Kitchens are changing. With the growing popularity of breakfast bars and dining tables integrated with kitchen islands, counter-height seating is growing in demand. Whether you’re looking to outfit an actual bar, provide backup seating for a standing desk, or need comfortable dining chairs, this post has just the right seats for the job. Here we cover a number of styles: rustic, modern, minimalist, Scandinavian, industrial, mid-century modern, futuristic, and beyond – there’s something for everybody! And best of all, we’ve taken care to hunt down treasures for every budget.
Buy It: $499
Nerd Counter Stool: Smooth forms and a variety of pastel color options makes David Geckeler’s Nerd Stool a popular choice for Scandinavian interiors of all types, looking equally at home in warm cottage inspired spaces as well as contemporary minimalist settings. Furniture design enthusiasts and engineers alike will appreciate the lack of visible hardware that contributes to the smooth aesthetic of this memorable chair.
Buy It: $90
Ikea Dalfred Bar Stool: This stool’s straightforward design makes it a lovely choice for modern interiors, but its form generates enough interest to create a focal point in the home or office. The classic screw-top design could even complement an industrial theme, as well as its original purpose of offering adjustable-height versatility.
Buy It: $132
Austin Bar Stool: Natural wood finish, sleek curved legs, and minimalist construction make these stools a nice statement piece for any interior, especially if you’re working around similar natural wood tones you might want to emphasize.
Buy It: $470
Wyndham Swivel Counter Stool: This swivel stool is great for a space with geometric accents but it can also serve as a fantastic focal point when surrounded by clean lines as pictured. Vintage-finished brass legs and waxed wood seats work equally well within rustic environments or simple contemporary settings.
Buy It: $529
Coleman Stool: Here’s another great geometrically interesting stool. It offers a unique experience from every angle, perfect for open middle-of-the-room settings like a freestanding kitchen island or breakfast bar. This model is available in a wide variety of seat finishes and colors. Coleman is a fantastic design by Greta de Parry, awarded the 2015 Best Furniture Award from Dwell.
Buy It: $90
Tolix Marais Style Counter Stool: Tolix is an iconic style, a favorite in industrial and rustic interiors alike. Its recognizable form was originally developed by metalworker Xavier Pauchard in 1934, yet the design remains timeless as evidenced by the wide availability of lookalikes and reproductions like this inexpensive pick.
Buy It: $249
Blu Dot Real Good Counterstool: Sharp angles and a variety of bright and dazzling colors make this stool an eye-catching piece for quirky modern interior styles. It’s available in both bar and counter height to fit a variety of purposes.
Buy It: $390
Onda Bar Stool: Designed by Jesús Gasca for Stua, the Onda Bar Stool boasts a curvaceous and beautifully simple form that can elevate any contemporary space to the heights of neo-futurism.
Buy It: $148
LexMod Clip Bar Stool: This inexpensive bar stool captures the eye with its distinctive doubled-over seat design, but it’s also a practical choice for kitchen countertops or tall dining tables thanks to its sturdy footrest and comfortable form-fitting construction.
Buy It: $360
About A Stool: The work of prolific furniture designer Hee Welling, About A Stool offers a smooth form that looks right at home in playful Scandinavian-inspired interiors. The seat is available in fabric, polypropylene, or leather, while the legs offer a choice between soap-treated oak veneer and black stain over birch.
Buy It: From $329
Normann Copenhagen Form Stool: Danish designer Simon Legald designed this seat with a specific goal in mind – to create a piece that embodied his long-held idea of “the ideal stool” – taking inspiration from furniture over multiple eras and origins. The result is a flexible design that can take on a variety of personalities from mid-century modern to minimalist depending on the fabric and leg material you choose.
Buy It: $1388
She Said Counter Stool: The She Said counter stool is the smoother and more visually fluid counterpart to the He Said chair by the same designer, Nitzan Cohen. It’s a high-luxury stool meticulously crafted by Mattiazzi Italy, every detail rendered with precision for longevity and adaptable beauty to suit any sophisticated interior.
Buy It: $350
Coiled Counter Stool: Are you looking for something that can add a little whimsy, warmth, and color to your kitchen or office environment? This stool by Harry Allen is perfectly suited to serve as a surprising focal point, with its hand-woven top covering a form fitting tractor style seat for comfort and style.
Buy It: $355
LJ3 Stool: While many prefer nonporous seats for easy cleaning, upholstered stools do have their place in the home – they’re more comfortable, they tend to offer more color options, and they’re a much more inviting place to have coffee on a cold winter morning. Netherlands-based furniture maker De Vorm collaborated with Amsterdam-based designer Laurens van Wieringen to create this spectacular line of colorful and surprising stools sure to enhance the playfulness of any modern interior.
Buy It: $1161
Last Minute Stool: Patricia Urquiola’s popular Last Minute Stool makes waves with its clean and simple form and attention-grabbing construction. It’s available in two sizes to suit high and low surfaces. The upholstered options are wonderfully adaptable, with wool and a textural wool blend for classic interiors and smooth leather for more contemporary settings.
Buy It: From $300
Cherner Inspired Bar Stool: Talk about an iconic design! Replicating the distinctive profile of Norman Cherner’s storied chair (one that achieved its fame after appearing in Norman Rockwell’s 1961 “The Artist at Work”), this bar stool adaptation is a true must-have for devotees of mid-century furniture design.
Buy It: From $213
Wishbone Counter Stool: Reimagining the recognizable split-back construction of Hans Wegner’s 1949 Wishbone Chair, this unique stool offers an updated homage to a true classic. Its natural hemp cord seat takes it further into the realm of traditional styling, making this piece a wonderful choice for eclectic interiors.
Buy It: $80
Arne Jacobsen Series 7 Style Stools: Here’s another fantastic vintage-inspired piece, this time for Arne Jacobsen fans. This inexpensive yet high quality reproduction would fit just as well in a commercial or residential environment. Choose from four seat color options on chrome legs to suit a variety of interior styles – the black seat would look especially nice in an industrial setting, the light unfinished wood is perfect for a Scandinavian-inspired home, the dark wood appeals to classic sensibilities, and the white offers a modern or minimalistic look.
Buy It: $825
Wendela Stool: The seat mold takes its stylistic cues from mid-century design but the overall composition comes together for a contemporary and fresh look. This stool is defined by its smooth and sturdy form, a functional piece that would look great anywhere.
Buy It: $490
Masters Counter Stool: Combining the iconic profiles of famous designs by Eames, Saarinen, and Jacobsen, this stool is a sculptural homage to the masters of furniture design just as its name would suggest. With this piece, designers Philippe Starck and Eugeni Quitllet give mid-century modern classics a contemporary makeover for modern settings.
Buy It: From $499
Eames Molded Plastic Stool: Still as relevant to the design world as ever, the Molded Shell Collection by Charles and Ray Eames continues to capture imaginations and beautify interiors. This authentic Herman Miller stool is not as ubiquitous as its chair counterpart is, but its recognizable form is sure to spark conversation among guests with mid-century design knowledge. Like the chair, it beautifully adapts to any setting and any style.
Buy It: $129
Charles Eames-Style DSW Bar Stool: Design fans on a budget can appreciate this recreation of the same shell-style Eames chair. This one features the beloved dowel base with an added ring for comfortable foot support. The dowel base is a popular way to add a touch of classic inspiration to contemporary interiors.
Buy It: $405
Alfi Low Back Bar Stool: With an integrated handle, these lightweight chairs are a great choice for interiors that depend on flexible seating arrangements. Designer Jasper Morrison created Alfi in 2015 as a fresh and sustainable approach to comfort and usability, made from reclaimed post-industrial materials and Amish-crafted wood legs. It’s a chair with a story you’ll be glad to share with your guests.
Buy It: From $250
Erik Buch Bar Stool: While the 1960s original is hard to obtain, this Erik Buch design is widely replicated and cherished for its sleek Danish frame and smooth contemporary seat. They’re an exceptionally forward-thinking design for its time, well suited to interiors with Scandinavian or modernist influences.
Buy It: $315 for two
Bertoia Style Wire Bar Stool: Industrial style interiors wouldn’t be the same without Harry Bertoia’s 1952 side chair design. This model is a close reproduction of the original with years of development ensuring accuracy down to the closest detail. Whether you spring for a collectible original or one of the many available lookalikes, you can be sure your choice will never go out of style.
Buy It: $450
Afteroom Counter Stool: Very clearly inspired by the Bauhaus design movement right from first glance, the Afteroom stool offers an aesthetic that transcends the sum of its parts. Minimalist interiors, industrial-influenced spaces, and even Scandinavian styles can benefit from the complements this versatile stool offers.
Buy It: $552
Hinkley 29″ Bar Stool: It’s difficult to find seating for a rustic or traditional kitchen without sacrificing sophistication. This swivel stool forges its own unique style with characteristic mango wood seats and elegantly curved black legs, definitely a look that might even appeal to industrial aficionados.
Buy It: $262
Bouchon Counter Stool: This stool’s cork seat and unique shape is sure to make guests crave a nice glass of wine. The bronze frame is a versatile touch, always suitable for classic interiors, while the unconventional cork seat makes it a fabulous choice for artsy modernist interiors.
Buy It: $102
Baxton Studio Architect’s Industrial Bar Stool: It hardly gets more industrial than this design! This stool would fit equally well drawn up next to a drafting table as it would a dining table, and the adjustable height screw-top seat makes it a suitable companion for either one.
Buy It: $98
Height Adjustable Swivel Stool: Here’s another screw-top stool, this time with a classic schoolhouse vibe. Perhaps the most interesting part of this chair is the finish on the distressed steel legs, almost embodying the charm of traditional cast iron.
Buy It: $620
Allegro Bar Stool: Italian designer Giovanna Modonutti created the Allegro collection in 2002 to offer versatile seating for sophisticated contemporary interiors. Its sturdy steel frame enjoys the supple touch of European leather upholstery, giving the composition a sense of warmth that sets it apart from the typical kitchen stool.
Buy It: $58
Director’s Counter Stool: Easily interpreted multiple ways depending on its surroundings, these counter stools would look right at home in artsy or nautical interiors – or exteriors as its weatherproof design makes it ideal for patio dining sets or low outdoor bars. Like all teak chairs, the frame will eventually begin to exhibit its characteristic silver patina that collectors love.
Buy It: $245
Hee Bar Counter Stool: Hee Welling is a master of weaving playfulness and surprise into his designs without sacrificing the simplicity associated with Scandinavian decor. This counter stool is no different, available in an entire rainbow of colors but ultimately catching the eye with its unexpected style. These stools are stackable to save space, great for occasional as well as everyday use.
Buy It: $460
Lucy Wire Bar Stool: Gaurav Nanda elevates wire chair design to the next level with this intricate and decorative series of stools inspired by macramé and Spirograph art. The production method is interesting too, involving machine molding and almost 400 spot welds placed by hand.
Buy It: $170
Cappellini Ribbon Style Bar Stool: Ultra-thin strips of still twirl and dance to create an illusion of impossible weightlessness. Decorators who prefer futurist aesthetics are sure to find this style worth admiring, although it’s easy to imagine this set lending its fascinating character to any contemporary interior.
Buy It: $482
Koncord Bar Stool: Karim Rashid fans will recognize this piece as following the daring designer’s tendency toward imaginative and boundary-breaking forms. Available in bright colors in addition to black, this sculptural seat is a work of art in its own right.
Buy It: $396
Vondom Vortex Stool: Futurist decor isn’t limited to just the interior. These faceted geometric chairs seem chiseled from stone or ice, offering the possibility for an interesting contrast with the organic forms of a garden patio or perfectly complementing the rigid structures of the city.
Buy It: $395
Wing High Stool: Designed by A-Cero in 2013, the Wing High Stool offers another option for fans of neo-futurism. Its small footprint makes it perfect for small spaces while the exciting curves make a big impression. Choose from a variety of colors in a matte or glossy finish, and rest assured that the durable and weatherproof design makes it suitable to use indoors or out.
Buy It: $532
Z Stool: One more for the Karim Rashid collectors! The Z Stool’s unconventional color options make this series an exciting choice for bright interiors. Like many polyethylene chairs, this one will also stand up to outdoor conditions.
Buy It: $909 for set of 2
Stool One: Do you need a complement for your stylish geometric kitchen decor? The Stool One from star designer Konstantin Grcic has gotten a lot of attention for its unique shape and sturdy architecturally inspired construction. Of course, originals are in exceptionally high demand but budget-conscious shoppers might be interested in this cheaper Stool One replica.
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