The Basics Bar Tools

The 10 Best Bar Stools in 2022

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 Bar Stools (Set of 2)

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

Courtesy of Wayfair

Pros
  • Available in both heights

  • Set of two

  • Various colors

Cons
  • No swivel

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.

Height: 23.5 or 30.5 inches | Material: Velvet, metal

Best Budget: Fender 30-inch Bar Stool

Fender 30-inch Bar Stool

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Quality-to-price ratio

  • Easy to assemble

Cons
  • One color / pattern option

Music shops might not be the first place you’d think to look for great bar stools, but if you’re going for a retro rock n’ roll feel, this classic stool from iconic guitar brand Fender 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.

Height: 30 inches | Material: Metal, padded top

Best Splurge: Azalea Mink Bar Stool

Azalea Mink Bar Stool

CB2

Pros
  • Unique

  • Comfortable

  • Easy to clean (vacuum) 

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Potentially too tall for some bars

Although these CB2 stools don’t come cheap, the comfort, flare, and durability of the product is next to none. Designed by Caleb Zipperer, these two-tiered stools offer an added layer of comfort and are available in two color options. Zipperer’s chic stools are crafted from powder-coated iron frames and microfiber, making product maintenance as easy can be. Simply wipe clean with a soft, dry cloth or vacuum regularly. 

Height: 40.5 inches | Material: Iron, microfiber

Related: The Best Bar Cabinets

Best Adjustable: Simpli Home Sheldon Adjustable Swivel Bar Stool

Simpli Home Sheldon Adjustable Swivel Bar Stool

Courtesy of Overstock

Pros
  • Adjustable

  • One year warranty

Cons
  • May be too high for some bars

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 slick, padded gray 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.

Height: 36 to 44 inches high | Material: Metal, wood, polysynthetic fiber

Related: The Best Bar Carts

Best Backless: Alden Bar & Counter Stools - Steel

Alden

West Elm

Pros
  • Available in two sizes

  • Easy to clean

  • Sustainably-sourced materials

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Heavy

West Elm furniture isn’t necessarily the most budget-friendly option, though you most definitely get what you pay for—and the quality and durability found in these Alden Bar & Counter stools are no exception. Crafted from steel and sustainably-sourced mango wood, these long-lasting seats promise years of enjoyment. The stools boast curved seats for added comfort and come in two sizes, making them ideal for bars and counters everywhere. 

Height: 26 or 40 inches | Material: Steel, mango wood

Related: The Best Cocktail Shakers

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

 Safavieh Home Collection Birch Wood

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Reputable brand

  • Easy to match

Cons
  • Some users report back “caning” of rattan

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.

Height: 28 inches | Material: Mahogany, rattan

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

Pros
  • Set of two

  • Very comfortable

  • Easy to assemble

Cons
  • Potential cracking

Ideal for a more classic decor, 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.

Height: 30.5 inches | Material: Leather, wood

Best Metal: Studio 3B Wood and Metal Bar Stool in Black

Studio 3B Wood and Metal Bar Stool in Black

Bed Bath & Beyond

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Great price

  • Versatile

Cons
  • Perhaps too simple / boring design 

Two high-quality bar stools for under $100? You heard it here first. This set of Studio 3B from Bed Bath & Beyond is simplistic, durable, and extremely versatile, making the duo a go-to pick for bars of all shapes, sizes, and colors. In addition to being easy to clean, the stools' built-in foot rests provide added support, and at just 15 pounds each (and no assembly required), setting up the stools couldn’t be easier. 

These Studio 3B stools have a 225 pound capacity and come with a six-month warranty.

Height: 29 inches | Material: Metal, MDF (medium-density fibreboard) 

Related: The Best Bar Sets

Best Outdoor: Christopher Knight Home Dale Outdoor Wicker Barstools with Cushions

Dale Outdoor Wicker Set

Courtesy of Overstock

Pros
  • Versatile (indoor or outdoor)

  • Set of two

  • Water-resistant cushions

Cons
  • Pricy

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.

Height: 38 inches | Material: Rattan, iron frame

Related: The Best Cocktail Books

Best Bucket Seat: Willowick Counter Stool (Set of 2)

Willowick Counter Stool (Set of 2)

Wayfair

Pros
  • Set of two

  • Sleek design

  • Well priced

Cons
  • No swivel

  • No adjustable height

At just $250 a pop, this 2-piece barstool set is an absolute steal. Sleek and easy to clean, these upholstered stools come with foam-filled seats that provide added comfort, as well as plastic glides on their base to avoid floor scuffing. Although the seats do not swivel or adjust, we found that their comfy bases and built-in footrests—not to mention the mid-century modern design and glossy finish—easily make up for it. 

This full-back stool holds up to 250 pounds and comes with a one year guarantee.

Height: 25.2 inches | Material: Metal, manufactured wood

What to Look For

When choosing the proper bar or counter stool for your space, first consider the height of your bar to ensure that the stools you’re looking at are the appropriate size. Then, in addition to budget and spacing, determine what your personal preferences are for material and color. 

FAQs

What’s the difference between a bar stool and a counter stool?

Generally speaking, bar stools are taller than counter stools by about five to six inches. 

How tall should a bar stool be?

Counter stools generally clock in around 24 inches high, whereas bar stools tend to hover around the 36 inch mark. However, at the end of the day it all depends on the height of your bar, so break out that measuring tape.

What’s the best way to space bar stools?

When placing bar stools, it’s often recommended to leave about six inches between each stool, with an extra inch or two added if the stools have armrests. 

How should one go about buying bar stools?

When seeking out bar stools, it all comes down to personal preference, as well as space and needs. Certain materials (wood and metal) are often easier to clean / stain less than fabrics, though fabrics can often create a homier, more cozy feel. 

Why Trust Liquor.com?

Vicki Denig is a wine, spirits, and travel journalist who splits her time between New York and Paris. Her work regularly appears in major industry publications. She is the content creator and social media manager for a list of prestigious clients, including Sopexa, Paris Wine Company, Becky Wasserman, Volcanic Selections, Le Du’s Wines, Windmill Wine & Spirits and Corkbuzz. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine.

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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