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Counter Stools vs Bar Stools: Which to Choose?

differences in counter stools and bar stools for restaurants

The Right Height: Counter Stools vs Bar Stools Explained

Written by: Marcelo Flores

People often confuse counter stools with bar stools, but they are different. Although both are types of stools, they have slight differences, the main one being the height. Counter stools are shorter than bar stools. In this article, we’ll explain the differences between counter stools and bar stools.

1. What is a Counter Stool?

Many people don’t know exactly what a counter stool is. In short, counter stools are stools for people sitting behind a counter. They are shorter than bar stools and understanding this difference is crucial because the 4-6 inches of height difference can significantly impact comfort, either by being too high or too short.

To clarify:

  • A chair has a standard height of between 18” and 23”

  • A counter stool a standard height of between 24” and 26”

  • And a bar stool a standard height of 28” and 30”

2. What is a Bar Stool?

A bar stool is a higher chair that is usually used in bars and cocktail parties. It’s the tallest version of the chair, as it’s taller than the counter stool.

Bar stools usually have footrests offering support to the user’s feet as you won’t be reaching the floor. Bar stools are usually used at bars, tall counters and cocktail tables. It’s essential to measure the height of the area where they will be placed to ensure the bar stools are not too high, which could result in discomfort, such as touching the table with your knees.

3. Step by Step for Choosing Your Stools

The first step in selecting stools is to determine how they will complement your restaurant’s theme. The concept of your restaurant is key, and chairs and stools are crucial to the final decor.

Next, the most important factor is choosing the correct height, which distinguishes a counter stool from a bar stool. Once the height is decided, you can select the style of your stools and then choose the frame and cushion colors to make your bar stools unique.


Choosing between counter stools and bar stools involves understanding not only the functional differences but also how they fit into your space. By following these guidelines, you can select stools that not only match your restaurant’s theme but also enhance customer comfort and satisfaction.

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