How to choose your perfect kitchen bar stools

Wooden Kitchen Stools and Chairs

Kitchen Stools and Chairs

The perfect perch for everything from informal get-togethers to working on a high surface, the bar stool is a versatile piece of kit. But getting the perfect bar stool for you means understanding what you need…

Bar stool or kitchen bar stools?

First, you need to make sure you are looking at the right stool. In terms of definition, a bar stool is higher than the other. On a kitchen bar stool, you tend to use it to fully sit at the breakfast bar whereas a bar stool is taller, and perfect for perching on at a bar too.


And this means it is important to measure the minimum and maximum height you need from a bar stool. Buy ones too small, and your elbows will be holding you up on the bar, too tall and you will be towering over it.

Most island heights are between 52 and 78cm. Bar stools tend to be taller, starting at 74cm with the tallest being around 82cm.


Now that you have the basics in place, you need to look at what features the bar stool offers;

  • Swivel – a bar stool that swivels can make getting on and off much easier. This is personal preference!

Lonsdale Vintage Leather Bar Stool

  • Adjustable – not all bar stools are adjustable and so if you choose one that isn’t, you need to be uber-confident you have your measurements spot on.
  • Back and/or feet rest – there are various styles of bar stool. A bar stool with a backrest can make sitting on them comfier for longer but there is no denying that a bar stool with a footrest offers the most comfort. Consider whether you want a bar stool with armrests too.

Union Button Back Bar Stool

  • Material – from wooden bar stools to metal, to leather upholstered to fabric bar stools, there is a growing range of materials and fabrics to choose from. The metal leg structure is perfect if you are looking for an industrial style bar stool to your kitchen/diner. Wooden stools, including oak bar stools, are some of the most versatile pieces of furniture you will ever buy. They last a lifetime and longer.

Light Raw Light Oak Tall Stool

  • Upholstered or not – the bar stool doesn’t have to be devoid of character. For easy-to-keep clean options, leather upholstered bar stools are a great move – especially in a room where there’s also a reclaimed wood dining table. For an extra sense of plushness, opt for fabric bar stools. For a lighter, less formal look rattan bar stools are a great alternative and look good at an inside and outside bar area too.

Luxe Day Fabric Barstool

    One final point…

    There is no denying that a bar stool or two is the perfect additional detail and focal point to a room. But when it comes to the width of the stool, you need to choose with care. Anything with armrests tend to be slightly wider and so if you don’t have the width, they might look a bit squashed together.

    To keep it looking cool and elegant, make sure you have plenty of width so that the bar stools aren’t bunched together.