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Having regular dinners together is one of the best things that couples and families can do to strengthen their relationships. When my wife and I were dating in college we made it a point to take study breaks and connect during meal-times as much as possible. This became even more true when we had kids. In fact, many studies have shown having dinner with your kids 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! But you probably already knew that.
If you’re here, you probably already know about a lot of these benefits and you value family dinner highly. Or maybe you’re single and like parties? Whatever your motivation, if you’re here you’re probably suffering the same problem that we had earlier this year. You don’t have heavy-duty dining room chairs. You are probably also aware that most local stores don’t know what you really need and will try to sell you a generic chair.
Sorry Mr. Salesman, that just isn’t going to cut it for myself and my kids. Generic “heavy-duty” metal dining chairs typically have a capacity of around 250 pounds and don’t even think about the wood kind that you get to put together by yourself…
When I was a kid, having family dinner every night was a given. We weren’t one of those families that ate at the same time every night but when dinner started you better believe that not sitting at that table was not an option. In fact, 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 comfier, 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 dining chair has a weight limit of 200-250 pounds and heavy-duty dining chairs typically only support 300-350lbs. The frame material is the single most important factor in determining weight capacity.
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!? For the best heavy-duty dining chairs?
Here are the best options I found:
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Our 5 Criteria For The Best Heavy Duty Dining Chairs
When my wife and I started shopping for heavy-duty dining chairs we had a few stipulations. Or, I guess you could say preferences. Beyond the obvious (weight capacity) we had a few things that were specific to our situation. However, since we know that everyone has differing tastes, especially when it comes to choosing heavy duty furniture, 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, you probably don’t need a heavy-duty option. For this reason, we restricted our search for heavy-duty dining chairs to those with a capacity of at least 500 pounds (and up to 1,000 in some cases). 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.
Chairs are typically rated for “static weight” meaning the weight that they can hold with no sudden moves. When you sit down, the dynamic force is often much higher than your actual weight so buy lots of chair!
They had to be dining room chairs.
This 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 of at least average height.
Getting to your feet from a too-low chair can be cumbersome and, in the company of other people, 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. The options we went with were meant to be versatile and will be at home in pretty much any dining room that actually sees regular use.
They couldn’t be too expensive.
I don’t mind spending the money it takes to buy a high-quality item. However, I’m not a Rockefeller and so I’m limited to buying the same chairs that other average people could. Some people might be content saving up or buying their dining set piecemeal but we wanted to just go and buy a full set (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 Heavy Duty Dining Room Chairs for Heavy People
While our #1 choice isn’t going to win any awards for unique looks it is, in my opinion, the best heavy-duty dining chair you can get. 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″ 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.
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 a heavy-duty dining chair like this will have your back(side) at your house!
Stackable Heavy Duty 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! This crown back chair is rated for a capacity of 500lbs as well. It is made of durable and easy-to-clean fabric that 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 oversized 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 a heavy-duty dining chair, is pretty hefty. 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 Plus Sizing Dining Room Chairs
As a fat guy who wears Walmart tennis shoes, my design aesthetic probably leaves something to be desired. However, I felt compelled to include it for the benefit of those who are design-centric. Not only is this a beautiful (but heavy-duty) dining chair set, it is probably the most “undercover” of the options in this article.
If you really liked the first chair we recommend but wish you had a wooden option that would be at home with your decor, this chair is for you! Not only is it a very handsome, well-made chair, but it has a weight capacity of 800lbs due to its solid hardwood construction (European Beech).
While some people may wish for a bit more cushion, everyone will be happy that the seat of this chair 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!
Are High Capacity Dining Chairs Worth It?
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. Who would have thought that heavy-duty dining chairs would be a better use of money than that paren-child-bonding-tri to Disneyland?
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.
Now, if none of the heavy-duty dining chairs we reviewed was 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 Is The Strongest Material For Dining Chairs? (Wood vs. Metal)
We have been asked several times if wooden chairs (or 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 material or a look that you like and then searching for chairs within that look/material that has the proper weight capacity.
What Makes A Dining Room Chair Comfortable For Fat People?
If your current dining room chairs are letting you down in the comfort department, there are several areas that 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 4 Markers of Heavy Duty 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!
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