When shopping for bar stools or counter stools, knowing the difference between the two is helpful. You may mistakenly believe bar stools and counter stools are the same thing, or perhaps you simply do not realize that they are two different stools with different heights. Understand the difference between the two, and you won't experience the disappointment of purchasing stools that are too tall or too short for your bar, table or counter.
Bar Stool Seat Height
Tables, counters and bars that are 40 to 42 inches tall are considered "bar height." Tables of this height need bar-height stools, which have a seat height of 29 to 31 inches. Stools of this height allow you to comfortably use the bar or table surface for eating or drinking and give plenty of room underneath for your knees and legs.
Counter Stool Seat Height
Kitchen counters and counter-height tables are typically 36 inches from the ground. Because bar-height stools are 29 to 30 inches from the floor, you'll only have about 6 inches of clearance between the stool and the counter for legs and knees, which is not enough room. Counters and counter-height tables require counter stools, which have seats that are 24 to 26 inches from the floor.
When measuring your furniture to check its height, measure correctly. Determine bar, counter or table height by measuring the distance between the top of the eating surface and the floor. When measuring chair or stool height, measure the distance from the top of the seating surface to the floor. The back of the stool (the part you lean back on if there is a back) is not a factor when determining seat height.
Some stools are made at chair height with seats that are approximately 18 to 19 inches from the floor. These stools are the correct height for dining tables, which are typically about 29 to 30 inches high. Take a measuring tape with you when shopping as the different heights can be deceiving if you try to gauge them simply by looking.