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How to select a Bar/Dining Stool

Posted on March 9, 2016

In this article, I will walk you through the different things you need to consider when you are shopping for bar/dining stools for your room. Please be seated, here we go!


  • How do I know what height I need? There are 3 basic heights: Dining, Counter or Bar. To work out your needs take a tape measure and measure the distance from the top of the dining surface to the floor.

For Counter and Bar surfaces you should double check where the surface supports are (sometimes they may block you from pushing in the bar stool all the way. Then you can determine not only the height but where the stools will fit.

table counter bar height

  • How many people will be eating together? Do you need 2, 3 or 4 stools?
  • What height do you prefer for the stool? Again measure your preferred height from eating surface to the top of the seat. You will find that there are options. Select the one most comfortable for your home.
  • What width do you prefer for the seating surface? There are 3 basic choices” 15”, 17”, 21”. What size is most comfortable for you and your family? Check out the diameter of a favorite dining chair to use as a guide.

barstool seat diamter


  • Contemporary/Modern that features straight lines, often without a back.
  • Country/Rustic styles offer textures and sometimes a 2-tone look. These are available with or without t back.
  • Traditional stools for more formal spaces are perfect for that bar you have stained in a dark wood and include extra carvings/designs in the base. These are available in a number of finishes.
  • Transitional or more Urban looking feature straight lines but often with a lattice or wood back and are often seen without upholstered seats.

Which style below suits your décor best?

Contemporary / Modern

Country / Rustic




The 2 things you need to think about when considering a bar stool:

  • Adjustable height. Some bar stools come with a hydraulic pump that allows you to adjust the seat up or down. This can be helpful if you have small children and adults who will both be using the stools at different times. Best placements: bar areas and kids' playroom.
  • Swivel. The swivel function allows the seated person to turn from side to side without moving the chair base. Likewise, memory swivel allows the stool to rotate back to the same position after someone has rotated it. This is the perfect option for an individual who likes to keep their home looking tidy. Best placements: kitchen islands and dining area.  


What other options are there when it comes to Bar stools? 3 things to consider:

  • Frame Materials. The frame can be constructed out of wood, metal, wicker, or plastic. All of these materials are quite durable, so focus on selecting a material that works with your existing decor. Wood stools exude a traditional look and feel while offering a variety of finishes and colors. Metal stools can be selected to match the other metals in your home—bronze, chrome, steel.
  • Seat Materials. Choose from a large selection of seat materials available, including wood, upholstered, metal, and wicker. If you have small children or are using these stools in a high traffic area, consider a material like wood or metal that's easy to clean.
  • Some stools come with arms, which can create a more formal look. Be sure to measure the height of your bar before purchasing to ensure the arms will easily slide under the counter. You can select stools with cushioned or padded arms for a more comfortable experience, of ones with wooden arms for more structure and function.

  Examples from the BrandSource Amisco shop:

amisco stools

amisco stools

amisco stools

amisco stools

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