Which Bar Stool Should I Buy?

Aug 25th 2023

Bar Stool

Whether outfitting a commercial space or finding furniture for your home bar, bar stools are essential to your setup. Choosing a suitable bar stool may seem straightforward, but it’s more than just picking a seat that looks stylish. The perfect bar stool seamlessly elevates the aesthetic and comfort of your space.

If you’re asking yourself, “Which bar stools should I buy?” use our guide to help you find the ideal seating option for your space.

Which Bar Stool Should I Buy? Different Types of Bar Stools

The type of bar stool you should buy depends on your specific needs and aesthetic preferences. Traditional backless stools are minimalist and easy to tuck away but may lack comfort for extended sitting.

High back stools offer more support, and swivel options add flexibility to seating arrangements. Adjustable-height stools are versatile and can fit different counter heights, while armrests add extra comfort but may limit how close the stool can get to the counter.

Upholstered stools offer a plush seat but may be challenging to clean. Material choices range from wood for a rustic or traditional look to metal for an industrial or modern style. Consider the balance of comfort, functionality, and design that suits your space and lifestyle.

Curved Bucket Bar Stool

High Back Bar Stools

High back bar stools offer superior support and comfort, making them ideal for extended periods of sitting. They often feature cushioned or upholstered backs and come in various styles, from contemporary to traditional. These stools are a popular choice for residential and commercial settings.

The Curved Bucket Bar Stool offers ultimate comfort with its tall, cushioned, curved back. Built with a durable, commercial-grade base, it’s designed to withstand heavy use in bars and restaurants. You can easily customize it to fit your space with an array of fabric and vinyl choices, plus various base options.

Backless Wooden Bar Stool

Backless Bar Stools

Backless bar stools offer a sleek, minimalist look that easily tucks under counters for space-saving convenience. Ideal for casual settings or spaces where people won’t be sitting for extended periods, these stools come in various materials and designs, providing versatility in residential and commercial environments.

The Backless Wooden Bar Stool, crafted from European beech wood, blends durability and style. Available in mahogany, walnut, or cherry, it features a padded seat for comfort and can endure heavy-duty commercial use. Customize with swivel, nailhead trim, and upholstery options, and choose between standard 30" or counter 24" height models.

Tufted Mid Height Bucket Stool

Swivel Bar Stools

Swivel bar stools are a popular choice for both home and commercial settings. These stools come with a rotating seat, allowing you to turn easily without moving the entire stool. This feature can be useful in busy or cramped spaces where you might need to turn frequently to engage with people or activities around you.

Many swivel stools also come with a backrest and armrests for added comfort, although backless options are also available if you prefer a minimalist design.

The Tufted Mid Height Bucket Stool offers a blend of sophistication and versatility. It provides comfort and flair, a swiveling feature, and a stylish tufted back. Ideal for various settings, from homes to commercial venues, it boasts customizable upholstery options in fabric and vinyl. The stool is designed with a sturdy 5-point base and includes a ring footrest for added stability and comfort.

Industrial Style Bar Stool

Adjustable Bar Stools

If versatility is a priority, consider adjustable bar stools. These stools have a hydraulic or manual mechanism that allows you to change the seat’s height. This feature makes them functional for various uses and locations, from the breakfast counter to the home bar.

They are also an excellent option for spaces used by people of different heights, like a communal kitchen or a co-working space. The adjustable height feature often comes in sleek, modern designs, adding a contemporary flair to your environment.

The Industrial Style Bar Stool combines rugged steel construction with vintage flair. An adjustable seat height ranging from 26” to 33” offers flexible seating options for counter and bar heights. Its gunmetal finish adds a rustic touch, making it an excellent choice for homes, restaurants, or bars.

Miles Dining Chair and Bar Stool

Stationary Bar Stools

Stationary bar stools are traditional, fixed-height stools that offer stability and sturdiness. What they lack in features like swiveling or height adjustment, they make up for in durability and craftsmanship. These stools are perfect for settings where the height of the seating surface will not change and where people won’t need to move around too much.

They often come in elegant designs that range from rustic wooden stools to chic, upholstered options. Stationary bar stools are a reliable choice for those who want to make a long-term investment in quality and style.

The Miles Dining Chair and Bar Stool seamlessly merge durability and style. Crafted from solid beech wood, it’s built to withstand heavy use, making it ideal for commercial and residential settings. The padded, fully upholstered seat and back provide comfort, while color and nail head trim options allow easy customization.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Bar Stool

When choosing a bar stool, consider the height relative to the bar or counter to ensure comfortable seating. Material quality is essential for durability, so decide between wood, metal, or upholstered seats based on your needs and style preferences.

Look for features like back support and footrests for added comfort, and consider whether you want swivel or stationary stools. The design should complement your existing décor, and easy assembly and maintenance can also influence your selection.

Determine the Right Height

As a general rule, the height of the stool seat should be 9” to 12” lower than the height of the counter. This allows for optimal leg room and a comfortable seating posture. If the stools are too tall or too short, it compromises the overall functionality and comfort.

There are typically two bar stool heights available: bar and counter height.

Counter-height stools usually range from 24” to 26” in seat height and are most suitable for kitchen counters or tables that are about 36” high. Bar-height stools, on the other hand, have seat heights between 28” and 30” and are designed for use with bars or tables that are 40” to 42” high.

Adjustable stools offer a flexible solution, allowing you to control the height that offers the best comfort. But if you opt for a stationary design, measuring your counter height accurately is crucial to finding the ideal bar stool for your space.

Consider the Style and Design

When selecting the style and design of your bar stools, consider your existing décor and ambiance. The aesthetic cohesion between your stools and the overall environment can make or break the visual harmony of a room.

For a minimalist setting, sleek stools with clean lines and little to no ornamentation will match the style. Classic or rustic interiors benefit from stools featuring ornate designs, carved wooden elements, or antique finishes.

Functional features like backrests, armrests, and cushioning should also be carefully considered based on how the stools will be used. For example, if your stools will be used for extended periods—during family meals or work-from-home days—features like padded seats, backrests, and armrests can improve comfort.

Social settings, like a sports bar or a kitchen that doubles as an entertainment area, might benefit from swivel stools. The rotating feature makes it easier for people to turn and engage in conversations, creating a more interactive atmosphere.

Design choices extend beyond aesthetics and impact the stool’s functionality and comfort. For instance, stools with armrests may not fit snugly under certain counters, limiting their suitability for smaller spaces. Stools with cushioning material or fabric upholstery require more upkeep, especially if the stools will be placed in areas where spills are frequent, such as a kitchen or restaurant.

Explore Material Options

The material the bar stool is made from impacts its aesthetic appeal, long-term durability, and the ease with which it can be maintained. Some common materials used to construct quality bar stools include:

Schoolhouse Bar Stool

Wooden Stools

Wooden bar stools offer a timeless, traditional appeal that can bring warmth and character to a space. They are often the go-to choice for rustic or farmhouse-style interiors. However, wood is susceptible to scratches, dings, and wear over time, especially softer wood.

Additionally, wooden stools may require periodic re-staining or sealing to maintain their appearance. They are generally more challenging to clean than metal or plastic stools, making them less ideal for areas prone to spills or heavy soiling.

The Schoolhouse Bar Stool combines durability and timeless design. Crafted from solid beechwood, it’s sturdy enough for commercial settings yet stylish for home use.

Available in mahogany, cherry, or walnut finishes, this stool easily complements various interiors, from Scandi-style to modern farmhouse.

Industrial Galvanized Bar Stool

Metal Stools

Metal bar stools often feature sleek, minimalist lines, making them an excellent fit for industrial or modern décors. One of the major advantages of metal stools is their durability; they are less likely to suffer damage from bumps and scrapes. They are also typically easier to clean—simply wipe down with a damp cloth.

However, metal stools often lack cushioning for comfortable long-term seating, although some designs incorporate padded seats or backrests to enhance their comfort.

The French-Inspired Industrial Galvanized Bar Stool blends vintage style with modern durability. Ideal for both commercial and residential settings, this stool adds character to any space. With six available finishes, including black, silver, gunmetal, red, clear coat, and white, you can easily match it to your existing décor.

Padded Bucket Bar Stool with Arms

Upholstered Stools

If comfort is high on your list of priorities, upholstered bar stools are an excellent choice. These stools often feature cushioning on the seat and backrest, wrapped in various materials like fabric or vinyl. This padding can make for a far more comfortable sitting experience, especially if seated for extended periods.

However, upholstery requires frequent cleaning to keep the material stain-free. Vinyl options can balance luxury and ease of cleaning, but these may also require periodic care to prevent cracking or fading.

The Padded Bucket Bar Stool with Arms offers both comfort and functionality. Its steel chrome ring base is sturdy, while the 360° swivel and adjustable height (24" to 30") add versatility. With three frame finishes and a selection of durable fabrics and vinyl, it's the perfect blend of comfort and style.

Tips for Buying Bar Stools Online

When buying bar stools online, start by checking customer reviews and ratings for insights on quality and comfort. Pay attention to the material and features listed in the product description.

Always confirm the dimensions, including width and depth, to ensure the stools fit in your space. Verify return and warranty policies in case the stools don’t meet your expectations. Order a single stool to assess its suitability before purchasing a complete set.

Check Return and Warranty Policies

Because you can’t ‘try-before-you-buy,’ ensure the company has a good return policy if the stool does not meet your expectations in terms of comfort, size, or color.

Warranty offers peace of mind, indicating that the manufacturer stands by the quality of their product. Always check the fine print to understand the duration and coverage of the warranty and the terms under which returns are accepted.

At Seats and Stools, your satisfaction is our priority. We offer a clear and straightforward return policy that gives you peace of mind when making a purchase. If you find that our products don’t meet your expectations, return them within seven days of delivery for a full refund, minus the shipping charges.

For a hassle-free return process, return the items with all parts and accessories in their original packaging. We recommend using UPS or FedEx for the return shipping and insuring the package for the purchase price.

Read Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are an invaluable resource for online shoppers. These firsthand testimonials provide insight into aspects of the product that may not be evident from the product description or images, such as comfort level, ease of assembly, and durability.

Understand Delivery and Assembly Terms

Being aware of the delivery and assembly terms when purchasing online is essential. At Seats and Stools, your stools are shipped directly to your home or business via Federal Express ground.

Assembly can range from simple, self-explanatory steps to complicated processes requiring professional assistance. Seats and Stools offers comprehensive, easy-to-follow instructions available as PDFs on our website.

Ready to Find Your Perfect Bar Stool?

Choosing the right bar stool isn’t just a purchase; it’s an investment in your space, comfort, and lifestyle. Whether you’re looking to outfit your kitchen, restaurant, or commercial venue, understanding the types, styles, materials, and other purchase considerations is key to finding the perfect stool.

Don’t settle for just any stool. Explore our selection to find the perfect bar stool that meets your requirements and complements your style.

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