My favorite local bar only has a few stools as it is only a small bar, so it is very rare to find them vacant, but when you do it is a great feeling to sit in one of those beauties, these particular ones have backs and arms.
The bar stool is an iconic piece of furniture and if the room permits, then the home bar should include them, whether it be a basic design or a luxury design.
Bar Stools Bar Stools
There are many types of bar stools and the most common are made from either wood or metal. They can be as basic as a simple frame with a wooden disc on top, or they can have back rests and arm rests with an upholstered seat. They normally include a foot rest and some swivel too.
These stools were only ever seen in front of a bar, or in front of a wall mounted shelf which acts as a bar. Then came along the tall tables, granting another use for the tall stool which we all know as the bar stool.
Starting with the basic design, we are going to look at some of the variety of stools available.
Basic Bar Stools
These are probably the most recognizable and the most common type of bar stool you will find, and when it comes to cost, the cheapest too.
These are the most basic and the simplest in design and construction, but that does not mean they are not great stools. Although simple in construction, they are strong and durable, these modestly priced classics will look the part, serve their purpose and last a long time.
If you want a little more luxury and be kinder to your butt, then these stools also come with the seat upholstered giving a sometimes much-needed padding for comfort. They are available in material or PU leather, with the latter being easier to keep clean.
If you prefer the comfort of a cushion but already have a bare wooden seat then you can get slip on cushioned covers to fit over a standard seat, or you could diy it and upholster your stools yourself. All you need is some foam, material and some upholstery tacks, and probably a video from Youtube.
The Metal Bar Stool
The basic of the metal stools are similar to the basic round wooden stools, although seem to cost more than their counter parts. They can vary more in design even though these are a simple design, but because the ease of shaping metal you do see an array of curves and bends.
Both the basic wooden and the metal stools also come in square seats too, same design and construction just square seats.
Saddle Seat Bar Stools
Moving on from basic we discover a little more comfort with a saddle seat, which basically is as the name suggests shaped like an equestrian saddle. These chairs angle the user slightly forward in comparison to normal stools which apparently relieves stress on the back and hips.
Be careful though because there seems to be two different designs when searching for these stools. The saddle design I just described really do resemble a saddle and designed ergonomically, whereas the majority of stools that pop up from a simple search are just a rectangular seat with a curve in it, like the one in the picture.
The latter Saddle Seat being the one I had in mind when I first thought to add them here as I find them more comfortable than the standard basic stools, it must be the dip in the seat. Like the others you can get these with or without upholstery.
Swivel Bar Stools
It is starting to get technical now a bar stool you can spin on, not a good idea after a few beers, and should never be turned into a bar room game, it could get very messy.
Although you can get wooden swivel stools, the majority are metal because the ease of engineering metal as opposed to wood. These come in the basic design with just a disc seat and go right up to cushioned upholstery with back and arm rests, and the price point follows the same route.
A lot of swivel stools also come with a height adjustment just like the typical office chair. A standard bar top height is around 40 to 42 inches so most bar stools are made to a height of 28 to 30 inches giving 10 to 12 inches for leg room, most height adjusting stools will range within 26 to 34 inches in height.
It makes sense having swivel bar stools, because it is easier to adjust your angle to talk to people, but bear in mind that you will need more room between each stool to use the swivel effectively.
Luxury Bar Stools
There may not be anything better than sitting in a luxurious tall armchair enjoying your favorite drink with friends at your own home bar, sounds good to me.
I say tall armchair because that’s what some of these luxury bar stools are like, pure comfort on stilts. Deep plush cushioning on the seat, back and arms, just Divine. Many have swivel and height adjustment too, so really are the symbol of bar stool luxury.
Because of the size of the actual chair on top of the stool they need even more space between them when they swivel, thought it was worth mentioning.
If you have the room and the means, then why not indulge in some luxury bar stools.
Steampunk Bar Stools
For something a little different with that edgy design we give you the Steampunk look, these rustic style bar stools are a fun and industrial design, they not only look great, but are very functional too.
But these are not the only out of the ordinary bar stools, there are lots of Art Deco designs and many old school Retro designs and plenty of Vintage Antique designs. What ever look you want to accomplish you should be able to find bar stools to match.
If you have a design in your head but cannot find anything that resembles it, then go the custom route, contact a metal works or carpenter and see if they can create your vision.
Popular Bar Stools
We all love the bar stool, they are popular and will be sticking around for a long time yet.
Who invented the humble bar stool?
I mentioned before that they could be found in the old saloons, but I have also read that a version of them dates back to Medieval times. The name Cliff bell from Detroit has popped up too, I read an article about him introducing them after Prohibition. I am not sure if anyone actually knows the real culprit or timeline, but whoever it was, Thank You.
I have only covered a few different types that are available, but the choice is vast. Bar stools are an important part of any bar set up and should be included at your bar.
If you have anything to ask or add about bar stools, or if you know who invented them, then leave a comment below.
Rob is a passionate home bar and pub shed enthusiast with a passion for craft beer. With hands-on experience in designing and building his own home bar, Rob shares his knowledge, tips, and inspiration to help fellow enthusiasts create their own perfect space. Alongside the world of home bars and pub sheds, Rob also explores the diverse and exciting realm of craft beer, providing honest reviews to help you discover your next favorite brew. Join Rob on a journey of flavor, design, and craftsmanship right here on Home Bar Kit.