Popular seating types for dental waiting rooms

  • We understand that visiting the dentist can sometimes be accompanied by feelings of apprehension or anxiety. We therefore design dental waiting areas meticulously to create a calming and inviting environment.  From comfortable seating options to a soothing colour palette and ambient lighting, every element is carefully designed to enhance the patient experience.

The most popular seating types for waiting rooms vary depending on the design and style of the practice. However, here are some common seating types that are frequently used:

  • Armchairs / Accent Chairs – Comfortable armchairs are a popular choice for dental waiting rooms, as they offer a comfortable and relaxing place for patients to sit. All waiting areas must have seating that suits older patients, with not only armrests, but that are the right height. 
  • Sofas – Sofas are also a popular seating option for dental waiting rooms, as they can accommodate multiple people at once and are great for larger waiting rooms.
  • Benches – Benches are a practical and space-saving seating option that can be used in waiting rooms with limited space. Many of us associate this style of seating with being very traditional and quite uncomfortable. It’s worth exploring a range of suppliers that can offer bespoke contemporary benches, but also modular ranges that offer not just straight runs (such as the Sellex Bildu and Sellex Back Modular ranges) but curved sections that can provide a much more interesting and welcoming aesthetic.
  • Pouffes – Consider these for practices that cater to families. Ideal for Orthodontic practices. But they do need space. Bean bags are a fun and comfortable seating option that can be used in waiting rooms aimed at children. 
  • Overall, the choice of seating type for a dental waiting room will depend on factors such as the size of the waiting room, the style of the practice, and the preferences of the dentist or practice manager.

Style Trends

Office and healthcare settings are both considering a more flexible/relaxed arrangement for their waiting rooms, known as ‘Breakout Styling’. You’ll find a lot of images of this style on Pinterest, which tends to encompass a smaller concierge-style reception desk, with a mix of bench seating, clusters of pouffes, and modern armchairs (often with highbacks) sometimes even bar tables and stools. This does however require a larger space, as there still needs to be space to move around, whilst providing wheelchair access.

CQC - Legislation plays its part

Upholstery – Fabrics for your seating should be outstanding in performance and durability, to withstand the demands of a busy practice. A common question is whether current legislation demands this environment to have seating with a fabric that can easily be cleaned with soap and water. 

There is no clear guidance, though CQC is tightening up on points such as this since the pandemic, so we’d highly recommend selecting a piece of furniture that provides antibacterial protection and is stain, mould, and mildew resistant – opt for a medical-graded fabric such as the Spradling range. Fabrics should of course also have inherent fire-resistant properties.

DDA Access – of course, whatever style you opt for you should consider access for disabled clients. Leaving a minimum of 120cm in walkways will ensure you meet this standard. You should also ensure that each waiting room has chairs with arms, at a good height suitable for those with mobility issues.

Sustainable - made to last

All reputable furniture manufacturers are now considering what materials they are using to develop new furniture ranges. Many are giving the option to have Eco-smart material for the upholstery. These are energy and resource-efficient, sustainable, and long-lasting. 

For more information on how Hague Dental can help you create your ideal practice and keep it that way long into the future, please visit www.haguedental.com email enquiries@haguedental.com or call us on 0800 298 5003.