Bar stools are can be as beautiful as they are functional in the right setting and can work well in many different rooms in your home like your kitchen, dining room, or even your office. Finding the perfect bar stool for your needs isn’t as straightforward as picking out a style you like. There are many other things to consider when purchasing a bar stool such as size, features, when to consider going backless, do you need them to swivel? How many do you need to fit in your space and not have your family or guests feel cramped? These are all important things to consider when purchasing a bar stool. Below we have lined out some of the most important things to consider when shopping for your ideal bar stool!
Size – Counter Height? Bar Height?
Size matters when you are considering what bar stool to buy and it all starts with the measurements of your table, counter or bar’s height. Below we have included a simple height guide so base your needs off of. Bars heights average around 40”-42”. If this looks about right you want the bar height stool which has a seat height of 30”. Ideally, you want a separation of 10-12” between the seat height and the bar height so that your family and guests have plenty of room to actually sit with their legs under the bar.
Counter height tables are generally 36” high, apply named as it’s the height of a typical kitchen counter. These surfaces usually require a stool height between 24”-26” which is a typical seat height on a counter height stool. (Again maintaining that ideal 10-12” gap. You always want to be sure of adequate leg room as well finding the right balance so your family and guests don’t feel scrunched together is important, in the next section we layout a nice guideline for spacing.
Bar Stool Placement – Where? & How Many?
Adequate placement of your bar stools is very important to the overall look of your room as well as the comfort of your family and guests. Take a good measurement of the length of your bar space and divide that number (in inches) by 24”. This number will be the maximum number of bar stools for your space. You want a minimum of 24” of counter space for each stool, if your bar stools have arms you may want to consider expanding that to 30” so there is room to get in and out of the stools without squishing by people.
Ensure that your bar stools are well made if they are going to be seeing a lot of use. You want a durable frame with stain resistant upholstery, especially if these are going to be used by children. If you plan on having your bar stools outside or in the sun it's important to look for a metal framed bar stool, or durable wooden one made from kiln dried hardwood. Both of these will stand up much better to the elements, and the changes in light, temperature, and humidity.
Bar Stool Styles
These days there are more styles of bar stools than there are adequate names FOR the different styles. The new looks can range from classic pub style look and feel to a more modern bistro design. Think about what you want your space to look like, many aspects of your bar stools will have a significant effect on it such as the shape, finish, upholstery and frame design.
Metal- Metal bar stools are designed to be sturdy and have a better longevity than some of your other options, though that is not always the case. Metal bar stools tend to lean toward the modern/contemporary end of things, so if that’s the style you are going for you may want to keep an eye out for a nice metal bar stool. Our bar stools come in a wide range of finishes from brushed nickel, or copper to a more industrial steel sort of look.
Wood - Wooden bar stool can vary wildly in design, durability and finish. Wood is one of the more versatile types of bar stool you are going to find since there is so much variety each bar stool can be used in a variety of different applications. Finishes vary from lighter woods to the deep espresso or ebony finish and can have similar or contrasting upholstery to create your desired look.
Upholstery - Upholstery is a great way to add comfort and style to your bar stools. If your guests or family are going to be spending a lot of time in the bar stool a plush cushion could be the difference between a fun time, and a sore back. The upholstery, whether you opt for fabric, leather, or polyester, one thing is for sure your upholstery should be easy to clean and maintain so you don't have to stress about it overly much. If ease of cleaning is a big concern for you, look for something with leather or polyester upholstery, as they tend to be the most stain resistant within our collection.
Bar Stool Features - Swivel, Backless, Arms
The function and features of your bar stools should also be given due consideration. Do you want your bar stools to swivel? Do you want them to have arms or a back to them? Most of this depends on the overall look you are going for in your room and who will be sitting in it.
Swivel- Swiveling bar stools can be a great convenience to get in and out of if your space is limited. Ideally, you want your bar stools to swivel back toward their front facing position after the person has gotten out of it. It is important to note, swiveling bar stools can be an issue for older people who have issues with mobility or small children who aren't strong enough to turn them around, so take this into consideration when looking at this feature.
Back or Backless - This feature depends a lot on your goal for your room. If you are opting for comfort of your guests you may want to consider bar stools that have a back, though you will likely need to increase the room between them so there is room to get in and out of them without having to be comfortable. Backless bar stools are much lighter and easier to move, so if your space is going to have a lot of movement to it backless may be the way to go for you. Backless bar stools also present a cleaner and less cluttered sight line in your space as they fit comfortably under your counter which is an important consideration when designing your room.
Arms or no Arms- Arms are strictly a comfort and convenience feature. They can add a nice look to your space if well considered. You may run into problems with space and your stools not fitting underneath, or as close to your counter/bar as you might like, so it is important to keep that in mind when considering whether or not you want arms on your bar stools.
We carry bar stools from well-known and respected manufacturers such as Hillsdale Furniture, and Leggett & Platt. These companies have created a collection in several varying styles and at every price point to ensure that their collections have everything thing you might want, need or desire.
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Many of our bar stools come in two different heights. Counter height which has a seat at about 26" height, and bar height, which raises the seat up to 30" in height. Check out our selection and see which bar stool fits your decor perfectly!