Counter-Height Bar Stools: What To Know Before Buying
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Counter-Height Bar Stools: What To Know Before Buying

Counter-Height Bar Stools: What To Know Before Buying

If your home has a countertop that hangs over the edge, a fun thing to add is a set of bar stools. Bar stools are a great place for your friends and family to sit to eat a quick snack. These seats could also be a nice addition if you have someone who wants to sit down and talk while you’re working in the kitchen.

Regardless of why you want them, you can’t just go out and buy the first bar stools you find. You need to pick out one that will be the perfect fit for your kitchen counter. This guide on what to know before buying your counter-height bar stools will walk you through each of the considerations you’ll need to make. That way, you can make a purchase knowing you have exactly what you need.

Measure the Height

Before you start looking into features for your bar stools, you need to consider the height requirements. Most kitchen counters are lower than a standard bar table. That means if you buy regular bar-height stools, your family and guests won’t be able to use them properly.

The average bar is about 40"–46" tall. That means most bar stools will be in the range of 30"–36", which is close to the height of a normal kitchen counter at around 34"–39". In some cases, bar-height stools might be the same height as your counter, making them useless.

Instead, you should find a stool that will comfortably fit under the ledge of your counter. More often than not, you’ll want to buy a specific counter-height bar stool. These are usually around 24"–29" tall.

Of course, your countertop may vary, so you’ll want to take careful measurements to ensure that you start your search with the right size of stools. As a rule of thumb, there should be about a 9"–13" space between the seat of the stool and the bottom edge of the counter.

Consider the Features

Once the height requirements are out of the way, it’s time to consider some of the more fun aspects of your stools, like the features they’ll have. These are the things that will change how people feel when using your stools.


Even though most people think of the backless design when thinking about stools, most stools have backs. Without them, sitting on these chairs for long periods of time can become uncomfortable. That might be okay in a bar where people don’t stay seated for long. However, you’ll want to make sure your guests are comfortable since they might spend a large portion of the night sitting on them. Plus, no one would be upset about extra back support.


If you want to boost the comfort factor even more, you should get some bar stools with built-in armrests. These can make a normal stool feel even more luxurious. While comfortable, bar stools with armrests have one notable flaw—they are hard to get in and out of.

With a normal stool, you can exit from any direction. When you add a backrest, that blocks off one escape avenue, but adding armrests blocks off three altogether, making the front the only way on or off the stool. While this isn’t a massive downside, it can make things much more difficult if your countertop is over the carpet. This will make it difficult for people to scootch in or out when they want to leave.


If hard floors aren’t a possibility, the next best feature you can have for your stools is a swivel. This will allow people to turn their chairs instead of having to move them around, making backs and armrests a much more realistic possibility. Plus, spinning in a swivel bar stool is a lot of fun.

The only downside there is that they can also be a little dangerous. If you have young kids or your guests like to have one too many drinks, swivel chairs might not be the best fit.


Even though you’ll be using counter-height bar stools for your kitchen, one thing you should be aware of before buying them is that you’ll still need footrests. Even though these stools are lower than most, they still stand above most normal chairs. That means the stool will need a footrest for people to use for stability and comfort.

Fortunately, almost all bar stools come with footrests built in. You just need to find one that has them in the ideal placement. Some wrap around the entire base, while others are just in the front. This choice comes down to personal preference, but it’s always nice to have an option on where you can put your feet.

Decide on the Number Needed

Now that you’ve ironed out all the details of what you want your stools to have, it’s time to figure out how many of them you want. While it might seem like the more you own, the better, there’s certainly a limit on how many you should have set out.

This will vary depending on the size of your countertop, so you’ll need to measure the space between the stools to decide. A good rule to follow is to use about a third of the width of the stool as a guide on how much space should be between them. This will usually range from about 6"–11". If you’ve decided to go with a stool with armrests or swivels, you should make the space between them closer to about half the width of the chair.

Look Into Prices

Finally, let’s look at the price. While adding stools to your countertop is exciting, you won’t want to go overboard on your price range. After all, your family and guests will likely only occasionally use these seats. Your main dining area will be where most of your guests will sit. These stools are simply here for convenience.

That means you’ll want to find some affordable counter-height bar stools. Luckily for you, we have just what you’re looking for here at Click N Furnish. From bar stools with a simple back to ones with armrests and a swivel, you’ll be able to find stools that check all the boxes without breaking the bank. We know you’ll be happy with our expansive selection.

Counter-Height Bar Stools: What To Know Before Buying
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