How to Choose the Perfect Bar & Counter Stool Height

Measuring for Barstools, Counter Stools, & Table Stools

Perfect Bar & Counter Stool Height

As an online seller of dining furniture, including bar stools & counter chairs, we are often asked how to choose the right stool for your kitchen or countertop One ot the questions we are always asked by our customers. Whether you’re sitting down for a quick snack at your counter or enjoying a cocktail at your home bar, stools are a casual, versatile, and stylish seating option in your home!

When shopping for the perfect stool, there are many factors to consider, but it is most important that the height and width of the stool allow you and your guests to sit comfortably.

In order to get the most comfort out of your stool you must take three main dimensions into consideration: the surface height, the stool height, and the number of stools.

With so many options to choose from it can be difficult to know where to begin and how to make correct measurements.

This article will simplify the process of measuring and act as a guide to choosing the right stool for a bar, a counter, or a table.

Choosing the perfect height barstool can be tricky – discover exactly how to choose the best barstool height for all counter types. There are three main important dimensions to keep in consideration when selecting a stool.

  1. Height of the table surface
  2. The height of the stool
  3. Number of stools along a table/counter surface

Does that sound intimidating because of the number of measurements you would need for selecting the stool you want? It can be difficult to know where to begin and how to make correct measurements. However, this simple guide on finding the ideal barstool height will teach you exactly how to find the perfect seat height so that it fits your guests and bar counter perfectly!

So let’s dig into this article that will simplify the process of measuring and act as a guide to choosing the right stool for a bar, a counter, or a table.

 

How to Measure for the Perfect Stool

How to Measure for the Perfect Stool

The first step when starting your search to find a stool that is the perfect match for your space, is to get your trusty measuring tape!

We need to measure

  1. the height of the table/counter surface,
  2. the height of the stool, and
  3. the length of the table/counter surface.

To accurately determine your counter or table’s height, measure from the floor to the top of the surface.

Most stools whether for a bar, a counter, or a table, have standard height ranges. However, actual surfaces in your home may vary, so it is always important to measure yourself.

 

Rules for comfortable seating

There are some rules for comfortable seating on stool under a table or counter.

  1. The first rule of thumb is that a stool is about 10 inches shorter than the height of the surface; this allows room to sit comfortably with legs crossed.
  2. The second rule is to measure the stool’s exact height from the floor to the top of the seat.
  3. The counter or table’s height should be measured from the floor to the underside of the table surface.
  4. The counter/ table If the table has a wide side, referred to as an apron or skirt, you may want to find a stool that is approximately 10 inches across, to ensure comfortable clearance for your legs.
  5. If the table or counter seats people only on a single side (think kitchen counter), it should be at least 18-20 inches wide, so you can sit comfortably without hitting the wall in front of you. But if you plan to seat people on both sides of the table, the surface should be at least 36-40 inches across.
  6. The final rule is to measure the length of the table/counter surface in order to determine how many stools can comfortably fit beside one another. People should be able to get in and out of their seats with ease. To do so, account for about 8 to 12 inches between each stool, as well as between the edge of the counter or wall.

Now that you understand the importance of measuring, this next section of the article will provide you with standard dimensions to follow.

 

Standard Dimensions of Stools and Tables

There are three main seating types, chairs, counter chairs and stools: likewise there are three tables as per the height from floor- bar, counter, and table.

Let us look at the standard dimensions, presented in a chart below.

How to Pick the Right Size Bar Stools and Counter Chairs-

Standard Measurements
Table height (in inch) Stool /Seat Height (in inch)
Stool /Seat Height (in inch) 28-30 18-21
Counter Stool 33-38 23-28
Bar Stool 40-43 29-32
Extra Tall Bar Stool 44-47 33-36

(All measurements are approximate)

Standard Dimensions of stools and tables

1. Standard Dining Stool Height (with dining table)

Standard Dining Stool Height (with dining table) How tall are standard height dining stools?
  • Typically measure 18" to 23" high at the seat
  • Great for traditional break or lunchroom tables
  • Easy to stack and transport
  • Available in upholstered and plain versions

The standard tabletop surface is typically 28 to 30 inches tall, therefore a table stool with a seat height around 18 to 21 inches from the floor would work with it.

dining stoolstool for dining
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2. Standard Counter Stool Height (with kitchen/breakfast counters)

How tall are counter stools or chairs?
  • Typically measure 23" to 28" high at the seat
  • Designed for counter-height tables between 33" to 38" high
  • Great for built-in overhangs on counters
  • Shorter than stools and tables seen in restaurants or bars

Counter-height bar stools are taller than chairs and typically measure 23 to 28 inches from the ground. These stools are best suited for 33 to 38 inch-high countertops. The average height of kitchen countertops is between 33-38 inches to coordinate with the standard height of kitchen appliances.

Counter height type of stool is shorter than what you might see at a restaurant or bar, but are often ideal options for use in residential settings or in office breakrooms. A mixture of standard and counter-height tables gives employees options for their seating and can be a visually appealing break from the traditional breakroom.

Shop Counter Height Chairs

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3. Standard Bar Stool Height

Standard Bar Stool Height How tall are bar height stools?
  • Measure 29" to 32" high at the seat
  • Designed for counters and tables 40" - 43" high
  • Often a bit too tall for counter-height tables or counters
  • Commonly seen in bars and restaurants

Standard bar-height stools should range from 29 to 32 inches. These stools should be paired with bar heights of 40 to 43 inches In order to allow for about 10 inches of legroom.

stool height

To learn more about what type of bar seating would be best suited for your space. Shop some of our best-selling standard, counter height, and bar height stools below to find a fit for your space.

stool height

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Outdoor Bar stool

 

4. Extra-Tall Bar Stool Height

Extra-tall bar stools, otherwise known as “spectator-height stools”, measure from 33 to 36 inches from the floor. These are a match for bar heights of 44 to 47 inches. These stools are not very common.

 

Adding Multiple Stools

If you intend on adding multiple stools to your surface, you will need to account for the width of each stool. This is where your measurement of the surface length will come in handy!

By knowing the length of the bar, counter, or tabletop, you will be able to calculate how many stools you will need based on recommended space between each one.

  • For stools 16 to 18 inches wide, leave at least 6 inches between each.
  • For stools 19 to 20 inches wide, maintain around 8 to 11 inches between each stool.
  • If the stool has a 16 to 18-inch width but has a swivel functionality, it is also recommended to leave 8 to 11 inches between the stools.

FAQs

How do we measure the height of a bar top?

Measure the distance from the floor to the underside surface of the bar top.

How do we measure the height of a stool?

Measure the distance from the floor to the top of the seating surface

How much distance should be between the bar and stool/chair for comfortable seating?

Typically the distance between the top of the seating surface and the underside of the table surface should be 10 -12 inches for comfortable seating, even when the legs are crossed. This height of 10-12 inches is also comfortable for working, writing or eating at the table surface.

What is the standard height of a bar top?

The standard bar top height is between 40” and 43” (inches).

What is normal counter height?

The standard counter height is between 33” and 38” (inches).

How do you pick the right height for bar stools?

Find the right height for bar stools by taking away 10” to 13” from the height of the bar counter.

How tall should a barstool be for a 36-inch counter?

For a 36” counter, which is the standard height for a kitchen counter, the best barstool height is between 23” and 28”.

How tall should a barstool be for a 42-inch counter?

For a 42” counter, which is the standard height for a bar counter, the best barstool height is between 29” and 32”.

How tall should a barstool be for a 46-inch counter?

For a 46” counter, which is the standard height for an extra-tall bar counter, the best barstool height is between 33” and 37”.

What is the desired minimum distance between two counter chairs or bar stools?

Typically, the distance between two stools at a table should be between 26 to 30 inches. The distance is calculated from the center of one stool to the center of the adjacent stool. (See image below)

What is the distance between the last stool at a bar and the end of the bar table?

Typically, the distance between the last stool and the edge of the bar table is recommended to be at least 14 inches. The distance is measured from the center of the last stool to the edge of the table. This will allow the person to get in and out of the seat comfortably. (See image below)

 

distance between the last stool at a bar and the end of the bar table

Conclusion

Hopefully, this has helped you to find the best height bar stools for your home and you are well on your way to ordering them and placing them next to your bar, kitchen or counter. Here’s to enjoying your new bar stools and the many memories that will be made entertaining friends, family or guests inside your home or at your outdoor bar!


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