The 5 best tables for kids in 2021

  • Tables give kids their own spot where they can comfortably create, eat, do homework, and just be.
  • We tested 11 kids tables to find the best ones for activities indoors and outside.
  • The Ikea Dundra is the best table for kids because it is sturdy, competitively priced, and has storage.

Kids deserve their own space where they can sit or stand comfortably to create art, do homework, eat, and play. Plus, when they have their own table for these activities, it reduces the mess on the dining room table or kitchen counters. 

The market is saturated with kids tables, with many different sizes, styles, and types. We tested 11 different tables for kids, from picnic tables to basic-use tables, considering their durability, stability, ergonomic positioning, and ease of cleaning. We put these tables through the ringer, using them daily for at least a month each and purposely getting them messy just to see how well they clean up. 

To inform our product selections and testing, we also spoke to two occupational therapists who specialize in pediatrics: Chaye Lamm Warburg and Ashley Stoffel. Jump to the end of this guide to read more about our full testing methodology and FAQs about kids tables.

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Here are the best kids tables in 2021

  • Best kids table overall: Ikea Dundra
  • Best activity table for kids: Pottery Barn Kids Carolina Grow-With-You Activity Table
  • Best basic kids table: Kidkraft Farmhouse Table and Four Chairs
  • Best picnic table for kids: Little Tikes Easy Store Jr. Picnic Table
  • Best budget kids table: Ikea Mammut

The Ikea Dundra activity table is big, sturdy, cleans well, and has a large storage drawer, all for under $100. 

Pros: Affordable, easy to clean, raised edges, added storage, very sturdy   

Cons: Doesn’t come with chairs, liquid spills drip into drawer 

 The Ikea Dundra activity table checks all of our testing boxes, and it does so as one of the more affordable tables we tested. The table has raised edges to stop crayons, markers, and other supplies from rolling off, and it has a large storage drawer with two compartments. The table surface is gray while every other surface is white. 

Although it doesn’t come with chairs, it’s the right height for younger kids to stand at the table and for older kids to kneel or sit. The table is 19.5 inches from the ground, which is about belly button height on my 3-year-old.

In our cleaning test, everything came off easily with a basic household cleaner with the exception of the colored pencil, which came off with a Magic Eraser. The storage drawers in the front have pros and cons when it comes to cleaning. The pro: If you’re in a rush, pull out the drawer and push everything in with one arm swipe. The con: If you don’t clean up a liquid spill on the table quickly, it will drip into the drawer. 

From the second I picked up the box, I could tell the table would be very sturdy. It does not budge unless you have one or two adults trying to move it. It has also proven to be durable, with no dents, chips, or other signs of wear. 

The best activity table for kids

The Pottery Barn Kids Carolina Grow-With-You Activity Table has the look and feel of being high quality plus it’s durable and easy to clean — two musts for kids tables.

Pros: Two leg-length options, very sturdy, raised edges, three color options  

Cons: Pricey, crumbs get stuck in corners 

With a high-end design and three color options, the Pottery Barn Kids Carolina Grow-With-You Activity Table will not be an eyesore in your home. Ideal for crafts and activities, it has raised edges to keep everything on the surface. 

It has proved to be very durable and stable in our tests. The table doesn’t wobble or tip, and we haven’t seen any chips, cracks, dents, or other signs of wear. In addition to our clean test, this table also saw a lot of daily use throughout our testing as the main craft table for my toddler. 

In our cleaning test, everything came off very easily with a basic household cleaner. However, cleaning crumbs and other small scraps was a bit more difficult. Because it has raised edges, small detritus tends to get stuck in the corners.  

Like other activity tables, it does not come with chairs. However, there are two leg-length options, fulfilling the “grow-with-you” moniker. We tested the 15-inch legs; 24 inches is the other option. When kids are old enough for the 24-inch legs, the table becomes tall enough to add on chairs. This table is so beautifully crafted and low to the ground that my husband attempted to overtake our testing and convert it into a coffee table. 

The best basic kids table

The Kidkraft Farmhouse Table and Four Chairs was the easiest to clean out of everything we tested. 

Pros: Very easy to clean, comes with four chairs, durable and sturdy 

 Cons: Messes can get stuck in screw holes  

A basic kids table and chair set should be a staple in every child’s home. The Kidkraft Farmhouse Table and Four Chairs stood out as a high-quality kids’ furniture set that looks just like a miniature version of a dining set. It comes in four colors: espresso, white, natural, and pecan. 

Easy cleaning is a parent’s dream and this table passed our cleaning test with flying colors. Everything wiped clean using a regular household cleaner. The only downside when it comes to cleaning is that the chairs have quite a few uncovered screw holes. Cleaning can become a bit tricky when messes get into those indentations.  

Like our other top picks, this set is very durable and looks new after months of use. It doesn’t have any dents or chips. The table and chairs are also sturdy and have never wobbled or tipped over. 

As a basic set, this table doesn’t come with any bells and whistles. It’s simply a flat surface for kids to eat, play, and create without distractions. 

The best picnic table for kids

The Little Tikes Easy Store Jr. Picnic Table is built to withstand outdoor conditions, and it even has a built-in multipurpose tray with cup holders. 

Pros: Very sturdy, multipurpose tray and cup holders, folds up for storage, can withstand harsh weather conditions 

Cons: Umbrella is flimsy, max seating capacity would be a tight squeeze  

The Little Tikes Easy Store Jr. Picnic Table was a clear winner between the two picnic tables we tested. It’s sturdy, cleans easily, and can seat up to six kids, though four is more comfortable. It’s available with or without an umbrella. We found the umbrella a bit flimsy, but it does the trick if you want some shade. 

During our testing period, we left the table in a backyard surrounded by other large toys. When high winds sent a small slide playset and a playhouse flying, this table stayed put. It also never wobbled or tipped, even when we sat one adult on one side, within the 200-pound weight limit.

In our cleaning test, most messes came out easily. This table has some texture, which trapped the crayon and colored pencil marks. With a bit of scrubbing using regular household cleaner for the crayons and a Magic Eraser for the colored pencils, everything cleaned off. 

After over one month of testing, the table does not have any dents, cracks, or other obvious signs of wear. As an outdoor table, it does get a bit dirty, but dirt, pollen, and other outside messes clean quickly with a hose. 

The table can seat up to six kids with a maximum weight of 200 pounds per bench. Based on experience, I’d say it seats four comfortably; six kids would really need to squeeze to fit. 

One of our favorite features is the indentation in the middle of the table. It’s described as a multipurpose condiment/crayon tray, and it does not disappoint. It also includes two cup holders. 

When you’re ready to store the table, it folds nicely into one flat piece. It’s so easy that you could feasibly fold it to store after each use if you don’t want to leave it sitting out. 

The best budget kids table

The Ikea Mammut is about as inexpensive as you can get, but it still received top marks in all of our tests, and it’s appropriate for indoor and outdoor use.  

Pros: Sturdy, easy to clean, affordable, appropriate for indoor or outdoor use, lightweight

Cons: Doesn’t come with chairs, slides slightly on hard surfaces 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a safe and sturdy kids table for less than the Ikea Mammut. The table doesn’t come with chairs, but you can add two on for $15 each, and it will still be the most inexpensive option in our guide. In testing, we often used it with this active balance chair, which we received as an editorial review sample from its manufacturer.

The Mammut is available in white or red. The nonporous material of the table even makes it ideal to use outside. It’s very lightweight and easy to move around outdoors and indoors. 

In our cleaning test, crayon marks came out with a Magic Eraser, and everything else cleaned off easily with basic household cleaner. This is another one that my toddler got a lot of use out of during our testing, and it still looks like it did when we took it out of the box. No dents, cracks, stains, or other signs of wear. You can purchase it in white or red.

As expected, the lightweight table slid a bit on hard surfaces, but never so much that it flew out from under our tester, and I never felt the need to remove it from our home due to safety concerns. 

All in all, this table gets the job done for a fraction of the price of others we tested. 

Our testing methodology

We used four main parameters to test each table: durability, stability, ease of cleaning, and ergonomic positioning. We tested each table with regular use for at least one month and some for more than six months. With the exception of the Pottery Barn Kids Carolina Grow-With-You Activity Table and B. Spaces by Battat set, we received editorial review samples of each table for testing purposes. 

  • Durability: After at least one month of regular and appropriate use, we checked for chips in paint or finishes, dents, splinters, cracks, or other obvious signs of wear.  
  • Stability: Stoffel emphasized the importance of finding a sturdy table and chair set. The table shouldn’t wobble when kids put their elbows on it, for example. To test stability, we observed daily and regular use and noted any instances of tipping or wobbling in both the chairs and the tables.
  • Ease of cleaning: It’s a fact of life: Kids make messes. On each table, we purposely made messes with: crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint, glue, and food.

    We first cleaned each mess with a regular household cleaner like Mrs. Meyers Multi-Surface Cleaner or Lysol Multi-Purpose Cleaner. For messes that persisted, we followed up with a Magic Eraser. Almost all messes were gone at that point. We noted any messes that persisted beyond the Magic Eraser. 

  • Ergonomic positioning: Both experts we spoke to emphasized the importance of ergonomic positioning. This is difficult to assess because children grow at rapid rates. We followed this sizing guide recommended by Stoffel. Although ideal chair and tabletop heights vary by a child’s age, ideal differences between chair seat height and table top height are consistent. All of the tables we recommend come within 1 inch of these guidelines. 

What else we considered

We tested 11 kids tables in total. Here are the ones that didn’t make our top picks:

Kidkraft Outdoor Table with Benches and Umbrella: This is a beautiful table, but it’s not the most practical option for kids. Crayons, colored pencils, and markers didn’t clean off in our tests, and the wood started to chip and splinter after less than a year of use. 

Lalo The Play Kit: This set is very solid, has rubber bottoms to prevent sliding, and the chairs come in four colors. Unfortunately, the table wobbled in our tests. For a $250 set — the most expensive we tested — a structural issue like wobbling is a deal breaker.

B. Spaces by Battat – Kids’ Furniture Set: This is a nice set that has a few minor flaws. Because the chairs curve up on the edges, we found that they tip and can fall over if kids sit on the very edge. Additionally, we couldn’t get both chairs to fully fit under the table, and this one needed some extra scrubbing in our cleaning test.

Delta Children Chelsea Chair Set With Table: I really, really wanted to love this set. It has storage under the table and it includes a reversible chalkboard/whiteboard. Unfortunately, it had a strong off-gassing smell that lasted over a month, and within a couple months of use, the chair legs became loose and almost fell off. 

Melissa and Doug Wooden Table and Chairs: We really liked this set and didn’t find any major flaws. There simply wasn’t anything that made it stand out, and it’s more expensive than some of the similar tables we tested. 

Humble Crew Tot Tutors Forever 2-in-1 LEGO Compatible Activity Table: We were unable to spend much time testing this table. It quickly became apparent that it was unsafe. The table and chairs repeatedly slid and flipped out from under my toddler during testing. This happened with appropriate use on both hard floors and carpeting. 

What we look forward to testing

We’re always looking for the best products to test and recommend to our readers. We’ll continue to test kids tables for a future update to this guide. 

Ikea Flisat Children’s Table: This table has a flat top, but it can also become a sensory table with two storage bins that fit inside. It was out of stock at the time of our testing, so we’re looking forward to trying it out for a future update. 

FAQs about tables for kids

What are the benefits of tables for kids? 

Both of our experts emphasized the importance of ergonomic positioning so kids can be comfortable and have support for their bodies. “We all benefit from having our feet supported either on the floor or a sturdy footrest so a child-size chair might support a child in being able to more comfortably place their feet on the floor,” Stoffel told Insider Reviews. 

Stoffel also explained that this position helps support the upper body and allows kids to have more coordination and control in their hands. Warburg emphasized this as well. “Dangling feet cause children to round their backs and lead to back pain and sloppy handwriting,” she said.

Warburg noted that having a good table and chair fit is critical when kids are expected to sit for long periods of time. Having proper positioning is helpful for eating, completing school work, completing artwork, and playing and kids might even sit for longer periods of time for meals or homework if they’re seated comfortably. 

“Another benefit of a chil- size table and chair is that it gives the child a specific and special place for daily activities,” Stoffel said. “Knowing the table and chair are their own, the child might be more motivated or invested in the activity.”

How can I tell if a table is the right size for my child? 

According to Warburg, a good table allows a child to sit with their feet flat on the floor. Tabletop height  should be 2 inches above the height of the elbow when the child is sitting. Hips, knees, and ankles should also be at 90-degree angles when the child is seated.

Stoffel added that kids should be able to gently rest their elbows on the table without reaching up or leaning down. She also gave us an example of what a child might look like if the chair and table are not a supportive size. “You might observe the child squirming, shifting around in the seat, getting up from the table frequently or demonstrating decreased success with fine motor tasks,” she said.

Our sources

  • Ashley Stoffel, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is a clinical associate professor of occupational therapy at University of Illinois College of Applied Health Science. She is the director of the UIC OT Faculty Practice: Children, Youth & Families, which provides occupational therapy services to children and families in the Chicago area. Stoffel also serves as the occupational therapy discipline and training coordinator for the Illinois Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program.

  • Chaye Lamm Warburg, DPS, OTR/L, is a lab instructor in the master’s degree program in occupational therapy at New York University. She has been a practicing occupational therapist since 1976, focusing on pediatrics for most of her career. She founded Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services, LLC (POTS), a private occupational therapy practice that is committed to providing children and families with cutting-edge treatment to empower each child to maximize their potential. 

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