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Bar Stools

Taller than standard dining chairs, bar stools are a form of dining seating generally found in a kitchen or bar.  They are suited to higher surfaces such kitchen islands, breakfast bars and mini bars.  Bar stools are sometimes known as island chairs or kitchen stools and are available in many styles to complement different furnishings.

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What are the different types of bar stools?

There are various kinds of bar stool available to suit your requirements, including wooden, metal, backless and upholstered bar stools.  Explore your options in our guide below.

Wooden bar stools

Wooden bar stools have a more traditional aesthetic but are versatile across many different styles.  You can purchase wooden stools in a variety of woods, including solid oak, ash, beech and pine.  An oak barstool is sturdy with an outstanding natural finish and woodgrain, and is a popular option for rustic homes or farmhouse style kitchens.

A wooden bar stool can be painted, stained or otherwise finished to a colour that suits your furnishings.  A stained wood looks excellent in traditional or industrial style settings, whereas a white painted stool is perfect for a contemporary kitchen.  An oak bar stool often comes with a waxed, oiled or lacquered finish to emphasise the warm colour of the wood.

Metal bar stools

Metal bar stools are durable and bursting with smart contemporary style, so they are ideal for a modern home.  They are also easy to clean, making them gloriously low maintenance.  Most commonly, these stools are found with a chrome or a brushed silver finish that will suit most colour schemes.

Due to the strength of the metal, metal stools can have sleeker pedestal designs for a minimalist appearance.  This produces more style options, as you can choose between square, circular and trumpet base plates.

Backless bar stools

A timeless classic, the backless bar stool is the simplest kind of bar stool.  Often this is reflected in its price, as it requires fewer materials to produce.  The simplicity of the stool’s design makes it a versatile and elegant addition to the kitchen which gives the illusion of taking up less space – perfect for a smaller or more cluttered kitchen.

Upholstered bar stools

A wooden or metal bar stool may have an upholstered seat, or feature a fully upholstered seat and back for maximum support.  A padded seat will bring more comfort to your dining experience, and the wide range of colours available allows you to tailor the stool to your kitchen décor.

Breakfast bar stools may be upholstered in fabric, leather or faux leather.

  • A fabric stool is the cosiest and often cheapest option and offers the most variety, being available in patterned fabric or fabrics of different textures.  These stools work well with contemporary or traditional surroundings.
  • A leather stool is perfect for adding a touch of class to your dining area and is easy to clean to keep life simple.  These stools are most commonly seen in modern style homes, as leather upholstery goes well with a metal base.  However, a black leather seat suits many different styles and blends well with many colour schemes.
  • Faux leather offers the best of both worlds.  Smart and low maintenance like leather, it comes at a wallet-friendly price point and is animal friendly to boot.  In addition, it’s a sound choice if you aren’t a fan of that natural leather smell.

What are the benefits of bar stools?

Kitchen bar stools come with many advantages to suit your requirements.

Some island chairs have an adjustable height function, incorporating a gas lift mechanism into their designs.  This is a handy additional feature, because it means you can adjust the stool to the perfect height for your breakfast bar.  This also gives them great longevity, since if you ever replace your bar table or breakfast bar, you can rest assured that your bar stool can be raised or lowered to suit the height of your new table.

As bar stools are also portable, you can move them to different places in the house when you want to entertain.  For example, you can bring them into the lounge or dining area when you require extra seating for guests.

They are also a more novel option, adding personality and sophistication to your kitchen.

Finally, they are a brilliant choice for couples or compact living.  If you don’t have much space, you can forgo a dining table entirely, eating at the breakfast bar instead.

What size are bar stools?

There is no fixed height for a bar stool – our selection of kitchen stools ranges from 65cm to a whopping 115cm – so you should always check the height of a bar stool before you go ahead with your purchase.  The same is true for width – stools are often around 45cm wide, but can deviate from this.  You’ll want to make sure you have enough room to fit as many stools as you require under the bar.

Take care to measure the distance from the floor to the underside of your table and compare this with the height of the stool.  You will need to allow 25cm for leg room, and the stool will also have to be high enough for guests to use the table comfortably.

Some of our bar chairs come as part of a wider dining range.  If the range also includes a bar table, it will most likely be designed to match the stool.

There are several kinds of stool available to meet your height and space requirements:

  • Fixed height bar stools are often the cheaper option.  Their height cannot be altered, so you will need to measure your table and stool accordingly.
  • You can adjust the height of an adjustable bar stool.  This is a safer option if you aren’t sure about your table height, however it’s still best to check the stool’s maximum and minimum heights before purchasing.
  • Swivel bar chairs are a more social form of stool, since you can swivel the seat around to speak with friends, family or guests.  They also require less space, since you don’t need to pull the stool out from the table.  Instead, you can turn the chair to the side, climb into it and swivel back around to face the table.

Get in touch

If you would like to contact us regarding any of our bar stools, you’re welcome to call us on 0333 200 1552 or email us at


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