How to Pick the Perfect Height Bar Stools

Are you looking for bar stools for a kitchen island or breakfast bar? Picking the correct bar stool height to fit your counter, bar or table can be confusing. If the bar stool is too short you won’t be able to reach the counter – too tall and you’ll have to bend forward or slouch. Either way, it isn’t comfortable! Here’s how to choose a bar stool that will fit your bar or counter.

Two easy steps to measuring your bar or counter:
  1. Measure from the floor to the top edge of your counter with a ruler or tape measure. Write the number down.
  2. Take your number and subtract roughly 10 to 13 inches, depending on your desired leg room. This final number will be the approximate bar stool height to ensure that you have plenty of room to sit comfortably. Not too low – not too high – just right.

Counter Height vs. Bar Height Bar Stools

Counter Height Bar Stools
Bar Height Stools

Counter-Height bar stools measure in ranges of 18 inches to 26 inches.

Bar-Height bar stools measure in ranges of 28 inches to 36 inches, or 40 inches to 46 inches.

Bar Stool Measurements

Bar Stool Sizes
Many Exceptions to the Rules
  • Bar stools come in different heights for different needs, and even within specific height ranges (i.e. table, counter, or bar) you will find variances stool by stool to account for many unique spatial requirements.
  • Beyond counter height and bar height stools, you will also find stools that are useful for tables, as well as extra tall options for unique cases.
Know Your Measurements
  • A very important distinction to make when choosing the correct height bar stools is distinguishing between seat height and back height. As pictured here, a seat height of roughly 31 inches will fit nicely beneath counters between 41 and 45 inches.
  • For taller people, you will also want to consider seat depth. If you are going to spend considerable time on your bar stools, you’ll want your thighs to measure up with the seat depth to prevent muscle strain and discomfort.
  • Also consider the distance from the seat to the foot rest in comparison to the relative heights of the people who will use the stools most.
  • In areas that will seat many different sized people, consider adjustable height bar stools to make height customizable.
Bar Stool Measurements

30 Inch Bar Stools

Our 30 inch bar-height bar stools are the perfect match for counters that measure 40 inches and up. A wide range of fashionable styles include enviable features such as:

  • Enduring classics in luxurious leather with padded seats and backs.
  • Trendy, exotic-patterned upholstery bar stools in rich, dark brown finishes.
  • Brightly colored metal farmhouse stools in a weather-worn finishes.

Add a glam touch to your kitchen island with the Brighton Hill Stewart Pearl 30-Inch Bar Stool. This classically elegant bar stool is upholstered in a soft, pearlescent white fabric – padded seat and back. Silver nailhead detailing highlights the seat back.

If you’re looking for something more exotic, the Southern Enterprises Brown Pair Water Hyacinth 30-Inch Stool boasts woven water hyacinth seats with solid pine legs.

With lava patterned fabric upholstery and Manhattan stain finish, the Brighton Hill Morocco Lava Red 30-Inch Bar Stool will spice up your breakfast bar.

34 to 38 inch Bar Stools

34 inch Bar Stools

Our 34 inch bar height bar stools fit perfectly with counters measuring 44 inches and up. Distinctive 34 inch styles often include:

  • Padded seating with gentle, curved backs, suede upholstery, and antique brass nailhead detail.
  • Spanish-inspired designs with curved, decoratively detailed backs, rich leather upholstery and 360-degree swivel designs.
36 to 38 inch Bar Stools

Our 36 inch to 38 inch bar stools pair easily with kitchen islands and counters measuring 46 inches to 48 inches (+). These finely crafted bar stools often include:

  • Leather and foam upholstery with clean, contemporary lines.
  • Seat depths of 15-18 inches and back heights of 12 inches.
  • Luxurious upholstered armchair designs with rich upholstery, tufted seat backs, and 360 -degree swivel styling.

Artful and contemporary, our NUEVO Wayne 38-Inch Counter Stools (pictured above) will add up-to-minute flair to your kitchen or game room. Featuring an angular wingback design, these appealing bar stools are expertly fashioned of leather and stainless steel. A fabulous addition to your kitchen or snack bar, each are available in a wide range of colors and finishes including matte black, matte mink, and matte dark grey with silver legs, and matte black, mink and dark grey with upholstered legs.

40 to 48 inch Bar Stools

40 inch+ Bar Stools

The farmhouse-inspired Hillsdale Furniture Jennings Swivel Counter Stool will add rough-hewn charm to your eating area. This rustic bar stool features a curved, wood panel back, a round, wood panel seat that swivels, plus a rich, distressed walnut wood finish.

Or if you’re looking for a transitional, natural fiber design, the East at Main Bangor Black Square Rattan Barstool features an intricately woven rattan back and upholstered seat in a dyed dark mahogany finish.

50 inch + Bar Stools & Adjustable Heights

Backless Adjustable Stools

Factory-inspired yet stylish, the Comfort Pointe Lyman Backless Adjustable Height Stool will add industrial flair to your breakfast bar or kitchen island. The wood seat swivels and adjusts from 25 to 29 inches in height – and all heights in between. Other attractive features include a solid wood seat in a dark brown finish, gunmetal frame, and a handy footrest.

Adjustable Height Bar Stools

Our height-adjustable bar stools pair easily with most any height table or counter because, well, they’re adjustable! This makes choosing the right bar stool almost fool-proof – and it’s easy to change the seat height with just a turn or swivel.

50 inch Bar Stools

Anything but stout, the American Heritage Billiards Molena Suede Swivel Extra Tall Height Stool is the pinnacle of pub fashion. This contemporary wood stool in a warm, brown suede finish, features ladder-back styling, curved arms, adjustable leg levelers and a 360-degree swivel.

How Many Bar Stools Do I Need for My Counter or Table?

  • It’s best to have a minimum of 26 inches of space between each stool. To determine the correct spacing, measure from the center (middle of the seat) to the center of the stool beside it.
  • Also, allow 14 inches from the right or left counter edge. Measure from the edge of the counter to the end stool (seat middle). This ensures plenty of elbow room so guests can eat and drink comfortably.
  • Handy Tip: If you have bar stools at home and are looking to buy more, figure the height of your existing bar stools by measuring vertically from the floor to the top seat edge.

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