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Getting Barstool Heights Right

barstool dimensions

Stool seat heights typically fall into one of three groups.

  1. Lows stools with seat heights broadly similar to those of chairs, suitable for use with most tables.
  2. Counter/kitchen worktop height stools with seat heights suitable for using beside kitchen worktops.
  3. Bar/poseur height stools with seat heights to suit hospitality venue bars, higher than kitchen worktops.

The following are commonly recognised heights for barstools:

  • Low stool: 450-490mm  (for sitting at standard tables, around 750mm high)
  • Counter/kitchen worktop height: 600-650mm (for sitting at kitchen worktops around 900mm high)
  • Bar/poseur height: 750-800mm:  (for sitting at most bars, which tend to be around 1100mm)

Most designers are concerned with the overall seat height of a barstool, but the dimensions to and from the foot rail play a crucial role in the comfort of a barstool. We've found the following dimensions ideal for contract use. 


Footrest Height

Footrest to seat height: This is the most important dimension and should be roughly 450-480mm or people will not be able to sit comfortably.

Floor to footrest height: Floor to footrest height shouldn't be more than 320mm or you will have difficulty climbing on to the seat. Seat heights should be no more than 800mm for the same reason as people may struggle to sit on the chair.


Footrest Size

The footrest size depends on the shell size. Wider shell sizes will need a bigger footrest. If the footrest is not large enough to align with the base of the shell the footrest will need to be higher up the column so that people are able to bend their legs to reach it.  

When pairing a shell with a barstool base 

Don't forget to add the seat height of the shell to the height of the base for an overall seat height. Ie. If you need a barstool with a 750mm seat height, and you order a 750mm high base, the overall seat height will be higher when you include the shell, particularly if the shell is upholstered. 

Cutting Barstools Down

Sometimes designers request that barstools are cut down to accommodate a non-standard height. While cutting down a barstool is possible, it's often far from ideal, and in most cases it would be better to pick a different product of the right height. This is because when the size of the legs or base of a barstool is altered the entire dimensions of the barstool change too. 

When a pedestal base is down to a smaller size it is cut from the top of the column so we need to ensure that the footrest to seat height length remains within the comfortable range of 450-480mm. 

When a 4 legged barstool is cut down it's cut below the footrest and not above it. Therefore, the footrest to seat height ratio is still correct but the dimensions below are altered. The footrest may appear too close to the ground, causing the stool to look dwarfed and disproportionate and more like a chair than a stool when it should be elongated. Any tapering or design detail on the legs & feet will also be lost.


For more seat height diagrams view our blog: Seat Height and Table Measurement Guide or browse our range of barstools: using the filters to select counter height barstools specifically.

Topics: Stools, Specification tips

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 16/05/19 16:38
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