7 Tips for Buying Bar Stools

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Are you opening a bar, or do you simply want to improve the look of your kitchen counter? There are many solid bar stools out there that will satisfy your needs. If you don’t know what to buy, our guide below should help you decide.

Wood Bar Stools

Consider the Height

You should consider the height of your counter or bar when buying bar stools. Ideally, there should be 10-12 inches between your bar stool seat and the top of your counter or bar. For example, if you have a 36-inch counter or bar, then you will need a 24- or 25-inch seat height bar stool. If you have a 48-inch-high counter or bar, then you should buy a 36-inch-tall bar stool. If the height and size of your bar or counter is unique, you can have a bar stool custom made for it. At an additional cost, some manufacturers will cut the legs of available bar stools to accommodate the height of any bar or counter. For example, if you need a bar stool that is 27 inches in height, then buy one that is 30 inches high or more and have it cut to 27-inch size.

Swivel Bar Stool


When it comes to swivels, there are generally two types – choosing one all depends on personal taste. The first is the regular swivel which provides 360 degree turning and works on most styles of bar stools. This is the only type that should be used on a backless swivel bar stool. The second type of swivel is the memory swivel. This type of swivel has a spring-loaded mechanism that allows the stool to return to the centre position when the person sitting on it gets off, providing a unique look. It also saves users from manually turning the stool to a central point. The memory swivel only turns approximately half way for people to get on and off it.

Backed or Backless?

Keep in mind that backless type bar stools are designed for short duration sitting. These type of bar stools come in a variety of seat choices and are available in either wood or metal. There are generally three types of backless bar stools: the standard round seat which has a smooth surface, the saddle dish which conforms to the body surface for added comfort, and the round cushion which has a wood base and comes with a padded cushion in the fabric of your choice.

Colorful Bar Stools

Style & Material

If you choose to buy bar stools with backs, then you will also find a variety of styles and makes from wood, metal and iron as well as the fashionable stainless-steel finish which is chosen by most designers. Wooden bar stools with backs come in Arrow Back, Wheat Sheaf, High Spindle back, the low curved back and the low spindle back. Wrought iron bar stools on the other hand, come with motif backs with your choice of design to fit your décor and lifestyle. These types are ideal for restaurants and bars.

Arm Rests

If you require a bar stool which provides total comfort, then buy the type that has a back and an arm as well. The arms provide additional comfort while eating or drinking. The only disadvantage of these kind of bar stools is that they would require additional space at the counter or bar. When you do buy bar stools with arms, then make sure that you consider turning space when installing them.

Blue Grey Bar Stools

Buying Tips

The following are some additional tips for buying barstools:

  • If you can, purchase bar stools in a store with good professional customer service people
  • Buy bar stools that are backed by individual factory warranties for your own peace of mind
  • Determine the number of bar stools you will need
  • When choosing between metal or wood, take note of their differences. Wooden stools have a warmer feel while metal ones are usually contemporary

We hope these tips help you decide on the barstool that’s right for your home. For more in home and design, follow our blog!

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