How to Choose the Right Bar Stool Height

How to Choose the Right Height Bar Stool

Choosing the correct height of a bar stool can be tricky. If they’re too short, you can’t reach the bar and if they’re too high, you’ll have to slouch – neither is very comfortable and, let’s face it, doesn’t look so good. Here are some tips on how to select the right stool for your bar or counter.

Bar Stool vs Counter Stool

Knowing the difference between a bar stool and a counter stool is important. A counter stool is usually around 24″ and is typically used at a kitchen counter. A bar stool is about 30″ and is designed for sitting at a bar. Bar Stool vs Counter Stool Height

Take Measurements

  1. Measure the Height of your Bar or Counter: Measure from the floor to the top of the bar and remember to do it twice to ensure accuracy.
  2. Choose the Right Stool: Take the height measurement of the bar and subtract 10″ – that will be the approximate height of stool you should purchase. This will give you plenty of space to sit at the bar, with or without your legs crossed, and feel comfortable. To get the height of the stool, measure from the feet up to the seat.

Counter height stool seats range from 24-29 inches from the floor and are perfect for kitchen counters or tables that are about 34-39 inches high. A bar stool seat is about 30-36 inches from the ground and is perfect for counters or bars that are 40-46 inches from the ground. How to Choose the Right Bar Stool Height

How Many Bar Stools Will Fit?

In addition to determining the height of your bar stools, you will need to consider how many stools will fit comfortably at the bar or counter. You want to make sure that there is at least 26-30″ between each bar stool (measurement taken from one center of the stool to the next). In addition, allow 14″ from the center of the last stool to the wall. This amount of space will allow people to comfortably eat, drink, and get in and out of their seat with ease.

Design Choices

Bar stools come in many sizes, shapes, designs, and styles so you’ll want to consider the following when selecting the right stool:

    • Décor: Look at the overall décor of your home, the way things are positioned, and the style that you have and select a stool that will blend with your décor. If you want a more casual or modern look, you might consider a backless stool. For a more elegant look, choose a stool with a back and armrests in a metal or carved wood finish.
    • Functionality: Are you or your guests going to be sitting in the stools for extended periods of time? If so, you might consider getting a stool with a back, which will much more comfortable than a backless bar stool. Also, choose a stool that has a comfortable cushion seat – if you can’t find one that you like, you can purchase a chair pad that will add comfort while meshing with your home décor.
    • Small Spaces: If you have a small space, choose a bar stool with no arms so you can slide it under the bar when it’s not in use. If you choose a swivel stool with a back, the stool can be used as conversational seating in your apartment.
    • For the Kids: If you have children, you may want to choose a stool that has no cushion (or a spill-resistant fabric cushion) or a leather seat for easy cleanup. Also, an adjustable stool will be helpful so they can easily get on and off the chair and adjust the height as they grow.


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Posted in Home Improvement, Small Space/Apartment Living Tagged with: ,
Posted by: Cyndee DAgostini
17 comments on “How to Choose the Right Bar Stool Height
  1. Alister Nickson says:

    These designs are simply incredible. I like the way you design all these bar stools and other furniture.

  2. Bonnie Piest says:

    What is the footrest heights for both a counter height and bar height stool supposed to be?

    • Cyndee DAgostini says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      On a counter height stool, the foot rests are around 6” from the ground. On a bar height, they are around 12” from the ground. Since the optimal seat height for a regular chair is 18-19 inches, you just subtract from the seat height for the best foot placement.

  3. Valerie says:

    Will 24″ bar stool work for countertop 35 1/2″?

    • Improvements Editor says:

      Hi Valerie,
      Yes, counter height (24”) stools will work with that size counter. Standard counters are 36” high.

  4. Kristin says:

    Should I subtract 10″ from the top of the counter, or the bottom? The text says top, but one of the graphics shows the measurement to the bottom/underneath part of the counter. Great helpful post, thank you!

  5. says:

    Find the right option for your seating area by measuring the height of your tabletop and matching it to the ideal bar stool height listed below.

  6. says:

    Find the right option for your seating area by measuring the height of your tabletop and matching it to the ideal bar stool height listed below.

  7. Demi says:

    My bar is 43 inches and I am considering stools that measure: 47 in from top to bottom, 30 in seat to floor and are 20 in wide. Will this work?

    • Improvements Editor says:

      Hi Demi,
      Since most bar seat heights are 30″ from seat to floor, the bar stool you’re considering should work.

  8. Spencer says:

    What is usually the average bar stool height

  9. Cathy says:

    my counter is 37 inches, will 29 inch bar stool work?

    • Improvements Editor says:

      Hi Cathy, If your counters are 37” h, you should order the 24”h barstool. A 29” h barstool is made for bar height counter that is 40-42” h. Thanks!

  10. Thais says:

    My counter is 35, will a 29 stool work? Would it be enough without crossing legs?

    • Improvements Editor says:

      Hi, If your counters are 36” h, you should order the 24”h barstool. A 29” h barstool is made for bar height counter that is 40-42” h.

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