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  • How to Choose the Right Bar Stool Height

    by Kimberly Que May 07, 2023 6 min read

    In this bar stool height guide, we'll help you identify the perfect bar stool height for your bar or dining area. Whether you're designing a new kitchen or revamping your existing bar, choosing the right bar stool height is crucial to ensure both comfort and functionality. From measuring your counter to understanding the differences between bar stools and counter stools, we've got you covered. There are various factors to consider, such as the height of your bar/counter, whether or not your stool has a backrest or arms, and the overall style of your space. You'll also want to know how to properly measure the seat height of your stool to ensure maximum comfort.

    Ideal Bar Stool Heights For Different Counter Heights

    Bar Stool vs Counter Stool vs Garden Stool Height

    Have you ever walked into a bar or kitchen and felt like the stools were too high or too low for the counter? It can be frustrating to try and enjoy your drink or meal when you're not comfortable in your seat — that's why it's important to choose the right bar or counter stool height relative to your counter or bar.

    Let's take a look at some common bar and counter heights and the ideal bar stool heights to match:

    Counter Height Bar Stool Height Bar Stool Type
    28-32 inches 18-23 inches Short/Garden Stool
    35-38 inches 24-27 inches Counter Stool
    41-43 inches 28-33 inches Bar Stool
    45-48 inches 34-37 inches Spectator/Extra-Tall Stool
    • Short or Garden Stools: 18-23" seat height. Best paired with counters or tables 28-32" tall.
    • Counter Stools: 24-27" seat height. Best paired with counters or tables 35-38" tall.
    • Bar Stools: 28-33" seat height. Best paired with counters or tables 41-43" tall.
    • Extra-Tall or Spectator Stools: 34-37" seat height. Best paired with counters or tables 45-48" tall.

    Difference Between Bar Stools and Counter Stools

    Counter stools are shorter than bar stools, perfect for counters that are 35-38 inches tall, while bar stools are taller, ideal for bars that are 41-43 inches tall. But it's not just about height! Bar stools also tend to have taller backrests and footrests to accommodate the taller bar height. Plus, some bar stools even come with adjustable height settings for added versatility. Essentially, counter stools are a subtype of regular bar stools with 5 inches shorter height.

    How Much Lower than the Counter Should Bar Stools Be?

    bar stool and counter height

    The seat height of the bar stool should be around 10 to 12 inches below the height of the bar table or countertop. This provides you a comfortable height while drinking or dining and also offers plenty of legroom. To find out the proper bar stool height for your counter overhang or bar, just take the height of your counter/bar and subtract 10-12 inches from it. That’s the height of the bar or counter stool you need. Lastly, keep in mind that different types of bar stools, such as adjustable height stools, may have different seat height ranges — be sure to measure and take note of the specific height ranges you need for your space.

    Shop for bar stools

    What are Common Heights for Bar Tables, Countertops, and Kitchen Islands?

    Here are some standard measurements and the matching height for counter stools and bar stools:

    • Bar tables: Standard bar tables are typically 42 inches in height. They require bar stools that are around 30 inches in height. That way, you can comfortably eat or drink without feeling like a contortionist.
    • Countertops: The standard height for a kitchen countertop is around 36 inches tall. They're best paired with counter stools that are around 25 inches in height. This will give you the perfect height to chop veggies or enjoy a quick snack without feeling like you're perched too high.
    • Kitchen islands: Since they typically have the same height as kitchen countertops at 36 inches, counter stools that are around 25 inches in height will also be your best bet for island seating.
    Counter stool heights

    How to Measure the Bar or Countertop Height

    It's a good idea to measure the height of your bar or countertop accurately, as this will help you choose the right height for bar stools or counter stools. Here’s how to do it:

    1. Use a measuring tape or ruler: Measure from the highest point of the countertop surface down to the ground, as some countertops may have an overhang that is lower than the highest point.
    2. Note down the final measurement: This measurement will be the height of your bar or countertop.
    how to measure your bar

    How to Measure Your Bar Stool Height

    When measuring the height of your bar stool, you should focus on the seat height rather than the overall height of the stool, which may include the backrest or armrests. Here's how to measure your bar stool height:

    1. Identify the seat of your bar stool: This is the top surface where you will actually be sitting. Ignore the backrest if there is one.
    2. Measure the distance from the floor to the top of the seat: This measurement is the seat height of your bar stool.
    how to measure bar stool height

    Different Types of Bar and Counter Stools

    From armless to adjustable, swivel to backless, there are a variety of bar stool options to suit your style and needs. Here are some of the most common types of bar and counter stools:

    • Armless Stools: These stools do not have armrests and are a great choice for smaller spaces. Since there are no armrests, these stools can more easily fit underneath overhangs and tabletops. Otherwise, stools with armrests would typically require more space and so the bar stool height should be on the lower end.
    • Backless Stools: These stools do not have a backrest and are a good choice for those who want a minimalist look. Backless stools are also great for spaces where you want to be able to tuck the stool completely under the counter or bar.
    • Swivel Stools: These stools have a rotating seat that allows you to easily turn in any direction. Swivel stools are a great choice for socializing and entertaining, as they make it easy to chat with friends and family.
    • Adjustable Stools: These stools have a height-adjustable feature that allows you to customize the height of the seat to match the height of your counter or bar. Adjustable stools can be a good option if you have a counter or bar with a unique height that is not standard, or if you want to have detailed control over the height of your bar stool.
    • Stools with Backrest: These stools have a backrest, which can provide added comfort and support while sitting. A bar stool with a backrest will have a larger footprint than one without, so know that it might not fit underneath your bar table or counter as neatly if at all.
    types of bar stools

    Tips for Buying the Right Height Bar Stool Online

    When shopping for bar stools online, you should keep these tips in mind to ensure that you choose the right height and style for your space:

    1. Know your required seat height: Be sure to check the seat height of the stool, which is the measurement from the floor to the top of the seat — this is the key measurement to consider when choosing a comfortable stool.
    2. Consider the bar stool’s overall height: The overall height of the stool may be taller than the seat height due to the presence of a backrest or armrest. Make sure to consider the overall height when measuring your space for both comfort and aesthetics relative to your bar table or counter.
    3. Consider the materials: Bar stools can be made from a variety of materials, including metal, wood, plastic, and upholstered fabrics. Consider the durability, maintenance, and style of each material as you shop around.
    4. Look for a good return policy: When shopping online, it's essential to have the option to return the product if it doesn't meet your expectations. Look for a seller with a good return policy, especially if you are unsure about the size or style of the stool you want to purchase.
    5. Compare prices (including shipping): Don't break the bank trying to find the perfect stool for your home bar or kitchen counter! Be a savvy shopper and compare prices across different sellers. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of shipping when making your decision.
    shop for counter stools

    By following the tips in this bar stool height guide, you’ll be able to choose the right bar stool height that can make a big difference in the comfort and functionality of your home. At FROY, we offer a range of high-quality bar stools in various styles and sizes to suit your needs. Browse our latest selection today to shop for bar stools that will take your space to the next level.

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