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Bar Stool vs. Counter Height Stool Buying Guide

How to Choose the Right Stool Height for Your Space

Choosing the right stool height is crucial to ensure comfort in your space. Incorrect stool heights can lead to discomfort and may not provide the optimal functionality for your bar or kitchen area.

For a detailed step-by-step process on how to measure and match the stool height to your specific counter or bar, visit our Bar Stool Height Guide. This guide offers comprehensive insights and tips to help you make the best choice.

What is Counter Height?

Counter height measurements

Counter height refers to a standard counter which is in line with your kitchen sink.

This height generally ranges between 34-36 inches from the ground.


The footrest is often positioned 7-9 inches off the ground, but this can vary.

What is Bar Height?

Bar height measurements

Bar height is higher than counter height and this height generally ranges between 40-42 inches from the ground.


The footrest is often positioned 12-15 inches off the ground, but this can vary.

Learn more about finding the right height for your stools.

Comparison of Pros

FeatureCounter HeightBar Height
CompatibilityMatches standard kitchen counter heights (36 inches), integrating seamlessly into kitchen or dining areas.Suited for bar counters around 40 to 42 inches high, ideal for traditional bar settings or entertainment areas.
Activity SuitabilityComfortable for eating, working, or hobbies due to closer proximity to counter height.Elevated seating position offers an enhanced view, beneficial in public venues or for enjoying scenic views.
Family FriendlinessSafer and more convenient for families with children, easier for kids to climb on and off.The taller stature contributes to a sophisticated and upscale ambiance, serving as a focal point in decor.


Are there heights between counter and bar height?

Yes, there’s a category often referred to as “counter-bar height” or “kitchen bar height.” These surfaces usually measure around 36 to 39 inches tall, bridging the gap between standard counter and bar heights.

Why might someone choose 24″ or 25″ seat height over 26″ seat height?

A 24″ or 25″ seat height may be more suitable for shorter individuals because it allows their feet to comfortably reach the ground, providing better support and balance. If a shorter person sits in a 26″ seat height, they might find their feet dangling, which can lead to discomfort and reduced stability while seated. Having the ability to firmly place one’s feet on the ground can also help reduce strain on the legs and back, making for a more comfortable seating experience.

Why might someone choose bar height over counter height or vice versa?

The choice often depends on the purpose and aesthetics. Bar height can be ideal for casual, elevated seating, like in a lounge or bar area, while counter height is often preferred for dining spaces, family rooms, or kitchen islands to promote conversation and engagement.

Can I use bar height stools for a counter height table?

It’s not advisable. Bar height stools will be too tall for counter height tables, making the seating uncomfortable.

How do I measure to ensure I’m getting the right stool height?

Measure the height from the floor to the underside of the counter or table. Ideally, there should be about 10-12 inches of space between the stool seat and the underside of the counter to ensure comfortable legroom.

Are there adjustable stools to cater to both heights?

Yes, in fact we do offer adjustable bar stools here, which allow you to use them for counter and bar heights. These are particularly useful in versatile spaces.

Can I customize the height of my kitchen counter or bar?

Yes, while there are standard heights, many homeowners customize counters or bars based on their preferences, especially during renovations or when designing a custom-built home.

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Posted by Deborah

on in Guides


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.