Complete Guide to Picking the Perfect Bar Stools

Complete Guide to Picking the Perfect Bar Stools

Posted by Chloe Harris on 11th Mar 2021

With the rising popularity of dining counters and breakfast bars, bar stools are becoming a kitchen staple. There’s a wide array of bar stool choices out there, and it’s easy to get lost if you’re not specific with what you want before shopping.

We talked to some interior designers, and they gave these tips for picking the perfect bar stools for you:

Calculate Desired Height

A bar stool that is too high or too short will look disproportionate to the surrounding space. It will also make your experience a little less comfortable.

The general rule is that the seat must be 9 to 12 inches from the bottom of the table, counter, or island when you slide them under it.

Counter stools with a height of 24 to 26 inchess are best paired with surfaces that rise 36”, which is the standard kitchen counters height.

At 30”, bar tools will complement a standard bar that is 42” high.

Decide on the Design

“Bar stools are available in a wide variety of styles. Do you need a backrest, armrests, or footrests? Choose something that will make you comfortable while ensuring that it complements the style of the space.”, reminds Luke Wood, operations manager for Monkeyfoodz.


Backless bar stools are ideal if you’re keen on saving spaces and are compatible with minimalist-inspired bars and kitchens. However, it may not be able to provide support when sitting too long.

With Arms

These are recommended if you plan to sit on the stool often or for extended periods. Just make the arms will allow the seats to slide under the counter.


A swivel function allows you to conveniently change directions, especially because bar stools tend to be heavy. However, it may not be the best option if there are young children in your household.


Cushioned styles are great if you spend a lot of time on the kitchen counter. According to a study, food tends to be more delicious when we eat while seated.

If this is also your main dining area, upholstery can add an element of formality to it.

How Many Bar Stools Do You Need

Get the length of your countertop to determine the number of bar stool you should buy. Ideally, the stool must stand at least 21” to 24” away from each other, with the centres of each stool 26” to 30” apart. This way, you can prevent elbowing the person next to you.

Frame Materials

Whichever style you’re looking for, it’s crucial to be extremely particular with the material. There are three common material options for bar stool, and each comes with pros and cons.


Wooden bar stools can flatter almost any theme. They’re sturdy and can last for years with proper maintenance. If you’re going to put them outdoors, it’s advised to look for stools made of teak, acacia, eucalyptus, or any other wood resistant to weather and insects.


The sleek silhouette of metal bar stools can suit modern or industrial aesthetics and small spaces. Here's how to make your kitchen trendy in 2021.

They need to be treated to inhibit rusting. Given the thermal qualities of metal, you need to cushion the seat, especially if the environment is particularly hot or cold.

Rattan and Wicker

These materials have a casual appeal that makes them popular in sunrooms, decks, patios, and gardens. They’re lightweight, which is ideal for parties and gatherings. However, don’t soak them under in the rain or sun unless you’re getting all-weather stools.

Risenn is an Australian-owned and operated provider of designer furniture. Our catalogue is made up of products that reflect our passion of quality, function, and design. Check out our products now!