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Bar & Counter Stools

Designed to be taller and more streamlined than many other chairs or seating solutions, bar stools live up to their name by providing a thin, tall base with seating right on top similar to what you encounter in many bars and diners. The range of styles available for bar stools and their close cousin, counter stools, can offer something for every home. At Art Van, you'll find everything from traditional bar stool designs to taller chairs with backs, swivels, and armrests, even gas-lifted stools to help your whole family get more comfortable.

Take a look at our home bar stools and counter stools to find the perfect stools for your home, your bar, or your kitchen.

Buying Guide

Finding the right bar stool takes more than just finding a color and size you like. Bar stools and counter stools come in many different styles with a lot of different options, each of them designed to provide the perfect seating arrangement for any counter or bar in the house. Learn the variations of counter stools and bar stools and you'll find the perfect stool for your house.

Types of Bar & Counter Stools

Counter chairs and bar height chairs come from a similar idea - a chair or seat on taller legs that allow you to sit at a higher bar top or countertop that regular dining chairs can’t quite reach.

But from there you get a wide range of options in size, style, and type, all of which have something to offer depending on what you want out of a home bar stool.

Bar Stools

Bar stools are a common sight in many houses with a breakfast nook, kitchen counter dining space, or other high surfaces due to their height and streamlined design. Traditional bar stools have a lot in common with the kind seen in actual bars or diners - a wood or metal base with either multiple legs or a solid stand to sit on, with a rounded top for sitting, typically without arms or a back. These are great for quick meals, impromptu get togethers in the kitchen, or enjoying a drink at that home bar.

Counter Stools & Kitchen Counter Stools

Counter stools, often referred to as “kitchen counter stools” or “counter-height stools”, are similar to bar stools in concept but can have different features. While many counter stools can offer a backless design, kitchen stools are just as likely to have a back or even armrests. The biggest difference is that counter stools tend to sit lower than bar stools. While counter stools still have longer legs and bases than standard chairs, kitchen counter stools tend to sit between 24-29 inches tall, as the standard counter height in most American homes is around 34-39 inches.

Gas Lift Bar Stools

Gas lift bar stools have a distinct difference from regular bar stools - the ability to adjust the height. Mounted on a solid base, gas lift bar stools allow air to flow in through a valve that moves the seat up and down for a smoother and more accurate adjustment than other adjustable bar stools. (Don’t be put off by the name - there’s no ‘gas’ you actually have to work with, the valves just let in air from outside the stool to move the seat itself up and down.)

Swivel Bar Stools & Swivel Counter Stools

Another fun and mobile option is swivel stools. Swivel stools offer the same base design as standard stools but with one difference - the chair can swivel around on the base in a circle like an office chair.

What Size Bar Stool Do I Need?

When shopping for a new bar stool or counter stool, it’s important to find a stool at just the right height to keep you comfortable while you eat and relax.

Consider the height of your current counter in comparison to the height of your bar stool. Standard bar-height stools tend to come in between 29 and 32 inches high, and pair best with table or counter heights between 41 and 43 inches. Most home bars, bar-style tables, and kitchen islands are built to this height, and would be better served by bar stools due to their taller height.

Counter stools, on the other hand, tend to run a little shorter at about 23-28 inches high. Standard kitchen countertops typically stand between 35 and 37 inches tall. The majority of countertops are built at this height to accommodate the height of standard kitchen appliances like ovens and dishwashers, so you're better off with a counter-height stool instead of a taller bar stool.

Bar Stool & Kitchen Stool Styles

Here comes the fun part - finding the right color and style.

Bar stools and counter stools are available in a variety of material, style, and design to help you find the perfect stools for your bar, kitchen, or patio.

Bar Stool Materials

With bar stools, the choice of material is an important one. Stools tend to have a simple design and construction than larger furniture, so finding the right base is important for the look and longevity of your stool.

While many vintage bar stools and counter stools are made from traditional materials such as wood, modern bar stools can bring together vintage and contemporary materials like wood, metal, plastic, or even rattan and wicker.

When deciding on the material, consider the setting. A lot of modern kitchens go for a rustic ‘farmhouse’ look that works best with an all-wood counter stool with a wood seat, or simple fabric or leather upholstery at most. On the other hand, home bars or contemporary dining rooms work well with the industrial look of metal bar stools.

Bar Stool Colors & Upholstery

Let the color and style of your room dictate the color and upholstery of your barstools. Many bar and counter stools are available in neutral colors like white, black, grey, or blue to accentuate the space they’re in without being distracting. These colors can contrast with other pieces in the room to create a relaxing, welcoming space. On the other hand, brighter colors and patterns can create an upbeat, party atmosphere for your bar area.

Upholstery is another big factor to consider. Many bar stools and counter stools go for the classic look: an un-upholstered seat made of solid metal or wood, but there are more options. Leather bar stools are great for a home bar, lounge, or living room. If you don’t go for leather, stools are available with durable fabric upholstery like cotton and polyester to stand up to stains and busy lifestyles.

Can I Use Bar Stools Outdoors?

The answer in many cases is yes, but consider the material. For outdoor bar stools, you’ll want to stick with a durable material like metal or solid wood that can handle the elements. Patio bar stools with fabric are typically treated to withstand all of the seasons, but check the product description or you Art Van salesperson to see if it needs additional care.

Ready to Buy Your New Bar Stools?

If you want to find the perfect bar stools, Art Van has the widest selection in the Midwest. Leather stools, swivel seats, a chair for your breakfast nook - shop online or find an Art Van location near you to take a look at our selection of bar stools, kitchen stools, & counter-height stools.