Counter Bar Stool Options

Kimberly Bartosch
Modern kitchen counter bar

Counter bar stools are 24 to 29 inches from the floor and are perfect for kitchen counters or tables that are about 34 to 39 inches high. Feature, design, and style considerations will help you find the perfect set.

Counter Bar Stool Features

Features are the prominent function of a piece of furniture. There are about three major different features that you'll find in these bar stools.

Adjustable Height Stools

Adjustable height stools adjust to whatever height that works for your counter or the person using the stool. This adjustable feature normally ranges between 6 to 10 inches. Some stools to consider with this feature are:

  • Better Homes and Gardens Adjustable-Height Stool costs $40 and is a three-legged, basic stool with sturdy, light blue metal base and a round wood seat. It swivels 360 degrees and adjustable to accommodate bar or countertop height. This stool is perfect for a traditional kitchen, such as country or old-world style.
  • Racer Adjustable Stool With Chrome Base is $60 and is a contemporary design with a chrome pedestal base and foot rest. The seat has a back and made of a white vinyl material. The stool is adjustable and can be used at the bar or counter top height.

Swivel Stools

Swivel stools will turn 360 degrees and make it easier to get in and out of the stool.

  • Boraam 45724 Florence Counter Height Swivel Stool is $84 to $165 and ideal for any country, traditional style kitchen. It consists of distressed black wood with black faux leather seat. It swivels 360 degrees and has a high-back with a classic, casual design, four flared legs, and a foot rest.
  • West Elm's Saddle Counter Stool is a bit more expensive costing from $400 to $430. This is a more of a mid-century or modern style offering a casual elegance to your home. The textured fabric swivel seat hugs your body and sits on pecan-stained solid wood legs.

Combined Adjustable and Swivel Stools

Adjustable and swivel stools offer both features and recommended for a long-lasting piece of furniture that will meet the needs of those who want the versatility of swivel stools and the option to adjust for height. Some ideas for these type of stools are:

Amisco Woodland Screw Metal and Wood Stool
Amisco Woodland Screw Metal and Wood Stool
  • Amisco Woodland Screw Metal and Wood Stool for a traditional, industrial, rustic or shabby chic look that starts at $280. These stools are adjustable and swivel, made of top-quality solid steel on the base and frame. The seat and backrest are a solid distressed birch wood and are offered in four different color combinations: black/brown, gun metal finish/medium dark grey, black/dark grey and gun metal finish/brown.
  • Wade Logan Acamar Adjustable Height Swivel Bar Stool for a more modern or contemporary look that is $184 for a set of two. It's an adjustable and swivel stool with a chrome pedestal bottom, foot rest. The seat is made of faux leather with a quilted backrest that comes in white, gray and black.

Design Options

Design refers to an aesthetic feature of the stool. A few common ones include:

Pedestal Stools

Mimi Bar Stool
Mimi Bar Stool

Pedestal stools (or backless stools) are the traditional bar or countertop stool design, which derives from the figurative sense of putting (someone) on a pedestal as well as referring to the 'architectural' pedestal.

  • Farmhouse Tractor Seat Stool cost around $100 and offers a traditional, country or farmyard chic look. The red powder-coated iron and steel is easy-maintenance and offers a height-adjustable seat. With a scrolled footrest and claw-foot base and is designed to be used indoors and out.
  • Mimi Bar Stool cost $157 and great for a clean, contemporary look. The low back seat comes in a range of classic leatherette colors, such as red, black, lime green, slate and teal to name a few. This pedestal stool features a brushed stainless steel base, foot rest and an adjustable seat height to fit any counter.

Legged Stools

There are two different types of leg stools: those with four legs and those with three. Choose four legs if you want a sturdier base to help support larger-framed people or for those who have kids in the house who may tip a three-legged version.

  • One example of a four-legged stool is Morgana Tufted Counter Stool that costs $100. This tufted low back 100% polyester fabric seat comes in beige, onyx (multi-toned brown, taupe and black), and gray. The base is made of dark brown wood frame finish.
  • Another three-legged stool example is Fine Mod Imports FMI10197-ash Style Counter Stool that costs $150 and offers a fun industrial, modern or shabby chic style. Its tractor seat design is made of ash wood supported by three iron legs.

High-Back Stools

High-back stools come in various different types, such as solid, mission, ladder, and Windsor. These designs typically work best in particular decorating styles such as traditional, eclectic or country styles.

  • A solid back stool example is Belham Living Andover Tufted Back Counter Stool is $200 and is a French-influenced design that you can use in any traditional or eclectic style. The simple, light elm wood frame contains detailed carvings along with foam padded seat and square tufted back in light blue is perfect for a French Country kitchen.
  • One mission back stool example is Hagen Counter-height Chairs ($150 for a set of two) that has a unique mission design back made of solid wood rose brown finish with a cream fabric cushion-upholstered seat for comfort.
  • A nice ladder back stool is the Ladder Back Counter Stool Hardwood/White (set of 2) for $125. It is made of a painted white sturdy hardwood with a natural, woven wicker seats, delicately turned legs in the front and tapered legs in the back perfect for the Colonial-inspired style.
  • Finally, if you would like to use a Windsor back, try the cute stool called Lément Counterstool-Black Oak for $340. Unlike other Windsor back chairs that may look dated, this one mid-century Danish-American styling made of painted black oak transforms heavy materials into airy, lighter pieces by offering softened edges and bowed backing.

Low-Back Stools

Low-back stools are another option; these stools are seen in more contemporary or modern styles. They also offer the person sitting in them more movement options.

  • Sede costs $250 and is a classic four-legged stool design that works well in a modern or contemporary home. Slender, but durable, legs made of American Black Walnut finish off a retro cloth seat that features a low backrest is a nice example of this type of stool.
  • Amisco Fairfield 26" Bar Stool also costs around $250 and offers a sturdy fully welded metal structure and a low back metal square seat. It's ideal for an industrial or modern style.

If you're switching from a high-back stool to a low-back stool, be careful the first few times you sit down. The lower back can take some getting used to before you're comfortable with where the top of the back ends.

Arms

Most counter stools do not have arms but there are some that you can purchase with arms. These counter stools are more traditional in appearance and offer the seated person additional support.

  • Atlantic Lydia Barstool sells for $170 and is an example of the casual glamour of mid-century Hollywood. Crafted of hardwood in an espresso finish with soft velvety dark gray microfiber upholstery, this stool offers clean lines and a tailored appeal.
  • North Shore Counter Height Bar Stool for $250 uses classical elements graced by a beautifully finished frame of an old-world, Tuscan style. Swiveling black faux leather seat and rich cherry wood finish on the wooden frame.

Different Stool Styles

Besides the features and design types of counter bar stools, there are different stool styles. Since there are so many styles and sub-styles to choose from, try one from a popular style and go from there.

Modern

Modern style is normally simple, functional, and uses more metals or hard materials. You can use the stools with modern style in industrial, Boho, eclectic or shabby chic décor schemes.

  • Norman Counter Stool for $233 represents this style by the use of clean lines and natural elements. As stated by Rove Concepts, "The molded plywood piece offers not only timeless appeal and sophistication, but also comfort and stability. Designed with tapered legs, a generous curved seat, and a concave backrest that is widest at the shoulders, the contoured form lets the body relax easily."
  • Vapor 24" acrylic counter stool for $190 is a great example of the modern style by using design to create a simple, seating solution. The clear, thick acrylic seat exposes the chrome plated steel frame adding a nice architectural element to your room.
  • SEI Holly & Martin Cabe Chrome Upholstered Barstool (set of 2) for $150 represents a softer side of the modern style, by using a light denim cloth padded seat with a chrome metal frame.

Traditional

Traditional counter stools are often found in the country, rustic, old-world, shabby chic, eclectic or other traditional sub-styles. These pieces are bulkier and lean toward comfort and homey-type feel. If this is your style, then consider these bar stool options:

  • Hooker Furniture Decorator Mimosa Cottage Fabric Bar Stool for $600 is a counter stool that would work nicely in a traditional home that leans toward French country, shabby chic or rustic design style. The white metal frame and base with an intricate design on the back along with white polyester cloth seat has a swivel function and arm rest will complement any of these styles.
  • Bonaire 24 in. Swivel Counter Stool for $120 will be an ideal stool for a Tuscan, Old-World or Irish-inspired design. The dark cherry wood finish, black faux leather seat and intricate design on the back rest works well in these styles.
  • Brookline Tufted 25" Counter Stool Threshold for $100 offers a classic tufted style, which adds charm to your décor that's perfect for any traditional sub-style. The gray polyester seats and dark chesnut wood base are transitional and can be used for many years.

Contemporary

Pivot Bar Stool
Pivot Bar Stool at PureModern

Contemporary combines modern and trendy elements to create pieces that often may only be popular for a short period of time before falling into a vintage category or out-dated look. Some also refer to this style as mid-century. Some counter stools that reflect this style are:

  • Curvini Mid-Century Modern Fabric Swivel Counter Stool is $200 and, as stated on BizChair.com, "With a curvaceous dose of mid-century style, this unique design will look great at your counter area. Featuring a walnut-finished stationary wood frame, luxurious woven fabric upholstered swiveling seat and stylish armrests."
  • Pivot Bar Stool is $80 on PureModern, and this piece is most definitely a contemporary piece. The fun red plastic resin seat and body with chrome finished steel base while may work today it can become outdated over time.
  • Hewn Wood Bar Stool + Counter Stool for $330 appears more traditional, made of hewn wood giving it a rustic appearance. However, the unusual design with a low back curved seat sets it apart and transitions it into the contemporary style.

Finding the Right-Sized Counter Stool

When choosing your stools consider how large is the space around and under the countertop. This will determine if you should use a simple, modern pedestal stool or bulky traditional high back stool with arms. The latter will take up more room and you may be only able to use two stools where if space is limited you may be able to fit three pedestal stools in a small space.

Counter Bar Stool Options