How to Choose Bar Stools for Your Space - An Insider's Guide

Sit on a high seat, perch your feet, and swivel around. Bar stools are the perfect match for a kitchen countertop and can add a special touch to your dining decor. It’s no wonder they’re rapidly becoming a highly sought-after staple in every home.

Not just for the home breakfast bar or kitchen bench, stools can also be a great option for a modern business or fitting out an office space. Apart from their versatility, bar stools offer stylish, practical seating solutions to countertops and bar areas and are easy to shuffle around when guests need somewhere to sit. 

To help you pick the best bar stools for your home, the Artiss team has put together a detailed bar stool buying guide that will cover everything from bar stool designs, styles, materials, and even where to shop.   

Artiss Tolix replica Xavier bar stools in black flaunt a gorgeous combination of a sturdy structure with a stylish bamboo seat creating an Instagrammable interior ambience in a rustic industrial home.

Understand price range

Bar stools vary in price depending on the quality of construction, craftsmanship, and several other factors. Their prices run from being affordable to high-end and expensive. Artiss expert’s advice is that it’s always good to set a realistic budget; however, don’t focus only on pricing but on quality too.

What makes a bar stool worth its price are its construction, visual appeal, tailored features, and comfort factor. Understanding the difference between what you want and what you need may also help you stay on budget yet find an exceptional piece.    

Measure your space

Don’t be too hasty when purchasing bar stools. Once you’ve understood the price range and set a maximum budget for your purchase, the next step is measuring your table or counter to work out the right height. As the wise saying goes, measure not once but twice. The next best thing to do is identify how much space you’ve got and how many bar stools you’ll need.

According to the expert team at Artiss, bar stools should ideally have at least 60cm of space between them to allow unrestricted movement. You can also begin to picture how your kitchen island or bar area will look after the set-up is completed. Our experts suggest that it's best to avoid cramming your home with too many bar stools even if you've got more space to fit in.  

Get the height right

Nothing matters more than finding bar stools that match the counter height of your kitchen or dining area. Before making a wild guess, you should pull out a measuring tape and check what height is appropriate. You can find bar stools with fixed heights and adjustable heights.

Many are of the opinion that bar stools with fixed height tend to be more stylish. But that’s just an opinion. In no way do the height-adjustable bar stools fall short of anything. The added advantage of height-adjustable bar stools is that they will be suitable for guests of different heights, and growing families too. You also don't have to worry about replacing them if you're ever going to move to a new home.   

Choose the right design

Bar stools come in a wide array of designs and shapes. Apart from the design factor, a bar stool should make you feel comfortable. Let’s have a closer look at the range of bar stools that you’re likely to come across while shopping so that you can make the right choice. 

Upholstered in vintage PU leather, Artiss Jovy pedestal bar stools look picture-perfect in a bright, contemporary-styled modern kitchen.

Pedestal bar stools

The pedestal bar stools feature one solid pole beneath the seat that connects to a wide base. It has a ring-shaped footrest attached to the pole for extra comfort. The round-shaped flat base is attached with floor protectors to prevent scratching the floors. Its sturdy frame offers good stability and prevents tilting. Pedestal bar stools are popular in retro bars, salons, and pubs. If you want to give your bar a minimalist feel, you should consider purchasing pedestal bar stools. Most pedestal bar stools also come with a swivel mechanism and adjustable height for more flexibility. These bar stools can be heavy and hard to move around due to their sturdy construction.   

Featuring a minimalist design with a sturdy frame and deluxe PU leather padded seat, Artiss Porter saddle-style bar stools make a solid impression in a rustic industrial kitchen.

Saddle bar stools

Inspired by the minimalist style, saddle bar stools provide versatile seating for contemporary-theme homes. These make an ideal kitchen counter stool, or styled around a home bar or breakfast nook. It will help your kitchen achieve a sleek and stylish look. Usually, saddle bar stools have no back but come with footrests for support. Some also feature castor wheels for manoeuvrability. Saddle bar stools come in a wide range of styles. Timber saddle bar stools are considered ideal for homes styled eclectically, in an industrial manner, or with vintage furniture. 

Artiss Noel series gas lift bar stools upholstered in premium PU leather with a thick checkered backrest and foam padded seat stand out in a Scandi-style kitchen.

Gas lift bar stools

Modern bar stools feature a gas lift mechanism that lets you adjust the height of the bar stools in a convenient way. These stools work by shifting a lever that allows air to circulate in and out of a valve. Due to their shifting heights, gas lift bar stools make a perfect solution for people with different heights. They are quite adaptable and enable you to sit in a relaxed and comfortable position. You can also use them as additional seats around your kitchen table when needed. Investing in high-quality gas lift bar stools is essential for your safety and ease of use. The Artiss gas lift bar stools come with SGS or TUV certification for your peace of mind. 

Artiss Noa white swivel bar stools featuring leather upholstery and plush checkered seat are a perfect match in a white marble kitchen.

Swivel bar stools

Most swivel bar stools allow you to rotate the seat 360 degrees. This makes it easier to get into the seat and lets you converse easily with others without having to move the stool to face them. More homeowners prefer swivel bar stools over the rest due to their flexibility. These bar stools can come in any design, but pedestal bar stools are usually known to feature the swivel mechanism. Swivel bar stools range from classic to contemporary styles, giving you the flexibility to choose the suitable piece for your home. These bar stools come in two different variations - fixed height and adjustable height. Depending on your needs and preferences, choose what best works for you and your family.

Artiss Tolix replica Xavier bar stools in white combining a sturdy metal structure with a stylish bamboo seat creating an Instagrammable ambience in an indoor/outdoor modern kitchen.

Tolix bar stools

Transform your space with classic and industrial-style tolix bar stools. With a stylish and sleek appearance, tolix bar stools can lend themselves to any setting in the home with ease. Tolix bar stools are the epitome of simplicity with maximum functionality. Tolix bar stools feature four sturdy legs with x-shape reinforcement bars that offer optimum stability, and the lightweight design makes it easy to move around. If you frequently have visitors coming over to your house, you can use these bar stools as extra seats to accommodate them.

Flaunting a stunning vintage design with a solid elm wood seat and heavy-duty structure, Artiss Tractor backless bar stools are a point of attraction in this modern kitchen.

Bar stools with or without armrests

Looking for bar stools with or without armrests? Whatever is your preference, both types are equally aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. Bar stools without armrests may appear noticeably smaller, while those with armrests may look considerably bigger. The armless bar stools are common in minimalist homes, including those with a sleek breakfast bar. But if you prefer something more ergonomic, you can choose to go with bar stools with armrests.

An Artiss Owen bar stool with a funky metal design and convenient footrest perfectly complements this classic-style kitchen.

Backrest and footrest

Need more comfortable bar stools for your space? Consider getting bar stools that feature a backrest and footrest. Bar stools come in three types of backrest designs - backless, low back, and high back. Backless bar stools have a flat seating surface with no backrest, while a low-back bar stool is just several inches higher on the back, and a high-back bar stool offers maximum back support. Having a footrest to rest your feet on also makes a good choice as it prevents your legs from getting tired due to sitting for long hours. Whether you choose to go with a pedestal bar stool or a four-legged bar stool, most should feature some form of foot support for comfort. 

A modern kitchen featuring an Artiss Cherry open back bar stool upholstered in white PU leather with a solid wood seat and elegant chrome base.

Open back or solid back bar stools

Open back bar stool or solid back bar stool - which one to choose? The struggle is real. Open back bar stools usually have carved or ornate designs on the top of the backrest while keeping the lower back open. These stools keep you well-ventilated and comfortable. On the other hand, the solid back bar stools have a backrest with no visible gaps in between. These bar stools allow you to comfortably lean back and relax and offer ample support to your lower back too. Both open back and solid back bar stools can come upholstered with soft padding.  

Pick durable materials

Like any other furniture, you have plenty of options for bar stool materials. Picking the right type of material is crucial because some are better suited for particular home settings than others. Whether you want something specific to suit your home decor or prefer a durable material, we’ve covered some of the most popular bar stool materials, so it becomes easy for you to pick the right one. 

A contemporary style kitchen featuring Artiss Colby fabric upholstered grey bar stools creating an Instagram-worthy look.

Fabric bar stools

Fabric upholstered bar stools are a terrific choice for those who value comfort and a cosy feel. The softness and padding lend a softer look to your space. Upholstered bar stools are extremely versatile and can seamlessly blend with most home decor. The expert team at Artiss recommends buying fabric upholstered bar stools with metal or wood frames in neutral colours and fabrics such as linen. This makes it easy to match the furniture with almost any home interior design. For example, white bar stools can blend into a Hamptons-style coastal home, to a French Provincial home, even a more contemporary setting. It isn’t surprising these furnishings require regular cleaning to keep them looking clean and new-like. 

Pros of a fabric upholstered bar stool

  • Super comfortable

  • Soft and cosy feel

  • Gives a softer look

  • Suits any home decor

  • Extremely versatile

  • Range of colours

Cons of a fabric upholstered bar stool

  • Regular cleaning needed

  • Colour can fade over time

  • Easily stains   

Artiss Silva wooden bar stools in white add an elegant feel to an olive green kitchen.

Wooden bar stools

Want to add a vintage touch to your home? Then go with timber bar stools. Wooden bar stools are built to last and have stood the test of time. They are available in different types of timber, such as solid oak beech, cherry, and elm wood that can give your space a unique feel. An added benefit, for the unassuming interior decorator, these won't stand out too much. While the wooden surface may be uncomfortable to sit on at the counter for long periods, but you can find timber bar stools with soft padding.

Pros of a wooden bar stool

  • Long-lasting

  • Strong and sturdy

  • Creates a warm and inviting atmosphere

  • Classic touch

  • Elegant look and feel

  • Multiple wooden finishes available

Cons of a wooden bar stool

  • May be uncomfortable to sit on for long periods  

A farmhouse-style kitchen interior featuring our stunning Artiss Fhelip black metal bar stools with an elegant seat design.

Metal bar stools

If you’re looking to achieve an industrial look for your home, you might like to consider metal bar stools over others. Metal bar stools take inspiration from warehouses, factories and other industrial establishments. This style is simple yet makes a bold statement with its unique mix of classic, modern, and natural. They can look trendy if you style them the right way. Speaking of durability, their sturdy construction makes them quite solid and long-lasting. However, the hard seat may be slightly uncomfortable if you’re seated on it for a long time. The Artiss team offers a quick solution to this problem - choose metal bar stools with soft padding. These stools are also easy to keep clean; a simple wipe will do the job. 

Pros of a metal bar stool

  • Unique and trendy designs

  • Beautiful industrial style

  • Long-lasting

  • Easy to clean and maintain

  • Multiple choices available

  • Makes a bold statement

Cons of a metal bar stool

  • Hard surface without padding

  • Uncomfortable for long periods

 An outdoor set-up featuring gorgeous wicker rattan bar stools creates a dreamy ambience.

Wicker rattan bar stools

Setting up your outdoor poolside bar or need bar stools to complement your boho home interior design? Nothing would do justice to your home decor than wicker rattan bar stools. These bar stools have been generally used for creating a chic and eclectic outdoor bar setting, but recent home interior trends have seen indoor usage too. Wicker rattan bar stools give your space a natural and rustic look, and the water-resistant nature of the bar stools makes them ideal for indoor and outdoor use. Rattan bar stools are comfortable to sit on and relatively easy to keep clean. These qualities make rattan bar stools perfect for your home.  

Pros of a wicker rattan bar stool

  • Easy to keep clean and maintain

  • Natural look and feel

  • Comfortable to sit on

  • Perfect for indoors and outdoors

  • Helps achieve a chic and eclectic setting

  • Can be painted different colours

Cons of a wicker rattan bar stool

  • Not suitable for all other home decor

  • Weave can loosen over time  

Artiss Ezio leather upholstered bar stools with a beautiful diamond-cut backrest and solid bentwood frame are truly a heavenly match to this contemporary kitchen interior.

Leather bar stools

Whether you’re simply looking to add a luxurious feel to your home or prioritise comfort, leather bar stools won’t disappoint you. Their upholstery gives your home bar area a luxurious, soft, chic, and warm feel. These types of bar stools are typically crafted from PU, faux, or bonded leather, which makes them more resilient to wear and tear. Leather bar stools are a top choice for busy bar environments due to their water-repellent surface. No spillage can ever ruin your mood (maybe just your clothes). You can easily wipe clean the surface for a cleaner look. All of these qualities make these a practical and low-maintenance purchase. 

Pros of a leather bar stool

  • Luxurious look and feel

  • Resilient to wear and tear

  • Immensely practical 

  • Low maintenance

  • Water repellent surface

  • No stains

  • Comfortable to sit on

Cons of a leather bar stool

  • Expensive

  • Poor grade leather won’t last long 

Our Artiss Audrey velvet upholstered bar stools in grey add a luxurious touch to this modern kitchen.

Velvet bar stools

If a touch of elegance is your thing, velvet bar stools reserve themselves a place among the hottest interior design trends in Australia. Velvet bar stools help create a cosy atmosphere, add a bit of luxury, and make a beautiful addition to most kitchens. Velvet bar stools are generally comfortable to sit on, smooth to touch, and make a bold display piece. The durability of velvet can make it a great choice if you are planning to keep your bar stools over the long term. You can find velvet bar stools in various designs, colours, and even thicknesses. If you’re concerned about cleaning and maintaining a clean look, take into account that you will need to follow a proper care and maintenance regime to keep the velvet in good condition.

Pros of a velvet bar stool

  • Gorgeous feel

  • Soft and smooth to touch

  • Long-lasting

  • Luxurious addition

  • Comfortable to sit on

  • Comes in different jewel-toned colours

  • Easy to clean

Cons of a velvet bar stool

  • Needs to follow proper care and maintenance regime

  • Attracts pet hair and dust

  • Direct exposure to sunlight weakens the fibres

  • Colour can fade over time   

Retro-inspired bar stools make a chic addition to this vintage-style kitchen.

Determine the ideal style 

No matter what style you’re going for - minimalist, retro, industrial, Hamptons, or boho - if you want to nail the look, you need to stay focused. With such an extensive range of bar stool styles, it’s easy to lose track of these details. You don’t want to buy bar stools that clash with your home decor, so it’s essential to determine what style will suit your home interior design.

The Artiss expert team recommends that you stay open-minded when furniture shopping because you might come across a fabulous set of furniture that might not be the most obvious choice, but could be your best bet.

Do a comfort check

Once you’ve settled on a style, the next important thing is to remember comfort comes over everything else. Always look for features that increase your comfort, such as backrest, footrest, armrests, and adjustable height. Rather than selecting bar stools with a hard surface, go for padded seats. This will keep you comfortable even if you’re sitting on it for a long time.

Last but not least, check the materials used in the construction as they play a crucial role in enhancing your comfort. Furniture will often feel different out of a showroom, so the experts at Artiss encourage you to read through online reviews to help inform your research

You’re all set!

Breakfast bar stools and counter stools can be the functional finishing touch you need to round out a dining space. Since they’re an integral piece of furniture, bar stools can make or break your kitchen design. With the help of our expert bar stool buying guide, hopefully you feel confident picking the right bar stools from specific brands and where.

Speaking of top brands with a high customer rating, if you’re looking for outdoor bar stools or kitchen bar stools, we’ve got you covered. At Artiss, you can shop for all your favourite bar stool styles and designs - everything from funky, modern eclectic, retro, industrial, Scandinavian, and more.

Visualise kitchen stools, dining chairs and more in your home as per your convenience, with our 3D and AR viewing services, which come in handy if you're exclusively purchasing online. The Artiss collection of bar stools is available to shop in Australia and New Zealand in sets of two or four and different colour choices at affordable prices. 

Browse our carefully curated Artiss bar stool collection and buy online today! Don't forget to sign up for 10 per cent off your first purchase.