Top 10 Best Bar Stools in 2020

Last updated on March 10, 2020

Looking for the best bar stools for your home? Whether it’s for the home bar, kitchen, or even your workspace, we have you covered. These are the best picks for 2020.

Bar stools are great. Not only they provide easy seating when it is needed, but they are also space-efficient so you can have several of them in a room. If we know anything about home decor then we can honestly say that stools are essential in any modern kitchen with an island (but not limited to it).

And yes, you got that right, you can use bar stools outside of the kitchen too. Your home bar might be located somewhere else. Aside from that, they can be used if you have no dedicated dining area. And they can even chip in as seating in your workspace if needed.

So how do you choose the best bar stool?

Consider the size:

  • Stools for counters range from 23 to 28 inches.
  • Stools for bars range from 29 to 32 inches.
  • But you may require extra high stools if your bar/counter surface is higher.

Who will use them?

  • If you have kids, make sure the stools are heavy enough and cannot be tipped easily. Swivel chairs are more accessible for kids as well.
  • Adults will find heavier stools more comfortable too as there’s less chance to wobble.

How often you will use them?

  • Occasional use doesn’t require much function, so decor appeal is your top priority.
  • However, if you will use them daily, make sure they are comfortable. Swivel chairs with back are then more attractive options.

How many?

  • Do you have enough counter space to accommodate how many stools?
  • Make sure you leave enough elbow space when deciding.

Our top picks of bar stools will help you answer all of these questions and help you choose. A lot of thought and research has gone into making these picks. Most importantly, these choices are based on what our readers (that’s you) are interested in so they are more topical. This is backed with 3rd party data we’re privy to as well as testing. Also, note that we do get compensated by qualifying purchases on Amazon (indicated with #ad) at no expense to you. This helps us do a better job.

Now, on to the beef. Which bar stool is your pick?

What's Inside?

Counter Height Bar Stools

Counter height
Signature Design by Ashley Challiman Bar Stools

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Counter height bar stools can make the kitchen a more welcoming place. Guests can gather there for snacks and conversation. This product from Ashley is a great example of a small bar stool with a rustic design that looks great in traditional homes. Uneven floors are not a problem thanks to its adjustable feet levelers for stability. However, the feet tend to leave marks on wood floors. Place these stools on a carpet to prevent scratches. Note that these are best for light use only.

Pros:

  • Rustic industrial design
  • Adjustable feet levelers
  • Wooden seat

Cons:

  • Not for heavy use
  • Leaves marks on floors
  • Manufacturing defects

Metal Bar Stools

Metal stool
Flash Furniture 30” High Backless Stool

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Metal bar stools are often preferred because of their sturdy construction compared to wood and plastic. For example, this bar stool from Flash Furniture has a 500-pound weight capacity. That is more than enough to support most adults so you can sit with confidence. Since it is made of metal, it can be used both indoors and outdoors without worries. These are stackable so storage is not an issue. There might be dents and scratches out of the package but you can paint over them with ease.

Pros:

  • 500lb weight capacity
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Stackable design
  • Seat drain hole
  • A wide array of color choices

Cons:

  • Possible dents and scratches

Bar Stools with Back

stools with back
Christopher Knight Home Dax Stools

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Bar stools with back support are better for people who plan to spend a lot of time sitting down. Other stools may get uncomfortable fairly fast but his one from Christopher Knight Home stays nice and snug for a long time. The curved seat has cushioning and the shape hugs the bottom. It even looks appealing with the refined texture and earthy color. On the other hand, the stool may wobble and there are no leg adjustments to fix it. Quality control issues with screw holes can make assembly difficult.

Pros:

  • Modern minimalist design
  • Ergonomic seating
  • Upholstered with ample cushion
  • Sturdy steel frame
  • Back support

Cons:

  • May wobble
  • Quality control issues

Modern Bar Stools

Modern bar stools
Walker Edison Faux Leather Stools

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Modern bar stools pair well with modern interiors. These ones from the Walker Edison Company are well-designed for user comfort. It has back support, a curved seat, and an upholstered design. The fabric is faux leather that is easy to clean. The base is made from steel for strength which has been powder coated for rust-proofing. Sometimes the colors shipped are mismatched and customer service is unhelpful. It may also scratch wooden floors so place a protector underneath.

Pros:

  • Industrial minimalist design
  • Powder-coated steel legs
  • Upholstered seats
  • Easy to clean fabric

Cons:

  • Unhelpful customer service
  • Scratches wooden floors
  • Random colors shipped

Extra Tall Bar Stools

Extra tall
Adjustable Swivel Bar Stools

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Extra tall people need extra tall bar stools. Superjare provides one that can be adjusted from a height of 23.6″ up to 32.2″. It has a lot going for it aside from the length. For instance, the design looks quite stylish and the seats are highly cushioned. This chair can swivel 360-degrees so you can be free to move when preparing drinks or talking to people around the bar. Its weight capacity is limited to 265lbs and it tends to wobble at a full height so do be careful at the extremes.

Pros:

  • Very high
  • Stylish design
  • Adjustable height
  • Swivel chairs
  • Floor scratch prevention
  • Advanced fabric

Cons:

  • Plastic trim
  • Not for heavy-duty use
  • Wobbly at full height

Folding Bar Stools

Folding stool
Linon Home Decor Keira Folding Stool

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Small apartments need small furnishings. Stools are ideal because of their tiny footprint but you can do even better by picking up folding bar stools (see also, best folding chairs). This model from Linon Home Décor allows people to sit comfortably for eating and drinking with cushioned seats and backrest. After the guests are gone, the stool can be folded and tucked away to clear space. It comes fully assembled so it’s ready to use out of the box. Just don’t expect it to carry big weights.

Pros:

  • Easy to store
  • Supportive back
  • Cushioned seat
  • Fully assembled

Cons:

  • Cheap materials
  • Folds when scooting back
  • Not heavy duty

Kitchen Counter Stools

kitchen counter stools
Adjustable Swivel Stools

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If you are looking for kitchen counter stools that can accommodate everyone in the family, then consider this adjustable model that is as good for adults as it is for the kids. The stool looks sleek, especially in the black and chrome combination. It can swivel around for freedom of movement while staying sturdy. However, the seats lack cushioning and curves so they are not that comfortable.

Pros:

  • Elegant modern look
  • Swivel action
  • Chrome base
  • Adjustable height
  • Sturdy

Cons:

  • Slightly uncomfortable seat
  • Fast hydraulic failure

Swivel Bar Stools with Back

Swivel bar stools with back
Signature Design by Ashley Upholstered Swivel Barstools

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Swivel stools are great because they allow you to turn in any direction to face other people or reach for drinks at the bar. However, most of these have a backless design that makes lengthy use difficult. Fortunately, manufacturers like Ashley also make swivel bar stills with a back like this one. It has a curved backrest and upholstered seat for added comfort. It does need assembling and the swivel bracket tends to come to loose so watch out for that.

Pros:

  • Upholstered seat
  • Swiveling action
  • Curved backrest
  • Rustic design

Cons:

  • Assembly required
  • Swivel bracket comes loose

24-inch Bar Stools

24-inchers
Angel Line Cambridge Bar Stools

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People don’t always need a tall stool. Sometimes 24-inch bar stools are more than sufficient as long as they tick other boxes. This model from Angel Line is a compelling product with a simple design that looks elegant. The top of the stool has a generous cushion under gray leather. It is comfortable to sit on for long periods so you can chat with friends long after you’ve finished your meals and drinks.

Pros:

  • Simple yet elegant
  • Generous cushion
  • Affordable price
  • Ease of assembly

Cons:

  • Stitching leaves room for improvement

Leather Counter Stools

Leather stools
Christopher Knight Home Chantal Leather Stools with Nailhead Trim

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If you like leather counter stools, then this product from Christopher Knight Home should prove to be extremely compelling. The leather upholstery is smooth to the touch. The seats are quite comfortable though they stain quickly and these are hard to remove. Novices might have a hard time with assembly due to unclear instructions. Some units have quality control issues but are not necessarily deal-breakers.

Pros:

  • Ivory leather upholstery
  • Contemporary design
  • Comfortable seats

Cons:

  • Inadequate assembly instructions
  • Quality control issues
  • Stains easily

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