5 Expert Tips To Choose A Bar Stool

When it comes to choosing bar stools, style, and coherence with the overall ambiance of the room are really important. What's more, these stools are to provide the best comfort for the users, whether in a bar, restaurant, café, or at home.

If you are planning a makeover of your happy bar place, begin with bar stools. To help you, we have collated important pre-purchase tips here - hope you will find them useful!

What Types of Bar Stools Are in Vogue?

Swivel bar stools

A bar is such a happening place! Who does not like to get a 360° glimpse of what's going on around? The swivel bar stools provide an effortless turn-around. They can be of fixed or adjustable height, with or without footrests, cushioned or flat.

Regardless of the type, swivel stools connote an open and lively bar character. Choose them if your bar has high-energy regulars. And also invest in bright incandescent lighting, a couple of chandeliers, and abundant green flora. 

Cream Walnut Manufactured Wood Swivel Bar Stool
Faux Leather Wood Swivel Bar Stool
Metal Adjustable Height Swivel Bar Stool
Black Metal Adjustable Height Swivel Bar Stool
Gold Metal Velvet Swivel Bar Stool
Gold Metal Upholstered Swivel Bar Stool

Stools with adjustable height

Because God created humans of varying heights, designers created bar stools with an adjustable height. Whether your guests are 5' or 6'-5", they will be able to sit merrily on these stools for hours. Adjustable bar stools allow the users to bent their knees at a comfortable right angle and to sit upright with the correct posture.

These stools are available in an array of styles and designs, with ample choices of cushions and backrests. Choose the one that blends with your bar effortlessly. 

Black Metal Adjustable Height Bar Stool
Brown Metal Wood Adjustable Height Bar Stool
White Chrome Metal Adjustable Height Bar Stool
Walnut Metal Adjustable Height Bar Stool
Gray Metal Wood Adjustable Height Bar Stool
Brown Solid Wood Adjustable Height Bar Stool

Bistro bar stools

They are very French, very elegant, and yet they don't overdo the style factor. For example, their simplistic steel frame with a foot ring and a wooden seat and backrest will have the elegant feel coming from its shape and lean form.

Does your bar furniture and setting have a European aura? Or, do you attract cosmopolitan clientele? Then the bistro bar stools will be your natural choice. They will blend with airy spaces with a lot of movement space, and light shades of walls and furniture. Nothing dark!

Metal Solid Wood Square Bar Stool
Distressed Walnut Wood Metal Bar Stool
Solid Wood Gunmetal Metal Bar Stool
Black Metal Solid Manufactured Wood Bar Stool
Black Metal Solid Wood Round Bar Stool
White Metal Solid Wood Bar Stool

Bar and counter stools

The backless bar stool type is trending because of its minimalistic native styling. These stools have a basic wooden or metal frame, foothold, and a cushion-less seat. Stylish in a rugged way will match a space with a pool table in a corner, overhead lighting, and a lot of merry laughter.

Matte Silver Metal Bar And Counter Stool
Black Metal Solid Wood Counter Stool
Dark Bronze Metal Square Counter Stool
Iron Metal Wood Bar And Counter Stool
Mango Wood Black Metal Round Counter Stool
Honey Brown Wood Metal Bar And Counter Stool

What Are the Best Materials for Bar Stools?

Wood

This is the top-of-mind material, and for good reasons:

  • Wood is a timeless material for furniture. It blends with infinite types of interiors, including bars, bistros, cafes, and restaurants; it's perfect for home interiors too
  • It is very durable and long-lasting
  • Offers a wide range of surface finishes that will harmonize with any décor. Natural wood texture, lacquer finish, stain, and oil paint are just some of the options
  • Non-conductive of electricity
  • Available in teak, oak, cedar, maple, pine, and other woods with unique textures and grains.
Brown Oak Solid Wood Bar Stool
Natural Pine Solid Wood Bar Stool
Gray Pine Solid Wood Bar Stool
Dark Gray Oak Solid Wood Counter Stool
Rubbed White Mahogany Solid Wood Counter Stool
Brown Mahogany Solid Wood Bar Stool

Metal

It is an equal contender for bar stools but has a different appeal than wood. Its unique features are:

  • Lighter than wood yet very strong
  • Affordable -- less expensive than wood
  • It can be formed, cast, cut, bent, or shaped to create unique bar stool designs. The bistro bar stools mentioned above are an ideal example of metals' malleability
  • Wide range for styles and uses -- stainless steel, galvanized steel, iron, and wrought iron are some options
  • Climatically stable -- metal will not deform or degenerate with moisture
  • Bacteria-proof -- it will not breed parasites
  • Maintenance-proof
  • Wide choice of finish -- powder coating, liquid paint, buffing or brushing… there are many choices
Red Metal Tractor Bar Stool
Gold Metal Steel Counter Stool
Light Blue Metal Wrought Iron Bar Stool
Antique White Metal Bar Stool
Silver Metal Saddle Bar Stool
Black Metal Geometric Tripod Bar Stool

Wood-metal hybrid

You will surely come across these chic styles with a metal frame or armature and wood seats and backrests. They have such a vast stylish range to choose from, you may fall for one! Be mindful, though, that the style matches your bar ambiance. 

Black Metal Honey Wood Bar Stool
Wood Metal Full Back Counter Stool
Matte Black Metal Natural Wood Bar Stool
Walnut Wood Metal Pedestal Bar And Counter Stool
Bamboo Wood Metal Bar And Counter Stool
Solid Wood Black Metal Iron Bar Stool

Plastic

These molded plastic bar stools are made from polyethylene terephthalate or PET. Their advantages are:

  • Affordable -- less expensive than wood and metal
  • Available in attractive colors, so no need for surface finishing
  • Light-weight yet long-lasting
  • Stackable -- these designs can be stacked when not in use
Mild Grey Plastic Acrylic Bar Stool
Clear Plastic Acrylic Full Back Bar Stool
Black Plastic Acrylic Backless Bar Stool
Plastic Acrylic Bar And Counter Stool
Red Plastic Full Back Bar Stool
Gray Plastic Acrylic Low Back Bar Stool

How will you determine the height of the bar stool?

This is the golden rule: your bar stool should be about 9" to 12" lower than the bar top. This will ensure a comfortable sitting posture and easy access to the bar top. For example, if you have a bar with a height of 41", your bar stool should be 29". For 43" bars, go for a 31" stool.

What backrest style should I choose in my bar stools?

The backrest has vital stylistic and ergonomic contexts in the selection of bar stools.

  • Low-back -- it supports the lumbar spine that is most susceptible to back pain problems caused by sitting postures. The L1 to L5 vertebrae get adequate support, and so does the torso. From the style context, their tall body gives the bar stool a contemporary look suitable for avant-garde bars with mostly young visitors. Wall graffiti is a frequent décor element.
  • Mid-height and full-height -- they support the thoracic spine and full spine, respectively. Their style concept is conventional, hence they will match the typical bar environments with heavy furniture, dark walls, and low-intensity lighting.
  • Reverse-arch -- this style supports the width of the back snugly, so you feel comfortable and relaxed even when you sit for a long time. This style is usually complemented by cushioned upholstery of leather or faux leather. It will suit the mid-to-upper segment bars with a plush décor. 
  • Backrest-cum-armrests -- in this style, the backrest extends to the front and forms the armrests. These types of stools will go with mid-century modern interiors.
  • Molded backrests -- These come with the plastic bar stools. They're comfortable and will be perfect for minimalistic decors, spaces full of light and neutral colors.
White Plastic Wood Low Back Bar Stool
Navy Velvet Solid Wood Full Back Bar Stool
Plastic Metal Full Back Bar And Counter Stool
Gray Linen Manufactured Wood Counter Stool
Blush Velvet Gold Metal Bar Stool
Red Plastic Chromed Metal Bar Stool

What kind of bar stools are best for the kitchen?

Bar stools are as important in domestic environments as they are in bars, bistros, and cafes. They serve the purposes of dining and socializing in an amiable, cozy, and familiar setting.

These chic styles are currently in vogue:

  • All-metal -- They are affordable yet elegant, and due to their wide finishing options, they can blend with most types of kitchen interiors

  • Matching material with bar-top -- Be it granite, marble, wood, or other material, harmonization of bar-top and bar stool seat materials is back with a bang. These bar stools will suit the modernist kitchen that harps on elegant functionality. Marble or white ceramic kitchen sink, white cabinets, a steel fridge… These stools will do well in a serene and harmonious ambiance.  A wood-textured vinyl floor will help to lift the visual appeal.

  • Rattan/wicker stools -- perfect for farmhouse-style or bohemian kitchens in combination with wooden worktops. Modern versions of these stools can be found in olive-green or gray making them even more interesting and fashionable.

  • Fabric cushions -- They will suit domestic environments. Why? Because the fabric is intrinsic to home interiors and furnishing. The range of materials and their fantastic, infinite designs and patterns are a compelling reason to opt for kitchen bar stools with fabric cushions. Cotton and linen, and rugged denim are your material options.

Black Metal Genuine Leather Bar Stool
White Distress Wicker Backless Bar Stool
Off White Manufactured Wood Wicker Bar Stool
Solid Wood Wicker Counter Stool With Cushion
Crystal Blue Metal Bar And Counter Stool
Gold Metal Blue Velvet Bar Stool

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.