 30 inches in height.
The bench seats typically measure 11 inches in width by 72 inches in length and 17 inches in height. However, the bench seats will often overhang the table, adding a few more inches.
The dimensions allow for three people to sit on either side of the table with 24 inches of seat space each. The bench seats are set back from the table, allowing roughly 12 inches of legroom for each person.
The overall footprint of the 6-seater picnic bench is 6 feet by 5 feet.
6-seat picnic tables tend to be comfortable for 6 people and roomy for 4 people. As it has a bench seat, the sizing acts as a guideline.
If you have a party with several children, you can probably fit more than 6 people at the table! But if you like a little space while you eat, 4 people might be more comfortable.
Picnic Tables For 8 People
You won’t come across the 8-seater picnic table quite as frequently, but they aren’t an unusual sight! 8-seater picnic tables are ideal for bigger groups, which is why you might see them in popular public spots.
The standard 8-seater picnic table measures 29 inches in width by 96 inches in length and 30 inches in height. The bench seats typically measure 11 inches in width by 96 inches in length and 17 inches in height.
Again, the bench seats can overhang the table, adding more inches to the final footprint.
The dimensions allow four people to sit on either side of the tabletop. Each person will have roughly 24 inches of seat space and 12 inches of legroom between them and the table.
The overall footprint of the 8-seater picnic table is 8 feet by 5 feet. Only the length changes significantly between the 6-seater and 8-seater picnic tables! The rest of the dimensions stay the same.
8-seater picnic tables are less common because they are pretty big. A family of 4 people would have more than enough room to stretch out on one of these tables.
If you were hosting a children’s birthday party, you could probably fit a lot of young guests around this table!
But the size is also the main advantage of the 8-seater picnic table.
If you like to host big family gatherings, the larger 8-seater table has more seating options — and extra room on the tabletop for all your dishes at a potluck.
Before You Make Your Choice
It’s easy to look at a 6-seater table and assume you could easily fit a few more people on either side. However, the general convention allows 24 inches for each person.
Any more than that and you tend to be squeezing them in.
But that doesn’t mean bigger is always better! If you only have the extended family over once a year, an 8-seater picnic table is likely to take up a lot of room in your yard.
It might be better to go for a 6-seater and occasionally add an extra chair.
So, before you make your choice, here are some things to consider:
Try Sitting At The Table
We’ve covered the basic dimensions of the table, but it’s hard to get a feel for the size based purely on numbers.
Two key factors in choosing a picnic table are legroom and lap room — they’ll both affect how easily you can use the table.
So, if you have a chance, try sitting at the picnic table before you make the purchase. Bring the family along (or ask some friends to help) so you can experience the table at capacity.
If you don’t have access to picnic tables in-store, head to your local park. Bring a tape measure so you can check the dimensions, and then sit around the table.
Consider A Different Shape
We’ve covered the dimensions of the rectangular picnic table for two reasons. First, it’s the most common type of picnic table. Second, it’s the style with the closest thing to standardized dimensions.
However, there are many styles and shapes of picnic tables available. Square and circular tables are both reasonably common, but they’re just the start.
If you’re willing to look, you can find a vast
So, if a rectangular table doesn’t meet your needs, think outside the box!
Popular Picnic Table Styles
You don’t have to stick with standard shapes when it comes to choosing a picnic table. You want to pick a design that will match the needs of your family. Sometimes, that will mean trying a new shape or style.
Rectangular A-Frame Picnic Tables
The rectangular A-frame picnic table is one of the most popular options on the market. These all-in-one builds are comfortable and attractive, with multiple varieties available.
The 6-seater and 8-seater styles are the most popular.
One big advantage to the rectangular picnic table is that you can place multiple tables in a row. Tucked next to each other, this creates one long table. Perfect if you love to host big get-togethers!
But the rectangular A-frame can also be used for everyday life. When the sun is shining and you want to eat outdoors, the classic picnic bench has room for you and your plates!
One final benefit of the rectangular picnic bench is that it’s easy to accessorize.
Mimicking the indoor dining table, you can choose tablecloths and runners that will fit your picnic bench when you want to dress it up. You can also grab some cushions to soften the seats!
Square Picnic Tables
Square picnic tables are a lot less common than their rectangular equivalents. Square picnic tables can comfortably accommodate people on every side of the tabletop.
You can typically sit two people on each side, but sizes do vary.
Square picnic tables are good for conversation. With people on each side, even bigger groups can fit around the table without feeling excluded.
They also tend to work well in private yards. They’re a little easier to move around than the rectangular table.
However, square picnic tables can be a little awkward when it’s time to eat. Instead of the long table, there’s limited space for all your plates and bowls.
Round Picnic Tables
Round picnic tables tend to be more modern designs. They don’t use the classic A-frame build, instead positioning benches on every side of the tabletop.
This style of table can have a pretty large overall footprint, but smaller options are available.
Round isn’t always the correct description of these picnic tables! Instead of curved edges, many of them use an octagonal design. However, the overall build is similar, regardless of whether it has corners or curves.
For intimate dinner gatherings, round tables aren’t ideal. The actual table tends to be quite big, so the guest sitting opposite you is pretty far away! But that does mean you can fit plenty of food and drinks on top.
But for potlucks and barbecues, when you can expect people to get up and move around a lot, these tables are excellent.
Picnic Tables For Kids
Picnic tables for children will often follow the basic rectangular A-frame build but on a smaller scale. You can expect a child’s picnic table to measure 38 inches in width by 33 inches in length and 22 inches in height.
While a typical picnic table is made from wood, children’s picnic tables will often be made from plastic, sometimes built on a metal frame.
They can come in bright colors and fun designs, with rounded edges to make them a bit more child friendly.
A standard kid’s picnic table might follow the A-frame design, but you aren’t limited to rectangular tabletops! From adventure scenes to crazy shapes, there are many kinds of children’s picnic tables available.
As they are made for smaller children, these tables often lack legroom and height. Adults might be able to squeeze themselves in, but it won’t be a comfortable place to eat your lunch!
Vintage Picnic Tables
Picnic tables are designed to be hardwearing. They’re exposed to the elements, so they need to be protected from wind, rain, and sunshine.
And they’re intended for frequent use, so they have to withstand people getting up and sitting down all the time.
Thanks to this, a picnic table can last for many years if it’s taken care of. This means there’s a good market for secondhand and vintage picnic tables!
These tables are most likely to follow the basic A-frame rectangular design. If you’re shopping secondhand you might be able to snag a bargain, but you’re likely to have fewer options when it comes to style and design.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Picnic Tables
If you’re shopping for an outdoor eating area, the picnic table has a lot to recommend it. But that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be the right choice! In this section, we’ll look at the pros and cons of the picnic table.
Why You Should Get A Picnic Table
- Designed for large groups, the picnic table has room for most families (and even a few guests).
- Picnic tables tend to be inexpensive, particularly compared to other outdoor table styles.
- And because they’re long-lasting, you can get a lot for your money when you buy a picnic table!
- You can protect yourself from the sun with a picnic table, as most styles have room for a parasol umbrella.
- The solid build of the picnic table is sturdy and hard to knock over. If you have kids, they can move around the table safely. Plus, it can withstand heavy dishes, hot plates, and the occasional dropped dinner.
- Picnic tables are single items with bench seats attached to a table. That makes them easier to store. And you don’t have to worry about guests tripping over loose chairs.
- You can paint and stain a picnic table, to create a design that suits your garden.
Picnic Table Cons
- Picnic benches aren’t the most comfortable of seats. You probably want to invest in some cushions, to soften the hardwood of the benches. Plus, without backrests, they can be hard to relax in for extended periods.
- With the bench and table combined in one, it’s hard to pick up a picnic table! Once it’s in place, you might want to leave it there.
- Picnic tables do require a little maintenance, particularly if they’re made of wood. It’s worth covering them in wet weather and applying a protective stain from time to time. However, any style of outdoor furniture will require some upkeep.
Picnic tables are an excellent outdoor dining solution for families, or anyone who loves to entertain! The rectangular A-frame is the most common picnic table design, typically available as a 6-seater or 8-seater.
We hope this guide has helped you to understand picnic table dimensions!
Frequently Asked Questions
The average 6-seater picnic table measures approximately 28” W x 72” L x 30” H. The overall footprint is roughly 6’ x 5’.
This will seat 6 people with 24” of seat space. However, there are many styles and shapes of picnic tables available.
There should be roughly 3 feet of space around each side of a picnic table. When placing a picnic table in your yard, you should ensure there is enough room for people to comfortably access all the seats.
- Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue Paint: A Color Review - September 5, 2023
- 10 Of The Prettiest Interior Door Colors - August 29, 2023
- Hale Navy: The Best Navy Paint Color - August 22, 2023