backless kitchen bar stool

How to choose the perfect bar stool for your kitchen

Finding your perfect kitchen bar stool can be tricky, especially if you haven’t decided on your kitchen’s overall style and decor. If you’ve recently moved into a new house or you have been renovating you might not have the final design planned yet. If you have however then you are one large step closer. A kitchen bar is the perfect place to perch and enjoy the morning coffee, breakfast and enjoy the morning catch up with your loved ones. Finding the perfect stool to compliment this space is important in terms of comfort and style. In this post I’ll explain some of the key considerations and some important mistakes to avoid.

kitchen breakfast bar island

Key considerations for your bar stool purchase

There are three main areas you need to take into consideration for your perfect bar stool. These are:

  • Style – Industrial, modern, contemporary or traditional
  • Materials – Strength, durability, colour and function
  • Dimension – Height, width and depth


Hopefully, you already have a good idea of what style stool you want for your kitchen breakfast bar area. You have a vast choice available on the market. Whether it’s a white leather bar stool or an industrial-style stool, you will have options for the dimensions and materials within each category. So I would say this is the first consideration in your search. Find your perfect style.


The second point of call for consideration would be the materials. This is going to determine how your bar stool will function in your space. Are you looking for something that is easy to clean and maintain or is the form more important to you? Either way, here are some common materials used in the construction of bar stool, each with different properties.

wooden bar stool kitchen

Wood – A wooden bar stool should be constructed of hardwood like oak. This will ensure a strong and durable design that will last for many years. Wooden stools can be topped with a plastic, wooden, or soft material seat.

Metal – Metal bar stools tend to fall into the industrial design category and are generally fitted with wooden or metal seats. They are normally made with steel or aluminium frames which make for a very durable and sturdy frame. The metal can be bare but in most cases will be painted. If they are painted then ensure they have been powder coated for the strongest finish.

plastic bar stool kitchen

Plastic – This can be a great material for a bar stool as it can be manufactured into complex and modern designs. Some cheaper stools might be made of plastic so be weary of the low-cost stools as they might not stand up to the stresses of a busy family household. Plastic is normally teamed up with metal to form the strongest possible structure but it’s not uncommon to find a stool made of 100% plastic.


There are a few very important considerations when it comes to the overall size of your bar stool. We once made the mistake of ordering bar stools for our kitchen bar that were too tall. We couldn’t fit our legs underneath the worktop once sat on the stool! Luckily we were able to have them resized by a local metal worker but it’s an important detail we missed when ordering. We found the perfect bar stool and got excited before checking the height.

The ideal height for a bar stool

Bar stools normally come in two different heights. One design suitable for your kitchen worktop height and then those for the higher bar style seating area. So be sure to check before you buy. The best way is to measure your worktop height and work out what legroom you have.

A standard kitchen worktop is roughly 91cm / 36inches tall, therefore the perfect stool height would be around 66cm / 26 inches tall. If you have a taller bar area in your kitchen the standard height will be around 107cm / 42inches tall. Then the perfect stool will be around 71cm / 28inches tall.

Always make sure you have at least 15cm / 6 inches available for leg room between the top of the stool seat and the bottom of the worktop.

bar stool height is important

The perfect width and depth

The width of the feet and the top seating section will depend on the styling of the stool. It is however important to find a sturdy stool that’s not going to topple over easily. The legs should always be wider apart than the top section, especially when you have a taller stool. Check what space you have available to work with as some stools can have very wide splayed legs. This makes for a very stable stool but means you can fit less stools in location.

It’s also worth thinking about the stool type. If the stool has armrests this might make it difficult to fit under the countertop. Likewise for the sofa or cup style tops.

Types of bar stools to customise your space

Bar stools are available in many different sizes and dimensions. If you think about a bar stool as an accessory to your home, you can choose one that complements your home’s overall decor or atmosphere. Let’s take a look at a few different design types that you should think about before your purchase.

backless kitchen bar stool

Backless bar stool

Backless bar stools are a perfect option if you have a small space that would otherwise not be able to hold a traditional bar stool. Another great reason to choose backless bar stools is that they are much more affordable than standard bar stools and can easily be placed anywhere in your home. They have built-in footrests, so you will not have to purchase one separately. However, ensure that the tops of the seat are not too low or uncomfortable. These might not be best for those with younger children.

Bar stool with arm rests

Armrests are great if you have the space. They provide extra support and comfort for those who might be using their stools for extended periods of time. Maybe you spend some time working on your laptop in your kitchen bar area. In this case, extra support would be welcome. Also children might find it more comfortable and safe to use the stool.

Swivel bar stool

If you are looking for a bar stool that can easily turn 360 degrees, consider buying a swivel bar stool. Swivel bar stools are typically used in bars and restaurants, but they work well in many other places such as homes, businesses, and schools. The best thing about swivel bar stools is that many of them come with adjustable heights. Simply keep on twisting to raise and lower the seat. This allows the stools to be used by people of varying sizes.

Consider the budget

You should consider your budget when shopping for bar stools in 2022. You may find some styles or brands that are out of your price range, but be sure to shop a little before making your final decision. The most important thing to remember is not to sacrifice quality over price. If you want a high-quality bar stool that will last for years, consider spending more money upfront and purchasing one that will keep you satisfied for many years.

The bottom line

When shopping for bar stools in 2022, remember the recommendations list above. There are many different types of bar stools to choose from, but follow the guide in order to find your perfect match. Be sure to consider your budget when choosing the right bar stool, and always ensure that you have enough room for it before buying one.

Leave a Reply