Best Bar Stools Reviews

Whether you own a bar, or you’re looking to freshen up your living space with some focal pieces of furniture, bar stools are not just functional but can really bring a room together.

They’re also great alongside a breakfast bar or island counter in your kitchen and can be perfect for casual dining when you don’t want to sit at the dining table, or for enjoying drinks with friends.  

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Whether you go for industrial-style pieces or plush leather styles, bar stools not only allow guests or family members to sit comfortably, but they look great, too.

There’s also a myriad of styles available online, so you can get something that ties in with your current decor, or provides a breath of fresh air to the room. 

Not sure where to start? We’ll take you through some of the best bar stools available online, as well as a handy buyer’s guide and FAQ section which will cover everything you need to consider before purchasing.  

Short on time? Find our top pick below… 

OUR TOP PICK

Amazon Basics Classic Solid Wood Saddle-Seat Kitchen Counter Stool with Foot Plate 29 Inch, Walnut, Set of 2

If you’re after something simple and functional, rather than bold and stylish, you can’t go too far wrong with these bar/counter stools from AmazonBasics.

Considering you get a set of two, these are terrific value for money, and they’re available in two different heights and a walnut wood or white version.  

The sturdy solid wood construction with A-frame design and square legs provides maximum stability, while the contoured saddle-seat provides comfortable and even weight distribution up to 220 pounds.  

These stools have a classic yet modern finish and will easily suit both contemporary and traditional decor, whether you choose to use them at home, or in a cafe or bar.  

They’re also easy to assemble and come with all the necessary hardware required for a quick, simple assembly process. 

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Set of two
  • Sturdy, A-frame design for maximum durability
  • Choice of colors and height
  • Seamlessly fit with both authentic and contemporary decor
  • Quick, simple assembly
  • Contoured seat for even weight distribution
  • Holds up to 220 pounds 

Cons

  • Not the most comfortable - so not a good option if you plan on using these for long periods 

EDITORS CHOICE

Modern Square PU Leather Adjustable Bar Stools with Back,Set of 2,Counter Height Swivel Stool by Leopard (Black)

If you like the modern look, these PU leather adjustable bar stools may be the bar stools for you.

Whether your walls are neutral colored or a brighter hue, these stools are available in a wide range of colors, so you can tailor your purchase to suit your color scheme.

You can also easily adjust these stools to your ideal height by using the air-lift handle.  

These stools have a 360-degree swivel and a high-density foam upholstered seat constructed of soft, faux leather for plush cushioning and maximum comfort.

The polished chrome base and footrest is not only functional but also adds a luxurious finishing touch to the design.  

These stools are perfect for your kitchen or dining area, and all of the necessary parts and instructions are included to make the assembly process a breeze. 

Pros

  • Available in a range of colors
  • Super comfortable thanks to high-density foam upholstery
  • Backrest for added comfort
  • Adjustable via the air-lift handle
  • 360-degree swivel
  • Ideal for home or kitchen 

Cons

  • PU leather is less durable and may wear easily with time

BEST VALUE

Angel Line Cambridge Padded Saddle Stool with Cushion, 29' Set of 2, Espresso with Black

Perfect for pubs and restaurants, these Angel Line padded saddle stools come in a set of two, providing more bang for your buck.

The sturdy wooden frame provides stability, while the plush, cushioned seat adds comfort, so you get the best of both worlds. 

The nailhead trim adds a rustic appeal to these simple stools, as does the contrasting colors which provide a warm, authentic addition to any space.

These stools are ideal for providing casual seating without compromising on aesthetics.  

With straightforward instructions, these stools are assembled and set up in no time, and they’re easy to move around and clean, making them ideal for businesses.

Pros

  • Set of 2 - great bang for your buck
  • Sturdy wooden frame for added stability
  • Cushioned, faux leather seat for comfort
  • Nailhead trim adds a vintage touch
  • Perfect for rustic bars and pubs
  • Easy to assemble and clean 

Cons

  • No swivel or backrest

RUNNER UP

Ball & Cast Bar Stool, 29-Inch,1-Pack, Cherry

These bar stools from Ball and Cast are the perfect “classic” look barstool for a sophisticated yet authentic appeal, whether used alongside your kitchen island or your bar.

They’re constructed of a durable, solid hardwood in a deep cherry tone, and have a high-density foam cushion seat for ultimate comfort.

The easy-care faux leather material requires minimal maintenance making these stools perfect for businesses.  

They’ve also got a 360-degree swivel that works in either direction, as well as premium ball bearings to ensure rotation is quiet and smooth.

The swivel is cleverly disguised beneath a seat band for a more polished appearance, making these versatile enough to use at home, too.

Finally, the flared legs and circular footrest of these stools not only provide an art-deco flare but also ensure maximum comfort and added stability. 

Pros

  • Classic, antique look
  • Constructed of durable, solid hardwood
  • Ideal for a bar or home
  • 360 swivel which is cleverly disguised
  • Easy-care faux leather cushioning
  • Flared legs for extra stability
  • Footrest and backrest for comfort 

Cons

  • Non-adjustable height 

RUNNER UP

Signature Design by Ashley Pinnadel 30' Modern Swivel Pub Height Barstool, Light Brown

For that classic look, why not go for these rustic wood and faux leather bar stools from Ashley Valebeck?

These pub-height bar stools have wooden legs and a supportive backrest for durability and sturdiness but also have a 360-degree swivel providing a free range of movement which works great in any relaxed setting.  

The upholstered seat cushion provides padded comfort and the nailhead trim adds that rustic feel to the stool.

The light brown finish with wire-brush effect and gray undertones strikes the perfect balance between vintage appeal and modernity.  

These require some light assembly but instructions and hardware are included.

They’re a little more expensive per stool, but we think the craftsmanship shows in these elegant bar stools, making them the perfect purchase for your home or bar.

Pros

  • Rustic look
  • Faux leather padded cushion
  • Wooden legs for sturdiness
  • 360-degree swivel
  • Backrest for comfort
  • Perfect for home or business 

Cons

  • A little more expensive than average
  • Faux leather isn’t the most durable

RUNNER UP

DHP Luxor 30' Wood Seat, Set of 2 Bar Stool, Antique Gun Metal

These authentic-looking bar stools come in a set of 2, making them great value for money.

The ‘antique gunmetal’ finish combined with the distressed wood is perfect for rustic-style decor with an industrial touch.   

These stools are lightweight and compact, making them perfect for businesses such as bars and cafes where furniture will be frequently moved around or stored away.

These stools are also easily wiped down due to their hard surface, and they’ve been performance and durability tested in accordance with the ANSI/BIFMA standard, so you can rest assured that they’re high quality.  

These Luxur stools have a modern yet authentically urban look and are the perfect finishing touch to any living space or business. 

Pros

  • Antique gunmetal/distressed wood finish
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to clean
  • Performance and durability-tested
  • Set of two with each purchase - more bang for your buck
  • Backrest for increased support 

Cons

  • Height is non-adjustable 

RUNNER UP

DHP Fusion Metal Backless 30' Bar Stool with Wood Seat, Distressed Metal Finish for Industrial Appeal, Set of two, Antique Gun Metal

These metal bar stools from DHP are perfect for achieving that contemporary, industrial look in your home or business.

These are sold as a set of two, making them great value for money, and the sturdy steel frame is highly durable and provides maximum stability.

You needn’t worry about these marking hard floors either, as the legs have plastic foot caps to prevent damage to the floor.

These stools also have the advantage of being compact, making them ideal for smaller spaces.

They’re also lightweight and stackable, meaning they’re super easy to lift and store if you’re using them in a commercial environment. 

They’re also easy to wipe down due to the hard surface, and they’ve been performance and durability tested in accordance with ANSI/BIFMA standards. 

Pros

  • “Industrial loft” appeal
  • The sturdy steel frame holds up to 200lbs
  • Plastic foot caps to protect the floor
  • Come in a set of 2
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Stackable for easy storage
  • Performance and durability-tested 

Cons

  • The seat isn’t contoured at all so won’t be the most comfortable for long periods of sitting

Best Bar Stools Buying Guide

Frame Material

Bar stools come in a host of different materials, from solid wood structures to chrome and PU varieties. You should choose a material which best suits your needs, in terms of look, feel, and of course maintenance.  

In terms of the stool itself, wooden structures can provide a solid foundation and can hold significant weight, they’re also durable and offer an authentic, slightly rustic look. Steel has that industrial appeal and offers durability and strength, so steel bar stools are also a good choice.

Aluminum or chrome stools provide a more modern appeal, and these are great for homes and kitchens, they’re also usually lightweight and can be cleaned easily, just bear in mind that they may be less durable as some rust easily.   

Cushion Material 

Do you want a padded, cushioned seat, or a simple wooden structure?

Most seat cushions for bar stools are made from PU or faux leather, as this is cheaper to manufacture and has the advantage of being easy to clean. 

On the other hand, they may be less durable than real leather and you may start to see signs of wear and tear after a couple of years. 

Comfort Level 

Bar stools aren’t exactly renowned for comfort: they’re designed more for convenience and short sitting periods such as eating at home or socializing in a bar.

However, there are certain design elements that enhance the comfort level of a bar stool. For example, does it have a backrest? Classic barstools have no back support, meaning people tend to slouch when they’re seated on them.

If you’re buying stools for your home, you may want to consider a design with a backrest and a footrest too, to ensure maximum support. You’ll also want to pay attention to the upholstery of the seat - for example, high-density foam molds to the contours of the body for added comfort.  

Adjustability

Generally, bar stools used in a bar or social environment aren’t adjustable, but if you’re using the bar stools in your home, and multiple people are going to be using them, this may be something to consider.

Stools that have a pump handle to adjust the height can be convenient and versatile, and allow you to get the perfect height for your kitchen counter.  

Maintenance

You may want to consider how easily the stool can be cleaned, particularly if you plan on using it in your bar or cafe.

PU leather and chrome can be easily wiped down, whereas you may want to invest in specific products if cleaning wood or leather.

It's also worth considering how easily the structure can be cleaned. For example, complex designs with multiple features or grooves can be more difficult to clean thoroughly.  

Assembly

Check the product specification beforehand to figure out how difficult the bar stool will be to assemble.

Does the item come with the necessary instructions and tools? Is it time-consuming or complex to put together?

Most self-build furniture is designed to be easy and accessible to build, but if you’re buying multiple stools and you’re going to be assembling a lot of them, the simpler the better.  

Cost

How much you spend on a bar stool largely depends on your budget, how many you’re hoping to purchase, and where you intend to use them.

If you’re buying for your own home, you can probably afford to go for something a little more luxurious and expensive, whereas if you’re purchasing for a business, you’re going to want to keep the cost down. 

Most of the bar stools available online cost between $50-$200, with some coming in a set of two and others sold individually.

It’s worth also bearing in mind the materials used, and whether it’s worth investing that little bit extra for something high-quality so you don’t find yourself replacing it in a year.  

Durability

Regardless of whether you’re using the stool at home or in your bar or cafe, the seats must be durable.

You want to ensure your stools have a sturdy structure made out of a material such as wood or steel, and that they can hold significant weights of up to around 200lbs. 

Look out for stools that have been tested for performance and durability too, particularly if you’re using them in a social setting where they’re going to be enduring regular use.  

Style and Design 

Not only are bar stools functional, but they look great and can be the perfect finishing touch to a room. While once upon a time the barstool was a simple wooden structure with minimal added features, today there’s a myriad of designs on the market.  

It’s worth first deciding what kind of look you’re going for. If your setting is modern and contemporary, you’ll likely want something simple and minimalistic, whereas if you’re trying to appeal more to the vintage aesthetic, distressed faux leather with nailhead trim and wooden styles are perfect for achieving that rustic look.  

You may also want to consider whether or not the stool can rotate. Rotating or swiveling bar stools are great for relaxed settings where you want to maximize your range of movement to talk to multiple people.

If you do go for a rotating design, look for one that rotates 360 degrees and has premium ball bearings for smooth, quiet rotation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are bar stools higher than counter stools?

Yes, generally bar stools are higher than a counter stool.

A bar stool is usually between 29-32 inches high, while a counter stool is shorter at 24-26 inches high.

Both are higher than regular dining chairs and are usually used alongside breakfast bars, kitchen counters, high tables, or of course, a bar.  

What is the best fabric for bar stools?

Different materials offer different benefits, but generally speaking, wood provides the most solid structure and can bear the most weight. Alongside wood, steel also offers great durability. Aluminum or chrome looks good but is more lightweight and less durable. 

In terms of the cushion, PU leather is most commonly used, and, while real leather would be more durable, faux leather is easy to clean and comes in a range of colors. It’s all about catering to your personal preferences and those of the people who’ll be using the stools!  

Are backless bar stools comfortable?

Most people are fine seated on backless bar stools for short periods, however, some people will find the lack of back support an issue after a while.

If you want maximum comfort in your bar stool, go for something with a padded cushion and backrest.

Last update on 2021-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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