Comprehensive Guide to Bar Stools and Counter Stools

Bar Stools and Counter Stools

From your counter space, dining room or even the entry way, bar stools are efficient seating options that can be used anywhere. Bar stools bring versatility, functionality, and style to any venue and gathering. With over a hundred of silhouettes and endless combinations of finishes and upholstery, choosing a bar stool or counter stool has never been easier. However, purchasing a stool for your venue involves more than selecting your favorite style.

Bar Stools and Counter Stools

With their height and narrow profile, restaurant bar stools provide a casual yet well-tailored aesthetic to any space. However, a bar stool isn’t useful if it doesn’t fit well under your counter or restaurant table. You would need to measure your table or counter’s height. Legroom must be accounted for when selecting the right size.

Not all labeled bar stools and counter stools will automatically fit your space. Your counter and restaurant bar height table dimensions may be outside the traditional range. Measuring is especially paramount. You would first need to measure the width of the table or counter area to determine how many stools you’ll need. Leave at least 6 inches between each stool so guests can sit comfortably and not feel overcrowded. If your stools have swivels or arm rests, you should allow an 8 or 10 inch space between them.

Seat Height and Width

Stool Type Height Best Use
Chair Seat height measures between 17" - 20". Recommended for 30" - 33" table heights. Restaurant dining tables
Counter Stool Seat height measures between 23" - 28" and pair best with 35" - 37" table heights. Kitchen and counter islands.
Bar Stool Seat height measures between 29" - 32" and should be paired with 41" - 43" table heights. Bar height restaurant tables or 42" bar counter-tops.
restaurant seating diagram

Measurement Guidelines

industrial bar stools

To ensure that the bar stool you pair with a restaurant table is a perfect fit, you would need to:

  • Measure from the top of the counter or table to the floor.
  • Subtract 10 to 12 inches from the counter or table height.
  • Don't forget to count for additions such armrests which may require more space.

Doing this will give you the approximate height of your ideal bar stool for leg comfort and optimum space. Other measurements you need to consider when selecting commercial bar stools are the space between each stool when placed next to the counter or table. You should leave at least 6 inches of space between each stool. There should also be a 26 to 30 inch distance between each bar stool, measuring from the center of one stool to the next.

Construction and Seat Materials

Bar Stools and Counter Stools diagram

Commercial bar stools are built from high-grade durable materials to support weight. Since bar stools are made in a variety of materials from wood, metal, aluminum, plastic or wicker, you should select a material that works best for your existing décor and seating needs.

Wood and metal are two of the most used materials to construct bar stools and are offered in a wide range of colors and finishes to compliment your venue’s style. When it comes to seat materials for your bar stool, functionality and comfort are significant factors.When purchasing bar stools, most customers prefer the comfort a well-cushioned upholstered seat provides. Not only do upholstered bar stools add aesthetic value but also give you the opportunity and leverage to use color, texture and pattern to spaces. Bar stools with no cushion or any upholstery, on the other hand, are easy to clean and offer easy maintenance which is especially crucial in high traffic areas.

Affordable Seating exclusively uses solid wood seats in constrast to our competitors which in most cases use plywood seats. The look and quality of plywood is inferior than that of solid wood which is usually imported from China. When shopping for wood restaurant furniture, pay attention to the fine print.

Features and Styles

bar stools with arm rests


Bar stools with armrests provide your décor with a more formal look. Some of these restaurant bar stools are offered in padded or cushioned armrests for a more comfortable seating experience.

Wood / metal arms deliver more function and structure. Measure the height of your table or counter top to make sure the armrests will fit properly underneath.
swivel bar stools


These bar stools offer the comfort and maneuverability with their 360 degree swivel function while the rest of the frame remains stationary.

Swivel bar stools allow you to easily turn around allowing guests the ability to move in and out of their seats without having to move the entire stool. This makes them ideal for sports bars and other venues offering live entertainment.
bolt down restaurant bar stools

Bolt - Down

These bolt down swivel bar stools are the only place to sit in any contemporary designed eatery. Thoughtfully engineered and meticulously designed, these bar stools are made of supreme craftsmanship to withstand the rigorous demands of the food industry.

Bolt down bar stools are common in bowling alleys where fixed furniture is often used. They certainly add character and blend design with functionality.
retro restaurant bar stools

Retro / Vintage

If you operate a retro-themed diner or ice cream parlor, these bar stools are a great option. They are also a perfect way to inject a little fun and vintage charm into your existing décor. Retro style bar stools we sell come with a swivel mechanism.

Many of them are height adjustable making them ideal for barber shops, hair salons, etc. They will catch your eye and delight with their timeless design.
backless restaurant bar stools


Backless bar stools are another popular choice as they allow people to slide in and out of their seats and remain out of the way.

This potentially minimalizes accidents and disruption of service when there is a lot of traffic at restaurants/bars. These stools can be can be used in places where visual connectivity is needed. They have a versatile design that is perfect for any décor.
industrial restaurant bar stools

Industrial / Rustic

Industrial bar stools have a sturdy rustic look as well as a contemporary feel to them. Inspired by iconic designers, these bar stools often feature metal-wood materials and two-toned finishes.

Distressed wood, black/grey metal championed with rich warm finishes bring a utilitarian flair and add a casual warehouse charm to these bar stools.
modern restaurant bar stools


If you don’t want anything over the top and if easy styling is a must for you, these sleek contemporary bar stools may be just what you need. These bar stools are featured in glossy minimalist frames that are normally molded from fully welded metal.

They mix well with both modern and traditional décor themes. Their various back designs match with any style and bring an update look to any venue.
traditional restaurant bar stools


If you want something with visual interest, quality craftsmanship and elegant details, these bar stools are a fantastic decoration piece. These traditional bar stools characteristically feature a dark finish wood frame and a vinyl upholstered seating to produce a formal and stately look in a space, especially in a fine-dining setting.

Available in an extensive variety of styles, and finishes, these bar stools can be used to create a welcoming and authentic look of a typical British/Irish pub look.
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