What Size Bar Stool Should I Buy?

What Size Bar Stool Should I Buy

As more and more people choose bar stools for their kitchens, choosing the correct size can be daunting, especially considering there are all kinds of commercial and domestic bar stools. It would be convenient to know the size you’re after before purchasing one. However, how do you figure out the size of the bar stool to buy?

Start by measuring the underside of your counter to the floor to determine the height of your bar stool. As the standard height for the kitchen island is 34 to 36 inches tall, the bar stools should be 24 to 27 inches high. A good rule of thumb is to leave 9 to 11 inches between the seat and the island.

Bar stool size is classified according to the height of the seat. When you’re in the market to buy a bar stool and have never bought one, the range of sizes that bar stools come in can be confusing. Here’s all you need to know about getting the right bar stool size.

How Do You Know What Size Bar Stool To Buy?

What Size Bar Stool Should I Buy

You are one of the most important things to consider is height. You hear a lot about different heights like counters, bars, etc. You are searching for the perfect bar stool when unsure what size can be difficult.

However, as the average kitchen island or work surface measures around 36 inches from the floor to just under the island, the general size stool height to look for would be a size of 24 to 27 inches so that your legs and anyone else that sits there can fit their legs in comfortably.

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What happens when your worktop or counter height is not the average size from the floor to the underside of the worktop when you measure it? Fear not, as there is a simple way of working out the right size bar stool.

Even though the most custom size bar stool is a 34-inch size seat, doing your measurements will work best. The first step is to use a measuring tape from the floor to the bottom of your counter to know the actual height of your home.

Next, you want to minus 10 to 12 inches from the bottom of the counter. This subtraction will give you the size of the bar stool you need to buy. It sounds simple, but it is surprisingly something that most people do not think to do before shopping for bar stools.

Here is a general guide to the different-sized bar stools needed:

Although the first thought people get when bar stools are mentioned is kitchen counters or islands, other places like wet bars or rec rooms exist. These places may have higher counters than the standard kitchen counter size, typically around 42 inches.

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The best bar stool size for those counters would be 28 to 33 inches from the seat to the floor. However, your wet bar may have a different height. Therefore, using a measuring tape to double-check is always safer, so the size of the bar stool is not awkward looking once you have purchased it.

What To Consider When Choosing The Size Of The Stool

What To Consider When Choosing The Size Of The Stool

Several factors may influence your bar stool size.

Is The Bar Stool Fixed Or Adjustable?

One of the things that play a key role in the size of a bar stool is whether or not you want a fixed-height bar stool or a gas lift stool. With a fixed-height bar stool, you must factor in your kitchen work surface height.

Whereas with the gas lift bar stool, the measurements are not as crucial as the stools have mechanisms that can be used to lower and lift the seat to the desired height. You need to lift a lever to lift the bar stool’s seat so it can be adjusted to the desired comfort level. 

Lowering the bar stool is also easy as you sit on it and pull the lever if your feet aren’t fitting comfortably underneath the kitchen worktop.

Related Article: Counter Height Vs. Bar Height Vs. Adjustable Height Stools

Are Bar Stool Arms Important When Taking Measurements?

Another thing to consider regarding the size is whether or not you want your barstool to have arms. You’ll also want to measure the arm height from the floor to the top of the arms on the bar stool. The last thing you want is to measure and calculate the seat height only to have the arms get in the way and not fit under the counter.

By measuring the floor-to-arm height, you ensure that you have the perfect bar stool size that will fit well and where you can sit comfortably.

Floor Pads Can Throw Off Bar Stool Measurements.

If you have kids or would like to protect your floors, something else to consider is whether or not you plan on putting pads at the bottom of your chairs. These can be helpful as they ensure that the bar stool does not scratch and damage your floor.

However, as useful as pads are, if you take your floor-to-seat measurements and floor to the bottom of the kitchen island measurements without factoring in the possibility of the pads being somewhat thick, you risk your measurements being off by a couple of inches which could be the difference between comfort and cramping legs.

The size of your bar stool also matters regarding how many barstools you plan on having—factor in the spacing between the stools so they are comfortably spaced.


Although there are many different makes, models, designs, and sizes of bar stools, the most accurate way to determine the size of the bar stool is to take careful measurements of your counter, kitchen worktop, etc., and subtract the known inches to get a bar stool that fits in your home and is comfortable. Having a size buying guide for bar stools is very beneficial.


Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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