Bar Stools & Kitchen Stools

Bar stools are a versatile seating option for kitchens, home bars and even games rooms. Available in a range of styles, colours, sizes and materials, there’s one to suit any space, whether you have a small kitchen with fold-out breakfast bar, or an old-world home bar in need of matchy chairs. But, there’s more to consider than just good looks. Do you need stools with backs and/or arms? Is wicker, timber, metal or upholstered best? Would a swivel or adjustable chair be more practical in your household? Use our guide to help you make the right decision.

How do I choose the right height?

When shopping for bar stools online, ensure that the size you choose will allow you enough legroom to sit comfortably, whether it’s at a kitchen island or under a benchtop. Ideally, you will have around 30 centimetres of room to play with – that is, from the bottom of the bench to the top of the seat. If you’re looking for stools to sit at a standard dining table, choose something that ranges from 45 to 58 centimetres in height. For something to go with your benchtop or kitchen island, go slightly taller with a range that sits between 60 to 66 centimetres. And finally, for bar-height stools, stay between 70 to 76 centimetres. Of course, you can go even taller, but you will want to pair these with benchtops that have an equally tall surface height.

How do I choose the right material?

Metal kitchen stools, whether wrought-iron, aluminium or stainless steel, are a popular choice because they are the most heavy-duty, and can withstand wear and tear moreso than other materials. They are also easy to clean, and can be used outdoors. Plastic stools are equally popular for their practicality, but also come in a wide range of colours. Timber stools are a timeless classic that look good in most homes, whether country, modern or contemporary. They’re also perfect for adding a bit of warmth to your interior, especially if you have an all-white kitchen. Try a mix of timber and metal for an industrial feel. For a personal touch, upholster your kitchen stools in your favourite material.

What other design features should I consider?

A backless kitchen stool may not offer as much comfort as one equipped with something to lean on, but they do tend to tuck away under bench space easier, and do have a more streamlined look. If you want to include a swivel, which is particularly useful in an open-plan space, a back may be more appropriate, if only to provide some barrier from falling when spinning. They’ll also be more appropriate if you have little ones in the house. Some stools come with adjustable heights and are a handy inclusion if you live in a family home with people of varying heights. Arms are another inclusion that do provide additional comfort, but can be quite bulky and should only really be considered if you have the room to include them. Finally, if you plan on using the kitchen stools on a regular basis or for long periods of time, look for something with seat padding, so it’s easier on the toosh.