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Types of Swivel Seats: A Guide for Furniture Shoppers

If you’re new to barstools and wondering which swivel seat to choose, this guide will help.

Memory-Return Swivel

There are three main types of seats, and one of them is the memory-return swivel, also known as a spin-back seat.

These stools are perfect if you prefer a neat and orderly look.

With the memory return seat, you can swivel 180 degrees for conversation, but when you stand up, it automatically swivels back to its original position, usually facing the counter or bar.

This feature makes it easier to straighten up after a busy party or event.

Check out our selection of memory-return swivel bar stools below:

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

Swivel stools provide the freedom to face any direction, making them perfect for places where the focus or conversation can be in any direction. For example, a bar with TVs on every wall and a music stage.

At home, a swivel stool is ideal if your kitchen island is in front, a door behind, and appliances on either side.

For the workplace, backless swivel stools are great since they keep you upright and alert. They are also a good balance between a clean look and full swivel.

Padded stools with backs are popular in restaurants and bars, while wooden back stools give a classic look to almost any kitchen.

Explore our selection of 360-degree swivel bar stools below:

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)

Fixed-seat stools, unlike swivel stools, are designed to stay in one direction. But when would you want a stool that doesn’t swivel? Here are a few scenarios to consider:

  • If you plan to place a stool in a corner or against a wall, a fixed seat is ideal. Swiveling into a wall is not only uncomfortable, but it can also damage the wall or furniture. Fixed stools keep your seat pointed at the TV or party, ensuring you don’t miss out on anything.
  • For outdoor areas like balconies or pool decks, fixed stools provide an extra level of stability. Consider metal or solid wood stools for durability. A fixed-seat stool also makes an excellent “lifeguard stool” for watching over children in the pool.

Check out our selection of fixed-seat bar stools below:

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

While there’s always room for exceptions, we hope this guide has provided some clarity in choosing the right stool for your home or business. To view our entire selection of swivel barstools, please click here.

Do you have any questions or need further assistance? We’re here to help! Give us a call at 610-737-5693 send us a note, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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.