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How to Choose Bar Stools for Kitchen?

Many kitchens include islands that double as breakfast tables or bars. Deciding whether you want a kitchen island is not the only tricky part. Once you have made up your mind, you need to focus on choosing the right kitchen counter stools that will coordinate well with the design and décor without compromising functionality and comfort.

Finding the right bar stools for your kitchen may be somewhat challenging, especially considering the many factors. Below is a quick guide to help you find the best stools for your kitchen island, kitchen counter, breakfast bar, or even your in-home pub.

decide suitable kitchen bar stools

How to Choose Bar Stools for Kitchen?

Height of kitchen counter

You need to measure your counter or table’s height, keeping in mind that you need 9-13 inches between the counter and the seat for optimal seating comfort. If the countermeasures 35 to 36 inches in height, usually the case, the stools should have a seat height of 24 to 26 inches.

These measurements may differ depending on the height and type of the kitchen counter. Bar stools for kitchens are available in lots of different shapes and sizes. Measure the height of the counter and calculate the height the seats should have.

Suitable materials for kitchen use

kitchen bar stools choosing

For the kitchen where food is served, choose a more low-maintenance material. These may include wood, leather, or metal. For the upholstered stools, chose a microfiber that is easy to clean. You could also go for the cushions that you can swap out.

A combination of a metal base and a wood seat is smart and sleek with a natural design. These types are also quite versatile, and cleaning them is a breeze as they do not soak in food spills.

Wooden stools come in a variety of finishes to match with existing furniture in the kitchen. Padded or upholstered seat cushions enhance comfortable seating during meals.

How many stools you need

Figuring the number of stools may not be as easy as it seems. Plenty of space is required for people to drink, eat, and socialize. The chairs come in different widths, so the space available for them will determine the number of stools you will fit in.

The ideal distance is 26 to 30 inches between the centers of the bar stools. The number will be determined by the space available in your kitchen area. Also, if the kitchen area is the main dining area, your family’s size will dictate the number of stools to be bought.

Stools with irregular shapes make it difficult for homeowners to distribute the seats evenly and offer each type of comfort. Also, some systems and designs make it more challenging to determine the ideal distance between them.

Bar stools with swivels or arms also take up more space. If the area is limited, consider the backless seats that can be tucked in to save on space. It is now up to you to choose the size and design that will fit your space.

Style of kitchen

Thankfully, bar stools come in a wide range of styles, so whether the style of your kitchen is rustic, traditional, or contemporary, you will find a bar stool that blends with or complements your look.

The popular décor styles include a contemporary or modern style. For this particular style, look for metal elements that feature the low to mid-height backs and more comfortable seating.

Modern bar stools recommend:

Most traditional bar stools are made from wood. If meant for a bar, backless with some padding is a classic choice while for a dining counter, the bar stools that feature arms or full-back, much like traditional dining chairs, are an excellent choice.

Picking traditional bar stools:

And to add an industrial touch, the seats mainly focus on industrial materials such as plastic or metal. More often than not, industrial bar stools have swivels. Transitional or a simple theme require chairs that are backless or with a lip back.

Industrial bar stools made with plastic and metal recommend:

They often exude a minimalist vibe with a little padding for comfort. These stools are usually made of wood. They are also an ideal choice for small spaces where the kitchen counter serves as a breakfast bar.

Vintage and antique stools come in handy to add character to any space. You can also choose to create an electric mix with a blend of vintage and new seats. The vintage selection of stools comes in all sizes and from a range of eras, making it easy for you to find the ideal option.

Top picked vintage bar stools 

Storage space

This problem may arise mainly if you have limited floor space in your kitchen. Bar stools can be quite inconvenient in this sense. Some of the seats come integrated on some kitchen islands to quickly get them out of the way once you’re done with them.

Also, the backless models can be easily tucked away while the full-back seats take up more space. Swivels or stools with armrests may not be the best option for small spaces. Some models are foldable for easy storage if you need to free up some floor space.

Choosing foldable bar stools for easy storage:

Types of the Kitchen Bar Stools That You Can Choose

Bar stools come in a broad spectrum of styles. To help you find the ideal one for your kitchen, we shall go through the different types. That will help you narrow down your choices.

Backless bar stools

These types are a simple option, especially if you are looking to keep your kitchen furniture minimal. The backless styles are commonly made of acrylic, wood, and metal making them not the most comfortable option for a long-term coffee date. These are the most common design. They are typically round and a perfect space-saving option as they can be hidden beneath the counter.

Bar stools with armrests

These happen to be the best choice if comfort is your key priority. The armrests tend to create more comfort for the users than the backless seats. These stools are also more expansive than the other styles. So the number of chairs to be fitted on a given space might be limited.

Upholstered seat bar stools

Upholstered seat bar stools are said to be a plush option, especially if most meals are eaten at the kitchen counter. They create a nice flair, so they seem more modern than metal or wood options. They are also more comfortable compared to the non-cushioned styles and add an air of formality.

Swivel bar stool

They make getting into and out of the Kitchen Island or breakfast bar a breeze. These stools give you a wide range of motion, thus making your conversations more comfortable. Also, bar stools can be bulky – those with swivel functions come in handy as they can be easily moved back and forth from the counter.

Stool design

There are several types of different stools ideal for the kitchen. Some of the chairs may feature a classic or traditional design, with an upholstered seat and a simple wooden frame. Others are quirky with frames made of baseball bats and customized in a wide variety. To coordinate with the countertop, you need to be careful about the color and material choice.

Quality of the stool

It would be best if you always kept in mind the quality factor when choosing bar stools for your kitchen. If quality is not paid enough attention to, a lovely seat with a suitable height may not last for a long time.

The construction of each bar stools should be thoroughly designed, and the raw materials meet all quality standards so you can be assured that the seat is well suited to perform its function and provide prolonged service use.

It is noteworthy that kitchen bar stools are used quite intensely, so durability is vital. Once you have found the appropriate height and style, check the quality.


Bar stools come in a broad spectrum of styles. Choosing the right type is mostly a matter of personal preference. Some of the designs have a seat back for more comfort, while others are backless. Some are designed with armrests, while others take a more straightforward design.

There are other distinctions such as swivel and no-swivel stools, adjustable and stationary models, and the upholstered and non-upholstered designs. Some may come as a combination of two, such as a backrest with a swivel base.


Several features determine the comfort of bar stools. For instance, seats with armrests are more comfortable than the backless models. Also, those with cushioning tend to be more comfortable than those without. When buying the stools, ensure there is plenty of legroom for the comfort of the users.

The ideal height also enhances comfort as there is nothing more annoying than a too-high seat or too low. You can also consider a footrest for more comfort and ease of access. Swivel seats can be easily moved around, and the adjustable seats can be an excellent choice for growing children who need a higher seat for a start.


Kitchens are the heart of a home, and stools can be a perfect solution around a kitchen island. With breakfast bars and dining counters more popular than ever, barstools have quickly become essential. The guide above is sure to come in handy when you intend to make a purchase of bar stools for your kitchen.

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