Features a wooden back and legs, which flare out at the bottom to give more sturdiness, and faux leather upholstery in black. Has a footrest for added comfort. The seat swivels 360 degrees. Assembly process is relatively simple.
The cushioned foam seat is not very wide.
Basic yet attractive — showcases a contrasting white frame and gray upholstered seat with 29-inch height. Easy to assemble. Comes in a set of 2 stools.
Rare reports of stitching coming loose after a short time and cushion sagging in the middle.
Features a unique design with a rich bronze finish and swivel motion. Has a spacious, soft, upholstered seat that accommodates larger individuals. Easy to assemble.
The design may be a bit bulky for smaller spaces, and you get only 1 stool for the price.
Constructed with waterproof and rust-proof metal. Seat height is 24 inches; fits most spaces. Has a footrest, rubber feet on the bottom, and are stackable. For use indoors or outdoors. Comes in a set of 2 in multiple colors. No assembly required.
Several customers felt that the color they received was inaccurate from the online image.
A set of 2 stools that adjust about 9 inches with a hydraulic mechanism. Have a swivel chrome frame with a contemporary look. Comes at a mid-range price.
The seats are at an angle that can't be adjusted, and some testers commented that this curve-like design is uncomfortable.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
There’s something classic yet edgy about bar stools, especially when they’re a seating option in your home. Whether you have a high-top table or an enviable home bar, you should invest in bar stools that exude style.
Bar stools have made great strides since their days as the go-to, wobbly fixture in clubs and restaurants. They’ve adopted curvaceous features, elegant chair backs, and even swivel capabilities. Basically, if you’re looking for a bar stool to fit into your design vision, you’ll probably find exactly what you have in mind.
With so many bar stools now on the market, where do you begin? Pull up a chair (no pun intended) and give our buying guide a read.
If you’re buying bar stools, it’s because you need seating to accompany tables or counters. To get your search on the right track, start by measuring the height from the floor to the bottom of the countertop (not the top of it). Yes, it sounds strange, but what you’re measuring is the clearance between the seat and the counter. After all, bar stools measure an average of 30 inches tall. Measuring is to ensure you don’t choose stools that are too tall, which could prove uncomfortable — or impossible — for guests to use to sit at the counter.
Take a good look around your room and think about its theme. Bar stools might not be an exact match for a bistro table, kitchen island, or bar counter, but they should complement the overall tone of the room.
Traditional bar stools feature skinny legs and a plain, flat seat, a design that is classic and versatile enough to work with most décor. If you’re looking for a more coordinated look, modern designs featuring metal, teak, upholstery, or leather might suit the room better.
Classic bar stool seats are round, which accommodates individuals of all shapes and sizes. There are also oval, rectangular, and square seats, though these less traditional shapes come with their own considerations.
Oval bar stool seats have great curb appeal, but they might be too tapered on the sides for some occupants.
Rectangular stools often fit well beneath a counter when they’re not in use, however they might be too narrow to sit in comfortably.
Square stools have a classic seat shape, though if they’re too small, only kids will enjoy sitting on them.
Bar stools are sold individually, as pairs, and in sets of four or more. The quantity doesn’t always determine the price, so it can be challenging to budget for the purchase. A pair of sleek, ultra-modern stools from a designer brand might cost top dollar, whereas you can buy a set of four traditional bar stools for the same price or less.
Since you’ll be using your bar stools for meals or entertaining, comfortable seats are a top priority. Many styles have cushioning with a polyfill pillow top or memory foam for maximum comfort. While soft seats can be appealing, keep in mind the seats compress more easily than firmer ones, so there’s a good chance you’ll be more supported by a firmer cushion.
The vast majority of bar stools have the signature four legs, which are usually further stabilized by pieces of wood, called stretchers, connecting them horizontally. There are also some stools with a single leg, such as those that resemble barbershop seats.
Legs are often an overlooked feature in bar stools, but more than anything they can make or break the overall design. Well-made stools have solid, stable legs that don’t wobble or tilt. Of course, this also comes down to making sure all the pieces are maintained with regular tightening, especially if you assembled the stools yourself.
Classic bar stools are backless, but if you really want backs, you have plenty of styles to consider. There are stools with ultra-low backs, which at only a few inches resemble an outer lip around the back of the seat. There are also mid- and high-back stools, though they’re more commonly seen in outdoor or patio bar stools.
It’s no surprise that bar stools are furniture used in social spaces. Therefore, swiveling is an attractive feature for being able to converse in all directions. Obviously, the addition of a mechanical feature drives up the price of the bar stools, but it makes it infinitely easier to turn to face others. Many swiveling stools also feature adjustable height, so if you’re in the market for the most accommodating seating, these are the ones to consider.
Bar stools cost anywhere from $25 to $250 apiece, which mostly depends on the ornateness of the design.
Inexpensive: Entry-level bar stools cost between $25 and $50 each. These include basic wood or metal stools that are often sold in pairs or sets of four. Quality is modest in these, so you’ll probably end up replacing them in a few years.
Mid-range: If you’d like to invest in bar stools that will withstand the test of time, expect to spend $75 to $125 apiece. Stools in this range are more stable and feature quality seat cushioning.
Expensive: High-end bar stools cost $150 apiece and more. Usually, they’re sold individually. If you need to purchase several of them, budget $1,000 or more for a full set.
Buy extra stools. If you happen to break one of your stools, or you expect extra guests, it’s always helpful to have extra bar stools on hand so everyone has a seat.
Reupholster the seats. When it’s time to change the décor, you don’t need to toss your old bar stools. Get them reupholstered by a pro for a fresh, custom look.
Be prepared to assemble the stools. It’s not unusual for bar stools to arrive in pieces, so get ready to spend some time putting them together. You’ll probably need some basic tools on hand, such as flathead and Phillips screwdrivers.
Give the bartender a seat. Yes, even if you’re behind your home bar, you’re entitled to take a seat while hosting your guests. Order an extra bar stool for yourself.
We couldn’t fit all the quality bar stools in our list, so we have a couple more options for you. If you’re looking for a modern design, we like the 30-inch Flash Furniture Backless Bar Stools. They’re available in fun colors like teal, purple, and green, and the feet have floor glides to facilitate smooth movement across wood or linoleum surfaces. You’ll love this 4-pack of ultra-durable, stackable, powder-coated stools that can be used indoors or out.
And there’s a lot to love about the Christopher Knight Home Ogden Bar Stools. This cozy pair of mid-back stools invite you to lounge at the kitchen island. Neutral beige seats and silver stud detail complement most kitchen décor, including stainless steel appliances. Once you take a seat in these, you’ll know exactly why people refer to the kitchen as the most popular room in the home.
Q. I’m not a big fan of most bar stools I see, but I fell in love with a set that comes with a table I don’t need. What should I do?
A. Many consumers feel a cost-effective approach is to simply buy the set and sell or donate the table you won’t be using. Another option is to put the table in storage and save it in case you need more surfaces when hosting a party. Conversely, if the bar table and stools seem like a deal that’s too good to be true, it might be. The stools might be unstable or poor quality, and as with any furniture purchase, you get what you pay for.
Q. Can I use outdoor bar stools indoors?
A. Depending on your décor, it might be a good idea. Many outdoor bar stools are incredibly well made since they’re weatherproof, so they’ll likely last for years indoors. With that said, you’ll come across several styles of metal outdoor bar stools. They might work well in a home with a rustic theme or a sunroom, but they could clash with the décor in other rooms.
Q. Should I get adjustable bar stools?
A. It’s definitely a desirable feature to accommodate family members and friends of different heights. Some people also opt for adjustable stools that can be raised for those who have trouble getting in and out of low seats. While they cost a bit more, adjustable stools are probably the most accommodating options.