Most Comfortable Bar Stool
The most comfortable bar stool needs to check a lot of boxes. You don’t want to spend time with your friends and family for hours on end – only to complain about a backache.
You don’t need to miss out on the best options on the market. Our guide goes through what the most important comfort features are and how you can choose the best stool for your needs.
You’ll get the best value for money and excellent long-term performance and comfort if you get a stool that checks the right boxes.
By the end of this guide, you’ll be well-informed and ready to get the perfect bar stool. You’ll love spending time hanging out and your friends will always want to come over to your place.
Let’s get into the guide!
What to Consider When Choosing the Most Comfortable Bar Stool
There are a couple of essential features. If you ignore them, you’ll end up wanting to leave the stool and even sit on the floor.
These features are super important if you want a bar stool that’s a pleasure to sit on. I’m not going to list them in order of importance, as it’s difficult to stay objective. What works for you might be very different for me.
This section will take a look at each of the important comfort features and what you need to be on the lookout for.
What Makes a Good Bar Stool?
Let’s take a look at each of the important bar stool features and talk about them in a little more depth.
Let’s get into it!
Swivel and Non-Swivel
Swivel bar stool can have the ability to rotate sideways. There are a couple of different presets here. Some bar stools rotate through the entire 360° plane, whereas others can only turn 180°. What you choose will depend on the setup and layout of your bar/kitchen.
If it’s important that people can turn and face any direction, or you want them to move around without having to physically move the chair – swivel stools might be your best bet.
Non-swivel stools are the other option. They have the advantage of lasting much longer than swivel stools and are often cheaper to buy.
The issue is that you can’t easily rotate and look around without physically adjusting the position of the chair. This is a minor annoyance, but for some, it’s a big issue.
Seat and Upholstery Material
This one is especially important if you live in hot places. There’s nothing worse than spending a few minutes on a leather bar stool, only to stand up and notice a sweat patch on the back of your pants.
This kind of issue can be avoided by choosing the right material for your bar stools.
Some materials are also tougher and less comfortable than others (though they tend to last longer, e.g. leather seats). You have to balance longevity with comfort and cost to decide what’s best for you.
P.S. If you want to redo or redesign your bar area, here is an awesome read to give you ideas to work with.
Back Rest or Stool-Only
Backrests can be life-savers when you just want to relax and have a drink. At the same time though, they can be incredibly annoying if the backrest isn’t well-designed and comfortable. In that case, it would be better to have a bar stool without a backrest.
You also need to consider the material and cushioning on the backrest. You don’t want to have a big sweat patch on your back when you stand up.
Backrests can be high and low. I prefer the high ones as they better support by upper back when I want to sit back and relax. Whatever you choose will come down to personal preference and needs to cater to your specific needs.
Handle for Height Adjustments
There are different types of height adjustment handles on bar stools. Air handles are my favorite as you just lift the level to raise the stool.
To lower it, just lift it again while sitting on it.
Stools that have adjustable height handles allow people to find the perfect sitting position.
It’s great if your bar has a mix of genders too. Durability is a concern as more moving parts can break down.
These are important if you’re going to be spending more than a few minutes on the stool.
Good quality footrests make a stool much comfortable and usable. Many bar stools come with different height footrests on the front and sides of the stool.
There isn’t much else to say about these, but I recommend having one on your bar stool if at all possible.
Seat and Backrest Cushioning
We’ve already discussed the upholstery and its importance. The cushions that are used are even more important for the comfort experience of the stool.
Seats and backrests need to be soft enough as to not feel like you’re sitting on a hard surface, but not so soft that you can’t sit with good posture.
Cushioning also needs to be durable and return to its original shape once you get off the stool.
Ergonomic Design and Shape of the Stool
This is quite a subjective point, but important nonetheless. You should get a stool that’s designed to encourage good and comfortable sitting positions.
Back-support is often important and the chair needs to be stable enough to support heavier people. I’m quite tall, so I struggle to find bar stools that have footrests and backrests that are the right height.
I ultimately went with a stool that has a tall backrest and adjustable height.
This has to do with both comfort and durability. You’re not going to find a stool comfortable if it’s constantly wobbling and bending. The footrests and backrest need to be durable and firm.
The overall design needs to be strong and relatively rigid.
Are Backless Bar Stools Comfortable?
This isn’t an easy question to answer as each person might have a different opinion.
For me, I don’t enjoy backless bar stools. I’m tall and often like my lower and mid-back to be supported – especially when I’m spending a couple of hours on the stool.
With that being said though, I’d rather have no backrest than one of these 30cm high ones. In my opinion, they’re uncomfortable.
The best thing for you to do would be to test it out for yourself. Not everybody agrees on the same design and my opinion might not be generally held.
If you want bar stools that have a 360° swivel, then you don’t want to have a backrest. It’ll limit the angles that you can sit at.
What is the Difference Between a Bar Stool and Counter Stool?
The difference between these is driven by the difference in height between the average counter and bar height. Counters are usually around 36 inches high, whereas bars are around 48 inches high.
This means that the main difference between bar stools and counter stools is the height. Bar stools are generally 5-6 inches taller than counter stools.
Counter stools are better suited to kitchens that have standard height counters. Bar stools are better suited for bars and taller counters.
In terms of functionality and features, bar stools and counter stools are pretty much the same. They look and work almost identically.
How to Get the Best Value for Money Bar Stool
This Comes down to What’S Important to You. Here’s What You Need to Do:
- Write down the four most important features the stool needs to have
- Order them according to their importance
- Find a couple of different stools that have the four features you’re looking for
- Rank them according to how they feature your most important requirements
- Write down their cost
- Go for the stool that has the best balance between feature ratings and price
You should always go through as many reviews and comments about the stool as you can. This will give you an accurate idea of how it performs in the real world.
Read the best and worst reviews before you make your decision. I find that the 3/5 rating reviews to have the most constructive criticism and tend to be more balanced than the 5/5 and 1/5 reviews.
You should have a clear idea of what to look for in a comfortable bar stool.
Your next steps should be to list out and decide which of these comfort features are most important to you. Balance this with your budget and what you’re looking for aesthetically.
Take what you’ve learned here to help you find the most comfortable bar stool that fits your house and needs perfectly!