Choosing the right bar stools is key to creating functional, comfortable seating around your breakfast bar, kitchen island, basement bar, or outdoor bar. We've spent hours searching for the best stools available online, evaluating quality, comfort, durability, and value.
Our top pick, the Winsome Satori Stool, is sturdy, affordable and has a contoured saddle seat and support rungs for added stability.
Here are the best bar stools, according to our in-depth research.
Best Overall: Winsome Satori Stool
Solid wood construction
Can request expert assembly of multiple stools
Not sold in a set
What do buyers say? 86% of 2,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
It’s hard to go wrong with a classic wooden saddle-seat bar stool. This basic, space-saving shape has been around for decades, and the backless seats can scoot almost all the way under the countertop to give you more wiggle room when not in use. The seat is wide but on the shallow side, great for perching at the countertop, but not so large that it will crowd the pass-through space in a small or medium-sized kitchen.
The carved seat is comfortable to sit in, and the braces along the legs offer a natural footrest. Made of solid beech wood with a walnut finish, this stool's stained warm medium tone would work in both casual and formal spaces. These stools are available in both bar and counter height, so they’ll work for just about any kitchen or bar table. Try the Winsome Wood Saddle Stool in the counter-height size if you need a shorter option.
Price at time of publish: $83
Best Budget: HAOBO Home Low Back Metal Bar Stools (Set of 4)
Three heights available
Rubber floor slides
Not the most comfortable
While a wooden seat and metal frame may not be on everyone's top design list when selecting bar stools, this set of four stools on Amazon are quite the steal at under $40 per stool. The metal frame ensures these stools will last a long time and can withstand the occasional run-in with rambunctious kids or pets. The backs can also be removed, if you'd prefer a set of back-less stools.
You can choose between 24-, 26-, or 30-inch stools and eight paint finishes with distressing. The rubber grips on the feet also prevent these stools from tearing up your tile and wood flooring. While they may not be the most comfortable choice on the market, they're pretty much a steal in the way of quality and price.
Price at time of publish: $152
Best Splurge: AllModern Hawkins Bar & Counter Stool (Set of 2)
Easy to assemble
Legs may scratch flooring
Faux leather seats
Leather bar stools are a great way to instantly upgrade your hosting area. They not only add a bit of sophistication to your dining space, but also are comfortable to sit in, without being overly heavy or difficult to maneuver. This pair of bar stools from AllModern is available in both counter and bar height, and you can choose between four different leather colors. You can even request free leather samples to ensure the stools will seamlessly blend into your space.
All tools are included for assembly, and these stools can easily be wiped clean with a damp cloth. If you really want to put them in the spotlight, we recommend using a gentle conditioner on the seats every once in a while to extend their seat color. Our only gripes with these stools is the legs may easily scratch a delicate wooden floor, even with the plastic floor glides, and the seat is upholstered in faux leather, which is disappointing given the price point of these stools.
Price at time of publish: $223
Best Metal: Flash Furniture 30'' High Backless Metal Indoor-Outdoor Barstool with Square Seat
Available in 24 colors
Sold individually or in a set of 4
Not comfortable for long periods of sitting
Metal is a durable material that works with a variety of kitchen decors, from rustic to modern and even traditional. And because metal can come in so many finishes and colors, it can easily take on different looks, even in the same basic shape. This square-topped metal stool is a popular choice in restaurants and cafes and it's also made its way into homes.
It's available in neutral colors like black, silver or white to seamlessly blend into a space without making too much of a style statement—a great option if you already have dramatic lighting or tile. But it's also offered in bright colors, like orange or Kelly green, to energize any room with a playful personality. These metal stools are stackable and can be used both indoors and outdoors, making them a versatile option for many spaces. We also appreciate that they're sold both individually and in a set of four. Keep in mind that these stools are definitely not the most comfortable option on the market, especially if you plan on sitting on them for a long period of time.
Price at time of publish: $83
Best Outdoor: GDF Studio Stewart Outdoor Brown Wicker Bar Stool
Padded arm rests
Whether you have a bar set up in your backyard or a higher table for dining, a weatherproof bar stool is a must to truly enjoy the space. A high back and generous arms, combined with the woven seat and back, make them comfortable for lounging for lengths of time. They’re made of PE wicker over a coated iron frame to make them weather-resistant. And the wicker look is a classic for outdoor furnishings for its tropical feel.
Your outdoor bar stools don’t have to match your other outdoor furnishings exactly; in fact, it can be nice to contrast materials and textures in the entire space. These outdoor bar stools offer a great combination of comfort and durability. Our only concern about these bar stools is their price point. We recognize that their high-quality build comes at a cost, but we wish they were slightly less expensive, especially for a set of two.
Price at time of publish: $258
Best Swivel: Roundhill Furniture Contemporary Chrome Air Lift Adjustable Swivel Stools
Adjustable from counter to bar height
Won't scratch flooring
Confusing product listing
Swivel stools are great for entertaining or for placing in areas where you might transition between conversing with people in one spot and then another. This streamlined set is a more modern take on the swivel, with an ergonomically curved seat and shiny chrome base. It’s available in three solid colors. And as a bonus, this swivel seat is also adjustable from counter height to bar height, making it easy for both children and adults in a range of heights to get comfortable at the countertop.
Many people like having the option to move around as they sit, and if you’re concerned about scratching your floors (if you have hardwood, for example), these swivel chairs are a great option because they don't require pulling away from the counter to climb into the seats.
Price at time of publish: $90
Best Counter Height: Threshold Windsor Counter Stool Hardwood
Large seat and comfortable back
Resistant to water staining
Limited color options
Wood is a tried-and-true material for seating. It’s sturdy, can be carved or stained in a myriad styles, plus, it is pretty much impervious to spills, if you address them quickly. This classically shaped stool comes in black and navy. As a classic neutral, it can fit in with a formal or traditional space, so you don't have to worry mixing your decor styles. We just wish it was available in a few more lighter colors.
Wooden stools also has more natural flexibility than their metal counterparts, making them slightly more comfortable for most people to sit in. Add to that a tall, generous seat back, like this Windsor-style seat, and you have a counter height stool that family and guests will be happy to hang out in for hours.
Price at time of publish: $100
Best Upholstered: Threshold Brookline Tufted Barstool
Floor protectors protect wooden floors
Very comfortable seat
Can be updated over time with different fabric
Light seat fabric more susceptible to staining
While bar stools tend to be considered a more casual seating option, a traditionally styled upholstered bar stool can be just as formal as a true dining chair. In elegant kitchens, they can match the tone and in more casual dining rooms they are one of the most comfortable options for seating. This counter-height, tufted upholstered bar stool is offered in two neutral tones—glacier and beige—that will add a welcoming, and comfortable, atmosphere to your breakfast nook, dining table, or kitchen table. You can also always switch out the upholstery with custom fabric, if you grow tired of the neutral tones.
While this fabric seat will require more upkeep than wipe-clean plastic or metal ones, a material pre-treated with stain resistance usually cleans up quickly. You can spot clean this seat, if accidents do happen.
Price at time of publish: $130
Our favorite barstool is the Winsome Satori Stool because of its contoured seat and high-grade wooden frame. If you're looking to splurge on a stylish set of bar stools, we recommend the AllModern Hawkins Bar & Counter Stool, which comes in a set of two and can be upholstered with four different faux leather finishes.
What to Look For When Buying Bar Stools
Back or Backless
One of the most important choices you can make about bar stools is whether or not they have a back. This is a matter of style but more importantly of personal comfort. A bar stool without a back takes up less visual space but requires you to balance and sit up straight, which might be harder for kids and older family members. A bar stool with a back allows you to relax more and might be preferable if your kitchen island doubles as a homework station, or if you eat all your meals there, rather than just use it as a place to grab a quick cup of coffee or an after-dinner drink. Pay attention to back heights, which can range from low to high and should be chosen with your comfort in mind.
Choice of Materials
Bar stools come in a variety of materials including wood, rattan, wicker, vinyl, leather, and powder-coated metal. Rattan and wicker bar stools tend to be more lightweight, making them easier to move around, and meaning they will make less noise when pulling them in and out. Metal bar stools lend your space an industrial look and are easy to wipe clean, but can feel cold and hard when sitting for long periods. Upholstered bar stools add comfort, but keep in mind that they will inevitably get spilled on, so be sure to look for water resistant, easy to maintain, durable fabrics. If you’re outfitting an outdoor bar, you’ll want to choose materials that will look good weathered or are designed not to fade or discolor under UV rays.
Just like any chair, the wider the seat generally the more comfortable for a range of users and body types. But if you are short on space, consider narrower bar stool widths that will allow you to pack more seating in. Adjustable height bar stools work well for families, and swivel chairs are both comfortable and fun to sit in for restless souls. Consider protecting your ears from the sound of wooden bar stools being dragged across bare floors by looking for (or adding) rubber grips on bar stool feet.
How tall should a bar stool be?
If you are designing a home bar, look for bar height bar stools, which range from 28-33 inches and are commonly 30 inches high to fit under a standard 42-inch bar counter. For a kitchen island, which at a standard 36 inches tall is slightly lower than a bar counter but higher than a standard 30-inch table height, choose counter height stools that generally range from 24 to 27 inches tall.
What height bar stool should you get for a 42” counter?
A 42” counter is considered bar height, meaning that you will want to choose a stool between 28 to 33 inches tall at the seat.
How high should bar stools be for a kitchen island?
Kitchen islands typically have counter height rather than bar height proportions, meaning that you should choose counter height stools that generally range from 24 to 27 inches tall at the seat.
Should my bar stools match my dining chairs?
Depending on where you place your bar stools, they can complement your dining chairs or have a completely different look. If your bar stools will be within view of your dining room, the best bar stools don’t need to match, but you might consider chairs with a similar style, fabric, or shape. In homes where the bar stools and dining chairs are in different rooms and completely separate, there's no need to coordinate the style between the two sets of chairs.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was updated by Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, who specializes in reporting on all things home improvement, decor, and organization related. Emma has over two years of writing about home products and has also tested products at home. For this article, she spent time researching the qualities of a barstool