Picking the best bar stools can be “easier said than done.” Depending on the space you’re working with, you might be after a handful of well-upholstered seats—or a dozen durable patio stools.

Due to their versatility in an open floor plan, bar stools are an increasingly popular part of modern home design. They can be helpful with everything from sitting down for breakfast to arranging a happy hour.

What qualifiers should you consider before buying a set of bar stools? In general, your selection should always prioritize a few key factors: material, size, and style. Let’s look closer at the different types of bar stools available online.

Choosing the Right Material

Material, in addition to design, is a significant factor as to how expensive a bar stool will be. Generally, manufacturers create bar stools from solid wood such as birch for wooden legs or a metal frame made of steel, chrome, or aluminium. The seats may be bare wood or metal, polyester, or upholstered.

In terms of design, bar stools serve different functions—despite sharing a name. Upholstered and cushioned stools are more comfortable and suitable for heavy use, serving as high chairs. Backless or low-back stools, including many swivel stools, look good and are very functional—but they can be uncomfortable or top-heavy.

April & Oak is an excellent retailer for stools that meet somewhere between comfort and aesthetic. For tall, backed chairs that can withstand the outdoors, our Barista Bar Stool with a rattan weave seat might be for you. The stylish leather seating on a Manhattan Wood Bar Stool guarantees comfort even without a full chair’s support.

Determining the Height and Width

Generally, bar stools come in three height ranges, from 60 cm to over 76 cm. Most countertops are around 90 cm tall in Australia, which means that a counter stool should come in at about 65 cm to allow room for your legs.

After measuring how tall your stools should be, consider the number of people in your home or the number of guests you plan on inviting. The widest point on the bar stool, typically between two legs, helps to determine how many seats can fit comfortably around a table or sitting area of your choice.

Always consider possible snags, like having people of various heights in your household. If you have children, it might be a good idea to look into adjustable stools such as April & Oak’s Loko Barstool.

Set Your Style

All else being equal, your preferred style should always be a significant factor. Whatever bar stools you get should match the look you’ve spent time cultivating throughout your home.

One trendy look for bar stools is a simple, modern aesthetic made up of thin lines and bright, airy colours. A wooden seat pulls the sustainable feel of these stools together. April & Oak loves this style and personally recommends either our Merricks Barstool or our Vintage Industrial Barstool to complete your simple chic look.

For others, bar stools demand comfort and a hint of retro: round, padded seats with a chrome stand and base. Our Loko Barstool fits the bill, but consider either our Focus or Monaco barstools, featuring black leather upholstery, for a slightly darker look.

Finally, some stylists just want to be happy and homey in their stools. For those looking for a softer approach, April & Oak offers Bourdain Bar Chairs in both blue and green velvet, as well as one of our bestsellers, the Navy Blue Ophelia Barstool.

With so many seating options laid out on the table, it’s time to let your creative energy flow. Discover all of your new favourite styles when you shop online at April & Oak.