Pull Up a Stool: Chic Kitchen Bar Stools

In order to choose the ideal stool for any spot in your home, consider a few key elements like height, back, comfort and durability.

Here’s a handy guide to help you select the perfect perch.


  • Counter, bar or adjustable?
  • Counter height is 24 to 26 inches, bar stool height is 29 to 30 inches. If you’re not sure, know that you’ll need between 10 to 14 inches from the underside of your counter/bar to the seat height.

Back or No Back?

  • Do you linger or do you eat and dash?
  • Do you want support for your back or the ability to sit down from any angle?
  • If you entertain a lot, you might want a backless stool that can easily tuck under for improved traffic flow.


  • Test-drive stools and sit for at least a few minutes.
  • Can you rest your feet in front and on the side?
  • Does the seat material allow you to get on and off easily, or do your bare legs stick?
  • Do you want to swivel or not?

Durability and Stability

  • Realistically consider how hard you live and choose a seat that will wear well (even rivets on jeans can scratch or gauge wood seats).
  • Choose materials that clean easily, because every kitchen and bar has spills, stains and fingerprints.
  • Dainty doesn’t work here. You need a workhouse that’s built to last.

Once you’ve figured out what you’re looking for (upholstered, leather, metal, plastic or woven, or a mixture of any of these), think about picking a stool that offers visual contrast to the rest of the room (an all-wood kitchen with a line of wooden stools will get boring very fast).

Here are a few of our favorites:

Church Stool, Gus, $210


Leather Bar Stool, Lee Industries
, To the Trade


LAXseries Barstool, YLiving
, $420


LEM Piston Stool, Design Within Reach
, from $750


Vintage Torpedo Bar Chair, Restoration Hardware
, from $350


Henson Barstool, Arteriors Home
, $600


Fiberglass Shell Stool, Modernica
, from $335


Collins Stool, Room and Board
, from $219



Tolix Stool, Antiquaire
, from $250, available in more colors