Finding Your Perfect Bar Stools


Whether you’re creating a bar area, adding seating by a kitchen bench or breakfast bar, or just adding casual seating in your home, bar stools are the answer. But how to decide which bar stool? More so, where to even start? We’ve got your back.

Header image features the Replica Sebastian Wong Heidi Tractor Bar Stool, styled by OurDandyLife.

The Size of The Lad

First of all, you need to decide how big or tall you want your bar stools to be. If you’re looking to add seating at a kitchen bench this is easy! Just make sure they’re an appropriate height for that surface (generally about 30cm difference from the bottom of the counter top to the top of the seat will do the trick). This is also true if you already have a bar table—just measure away!

Juhana Rattan Bar Stool, Natural (Set of 2)

If you don’t have that starting point, then you’re a bit more free in your options. A standard height for bar stools is around 65cm, which can be a good starting point. Of course, if you’re on the slightly shorter side then perhaps a shorter stool is the right move, and vice versa for those with longer legs.

Baby Got Back

Chairs have backs, so why not stools too, right? Wrong. Well, kind of. A lot of stools do have backs, but a lot of stools don’t. Just like with height, whether or not you want a back on your bar stool is up to you and your needs. Bar stools with backs mean you have a little extra support in your casual seating and it means you can try to maintain a better posture. This is great for your body so you might think ‘Why even bother with a bar stool that doesn’t have a back?’

Replica Tolix Wooden Seat Bar Chair, White, 78cm

While this comfortable functionality might sway you to the stools-with-backs camp, there are plenty of things to tempt you to the backless stools side. One of the main appeals of backless stools is that they are very easy to stack, which can make them very easy to store when they’re not in use—ideal for those compact spaces. In addition to this, they can also be very easily tucked underneath tables and benches which opens up a lot of floor space for activities.

Style Me Up, Scotty

You might not think of stools as the most stylish part of a home. After all, they’re kind of just a couple of legs with a flat top. However, these legs and top can still evoke a range of styles.

Wood or metal is one of the main decisions you’ll make, but even after you have an inkling of the type of material you like, there’s still colour, shape, number of legs, and footrest style to consider. Yes this is all a lot to consider and yes you can just kind of feel it out, but it’s still important to consider it before shopping. Materials like oak and beech with breathe fresh, contemporary, light style into any space while deep walnut tones can enhance a vintage-style aesthetic. Not to mention, metallic designs can reflect industrial styles.

On top of materials, the silhouette you choose can be important. A round seat, for example, can be a lot more flexible—no need to turn the whole stool around when you want to face another direction—than square shapes. Of course, a moulded seat means you can get comfy and settle in easily. A few important things to remember to make choosing easier are: make sure your feet can reach the footrest, ensure the angle of your thighs on the seat is comfy, and check for stoppers on the feet if your floors are easily marked or scuffed.

Beyond all that it’s totally up to you!

Paige Riddiford is a writer and editor from NSW with a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Wollongong. When not writing, Paige is often found reading, baking cakes, playing video games, or binging whatever's new on Netflix.