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How to choose the right bar stool

Selecting the perfect barstool can be quite overwhelming. If you’ve found yourself lost in the black hole of inspiration on Pinterest and your search for the perfect barstool is becoming overwhelming, then you’ve found yourself in the right place.

Here are the top eight factors to consider when looking to outfit your dining space with durable and stylish bar stools.

Counter of Bar stool?

First and foremost you need to measure your island or bar area. There are two heights of stool. For the most part, they are called counter stools and bar stools. Most kitchen islands and countertops are 90cm high.

That is the industry standard which means a that a counter stool is best at about 60cm - 70cm in height. Bars, like in restaurants or outdoor areas are usually 100cm in height and require a taller stool.


Size Matters

While a bigger bar stool means fewer stools at the bar at one time, it could also mean that each person stays longer and comes back more frequently. Choosing a smaller barstool is a great idea if you are looking for high seat turnover or if you want your bar to be a touchdown space while guests are waiting for a dinner table or a spot on the dance floor.

For smaller spaces, choose a barstool with a low back or even a backless barstool to reduce visual clutter. For larger spaces feel free to choose stools with higher backs

With or without a back

So without question the comfortable stool has a back on it. At least in my book. It’s so much more comfy to hang out at an island when you can lean back.


Commercial stools are designed to handle heavy use associated with restaurants, bars, and other public spaces. Commercial grade bar stools are available with similar options as residential stools, like swivel, backrests, or padding and upholstery.

If you intend to use your stools in a commercial setting, be sure to purchase commercial grade stools for durability and to insure that the manufacturer’s warranty will apply.

Wood or Metal?

Most bar stools and counter stool frames are either metal or wood. Metal options range from a rustic bronze finish to a modern-looked chromed steel finish. Wood stools can offer a more traditional look.

Crafted from select hardwoods, these stools come in a wide range of finish colors and even feature options like swivel and backrests. Determine if you prefer metal or wood styles to help narrow your choices.

Upholstery, Padding, Backrests, and Arms

Many people prefer a well-cushioned seat and comfortable backrest when relaxing for a meal or drink. We offer thousands of bar stool options with upholstery and backrests for the comfort-minded. From luxurious leather to modern microfiber, there are plenty of options to help you find the perfect match for your space.

In addition to backrests, some people also like to have arms on their stool for a comfortable and relaxing experience. We offer hundreds of styles with either metal, wood, or upholstered arms.

Swivel and Lift

Add to your bar stool’s functionality by choosing a model with a swivel seat, or adjustable height. Swivel bar stools are a favorite in public places and private homes for allowing you to easily turn in your chair.

Bar stools with an airlift lever, also called gas lift, under the seat allow for smooth adjustment of height, helping you find the most comfortable position for your stool. These features transform your stool from a stationary seat to one that offers expanded comfort and versatility.

Measure to fit

Measure the height from the floor to the top of your table, counter or bar top. This measurement is crucial to determine the correct and most comfortable bar stool height.

As a general rule, the right bar stool height is about 20cm - 30cm less than the height of the tabletop, counter or bar where they will be used.

Margaret Hirsch
Margaret Hirsch
Hirsch COO runs South Africa’s top independence appliance company that specialises in all appliances, electronics, furniture and bedding. They give the best deals and the best prices and everything is guaranteed.