Choosing the Right Bar Stool Height

Choosing the right bar stool height should be an exciting experience, not a difficult task. After all, chances are you’re probably buying stools for what will be one of the most social and fun spots in your home! There are many design options, so consideration of your bar space and proper height measurement before you go shopping are an absolute must. Here’s a simple guide to finding bar stools you’ll love – ones that don’t fall short, or sit too high.


Proper Height Measurement

Although the excitement of new bar stools may quickly propel you to The Amish Craftsman, you’ll need to do a quick height measurement before you’re on your way.While tables, islands, and bar heights are mostly standard, it’s always a good idea to measure just to ensure you get the exact height. For example, you may be calling your table a “bar table” but it may actually be something closer to bar height. You just don’t know until you measure, so it’s always better to err on the safe side. Once you know the height of your surface, it’s time to determine the best height for your bar stools. If your surface height is between 35 to 39 inches, then go for a seat ranging from 24-26 inches. If your surface height is a bit taller, such as that of a counter around 41-43 inches, then go for a bar stool range of 28 to 30 inches. To avoid banging your knees, typically, aim for 12 inches of space between the chair seat and the bottom of the counter or table surface.


Consider Their Location

Next, you’ll want to think about where these bar stools are actually going to be placed. Whether your bar stools are used at the kitchen counter or home bar, their location should be an integral factor when choosing the design. While both locations are typically casual, you may find that a basement bar calls for stools that are a little more playful or simplistic than a breakfast bar or nook in a kitchen. Also, counter tops tend to be higher than a typical bar, so keep that in mind when making your decision. Bar tables, bar areas, and counter seating all have unique uses, so carefully consider the options that seem most appropriate depending on your needs.


Matching the correct seat height to your surface is extremely important, yet it won’t make any difference if you can’t even get to the seat! Cramming too many stools in one spot is something that many overzealous stool buyers find themselves doing. You can avoid overcrowding by making sure space is adequate between bar stools. A good rule of thumb is between 26 to 30 inches from the center of one stool to the next. Note: you may need more spacing if you decide on swivel stools or bulky stools with arms.

Stool Design Options

Finally, the fun part! After all that measuring and spacing considering, you finally get to browse the bar stool showroom and choose a design you love. Believe it or not, there will be many! So often when we think of bar stools, the backless kind come to mind. Yet, there are numerous other stool designs that you may find better fit your needs and spacing options.

Swivel bar stools provide both a contemporary edge and extreme comfort to your home bar or kitchen counter. These are a great option if your space allows room for the extra movement these types of bar stools deliver. Of course, you can’t go wrong with saddle bar stools for a relaxed and streamlined style. These typically run a little shorter than other types of bar stools, so be sure to consider that feature before purchasing. And, stationary bar stools always work as a great option when space is of the essence. These typically come either with a supportive back or as backless options. With so many different styles, don’t be afraid to mix and match for a fun and fresh look!

What kind of bar stools do you have? Share with us in the comments the design you use at your kitchen counter or bar table. 

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