Bar stools are a great buy if you have high kitchen islands, high countertops, at-home bars, or even if you are a pub/bar/restaurant owner that needs to invest in this almost-indispensable type of chair.
Backless bar stools are just one of the many different types of stools out there, so we’re going to look at some of the best-looking and most well-constructed models, but not before we take you on a trip down knowledge lane, so that we can all learn a little bit more about bar stools in general.
Best Saddle Seat: Juelz Counter & Bar Stool
If you love the curved design of a saddle seat but also want the comfort of foam padding and the ease of cleaning of a faux leather upholstery, the Juelz stool is one product worth checking out.
Best Acrylic: AllModern Counter Stool
With a total weight capacity of 300 pounds and a beautiful transparent seat, this AllModern set of two bar stools is the perfect example of how quality acrylic seats should be made.
Best Swivel Stool: Beaird 26″ Swivel Bar Stool
Moving around on a bar stool has never been easier, and the swiveling mechanism of the Beaird is smooth and reliable even after years of use.
Best Modern Design Option 1: Xanthe Bar & Counter Stool
“I needed counter height stools for the island in our newly remodeled kitchen that weren’t too bulky and didn’t stick out too much and these are perfect. They’re modern, sleek and comfortable.” (customer review)
Budget Pick: Turaco Bar & Counter Stool
Those of you that are on a budget and are looking for a modern and affordable backless bar stool will love the simple and reliable construction of the Turaco.
Easiest to Set Up: Harthe Stool
“These came well packaged and were super easy to put together. All parts were labeled and organized.” (customer review)
Best with Wood Seating: Axelle Solid Wood Bar Stool
“Love what these stools have done for our kitchen! They helped open up the space and are surprisingly comfortable for not having backs.” (customer review)
Highest Weight Capacity: Joss & Main Bar & Counter Stool
If your main concern when choosing a backless bar stool is how much weight it can hold, you’ll be pleased with the 500-pound weight capacity of the Joss & Main chair.
Best Modern Design Option 2: Akash 26.5″ Bar Stool
Thanks to its shiny metal frame, quality and soft velvet upholstery, and clear and sleek lines, the Akash bar stools are perfect for those aiming to bring a more modern vibe to their home.
Best for Rustic Decors: Hayden Bar & Counter Stool
Made entirely out of wood and with a natural grain that offers a rustic appeal, the Hayden bar stool can easily find its way into more traditional home setups.
How to Choose
Shopping for bar stools isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve never done this before. Therefore, the following suggestions might be useful for first-time bar stool shoppers:
First and foremost, you need to consider the different heights that are available on the market and determine which height is better for you. Bar stool heights usually start at 22 to 24 inches and can go even higher than 30 inches. A general rule is that the height of the bar stool should be around 10 to 12 inches shorter compared to the counter it sits behind if you want to sit in the most comfortable position possible. You can always choose a bar stool with adjustable height (this feature is most commonly found in swivel models).
Comfort is another thing that should be on your mind when you’re choosing a bar stool. The different types of bar stools available on the market include low back stools, high back stools, backless models, armed stool, swivel stools, and others.
Style is also an important shopping consideration because, just like every piece of furniture, the stool chosen needs to fit into the given decor. That means that you need to pay attention to details such as material, upholstery, and colors. You can choose to go with colors that accentuate or complement the decor. Modern bars stools with minimalist designs are really common in sophisticated room decors. You can always opt for pub-like bars in studio apartments or bachelor pads.
Then, you have to consider where the stool will be placed and what you intend to use it for. If you want to save space, backless bar stools are excellent because they can easily be tucked in underneath the bar/counter. If you plan to sit down for longer periods of time, high back stools and those with upholstery and padding will grant you more comfort. If you plan to use your bar stool with several tables/countertop surfaces, you might want to opt for a model with adjustable height.
Backrest vs. Backless Stools
Considered to be two main players on the bar stool market, backless and backrest chairs each have their own list of pros and cons, and there is a lot of controversy on which one of these two types is the most comfortable option. Even if a lot of people choose backless stool, there is a lot of negative publicity around the lack of back support that makes it uncomfortable to sit on them for too many hours, so let’s objectively examine these two types. The resulting comparison might shed more light on the situation and help you determine if backless stools are as bad as some people say they are.
#1: Backrest Stools
As you can imagine, this is a general name given to stools that offer backrests, just like a traditional chair often does. So, what are the benefits and drawbacks of stools that come with a backrest?
- Pro: They offer lumbar support. This is important when you’re bound to sit on the same stool for hours on end. The integrated backrest can relieve some strain off your back.
- Con: They can’t be tucked underneath the table/counter/bar. This means that the chair will take up more overall space, but it also means that you’re going to see the backrest above the countertop, which could be considered an aesthetic flaw that some people care about.
#2: Backless Stools
Then, you have the backless stool: a product that doesn’t come with this potentially important part of a chair, but is it always a bad thing?
- Pro: The stool can be concealed underneath the table/countertop/bar. This helps save space because you’ll be using the space underneath the table which would otherwise be considered wasted space, but the chairs are also concealed, which gives the kitchen a cleaner look.
- Con: They lack back support. Now, here is where the controversy kicks in. If you are used to sitting down in a straight-back position, this isn’t necessarily a drawback for you, because the spine can rest in a natural position even without this type of lumbar support. However, if you tend to lean in front a lot, the lack of backrest is basically one less motivator for you to sit down in a position that’s healthy for your spine.
Best Fabric for Stools
Stools aren’t just those high chairs that you see in bars, pubs, and restaurants, and there are also low-profile stools that can be used in other parts of your house. We thought it would be interesting to discuss what are the best fabrics to choose from for several types of stool that you could find throughout a person’s home, so here it goes:
One common place where people choose to place a stool is in front of a vanity. This is usually the place where you put your make-up on or take it off, so it’s safe to assume it’s a spot where you’ll be spending some time in. Choosing an uncomfortable fabric will distract you from a job as painstaking as focusing on your make-up. Proper fabrics for a vanity stool include microfiber and cotton.
Kitchen stools have specific requirements because they need to be able to handle spills, humidity, and even high temperatures, since that’s the place where you cook and, maybe, eat. When you choose a stool for your kitchen, vinyl and canvas are usually the best fabric options because they are resistant and, oftentimes, easy to clean. Stools with upholstery made from outdoor fabric are also a good idea.
For a counter stool, you want to go with water-resistant fabric or choose materials that are easy to clean. Leather and faux leather match that description, but you could always go with a simple acrylic chair that you can just wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
Best Backless Bar Stools
Our first pick of the day is a birch stool with design details and a sturdy construction that are bound to have you hooked. The overall dimensions for this tool are 24.5” H x 21” W x 14.5” D, with a seat height of 24.5 inches and a total weight of 12 lbs. It sports a saddle-type seat and has a backless construction, with seating covered in bonded leather and filled with foam padding. This stool can support a total weight of 250 pounds.
Combining a beautiful golden metal frame and a saddle-style transparent acrylic seat, this set of two AllModern stools has a modern design that would fit perfectly into a contemporary home. Each of the two stools has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, measuring 25” H x 16” W x 16.5” D, and having a seat height of 24 inches. The backless stools include a footrest to make sitting down more comfortable, and the curved seats made from clear acrylic are super-easy to clean with a cloth.
Let’s welcome yet another wonderfully-crafted bar stool, this time one that combines a solid wood frame with a saddle seat made with your comfort in mind. The faux leather upholstery is combined with foam padding for added seating comfort, while the chair is sturdy enough to support up to 330 pounds in weight. The chair measures 27.5” H x 20.5” W x 16” D overall and boasts a seat height of 26 inches. It offers 360-degree swivel rotation and floor protection provided by plastic glides.
When you’ve set up your kitchen in a modern style and you’re looking for bar stool with an interesting and sleek design, the Xanthe stools should be somewhere at the top of your shopping list. Measuring 14.5” W x 14.5” D x 31” H and with a seat height of 25 inches, this stool is created with a metal frame in a beautiful chrome finish that can support a total weight of 300 pounds. The faux leather seat and foam padding combination allows you to sit down comfortably for longer periods of time, while the interesting leg design with clean and subtle lines makes this stool a perfect contender for the “best modern bar stool” title.
The Turaco bar stool is one of the best budget picks on the market in 2021. It is designed to support up to 300 pounds in weight thanks to the sturdy metal frame used in its construction. The acrylic seat is just as easy to clean as seating on every other plastic stool on the market, while the plastic glides on the legs prevent your floors from getting scratched. The 26-inch seat height is paired with 18” W x 21.5” D dimensions, offering a comfortable seating experience, but not for long periods of time.
Coming in strong at 24” H x 18.5” W x 16” D and with a seat height of 24 inches, this backless bar stool is designed with a steel matte frame constructed in such a way as to support a total weight of 250 pounds per stool. The velvet upholstery feels qualitative and soft to the touch, with a foam cushion designed for your comfort. It has a modern design that pairs really well with matching-style furnishing, offering a pair of footrests on the back and front of the chair.
There are so many things we appreciate about the Axelle bar stools, so we’ve decided to add them to our list. They are designed with a hand-forged iron frame that builds up to a mango wood seating, with the finest grain and natural appeal. Each chair can support a total weight of 250 pounds and, we admit, we expected a bit more in regards to this particular feature, but 250 is still a solid number. With a 24.5-inch seat height, a saddle-style seating area, and beautiful curved details, this is one pair of bar stools that definitely fits the profile we’ve been aiming for today.
Put your hands together and give a round of applause to a backless bar stool that’s sturdy, reliable, and features a solid rattan construction. Thanks to its synthetic build, it can be used both inside and outside, so it already offers one benefit that the other stools in this list don’t have. The chair can support up to 500 pounds in weight, which is double compared to the average weight capacity of similar backrest bar stools. One chair measures 24” H x 16” W x 16” and comes at a seat height of 24 inches.
Another very modern bar stool option is the Akash chair. It is designed with a metal frame, a velvet upholstery, and foam padding, and it’s available in a wider range of upholstery colors to choose from (including a delicate pink velvet model and a bold navy option). Each chair has a weight capacity of 350 pounds, considerably more than the 250-pound average we see in most similar stools. The stool measures 26.5” H x 15” W x 15” D and has a seat height of 26.5 inches.
Made entirely out of wood, the Hayden bar stool is an option worth considering in rustic setups and for people who just love all-wood furniture and its traditional appeal. The chair measures 25.13” H x 17.38” W and has a seat height of 25 inches from the ground. The two-tone finish of this stool pairs really well with reclaimed wood tables and both light and dark-colored wood bars and counters, offering a certain charm that modern-style stool can’t possibly offer.
Are backless bar stools comfortable?
Yes, they can be comfortable, but not if you sit on them for longer periods of time, as that puts strain on your back. If you do plan on sitting on a backless bar stool for longer than recommended, at least choose one with a padded seat, for extra comfort.
Are bar stools good for posture?
Generally speaking, the position one has when sitting on a bar stool could help improve posture. That’s because the feet are under your body, which helps keep the spine aligned and gives you the chance to sit in a more alert posture.
What do you put under bar stools?
Plenty of people choose to put rugs underneath their bar stools, but felt pads are usually a better option if you don’t intend to move the chair around too much. Unless you choose bar stools with leg caps that help protect your floor from scratches, it is recommended that you place something underneath them.
Often chosen because of the possibility to tuck them underneath a countertop or a bar, backless bar stools have a generous fan base that swears by the practicality of these chairs. The versatile design options currently available on the market make it fairly easy to shop for a backless bar stool, with options that range from traditional models for rustic decors to sleek lines and beautiful metal finishes that are perfect for contemporary homes.