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Choosing the perfect restaurant bar stools might be a challenging task due to the variety of choices. Since you want to make sure you’ve found the ideal solution for your space, you need to consider many things. That is why Restaurant Furniture has prepared a guide to address some of the most significant decisions, making your ultimate choice a bit easier. So, let’s dive right into it.

What Are Restaurant Bar Stools?

Due to their height and narrow profile, this type of furniture provides a modern yet casual aesthetic to all spaces. Still, a bar stool needs to fit perfectly under a high table or counter. That’s also where legroom comes into place, as you must account for it when choosing the right bar stools for restaurants. Additionally, you also need to measure the table’s width to determine the precise number of stools that you’ll need.

With all this in mind, let’s go through some basic guidelines Restaurant Furniture has put together.

Basic Measurement Guidelines

To make sure a bar stool is a perfect fit for your restaurant table, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Measure the height from the top of the table or counter to the floor.
  • Deduct 10 to 12 inches from the overall height.
  • Remember to take potential additions into account, like armrests, which will require more space.

By doing this, you’ll receive the optimal bar stool height. This will also leave plenty of room for leg comfort and space without making the guests feel overcrowded.

You’ll also need to determine the right number of stools for the counter or table. The industry standard suggests using a measurement of 26 to 30 inches of space between the center of each seat. This way, you will determine the accurate number of bar stools you need.

Stool and Table Pairings

The restaurant industry already has a couple of pairings in mind regarding stool and table height. Take a look below.

  • Counter height — A counter-high bar stool is typically 23–28 inches tall (seat height). This stool goes well with tables that are 35–37 inches tall.
  • Bar height — A bar-high stool is a bit taller, about 29–32 inches. It’s perfectly paired with those tables that are in the range of 41–43 inches.
  • Extra tall — The extra tall stools are usually 33–36 inches tall, from the floor to their seat. You’ll need the tables that are 44–47 inches tall to fit these stools comfortably.

Seat Width

Although you might think a wider seat is better, this might not always be the case. Bigger seats also take up more space, so even though they’re comfortable, they might make your room feel overcrowded. The most common width for bar-stool seats is 15, 17, or 21 inches.

The unofficial rule of thumb is to leave at least 6 inches between each stool for comfort. If the stools come with armrests or swivels, then go for 8–10 inches of space.

When you consider all this, it should be easy to decide on the perfect seat width for your restaurant.

Construction and Seat Materials

Restaurant Furniture uses only the best materials to construct high-quality bar stools. The seats need to be durable to support weight, which is why we consider only top-level wood, metal, wicker, plastic, or aluminum materials. Wood and metal are the most common choices, as they’re offered in various colors that complement any restaurant venue.

Seat materials are equally important since they provide comfort and functionality. However, not all bar stools for restaurants are upholstered. Upholstered chairs will allow you to choose the right color, pattern, and texture for the stools. If you opt for upholstery, make sure the seats are well cushioned.

Bar Stool Styles

Depending on your interior design choices, you’ll need to consider all the different styles. Take a look at different types of available bar stools for restaurants.

With Armrests

These bar stools will provide more comfort for your guests while also giving off a more formal vibe. Some of the features you can opt for are cushioned or padded armrests for the ultimate comfort. These chairs typically come with wood or metal arms for more structure and function.


As the name suggests, you can expect stools with a 360-degree swivel function. The rest of the frame remains stationary, but you’ll get the maneuverability and comfort you’ve always wanted to feel when sitting on a stool. These chairs allow guests to sit down and get off the chair more easily, which makes them a great option for busy restaurants and counters.


Bolt-down stools also come with a swivel function in most cases. These seats are a great choice for diners or contemporary restaurants with a lot of foot traffic. They’re meant to withstand the rigorous demands of the food industry while giving out a characteristically modern look.


If you’re managing a themed restaurant, retro- or vintage-inspired stools are the way to go. Many of them come with a swivel mechanism, providing a distinctive charm to the whole place. Their timeless design will catch anyone’s eye quickly.


Although not the most comfortable or typical choice for restaurant bar stools, backless stools are quite versatile. People can easily slide in and out of their seats without causing a lot of commotion. Backless bar stools for restaurants also help minimize accidents and allow for visual cohesiveness of the space.


Even though industrial-looking chairs have a sturdy rustic look, they’re also considered to be quite contemporary. These stools typically feature metal-wood materials and two-toned finishes. You can also expect to see distressed wood, many black and grey combinations, and a casual charm.


If you want to opt for a more modern vibe without going over the top, these are the right bar stools for you. They usually come with a minimalist frame, normally molded from fully welded metal. These bar stools go well with any decor or theme, so they’ll look great in all venues.


Quality craftsmanship and elegant details will definitely spark visual interest. These stools have a typical dark wood finish frame and upholstery, which makes them look regal and comfortable. That’s what you can expect with traditional bar stools for restaurants — formal and stately overall look.