A seat at the table
Dining tables are centerpieces of holiday meals, but if your family is large or you have a lot of friends to entertain, you may need a lot more table space. Folding dining tables provide convenient, portable options to seat all your guests comfortably and keep the festivities close together.
What are folding tables made of?
There are four primary materials folding tables are made from.
- Particleboard folding tables have a laminate cover for easy cleaning but aren’t very sturdy or able to hold a lot of weight.
- Wood folding tables are sturdier and usually have an acrylic finish. They can splinter with heavy use but provide a more rustic look.
- Plastic folding tables are easily transported, affordable and easy to clean. Many have textured tabletops. They can be damaged by extra-hot dishes and some aren’t designed to hold a lot of weight.
- Aluminum folding tables are the strongest, lightest option but the most expensive. Most aluminum tables are designed for outdoor use, but they can be used indoors, too.
Which table shape is best for your gathering?
The layout of your home will determine if a round, square or rectangular table is best for accommodating additional guests. Square and rectangular tables also work well as buffet tables since they can fit neatly against a wall or counter space.
How many people are coming to dinner?
The number of guests you’re expecting can help decide how large a table you need.
Round folding tables will seat three to six people based on the diameter. A 36-inch diameter table seats three to four, 42 inches seats four to five and 48 inches seats four to six.
Square folding tables seat four to six people. A 42-inch table is best for four to five guests, but a 48-inch table can accommodate up to six people.
Rectangular folding tables seat between four and nine guests. The width and length vary widely for these tables, but in general, rectangular tables that are 24 inches wide and between 60 and 72 inches long will seat four to six. Tables with a 30-inch width that are 48 to 60 inches long will also seat the same number.
For groups of seven to nine people, look for rectangular tables that are 24 by 96 inches, 30 by 72 inches, 36 by 60 inches or longer.
Easy setup and storage is a must
Many folding tables today fold in half for easy storage. This style often has a convenient carrying handle. Look for tables with a locking mechanism when the table is fully extended to ensure that the folding panels don’t bow under the weight of prepared food.
Don’t forget the tablecloth
Unless you buy one of the designer folding tables with a woodgrain top, most folding tables are utilitarian in design and come in basic colors, such as white, almond and beige. To spruce up your table’s look and make your gathering more festive, invest in a quality tablecloth that can cover the tabletop and leg mechanisms while leaving ample space for people’s legs to fit under while eating.
Best folding tables
This all-purpose Lifetime folding table stands up to spills and regular use. They have a fold-in-half mechanism that lets them be stored in smaller spaces than tables of a similar size.
This folding plastic table accommodates a large number of people and is constructed with a steel frame that can support a lot of weight. It folds in half and has a handle for transporting.
This affordable folding dining table supports up to 100 pounds and seats six to eight people. It folds in the middle and has a carrying handle. It also has protective leg tips to prevent marking your floor.
This affordable table with a resin top that’s scratch-resistant and easy to clean comes with powder-coated legs. It folds in the middle and measures 6 feet long.
This easy-to-assemble table has metal legs that support up to 500 pounds. It’s easy to store with a middle fold and carrying handle.
This sturdy table has a scratch-resistant, waterproof white plastic top, and the metal tube frame holds up to 330 pounds. No assembly is required, and it folds up for easy storage.
This rustic wooden folding table is made from pine wood with sturdy 3.5-inch square legs. The wood folding table can be used without linens for a country look and can comfortably seat up to eight adults.
If you need a place for the children to eat their Thanksgiving meal, this folding picnic table is affordable and sturdy. The kids folding table seats up to four children and is easy to clean.
Are you looking for a particular wood style to match your home decor? This table comes in chestnut, rustic brown or pear wood finishes. It seats up to six guests comfortably and includes a small storage shelf unit underneath.
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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