Bar stools are usually the last thing anyone thinks about when they’re planning a bar, but they are a vital part of any home bar setup.
There are different factors you can consider when buying bar stools for your home bar. While some seats, including the seven we’re going to discuss below, stand out, you need to find the ones that provide the features that you need for your specific bar setup.
Check out our review for the best bar stools on the market to complete your man cave.
A Barstool Buyer’s Guide
You should consider these things when you are choosing a barstool.
Does Height Matter?
The first factor you should consider is the height of the bar. Bar stools come in different heights, and you need to be sure that the one you choose fits at your bar.
Most commercial bars are about 40 inches tall. For these counters, a 30-inch bar stool is appropriate because it gives enough sitting space (and also allows the person to feel comfortable).
Home bars are usually shorter. They have a height of about 36 inches, on average. Most home bars require stools that are between 24 and 26 inches.
So, the general rule for bar stool height is to find a stool that sits 10-12 inches below the surface of the bar counter.
What Look Do You Want?
The best bar stools should blend in with the room. If you are going to make an investment in quality seats for your bar, you might as well make sure that the stools look good too. What are some of the options?
If the bar stool has a wooden frame with a dark finish and leather upholstery, it will have a formal look. This style could be a good option for a traditional bar design. If you take out the leather and good for all wood surfaces, you will get a more rustic look. Steel and plastic bar stools fit in contemporary spaces.
You’ll notice that many stools have neutral colors so they can blend in just about anywhere without standing out. However, there are also brighter colors and patterns available if you want something a bit more attention-grabbing.
What Features Matter to You?
A bar stool isn’t just there for the looks; it has to be functional and comfortable. You may want it to have certain features.
For starters, you can pick bar stools with adjustable height features. Not everyone is the same height, and if your seats are adjustable, your guests have more freedom to choose the level that works best for them. Adjustable barstools come with an airlift level or hydraulic pump. You pull a small lever to adjust the height. Thanks to the hydraulic assistance, even a child could adjust the height.
Also, consider picking a bar stool with a footrest so that your guests’ feet have somewhere to rest their feet. This feature can be especially important for taller seats. Backrests are also another feature to consider.
What About Comfort?
If you want to turn up the comfort quotient, you can opt for a model that has armrests. These can add another layer of comfort, especially if you get cushioned armrest. One thing to keep in mind if you opt for an ultra-comfortable armrest barstool is the height that the armrests add to the chair. You will not be able to sit close to the bar if the armrests are above the height of the bottom of the counter.
The final question: Do you want the barstool to be able to swivel? Swiveling features allow guests to turn around and talk to each other while remaining seated. It also makes it easy to get on and off the barstool.
What Material Should You Choose?
When picking the best bar stools, looks are important, but so is durability. Both looks and durability have to do with the stool’s materials.
Quality barstools are an investment, so you want to be sure that they are going to last for the long term. If you desire a classic look, stained wood, such as beechwood, and leather or faux leather upholstery can provide the look that you want. Unstained wood stools will give you a rustic, country-and-western feel, while many stool models come in a variety of colors from white to blue to black.
Metal and plastic stools might only fit with specific designs and color schemes. Quality metal stools can provide durability, and they can give a modern, industrial, or casual look, depending on the model. Finally, rubberized feet can protect your floor from scratches and chips.
Our Top Picks for Best Barstool
The best barstool is the one that fits perfectly in your man cave. That said, you can’t go wrong with any of the following seven models.
Angel Line Cambridge Bar Stools
These traditional bar stools feature cushioned seats with nailhead trim. The stool is 24 inches tall, which is a bit short for a barstool. However, the seat surface is large at 13″ by 18″. The generous size makes it comfortable for people of all sizes. The stools are available in a variety of colors, including cherry and dark red upholstery, among others, and comes in sets of two.
Christopher Knight Home Jaeden Backless Faux Leather Bar Stools
If you love the look and feel of leather, but not the price tag that comes with it, then you might be attracted to the faux leather on these bar stools. This Christopher Knight model is eco-friendly and comfortable. The upholstery has a neutral brown color that works well with just about any décor. The cushion pads provide comfort, and the brass nailhead finish can give the stools a formal look.
Winsome Pacey Stools
What we like most about this barstool, apart from its understated design, is the fact that it contains two footrests. This feature gives you the freedom to choose where to rest your feet. You can choose between two heights: 29 inches and 24 inches. The stools, which Winsome Pacey sells in sets of two, come in three colors: black, natural, or walnut.
The circular seat is 13.5″ in circumference. It has no cushion, so it may not be the best option if you put a premium on comfort. On the plus side, no assembly is needed and the overall design fits into just about any classic interior décor.
Stone & Beam Carson Tufted Leather Counter Height Kitchen Stool
The leather tufting and thick padding make this Stone & Beam stool comfortable, durable, and stylish.
The seat is 26″, and the full height is 41″. In addition to leg rests, this chair also has a backrest. The leather is relatively easy to care for, and you can clean the surface with a moist towel. The circular seat is 13.5″ in circumference. It has no cushion, so it may not be the best option if you put a premium on comfort. On the plus side, no assembly is needed and the overall design fits into just about any classic interior décor.
Roundhill Furniture Contemporary Chrome Air Lift Adjustable
These adjustable airlift swivel stools have a contemporary design with single-leg chrome frames and black seats. Users can adjust the height from 24″ to 30″, making this chair suitable for counters or bars of almost any size. The cushion brings a high level of comfort, and the 15-inch large seat can accommodate people of any size.
The Bottom Line
Of all the options on this list, our choice for the best bar stool is the Angel Line Barstool. While it’s relatively short at 24″, it is an acceptable height for the average kitchen counter or home bar. It blends comfort and a reliable, durable design. Best of all, the Angel Line can fit with almost any type of interior design.
Depending on your home’s interior design and your needs, one of the other stools on our list could turn out to be a better fit for your needs.