Counter stools vary in height from 23 to 27 inches. Determining the correct height for your counter stool depends on two criteria: the counter height and the size of the primary user.
Typically, a kitchen counter is 36 inches tall, but it is not unusual to see some as low as 30 inches or as tall as 42 inches. Ideally, a counter stool provides 10 to 13 inches of clearance between the top of its seat and the top of the counter. This measurement accounts for adequate leg space as well as a comfortable eating position at the counter. Subtracting 10 to 13 inches from the counter height should provide a suitable height range for your counter stool.
Knowing who will use your counter stool most frequently will help you decide how much clearance the stool needs under the counter. If you have children who eat breakfast and most snacks at the counter, taller counter stools will help them reach the counter better. If you have ex-linebacker friends who hang out in the kitchen every Sunday, shorter counter stools may accommodate their legs better.
Counter Stool vs. Bar Stool
The difference between a bar stool and counter stool is inches: A bar stool is typically 28 to 32 inches tall compared to a counter stool's 23 to 27 inches. If your kitchen counter measures 42 inches, you may prefer a bar stool over a counter stool. Often stores carry the same design in various heights and have return policies that allow you to take stools home to "test drive" them. The bottom line is to find a stool that is comfortable in your own kitchen.