Your Guide to Choosing the Right Height Kitchen Stool

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Your Guide to Choosing the Right Height Kitchen Stool for Your Needs

Kitchen stools are both a popular style accessory and a wonderfully functional part of any kitchen. They provide casual seating, which helps set up the air of comfort and friendliness that makes your kitchen one of the most welcoming and cozy rooms in the house. Children love stools because they are easy to mount and descend off; they can use the crossbar as a step. Adults love them because they are homely and practical, as well as stylish and often inexpensive. The only catch with stools is that it’s very important to make sure they are of the perfect height. Buying stools that are wrong in height is a sure way of guaranteeing they will neither be comfortable nor look good. Kitchen stools not only have to match the overall style and function of the room as a whole, they also have to be a good fit for the people using them.

History and Anatomy of the Stool

The stool is probably the oldest form of purpose-made seating known to humanity. Stools have existed for so long, their origins are lost in historical records. All that is known is that almost every ancient culture has used stools at one time or another, and they are still in use to this day. The basics of the stool are very simple, much like the table, the stool is a flat surface that is held up off the ground by three, or more often four, legs. Taller stools generally have cross-members near the bottom for stability, while shorter ones lack them. Most kitchen stools, like most bar stools, are of the taller variety. One thing that separates stools from chairs is the general absence of a back. Most stools have no back and thus no support. Therefore, anyone sitting on one, has to balance themselves rather than being able to lean against the back or arms.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Height Stool

When it comes to choosing a stool to suit any given kitchen, height is the single most important factor. It is what determines whether the stool will actually serve the intended purpose, and whether there is any point in purchasing it.

Basic Rules of Stool Height

The key to determining the right height of a stool, at least for most adults, is the height of the counters, or perhaps the table, if you prefer. In order for the average adult to sit comfortably, there should be a gap of between 25 and 30 centimetres between the top of the stool and the underside of the counter or table the person will be seated at. This gap provides enough room for the average adult's knees to fit comfortably under the dining surface. If the stool is too low, the person may find that they have to hold their arms uncomfortably high when sitting to eat. If the stool is too high, they may not be able to get their knees under the surface, which leads to its own obvious complications. Note that this is not an exact measurement, but a close approximation, and leaves room for variation in each range of heights.

Consider the Kitchen and its Counters

While it is always possible to find someone willing to install a custom kitchen, there are essentially three standard heights, ranging from that of a standard kitchen table, through a regular height bar counter, to a tall bar counter. Each counter height supports its own range of stool heights.

Standard Table

The standard table has between 89 and 91 centimetres of clearance underneath it. This provides enough room for a person in a standard size dining chair to sit at the table for a meal without raising their arms too high for comfortable dining. They also work well for children These tables are best suited for a standard kitchen counter stool, which usually ranges anywhere from 61 to 67 centimetres in height.

Bar Height Counter

The bar height counter is usually just over a metre tall, ranging from about 101 centimetres to 106 centimetres from the floor to the underside of the surface. These counters require taller stools, ranging from around 71 to 76 centimetres from the floor to the seat, in order to provide a comfortable sitting position. You should note, though, that small children may find stools of this height both difficult to reach, and in some cased difficult to balance on.

Tall Bar Counter

The tall bar counter is the highest of the standard options. While it is commonly used in outdoor bar settings, it is also fairly common in places that serve an above-average height clientele. These counters usually offer between 114 and 122 centimetres of floor clearance, allowing a tall person to stand at the bar, or an average-size person to sit on a stool between 81 and 86 centimetres in height. Although not recommended for children, they are, however, an excellent choice for people who need the extra clearance, or want the height for a better view.

The following table codifies the basic height ranges for kitchen stools:



Stool Height

Standard Counter



Bar Height Counter



Tall Bar Counter



This table can be used by anyone who may not be entirely clear on which types of kitchen stools they will need for an upcoming purchase or kitchen renovation.

Consider the People Using the Stools

Stools, like anything else people use on a regular basis, function best when appropriately sized in relation to the person or people using them. The average adult will probably do well with a combination of bar height stools at the kitchen counter, and regular dining chairs at the table. A family with small children may be better served by lower stools and counters. And those with a household made up of very tall people may be happier with a tall stool and counter for reasons of comfort.

Consider the Situation

If you are in the middle of a major kitchen renovation, you may have the luxury of deciding which height you want your counters to be, and thus be able to choose freely from the wide variety of stools and counters available. However, if you are limited to buying stools to fit an existing kitchen, you may be forced to go with a particular size range, regardless of your wishes. If so, you may find that children are more comfortable with stools near the top of a given size range, as their legs are shorter, while a large adult may be more comfortable with a stool that is slightly smaller than the average. Even when everything else seems fixed, there are still options available.

Where to Buy a Kitchen Stool

If you prefer to shop locally, kitchen stools of most heights can be found on the local High Street. You can find them anywhere from a big box retailer to a charity shop. If you want a greater variety, particularly if you are looking for a custom size, you may be better off looking on the web. Kitchen stools are available at most Internet retailers as well as online auction sites such as eBay.

Buying the Right Height Kitchen Stool on eBay

Buying a kitchen stool on eBay is quick and easy. All you need to do is type your terms into the search box on the main page, or any other eBay page, and watch the results appear. Once you have your results in front of you, you can use the filters in the sidebar to narrow them down to just the stools you want. You can filter by height, style, even material or seller location. You can also sort the results by anything from price to distance, which makes it easy to ensure you have your attention on the kitchen stools that best meet your needs.

Once you have found the right stools, the next step is to connect with one of eBay's sellers. The best place to start is at their profile page, where you can see anything from their feedback and location, to any special shipping policies they may have. You can also find out if they offer services such as bundles or even in-person pickup to save on shipping.


The moment you have determined the right height kitchen stool for your needs, buying the perfect item is a simple matter. No one height is going to suit every person or every situation. Some people need taller stools, while others need shorter stools; the key is to decide which category you fall into before making a purchase. There are three standard height ranges to choose from, providing a range of some 25 centimetres in the heights of kitchen stools. A stool that fits under a kitchen table may be only 61 centimetres tall, while a high bar against the window may require stools that are 86 centimetres tall. But it’s not only a matter of counter height, which is measured from the underside as opposed to the dining surface, but also that of the person. Children should not be expected to use very high stools, just as taller people would not be comfortable on the shortest kitchen stools. The key lies in considering both the height of the people and also the height of the counters.

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