Bar Stool Types and Styles – The Ultimate Guide
From the weird and wonderful to the sleek and sultry, there is a plethora of bar stool varieties on the market today. Do you opt for the comfortable, heavily padded options on which you can while away the hours in total comfort? Or, do you fold and shoot for that super-sleek Nordic-inspired stool that’s as stylish as the kitchen in which it is placed? In ‘the complete bar stool types and styles guide’, we reveal the top styles to make choosing the right bar stool that little bit easier.
Bar Stool Chairs
Stoker bar stools - £165
Bar stool chairs are a great choice for those who prioritise comfort and style in equal measure. Due to the addition of a backrest, bar stool chairs do a great job of holding you in place allowing you to recline at leisure. Choose from chunky upholstered versions or super-stylish wooden counterparts.
Backless bar stools
Backless bar stools are the great space-savers of the bar stool world. Whilst backrests add a certain degree of comfort, they can often feel clumsy when arranged around the bar area.
As well as being the lighter choice, backless bar stools allow a more casual way of sitting, with the ability to slide on and off in relative ease making them a great choice for busy people on the go.
If space-saving is a priority, you might even be able to source stackable bar stools – something you won’t find with backrest stools.
Wishbone bar stools
Image credit - diiiz
Often crafted out of wood and wicker, these beautiful bar stools strike a balance between Nordic and mid-century design. Take care to check out the dimensions and details of these bar stools as they do tend to take up a lot of room at the seating area.
For further information on bar stool sizing, check out our recent blog post - ‘Bar Stool Height Calculator - A Bar Stool Buying Guide’.
Adjustable and swivel stools
Height adjustable bar stools have multiple advantages, the most prominent being that they remove the sizing issue. Using the wrong height bar stools for your counter can lead to upper back pain and cause lasting damage, this is why we recommend taking time to determine the size that’s right for you.
For families consisting of adults and children, you’ll never have to compromise if you opt for adjustable height bar stools.
Rattan bar stools
Image credit - CB2
As Bohemian or ‘boho’ home décor grows in popularity, as do rattan bar stools.
Often handmade and hand-woven, this style of stool can be expensive, however, can offer a good degree of comfort due to the natural ‘flex’ in the material - especially when accessorised with a soft seat pad.
Industrial bar stools
Image credit - Nkuku
Bold, brash and in-your-face. If that’s the style you’re shooting for look no further than an industrial-inspired stool.
With design quirks such as distressed wood, raw metal, rivets and intentional imperfections, industrial stools may not be for everyone, but when styled with restraint they can look as sophisticated as they do bold. The question is how ‘industrial’ do you dare to go?
Nordic bar stools
Stoker Bar Stool - £165
The antithesis of the industrial bar stool - Nordic bar stools adopt a less-is-more approach making them the perfect choice for the true minimalist.
Often, but not exclusively, crafted out of pale wood, Scandinavian stools offer a cleaner aesthetic which blends in with the design of your kitchen as opposed to commanding it.
Mid-century bar stools
Image credit - 1st dibs
With too many shapes and styles to mention, mid-century is a style that varies wildly. Google is your friend with this type of bar stool, and don’t forget to use Pinterest for inspiration too.
Walnut, brass and dark leather are common, and combine to create a style that oozes retro-sophisticated design.
Upholstered bar stools
Image credit - Oroa
Leather is not only a practical and hard-wearing material but when padded is incredibly comfortable as well. Opt for tan for a more contemporary vibe and oxblood to capture the vintage/industrial aesthetic.
Calling all maximalists! Available in a variety of colours, velvet is the material for those who like their accessories to be seen. Silky-to-the-touch, this material has cosiness and style wrapped up in one.
Depending on the type, fabric is often more hard-wearing than velvet and comfier than leather. The perfect option for those with busy households.
Gas lift bar stools
Image credit - Furnwise
Whilst aesthetically gas lift bar stools may not be for everyone, they can certainly appeal to those looking for practicality. The ease in adjustability has its uses, not least for families with children where optimal seating height may vary.
Rustic bar stools
Image credit - Acumen collection
Rustic stools are often crafted entirely from wood with all the knots and imperfections left on show. Quirky, wonky and wonderful - what better choice for those who love characterful country living?
From reconditioned to imitation, vintage bar stools slot in somewhere between the industrial and rustic trends. Head over to Etsy now to find a world of independent craftsmen and women who are building their creations from scratch or doing an incredible job of reconditioning originals. You’ll find everything from funky, bucket seat varieties to refurbished classics; you never know, you might stumble across a real find!