School Fix Compares the Best School Cafeteria Tables

By Team School Fix® on February 15th, 2022


Purchasing new school cafeteria tables and lunchroom seating is a decision that requires a bit of thought. We hope that this comparison can assemble most of the facts together for you to take into consideration when you are trying to buy the best cafeteria table for your school.

Buy School Cafeteria Tables and Lunch Room Seating for the 2022 School YearBuy School Cafeteria Tables and Lunch Room Seating for the 2022 School Year

Choose the Right Cafeteria Table for Your Lunch Room

To start, let's look at some of the obvious concerns like quality, ergonomic benefits of different styles, ease of use to make breaking down, folding, and storage easy, and of course, safety features and benefits of each design.

Design Aspects and Seating Options for Mobile Folding Tables

Seating options for portable folding tables are best chosen based on the age of students that will most frequently be using the tables. The basic idea here is to allow older students a more defined and independent space, with stool-style seating, while younger students may be better placed on bench-style seating. There is no absolute rule here, but you should consider which style table best fits your school, based on the age of your students.


Other popular options that should be considered are mobile folding tables with ADA access points and tables with a lower than standard height to more easily accommodate smaller children.

The Shape of the Lunch Table Can Maximize Seating Capacity

Choose from rectangular, round, and elliptical shape mobile folding table options to best fit into your specific school environment. Round or elliptical shapes can create a more collaborative space, while a more traditional rectangular shape can create a more defined cafeteria seating arrangement. Many schools choose a combination of round and rectangular tables to give options to have a different user arrangement. School Fix® can help design your cafeteria layout, to maximize seating capacity or enhance student collaboration.

Choose from the Best Mobile Folding Table Manufacturers

School Fix® represents the leading manufacturers of school cafeteria tables, including Krueger International or KI, National Public Seating, AmTab, Virco, and Biofit, all tables have a manufacturer warranty from ten to fifteen years, to give you confidence that the table brand decision that you made will function reliably in your school for years.

Reliable Cafeteria Tables to Properly Represent Your School

Some of the most popular quality features and durability options can help your new tables operate as you expect and stay looking great in your school environment. Below, we have listed a few choices you should consider when buying new cafeteria tables.

Plywood Board and MDF Core Cafeteria Table Materials

 

Table Top and Bench Core Material Options:

1)  MDF Core Material

2)  Plywood Core Material

 

Table Frame and Undercarriage Tubing Finish:

1)  Chrome Plated Steel

2)  Powder Coated Steel

 

Table Top and Bench Edging Options:

1)  Molded-In Heat Treated Edge

2)  T-Molded Edge

Safe and Manageable Table Set-Up and Break-Down

Ease of setting up, breaking down, and rolling tables away to the storage location needs to be safe and manageable by utilizing minimal staff. The exact folding operation and function of the mobile folding tables vary from table manufacturer to table manufacturer. A primary consideration when buying the best cafeteria table for your school should be the ease of folding up and down, with the assistance of a torsion bar or a hydraulic lift-assist mechanism to reduce potential staff member back strain.

Reduce Back Stress with a Reliable Lift-Assist Mechanism

Setting up and breaking down tables repeatedly can cause avoidable workplace stress or even injury. We have found that all of the mobile folding table manufacturers that we represent have reliable built-in lift assist mechanisms that significantly reduce user stress. This is not always the case if using older tables. Older cafeteria tables can wear down lift assist mechanisms and often cannot be adequately repaired or made to function as a new cafeteria table functions. New tables are just simply more reliable and safe. Driving a car with 200,000 miles on it can be challenging. The same goes for mobile folding cafeteria tables. Repeated use over many years, folding and rolling away, plus general wear and tear in a school environment can make tables unreliable. School Fix's recommendation is to replace those worn-out cafeteria tables with new tables that incorporate better engineering and are designed to meet today's safety and design standards.

Storage and Safety Designed for a School Cafeteria

Always top on the list of concerns, storage can be challenging, especially if mobile tables are being stored in an open area of the cafeteria or hallway. Today, portable folding tables are designed for compact storage while maintaining stability in an upright (folded) position. Modern locking safety latches hold tables secure and require the user to make a commitment to unlock the table to begin unfolding. Unfolding should be slow and safe. The same lift-assist mechanism also provides safe resistance to help the operator slowly expand the table and reduce any risk of the table unfolding too fast.

Inspect Mobile Folding Tables on a Frequent and Regular Basis

Review the operation of your tables often. If a table is not consistently operating correctly during the setup and breakdown process, do not continue to use that table. Honestly, it is not worth the risk. Here are a few common problems to watch out for:

 

1)  Lift-assist mechanism if not lifting or providing resistance when setting up and breaking down.

2)  Safety latch mechanism is not functioning properly or is not operational.

3)  Table casters are not rolling properly or appear worn out.

4)  Tops, benches or stools tops are cracked and wobbly, especially if the stool top spins around and is not secured correctly to the frame tubing.

 

All of these points above should be checked and inspected as often as possible. Many of our School Fix® customers create a cafeteria table safety inspection checklist, with at least a weekly review of safety, operation, and functionality.

1) National Public Seating Cafeteria Tables >

Shop National Public Seating Mobile Tables for SchoolsShop National Public Seating Mobile Tables for Schools

NPS® Brand Stool Style Rectangular Cafeteria Table


  • Customizable: NPS Rectangle Tables are available in eight colors with an MDF, Particleboard, Plywood Core, and Vinyl T-Molding or the Anti-Bacterial Protect Edge options. Offered in multiple color combinations. 
  • Certified: NPS Mobile Tables have been tested for 7,000 open/close cycles exceeding the UL testing of 6,000 cycles. MAS2 Certified Green. 
  • Safety First: NPS Tables are optimized for safe use featuring “wobble-free” stool caps, automatically locking storage latches and down lock, and “no-trip” heavy-duty 4” casters. Folds in teepee position to prevent potential tipping. 
  • Quality Assured: All Steel Frames with high-impact Polystyrene Stools and Laminated Phenolic Tabletops. Backed by a Limited 15 Year Warranty.
  • Spacious: Mobile Stool Style Tables allow students to have more personal space when seated versus Bench Style Cafeteria Tables.

NPS® Brand Bench Style Rectangular Cafeteria Table


  • Customizable: NPS Rectangle Tables are available in eight colors with an MDF, Particleboard, Plywood Core, and Vinyl T-Molding or the Anti-Bacterial Protect Edge options. Offered in multiple color combinations. 
  • Certified: NPS Mobile Tables have been tested for 7,000 open/close cycles exceeding the UL testing of 6,000 cycles. MAS2 Certified Green. 
  • Safety First: NPS Tables are optimized for safe use featuring a unique frame and leg base tube design allowing for safe exit and entry, automatically locking storage latches and down lock, and “no-trip” heavy-duty 4” casters. Folds in teepee position to prevent potential tipping. 
  • Quality Assured: All Steel Frame with high-impact Laminated Phenolic Tabletops and Benches. Backed by a Limited 15 Year Warranty.
  • Collaborative: Bench Style Cafeteria Tables allow more students to sit per table than Stool Style Tables. 

NPS® Brand Convertible Bench Table Units with Powder Coated Steel Frame


  • Versatility: Convertible Bench Units can be used as a comfortable bench with a back, as a desk with a bench seat, or easily combine two single units with the built-in ganging device and create a cafeteria or activity table with a bench seating on each side.
  • Features: Four casters for easy mobility with two locking casters to prevent movement when in use, "pinch-proof" folding, no trip points at the top, and non-marring reinforced nylon glides.
  • Customizable: Available with Particleboard, MDF Fiberboard, or Plywood cores as well as T-Mold or Protect Edge edging options.

2) KI Cafeteria Tables >

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KI® Brand Rectangular Stool Seating Uniframe Cafeteria Table


  • KI Certified: KI Uniframe Tables have been tested for UL certification of 6,000 open/close cycles. LEED & WELL Building Standard met. BIFMA, FSC, & SCS Indoor Advantage Gold. 
  • Safety First: KI Tables are optimized for safe use featuring high-impact ribbed stool caps, automatically locking storage latches and down lock, and “no-trip” heavy-duty 4” casters. Folds in teepee position to prevent potential tipping. 
  • Quality Assured: All Steel Frames with high-impact Polypropylene Stools and a Laminated Particleboard Tabletop. Backed by a Limited 15 Year Warranty.
  • Spacious: Uniframe Stool Style Tables allow for students to have more personal space when seated versus Bench Style Cafeteria Tables.

KI® Brand Rectangular Bench Seating Uniframe Cafeteria Table


  • Customizable: Rectangle Tables are available in 15 colors with a warp-resistant high-density Particleboard under a high-pressure laminate surface and Bullnose or Molded-In Perfect Edge options. Offered in multiple color combinations. 
  • Certified: KI Uniframe Tables have been tested for UL certification of 6,000 open/close cycles. LEED & WELL Building Standard met. BIFMA, FSC, & SCS Indoor Advantage Gold. 
  • Safety First: Tables are optimized for safe use featuring semi-concealed and automatically locking storage latches and down lock, and “no-trip” heavy-duty 4” casters. Folds in teepee position to prevent potential tipping. 
  • Quality Assured: All Steel Frame with a Laminated Particleboard Tabletop and Benches. Backed by a Limited 15 Year Warranty.
  • Collaborative: Uniframe Bench Style Tables allow more students to sit per table than Stool Style Cafeteria Tables.

KI® Brand Uniframe Convertible Bench Cafeteria Table


  • Versatile: KI Uniframe Convertible Bench design will provide you with the flexibility to arrange seating and table function in many ways to cater to your needs.
  • Quality Assured: All Steel Frame with a Laminated Particleboard Tabletop and Benches. Backed by a Limited 15 Year Warranty.
  • Collaborative Capacity: Uniframe Bench Style Tables allow more students to sit per table than Stool Style Cafeteria Tables.
  • Certified: KI Uniframe Tables have been tested for UL certification of 6,000 open/close cycles. LEED & WELL Building Standard met. BIFMA, FSC, & SCS Indoor Advantage Gold.

3) AmTab Cafeteria Tables >

Shop AmTab Mobile Tables for SchoolsShop AmTab Mobile Tables for Schools

AmTab® Elliptical Tables with Stool Seating


  • Customizable: Elliptical Tables are available in 12 colors and Vinyl T-Molding or the molded-in Dyna-Rock Edge options. Offered in multiple color combinations. 
  • Certified: AmTab Mobile Tables are UL, ANSI/BIFMA, and MAS2 Certified Green, so you can be assured you are making a safe, smart choice. 
  • Safety First: Tables are optimized for safety featuring multiple entry points, automatically locking storage latches and down lock, and heavy-duty 4” Swivel Casters. Folds in teepee position to prevent potential tipping. 
  • Quality Assured: All-Steel Frame with high-pressure Laminated Tabletops and patented Stool Design. Backed by a Limited 15 Year Warranty.

AmTab® Elliptical Bench Style Cafeteria Table


  • Customizable: Elliptical Tables are available in 12 colors and Vinyl T-Molding or the molded-in Dyna-Rock Edge options. Offered in multiple color combinations. 
  • Certified: AmTab Mobile Tables are UL, ANSI/BIFMA, and MAS2 Certified Green, so you can be assured you are making a safe, smart choice. 
  • Safety First: Tables are optimized for safety featuring multiple entry points, automatically locking storage latches and down lock, and heavy-duty 4” Swivel Casters. Folds in teepee position to prevent potential tipping. 
  • Quality Assured: All-Steel Frame with high-pressure Laminated Tabletops and Benches. Backed by a Limited 15 Year Warranty.
  • Collaborative: Bench Style Cafeteria Tables allow more students to sit per table than Stool Style Tables.

4) Virco Cafeteria Tables >

Shop Virco Mobile Tables for SchoolsShop Virco Mobile Tables for Schools

Virco® Oval Mobile Folding Cafeteria Tables with Stool Seating


  • Customizable: Oval Tables are available in five colors with a Particleboard Core and Vinyl T-Molding Edge options. Offered in multiple color combinations. 

  • Certified: Virco Mobile Tables are UL, BIFMA, GreenGuard, and CPSIA Certified, so you can be assured you are making a safe, smart decision.  

  • Safety First: Tables are optimized for safe use featuring high-impact ABS Stool Caps, a specially designed Torsion Bar System, and heavy-duty 4” Casters. Folds in teepee position to prevent potential tipping. 

  • Quality Assured: Tubular Steel Frame with high-impact ABS Stools and a laminated Particleboard Tabletop. Backed by a Limited 10 Year Warranty.

  • Spacious: Mobile Stool Style Tables allow students to have more personal space when seated versus Bench Style Cafeteria Tables.


Virco® Rectangular Mobile Folding Cafeteria Tables with Bench Seating


  • Customizable: Rectangle Tables are available in five colors with a Particleboard Core and Vinyl T-Molding Edge options. Offered in multiple color combinations.
  • Certified: Virco Mobile Tables are UL, BIFMA, GreenGuard, and CPSIA Certified, so you can be assured you are making a safe, smart decision.  
  • Safety First: Tables are optimized for safe use featuring a high-impact Particleboard Bench and Tabletop material, a specially designed Torsion Bar System, and heavy-duty 4” Casters. Folds in teepee position to prevent potential tipping.
  • Quality Assured: Tubular Steel with a high-impact laminated Particleboard Tabletop and Bench Backed by a Limited 10 Year Warranty.
  • Collaborative: Bench Style Cafeteria Tables allow more students to sit per table than Stool Style Tables.

Let School Fix® Help!

Many school cafeteria and lunchroom seating solutions can be implemented into your facility’s plan, but if you’re on a tight budget and need cafeteria tables that are affordable and dependable, look no further than School Fix®. We also carry a vast inventory of Cafeteria Table Repair Parts to renovate worn-out cafeteria furniture. We hope you found this guide helpful. To read more about our products or solutions to common school maintenance concerns, please visit the School Fix® Blog.

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