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Having regular family dinners is one of the best things a parent can do for their kids. In fact, studies have shown that it may be one of the most influential things you can do for them! Family dinner has been linked to better academic performance, increased self confidence, lower risk of depression, and even lower risk of teen pregnancy! However, even if you don’t have kids, having a heavy duty chair that will support your weight for years to come is a necessity.
When I was a kid, having family dinner every night was a given. We never ate all at the same time, but you better believe that not sitting at that table was not an option and, if you missed the pre-meal prayer of thanks, you were going to bed hungry. While we never had dining room chairs for heavy people (and, consequently, broke the legs, arms, and backs off 3 different sets of chairs), we always enjoyed dinner together.
Now that I have my own kids, I can appreciate how incredibly difficult it is to find time (and the energy) to enjoy a family meal together. Our kitchen table is usually covered with stuff, our couch is more comfy, we want to watch a movie, we got takeout…the list of excuses is endless.
Now if you, like me, are committed to sharing meals around the table with your family, significant other, etc. and one (or more) person at the table is large and heavy – you might be scrambling to find chairs that support them.
If you ended up here, you’re probably not surprised to find out that it’s incredibly difficult to find dining chairs for heavy people. A typical chair has a weight limit of 200-250 pounds and heavy-duty dining chairs typically only support 300-350lbs. So what if you are 400+ pounds? Or 500+ pounds and need a dining table chair? Well that’s why we’re here, isn’t it!?
What makes the best high capacity dining room chair?
When we started shopping, we had a few stipulations. Or, I guess you could say preferences. Since we know that everyone has differing tastes, we did our best to refine our choices by things the no one could disagree with:
- They had to be high capacity chairs. This one is obvious. If you weigh less than 250 pounds, just go buy whatever chair you want. Forget dining chairs with 300 lb weight capacity. For that reason, we restricted our search to chairs with a capacity of at least 500 pounds. Since we always recommend buying “more chair than you need,” this should give most people a significant buffer zone if you sit down hard, wiggle around, etc.
- They had to be dining room chairs. The meant no heavy duty bar stools, folding chairs, or big man recliners. While we gravitated towards banquet or commercial chairs, we chose only options that would be at home around a normal dining room table.
- They had to be at least average height. Getting to your feet from a too-low chair can be cumbersome and, in company, embarrassing. For that reason we chose chairs that did not sit too low and are easy to get out of.
- They had to look good. While this is totally subjective, we steered clear of chairs that looked more like accent pieces or that prioritized style over comfort and functionality.
- They couldn’t be too expensive. I don’t mind spending the money it takes to buy a high quality item. With that being said, we did our best to stick to chairs that the average person could buy a full set of (meaning 4-6 dining chairs).
And that’s it! Now one would think that with such general requirements, there would be dozens of chairs available. Unfortunately, that is not at all true. Despite the growing number of large and heavy Americans (and people worldwide), there is a shocking shortage of products to fit their needs! Which is why you’re here! It took us several hours to find and vet them, but let’s talk about each of our recommendations and the reason we included them.
The Best Dining Room Chairs for Heavy People
While our #1 choice isn’t going to win any awards for unique looks, it is the best all-around chair for heavy people. In fact, its unassuming appearance was one of the main reasons we chose it! It looks like a very nice dining room chair, and no guest would ever imagine that they are sitting on a highly-engineered item that can support up to 500lbs!
The 2.5″ of cushioning on the seat is soft enough to be comfortable, but firm enough to hold up to years of use. Not to mention that it has an extremely easy-to-clean vinyl covering that will give up bits of food or sweat with a simple swipe.
This chair is surprisingly affordable (the price above is for a set of 4, you can get a single chair here), but will surprise you with its high quality! As an added bonus, the black with go with just about any table color and decor you can have!
Don’t be put off by the “restaurant chair” description. It is simply an indicator that it is built well enough to withstand the abuse it would face in a commercial setting. Imagine how long it will have your back(side) at your house!
Stackable Dining Chair for Heavy People
My wife and I couldn’t quite see eye-to-eye with what we thought of this chair. She thought it was boring and sterile, I thought it was a comfortable and stylish dining option! Add to that the fact that it is available in over 40 frame and fabric combinations, and you have a winner! (at least in my opinion…)
This crown back chair is rated for a capacity of 500lbs as well. It is made of durable and easy to clean fabric which covers an extremely thick and plush seat cushion! As an added bonus, this seat is stackable. So if you are buying chairs for a crowd, this one is for you!
The Best Oversize Dining Room Chair
Let’s face it, just because a chair will support your weight doesn’t mean you can fit on it. Some of us just have bigger backsides that need support! Oh sure, you can deal with skinny chairs when you’re out in public, but when you’re at home, you know you need a set of over-sized dining room chairs.
This chair is 1.5x wider than the other dining room chairs we mentioned, and has a capacity of up to 1,000 lbs! The total width of 24.25″ will provide almost every dining guest with the room they need. Even if you don’t need the extra width, this the strongest and most stable chair we reviewed. If you’re worried about a chair toppling over with you on board, get this chair and stop worrying.
It should be noted that this is, as expected, a hefty chair. While it is stackable, I wouldn’t recommend this chair if you’ll be needing to move it around a lot. Each chair weighs almost 25 pounds and will give you a workout if you need to carry it anywhere.
However, if you simply need the perfect oversized dining chair set, get it!
The Best Looking Dining Room Chair For Big Guys
While this chair was not my favorite (which is why it’s last in this review), I felt compelled to include it for the benefit of those who are design-centric. The mahogany seat is beautiful (if not comfortable…) and will go well with most dark wood tables.
If you really liked the first chair we recommend but wish you just had less cushion, this chair is for you! With that being said, it is a very handsome, well-made chair. It has a weight capacity of 500lbs.
The main advantage of this chair is, in fact, the less-than-cushy seat. It is extremely easy to clean and will still be looking great when the above padded and fabric-covered options are looking worn out and ratty. If you are into the look and feel of wood, this chair is your best option!
Spend Money Where It Counts
I can tell you that the money we spent on our kitchen tables and chairs is one of the best uses of money ever. In fact, I would say that there has been way more bonding and sharing while sitting on our boring chairs than there has even been on vacation or at some sort of activity.
Having a comfortable place for your family to eat together (no, the couch doesn’t count) can be crucial in the development of your children, not to mention the development of your relationship with your significant other. Both when I was single and when I was married, it made a huge difference in my mental health and productivity to take a break and eat a meal at my table. So do yourself a favor and get the chairs your family needs! If you’re a big guy, get a big guy’s dining chair. If you are a heavy person, get a dining chair for a heavy person. Whichever you choose, your backside will thank you. Enjoy dinner!
If none of the heavy duty chairs we reviewed were a good fit for you, never fear! Not only did we find chairs we personally like during our hours of searching, we learned what makes a good chair for most people! So if you want a different color or a slightly different style, this buying guide should give you a quick look at what it takes to choose a good, plus size dining chair.
What material makes the best dining room chairs for heavy people?
We have been asked several times if wood chairs (aluminum chairs, steel chairs, etc.) are strong enough for a heavy person. The answer is….maybe. When it comes down to it, it really doesn’t matter what a chair is made out of. It could be made out of toothpicks, and if it has a weight capacity of 500lbs, then you’d probably be fine! Instead of looking for what material is the strongest, I always recommend finding a material or look that you like, and then searching for chairs within that look/material that have the proper weight capacity.
What features make a dining room chair comfortable for fat people?
If your current dining room room chairs are letting you down in the comfort department, there are several areas which can make a dining room chair more comfortable for those of us that weigh a bit more than average.
When my wife and I bought our first dining room table and chairs…it wasn’t a table and chairs. It was actually an L-shaped bench situation around an island. The benches were strong but made with right angles, which meant they were murder on our backs. Speaking of the seats…they were boards. Flat, hard, boards. That experience alone has given us not only a desire for comfort, but a firm knowledge of what comfort is not.
The 5 Markers of Dining Room Chair Comfort:
- Ditch the arms. Unless you are heavy because you have unusually dense bones, you probably have a large build to accompany your weight. Because of this, I almost always recommend avoiding chairs with arms. The only time I would make an exception is if you are able to measure or get the measurement for the space between the arms.
- Find an appropriately curved back. Contrary to common belief, a straight back is not the worst option. The worst option is a chair with a back with too much curve. I have a wide back and if a seat curves too aggressively, it will never be comfortable for me. The edges dig into my shoulder blades, and when I lean back, I feel like I’m being sandwiched between two hard objects. Chairs with gentle curves are the winner here.
- Get a padded seat. When my family is together, we like to talk. And what better place to talk and sit together than around the dinner table? An un-padded seat leaves me feeling like my butt-bones are cutting through my pants within 20 minutes. I don’t carry around a personal cushion to sit on, but I do like my personal chairs to have a bit of firm padding. Just be sure the padding is high quality or you’ll end up with a heavy duty chair with padding that is squished up and looks/feels terrible.
- Get chairs of the appropriate height. While we mainly stuck with chairs of an average height during our review, you might find them uncomfortable! If you are short, you may find that an average or tall seat height cuts into the back of your thighs while sitting. Tall guys, on the other hand, may need a heavy duty dining chair made specifically for tall people. The best way to figure this out is to simply measure the height of your current chairs and decide if you like them, or if you’d like them a little higher, or maybe a little lower.
And that’s all there is to it! If you find a chair that you like the look of and it meets all those requirements, you’ve found yourself a winner!