What is The Difference Between Bar Stool and Counter Stool?

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You may confuse counter stools and bar stools sometimes. Although these assets are different, they serve similar purposes. You could wind yourself buying one rather than the other due to their identical looks. Many users discover that the stool they bought didn’t meet their sitting requirements.

The main distinction is their height, and how they vary widely in terms of usefulness. This article includes more information, starting with a comparison of these two stool types. It also suggests some ways and tips for choosing the right stool height. Let’s read on to discover!

Difference Between Bar Stools and Counter Stools

You might not be able to reach your bar if your stool is too short. Meanwhile, a stool that is excessively high might result in knee injuries. You may minimize this headache by learning to distinguish between the two sorts of stools.


A counter stool is a kind of restaurant seat. It allows you to sit comfortably behind a bar. You can utilize the stool at bar counters, kitchen counters, restaurant tables with adjustable heights, or any other dining space. The design of the top part makes it accessible for both standing and sitting.

A bar stool generally has footrests that provide support for the user’s legs. The stability of the bar stool determines its narrowness and height for usage. Bar stools, as the name implies, are exclusively ideal for use in bars. However, they are now available for some other purposes.

Bar Stool Vs. Counter Stool Height

The greatest difference between counter and bar stools is their height. The average height of a bar stool is about 28 inches. Some models can be up to 36 inches high. A counter stool, on the other hand, is typically between 24 and 27 inches tall.

The height of 28 inches enables bar stools to work well with countertops that are at the bar height. It also lets you dine and drink easily at the table or bar while still having enough space underneath for your legs and knees.

There are some bars that are more than 44 inches tall. These higher bars necessitate a stool that is from 33 to 36 inches in height.

Bar stools are often 28 to 36 inches high
Bar stools are often 28 to 36 inches high

Counter stools, on the other hand, are the ideal height for eating, doing schoolwork, doing office jobs, or enjoying coffee with your family.

These tools are ideal for dining tables with little room since they tuck nicely beneath the table. Tables are lower than countertops, with a height of 28 to 30 inches. Hence, stools that are 16 to 23 inches high are necessary.

Where to Use These Types of Chairs

You can use counter stools for the countertops. The stools should be at the same height as your kitchen working surfaces, which are usually 36 inches high. Counter stools can also be a good choice if you have a big region with cabinets on a single side and seats on the other.

Counter stools should be available in your kitchen
Counter stools should be available in your kitchen

Regarding bar stools, you can pair them with taller counters. They can work well with high-top and split-top tables.

Bar stools should be higher to promote intimate conversations. The stools may also ensure that people sitting and standing are at the same height.

How to Choose the Right Stool Height

You surely want your guests to feel at ease while sitting in your stools. As a result, selecting the appropriate stool height is critical. Before shopping, let’s have a look at some tips below.

1. Measure The Bar and Table Height

The major distinction, as previously stated, is the stool’s height. The stool needs to fit under the different bar and counter heights.

First, take note of the bar height or counter height. Measure from the top of the bar to the floor for this figure.

counter stool height

Most of the counters and bars have a standard height. The average height of a kitchen counter is around 36 inches, while that figure for a home bar is 42 inches.

These heights are accommodated by regular stools. Real bars and counters, on the other hand, can be some inches shorter or taller. So, measurement is necessary.

3. Look for The Stool with The Appropriate Height

After you know how tall your counter and bar are, seek the stools.

You need to measure from the top of the stool to the floor. This approach allows you to sit nicely and comfortably even with your legs crossed.

bar stool vs counter stool height
Bar Stool vs Counter Stool Height

Aside from the bar and counter height models, stools also come with short and extra ones.

  • Height of short stool: 22 to 23 inches
  • Height of counter stool: 24 to 28 inches
  • Height of bar stool: 29 to 36 inches
  • Height of extra-tall stool: 37 to 40 inches

It would be best to choose a stool that is about 10 inches shorter. For example, if the bar height is 32 inches, choose the 22-inch stool.

4. Measure The Length of The Counter or Bar

You’ll also need to know how long the bar or counter is. This size, when paired with the length of your selected stools, indicates how many stools you need. The right number of stools enables your friends to easily move in and out of their seats.

Set 6 inches between stools for 16 to 18-inch seats. Allow 8 to 10 inches for seats of 18 inches or broader.

5. Choose The Design

Now, it’s time to be creative with the look.

Stool backs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The style of the back determines how the stool feels and looks.

Backless seats can let you slip beneath the counter. However, they appear to be less comfortable if you sit too long.

mix match counter stools and bar stools
Credit: deVOL

There are also models with a lip. The part might be very thin or extend all the way to the middle of the back.

The last version is stools with fullbacks. These models are the comfiest, especially if you want to sit for an extended period of time.

A cushion can be an option for the style of your barstool. If it appears to be tough, you may need to apply some additional padding.

6. Material

If you plan to put the stools in the kitchen, choose the material that is simple to clean. There may be spills or other problems. In this case, non-fabric surfaces may be the best option.

A stool with soft textures and surfaces may be a suitable choice for a place that is mainly for aesthetics.


Above is the comparison between the barstools and counter stools. The height makes them different from each other. Due to the difference, each model is suitable for a specific use.

Before buying the stools, make sure that you have measured the counter or bar height. Then, choose the stools that are about 10 inches shorter.

Hopefully, you will pick the right assets. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!

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