Sizing guidelines for classroom chairs, desks and tables

Children spend a lot of time at school sitting in chairs at desks and tables, so it’s important to consider the comfort, efficiency and safety of their classroom furniture. A chair or desk that is too small or too big is uncomfortable and distracting. While right-sized furniture is critical for good ergonomics, ensuring proper sizing for all students can be challenging. Students often vary in size within each grade and growth also occurs as the school year goes by.

Selecting the appropriate chair, table and desk height is often based on a student’s age. The chart below illustrates a general guideline for seat height range by grade. These guidelines may not necessarily work in every situation, because there is no one size fits all for classroom furniture. 

Suggestions Are For Students Of Average Height And Weight

School chair heights are listed as the measurement from the floor to the highest point on the chairs’ seat pan. (Not the overall height of the chair as a whole.) This measurement should closely match the same measurement from your student’s mid-knee to the floor. If at all possible, measure the heights of a representative sample of students in each grade prior to each school year. This will help you more accurately determine your specific seating needs as time goes by. In some cases, it may work best to provide a range of chair sizes or adjustable height chairs to accommodate the variance in student heights.