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How to Choose Height of Bar Stools?

Choosing the right bar stool dimensions is crucial to achieving a comfortable seating option for a bar or kitchen island. Bar stools are available in four standard seat height dimensions; short height, bar height, counter height, and extra-tall. To help you find the ideal option for your space, you need to find the right bar stool height. Generally, the bar stool height of the chair stools is 18 inches from the floor to the seat.

These can be paired with counters or tables 28-30 inches in height. Counter stools are generally 24-26 inches- they can be paired with 36-39 inches of tables or counters. Bar stools, on the other hand, are typically 28-30 inches, and they can be paired with counters or tables 40-42 inches in height. With most bars tops and counters are under the standard height ranges, you must find a bar stool with an ideal height. To learn more about how to choose the right bar stool height of bar stools, read on!

how to pick the height of kitchen bar stools

How to Choose Height of Bar Stools

Measure first!

Once you have decided to buy a bar stool, even before you start browsing, note the countertop height or table of where you intend to place them. You should also determine the space available for them. When it comes to measurement, you should obtain the floor’s distance to the counter’s top.

Once this is done, take the measurement of the length of your counter or bar. This particular measurement will determine how many stools you will need to buy and fit perfectly in the available space. From the counter, look for seats 10 inches shorter, and between each chair, 6 inches should be enough for people to get in and out comfortably.

But for the stools with armrests or swivels, 8 to 10 inches will be more practical. While you can pick your counter and bar stools based on the averages, it is always advisable to go the extra mile and draw your measurements. And with the standard dimensions below, you will be able to know what to look for.

Table stool height

Most tabletop surfaces are typically 28 to 30 inches in height. The ideal table stools, in this case, would be around 18 inches from the floor.

Standard counter stool height

The counter height bar stools, as earlier stated, usually measure 23 to 28″ from floor to the seat. These should be used with countertops of 35 to 37 inches in height. Most of the kitchen countertops measure around this height to match the bar stool heights of standard kitchen appliances.

Standard counter and their stools heights are ordinarily lower than their counterparts bar stools, however, not that low. Their dimensions allow the average-sized person to have plenty of room between the counter and their legs without having to sit awkwardly low.

Standard bar stool height

The seat heights for bar height stools should be 29 to 32 inches to compensate for the slightly taller tables. These can be comfortably used with tables that are 41 to 43 inches in height. This height is considered the average bar stool height and can fit perfectly with most home bars, kitchen islands built for dining, and bar tables. Bar tops are usually around 40 to 42 inches. Always allow 6 to 10 inches between each bar stool.

Extra-tall bar stool height

These are also referred to as ‘spectator-height stools.’ They measure 33 to 36 inches from the floor to the seat. They are well suited for the tables and countertops that are 44 to 47 inches tall. Countertops of this height are the least common.

An extra-tall bar stool that may meet your demand:

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing the Height of Bar Stools

the height of bar stools

Type of bar stool

Bar stools come in a wide range of heights, which depends on the backrest design. Backless barstools have the lowest bar stool heights, whereas the full-back stools have the tallest bar stool heights. For those with armrests, you need to choose one whose arms are short enough to fit under the counter’s overhang.

Tabletop or kitchen counter height

Another way to determine the ideal bar stool height is by measuring the bar stool height of your kitchen counter or tabletop. Generally, there should be a 10-12 inches between the bottom of the table or counter and the bar stool seat. In any case, each stool height is to be paired with a table of different bar stool height for comfortable seating and plenty of legroom.


For this particular factor, the adjustable stools are the best option. These come outfitted with a hydraulic pump to move the seat up and down to provide more comfortable seating for all users.

These stools can efficiently work with multiple surface heights, making them a versatile option. Their designs are mostly inspired by the vintage drafting tables and industrial chairs. What’s more, the adjustable stool selection can be used for both the table and counter height.

Style of bar stool

To determine the height of stools that will work best for you, you need to consider the stool style. You may either want to make a design statement or a more discreet seating. You may also want to layer or match materials in your kitchen.

Tall profile stools are not the best option for a busy or narrow corridor as they will overwhelm your island. With lower heights, the backless seating is the most ideal as they can be easily tucked away. For more lounge-worthy stools, you can go for the broad-backed seats with deep seating.

Barstool features

Stool backs vary, and the type of bar stool back has an enormous impact on the look, feel, and sometimes the stools’ height. Backless stools can easily slide under the counter. They are, therefore, an excellent choice for limited spaces. They also are generally lower in bar stool height.

Some seats have a back with a lip section for support and can barely be there. Though the most comfortable for sitting for long hours, those with full-backs can take up more space. They are also taller.

Design choices

Since you want to find the bar stool’s ideal height, it should blend with your space’s overall design theme. Also, some designs can only be achieved with specific stool heights, making this factor worth considering. The popular décor styles include a modern or contemporary style. In this particular style, look for metal elements with the low to mid-height backs. Traditional bar stools are usually made from wood with backless or full-back models.

Traditional wooden bar stools to fit most home decor recommend:

For 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. 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.

Metal bar stools for an industrial look recommend:

Vintage and antique stools are 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 height option.

Picking vintage bar stools:

User height

So what about the tall and small guests? By measuring your stools to the table or countertop is one of the surest ways to ensure anyone can comfortably sit at your bar table or counter. But to achieve true versatility, you might want to go for the adjustable stools. Adjustable modern chairs are also well suited for growing children who may need a higher seat to start. On top of that, they are an excellent option for use in multiple places.

Customizable stools

Customizable stools are the most accessible options. You get to choose the finish colors, wood seat finishes, and, most importantly, between the bar or counter heights. The result is often an industrial-inspired bar stool that is personalized to blend with your space, made to last, and endure everyday wear.

Number of stools

Knowing the ideal height of your bar stools is only half the battle. You will also need to figure out how many chairs will fit, or depending on your family’s size, how many you need. Too many seats will overcrowd your counter, whereas too few stools, and you will be left with a bare and sparse space.

Plenty of space between the chairs is advisable so that people can easily sit and move around. You should, therefore, consider how many stools can fit a particular area. And since the length of your counter, tabletop, or bar may vary, you should calculate the number of seats needed based on the amount of space recommended for spacing between each one.

The type of stool may affect the number of chairs to fit in a space. For instance, stools with arms or swivels take up more space than the backless types. For seats that are 16 to 18 inches wide, 6 inches should be left between each stool. Bar stools that are 19 to 22 inches wide need 8 to 11 inches between them.


There is nothing more annoying than sitting on a stool that is the wrong height. Besides being super uncomfortable, a too short or too tall chair is not the most excellent look. The tips above are just some of the ways you can use to determine the ideal height of a bar stool that will work best for you.

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