Are Wooden Bar Stools Comfortable?

Nowadays, bar stools come in all shapes and sizes. From padded and upholstered, fully adjustable, rattan and solid wood, there is a bar stool to suit all tastes. However, comfort, one of the most important aspects of purchasing a kitchen stool, is often overlooked.

Wooden bar stools are, in the eyes of many, the gold standard when it comes to aesthetics, however, due to their hardwearing materials, they can fall short of their padded counterparts in the comfort stakes. Here are a few handy tips for consumers to ensure your new wooden bar stools are as comfortable as possible.

1. Opt for stools with concave seats

Concave seat stool

SHOP - Stoker Bar Stool 

The most important feature of a comfortable wooden bar stool is a concave seat. Whilst manufacturing costs dictate that these stools tend to be a little pricier, the comfort gains are always worth the investment. If comfort is high on the agenda, steer clear of the cheaper versions with flat wooden seats for obvious reasons.

2. Bar stools with backrests

It stands to reason that wooden bar stools with backs allow a degree of comfort that backless stools cannot. Wooden bar stools with backrests enable the individual to recline just a little, allowing for a far more comfortable sitting experience. It should be noted that should you wish to work for long hours from your bar, backrests become essential due to improved ergonomics.

3. Adjustable bar stools

Comfortable wooden bar stool

SHOP - Louis Bar Stool

Adjustable bar stools have an ace up their sleeve in that they operate at their optimum height, no matter who is seated. Using the wrong height bar stools for your counter can lead to back pain and discomfort over sustained periods of time.

For families consisting of adults and children, adjustable bar stools make more sense than ever as they will ensure comfortable seating no matter who is using them.

How to make bar stools more comfortable?

Bar Stool Cushion

Design Public

So you’ve purchased your wooden bar stools and wish they were a little comfier? Not to worry, you have a few options.

Bar stool cushions can be purchased either from the retailer or third party and can be an excellent option for improving comfort and maybe even looks! Cushions come in various shapes and sizes and are available in sticky-back or tied versions (assuming your stool has a backrest in which to tie them).

For a less comfortable solution, felt or leather pads are a good option. These pads often look sleeker than cushions and are almost certainly cheaper but lack the comfort of their cushioned counterparts. Pads such as these will often include a rubberised bottom to avoid slippage.

Are backless bar stools comfortable? 

Gold bar stool

SHOP - Louis Bar Stool

There’s no denying that backless wooden bar stools fall short of the support backrest versions provide, however, ensuring that you choose an adjustable stool with a concaved seat, as we highlighted in point 1, you should have no issues with comfort.

Backrests are undoubtedly the preferred option for busy professionals looking to work from their bar, but for mealtime and morning coffee, a well-crafted backless bar stool will be more than sufficient.

What are the most comfortable bar stools?

The assumption that heavily padded bar stools offer greater comfort than wooden versions is not always correct. Padding can indeed spread the weight of the occupier, however, the most critical aspect to comfort is the design and geometry of the stool. Cushioning is all well and good, but if the backrest pushes the user too far forward, the seating area isn’t sufficient in width, or the footrest isn’t the correct height, you can often be worse off. Ensure you stick to reputable companies and always check the reviews.

Are wooden bar stools comfortable? Our final thoughts. 

Wooden bar stools

SHOP - Stoker Bar Stool 

Comfort levels can vary from person to person depending on their height and weight, but there are always key points to adhere to when making your decision. Correct height, concaved seats, backrests, adjustability and footrest height are crucial points to check before purchasing. Assuming you do your due diligence, not only will your new wooden bar stools look streamlined and stylish, but they will also be comfortable.

Read our blog post here for a complete guide on bar stool sizing.

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