how to find dining room chair cushions that fit your dining chairs

Our Definitive Guide to Finding the Right Cushion to Fit Your Style of Dining Chair

You've purchased new dining chairs, and you love the look, but there's just one problem.  They're uncomfortable.  You're thinking of buying dining room chair cushions, but you're wondering, are dining chair cushions out of style?  What kind of cushions would we need to fit our chairs? How thick should the chair cushions be? Are the chair pads supposed to cover the entire surface of the chair seat or is it ok for some of the chair to show around the cushion? 

Table of Contents

Dining Room Chair Cushions

Windsor Chair Cushions

Ladderback Chair Cushions

Cross Back Chair Cushions

Captains Chair Cushions

Slat Back Chair Cushions

Dining Room Chair Cushions

We've been making cushions for dining chairs for more than 60 years, so we'd be happy to help you find the perfect cushions.  We may be biased, but in our opinion, comfortable, durable furnishings never go out of style, they just become classics. Thousands of our customers seem to agree.

How thick the cushions should be is a matter of personal preference, and depends on what kind of fill material the cushions will use.  Our latex foam cushions are about 2.5" thick and we've found this is just about perfect for the standard table and chair heights. The size of the cushion should be within 1-2” of the width and depth of your chair.  The mail order catalogs that carry our cushions typically photograph them with a bit of chair showing around the cushion, but this is also a matter of personal preference rather than a rule of interior design.

What kind of cushions should you buy to fit your type of dining chairs? Let's look at some of the most popular styles.

grey dining room chair cushion for windsor chairs on black spindle chair

Windsor Chair Cushions for Spindleback Chairs

A classic, casual chair design that has been part of American homes since the 18th century. The iconic spindled back and sides of this signature chair originated from a wheel design, and then colonial craftsmen started to use steam bending to produce the distinctively curved bow backs. Variations of the Windsor dining chair have evolved with high backs, low backs -and traditional versions even have armrests. Throughout all these evolutions, the Windsor chair has remained a staple of traditional dining rooms and kitchens for almost 300-years.

Tips for selecting cushions for Windsor chairs:

- Be sure to measure, many brands look identical but actually come in different sizes.

- Barnett cushions are filled with shredded latex foam and will conform around the spindles or arms if they cut into the seat area.

-Measure accross the widest part of the seat, disregard the indentation if your seat has an hourglass shape.

-Popular decor styles for complimentary cushions include include traditional, colonial, country and cottage styles

natural cotton dining room chair cushion for ladder back chairs on wooden shaker chair

Ladderback Chair Cushions for Shaker Chairs

Ladderback chairs, named for the horizontal slats in the back, have distinguished homes since the middle-ages. Relatively easy to make, they were ubiquitous in Colonial American homes where trained furniture makers were few and far between. Although they have evolved into numerous designs, including ultra modern interpretations, the most iconic remains the gently curving Shaker style chair with tapered legs and seats made of woven cane or rush.

Tips for selecting cushions for ladderback chairs:

-The seats are often proportionately less deep than other chairs, making it hard to find cushions that fit.

-Our extra-thick cushion fits most cane-seat chairs especially well, and does a good job of padding over the knobby legs that actually intrude into the seat surface, but be sure to measure before you order.

-Popular decor styles for complimentary cushons include colonial, country primitive and modern farmhouse.

beige ticking stripe chair pad for cross back chairs on french bistro chair in transitional decor dining room

Cross Back Chair Cushions for French Bistro Chairs

You can thank the French for this design. Cross back chairs were first seen in French bistros. Hemingway, Picasso, Matisse, TS Eliot and Van Gogh all enjoyed time spent in these chairs, which were first designed in the 20th-century because they could be easily and quickly manufactured in large numbers for the Paris café scene. Of course, dining room furniture styles are always evolving -Cross back chairs are no exception. You’ll find a variety of interpretations are currently en vogue -from the traditional French design to transitional designs.

Tips for selecting cushions for cross-back chairs:

-If your cross-back chair has a raised cane seat, a tufted chair pad will be more appropriate than a flat pad.

-Popular decor styles for complimentary cushions inlude Transitional (especially ticking stripe cushions), and linen looks.

black ticking stripe dining room chair cushions for mission chairs on espresso slat back chairs in formal dining room

Slat Back Chair Cushions for Mission Chairs

Count on the austere and frugal Shaker craftsmen of Lebanon, NY, to design and manufacture a dining room chair iconic for the perfection of its simplicity. A mainstay in the homes of New York and Boston in the mid-1700s, they remain a top choice for formal dining rooms. Whatever decor style you are striving for in your dining room design, there is a variation of slat back chair that will blend seamlessly.

Tips for selecting cushions for slat back chairs:

- These chairs come in a variety of sizes so measure your chairs before you buy cushions. We're seeing a lot of new mission chairs on the market that will call for XL or Executive size cushions.

- Pair Mission or Craftsman chairs with Transitional decor cushions or cushions from the Casual Collection. Pair Shaker or Farmhouse chairs with cushions from the Americana Collection. Pair Rustic chairs with cushions from the Lodge or Southwestern Collections. Pair Contemporary chairs with cushions from the Brisbane or Casual Collections.

navy blue dining chair cushion for captains chair with big fluffy kitty cat on the chair pad

Captain’s Chair Cushions

Captain's chairs originated from nautical designs in the late 1800's-1900's, but the iconic iteration is a hallmark of mid-century design. Sometimes known as country club chairs, whether they are +100 year old antiques or post-war vintage, they all feature armrests and a low back. Originally only furnished to the heads of the table, since the mid-century era they are typically used all around the table for all diners. Barnett ventured into home decor during this era and our original corduory chair pad was designed to fit the trendy captain's chair.

Tips for selecting cushions for Captain's Chairs:

-The Vermont Country Store carries Barnett's original corduroy cushions; they are available in two sizes, Standard or Jumbo

-Traditional colors like wine red, hunter green, tan, and navy blue are popular choices to compliment these chairs

1 of 3