12 Stylish and Functional Bar Stools for Kitchen Islands
Need bar stools for your kitchen island? These stylish picks will instantly upgrade your space. We found furniture at every price point!
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Shopping for the right bar stools for kitchen island use is 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, a fixed stone countertop or dining table.
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. 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.
Black Bar Stools
When it comes to the best stools for kitchen island set ups, black is back and brighter than ever. The always-on-trend neutral adds an updated touch to all-white kitchens. The color also coordinates well with existing black accent lighting, cabinet hardware and bold hues. These adjustable swivel stools come in a set of two and offer a rich black upholstery accented with metal hardware. They hold up to 330 pounds each.
Metal Bar Stools
Wayfair offers hundreds of bar stools for kitchen island set ups, but this simple metal set is one of their bestsellers. Each set comes with four stackable bar stools in a versatile 30-inch height. The industrial-chic design shows up in a dazzling assortment of colors, ranging from basic white to a bold, fiery red. At around $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.
Rattan Bar Stools
These coastal rattan bar stools 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 24-inch rattan counter stools offer a 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. “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.”
Wooden Bar Stools
Give your kitchen a little bit of country flair with these wooden 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.”
Each solid wood bar stool comfortably holds up to 250 pounds. Plus, 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. (You’ll love these coffee bar ideas!)
Extra Tall Bar Stools
Pub tables and taller countertops look great with a pair or two of 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.
Swivel Bar Stools
These vintage industrial bar stools for kitchen island set ups are just the right blend of practical and trendy. 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 or breakfast nooks. Reviewers suggest 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. Check out the best Amazon bar carts, too.
Woven Bar Stools
Your home will look and feel like a catalog-worthy statement when you display these woven counter stools. 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. Speaking of stylish, add some character to your kitchen with the best kitchen mats.
Faux Leather Bar Stools
Choosing this set of two 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.
Farmhouse Bar Stools
Rustic farmhouse feelings are easy to call your own with the addition of a couple rustic 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 24,000 customer reviews, these white bar stools are definitely the affordable saddle-seated pieces you’ve been searching for. Each stool retails for less than $50 and is easy to store. Plus, the seating is made of solid wood and offers a 24-inch height that is ideal for lower surfaces and children.
Backless Bar Stools
One of the many benefits of backless bar stools for kitchen island spaces is how easily they tuck away when not in use. Adding these backless 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. Nail-head trim adorns the cushioned seats, which seems light-years beyond the modest price point.
Mid-Century Bar Stools
If you’re looking for modern kitchen bar stools that are truly versatile, these counter stools 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. Talk about the best stools for kitchen island areas!
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