Best Bar Stools 2023 – Best Counter Stools And Kitchen Stools

Your living room may be inviting and your den might be home to a big-screen TV, but inevitably, the kitchen is where guests always end up gathering. That’s why it’s so important to have ample dining chairs available, including the best bar stools. Whether it’s a special occasion or a casual weeknight, you want to be able to accommodate guests and family members alike—and bar stools offer you the opportunity to do exactly that, extending the seating all the way over to your kitchen island. Stools also create an approachable atmosphere (particularly our favorite swivel bar stool options), and they can add to your overall kitchen aesthetic, too. In 2023, our top pick is Pottery Barn’s Hardy Leather Bar Stool, which offers a comfortable feel alongside a timeless design (it’s also available in two sizes).

Another reason to opt for a set of counter stools? These chairs “provide an opportunity to create an eat-in kitchen, especially in homes where space doesn’t allow for a separate table with seating,” says Holly Waterfield, principal interior designer at The Brooklyn Home Company. Interior designer Brittany Hakimfar of Far Studio. chimes in to point out that bar stools can be an accent in your kitchen or simply designate a spot for more informal eating and gathering, and designer Lisa Schwert of Innate Studio adds that “anyone looking to make the most of their space” can benefit from owning bar stools. Ahead, we’re sharing a curated list of the best stools on the market in 2023 so you can outfit and upgrade your own space with confidence.

Material: Leather, metal | Seat Height: 24 inches, 30 inches

There’s a reason these stools are Pottery Barn bestsellers: Thanks to their elevated look and comfortable feel, they’ve got universal appeal—and they also boast a director’s chair-style design that’s particularly inviting. Footrests and sling-style seats help your guests find that just-right perch, while a mix of leather and metal give the chairs a modern edge. Worth noting: The seats are free of phthalates, BPA and latex, and they come in both bar and countertop heights. There are also six different leather and metal options available.

Material: Wood | Seat Height: 24 inches, 29 inches

The cost of bar stools can add up quickly—particularly if you’re interested in more than one. And that’s almost always the case, isn’t it? The good news: This bestselling Amazon option is incredibly budget-friendly, allowing you to fill your seating area without emptying your wallet. The stools are crafted from wood for a sturdy, classic feel and boast a slight curve in the seat for user comfort. Footrests offer additional support, and because the seats are just 25 pounds each, they’re surprisingly easy to move around while offering enough weight that they won’t easily topple over. Choose from white, black or brown finishes.

Material: Wood, linen, velvet, leather and more | Seat Height: 27 inches, 31 inches

For those that crave customization—and isn’t that most of us?—this stool from RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) gives you all of the options. Choose from a whopping 142 fabric options, including various hues of linen, velvet, leather and twill, along with seven wood frame finishes. Then, prepare to enjoy the handcrafted, solid hardwood chairs, which feature a foam seat and comfy back cushions to support you from all angles. Thoughtful details include a footrest with a solid metal kick-plate, and there are wood and fabric swatches available to help you sure of your selections.

Material: Wood | Seat Height: 25.5 inches, 29.5 inches

Backless bar stools are easy to slide under countertops, and they tend to give off a more traditional “bar seating” feel. This option from Design Within Reach boasts a perfectly classic, no-frills silhouette and is made from wood for a solid, approachable feel. Featuring tapered legs and traditional joinery techniques, there are no screws or metal parts involved here—and the fact that there are footrests on all sides means your guests will always have options for where they’d like to rest their legs. Contoured seating allows for added comfort, and you can choose from natural ash and black ash finishes.

Material: Rattan | Seat Height: 26.25 inches, 30 inches

A swivel feature allows users to arrive and depart gracefully from their seat, as well as seamlessly shift positions—but they’re also just plain fun. Serena & Lily’s Avalon Stools are an excellent option in this category: They rotate an impressive 360 degrees, and they’re also handwoven from rattan for a warm, elevated vibe (the material also happens to be quite durable). With high backs, structured arms and a slight lean, the stools also invite the user to recline ever so slightly. Cushions are available to be purchased separately if you prefer extra padding.

Material: Wicker, powder-coated steel | Seat Height: 25.25 inches, 28.75 inches

This chic stool is made of all-weather wicker and durable stainless steel, so it’s great for use on your patio—but it’ll look right at home indoors, too. A wicker seat is designed to resist fading, sagging and cracking, while a power-coated frame lowers the risk of rust. And there are other thoughtful details here, too: plastic glides on the base to help prevent the stools from scratching up your patio or deck and a range of finishes to choose from (including natural and charcoal wicker). At just shy of 19 pounds, you also won’t have to worry about this stool falling over when the wind blows.

Material: Pine, iron | Seat Height: 24.5 to 30 inches

The reality of seating is that everyone has different preferences. Some prefer to sit way up high, as close to the countertop as possible (or even above it); others would rather be far lower. The Grandin Road Rexon Swivel Stool features a threaded rod mechanism down the center that allows for quick height adjustments simply by spinning the seat. Crafted from pine with a tractor-style design, each seat features a low-back seat and industrial iron frame for a modern farmhouse feel.

What’s The Best Height For Kitchen Counter Bar Stools?

It’s important to note that “bar stools” and “counter stools” are actually two different types of chairs, though the names are often used interchangeably. As a general rule, counter stools are lower to the ground than bar stools. “The seat height of a counter stool is typically between 25 to 27 inches,” Schwert says. “This puts you at a comfortable height to sit at a standard kitchen counter—which is usually around 36 inches—without hitting your legs.” Bar stools are taller, with a seat height that’s usually between 29 and 32 inches (to be used at a 42-inch high bar top) or 33 to 36 inches (to be used at a 48-inch bar top), she says. Ultimately, it’s a good idea to measure your countertop carefully before shopping.

What’s The Difference Between A Bar Stool And A Kitchen Stool?

A kitchen stool is simply another name for a counter stool. Again, these stools are shorter than bar stools and often have a seat height that’s between 25 to 27 inches, while bar stools are taller than kitchen stools and tend to run between 29 and 36 inches, depending on the height of your countertop. “When selecting bar stools for your kitchen counter, you will want to ensure there is at least nine inches in clearance for your legs,” Waterfield says. Consider this as well, per Schwert: “There are also table-height stools which have an 18- to 22-inch seat height and work with a standard table height of 28- to 30-inches.”

How Far Should Bar Stools Stick Out From A Counter?

The answer to this question really comes down to personal preference. Some people like to have their bar stools tucked neatly underneath the counter, while others are fine with them taking up a little more floor space. If your kitchen is small, you’ll want to choose stools that can be tucked underneath the counter to avoid hogging precious square footage, Waterfield says; meanwhile, Hakimfar says that you can have stools that stick out up to six inches from the overhang. Remember: if you choose chairs with arms and backs, they might stick out a little farther.

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