Material and Maintenance:
Depending on the style of coat rack you choose, the level of maintenance required will differ. David Netto recommends choosing a bench crafted from a mixture of metal and wood. The metal structure will create a more solid coat rack that can hold heavier coats or more items, whereas a wooden bench will create a contrast. Alternatively, a bench made completely from solid or manufactured wood will lend your entryway a clean and modern look, or a rustic one if the wood is distressed. As a coat rack with a bench is an item that will need to withstand heavy use, maintenance is key so it can look new for as long as possible. A protective coating and regular cleaning will help achieve this.
Coat racks come in many different styles, ranging from modern to antique, so it's important to know exactly which style you want. If you have a contemporary hallway, keep things simple and bright with a white coat rack. To add depth and dimension to a space, choose a bench with distressing. Distressing is an especially good feature for entryways with a coastal chic or farmhouse décor scheme, as it adds the natural character both of these styles require for a cozy look. Moreover, a slim coat rack will automatically look more modern than a wider one. Joy Moyler recommends considering the ambiance of your hallway, too. A coat rack with a bench will be one of the first things guests will see when they enter your home, so it's important to stick to a theme.
Coat racks with benches can measure anywhere from 25-50 inches wide on average. However, the size of a coat rack will of course depend on whether it's built for narrow hallways or wider ones. If you have a slim space to work with, you should opt for a taller coat rack, with aspects like shelving extending upwards rather than outwards. If you have more room to work with, a larger bench will be more comfortable and will also fit more people on during the morning rush. Per Katie Ridder, you should make sure there are at least 20 inches of space between the end of your coat rack and the start of a wall so you have enough room to put on and take off your coat and shoes.
Most coat racks with benches come with some form of storage. This could be hidden within the bench portion of your coat rack, or shelving added onto the side. Peter Dunham says you should look for a coat rack that has at least two shelves. These shelves could be used to store hats and gloves, or for smaller pairs of shoes you wear regularly. Either way, storing things near your coat will help get you out of the door much faster. If space is an issue for you, benches with built-in storage are the best option, as they won't make your coat rack any wider but will offer extra space for storage.
Besides storage, a few coat racks with benches have extras such as shoe nooks, smaller hooks for items like hats, and other general features that will make life easier. Drawers can also hide away any shoes that may be muddy or used for lazy days instead of having them out in the open. At the minimum, you should look for a coat rack with differently sized hooks to accommodate styles of coats and other smaller items. Additionally, a small hook could be used for keys so you never forget them again.