Scout & Nimble

Picking the Perfect Kitchen Counter Stools

While kitchen counter stools make it easy to entertain and visit with friends and family, deciding which stool is right for your space can quickly become overwhelming. We put together tips to help you with the process of choosing that perfect kitchen counter stool.

1. Determine the height of the kitchen counter stool you need.
When considering height, you do not want to play a guessing game. This is an especially crucial step if you’re ordering online. Start with taking down the height of your current countertop. Counter height is typically 36 inches from floor to surface, and bar height is 42 inches. Sometimes people can run into issues when their countertop height is between 36 and 42 inches. It’s also possible that some countertops have an apron, or a lip, on the edge. This can create less space between the seat and the bottom of the countertop. Just keep the nine-to-12-inch rule in mind and measure your counter height accordingly.


2. Choose a style of kitchen counter stool that suits your lifestyle and taste.
Depending on your lifestyle, there are various reasons to choose one style of stool over another. Whatever you choose, you want to love the way it looks, right? We suggest choosing stools as functional as they are lovely because these are pieces you and your family will use every day.

  • Backless Kitchen Counter Stools: Easy to tuck and conceal under the counter, these are visually less distracting, which is ideal for tight spaces or if you don’t want the focus of the kitchen to be on the stools.
  • Kitchen Counter Stools with Arms: An ideal option if you and your family and friends plan to occupy them often. However, they may be more difficult to slide beneath a counter.
  • Swivel Kitchen Counter Stools: If you have a passion for entertaining, swivel stools are the way to go. They prevent potential damage from scooting across the floor and allow for easy movement.

3. Decide how many kitchen counter stools you need for your space.
Here are two important factors to consider when deciding how many kitchen counter stools you need: How many people will use your kitchen seating, and how long is your countertop? A key factor to consider is the width of your stools. Wider stools typically allow for more comfort, but in tight spaces, a more narrow stool works well.

Luckily, we have an easy formula to help you figure out just how many kitchen counter stools you need for your space: Take the total length of your counter and divide it by the width of your desired counter stool, then add six inches. Adding six inches allows for an adequate amount of breathing room, making them more visually and functionally appealing.

4. Find the right material.
The material of your counter stool depends on the look you want and its level of maintenance.

  • Wood is a material that wipes down easily. However, it may be more susceptible to unwanted knicks and scratches.
  • Metal complements any countertop with a modern, sleek, classy feel without sacrificing durability.
  • As suited for a kitchen as they are a sunroom, rattan and wicker stools give a light and breezy, more casual aesthetic. Something to keep in mind, however, is that these materials require a bit more upkeep with spills due to their spaces and gaps.
  • Upholstered stools are an excellent choice for added coziness in the kitchen. They take a bit of extra work to maintain, so choosing a durable fabric like polyester or leather will enhance its performance and prevent cleaning headaches.

Scout & Nimble is a retail site and blog that aims to make expert design accessible to all. Follow at


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