Whether they are gathered cozily around your kitchen counter or waiting for the next round of games in your game room, bar stools are valuable and versatile furniture pieces. Bar stools can add style and comfort to your home with the added bonus of being easily moved around to accommodate today’s open concept floor plans.
Before you purchase bar stools for your home, there is some basic information to consider.
Short: Seat height is generally 23 inches or less
Counter: Seat height is 24-27 inches.
Bar: Seat height is 28-33 inches.
Tall: Seat height is 34-40 inches.
If you’re not sure about your preferred stool height or you want to be able to adjust it depending on the person and the table, you can get an adjustable stool. With a hydraulic pump, you can move the seat up and down to fit whatever your current situation is.
Counter or Table Height Stools
Break out your tape measure and calculate the height of the counter or table where you want to place your bar stools. A good rule of thumb is to have 9 to 13 inches between the seat of the stool and the bottom of your counter or table so most people will be able to sit comfortably when the stool is nestled up to the counter.
Full back: Recommended if you and your guests plan to spend some time on your bar stools. If you’ve ever balanced precariously on a backless stool for a while, you know exactly why you want a full back for more support.
Low back: Low back stools won’t interfere with sight lines like a full back stool can. You may also get a little support from them.
Backless: Backless stools are great space savers but do not lend themselves to extended comfort.
CHILDREN USING STOOLS
Whether it makes them feel more like an adult or they just like the ability to see things from a different perspective, children seem to be incredibly attracted to bar stools. If you have children, be sure to get stools with a sturdy foundation that won’t easily tip over. A stool with four legs, a high back and a footrest is ideal for your pint-sized people.
If you’re working with a small space, you may want to consider backless stools or stools that can be stacked and easily moved for storage.
TO CUSHION YOUR STOOL OR NOT
Upholstered bar chairs can add a great deal of comfort to your sitting experience. If you are going to buy upholstered bar stools or chairs, you will want to be sure the fabric is either neutral or fits nicely into the decorating scheme of the area they will be placed in.
If you would rather keep your decorating options more open, you can buy cushions to tie on to your stools. This is definitely a great option for stools that are in high-spill areas or if you want to be able to quickly and inexpensively change the look of your stools.
This is not only a consideration for short people though it seems we vertically-challenged folks have strong opinions about the need for a footrest. If you have ever been in a chair with your feet dangling wildly as you instinctively search for a place to rest them, you will be sure your higher bar stools have a footrest.
If you’ve chosen a stool with arms, be sure the arms will fit beneath the bar. If they don’t, you’ll be stuck an odd distance from the bar and the comfort provided by the arms will be totally wasted.
Think ahead of time if you will want to move your bar stools around in your home. If you want to shift them between areas, obviously it will be better to have lighter weight stools.
You will also want to consider the heft of the stool when you think about how easy it is to adjust the stool’s distance from the counter. It’s a more complicated maneuver to “schooch” a stool than it is to slide a chair.
A good rule of thumb is to plan for around 6 inches between barstools so the number of stools you need depends on the length of your bar. If you are buying swivel stools, you will want additional space so they can swivel without banging into their neighbor.
As you can see by the many options to consider when shopping for a bar stool, you can find a bar stool in whatever shape, style, or height you need. Whether you are looking for a traditional high-backed stool or a rustic backless or something in-between, you can find the perfect bar stool.