The Best Barstools for Every Style + Budget

If you're on the hunt for the just-right barstool, look no further. We've narrowed the search to the best seats on the market.

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June 22, 2021

Whether you're outfitting your kitchen island, a breakfast counter, an outdoor bar or a high-top table, you want to create a spot where friends and family gather in style and comfort. Barstools are the final key to making the most out of your kitchen or dining space.

How to Choose the Right Barstool

With hundreds of options to choose from, finding the perfect barstool can be a challenge. We'll walk you through how to select the right height and style, as well as how many stools will fit in your space. And then, we share our favorite picks.

Choose Your Height

First things first, you want the right height barstool to go with your surface. The basic guideline is to have nine to 12 inches between the bottom of your countertop or table and the top of your barstool. Counter-height stools are 24 to 27 inches high and used for countertops 35 to 39 inches tall. Bar-height stools are 28 to 33 inches high and used for surfaces 41 to 43 inches tall. Occasionally, extra-tall barstools (34 to 40 inches tall) are needed for 44 to 47-inch counters.

Find Your Style

There's a vast array of design styles when it comes to barstools, but they narrow down to backless or backed, with or without armrests, and swivel. Backless barstools save space since they can be tucked under the counter, while bar stools with backs offer back support and more comfort. If opting for ones with arms, be sure you can still slide them under the counter to maximize your space. Since barstools can be heavy, a swivel design allows you to grab a seat without having to move the stool.

What's the Magic Number?

To figure out how many barstools your room can handle, consider the spacing. You'll want to allow six to 12 inches between the side of each stool or about 26 to 30 inches between the centers of side-by-side stools. This will give everybody a comfortable amount of space when sitting next to each other without bumping elbows.

Select the Material

Wood, metal, plastic and rattan are all durable, easy-to-clean materials. Upholstered barstools add an extra layer of comfort and sophistication to the space but might require extra care to keep spots at bay. If choosing upholstery, leather, vinyl or canvas is easiest to keep clean.

Consider the Kids

When selecting barstools that will be used by kids, you want them to be sturdy enough so that they can climb up without toppling over, but not so heavy that they can't pull them out. Swivel stools are a good option since they won't have to scoot the stool out to get in the seat. Also, consider having stools with backs as an additional safety measure.

Best Metal Barstool

With more than 17,000 five-star reviews, this industrial-style barstool not only comes in 26 finishes and counter or bar height, but it's also designed to be used indoors or out. The backless design has a weight capacity of 500 pounds and is easily stacked for storage or cleaning.

Best Wood Barstool

These durable, traditional barstools are counter-height and made of kiln-dried solid rubberwood. Finished by hand, each stool has a rich texture, whether you choose the black, natural or white stain. Each stool is a little over 18 pounds — a sturdy weight that will not topple over easily.

Best Leather Barstool

Modern meets rustic in this chic metal-and-leather design. Inspired by a director's chair, the sling-style seat and back are comfortable and reinforced for sturdiness. Available in both counter- and bar-heights, the stool features an aniline-dyed leather, which develops a rich patina with use and age.

Best Wicker Barstool

Reminiscent of a horseshoe or wishbone chair, this barstool is steeped in tradition but utterly of the moment. The handcrafted stool combines a black-finished teak frame with a woven synthetic wicker seat for a striking contrast.

Best Budget-Friendly Barstool

You won't break the bank or sacrifice stability with this set of barstools. Constructed with a steel base, the barstools weigh 15 pounds each and have a 330-pound weight capacity. Reviewers tout their ease of assembly, and the compact design allows you to maximize your square footage.

Best Luxury Barstool

The subtle pattern and woven details make this barstool a charming addition to your space. The counter-height chair has a handcrafted mahogany frame and hand-wrapped natural fiber seat and back.

Best Adjustable Stool

Give yourself flexibility with these swivel stools that are adjustable from 22 to 30 inches in height. Made from bamboo and metal, they add an organically industrial style to your space.

Best Barstool With Arms

Bring the look of a Parisian bistro into your home with these rattan counter stools. A relaxed back and curved arms provide a comfortable seat for friends to gather around the island while you cook, for kids to finish up their homework, or for you to catch up on bills and write out your weekly calendar.

Best High-Glam Barstool

This eye-catching barstool is a wow-worthy moment in your kitchen or dining space. The handmade iron frame is lacquered in warm brass and creates a modern linear design. The low back provides support, and reviewers say they're super comfortable, as well.

Best Outdoor Barstool

Made for outdoor living, these bar-height stools blend solid mahogany and solid eucalyptus wood, which are rich in moisture-resistant oils, and then sealed with a protective topcoat. Adding to its durability, the seat and back are crafted from easy-to-clean and breathable textilene®. The final touch is a wire-brushed finish that infuses a weathered, coastal vibe.

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