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Bar Stool Height: How to Choose for Comfort and Practicality

ideal cafe bar stool height

The comfort of your bar stools plays a big role in your customers’ experience and encourages them to return. One key part of keeping people comfortable and coming back for more is bar stool height. 

Your bar chairs’ height has a direct impact on the comfort, visual appeal, and safety of your space. Here’s how to pick the right stool height for the best combination of the above. 

What is the Ideal Bar Stool Height?  

ideal cafe bar stool height
correct bar stool height guidelines

The ideal distance between a bar stool seat and the table or countertop surface is around 250 mm. This gives the user plenty of legroom and access to food and drinks without feeling cramped. 

You can get adjustable height bar stools, easy to change up for different spaces and purposes. Need countertop bar stools during the day and higher bar stools for the evening? Adjustable stools offer ultimate flexibility. 

Stool Height for Commercial Bars

Commercial bars typically stand at 1000 to 1100 mm high, and the ideal bar seat height falls between 750 and 810 mm. This bar chair height allows enough space for your customers to sit comfortably with their knees under the bar. 

Counter Stool Height for Cafés

Café countertops are usually around 900 mm high. The right height for counter stools is therefore shorter, ranging from 650 to 700 mm. This difference ensures that everyone, from customers to staff, enjoys a comfortable seating experience. 

Why Does Choosing the Right Bar Stool Height Matter? 

Choosing the right bar stool height ensures customer comfort and satisfaction.


Stools that are too high can cause back and neck strain. Stools that are too short can leave customers feeling cramped and uncomfortable. With the right height, everyone can relax, converse easily, and enjoy their time at the bar. 


Higher stools can increase the risk of accidents. Their height can make it difficult for older adults or people with mobility issues to get on and off safely. 


The right bar stool height can actually improve the visual appeal of your space! Stools that are proportional to the height of the counter create a balanced and cohesive look. 


Having enough legroom under the counter is essential for comfort. The right height ensures that most guests can slide their legs under the counter without feeling squished. 

How to Measure for the Right Bar Seat Height 

how to measure for the correct bar stool height
guide to measure for the right bar seat height
  1. Measure Surface Height: Measure from the floor to the underside of your countertop or bar top (where legs will fit). 
  2. Determine Legroom: Aim for 25 to 30 cm between the seat and underside of the surface. 
  3. Calculate Stool Height: Subtract your desired legroom from the counter or bar height. The result is your ideal stool seat height. 
  4. Calculate Chair Spacing: Divide the length of your counter or bar by the width of one bar stool seat size. Add 15 to 20 cm of wiggle room between stools. This will give you a good idea of how many stools will fit. 

How to Account for Adjustable Features and Armrests 

Adjustable Height Bar Stools: 

  • Measure at Maximum Height: Measuring the seat height with the stool adjusted to its tallest position. This will ensure that the stool fits under your counter or bar, even at its highest point. 
  • Consider Compressed Height: Note the minimum seat height for your stool as well. This will determine if the user can adjust it to a comfortable level for their height.


  • Account for Space: Armrests often protrude below the seat. This might limit how far you can tuck a stool under a counter or table. Measure the distance from the underside of the armrest to the floor. Subtract this from your overall surface height when considering whether the stool will fit.
  • Check for Clearance: Does your countertop or bar have a low overhang? Make sure there’s enough clearance for armrests to slide under comfortably when the stool is tucked in.

Prioritising Purpose: Finding the Perfect Bar Stool

Once you’ve nailed down the measurements, fine-tune your selection to suit your needs. Think about the stool’s purpose in your space, as its function will guide your choices:

  • Meals and Social Events: Choose stools with ergonomic backs and soft seats. These make dining and socialising more comfy! Go for materials that promise easy cleanup for low-maintenance upkeep.
  • Comfort and Leisure: For maximum comfort, select stools with armrests and cushioned back rests. Stools that swivel add an engaging, casual element to your space.
  • Family Usage: Need a kitchen island stool? Stools with height adjustability cater to the entire family. Look for kitchen or bar stools that are tough, easy to clean, and resistant to spills and stains. 
  • Space Efficiency: For areas with limited space, backless stools that can be fully tucked under the counter help save floor space. 

Choose Your Bar Stool Wisely: Style, Comfort, and Longevity

Look for a material that fits your space’s visual style and adds textures and colours. Durability is important. Pick a material that withstands wear and tear based on how much use the chair will get. You’ll need to consider how easy the material is to clean as well as maintain. 

Comfort is key, especially for chairs that are used frequently, so think about how the stool feels to sit on. Finally, pick a material that suits the purpose of the chair. For example, a weather-resistant option is great for outdoor furniture. Plush fabric works well for indoor relaxation.

  • Wooden Bar Stools: Radiate a natural and timeless beauty. May need ongoing maintenance to preserve their look.
  • Metal Bar Stools: Offer durability and a modern aesthetic. Integrates well with various interior designs, boasting low upkeep.
  • Plastic Moulded Stools: A great option for those in need of stackable, light options. However, they may not offer the durability of more substantial materials. 
  • Polypropylene Stools: Distinguished by their toughness and low-maintenance. These stools are ideal for high-traffic or outdoor areas and come in a range of colours for design flexibility.
  • Fabric: Brings warmth and a plush feel. However, it requires more effort to maintain and is more susceptible to stains.
  • Leather/Vinyl: Provides an easy-to-clean surface that’s resistant to spills. Offers a sophisticated look, but may not be the most comfortable for extended use. 

Find Your Perfect Bar Stool at Café Solutions 

Don’t let incorrect bar stool height ruin the ambience of your home or business. Choose from our wide array of seating to ensure maximum comfort and keep your guests coming back. Browse our extensive selection of bar stools in various heights, styles, and materials. Let Cafe Solutions help you find the perfect bar stools for your needs!

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