What Is The Difference Between Bar Stool And Counter Stool?

tAre you considering buying a new stool for a bar, counter, or breakfast nook? Are you curious about what type is best for you, or even what is different between a bar stool and a counter stool? We have researched this to assist you in making the best decision for your home decorating needs!

The most fundamental difference between a bar stool and counter stool is the height. A bar stool is typically around 28 inches in height (or within the range of 28 to 32 inches), and a counter stool generally is 24 to 27 inches.

Read on to learn more about the various types of bar and counter stools, some frequently asked questions, and even the best choices for all of your kitchen decorating needs!

A collage of bar stool and a counter stool in the modern kitchen, What Is The Difference Between Bar Stool And Counter Stool?

What is the Difference Between Bar Stools and Counter Stools?

As we mentioned above, the primary difference is the height of the stool. These heights vary to fit under various counter/table heights. The best way to determine what type of seat you need is to measure the height of your table or countertop and follow the following rules: 

  1. For a table/counter height of 40 to 42 inches, choose a bar stool.

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2. For a table/counter height of 36 to 37 inches, choose a counter stool.

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3. For any of the above, there are adjustable options that allow you to be more versatile with your stools.

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Why Are Bar Stools So High?

In general, bar stools are high, at a range of 28 to 32 inches, because they are typically found in a bar setting, where individuals are standing behind the bar. This height is at the proper for someone who is standing.

To encourage casual conversations and have those who are standing and sitting be at the same height, bar stools need to be at a taller height. However, this height can be uncomfortable for some, as one's feet are pretty far off the ground. Due to this, it is best to weigh all options before you decide what to put in your home!

How Do I Choose a Counter Stool?

Ultimately, when it comes to choosing a counter stool, it is all about your preferences and comfort. However, it may be best to consider height and style before making any significant decisions about what types of stools to put in your kitchen. 


When it comes to choosing a counter stool, the first thing you will need to do is pick something of the proper height. Following the guidelines outlined above, measure your countertop from the floor, and select one that best fits underneath. You're going to make sure you have enough space between the seat and the countertop, which is typically 8 to 13 inches.


You will also need to determine the style of stool you want. Do you want to go for comfort or style? Should it match everything or seat you and your family comfortably? If the stool is in a place where food is served and eaten, it should be some of a material that is easy to clean in case of spills or other messes. Surfaces without fabric may be best in this scenario. In a location that is more for decoration or that will not see heavy usage, a stool with soft surfaces and fabrics may be a good choice.

Are Backless Counter Stools Comfortable?

When deciding on what stool to put in your home, comfort should always be a determining factor. Anyone who has sat in a backless stool for a long enough time knows that they are not always the most comfortable. But that does not have to be the case! It is all about finding the right stool.

Satori Stool

One option for a comfortable counter stool is the Satori Stool. This stool has a curved seat, which helps contour your body, making it a good choice. Users say that they have sat in other similar ones before, making them worried about the comfort of this choice, but they said it was not the case with the Satori Stool!

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Nailhead Trim Padded Stool

If you're looking for an option that includes some padding, this nailhead trim padded stool is a great choice! Users say that it has a simple set up and surprisingly comfortable. It comes in various heights and colors, meaning that you can get the right fit and style for your kitchen!

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Are Saddle Stools Comfortable?

Saddle stools are a common type of counter stool, with a curvature to fit your body, as seen in one of the examples above. 

Amazon Basics Saddle Seat

This Amazon basics stool is one of the best sellers on the site in this area! Users say that they are easy to assemble and surprisingly comfortable. Sometimes all you need is a basic stool for comfort and style. 

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Based on the reviews for the Amazon Basics saddle seat and the Satori Stool (in all of the various colors), it seems like the verdict is that saddle stools are quite comfortable!

Can I Put Cushions On a Stool?

While this article from Home Decor Bliss does not list a stool cushion as a type of cushion, that does not mean that you are out of options! Depending on the kind of stool you are looking to cushion, you may have various options. If it is a typical round top bar stool, you can make your own cover, like this one from Pinterest!

If you are not crafty, you can purchase various types of cushions from Amazon, like this Baibu square cushion here!

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Long story short, depending on the type of seating on your stool, a cushion may or not be an option. If it looks like a stool that would be difficult to add a cushion to, but you think you might want some padding, see if there are any pre-padded or cushioned options that you can purchase right away!


The main difference between a counter and bar stools is simply the height, and which one is best for you will depend on the measurements of your counter or bar. These stools come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes. Now that you know all you need to about buying the best stools for you, are you ready for some more kitchen inspiration? Check out these excellent kitchen design tips and inspiration!

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