How And Why To Choose Counter Height Stools

Bar stools are really versatile and often preferred for spaces such as the kitchen. But did you know there’s more than one type of bar stool? In fact there are four. The short or table-height stools are anywhere between 16” to 23” tall and they’re a good alternative to the standard dining chairs. You can safely use them for the breakfast nook.

Another type is the counter-height stool which is the one we’re more interested in. These stools are smaller than the ones used in bars and restaurants and they’re the best for kitchen islands. They measure between 24” and 27” in height. Then there’s also the bar-height stool which is the same one you see in bars. These can be used for standard built-in bars and have a height of 28” to 33”. The fourth type is the extra tall stool which is somewhere between 33” and 36” tall. In its case the name pretty much speaks for itself.

How to choose the counter height stoolsView in gallery
Choose your bar stools based on the type of table you prefer and the space you want to put it in
Chrome stools for counter islandView in gallery
If the counter is low or has adjustable height, the stools should match

So the height is an important criteria when choosing a bar stool, especially if you opt for a custom countertop height. But there’s more to counter-height stools than just that. Other measurements need to be taken into consideration as well. For example, make sure you space out the stools in a comfortable manner. The space between the center of a stool to the center of the one next to it should be between 26” and 30”.

Wooden Stools with Leather on topView in gallery
The material is also important. For spaces such as the kitchen or dining room, choose something low-maintenance
Wooden stool with leather on seatView in gallery
Leather, wood and metal are good options for stools that usually get dirty or that sit in high-traffic areas

You should also measure the space between the seat of the stool and the underside of the counter. A 9” to 12” space is a good choice. This means you and your guests would be able to sit comfortably without touching the counter with your knees. But measurements aren’t everything. You also need to think about the style of your counter-height bar stools, the materials they’re made of, their color and their number.

Contemporary stools for kitchen islandView in gallery
Plenty of bar stools have designs that allow them to look casual and to be comfortable at the same time
Curved stool seat - counter height stoolsView in gallery
Adjustable-height stools are a good option if there’s a diversified array of users

Of course, before any of that you should decide whether or not counter-height chairs are the best choice for your home. To help you decide, let’s made a quick comparison between standard and counter-height stools and the tables that match them. Standard tables are the most common and this means they come in a large variety of sizes, designs and finishes so it would be easier to find something you like in this category. Also, because standard-height tables are so common, people are more used with them and thus find them more comfortable. Another argument in their favor is the fact that they’re better for disabled people.

White stools - position for counter height stoolsView in gallery
There’s no need to go all matchy-matchy with the bar stools, although sometimes this can actually work
Wire kitchen StoolsView in gallery
Although counter-height tables tend to look more casual, you can still create a formal atmosphere if you want
Black kitchen with stoolsView in gallery
Counter-height bar stools work well in combination with most kitchen islands
Dark kitchen design with wire bar stoolsView in gallery
Decide whether you want your bar stools to make a design statement or to simply blend in

Counter-height tables are less common and their style is more casual. This allows them to create a more relaxed atmosphere which could be good for certain types of spaces. Also, they work well in small spaces since they appears to be taking less space because of their height and shape. You can use them in the kitchen where they would double as prep spaces.

Modern kitchen island - counter height stools from woodView in gallery
It’s usually a good idea to not let the stools overwhelm the island with their design
Wood kitchen stoolsView in gallery
Kitchen islands aren’t the only type you can use in combination with counter-height stools. Some work areas could use them as well
Industrial Design for kitchen stoolView in gallery
To save space, pick stools that can fit under the table or counter so you can free up floor space when they’re not in use