What To Consider: Counter vs. Bar Stool Edition - J. Cathell

What To Consider: Counter vs. Bar Stool Edition

Counter vs. Bar Stool Edition

You have finally moved into your new space and your furniture is fitting well in all the rooms. Move to your kitchen and you realize you need to purchase stools to go under the counter but you’re unsure of what height you need. This is one of many dilemmas that lead me to starting a series to help you make the right purchases around your house. First up: counter vs. bar stool edition!

So Many Options

I’ve created a few visuals for you to keep in mind when purchasing stools for any space. Let’s break them down: counter vs. bar stool edition! First you’ll want to consider the height needed. This is the main difference you’ll find between counter and bar stools. Bar stools are much taller, whereas counter stools are meant to fit under the counter you work at in your kitchen. You’ll find varying heights in both categories. Before you purchase make sure to measure the height of the counter. As a rule of thumb, the top of the seat should be ten inches from the underside of the counter. Measure the width of the counter space to know you can easily fit the chairs.

After I’ve determined height, it allows me to look at my options. Since you’ll already know the style of your house, it’s time to match it to the style of the stools. Once that is done, consider whether you want a back on your stool or not. A back can impede the line of sight, but it can also add to it as well. Decide if you’ll need the chairs to swivel to see a television or be a part of the crowd when company is over. On a side note, have you tried my mom’s spaghetti recipe yet? I bring it out whenever I have a large crowd at the house!

Last Little Thought

There are many options at various price points. Always think about how this item will fit into your budget. If they’ll be used frequently, go for the best quality you can. Some spaces require a stool but are not used as often, and it might be a good place to save some money.

Leave a Comment


  1. 2.24.21
    Jayne said:

    Having just purchased new chairs to work with a new counter top, the basic difference can be explained by saying, a bar stool is taller than a counter stool. It’s confusing because a counter is a counter, right? No, I realized that a lot of new kitchens did create counters by raising the height above the working surface, so it became bar height. Fortunately, most builders go by the standard heights when building an island counter to sit up to, or a raised counter near a working counter surface. But I didnt realize you should have 10” from seat top to under counter…best information of all! Thank you!

    • 2.24.21

      I’m glad you found it helpful! I have been having a lot of conversations with people about the correct height, so I thought this might help people from ordering the wrong height! -J

  2. 2.24.21
    Katie said:

    Could you please share where the “look alike” barstool is from?

    • 2.24.21
      Jess K. said:

      Hi Katie! I added a section at the bottom of the post with all the look alike stools I found. You’ll see the acrylic chairs at the beginning of that line up. Thank you for your question! Helps me to improve the blog!

  3. 4.4.21

    Nice to read your post. I wanted to buy a bar stool a few days ago. I didn’t understand which bar-stool would be better. After reading your post, I realized which bar-stool would be better for me. Thanks for sharing this helpful article.