Which kids’ table is best?

Kids who are too big for their high chairs but not big enough to sit at the grown-ups table need their own space to eat and play. A kids’ table gives children a place that’s just theirs — a place they can accidentally spill juice on, cover with glitter or turn into a fort during a sleepover.

The perfect table for kids should be well-made, easy to clean and able to stand up to a lot of damage. Top pick Lifetime Kids’ Picnic Table resists stains and features built-in seating for up to four children. Whether you’re shopping for an indoor playroom or an outdoor patio, there are some factors to consider when purchasing a kids’ table.

What to know before you buy a kids’ table

Table types

Kids’ tables come in three main types: a small folding card table, a medium non-folding activity table or a large folding or non-folding picnic table. All three types can be made of plastic or wood.

A small card table is suitable if your child needs a desk or their own place to eat in the kitchen. A medium activity table is great if your child wants room to spread out or do multiple things at once. A large picnic table is handy if your child loves spending time outdoors or has a lot of friends over.

Seating

Most kids’ tables come with seats. Depending on the size of the table, there may be one, two or four seats. Extra seats are convenient for when friends come over, and they can also be used by cherished stuffed animals for a tea party.

Kids’ picnic tables have bench seating. Sometimes these benches are separate pieces, and sometimes they’re attached to the table for added convenience. Keep in mind that bigger children may size out of attached benches quickly, rendering the rest of the table useless.

Colors

Wooden kids’ tables are generally white, light brown or gray. Plastic kids’ tables offer much more variety. While bright primary colors are a consistent favorite, you can find models in deep orange, hot pink or electric purple.

Some tables feature officially licensed images from your child’s favorite movie, TV show or video game. While this is a good idea in theory, remember that kids can be fickle. You don’t want them to stop using their table all of a sudden because they’ve decided they hate Elsa from “Frozen” or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

What to look for in a quality kids’ table

Safety features

Foldable kids’ tables should have locking mechanisms that are simple for adults to use but tamperproof for children. Their moving parts shouldn’t provide any opportunity for pinched fingers. Edges should be rounded and screws should be flush.

Pay attention to the recommended age range and weight limit for your prospective model. Most tables are not built to withstand heavy loads. It’s important your child understands that they should never stand on their table or chairs.

Design extras

Outdoor picnic tables may come with an umbrella, or at the very least have a hole in the table where an umbrella can go. Umbrellas are a simple way to protect your little ones from the sun.

Indoor non-folding tables may feature storage drawers or even a second hidden tabletop. This second tabletop will often have studs (also known as pips) for Legos. If you’re tired of stepping on tiny plastic pieces, this could be a very valuable extra.

Ease of storage and cleaning

Outdoor tables need to be kept out of the direct sunlight to prevent warping and should be stored properly during the winter to prevent cracking. Because of this, make sure your table is easy to break down, or at the very least, easy to move. If your table comes with separate chairs or benches, take note of whether they fold and/or stack.

If your child is accident-prone, avoid untreated wood tables, since they’re the most difficult to clean.

How much you can expect to spend on a kids’ table

Basic kids’ tables with no seats or frills are usually $25-$50. Plastic table and chair sets are typically $50-$100, while wooden table and chair sets run $75-$150. Kids’ picnic tables with bench seating can be $50-$150.

Kids’ table FAQ

What’s the best way to clean a kids’ table?

A. Refer to the instructions that came with your table. In general, you want to clean up any messes that occur right away, regardless of the table’s material. Avoid using bleach on the tabletop and keep an eye out for any nooks and crannies that might be collecting dust. Outdoor tables can be hosed off but should be dried right away to prevent rust to any metal components.

How difficult is assembly?

A. Assembly varies based on the model. Kids’ tables are small and pretty straightforward, so assembly shouldn’t be too difficult or require any special tools. Be sure to read the instructions all the way through before you begin to make sure you understand every step of the process. If you still have concerns, hire a local handyperson.

What’s the best kids’ table to buy?

Top kids’ table

Lifetime Kids’ Picnic Table

Lifetime Kids’ Picnic Table

What you need to know: The versatility and quality of this kids’ table put it above all the rest.

What you’ll love: This table can be used indoors or outdoors. It folds easily for storage or transport. Its built-in seating means you only have to worry about one piece of furniture.

What you should consider: It only comes in a drab almond color — kids may prefer something more colorful.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top kids’ table for the money

Humble Crew 2-in-1 Compatible Activity Table and Chairs

Humble Crew 2-in-1 Compatible Activity Table and Chairs

What you need to know: A bright table and chairs set, it has a hidden second tabletop for LEGOs or similarly sized construction blocks.

What you’ll love: This table and chairs set is available in red/green/blue or white/blue/pink color combinations. The storage space is perfect for blocks, crayons or other small toys.

What you should consider: This table is on the smaller side and only comes with two chairs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and Home Depot

Worth checking out

Delta Children Kids’ Table and Chair Set

Delta Children Kids’ Table and Chair Set

What you need to know: This Delta set features a vibrant table and chairs set with seating for four.

What you’ll love: This set is available in gray/blue, white/pink and primary-color combinations. It’s easy to assemble and has rounded edges.

What you should consider: Be sure to check all pieces carefully upon receipt — some buyers reported issues with damaged components on arrival.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Frank Paiva writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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