Bar stools have it all: they’re comfortable, stylish, and affordable. But they can be hard to shop for since different models come with unique heights and widths. A mismatch between your barstool and counter will likely feel awkward to sit on.
Thankfully this is all easily avoidable.
Forget about making rookie mistakes that lead to drawn-out refunds. Our barstool height and width measuring guide will help you find the perfect bar stool for your spaces in a jiff!
Let’s start with the basics and look at the various bar stool models and their heights.
How To Choose the Right Bar Stool
Choosing a bar stool that fits your counter or bar table is a fairly straightforward process. First, we need to figure out what kind of surface we’re working with.
Are you buying bar stools for your kitchen counter, a regular table, or a bar table?
If we take a quick look at industry benchmarks, we’ll find the following height measurements:
Bar tables: 40-42″ H (inches).
Kitchen counters: 40-42″ H (inches).
Regular tables: 28-30″ H (inches)
Barstools, on the other hand, feature these height measurements:
Barstools: 28-33″ H (inches).
Counter Stools: 24-27″ H (inches).
Table Stools: 16-19″H (inches).
So, what can you do with these numbers?
You can measure your surface’s height and pick barstools with the appropriate height. For instance, let’s say you measure your kitchen counter’s height at 36″. You’d do well to shop for bar stools that measure between 24-27″ to guarantee it’s a good fit.
Best Height for a Barstool
The best height for a barstool is anywhere between 27″ to 33″ inches. A traditional table measures 40-42″ from top to bottom, making it a perfect match for a table stool.
Here’s a quick image reference that sums up everything we’ve discussed so far:
If you own a custom-made bar table, we highly recommend you take out a measuring tape to guarantee you find a perfect fit.
Here’s what we recommend you do:
- Get your trusty measuring tape and start measuring from the floor up.
- Pull your tape all the way to the top counter and mark your measurement.
- Subtract 9″ or 13″ to this measurement.
The result will give you the best height for a barstool! Feel free to double-check by stacking boxes or books to the resulting height to guarantee that you end up with a perfect fit.
How to measure a barstool height?
Tables, kitchen counters, and bar tables vary in height, depending on the manufacturer. Some custom-made pieces will also require you to purchase a bar stool of a specific size.
We like to follow a neat rule of thumb that helps us find the perfect barstool every time.
Always keep 10-12 inches between the bottom surface of the table (or counter) and your barstool’s seating surface.
Here’s how you can follow this rule at all times:
- Grab a measuring tape and start measuring from the floor to the bottom surface of your table (write down that number).
- Measure from the bottom surface of the table and pull the measuring tape until the 10’’ mark.
- If you feel it’s too close to your legs for comfort, add a couple of inches (your measuring tape will hit the 12’’ mark).
- Minus either 10’’ or 12’’ (depending on which feels more comfortable) from the number you wrote down earlier.
This neat industry trick will help you find the right bar stool height for any piece of furniture.
Finding The Perfect Barstool Width
This one is super-easy. Thankfully, the average seating width (no matter the shape of the seat) of armless barstools ranges between 15’’, 17’’, and 21’’.
If any of these have arms, add 5’’ to each width, and you’ll be golden!
If you’re still uncertain, we recommend you cut out a piece of paper with the chosen width. Sit on it and see if it feels right for you.
The Often-Overlooked Legroom Distance
Nobody likes to hit their knees against furniture. Leaving enough legroom for you and your guests is super important.
We highly recommend keeping between a 12-14 inches space (whichever seems more comfortable to you), from the front of the barstool to the upright where your knees will rest.
The Perfect Separating Distance Between Bar Stools
Now that you have the legroom covered, it’s time to make sure we won’t bump elbows with our guests.
The best way to avoid these awkward moments is to leave a 26-30 inches space between the centers of each bar stool. This spacing will allow your guests to enter and exit their barstools with complete comfort.
Barstool Height FAQ: Common Questions and More
We’ve put together a quick list of the most common questions regarding Barstool heights:
What is the standard height of a barstool?
Generally, barstool heights range from 28″-30″ (inches) from floor to seat.
What is the standard height of a bar top?
The standard bar top height is between 40”-42” (inches). Custom-made pieces might be different.
What is a normal counter height?
The normal counter height ranges between 34” and 36” (inches).
How tall is a counter height barstool?
Counter height stools are taller than chairs, measuring between 24” and 27” (inches) high at the seat.
How do you pick the right height for barstools?
The right height for bar stools is 10” to 12” (inches) less than the bar counters height.
How tall should a barstool be for a kitchen counter?
Kitchen counters have a standard height of 36” (inches), making their barstool height range between 24” and 26” (inches).
How tall should a barstool be for a bar counter?
Bar counters have a standard height of 42” (inches), making their barstool height range between 30” and 32” (inches).
How tall should a barstool be for an extra-tall bar counter?
Extra-Tall bar counters have a standard height of 46” (inches), making their barstool height range between 34” and 36” (inches).
Choosing the best barstool height is one of those tasks that seems harder than it actually is. All you need is a trusty measurement tape and plenty of time to browse the best online furniture stores for the perfect bar stool for you.
Keep in mind that the best furniture brands offer pieces that feature top-notch upholstery on its seating and backrest, as well as minimalist pieces that prioritize functionality and sturdiness over aesthetics. We hope our barstool height and width measuring guide helps you dive into their catalogs with complete confidence!