Barstool Guide

When wanting to purchase restaurant bar stools, it is best to know more about them than just the look of a bar stool or a serious mistake could happen.  This commercial bar stool buying guide includes all of the basics a customer needs to be aware of before purchasing bar stools.

There are a few factors that you must have for a good quality commercial bar stool. These factors include durability, being preassembled, proper height, safety, proper spacing, good materials, different accessories and styles, and finally, price. Our commercial bar stool buying guide will go through every factor you must consider before purchase.


While many bar stools look alike, there are very small differences that make a world of difference. Any bar stools you choose for your restaurant need to be commercial quality. This means they will be durable enough to handle high-traffic areas, unlike their home counterparts.


Any bar stools you purchase should come preassembled, as that is the easiest way to have a quality product, without having to spend more time and money assembling the products. Preassembled products are usually welded joints, which leaves less room for error, and higher durability than those nut and bolt joints that could become loose and cause injury.


The ideal height for commercial bar stools is 30” high. This allows for the common bar height of 42” with the stools fitting the table height comfortably without displacing customers. Be sure to carefully measure the height of your bar top or pub tables before purchasing stools to ensure that you are getting the proper size. This also allows for better safety, as customers could hurt themselves if they are seated in a bar stool higher than 30” tall.

There should be a 12” space between the top of the seat and the top of the bar. Anything more will create discomfort for your customers, forcing them to sit differently, and possibly leave sooner. For spacing the bar stools next to each other, you want to have a minimum space of 30” from the center of one stool to the center of the next. This gives your customers enough elbow space to eat without causing themselves, or their neighbor, discomfort.


As with all durable, reliable products, you want to get a good quality material that will withstand high traffic, as well as offer minimal cleaning. Some of the popular options are:

  • Metal Frame- Metal frame bar stools are great for commercial settings as they feature a variety of frame color options, as well as a wood or padded vinyl seat. These options work in almost any seating area, including the outdoors. Indoor metal frame stools are usually made of powder coated steel or chrome, while their outdoor counterparts are manufactured from a lightweight aluminum.

  • Wood Frame- Commercial wood bar stools can be manufactured from many types of wood, including beech. These options can then be stained mahogany, walnut, natural, and oak, to ensure they match any setting. Wood frame stools feature seats that are wood, padded vinyl, or upholstered, and are durable options for restaurants.

Arm or Armless

While there are options of bar stools with or without arms, we do suggest armless, as it is less expensive, allows for more space, and makes it easier for customers to get in and out of the bar stool. Definitely consider these options first. Same goes for bar stools with or without backs. We always suggest backless bar stools, once again because they are little cheaper, they are also easier to get in and out of, and they give the appearance of less clutter in a restaurant. We do suggest bar stools without a swivel, as those options can have issues with the construction and durability of the rivet. For the maintenance-free option, go with a non-swivel option. All bar stools should have glides, to make it easier on customers, and employees, to move the bar stools where they need to go.


As with many furniture pieces, they need routine maintenance checks to ensure that your customers will always be safe in your restaurant. When choosing your commercial bar stools, be sure to go with durable, reliable, cost-effective items. Don’t sacrifice safety or durability for price, as it will most likely cost you more in the long run. Hopefully reading through our commercial bar stool buying guide will help you narrow down your choices, but if you still have questions, please feel free to give us a call. We will be happy to help.