The Basics Bar Tools

The 9 Best Bar Stools in 2021

Sit (and sip) in style with our favorite bar stools of the year.

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Not all bar stools are created equal. For starters, there’s bar height versus counter height, backrest versus backless and, well, cool versus not so cool. When shopping for the perfect bar (or counter) stool for your home bar, it’s important to outline your preferences and non-negotiables first and foremost: from measurements to style to everything in between.

Ideally, the perfect bar stool is equal parts form and function, though there’s a bit of wiggle room. For example, if you come across a vintage piece or set that takes your breath away but isn’t necessarily the most comfortable thing you’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting on, making somewhat of a concession for a unique find might just be the best option for you. Such is the nature of furniture shopping.

Luckily, we've already done most of the research for you. Read on for our picks of the top bar stools.

Best Overall: AllModern Kody Upholstered Bar and Counter Stools

Avers/Kody Upholstered Bar and Counter Stools, Set of 2

Courtesy of Wayfair

Available in both counter and bar height (23.5 inches and 30.5 inches, respectively), these stunning velvet stools are an excellent way to bring a luxe feel and a pop of color to any space. Their silhouette is simple yet packs a punch.

Plus, this set of two stools is an absolute steal: It has a minimalist, subtly industrial metal base complete with leg glides to prevent floor damage; a foam-filled bucket seat that can support up to 250 pounds; and a one-year warranty. The only downside is that there’s no swivel, but we have a feeling that won't matter much when you’re bellied up to the bar.

Best Budget: Fender 30-inch Bar Stool

Fender 30-inch Bar Stool

Courtesy of Amazon

Music shops might not be the first place you’d look for great bar stools, but if you’re going for a retro rock n’ roll feel, iconic guitar brand Fender’s classic bar stool is your best bet. Complete with a metal base, padded swiveling seat, footrest, and a black, red and silver color scheme, these diner-worthy bar stools will transport you to another era.

At 30 inches tall, this bar stool proves that the budget option doesn’t necessarily have to be boring. Reviewers say this stool both offers great quality for the price and is easy to put together.

Best Splurge: Strick & Bolton Laffut Velvet Counter-Height Stool

Strick & Bolton Laffut Velvet/ Gold Stainless Steel Counter Stool

Courtesy of Overstock

If you’re on the hunt for a real statement piece (or two or three or four), look no further than Strick & Bolton’s Laffut velvet and gold counter-height stool.

With its gold-accented solid wood frame, one-year manufacturer warranty and ultra-plush velvet seat, this glam single stool holds up to 300 pounds and comes in multiple color options, including black velvet with gold hardware.

Related: The Best Bar Cabinets

Best Adjustable: Simpli Home Sheldon Adjustable Swivel Bar Stool

Simpli Home Sheldon Adjustable Swivel Bar Stool

Courtesy of Overstock

Adjustability is important to some, especially those who are particular about their height-to-bar ratio (or who just appreciate having options). Elegant and classic in its design, the Simpli Home Sheldon adjustable swivel bar stool features a shiny chrome base and a padded gray and slick bentwood seat, adjusting from counter height to bar height with one simple pull of a lever.

This stool holds up to 250 pounds and comes with a one-year warranty.

Related: The Best Bar Carts

Best Backless: Jai Solid Wood Bar Stool

Jai Solid Wood Bar Stool

Courtesy of Wayfair

Simplicity is the name of the game with this elegant, minimalist bar stool, in addition to comfort: For a backless chair, the Jai (or Crooke, depending on where you buy) solid mango wood bar stool and its contoured saddle seat are shockingly comfortable, thanks to the ergonomic design.

The sleek iron frame, which is powder-coated to give it a matte feel and appearance, features a simple footrest, and the water-resistant wood seat is sourced from India. This stool measures just shy of 30 inches high and features floor protectors.

Related: The Best Cocktail Shakers

Best with Backrest: Safavieh Home Collection Birch Wood Brando Bar Stool

 Safavieh Home Collection Birch Wood

Courtesy of Amazon

Safavieh is a well-known and widely trusted name in furniture for a reason. Thanks to its high quality and fair prices, you can purchase from this brand with complete confidence. The Brando bar stool is no exception, and its elegant design and materials are begging to be paired with statement wallpaper and fun, rich colors.

Available in several color combinations, this 28-inch stool features a mahogany frame and a rattan back with a carefully upholstered seat. The Safavieh Brando stool can hold up to 250 pounds.

Related: The Best Jiggers

Best Leather: Mayfield Bonded Leather-Backed Barstools by Christopher Knight Home

 Christopher Knight Home Mayfield Bonded Leather Backed Barstools

Courtesy of Amazon

Perfect for a more classic space, Christopher Knight Home’s bonded leather-backed deep brown bar stools bring a rich, traditional feel to any bar. Measuring 30.5 inches high at the seat and 44.5 inches tall at the back, this stool’s soft leather is as comfortable as it is beautiful.

Plus, many reviewers found the assembly to be easy and straightforward. The Mayfield bonded leather-backed bar stool set features a wood footrest and brass tacks; a manufacturer’s warranty is available upon request.

Best Metal: Crate & Barrel Turner Adjustable Backless Counter Stool

Turner Black Adjustable Backless Counter Stool

Courtesy of Crate&Barrel

Let’s face it: Metal isn’t exactly the most comfortable material out there, but it’s hard to deny the aesthetically pleasing nature of industrial-chic, all-metal furniture. Crate & Barrel’s classic backless Turner counter stool, which is available in a gunmetal or sleek black finish, is both visually stunning and is adjustable to accommodate most counter and bar surface heights (its range is 18 to 24 inches).

And, if you’re not a fan of the feeling of cold, hard metal, you can always add circular cushions to the top of your stools (just make sure there’s some sort of grip on the bottom side; otherwise, you might not be upright for long).

Related: The Best Bar Sets

Best Outdoor: Wicker Bar Stools with Cushions by Christopher Knight Home

Dale Outdoor Wicker Set

Courtesy of Overstock

Christopher Knight makes another appearance on this list with these gorgeous wicker bar stools that are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Best of all, they come with water-resistant cushions, which make the stool that much more comfortable to sit on.

Available in a set of two, these bar stools come in either gray or brown and can hold up to 250 pounds, thanks to a sturdy metal frame. Assembly is required, and the manufacturer’s warranty covers the first 90 days after purchase.

Related: The Best Cocktail Books

Why Trust Liquor.com?

A longtime wine and spirits writer, Céline Bossart has tested bar stools all over the world. Her favorite of all time is the classic Fender bar stool, which is also available in a 24-inch height for those about to rock.

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