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10 best extendable dining tables: Make the most of small spaces

Whether you prefer round or square designs, these will suit all of your dinner party needs

Ali Howard
Monday 04 December 2023 19:35 GMT
<p>Measure up properly to ensure your furniture piece sits well in both configurations</p>

Measure up properly to ensure your furniture piece sits well in both configurations

Our Top Picks

There’s everyday dining, and then there are big family occasions that require some extra elbow room. The best extendable dining tables have the ability to accommodate both in equal measure – without compromising on style.

When choosing a table that transforms, the most important factor to consider is space. Measure up properly to ensure your furniture piece sits well in both configurations, allowing for a pair of dining chairs at either end of your table at its fullest extension.

As a general rule, extending dining tables fall into two camps: those with concealed extra pieces – or leaves – that sit within the structure of the table itself; and those with leaves that have to be stored separately. If you’re going for the latter, it’s worth thinking about the storage space you have available and keeping these extra bits easily accessible.

Think too about functionality and how often you intend to lengthen your dining table. Some of the furniture pieces we tested were wonderfully robust and weighty, but the flip side of this is they tended to be so heavy that extending them was a two-person job. That said, we found some tables with seriously shrewd modern mechanisms that enabled us to go from a four to an eight-seater in one fell swoop.

How we tested

We put our top tables to the test, looking for quality of craftsmanship, great design, sustainability, affordability and importantly, a user-friendly means to extend. When it came to DIY-ing the flat packs, luckily, most of the tables we tested arrived part-assembled, meaning we really only needed to stick the legs on – doable for even a complete novice.

The best extendable dining tables for 2023 are:

  • Best overall – La Redoute Interieurs Jimi Birch dining table, £280, Laredoute.co.uk
  • Best budget buy – Dunelm Harvey 2 seater square extendable dining table, £269, Dunelm.com
  • Best for large family gatherings –John Lewis Foxmoor 6-8 seater extendable dining table, sage green, £899, Johnlewis.com
  • Best statement table –Cox & Cox Astoria round dining table, extendable, £1,350, Coxandcox.co.uk
  • Best for versatility – Habitat drio extending walnut dining table: £395, Habitat.co.uk

La Redoute Jimi Birch dining table

La-Redoute-extendable-dining-table-indybest
  • Best: Overall
  • Dimensions: W 65cm/130cm x H 75.8cm x D 85cm
  • Seats: 2-6
  • Why we love it
    • Nifty extending mechanism
    • Sleek design

The Jimi boasts a slinky mechanism that allows the table to go from a space-saving two-seater up to a generous six-seater in a matter of moments: simply slide, twist, and unfold the top. It proves an impressive party piece. And thanks to its invisible platform locking system, its clean, contemporary lines stay uninterrupted, whichever configuration you have it in. The table boasts a distinctive Scandi aesthetic with its smooth white top (think lacquered MDF in a polyurethane varnish finish) contrasted with its pale natural wood frame in solid birch. We loved this stylishly modern and compact table.

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Dunelm Harvey 2 seater square extendable dining table

Dunelm-extendable-dinning-table-indybest
  • Best: Budget buy
  • Dimensions: W 90cm/120cm x H 76cm x D 90cm
  • Seats: 2-4
  • Why we love it
    • Space-saving
    • Affordable
  • Take note
    • Deceptively heavy

This is another space-saver of a dining table that transforms from a two-seater into a four-seater with minimal effort. It’s crafted from a mix of solid beech, beech veneer and MDF, and boasts an attractive country kitchen style with its decorative wood turned legs – choose all natural or a contrasting navy blue. Small but mighty, the Harvey conceals its extension leaf internally boasting a classic fold-out and push together mechanism. Here, the sturdy frame stays put while the tabletop itself extends at both ends. This one’s weightier than you would imagine due to its internal workings, but that said, you don’t need to worry about extra storage space for separate pieces.

  1. £269 from Dunelm.com
Prices may vary
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M&S sonoma extending dining table

M&S.jpg
  • Best: For homely warmth
  • Dimensions: W 85cm x H 75cm x L 140cm
  • Seats: 6-8
  • Why we love it
    • Charming design
    • Cleverly hidden leaf

Crafted from solid oak and with oak veneers, this is a wonderfully homely dining table full of country kitchen charm. Sitting six to eight diners, the compact piece extends generously thanks to a central leaf that’s cleverly hidden underneath the tabletop.

With its warm blond wood, the sonoma brings an immediate sense of calm to any dining space or eat-in kitchen. This extending tabletop doesn’t pretend to be one continuous piece, rather it makes a feature out of its three sections with lines that run in the opposite direction of the main wood grain. This one’s beautifully crafted and boasts simple design with great functionality.

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Habitat drio extending walnut 4-10 seater dining table

Habitat drio.jpeg
  • Best: For versatility
  • Dimensions: W 95cm x H 75cm x L 120cm
  • Seats: 4-10
  • Why we love it
    • Plenty of seats
    • Sturdy
  • Take note
    • Needs two people to extend

Getting top marks for versatility, this handsome furniture piece can transform from a cosy four-seater right up to an impressive 10-person table – ideal for large family gatherings. The clever design allows for three configurations; add one or two extension leaves in the centre to suit your dining needs.

It boasts smooth, warm walnut veneers with an attractive grain, giving it a sleek, contemporary finish, while its fuss-free boxy shaping is one for minimalists who appreciate a clean line. The drio table is a solid and sturdy one that, we found, takes two to extend.

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Argos home banbury extending dining table, natural

Argos-Home-indybest-best-extendable-table.png
  • Best: Round/oval table
  • Dimensions: W 80cm x H 75cm x L 106cm
  • Seats: 2-4
  • Why we love it
    • Ideal for small spaces
    • Affordable price
  • Take note
    • Very snug seating

We loved this round-to-oval dining table with its classic butterfly-style extension mechanism in the centre – ideal if you don’t have the space (or inclination) to store any extra pieces. It’s made from solid wood with a homely, honey-blond finish, making it as much a smart kitchen table as it is one for the dining room.

The banbury is on the smaller side and will comfortably seat four adults – but in reality, six is rather cosy. What it lacks in size, however, it makes up for in affordability. Simple and stylish with smooth, user-friendly functionality.

  1. £170 from Argos.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Dwell lille extending 4-6 seater dining table

Dwell lille marble.jpeg
  • Best: For a speedy extension
  • Dimensions: W 89.4cm x H 77cm x L 119cm
  • Seats: 4-6
  • Why we love it
    • Retro-futurism style
    • Party piece
    • Highly durable table-top
  • Take note
    • On the pricier side

With a knowing nod to Eero Saarinen’s classic mid-century tulip table, Dwell’s offering combines playful retro-futurism with a nifty, hi-tech extending mechanism: you’ll want to wait until your guests arrive before you pull it out, spin it around, and lock it into place – this proves quite the party piece.

Crafted from ceramic, glass, fibreglass and metal, the table is reliably weighty, yet it has an elegant silhouette with a delicate marble effect on its top. This is also highly durable, boasting heat, stain and fade-resistant properties. Once extended, the table can sit up to six diners, and thanks to its central stem, there’s room for legs to stretch out too.

  1. £999 from Dwell.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Ikea ingatorp extendable table, white

Ikea extendable table.jpeg
  • Best: For extra legroom
  • Regular dimensions: W 87cm x H 74cm x L 155cm
  • Seats: 4-6
  • Why we love it
    • Lots of leg-room
    • Sturdy and smart design

This may look like a humble furniture piece, but true to form from Ikea, it boasts an ingenious design that maximises legroom, putting guests’ comfort at the fore. Where most extendable tables comprise a fixed base and add-on leaves, these legs come with you when you pull the table out to its full extension. With one simple pull, the side leaf is then revealed and placed on top, leaving you with a larger dining table that – like magic – still has a leg in each corner.

Further to the clever design, the white-painted wooden table offers an understated elegance with its clean-lined top. This is a stylish space-saver with seriously shrewd functionality.

  1. £329 from Ikea.com
Prices may vary
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John Lewis Foxmoor 6-8 seater extendable dining table, sage green

John-Lewis-extendable-dining-table-indybest
  • Best: For large family gatherings
  • Dimensions: W 150cm/230cm x H 76.5cm x D 90cm
  • Seats: 6-8
  • Why we love it
    • Accommodates large parties
    • Country kitchen style design

With its folding two-leaf concealed mechanism, this already substantial country kitchen table reaches its full extension at an impressive 230cm – ideal for large family gatherings when you need space for extra guests. Part of the brand’s wider Foxmoor range, which borrows heavily from traditional Shaker styles, the table is crafted from a responsibly sourced, FSC-certified acacia wood, and boasts a contrasting painted frame in cream or sage green. True to form for John Lewis, this is a top-quality furniture piece, and while it is hefty, extending it is simple and easy to do. Conservatively speaking, this one sits up to eight, but with dining benches, it’ll easily stretch to ten.

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Next Jackson 6-8 seat extending dining table

NEXT-extendable-dining-tables-indybest
  • Best: Mid-century inspired design
  • Dimensions : W 160cm/200cm x H 76cm x D 90cm
  • Seats: 6-8
  • Why we love it
    • Chic and stylish
    • Well-hidden extendable leaf system
  • Take note
    • Not crafted from real walnut wood

Taking its design cue from the mid-century modern is this sleek extendable dining table from Next. It boasts a warm walnut effect finish, making it appear much more expensive than it is – real walnut furniture pieces can come with eye-watering price tags. The table boasts a classic integrated extendable leaf system, meaning all you have to do is pull it apart, unfold the hidden section in the centre, and push it back in place. This one will go from a six-seater to a comfortable eight-seater, without upsetting the clean silhouette. We loved the detailing on this one: think smooth rounded edges and subtly curved joints that marry the legs to the tabletop.

  1. £499 from Next.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Cox & Cox Astoria round dining table, extendable

Cox-and-Cox-extendable-dining-table-indybest
  • Best: Statement table
  • Dimensions: W 135cm/184.5cm x H 76cm x D 135cm
  • Seats: 4-8
  • Why we love it
    • Striking design
    • Roomy underneath for larger dining chairs
  • Take note
    • Expensive

Our luxury pick comes courtesy of Cox & Cox, a brand that always delivers on style and quality. The Astoria is a statement piece of a table with its barrel-like plinth and its rustic wood finish. It’s fashioned from reclaimed wood, scoring points on sustainability, and comes complete with characterful knots and nail marks, making each table completely unique. As a round four-seater it is a beauty, but stretch it out to its full oval shape and it is really striking – cleverly, the extension piece is hidden neatly within the base. Thanks to its leg-free design, this one can accommodate luxurious armchair-like dining chairs, for extra comfort.

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The verdict: Extendable dining tables

We loved La Redoute’s Jimi extending table for multiple reasons: its clean contemporary lines, its cool Scandi aesthetic, and of course its nifty mechanism, which proves quite the party piece. This one boasts great design as well as engineering. We also loved John Lewis’ Foxmoor table for its high quality and its homely country kitchen appeal. Although you may need deep pockets, Cox & Cox’s Astoria is a real showstopper – and a practical furniture piece to boot.

To create a beautiful dinner setting read our expert guide to tablescaping

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