How To Pick the Perfect Stools for Your Kitchen

February 1, 2023


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Picking out furniture can be a daunting task, and finding the perfect stools for your kitchen island is no exception. That’s why we’re sharing our favorite kitchen stools for every budget along with a 3-step guide to help you find the kitchen stools of your dreams. Warning: you might never eat at the dining room table again.

Assortment of kitchen counter stools
We’ve rounded up a collection of our favorite kitchen counter stools. Shop the collection here.


First up, bust out that measuring tape and measure your space, specifically the height and length of your kitchen island or countertop. As a general rule of thumb, kitchen counter stools have a standard height of 24-29 inches from floor to seat, allowing them to fit under countertops with a standard height of 34-39 inches.

Keep in mind that counter stools are always shorter than barstools which have a standard height of 29-32 inches from floor to seat and are placed under bar height countertops with a standard height of 42 inches. Ideally your stools will be able to slide under your countertop so they can easily be tucked away and don’t take up as much space.

Three measurement rules of thumb:

  1. Allow 9-12 inches of space between the stool seat and the kitchen counter. No one wants to feel squished sitting in the stool seat!
  2. There should be roughly 24 inches of counter space per stool. For example, if your island is eight feet long, you can fit four stools maximum.
  3. If the stools you select have arms, make sure the height from the floor to the top of the arm is less than the height from the floor to the bottom of the countertop. This ensures your stool can easily slide underneath the counter.

Always double-check the sizing of the stool you find to make sure it is a standard size and will fit under your countertop! And, in case you missed it, we’re sharing five more kitchen design mistakes to avoid here.

Modern Scandinavian kitchen
These leather and metal stools added texture to #kennyreno’s modern Scandinavian kitchen.


Here at Alma Homes, we always put our client’s lifestyle and dreams at the center of our design process. Consider what’s important to you and your family when deciding on stool style and function. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding on the kitchen stools for your home!

1. Do I want backless stools or stools with a back? Do I want them to have arms?

Backless stools are perfect for sliding the stools under the countertop and out of the way. However, backless stools may be less comfortable, so if you entertain often or eat at your countertop a lot, you may want to consider something more comfortable. On the flip side, stools with backs (and arms) tend to take up more space but can be more comfy!

2. Do I want my stools to swivel?

If you have children, we don’t recommend swivel stools as they can be a hazard. Additionally, they are quite heavy. But swivel stools can be a convenient option in an open floor plan-type layout where folks can swivel away from the island and into the dining or living room. Another thing to consider!

3. What material do I want my stools to be made of?

1. Wood

Warm and classic, wood is a commonly used stool material. We love how easy it is to wipe down wooden stools and that wood can easily be combined with other materials like rattan, metal, woven rope, and more for additional texture.

White kitchen with wooden stools at kitchen island
We utilized wooden stools in the #bloomingtonbuild. The stool’s darker wood tones contrast nicely with the light walls and cupboards.

2. Metal

Sleek, modern, industrial, and sharp: these words describe the feeling metal stools can bring to a space. They’re also easy to clean and, depending on the style, they can make for a lightweight stool as well.

Farmhouse-style kitchen
#gamefarmreno‘s farmhouse-style kitchen was the perfect space for metal stools.

3. Rattan and Wicker

Rattan and wicker stools are warm, casual, and breezy. They look great in homes that neighbor water like lakeside cabins or oceanside condos and can work well in other spaces too. One thing to keep in mind with this style is that spills may be tough to clean due to all the nooks and crannies in rattan and wicker.

Wicker chairs in beige kitchen
#thelakeloft‘s rattan chairs bring a warm, casual feel to the space.


Is your kitchen traditional? Modern? Warm? Cool? Consider this when you’re gathering inspiration and shopping. Stools are often a main focal point in the kitchen and easily provide texture along with a contrasting element, a look we love.

With your measurements, lifestyle considerations, and kitchen style in mind, take to Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz, and other websites to gather inspiration before deciding on your final choice. You can find eight stool picks we love here with options in a variety of styles and price-points.

Given the kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the house, it’s worth taking the time to research the best stools before buying!

Wooden stools in white kitchen
These modern wood and metal stools were a fun addition to #thetonkahouse‘s remodeled kitchen.

That’s it! Follow these three steps for stool satisfaction (now that’s something we never thought we’d say ;)), and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter where we share the latest and greatest from our build and design team here in Minnesota.

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  1. I don’t think the title of your article matches the content lol. Just kidding, mainly because I had some doubts after reading the article.

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