Bar Stool Buying Guide
Measure Your Counter Height
If you don’t go the adjustable height bar stool route, your bar stools need to match your bar’s height so guests can comfortably grab drinks and rest their arms on the bar. For a standard bar, you can safely choose bar height stools. However, if your bar area is a kitchen counter or at that height, bar height stools are too tall, and you should go with counter stools instead. Shorter stools are uncommon for home bars, unless of course you’re setting up a kids’ section off to the side. Measure the distance between your floor and your counter. Then check out our Bar Stool Height Guide to find the perfect dimensions for your bar seating.
Match Details to Your Style
Choosing bar seating that fits the style of your home ensures that the bar is a cohesive addition, and that each room in your home flows naturally into the next. Bar stools made primarily of wood fit well into rustic style homes, while metal or plastic are common materials for contemporary bar stools, which also often use lines in a unique way. You may want to extend it even further, and choose a style that fits well with both the area and the type of home, e.g. coastal style grey bar stools for a home by the beach or contemporary metal bar stools for a modern, high-rise apartment. For more tips on matching your seating to your decor, read our Bar Furniture Buying Guide.
Look for Convenient Features
Simple features often make all the difference when it comes to keeping your guests comfortable. Adjustable height seats aren’t just for the barber shop anymore, as adjustable height bar stools accommodate guests of any height. Considering how tall bar stools can be, a footrest adds a nice touch so people have somewhere to place their feet. Swivel bar stools have long been a fixture at many bars, making it easy for guests to turn around and talk among themselves at your home bar. Learn more about How to Choose the Right Swivel Bar Stool.
Balance Back Height for Comfort and Aesthetic
What type of back you choose for your bar stools depends on the look and the level of comfort you want. Backless bar stools are a popular choice, particularly when it comes to swivel bar stools. If you want stools that offer some degree of back support, low-back and high-back bar stools are both options, with low-back stools offering some back support while being similar in appearance to backless bar stools, and high-back bar stools offering the most support.
Choose Durable Seating Materials
You don’t want to take your choice of seating material lightly, because if you make the right choice, you’re going to want to spend plenty of time sitting there. Wood is a common material for bar stool frames and seats, offering a traditional look and durability. Leather bar stools emphasize comfort and have a luxurious appearance. Plastic and metal bar stools fit the modern aesthetic and are another durable option. Whatever you choose, make sure you know how to clean it in case of spills. Our guide to the Best Counter Stool Upholstery Materials will help you find the best bar stools for your lifestyle.
Complement Your Color Palette
The majority of the bar stools out there are solid colors, and for good reason, as they fit a variety of rooms and blend into your bar without overpowering it. However, make sure to check out some different color patterns as well, because you may find the perfect pattern to enhance your home bar. If you want to add an eye-catching element, a wild print pattern could be just what you need to get people’s attention.
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