How to Choose the Right Bar Stool

When the time comes to add some bar stools to your counter, it is crucial that you are aware of some facts that will help you make the right purchase. This article is for you if you are looking to spice up your kitchen. Besides making your place look more attractive, these stools also tend to attract impatient people to linger around the kitchen for longer. One question that people ask very frequently is, “how tall should bar stools be?” But what they should be asking is, “What bar stool height do I need?” so keep reading to find out.

How to Measure Bar Stools

There is no point in having a gorgeous bar stool if it doesn’t fit under the counter. By measuring your countertop, you can find the right size for your barstool. Another essential thing to keep in mind is the legroom, so you don’t feel uncomfortable while sitting.

A standard counter is around 34–36 inches tall. When you shop for stools, make sure to assess the seat’s height. Your seat should have a 9–11 inch gap measured from the bottom of the countertop. Anything higher or lower will feel uncomfortable and look unbalanced.

Even for a countertop table that is 40–42 inches tall, you will need bar stools that have a seat height about 9–11 inches from the top of the bar. This is crucial no matter the type of table you put the stools under; always adjust and maintain this gap for the best outcome.

Some stools are labelled ‘bar height’ or ‘counter height,’ but these are not guaranteed to fit your space. Your bar or counter measurements could be outside the traditional range, so it is particularly important to measure how tall the bar stool should be for you.

For a flexible alternative, choose an adjustable-height bar stool. They are outfitted with hydraulic pumps that move the seat up or down to create comfortable seating for all.

After the height is taken care of, you need to measure your counter or bar’s width to determine how many stools you need. You will have to leave enough room between each bar stool so you or your guest can sit comfortably without feeling crowded and get up with ease. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 6 inches between each stool. If your stools swivel or have arms, you should allow at least 8 or 10 inches between them.

Ultimate Bar Stool Size Guide

Best Suitable ForBar Stool HeightBar/Countertop Height
Countertop/Kitchen Counter26-26 Inch36 Inch
Kitchen Counter/Bar30 Inch42 Inch
Bar/Sports Club/Game Room34-36 Inch48 Inch

Types of Bar Stool

Now that we have covered your bar stool measurements, we can move on to the next part, which is the Type. Here, we break down the three most common bar stool types and how to choose between them.

Counter Stools


At 24-26” high, counter stools pair best with surfaces that are 36” off the ground. This is the standard height of kitchen counters and islands, so if you are looking to buy stools for your kitchen counter, this is the type you should go for.

Classic Bar Stools


Standard bars are around 42” high, so bar stools with a height of 30” are perfect if you are looking to add some stools to your bar. These measurements are very similar to most bars and restaurants.

Extra Tall Bar Stools


If your surface is extremely high as 48’’ or more, you should go for an extra-tall style bar stool as these typically measure around 34-36”. Extra-tall bar stools are also the best option for occasions such as viewing parties where you would need to watch an event on TV.

Style of The Stool

There are many different options to fit the style of your stool with your kitchen.

Backless Bar Stool


A backless bar stool is a very simple and minimalistic option that you can find in most kitchens. The best part about these stools is that they prevent your kitchen from looking too crowded, and you can quickly get in and out of this stool. Backless bar stools are commonly made from metal, wood, and acrylic, so note that these might not be the most comfortable option to sit on for a long time but more suitable for a quick session.

Bar Stool with Arm Rests


Bar stools with armrests are perfect if you like to prioritize comfort. Armrests create more support than the normal backless stools and will let you easily chill in them for a long time. The only downside is that they tend to be wider and take up more space, which could mean you can’t fit too many in one place.

Upholstered Seat Bar Stool


Upholstered seats are a luxurious option to choose if your family members like to eat and spend time at your kitchen counter. They are very comfortable and also make your whole kitchen look more homely and welcoming.

Swivel Bar Stool


Swivel Bar Stools makes it super easy for you and your guests to get in and out of the stool. These bar stools can be heavy, so if you choose to get one with the swivel function, you can save everyone a lot of effort. It also makes it very easy to have conversations without struggling to make eye contact.


This concludes the essential points to note before you make your purchase for the right bar stool. With the wide variety of options to pick from, it can seem a bit difficult to choose, but we believe that this article should be a handy guide for anyone that wants to make the most informed decision whether you buy online or in-store. Some of the best places to get you bar stool is Casual Dining & Bat Stools, Holland Bar Stool Co or even at Home Depot. Browsing through online catalogues can also be a viable option if you are not looking to go through the physical stores as long as you have all the measurements correct.

Inspired Kitchen Pro