How to Choose Bar Stools for Your Kitchen

image of How to Choose Bar Stools for Your Kitchen

In our previous blog we considered whether you should have a counter or a bar in your kitchen. 

If you have decided upon having a kitchen bar, then the next logical question is, what kind of bar stool do you want to go with it? 

This article attempts to introduce you to the world of bar stools to help you make a decision. 

Types of Bar Stools. 

First, let’s consider the types available. When you think of bar stools you might think of the local pub with simple round, plush stools, but actually they come in may shapes, sizes, and styles. They can range from swivel bar stools to classic French Tolix metal stools which have no backs. You stools could be metal and fabric, they could be made of wood, or a combination - just don’t choose plastic.

A few examples of non-swivel stools:

  • French Tolix - metal low stool with 4 legs and no back
  • Bertoia metal stool - thin metal, a chair with a metal mesh half-back
  • Rustic stools - wooden frame, wooden seat or perhaps a woven seat for a little more comfort, usually backless

What types of swivel bar stools are there?

  • Backless - many styles of backless stools. Easier to get on but also easier to fall off
  • Memory - They swivel like other stools but are spring loaded so when you let go they swivel back around to the front again. Fun to sit on and swivel around to the front
  • High-back - Like a normal chair but on longer legs with a swivel seat which may or may not be a memory seat
  • Low-back - Halfway between backless and high-back, there is enough of a back to cover someone’s lower back and that’s it
  • Adjustable - These seats can be raised up or down to meet the bar or counter or a different person’s height

Factors to Consider

You may know the type you instinctively like, but are they the right kind of stool for you and for your family? Consider these things first:

  1. Who will be Using Them: Are the stools just for adults? Or will your children be using them too? How about guests? Know the people who are going to use them and consider which style fits them best in terms of swivel or non-swivel, high back, low back or no-back, and so on.
  2. Stool Height: Now you know who will be using your stools, you should know how tall they are and which sizes work best. For example, an adult family can go for a size that works for everyone but a growing family may want adjustable stools so everyone can reach the bar.
  3. Style vs. Comfort: Which is most important? The stools do need to fit in with the aesthetic of your kitchen, but at the same time, they need to be something people in the house want to use. 

When buying your bar stools, shop around. There are many retailers offering stools of varying quality and style. You will be able to see some in person in show rooms and others online. High brands offer good styles from all over the world while you can also find variety on sites like  eBay.

Kitchen designs from our workshop have been featured in: