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Barstool Height: How Tall Should Barstools Be?

Barstool Height: How Tall Should Barstools Be?

The perfect kitchen is within your grasp. With the right barstools, you’ll finally have that fashionable look you’ve been working so hard to achieve.

Fortunately, you’ve found what you think may be the perfect barstools—you’re just not sure if they’re the right bar stool height.

How tall should barstools be? Ultimately, it will depend on the height of your bar or counter, though standardized dimensions and a few simple rules will help you easily find the right height barstool for you. In most scenarios, barstools ranging from 28”-33” will work—but this isn’t always the case.

In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about barstool height and sizing so you can upgrade your kitchen without extra hassle.

How Tall Is a Standard Stool?

Let’s start by taking a look at standard stool height.

In most cases, standard stools will work with your bar space, as these are the most commonly bought and installed items. Generally, these stools are between 28”-33”, a height that directly correlates to standard bar top height (40”-43”).

Bar Stools Sizing Guide

If you’re not working with a standard bar top, however, a standard-size barstool likely won’t cut it for you.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the right barstool will be hard to find. As mentioned, barstools and their corresponding bars/counters come in a few standardized sizes (partly to make consumers’ lives easier).

In the event that you’re not working with a custom bar or countertop, the comprehensive barstools sizing guide below should contain the information you need to make the right purchase.

The four standardized bar stools sizes are:

- Short Height

Meant to accommodate surfaces that stand between 28”-33”, short height bar stools are manufactured within a range of 16”-23”.

If your bar top or countertop is on the shorter end, you’ll want to measure to see if these small barstools are the right size for you.

- Counter Height

Barstools between 24”-27” are also manufactured to accommodate standard counters that range from 35”-39” tall.

If you’re not working with a traditional bar but do have standard counters in your kitchen, these counter height stools may be what you need.

- Bar Height

Remember the standardized stools we mentioned before? These stools (between 28”-33” tall) are specifically made to accommodate standard bar height, which stands between 40”-43”.

- Extra-Tall Bar Height

Perhaps your kitchen or drinking area has an extra-tall bar that makes standard barstools look like miniatures.

If that’s the case, you may need to look into getting extra-tall bar height stools, which stand between 34”-40” and are manufactured for bars that raise 44”-47” into the air.

How Do You Measure Barstool Height?

Not sure how tall your barstool needs to be? Don’t worry—finding the right height for your barstools is as easy as measuring your bar top or countertops.

Even if you don’t have experience with this line of work, you can easily find out the dimensions of your bar or countertops using only a tape measure.

Here’s how:

1. Set Your Tape Measure on the Floor

Rather than measuring from the top down, you’ll find it easier (and more accurate) to set your tape measure on the floor and measure up.

2. Pull Up and Measure

Once you’ve got your tape measure flat on the floor, pull the device up until it’s even with the top of your bar or counter. Record this measurement (it will likely be within one of the four ranges listed above).

3. Calculate Your Ideal Barstool Height

In order to calculate the height of your future barstool, take your measurement and deduct between 9”-11 from the figure. This will help you find the height range of the barstool you need (again, it will likely correlate to the ranges listed above).

What Is the Difference Between Bar Height and Counter Height Stools?

You may have already surmised the difference between the two based on the information above, but it’s important to take a more in-depth look at this issue.

One of the biggest mistakes consumers make is choosing a bar height stool when they need a counter height stool (or vice versa). Though it may seem trivial at first, the distinction between these two terms has real-world, practical importance.

The reason is simple: standard countertops and islands are between 34”-36” high, while most bars rise from 40”-42” off the ground.

This means bar height stools tend to be 5-6 inches taller than counter height stools—a big aesthetic and functional difference when it comes to your kitchen or bar area.

How Much Space Should Be Between Counter Stools?

It’s not just the height you’ll want to consider, however.

You’ll also need to assess how much space should be between each bar or counter stool in order to maximize the visual appeal and efficiency of your space.

Fortunately, there’s a simple rule you can follow to make sure you get the right number the first time (and every time).

It’s recommended that you give between 28”-30” of space for each stool. This means that, in most cases, between six inches and one foot of space will be left between each counter stool.

Remember: the amount of space between each counter stool will ultimately determine how many counter height stools you need to buy.

Another way of looking at it is this: if you have a 90” countertop or island, you’ll need three bar stools; if you have a 60” space, two will do the trick.

Summary

Finding the right sized barstool can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never purchased any before. Fortunately, the process isn’t as complicated as it sounds.

By using the advice in this guide, you’ll be able to identify and purchase the right set of barstools for your kitchen or bar space.

More likely than not, your area will follow the standardized dimensions above, making it easy for you to find the best bar stool height and quantity for your needs.

Have any questions along the way? Make sure to refer back here before making your purchase!
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