Bar stools are a comfortable seating option for any kitchen or bar. With so many bar stool dimensions to choose from, we’ll help you find the best options for your space. Here is a guide to finding the right height, style, and material for your bar counter.
How to Choose the Right Bar Stool
Here is what you need to know about choosing a suitable bar stool.
Choose a Height
There is nothing worse than a bar stool that’s too tall or too short. Not only will it be uncomfortable, but it will also look disproportionate with the countertop. Bar stools are available in various heights depending on the design. Here, we will break down the two most common bar stool heights and how to choose between them. First, measure your current table, island, or bar. Then choose bar stools that allow for 9” -12” between the bottom of the table or countertop and the top of the bar stool.
- Counter Stools: Counter stool pairs best with surfaces that are 36” off the ground. The counter stools range from 24” – 26” and are the standard height of the kitchen counter and islands. So, generally speaking, this type of bar stool will work great for your dining areas.
- Classic Bar Stools: These bar stools are around 42” high, so bar stools with a height of 30” are your best choice for a wet bar at home. Their height is actually the same size bar stool you’d see in restaurants and bars.
Choose a Design
Bar stools come in a variety of shapes and styles, so before making a decision, it’s important to consider your comfort and needs. Some options for bar stools include armrests, a back, footrests, and adjustable height. Along with considering your needs, find a style that will complement your space. Here, the three most common styles you’ll find in stores.
- Backless: A simple backless bar stool is one of the most common designs. Typically shaped round, these stools are perfect if you are looking to save space and prefer to keep stools tucked beneath your counter. However, keep in mind backless stool might not always be the most comfortable option and may keep your guests from sitting too long.
- With Arms: Bar stools with arms are a great option if you sit in them often. They provide comfortable arm support for any daily sitting task. Just remember to choose a bar stool with arms that will slide under the counter.
- Swivel Stools: Depending on the frame and material, some bar stools can be heavy. Choosing one with a swivel function prevents you or your guest from struggling to scoot back and first from your counter. Although the swivel function is convenient, it may not be suitable for households with lots of young children.
- Upholstered Stools: If your kitchen counter is your main dining area, you may want to consider an upholstered style. They are more comfortable than non-cushioned styles, and they’ll add formality to your countertop dining.
How Many Should I Get?
In addition to surface height, it’s important to know the length of your bar or countertop before purchasing multiple bar stools. Measuring will directly determine the number of stools you’ll need for your space. To ensure proper bar stool placement, every bar stool should have approximately 21” – 24” of space in between each other. This ensures ample space for dining and drinking without elbowing the person next to you.
Like any other piece of furniture, choosing your bar stool material matters. Whether you’re looking for a particular style to match your decor or for a durable material that can stand up to heavy use, determine the pros and cons of the most common bar stool materials below.
- Wood: Wood bar stools are a popular yet expensive option that can fit with nearly any style aesthetic. For added comfort, choose a wooden bar stool with an upholstered cushion. If you’re looking to use wood bar stools outside, choose thicker woods like teak, eucalyptus, and acacia, which are the most weather and insect-repellent woods.
- Metal: Metal bar stools typically have a sleek silhouette, making them especially ideal for small spaces and those with more industrial or modern aesthetics. They are durable, low maintenance, and easy to clean.
- Rattan and Wicker: Rattan and wicker bar stools are casual and timeless furniture that makes them suited to any kitchen. They’re lightweight enough to easily move around and come in a variety of colors, materials, and designs.
Whether the style of your kitchen is traditional, rustic, or contemporary, you can find a stool that complements your look. Located in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, Johnston Casuals has handcrafted American contemporary furniture since 1981.
We have a wide selection of bar stools with different features, materials, and styles to choose from. Contact us today or visit our website to view our furniture catalogs.