Most table and chair sets are designed for kids between 3-6 years, giving them a short shelf life. But some have the benefit of multi-use, combining desk space with room for other activities, like Lego-building of drawing.

Some combine storage as well as play space, and stack away neatly to save room. Other tables come with taller legs to swap in when your child has outgrown their first table.

Plastic sets can be used indoors and out, and are easier to clean and maintain than solid wood. Sets in solid wood are usually more expensive, but will be more durable and something you can pass on when you longer have the need for it.

With all kids’ furniture it’s best to go for neutral styles that will outlast your child’s current favourite character; consider furniture that your kids will really get the most out of before you have to hand it down.

Some sets include a couple of chairs, and others have matching items that are bought separately.

If you are planning on buying chairs and table that don’t belong to the same range or from the same manufacture, check the sizing of each is compatible.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Jojo Maman Bébé tender leaf forest table and chairs: Table £75, chairs £40 each, Jojo Maman Bébé

This handy little table has a chalkboard centre panel that kids can draw or write on, it lifts away to reveal a hidden storage compartment too. The matching chairs are characterful, with fox, bear, rabbit, and deer designs. The set is plywood which is light but still solid. The table surface is small, and would suit one or two children more comfortably than four. Rounded edges and turned legs are designed to avoid bumps and scrapes. It suits kids 3 years and up.

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Great Little Trading Co. growing activity table: £145, Great Little Trading Co.

For budding artists, this table holds a paper roll at one side to roll out easily when creativity strikes. The rectangular shape allows plenty of room for activities and for several young kids to gather round. A set of longer legs is included with this white-painted MDF table to keep it in use as your child grows. Chairs aren’t included, but Great Little Trading Co.’s junior whittington chair (£55) makes a great match.

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Liberty House blue activity table and chairs set: £64.99, Argos

There’s lots of ways to use this well-priced table for busy little ones. On one side the top is smooth for drawing and writing. Flip it over, and there’s a base for building Lego structures. Under the top there’s a space for storing pens and paper, but it could also be filled with water or sand. In thick plastic, the set is durable, easy to wipe clean and can be used outdoors as well as in. It includes two chairs, and comes in a pink or multi-coloured version too.

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Flexa Popsicle play table and stools: Table £94.35, and stools £62 each, Nubie

These simple tables and stools have tops and feet in a choice of three colours: blue, pink or green. The muted colours are probably more pleasing to adults’ eyes, rather than kids’, but do make a stylish contrast with the natural ash legs. You can mix and match the colours or go for a co-ordinated set. Circular tables are good for tucking into corner spaces, and allow more room for kids and their friends to gather round.

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Unicorn table and chairs: £31.49, Ryman

With unicorns still being all the rage, the sight of this magical table and chair set should have little ones leaping with joy. The materials and finish are better than you’d expect for the low price, with sturdy solid wood legs on both chairs and table. The MDF table top and chair seats and backs wipe down easily. The table is sized for two kids to use comfortably, and it assembles without the need for tools, as a bonus.

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Kids’ table and chair wooden furniture set: £103.99, Wooden Toys Direct

Combining four plastic storage trays as well as a play surface, this smart wooden table is a real space-saver. The red and blue containers match with the colours on the pair of chairs (included), and the star-shaped cut-out on all three pieces is a nice uniting theme. The set is made of wood that has a good quality construction and finish. It’s small, but perfectly sized for one or two kids to spend time enjoying.

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Pottery Barn Kids my first table and chairs: Table £99, set of 2 chairs £99, John Lewis & Partners

This fuss-free table and chair set from the popular American brand is beautifully-made in solid hardwood, with a smooth bright white finish. The classically-styled set resembles a mini-version of an adult dining room table and chairs, with a sophisticated feel. The choice of more quality materials and finishes – compared to most kids’ furniture – means that it will last well and can easily be handed down through generations.

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Ikea mammut table and chairs: Table £19, chairs £7 each, Ikea

Plastic is the best choice for a set you can use indoors and out. The mammut range is made from weather-resistant polypropylene and includes a square or circular table, chairs and stools. The furniture comes in a range of bright colours and is lightweight enough for kids to carry about on their own. The range is super easy to put together – no Allen keys required – and wipes down easily with a cloth to keep it looking fresh.

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There’s a lovely Meccano-like construction to this simple self-assembly table and stool set. Oversized white bolts connect solid pine pieces painted in a soft yellow, to make the frames of all three pieces. The table is very small – just 40 x 46cm – which suits kids 3-6 but may be quickly outgrown. With stools that fit neatly under the table when not in use, it does make a good solution for smaller spaces.

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Cuckooland vox tuli kids stackable desk and stools: Desk £75, stools £65 each, Cuckooland

This desk is shaped to stack, a handy feature if you want to buy more than one. It comes in a pastel yellow and green combination, or pink and white. The table is made of laminated chipboard and has a built-in shelf for pens and paper. The matching stools also nest within the table and have a built-in shelf – maximising the function of this clever design. The materials look clean and contemporary, but laminates can chip and peel over time with heavy use.

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The verdict: Kids' tables and chairs

The forest-inspired set from Jojo Maman Bébé is cute, kid-friendly and reasonably priced. You can buy chairs separately depending on which little critters are your kid’s favourites. The table top combines a couple of functions with storage and a chalkboard top. The plywood construction feels lightweight but stable.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.