Bar Stools Buyer’s Guide
What should you look for in a bar stool?
While bar stools may follow the same basic design principle, they can differ in many factors. The biggest differences are on the cushion, or seat, and the building materials of the stool itself. You should always look at the type of material that the bar stool is produced as well as the height. A perfect height bar stool should allow your guests to sit comfortably at the bar, with the bar getting at round stomach height. Since all bars differ in height, take this into consideration when selecting which bar stool to buy.
What kind of bar stools there are?
There are many different bar stools available, so it is easy to find one that will suit your preferences. The first difference is a rolling versus a non-rolling or fully stationary bar stool. Rolling bar stools can roll at the base of the seat, allowing you to turn around easily without getting out of your chair. While this may seem convenient, you must make sure your purchase a quality stool with durable bearings, otherwise, a rolling bar stool can quickly get wobbly and uncomfortable. Opposed to this, fully stationary bar stools are longer lasting and more durable.
The second main difference is the presence (or absence) of a cushion on the seat. While many bar stools offer a cushioned seat, a non-cushioned seat (where you would sit directly on the wood, metal or plastic the chair is made of) can still offer great comfort if the design is well built. If buying a non-cushioned seat, make sure to look at the seat design. While this is also true for cushioned bar stools, generally the cushion allows the stool to still be comfortable even when the design is less-than-perfect.
The last big difference is the presence or absence of a back on the bar stool. This is the portion most usually found on chairs, that allows you to recline safely. Bar stools can come without a back, in a half-back variety, or in a full-back as you would fine on a regular chair.
What bar stool should you buy?
First of all, it mostly depends on your preferences. However, when purchasing a bar stool, always make sure you follow some of the guidelines offered here. While you could purchase a bar stool that doesn’t follow them, nine times out ten, you will encounter some issues with it. While price will always be a factor, do not cheap out on your bar stools if you want a long-lived item that will remain comfortable for the years to come. With that said, here are some of the most common and effective combinations of bar stools that you should opt for:
- Classic bar stool – This bar stool is usually stationary, with no cushion and no back. Look for well-designed seats when buying these. While it may seem like an entry level option, this design has stayed in fashion over centuries for a good reason – they are sturdy, durable, comfortable (if well built and maintained) and easy to clean. Stay away from rotary bar stools of this type, as they tend to be of shoddy quality.
- Contemporary-style bar stool – This bar stool includes a rotary seat, cushion, and usually has a half-back recliner. These are good, stylish bar stools that can fit any modern style bar. Make sure you properly inspect the bearings on the rotary seat, otherwise you might end up with a short-lived bar stool that will begin to creak and wobble within months.
- The full-back bar stool – These are less common, but may come in handy for long sitting sessions, and especially for people with back issues. Avoid rotary full-backed stools, as you do not get a good balance point with them.