The 7 Best Bar Stools of 2023


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Dec 12, 2023

The 7 Best Bar Stools of 2023

Style meets function with these top bar stools. Jump to a Section We

Style meets function with these top bar stools.

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Pottery Barn

As the saying goes, the kitchen is the heart of the home. When furnishing the room where you’ll spend countless hours cooking, eating, and entertaining, consider the addition of bar stools to a kitchen island or breakfast counter. Not only will they increase your seating options, but they’ll also help create a more social environment.

"Bar stools are such an important part of a design, as they represent where people gather and relax for extended periods of time," says Meagan Whalen, an interior designer at JL Design in Nashville.

In addition to Whalen's expert insights, we researched the top bar stools on the market to determine our favorites based on each one's design, style, and functionality. Keep scrolling to see our complete list of the best bar stools for your home.

Crate & Barrel

Made with high-quality materials, this attractive bar stool offers superior cushioning below and behind you, plus it's easy to clean.

While good-looking, it doesn't have the most design pizazz.

As our best overall pick, this upholstered bar stool works well in modern and traditional kitchens alike. One of its winning features is how comfortable it is thanks to a well-cushioned seat and back that aren't too firm or soft. More comfort comes from how tall the back is, offering full coverage and support, and your feet won't be left dangling in the air because you can rest them on the convenient horizontal bars between the chair's legs.

This bar stool may not be the flashiest, but don't overlook the fact that you can choose from 11 colors, including muted shades like chocolate and ivory as well as bolder choices like red and olive. Made of pebbled, bicast leather, the bar stool is easy to wipe down if things get messy in the kitchen. Another plus? The chairs are available in both stool and counter heights, so you can add them to almost any space.

Price at time of publish: $319


Not only is this contoured bar stool affordable, but it's also easy to store and use in small spaces.

It has a very narrow seat and can be difficult to assemble.

These wooden backless bar stools are an excellent choice for those with shorter counters, small kitchen spaces, or specific design preferences. And if you have a large kitchen island to furnish, these are one of the more affordable options on the market. Though the seat could be too narrow for some people's liking, the plus side is that it's slightly curved to offer a little more comfort than a flat surface. There is also a bar on both sides of the stool to rest your feet on.

If you’re not a fan of assembling furniture, we recommend getting some help, as these stools can be a bit challenging to put together. Once the assembly is complete, you’ll appreciate their sleek addition to your kitchen and how convenient it is to tuck them under overhanging counters and move them around from place to place. Choose from walnut, natural, or black finishes.

Price at time of publish: $82


This set of modern, ergonomic bar stools swivel all the way around and can adjust within nearly a foot of height difference.

Because of the small, light base, they can feel a bit wobbly.

It's safe to say that everyone who's going to hang out in your kitchen won't all be the same height, so it's convenient to have furniture that adjusts accordingly depending on who's using it. Plus, it allows you to place them alongside a basement bar or a kitchen counter. Luckily, you can change the height of these stools by using the small handle below the seat and moving it between 22.4 and 33.4 inches tall.

Other features we love include that there are more than three inches of sponge inside the bar stool cushion and the fact that you can make a full 360-degree turn in the high-backed chair, all of which add to a more enjoyable sitting experience. One word of caution is that given the weight distribution between the chair and base, they may feel a little unbalanced at times, so be careful if you have young kids in the home.

Price at time of publish: $104


You get 360 degrees of swivel with this upholstered bar stool that looks more expensive than it is.

It's better to have your own tools when assembling them.

Choosing a bar stool that swivels makes a big difference in how easy it is to get into the seat — and how easy it is to face and talk to the other people in the kitchen. Plus, it doesn't hurt that kids think they’re a blast. Available in two different bar heights, this swivel stool has quiet ball bearings that allow you to spin a full circle. The bar stool's legs flare out slightly, which creates more stability, and the extra padding from the upholstered seat cushion and back is appreciated.

There are a few color combinations, including an all-black option that offers a more contemporary vibe and a brown/cappuccino selection that's nice for cozier spaces. Overall, the upscale design is especially appealing, considering the bar stool's price point. While it comes with tools for assembly, we recommend using your own for an easier, more reliable setup.

Price at time of publish: $146

Serena & Lily

Capable of withstanding most weather conditions, this beautiful swivel bar stool elevates any outdoor space while still being practical.

It's on the pricier side, especially if you want to buy a set.

"Serena and Lily is a go-to for outdoor bar stools," Whalen says. "This one is a great option as it creates a relaxing feel and has the function of swivel." Along with being water-repellant and mildew-resistant, it won't fade in the sun, so you know it’ll survive living outdoors. Even better, this bar stool offers all those practical benefits without compromising style. With its woven design and tasteful color options, it looks like something you would find at a French bistro, bringing a fancy touch to the home.

If you weren't already sold, this bar stool swivels 360 degrees. For all that it has going for it, the bar stool is indeed more expensive, but it's definitely an investment that’ll bring long-term joy to your outdoor space. Now all you need is a stocked bar cart, and you’ll be all set for some al-fresco entertaining at home.

Price at time of publish: $728

Pottery Barn

Available in different finishes, this option is minimalist but still stylish and made with durable materials.

Because of its leather seat, the bar stool requires special care to keep it in tip-top shape.

Want to incorporate some modern pieces into your kitchen design? Consider this bar stool with a leather back and sling-style seats around a metal frame. To match your home decor, you can choose between six shades of leather, including tan and dark blue.

Since the chair features full-grain, aniline-dyed leather, you’ll notice that if you buy multiple, each one has slight variations in color and texture. It also means that as time goes on, the leather will develop a unique sheen. It's nice to have some high-quality furniture that can grow with you, but you should follow the manufacturer's care recommendations to keep it looking its absolute best. Some simple practices are to avoid direct sunlight and soak up spills immediately.

Price at time of publish: $499


It's ultra-chic and well-crafted — the kind of bar stool your friends and family will compliment from time to time.

You’ll need to be more careful cleaning this barstool to keep it in the best condition.

This stunning bar stool is one of Whalen's favorites. "It offers comfort with its cushioned seat, arms, and rounded back," she says. "On top of all that, it is beautiful and timeless!" This timelessness comes from a design inspired by mid-century modern furniture and French antiques. You can choose between black or brown for the frame, which has lacquered coating for a glossy finish.

If you’re going to splurge on this barstool, you’ll want to get as long of a life out of it as possible. Make sure to follow its specific care instructions (no scrubbing or over-rubbing, using a professional cleaning service if it's super soiled, etc.). It's more than you’d have to keep in mind with other bar stools, but it's an artisan piece worth the effort.

Price at time of publish: $999

We named the Lowe Leather Bar Stool our top choice because of its versatility, contemporary look, nice cushioned seat, and cleanability. For a more luxurious pick, we love the Arhaus Aimee Barstool for its gorgeous design and all-around comfort.

On average, bar stools are between 28 and 33 inches tall at seat level (overall height varies depending on whether or not it has a back or not). What height you should go with depends on how high the counters are where you’ll be placing the stools. "Ideally, you will want to measure your counter height and pick a seat height that is about 10 inches from the bottom on the countertop," Whalen says. "It is important you have room to move your legs comfortably and cross them."

When choosing the design of a bar stool, Whalen recommends considering the material and color of your countertops and cabinets. "I like to choose a design that contrasts with the cabinets and doesn't try to compete," she says.

Deciding between having a back versus no back on your bar stool is a matter of personal preference. The former offers additional support, so it's more comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. They’re also safer if someone is leaning back in them. On the other hand, backless bar stools take up less space and can be tucked under counters. "Non-upholstered and backless are used more where a bar stool is needed just for function and where people aren't spending extended periods of time in that place," Whalen says. "Backless bar stools also work better in smaller spaces because they make it easier for people to get in and out and can fit more seamlessly in a space."

As with any other piece of furniture for the home, what's considered best, comes down to your personal design style, budget, functional needs, and available space. That being said, Whalen is a big proponent of prioritizing what's comfortable. "In commonly used areas, comfort comes first," she says. "Elements such as upholstered seating, a back and arms, and a swivel make a bar stool more comfortable."

Whalen says that how much you should spend on bar stools really depends on your needs and the function of the chairs. "If the bar stools are going in a highly used space, then I would recommend investing in comfort and design, as they will get used and seen often," she says. "For less-used spaces, such as a secondary bar, I would recommend spending less, as bar stools can be tucked away under the countertops in spaces like this."

Cindy Brzostowski is a freelance writer and avid home cook who has previous experience in cookbook publishing. Her writing has been featured in Allrecipes, Blue Apron, The Kitchn, and EatingWell among other publications. For additional expert insights, she turned to Meagan Whalen, an interior designer at JL Design in Nashville.

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