How to choose the best bar table and stools
Bar table and stools are a great addition to a kitchen, dining room, or home bar. The best bar table and stools will blend seamlessly with your space and match your existing décor theme. Most importantly, they need to be comfortable enough for your guests to want to spend more time at your place.
But which table and stool should you choose? How many pieces do you need? What style suits your space? Where to buy bar stools? These are some of the questions you must address when looking for the right bar and table stool for your space. With an endless number of bar tables and stools available on the market, finding the perfect option for your space can be challenging, especially when shopping for the first time.
Fortunately, we’ve created this simple guide to help you locate the perfect bar stools and table set for your space.
What’s the right height of bar table and stools?
One of the most important things to keep in mind when looking for a bar table and stool is its height. The right table and stool height will ensure you’re comfortable when sitting. It will also save you the trouble of stretching down or reaching up to get things from the table.
When looking for bar tables to go with your existing chairs, it’s important to ensure that the table is the correct height so that the chairs or stools can fit beneath it and provide sufficient legroom. The standard height of bar tables is 110cm. These tables are often used for breakfast or dinner with friends.
When choosing a bar stool, the rule of thumb is that the stool seat should be about a hip height or a bit lower. There are two ways to do this. The first way is to measure the height of your table and then subtract 30 – 40cm, depending on whether you prioritise function or comfort. The second way is to measure the distance from the floor to the underside of the table and then add 8 – 10cm. Your height will also influence the height of the stool you choose.
How far apart should bar stools be?
If you want to add several stools to your table, you have to make sure there’s enough space between the stools for people to sit comfortably and move around with ease. To determine the number of stools you need, measure the length of your table.
Then calculate the number of stools that fit the table based on the recommended space between the stools. The amount of space you should leave between each stool depends on the width of the stool seat and other functionalities like the swivel. Below are guidelines for spacing.
Bar stools with a width of 40 – 46cm require at least 15cm of space between each stool.
For swivel stools or bar stools with a width of 48 – 56cm, leave a space of 20 – 28cm between each one.
What bar table shape should you choose?
The shape of a table determines the number of people it can accommodate and its overall look. Here are some of the most popular table shapes.
These bar tables are ideal for small spaces. They usually come with a single leg and feature small table tops that can accommodate 2 to 3 people
Square bar tables are a great alternative to traditional dining tables. They are versatile and can be used in a corner if you have a small family or don’t plan to host many guests.
These bar tables can fit more people but take up more space. Even the smallest units can fit four people sitting around them. You can set them against the wall if you’re short on space.
Types of bar stools?
Now that you know what stool height you need, the next step is understanding the types of stools you can choose for your space. Let's take a closer look at the different types to help you find a stool that best suits your needs.
Backless stools have a simple design and make great choices for people with small spaces and need to push the whole stool under the table when it's not being used. They usually have rectangular or round seats and are commonly made from wood. Backless stools may not be the most comfortable option for longer evening conversations or coffee dates, but you can find cushioned pieces that provide extra comfort. On the other hand, bar stools with backs provide better support, meaning they're more comfortable than backless stools. However, they take up more space and are not storage friendly.
Bar stools with arms are a great choice for people looking for extra comfort. The armrest provides more support, which makes the stool comfortable. However, like stools with backs, they need more space. If you want to buy a bar stool with arms, ensure you've measured your table height so that the arms of the stool can be pushed under the table when not in use.
Bar stools can be heavy, making it difficult to move them when needed. With swivel bar stools, you won't have to drag the stools away from the table when you want to sit. You simply need to swivel the seat in your direction and hop on it. These stools are also ideal for holding formal conversations. It's, however, important to note that swivel stools require more space than stationary stools. Swivel stools with arms will require even more space, so it's important to take into account the amount of space available.
These bar stools are a good option for families that like to have their meals at the kitchen or home bar. The upholstered seat has a nice flair that creates a more formal look than other materials like steel and wood. Upholstered bar stools can also provide extra seating in living rooms, restaurant booths, and other spaces.
What material should you choose for your table and stool?
Material is another crucial point to keep in mind when selecting bar tables and stools. Some materials work well in particular environments compared to others. For instance, plastic stools are easy to clean, making them a better choice for families with children. Leather bar stools add a touch of luxury to a space. However, they require more care. Wood is a good option for a rustic or traditional-style kitchen or bar, while metal makes a great choice for modern spaces. Below, we take a closer look at the different materials to help you make an informed decision.
A timeless classic and natural beauty, wood will add a warm and welcoming feel to your space. Bar stools made from wood are best suited for country or traditional-style spaces. Wooden bar stools can also be ideal for creating a modern look. With different colours and styles of wood available on the market, it’s easy to find a piece that matches your existing décor. You can never go wrong with wood.
Metal is one of the most common furniture materials. It’s a pretty versatile material as it can be used in many settings, but it’s most suitable for modern spaces. They also fit perfectly in retro and industrial-style areas. Bar stools made from this material are strong and easy to maintain. There are different types of metal, but steel is the most common material for bar stools. Steel is strong, durable, environmentally friendly, and easy to clean. However, if not cushioned, steel might not be the best option for people whose number one priority is comfort. The hard seat can be uncomfortable to sit on for longer hours.
Rattan is a natural material that can add some country charm to your space. However, it might not be the best option for a minimalistic style. Bar tables and stools made from rattan are best suited for traditional or rustic style spaces. They will add texture and natural warmth to your space. They also blend perfectly with other wood accents to create a natural-looking room. Rattan is also a sustainable material, making it good for the environment. Rattan is also resilient, so you can be sure your rattan bar stool will maintain its good looks for many years.
Fabric is a great choice for people who prioritise comfort. Examples of fabrics you can find on bar stools include velvet, linen, and cotton. These fabrics are breathable and feel soft to the touch. Fabric bar stools have upholstered seats, with most pieces featuring upholstered armrests and backrests. These stools allow you to sit for long hours without feeling any discomfort. Fabric stools look more formal and are an excellent choice for traditional and modern spaces. However, the fabric gets stained easily and isn't easy to clean. Fabric bar stools might not be the best option for people with pets or children.
Leather was once an expensive material, but it's quickly becoming a more affordable option for most homeowners. This material is renowned for its durability, butter-soft texture, and natural finish. It also resists tears and is easy to clean. Its breathability allows it to maintain a mild temperature in the summer and winter. Leather bar stools come in different colours, so you’re sure to find one that matches your décor theme. These stools will add a comfortable feel to your home.
Vinyl looks more like leather but has a shinier and smoother appearance. It’s the most durable of the upholstery fabrics. Bar table and chairs made from vinyl come in a wide range of colours and prints, making it easy to find the perfect match for your décor. Vinyl is waterproof, resistant to stains, and hard to tear. It’s also easy to clean – a single wipe with a wet cloth should do the trick. For ease of cleaning and durability, vinyl is the best fabric for upholstered bar stools.
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