The Best Barstools for Every Style and 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.
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. 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, material and style, as well as share how many stools will best fit in your space. And then, we share our favorite picks.
How to Choose the Right Barstool
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 are used for countertops 35 to 39 inches tall. Bar-height stools are 28 to 33 inches high and are 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.
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.
Quantity: 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.
Material: Wood, metal, plastic and rattan are all durable, easy-to-clean materials for barstools. 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 are easiest to keep clean.
Price: As with most furnishings, prices can range from super affordable to completely opulent. You don't have to break the bank to get a sturdy barstool, though. We made sure to find a mix of barstools at different price points to fit within any budget.
Kid-Friendly: 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.
How We Picked Our Top Barstools
We started our selection process for the best barstools by scouring the Internet, reading reviews by buyers and designers alike, and asking fellow editors, family members and friends for their favorite picks. And, of course, we considered our own experiences — especially when it comes to selecting the desired style and materials and finding the right price for different budgets.
Best Classic Barstool
With a traditional appearance and tufted detailing, the Winfall Barstool is ergonomically designed with an oversized seat and well-placed footrest. A curved back provides 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 Transitional Barstool
Infuse Pinterest-worthy design into your kitchen or bar area with this set of barstools by 17 Stories. The bucket seats provide a comfortable, sturdy place to dine, while the faux leather upholstery and contrasting metal legs will complement most decor styles. Choose from seven upholstery colors and two heights to best fit your space.
Best Farmhouse Barstool
Utterly classic paired with a touch of rustic, the Harwich Windsor Barstool infuses any dining space with farmhouse style. But the best part? They'll also be right at home in a traditional room or serve as a chic contrast to a contemporary spot. We rarely find a place Windsors don't belong, especially in a natural wood finish like this one.
Best Coastal Barstool
A breezy, take-it-easy coastal kitchen deserves an equally laidback barstool grouping, and the Mistana Alastair Barstools will provide just that. Constructed of a handcrafted rattan frame paired with an eye-catching woven seat, the backless stool easily wipes clean and can handle everyone from rambunctious kiddos to fun-loving party guests.
Best Midcentury Modern Barstool
Boasting a timeless midcentury appearance, the Archaimbaud Barstools by Wade Logan blend contemporary and vintage seamlessly. The curved upholstered seat is ergonomically designed for ultimate comfort, and the walnut bentwood frame adds an eye-catching dose of midcentury modern design. The stools are available in four hues and two heights.
Best Boho Barstool
If you're on the hunt for a barstool that complements your bohemian style, then look no further than the Threshold Olivine Barstool from Target. The rattan-like woven seat and back lend a relaxed, natural vibe that encompasses boho design. Tubular metal legs provide support, while the armless silhouette makes it easy to get in and out of.
Best French Country Barstool
French country interior design marries cozy rustic elements with sophisticated elegance, and this barstool by Three Posts will provide that lived-in charm needed. Featuring a double X back detailing paired with distressed accents, the stool is not only visually appealing but also a comfortable place to enjoy a meal thanks to its padded foam seat cushion. Choose from six antique-inspired shades for the perfect fit.
Best Basic Barstool
Basic doesn't have to mean boring. These barstools from Amazon have a sturdy, solid wood construction as well as contoured saddle seats and footrests. Because the stools are backless, they're easy to move from the kitchen to the dining room or wherever you need extra seating. Available in brown, black and white, they'll seamlessly fit with any design style.
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 Charcoal, Antique White, Antique Umber or Seadrift stain. Each stool is a little over 36 pounds — a sturdy weight that will not topple over easily.
Best Metal Barstool
With more than 2,200 five-star reviews, these industrial-style barstools come in eight finishes and four different heights to ensure you'll find the ideal combination for your space. The low-back design has a weight capacity of 330 pounds so they're uber sturdy; plus, the stools are easy to clean as well as stackable.
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. Pick up the stool in six neutral colorways.
Best Woven Barstool
Get the designer look in your kitchen — without the hefty price tag — with the Threshold Ceylon Barstool from Target. The star of the show is the backrest and seat constructed from woven strips to create that sought-after designer look. Four rubberwood legs make up the base and are accented with convenient footrests for support. The best part? The stool is available in six colorways including black, natural and white.
Best Budget-Friendly Barstool
You won't break the bank or sacrifice stability with this set of barstools from Amazon. 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 wherever you place them.
Best Luxury Barstool
The subtle pattern and woven details make the Carson Barstool from Serena & Lily a charming addition to your kitchen area. The counter-height chair has a handcrafted mahogany frame and hand-wrapped natural fiber seat and back, giving the stool a luxurious and splurge-worthy appeal.
Best Barstool With Arms
Sit back and relax in the Threshold Easters Barstool Set from Target. Wooden arms pair with padded upholstered seats and backs to create a stool you (and your guests) will want to sit in all the time. The modern design not only features handy armrests but also has built-in footrests for added support.
Best Adjustable Stool
Give yourself flexibility with these Williston Forge Wellman Swivel Barstools from Wayfair. The stools are adjustable from 24 to 30 inches in height. Made from solid manufactured wood and distressed metal, they add an organically industrial style to any space.
Best High-Glam Barstool
Best Outdoor Barstool
Made for outdoor living, these counter- and bar-height stools are grounded with wood-look powder-coated aluminum frames that are rust-resistant and sturdy. Adding to their durability, the seats are crafted from easy-to-clean and breathable Textilene rope that's topped with wear-resistant cushions. The final touch is a stylish cross-weaving pattern that infuses a weathered, coastal vibe.