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Which Type of Swivel is Right for You?

If you’re new to barstools, you might wonder which type of swivel seat to choose.

Here’s a quick guide to the three main types of seats:

Memory-Return Swivel

Also known as a spin-back seat, these stools are best if you want to keep a neat, orderly look.

The memory return seat lets you swivel 180-degrees for conversation, but automatically swivels back to “home” – usually, that means facing into the counter or bar – when you stand up.

If you’ve ever worked in a busy restaurant, or hosted a big party at home, you know this makes straightening up much easier!

Here are some of our memory-return swivel bar stools available:

Holland's Jackie Swivel Stool with Low Back in Anodized Nickel and Graph Alpine Gray Seat Cushion
Amisco's Brittany Traditional Swivel Bar Stool with Cross Back Design, Metal Frame, and Seat Cushion
Trica's Nicholas Swivel Bar Stool in Silver Metal Finish and Seaspray Green Upholstered Seat and Back

360-Degree Full Swivel

Ah, the freedom to swivel every which way! These stools are ideal for any place where the focus or the conversation can face in any direction. For example, maybe your bar has TVs on every wall, plus a stage for music.

Stools with full, 360-degree swivels let your patrons face anywhere they want with ease.

Or at home, maybe you have the kitchen island in front, a door behind, the oven to one side, and the fridge to the other. With a 360-degree stool, you can face wherever you want, for as long as you want!

Which type of 360-degree stool is best?

  • Backless swivel stools are great for the workplace, keeping you upright and alert. Backless stools are also a good compromise between clean looks and full swivel (they’ll always be facing the right way!).
  • Comfy padded stools with backs are a favorite in restaurants and bars, and wooden back stools are a classic look for almost any kitchen.

Here are some of our 360-degree swivel bar stools available:

Amisco's Ronny Upholstered Swivel Bar Stool in 56 Titanium metal finish and off-white vinyl
Amisco Modern Fame Swivel Stool for Modern Kitchens
Wesley Allen's Miami Upholstered Swivel Bar Stool in Expresso Metal and Blue Cushion

Fixed-Seat Stools (no swivel)

When would you want a stool that doesn’t swivel? Here are a few ideas:

  • Stools in corners or against walls can be fixed in one direction, because who wants to swivel into a wall? The fixed seat keeps the stool pointed at the TV or into the party.
  • Outdoors, fixed stools are great for the balcony or pool deck because they give an extra level of stability. Consider metal and solid wood stools. A fixed-seat stool also makes an ideal “lifeguard stool” for watching kids in the pool.

Here are some of our fixed-seat bar stools available:

Nathan Stationary Saddle Backless Stool
Amisco Ethan Stationary Stool with Low Back
Wesley Allen's Benton Stationary Square Bar Stool with Ladder Back and Seat Cushion

Of course, the rules of stools were made to be broken – but we hope this quick guide helps you decide which type of seat is best for your home or business. To see all of our swivel barstools, click here.

Any questions? Let us know! Call us toll-free at 610-737-5693 or send us a note!

Posted by Deborah

on in Bar Stool Tips


Deborah has spent over 20 years as a design professional helping others create the kitchen of their dreams. She's drawn to modern kitchens, colorful interiors, and living comfortably.