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The stools at your kitchen counter are genuinely the most coveted seats in the house. Some even consider their perch on a chair to be their command center — the place they make lists for the day, dream up their next project and connect with family members.
The kitchen counter is where your kids eat their breakfast and do their homework after school. It’s where you sip wine and talk about your day. It’s the first place friends go when invited over for a get-together.
That’s why it’s so vital that you nail this element of your décor. The right stool needs to be stylish, comfy, and sturdy. Here are 10 of the best bar and counter stools to check out.
- 360-degree swivel
- Gas-lift adjustable seat height
- Set of two stools
There is nobody who will look at these stools and wonder if they like them. These sleek modern wonders are surprisingly affordable and look the part of something ten times their value. They are comfortable to boot and can make even the most cramped space feel like the modern loft of a tech-wunderkind,
Plus, the leatherette surface of the stools is easy to wipe down in case of spills, so they’ll stay looking nice for years to come. So, sip your coffee from these chairs with an air of smugness, knowing what a steal you found.
View Vogue Furniture Direct Grey Leather Barstool Set on Amazon
- Comfortably padded seat
- High back
- Weight limit of 331 pounds
Is it just us, or does it seem like the more modern a piece of furniture is, the less comfortable it is? This one accomplishes a modern look while still managing to be comfortable with its foam padding, high back, and velvet fabric.
This stool has a soft, modern appeal that can bring warmth to a sterile kitchen or make a home bar feel more like the real thing. It’s cozy enough to be a perch for an entire evening. Can you say, “Let’s have another round?”
View Modway Rouse-Performance Velvet Barstool on Amazon
- Breathable for no-sweat sitting
- Easy assembly
- Holds up to 300 pounds
Is this set of two chairs love at first sight for you, too? We swoon over the light grey option and how sleek they look with those black powder-coated steel legs. Plus, they’re some of the most comfortable bar stools you’ll find. Check out the molded, cushioned seats and the backrest that makes you want to stick around for another cup of tea.
Scratch-resistant legs seal the deal, especially for households with kids or pets. The rowdy ones can use the chairs as pillow forts to their heart’s content, your puppy can even try to nibble a leg, and these chairs will still look as good as the day they came out of their box. Money well spent!
View Sophia & William Kitchen Bar Stools with Back on Amazon
- Swivels 180 degrees
- Bonded leather upholstery
- Weight capacity of 250 pounds
We love the clean look of this mid-century stool, and we especially adore the walnut and cream finish for the classic appeal. While the build is slim, the seat is still comfy enough to hold up to weeknight meals or evenings of wine and conversation. Unlike other options that come in light colors, this seat can wipe clean—no worries about the spilled Merlot or dropped spaghetti. A home can still have style and be functional; what better way to affirm that than with the mid-century style?
View George Oliver Alin Swivel & Counter Stools on Wayfair
- Set of two stools
- Soft seat
- Height of 25.75 inches
These modern counter height stools are a sweet baby blue and add just the pop of color that your kitchen may be craving. A white kitchen could use some livening up with color. These stools are practical but fun.
We like that they’re sleek yet sturdy and tuck neatly under counters when not in use. They’re also easy to assemble and will be right at home in just about any style of kitchen. Imagine white cabinets, dark wood floors, and these beauties. The stools are enough to add some distinctive texture to an unexpected space or unite a kitchen to the main living space. Your open floor plan will thank you.
View Christopher Knight Home Lopez Fabric Backless Counter Stools on Amazon
- Height adjustable
- Made out of cast iron and solid pine
- Anti-rust powder coating
There’s a lot to love about this stool. It has the charm of an antique picked from a roadside shop, with none of the dust and schlepping that comes along with it. There is no persuading your friend with a pick-up truck to get you in the middle of nowhere to transport your treasure.
This charming stool is adjustable, has a solid pine seat, and has built-in protection so it doesn’t scratch the floor. It’s lovely and offers a retro-industrial touch to a rambling kitchen or even a porch.
- Ringed footrest
- Rubber feet for floor protection
- 360-degree swivel
From engagement rings to sauté pans rose gold is on a roll. It somehow manages to look both classic and fresh at the same time — and these bar stools are no exception. They’re height-adjustable and the seat swivels, so you can turn your attention to catch any conversation in the room. Plus, their rubber feet won’t scratch your floor. These stools also come in black, chrome, and gold, but our vote is for the rose gold which will look stunning in any kitchen style.
This set of two stools will keep any room feeling updated and is an affordable way to transform even the smallest space, and the finish makes it look more expensive than its price tag. We won’t tell your guests that you got a bargain.
View Brage Living Rose Gold Backless Metal Stools on Amazon
- Set of two counter stools
- Sturdy footrests
- Holds up to 300 pounds
These simple but elegant stools are not adjustable, but they are great for counter heights that range from 36- to 39-inches. They’ll blend seamlessly into your existing decor. The best interior designers know that not everything in your house can or should be the star of the show. This set of two stools tucks neatly under your counter, allowing your lighting, cabinets, and counters to shine.
Constructed of solid wood, they offer a footrest and a saddle-style seat that’s wider — and more comfortable — than most bar stools. They’re available in black, walnut and white. They are even low enough to make an ideal desk seat in a child’s bedroom and are great for larger kids and teens with their 300-pound weight limit. This stool could be the secret hack for creating extra, comfortable seating in your house.
- Set of four stools
- Indoor or outdoor use
- Holds 320 pounds
Multi-purpose stools can be a great idea, and these babies can be used outside or inside. For indoor usage, the rubber feet on each stool will protect the floors, making sure you avoid scratches. They’re great as an affordable way for keeping extra seating when entertaining at this price, and when you don’t need them all, the extras can be stacked and put into storage.
These are equally usable in the kitchen and light enough for kids to move themselves. There is something to be said for simple, indestructible, affordable furniture. If it looks as cute as these, it’s a bonus.
View Devoko Metal Stackable Barstools Modern Style on Amazon
- Anti-slip feet
- Set of two
If you’re lucky enough to have a home where it’s always sunny and warm, these charming rattan stools can help you create a tropical, relaxed vibe. Or you can pretend you live in a coastal region and trot them out on your patio in the summer months.
While they look delicate, they’re sturdy enough to hold up to 330 pounds. There’s no assembly required, making your life simpler. Hands down, these are some of the best bar stools for the kitchen island, whether you live on an island or not. They make easy, breezy, island living look good.
View Rattan High Stool Dining Chair on Amazon
Deciding on the Best Kitchen Stool for You
When looking for the right kitchen or bar stools for your space, you’ve got to cover your bases. Think about what you expect from your stool. Is this stool for a regular height countertop or elevated seating? Do you want your chair to swivel? What’s your price range? Who is primarily using the seat? Lower sturdier options might be best for the very young or old.
Counter and Stool Height
A typical counter height is between 35 to 40 inches. To work with that, the typical counter chair or bar stool should be 23 to 28 inches.
Be sure to measure these ahead of time. Don’t assume that any standard stool will work or that you have a typical counter. For example, some home builders add lower counter heights in areas for kids or people with disabilities. Or, if your house dates from an era before the 1970s, countertops may not meet any standard building code.
Location – Kitchen Island, Bar, or Counter?
Where the stools will be used matters more for a stylistic reason. If you’re using these in a man cave bar, you’ll want to go for a darker wooden look. If you’re using these in a bright white kitchen with white marble countertops and copper accents, you’ll want to match that vibe. If your home is more formal, cushioned options may fit better within the aesthetic. More uncomplicated stools work better for more casual spaces like patios or playrooms.
Number of Stools Needed
Consider the number of stools you’ll need. The number of chairs will impact the dimensions, style, and pricing. If you only need one or two seats, you can spend more money and go for high-end fashion. On the other hand, if you’re trying to get six people crammed in at the counter, things can add up fast. And not just the price tag, seats may take up more space than expected once placed in a group.
In addition, you can get away with a wild design if it’s in a smaller number. Love a purple zebra pattern? That could work with one or two, but line up four of them in a row, and things might get tacky fast. Wild designs and off-kilter styles can relax by using more straightforward, more subdued options. Why not mix and match a few items from this list?
Backrests are great for relaxing and spending a reasonable amount of time in the chairs, but these tend to be a bit pricier and heavier. It may also make storing the chairs harder if you’re trying to save space and slip them under the counter.
One hybrid approach is a low-back counter chair that gives some level of back support but isn’t taller than the counter or bar itself. Low-profile backs can offer the best of both worlds.
Consider whether the chair’s radius can swivel; a 360-degree “spin” differs from a 180-degree pivot. The larger radius lends itself better to casual areas like bars and patios, whereas a more subtle swivel can function in a more formal space. Swivel chairs are great for parties and quickly talking to different groups of people around you. If you love to entertain, definitely prioritize the swivel.
They also allow easy entry and exit if the chairs are heavier and harder to move. We’ve all been to that restaurant where there’s a heavy bar chair that’s hard to move and awkward while you bump into other patrons. The swivel prevents that.
Leather or faux leather? Natural or synthetic material? The list is endless, but think about how often the stools will get used, how much time and effort you want to spend cleaning these, and who will be using them. Ladies from the garden club coming over for tea sandwiches are a different crowd from a pack of juice-swilling school-age kids. Something that will wipe clean easily is always a good choice. Even ladies-who-lunch spill sometimes. Or consider if it is an investment worth protecting with a chemical stain retardant like Scotch-Guard by 3M.
The framing of the chair or stool affects the weight of the piece, the weight capacity, and the product’s lifetime. For example, cheaply made fiberboard stools will have a shorter lifespan than solid mahogany or other hardwoods. But these woods add a lot of weight and can hinder movement. However, lightweight metals such as aluminum can be sturdy and easy to move, but tend to tip over.
This one is ultimately up to you – you can choose modern, traditional, retro, industrial, or another style. Take some time to match your kitchen materials and make sure the colors and patterns align. Spend time browsing through interior design magazines to get a feel for what combinations work or don’t work. More importantly, trust your gut. If you like it, try it. Taste is relative and constantly changing. Focus on if something expresses personal style.
The weight of the stools can be vitally crucial for opposite reasons. For example, if you have younger kids, you don’t want something they can shake around in if they throw a tantrum or just get a little excited. That may cause the chair/stool to fall over and lead to injury. However, for kids in late elementary school and older, it could be helpful if they could pull up a stool to the counter to play a game or get help on homework.
Conversely, wide, plush counter chairs are great for heavier adults. You’ll want the chair weight to be heavy as well to hold their frames. Typically, but not always, the chair’s weight indicates the weight capacity. Soft rattan stools might not be a good choice for a family of linebackers, and engraved rosewood might not be a good idea for a home with young children.
Size and Dimensions
Beyond the height of the stool, you’ll want to look into the width and depth. Some crazy wide, plush counter chairs just take up so much room. If you only need two of them, it’s not a problem, but if you’re trying to maximize counter seating, you’ll want to go for slimmer options that look good without being too cramped. You will also want to consider scale, and if you have a massive work table in the kitchen, the stools need to measure up. Anything too fragile or small will get lost and look out of place. It is a balance in proportions that delineates visually pleasing spaces from the cluttered ones.
If you’re in a smaller space, you may want stackable stools that you can bring out just for specific events. Usually, lightweight aluminum stools work well here. You can store and stack these in your pantry or hallway closet and bring them out as needed, put a tablecloth over the top, and have a cocktail table, perfect for decreasing bottle-necks at larger gatherings in small spaces.
Once you address these fundamental questions, there is just one question left: Can you imagine drinking your morning coffee there? If the answer is yes, you’ve found the best counter stool for your home.