18 Stylish and Functional Bar Stools for Kitchen Islands
These bar stools for kitchen islands will instantly upgrade your space.
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Shopping for the right bar stools for kitchen island use can be trickier than it seems. Choosing the right height, materials, special features and back style can make all the difference. Your perfect bar stools may be different whether you’re pairing them with a kitchen island cart or a fixed stone countertop, too.
How to Shop for Bar Stools
“Kitchen bar stools not only look good but are functional items that are essential for your home,” explains Anna Franklin, founder of Milwaukee-based interior design firm Stone House Collective. “Kitchen island bar stools come in a variety of styles and sizes, are very durable and can even be great for kids for a quick breakfast before school or dinner time. The wide availability of bar stools for kitchen islands makes them adaptable and flexible for any home, and finding a set that matches your aesthetic is simple.”
Franklin suggests focusing on a few main features to pick the best stools to spruce up small kitchens, average-size eating spaces and even the most expansive showpiece-style eat-ins. She says it’s important to figure out the right height for your kitchen island or countertops. Then, find sturdy materials and high-quality construction to hold up to the most-used room in the house. “I recommend finding bar stools with durable, performance-grade fabrics. This makes them easier to clean, which is important in a high-traffic spot such as a kitchen or eating area.”
You’ll also want to think about who will be using your kitchen bar stools the most to decipher the importance of things like weight capacity and stain resistance. Wondering where you should buy your bar stools? We weighed the pros and cons between Overstock and Wayfair.
The Best Bar Stools for Kitchen Islands
There are so many types of bar stools to choose from, and something for every budget and style. Here are a few designer-approved picks. Plus here’s 10 must-have kitchen island carts.
Swivel Bar Stools
These Lokkhan vintage industrial bar stools for kitchen islands are just the right blend of practical affordability and trendy aesthetic appeal. This set of two comes in under $150, features cast steel and an adjustable height of 20 to 27 inches that offers all the swiveling fun you might ever want (or need). That means they’re ideal for moving around your counters, lowering them for extra seating at the dinner table and maxing out their height for taller tabletops. Reviewers suggest that the modest seat size makes this pick ideal for kids, smaller adults and tight spaces. They can hold up to 250 pounds despite their smaller footprint, though.
“We bought four of these for our nine-foot island,” writes verified Amazon purchaser, Cindy. “We are thrilled with our purchase. The wood on our island cabinets is a medium walnut finish and our floors are a grayed wood laminate. The seat color is a nice dark brown with gray streaks through it. The color blends perfectly with both woods.”
Target Bar Stools
Choosing this set of two Laslo faux leather counter height bar stools adds a dose of sophisticated mid-century modern charm in an instant. They’re made of an easy-to-clean faux leather that pairs marvelously with vintage-feeling kitchen and dining room chandeliers and other accents. Because they’re from Target, they’re an affordable option. They’re also one of the store’s bestselling and most-reviewed bar stool models. The 26-inch tall powder-coated steel frame can handle up to 300 pounds, and the seat is contoured for added comfort.
“Was really surprised by how good the quality was for such a great price point,” shares Samik, a verified Target purchaser. “They were also super easy to put together, I was able to do it by myself. Very comfortable.”
Wooden Bar Stools
Give your kitchen a little bit of country flair with these Abou counter and bar stools. “For a wooden bar stool, go for straight, modern lines that are in right now,” says Franklin, who is known for her firm’s show-stopping kitchens. “Find something with high-quality wood and other materials for the longevity of a wooden piece.”
This set of two is made of solid wood, and each bar stool can hold up to 250 pounds comfortably. The molded wooden seat is an additional mark of better craftsmanship and something you would be hard-pressed to find on lower-quality pieces. The traditional turned front legs offer just a hint of country modern decor and are perfect for cozying up with some Pioneer Woman coffee on a chilly day.
Walmart Bar Stools
If you’re looking for an affordable option, these Winsome wood bar stools offer a saddle-style design that lends simplicity and sophistication at a bargain price. They come in both 24- and 29-inch heights to fit both low and higher-style countertops, and you can choose from a natural brown wood finish or a modern solid black. The stools start under $38 each, and can hold up to 220 pounds at a time. Plus, Walmart’s price match policy is nearly impossible to beat.
Metal Bar Stools
“The biggest trend I’ve seen recently in metal bar stools are the types with a back T-Bar,” Franklin shares of this updated take on the old classic. “When shopping, look for sleek styles that add dimension to the space. A metal bar stool can add a touch of an industrial feel and new texture in an organic space.”
These Fonseca bar and counter stools offer just the right blend of homey, lived-in appeal and industrial modern design that refreshes tired kitchens. They’re available in five shades ranging from basic neutrals to eye-catching brights. Choose between a 26-inch standard height or an elevated 30-inch height for taller tabletops.
Rattan Bar stools
The coastal, happiness-inducing feelings rattan bar stools can offer any kitchen island are almost too good to be true. Rattan offers a quick escape to the tropics (even if you’re in a chilly climate) and is a trend-proof option you’ll love showing off for years to come. These Teodora 30-inch swivel bar stools offer a more robust counter seating option thanks to their 300-pound weight limit and high-quality rattan-style wicker construction.
Rattan is also one of the 1980s decor trends that’s coming back stronger than ever, and one decorators can’t stop oozing enthusiasm over. “I have definitely seen an increase in interest for rattan pieces lately,” shares Franklin. “I attribute that to the current trend of incorporating a natural, organic style into your space. Rattan is fun to style in a space because it provides character and a fresh texture that you typically cannot achieve with something like metal or solid wood.”
IKEA Bar Stools
The IKEA Ingolf bar stool is one of the discount retailer’s bestselling models thanks to an included comfortable backrest and a medium height of 24.75-inches. You can also opt for a taller version that stands a bit over 29 inches tall. Both sizes come in four neutral, minimalist shades that IKEA shoppers love including black-brown, white, beige and gray. Shoppers love that it’s one of the store’s more sustainable, eco-friendly options and offers an additional way to save at IKEA through environmental impact.
Wayfair Bar Stools
Wayfair offers hundreds of bar stools for kitchen islands, but the Holubice set is one of the site’s bestsellers. Each set comes with four stackable bar stools in a versatile 30-inch height. The industrial-chic design is offered in a dazzling assortment of colors ranging from basic white to a bold, fiery red. At just $50 per stool, it’s a deal that can’t be beaten. They’re also a great find for those who prefer backless bar stools and minimal cleaning—the sturdy metal framework wipes down easily.
Leather Bar Stools
If you’re looking for genuine leather bar stools, these Downend backless beauties are sure to please. They come pre-assembled, can handle 250 pounds each and are made of genuine supple leather. The metal footrest is echoed on every side and offers a fun industrial feeling that adds modern flair to otherwise ho-hum kitchen islands. The 32-inch height puts it at a slightly taller-than-average size that is ideal for taller countertops and pub-style tables.
Black Bar Stools
Black is back and brighter than ever for kitchens. The always-on-trend neutral pairs add an updated touch to the all-white kitchens of a few years ago. They also coordinate well with existing black accent lighting, cabinet hardware and other current pieces. These Diana adjustable height swivel stools come in a set of two and offer a rich black hue accented with metal hardware. They can handle up to 330 pounds each, which makes them a great choice for family members of all ages and sizes.
Farmhouse Bar Stools
Rustic farmhouse feelings are easy to call your own with the addition of a couple Eleanor bar stools. These wood-based bar stools for kitchen islands feature padded seats and a nearly-31-inch height that tucks neatly away below most kitchen islands and countertops. Choose from a variety of wood finishes and textures to suit your farmhouse-style kitchen.
White Bar Stools
With over 16,000 customer reviews, these Amazon Basics white bar stools are definitely the affordable saddle-seated pieces you’ve been searching for. They’re under $35 each, easy to tuck away when not being used, are made of solid wood and offer a 24-inch height that is ideal for lower surfaces and children.
“For the money, these stools are super cool and super affordable,” writes verified Amazon purchaser RS. “But if you don’t have a drill you’re going to break a sweat putting them together. However, there was a very nice surprise I didn’t notice when I ordered them online. The front support beam has a metal rail lining the top, front and inside of that beam. That means that where you put your feet won’t scuff up the wood. Very nice touch!”
Backless Bar Stools
One of the many benefits of backless bar stools is how easily they tuck away when they’re not being used. Adding these Angel Line Cambridge bar stools to a smaller kitchen island can make a big style statement without taking up too much space or budget. The 24-inch height offers a lower take that’s great for breakfast bars and added table seating. The plush, cushioned seats are adorned with nail-head trim that seems light-years beyond the modest price point.
Extra Tall Bar Stools
Pub tables and taller countertops look great with a pair or two of Brashears extra tall swivel stools beside them. Their 250-pound weight capacity and padded seat cushions will make your guests feel right at home. The extra-tall size measures between 34 and 40 inches (depending on your choice), while the French cross back with a carved flower rosette on nutmeg-finish wood boasts a bit of antique-inspired European design.
Home Depot Bar Stools
Home Depot has an expansive collection of everything you might need to make your home look its best. From houseplants to bar stools, you can count on high-quality products at the lowest possible prices. These Walker Edison counter stools are no exception. They’re available in six muted-tone faux leather finishes that are easy to wipe down and keep clean, and are balanced by a modern metal frame. They’ll mesh well with everything from mid-century modern homes to eclectic styles, and are among the most affordable on this list at about $100 each.
Industrial Bar Stools
Wow your guests with these industrial bar stools from Crate & Barrel. They offer modern design and practical features like raw metals that are finished with acid wash baths and epoxy topcoat sealing. The 40-inch height is best for taller tables and kitchen islands. Choose to add a leather cushion, or use the stools without cushions to really drive the industrial vibes home.
West Elm Bar Stools
Your home will look and feel like a catalog-worthy statement when you display these Holland counter stools from West Elm. The kitchen bar stools come in a rich, solid black tone or a natural wood shade that blends beautifully with cognac-colored furniture and stone counters. The solid wood frame is kiln-dried for extra durability, and the 27-inch height makes it an excellent choice for average-height counters. Each stool can hold up to 275 pounds.
Pottery Barn Bar Stools
If you’re looking for modern kitchen bar stools that are truly versatile, these Perkins counter stools from Pottery Barn are just the ticket. The sleek iron frame offers timeless style with a sling seat and backrest that comes in three neutral shades. The style may be contemporary, but because the sling-style seat is a nod to vintage styles, they work well with most kitchen designs.
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