Outdoor bar stools provide comfortable seating for your drink-serving station while enhancing the design of your backyard gathering space.
"The material for an outdoor stool is often determined by the location and style of your patio," says Constance Hedd of Outdoor Decor and Design, noting that thermoplastic rattan is the most weather-resistant, whereas metal and wood are generally better for covered areas.
We researched visually pleasing options of various styles designed to stand up to the elements, no matter the design style or size of your patio, deck, or outdoor space, considering the material, size, style, and comfort of each.
West Elm Slope Outdoor Bar Stool
Modern, versatile design
Rust-resistant, weather-ready material
Durable with high-quality craftsmanship
Must be covered in wet climates
West Elm makes the best outdoor bar stool. This one is made of rust-resistant steel and features a protective sealant to safeguard it from the elements while making it a breeze to hose down or wipe clean. Though it's designed for outdoor use, you'll still want to cover it in the off-season if you live in a particularly wet climate. But you can stack up to six chairs together for easy storage.
The simple sloped design is decidedly modern yet endlessly versatile. Available in eight colors ranging from sleek black to deep olive to warm terracotta, it'll go with a metal bar setup or a wooden dining table for some visually appealing contrast. This bar stool is comfortable too. It's got a slightly curved back and a built-in footrest for extra support.
As a contract-grade product with an impressive 300-pound weight capacity, the Slope Bar Stool is built for long-lasting durability. You can count on it to hold up under heavy everyday use, whether you're designing an at-home outdoor living space or al fresco seating on a restaurant patio. The price per stool is somewhat steep, but it arrives fully assembled—and with West Elm, you know you're getting high-quality craftsmanship.
Price at time of publish: $469
Dimensions: 40 x 23 x 19.5 inches | Seat Height: 30 inches | Material: Steel | Swivel: No
Super Deal Wicker Rattan Bar Stool Chairs
Affordable set of two or four
Supportive back, arm, and footrests
Stands up to year-round weather damage
Only one color available
For folks on a budget, we recommend Super Deal Wicker Bar Stools. They have powder-coated iron frames that stand up to rust and corrosion, even in rainy or snowy environments. Meanwhile, the synthetic wicker helps protect them from year-round damage, including sun fading, warping, cracking, or decaying. In other words, you can depend on these seats to hold up in any weather—and you don't have to worry about covering them or placing them under a covered deck or patio.
These outdoor bar stools are designed for comfort. They have tall backrests, curved armrests, and built-in footrests. With a 350-pound weight capacity, they're impressively strong and durable too. You'll have to assemble the stools at home, but it should be a pretty quick and easy process. Available in sets of two or four, they come out to less than $50 apiece. Though we wish they came in more color options, they're undeniably versatile and can be incorporated into a range of outdoor bar ideas.
Price at time of publish: $74 for 2
Dimensions: 46 x 24 x 20.5 inches | Seat Height: 30 inches | Material: Powder-coated iron, synthetic rattan | Swivel: No
CB2 Katja Rattan Outdoor Bar Stool
Attractive contrast of colors/materials
Resists weather damage
Compact and easy to tuck under table
If you have more to spend on furnishing your outdoor entertaining space, consider the Katja Rattan Bar Stool from CB2. This attractive, high-end seat has a powder-coated steel frame, so you can bet it resists all types of weather damage, including rust, corrosion, splitting, and fading. The frame is wrapped in a handwoven, all-weather synthetic wicker that also stands up to the outdoor elements, even in wet climates. (But we should note that CB2 recommends storing this stool under a cover in extreme weather.)
These materials aren't just durable and outdoor-friendly. The dark and light neutral tones and combination of smooth and woven textures offers a visually appealing contrast that'll make a subtle statement in your outdoor seating area. This bar stool is conveniently compact and easy to tuck under an overhanging bar top or patio table. However, it doesn't have a back, so it's not as supportive as other designs—the footrest does add some stability when sitting down, though. Nearly $500 for a single stool is definitely a lot, but if it's within your budget, we say go for it.
Price at time of publish: $499
Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 20 inches | Seat Height: 30 inches | Material: Powder-coated steel, synthetic wicker | Swivel: No
Best with Back
Article Zina Bar Stool
Soft yet supportive roped back and seat
Water- and UV-resistant materials
Arrives fully assembled
Can't be pressure-washed
Indoor storage recommended during off-season
Prefer something with a back? Check out Article's Zina Bar Stool. It has a powder-coated steel frame and soft yet durable woven polypropylene rope for the seat and backrest. Both materials are resistant to rust, warping, cracking, discoloration, and sun fading. While the manufacturer advises against pressure washing, you can easily clean this chair with a mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush to remove dirt and mildew, or wipe it down with a damp cloth as needed. Either way, it'll air-dry quickly in the sun.
The other thing to note is that, like most patio sets, indoor storage is recommended during the off-season to preserve the materials. Alternatively, you can get outdoor furniture covers if you don't have a shed, garage, or basement to store your stools. This stool is available in four colors to complement a range of patio decor schemes. We also appreciate that it arrives at your home fully assembled and ready to use.
Price at time of publish: $209
Dimensions: 40 x 23 x 20 inches | Seat Height: 31 inches | Material: Powder-coated steel, polypropylene rope | Swivel: No
Noble House Tobias Swivel Plastic Outdoor Bar Stool (Set of 2)
Resistant to sun and water damage
Seat is slightly lower than average
Swivel stools make it easy for people to turn and talk to the bartender, those sitting next to them, and people hanging out behind them on the patio. We like this set of two from Noble House. The chairs have powder-coated iron frames and basket-woven polyethylene (thermoplastic) wicker seats and backrests. Suitable for heavy outdoor use, both materials are resistant to rust, cracking, warping, discoloration, and fading in direct sunlight.
One thing to note is that the seat height is slightly shorter than average. Most bar stools are roughly 30 inches, and this one sits 27 inches from the ground—but depending on the height of your bar table or serving station, this may not be an issue. Also, you'll have to assemble your stools at home, though the process is pretty simple. (All you have to do is attach the seat to the base.) It would be nice if these outdoor bar stools came in a few more colors, but the deep brown finish is definitely versatile enough to go with various outdoor furniture sets. In the end, we think the price is more than reasonable.
Price at time of publish: $245 for 2
Dimensions: 41.5 x 21 x 18 inches | Seat Height: 27 inches | Material: Powder-coated iron, polyethylene wicker | Swivel: Yes
George Oliver Acacia Wood Patio Bar Stool (Set of 4)
Resists water damage
Slightly rustic yet sophisticated design
Excellent value for set
Color will change over time
For those partial to wooden furniture, we recommend the George Oliver Acacia Wood Patio Stool. As the name suggests, it's made of solid acacia wood. One of the best materials for outdoor use, it stands up to warping, cracking, splitting, and other types of water damage. However, this type of wood will fade from a golden hue into a lighter, more grayish color over time. To slow down the process, store your stools inside during the off-season, and consider placing them in a covered area to protect them from direct sunlight.
In addition to the wood base, the stool features natural rattan rope on the seat, which offers an organic, slightly rustic appeal without sacrificing sophistication. While there's no backrest, the built-in footrest bar provides some support, and the side handles make it easy to move around. Though at-home assembly is required, it's a quick process, and you'll get all the necessary tools with your shipment. These outdoor bar stools aren't sold individually, but if you're in the market for a set, the price for four is an excellent value.
Price at time of publish: $330 for 4
Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 14 inches | Seat Height: 30 inches | Material: Solid acacia wood, natural rattan | Swivel: No
Joss & Main Asherton 29.5" Patio Bar Stool (Set of 2)
Resists all types of weather damage
Easy to hose down and wipe clean
Simple, modern design
Not sold individually
Synthetic resin is another one of the best materials for outdoor furniture. Made of 100 percent polypropylene (a type of ultra-durable thermoplastic), it's resistant to water, warping, cracking, splitting, sun fading, and stains. It's also super easy to hose down and wipe clean as needed. This outdoor bar stool from Joss & Main is made entirely out of weather-ready resin, but that's not the only thing we love about it. The simple design features a curved mesh-inspired seat and backrest to enhance the chair's overall comfort.
It also has a built-in footrest at the base, plus integrated handles that make it easy to move around and store. (It's not stackable, though, so keep that in mind when thinking about storage.) But due to the exceptional weather resistance, you don't need to store it indoors unless you want to during the off-season. The Asherton Stool is incredibly durable, supporting up to 300 pounds of weight. You can't buy it individually, and although this isn't the most affordable option available, we think the price for a set of two is decent.
Price at time of publish: $346 for 2
Dimensions: 41.5 x 21 x 17.7 inches | Seat Height: 29.5 inches | Material: Polypropylene resin | Swivel: No
Overall, we like the West Elm Slope Outdoor Bar Stool on account of its modern, versatile aesthetic and rust-resistant, weather-friendly design. Though it's on the pricier end, it arrives fully assembled and is built to last for several years. If you're on a budget, go with the Super Deal Wicker Rattan Bar Stool Chairs, which come in sets of two or four and are made to stand up to various weather conditions year-round.
What to Look For When Buying Outdoor Bar Stools
Size and Style
As with the West Elm Slope Outdoor Bar Stool, most bar stools sit about 30 inches from the ground, whereas counter-height stools are closer to 25 inches. Keep this in mind, as you'll want your seats to be the proper size for the table you get.
That said, the seat height is often different from the overall height. A style with a back, like the Article Zina Bar Stool, might be closer to 40 inches tall with a seat around 30 inches from the ground.
Outdoor design specialist Constance Hedd of Outdoor Decor and Design is a fan of thermoplastic rattan (which is made of polypropylene resin) for outdoor bar stools, like the Super Deal Wicker Rattan Bar Stool Chairs, noting that the material offers a contemporary look while withstanding various weather conditions.
"Metal bar stools lend well to a modern look but should only be used in covered spaces," she adds. "Wood or teak bar stools should only be used in dry climates or under cover and go with modern, contemporary, and natural styled landscapes."
However, if you prefer another material, you can always treat your stools with a weatherproofing spray to hold up against the elements. Look for pieces that are powder-coated to resist rust or treated with a weather-resistant finish. These will last longer over time. But, if you fall in love with a stool that's not weatherproof at all, store it inside when you're not using it.
Swivel stools make it easy for your guests to chat with everyone around them without ever getting up In essence, they encourage mingling while adding a fun aspect to your outdoor bar area. If you're a fan of swivel seating, the Noble House Tobias Swivel Outdoor Bar Stool might be right up your alley.
Though it depends on the design, the most comfortable outdoor bar stools often have backrests, like the Joss & Main Asherton Patio Bar Stool. Armrests can enhance the comfort as well, though this type of seat tends to take up more space and often can't be stored under your table or bar setup or stacked for space-saving storage.
"If purchasing a taller bar-height stool, look for ones with braces that can act as footrests," says Hedd. "Or provide a footrest on the bar itself, as this will make sitting for long periods more comfortable."
What are the most comfortable types of bar stools?
The most comfortable bar stools usually have backrests, which allow people to sit back and relax rather than having to sit up completely straight for long periods. Stools with armrests can be comfortable, too, but this feature increases the width and will affect how many you can fit around a table or at a bar top. Most bar stools also have rods at the base that act as footrests and enhance the overall support.
Should I get counter-height or bar-height stools?
It depends on the height of the table or surface where you're going to place the stools. Bar-height stools sit roughly 30 inches from the floor and are meant for bar tops or bar tables, which are 40 to 42 inches tall. Counter-height stools, on the other hand, sit closer to 25 inches from the floor. They're meant to be placed on a counter or kitchen island of about 36 inches in height. Measure your bar before purchasing your stools to ensure they'll sit comfortably or easily slide under the bar if you're looking for a space-saving setup.
How do you measure for outdoor bar stools?
"The height you need is determined by the height of the outdoor bar or table they will be used at," says Hedd. If you already have your table or bar top and are shopping for stools, measure the distance from the top of the surface to the ground. If it's between 40 and 42 inches tall, you'll need bar stools that sit about 30 inches from the ground. If it's closer to 36 inches tall, you should get counter-height stools, which sit roughly 25 inches from the ground.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a commerce writer and product tester specializing in furniture and outdoor living. For this story, she interviewed outdoor design specialist Constance Hedd of Outdoor Decor and Design, who provided tips for selecting materials and measuring for outdoor bar stools. Next, she researched today's best options, narrowing them down to durable, weather-resistant, visually pleasing designs with standout features. You can read more articles by Theresa on MyDomaine, Travel + Leisure, and People.