5 Tips for Picking the Perfect Bar Stools

Who knew picking the perfect bar stool for your bar or kitchen could be so frustrating?

Turns out, there are far more bar stools than you could possibly imagine. They vary in several different ways. Bar stools need to match the room they are in while providing their own element, all the while still conforming to the physical needs of their surroundings.

Consider the following five tips to optimize your selection of bar stools.


There are three tiers of the backrest with stools. There is the open back which has no backrest at all, there is the partial back which has a small backrest, and then there is the full back which has a complete backrest and is very close to a chair.

How do you know which one you should pick? It depends on the layout of the room. If your setup is in your kitchen, it’s a rather closed off room, and there’s only one direction to focus on; use a full backrest. These stools will mostly be used for eating anyways, so you may as well give your guest maximum comfort.

What if you have something in between? You want to open up the room a little bit but you still want to give your guest added comfort. Buy a partial back stool that is a comfortable middle ground.

If your stools are for a bar room that is very open, get an open back. This is the traditional stool without a backrest. It opens up the room to a maximum amount.


There are also about three tiers here: small, medium, and large. They somewhat correlate to your needs for a backrest.

If your stools are at the edge of your kitchen, but the walkway between the bar of the kitchen and the living room is narrow, you will want a small stool. Basically, if you can’t afford to have large bar stools, don’t have them.

If you are looking for a good middle ground, find some medium sized bar stools which are generally partial backed.

You need your stool to be high enough to use the table of the bar, but not too high as to force people to arch their back. An adjustable bar stool provides utility here. The overall size matters too. Your kitchen or bar has a feeling. If it is a heavy oaky feeling, you need heavy bar stools, but if it is clean, white, and simple, you want non-invasive stools.

Make sure you don’t create a distraction with you bar stools. Think of them as earrings, you want them to have their own character, but they need to fit the bill of your ear first.

The Swivel

If your bar is facing a room but also facing away from another room, a swivel option is a must. This allows your bar stools to turn around and become a part of another room. If you want your bar to be focused on one area, don’t bother with a swivel. It will become counterproductive to your wishes.

But if you are using an area that can look in more than one direction, a swivel is a must. Especially children, many people will drag and twist your stool. This can damage your floor as much as they can break your bar counter by pushing off of it.

Don’t let someone damage your kitchen because you didn’t have the foresight to buy a swivel stool.


The material of your bar stool should match the materials of your kitchen. If there is stainless steel everywhere make sure you use stainless steel bar stools. The quality and texture of your stool should also match your kitchen. This includes the colors as well.

The potential materials are endless. Use wood if you are creating an oaky bar. Use plush cloth if you have shag carpet all around. People often forget this. They think that stools are just stools and forget that they also have a lot to do with the overall look, feel, and appearance of your kitchen or bar.


How many stools are you buying? Is it three like most kitchens? Is it just two? Or maybe you’re getting a long line of stools.

This has a large impact on all other considerations. If you are only getting two stools but there is a lot of bar space, feel free to get even heavier stools.

If you need to get several bar stools, obviously you will need to get slimmer and sleeker stools.

Don’t mix and match different stools, it looks very tacky. Stick to the same theme and make sure the number of your stools doesn’t ruin the overall look. If you have a heavy wooden feel to your bar but need several stools don’t get a bunch of bulky stools. You can’t afford the room it will take. Instead get lean wooden backless stools that will fit easily together.