Cheap Bar Stools 2016: Reviews, Top Picks, Guides

There are many designs and styles of high quality cheap bar stools. They are versatile pieces of furniture for business or home use. They can be lined up along a bar at a pub or restaurant or they can be used at home to make a breakfast nook at the kitchen counter. However they are used, selecting quality stools are important to a business for keeping expenses down and in a home so they look good with the home’s decor and are functional as well.


Bar stools are generally made from wood or metal. Most businesses will use a metal based one because they are more durable and hold up to the variety of customers that will sit on them throughout the years. They tend to be made of wood to match the decor of the home or the other furniture within the house.

The seat coverings also vary, but businesses will either use a vinyl or wood surface for the seat because it makes it easier to clean and disinfect. In a home, you will see a variety of fabrics being used so the stools match well with the design of the kitchen or the area where they are being used.

PictureBar StoolProduct Dimensions (inches)MaterialsSeat Height (inches)Our Editor's Rating (out of 5)
Christopher Knight Home Brown Leather Backless Bar Stools30.50 x 14.75 x 18.25Bonded leather and hardwood30.55.0
Swivel Bar Stool Brown w/ Arm PU Leather Modern Adjustable Hydraulic BarstoolStainless steel, chromed steel32.54.7
Hillsdale Montello Swivel Counter Stool, Old Steel Finish with Faux Brown Leather18 x 20 x 48.5Old steel finish with faux brown leather cushion284.5
Jet Black Chrome 30 Inch Swivel Bar Stool16.8 x 16.8 x 30Commercial-grade 18 gauge steel frame304.4
Swivel Elegant PU Leather Modern Adjustable Hydraulic Bar Stools17 x 17 x 44Hydraulic304.2
Counter Height Bar Stools in Dark Cherry with Vinyl Seat18.5 x 20 x 41Wood and vinyl414.2
Coaster Bar Stools, Solid Wood Cappuccino with Wheat Back,20 x 17 x 47 inchesSolid hardwood, veneer, microfiber304.1
Coaster Lathrop 29 Inches Swivel Faux Leather Seat Bar Stool in Black Finish20.2 x 19.2 x 45.5Solid wood293.5
Winsome Ladder-Back Stool16.5 x 18.3 x 42.1Solid wood293.3
Counter Height 24' Parsons Chairs With Brown Finish Solid Wood Legs18 x 23 x 41Solid wood243.2


Dark Cherry with Vinyl Seat

There are several different classy and inexpensive stool designs that you can choose from for either a business or for home use. The styles of stools include:


These are the most common styles for use in bars, pubs, restaurants and at home. They don’t take up as much space, so more of them can be aligned along a bar or countertop.


Ones that come with arms can be more comfortable and secure for some people to sit in, but they are generally for home use and are seldom seen in bars or restaurants because they take up too much counter or table space.


These allow you to move the seat from side to side and sometimes allow you to move it 180 degrees in order to talk with someone behind you. You can choose from backless or swivel stools with a back.


The seat doesn’t move on these stools at all and you can choose from backless to ones with a back in this style as well.

How to Determine the Stool Height Needed

There are several different standard styles and heights. In order to choose the correct size for your business or kitchen, you need to measure the table or countertop they will be used with. Measure from the floor to the top of the counter or table to determine the distance. You should have about a 10 to 12 inch difference between the top of the counter or table to the seat of the stool. So, if you have a 42″ tall table, the height of the stools should be 30″.

You will want to measure any overhang that the table or counter may have in case you need to adjust the height of the stool. If you have a 6″ overhang on your 42″ tall table, you will want to go with a 30″ piece rather one that measures 32″ in order for it to be more comfortable to sit at the table.

Coaster Lathrop 29 Inches Swivel Faux Leather Seat in Black Finish

What are High Quality and Cheap Bar Stools?

While price doesn’t always determine if a piece of furniture is well made or will fall apart after only a few uses, it can help you select one for your home or business. Cheap bar stools probably are not going to be of high quality, especially if you are buying it brand new.

They most likely will be made from lightweight materials as well. If you see a metal stool, try and pick it up, if it is lightweight, chances are it is made from metal tubing and not solid metal. While metal tubing, or hollow metal legs, can be strong and sturdy, thin metal tubing will break and bend easily and they will not last as long as solid metal legged variants.

High quality sets will have features that are easy to spot that show they are well made and will last for years. A high quality metal stool will have welds at all the joints to make the joints stronger and the chair sturdier. If the joints haven’t been welded, select another stool, especially if you are buying them for a business, as they will be prone to wearing out faster.

A good quality metal bar stool will have a baked on or powdered coated finish as well. These finishes better resist chipping and scratches, so they will look better longer and they will be easier to clean as well because you won’t have to worry about damaging the finish with cleaning products like you would with a painted finish.

While wooden sets will weaken over time and they can become potentially hazardous for patrons or your family to sit on, they may be the only style that works with your decor. Look for metal protectors on the foot rest to protect it from the wear and tear of feet that rest on the foot rest, instead of wood finishes that will should scratches from where people have put their feet.

Select a wooden one with a finish chip resistant and that have been sealed to protect the wood, as well as its finish. This is important for commercial stools especially because they can get wet easily from tipped over beverages or wet mops pushing against the legs of the bar stool every night.

Legs and stretchers, which is the horizontal support bars on stools, on wooden stools can weaken over time, so you may want to consider buying a metal type if you are looking for stools for your restaurant or your nightclub. However, for home use, a wooden one is usually more common than metal, unless you have ultra-modern decor.

The fabrics on cheap bar stools will probably be made from vinyl or plastic instead of fabric or leather. A thin vinyl or a plastic coated fabric would not work well for a business, despite the fact they are easy to wipe off. With several uses, they could easily split and make your bar area look rundown. A thick vinyl would be the best fabric choice for a business as it would be easy to clean and look better for longer.

At home, you can choose any fabric you wish and if you choose a fabric that isn’t slick, like vinyl or leather, you can coat it with a stain resistant chemical to keep spills or food splatters from staining the seats.

Why Do We Need Them?

White - Omicron Kitchen Padded

The main reason to purchase high quality ones is longevity. While you can save money by buying inexpensive designs, if you are running a restaurant, a nightclub or a pub, you will be more concerned with having your furnishings last and be safe so you don’t have to worry about customers getting injured if a stool support should give way. If that happened, you could be sued and lose your business altogether.

A higher quality bar stool will remain better looking in the long run as well and that is also important for a business. Having scratched, dented or damaged products will make your establishment look cheap and run-down, even if you haven’t been open that long. By spending money on a better product, it will stay looking new for a long time.

You may be able to get by with cheap bar stools to use in your kitchen or home bar, particularly if you don’t use them very often. However, if you use them frequently, you should pay the money to buy a high quality stool so they last longer and they don’t weaken over the years. You don’t want anyone sitting on it and falling because the seat was loose or the metal leg bent under their weight.

If you are using a stool for looks, rather than function, you can get by with getting inexpensive bar stools as no one will be using them very often and they shouldn’t wear out. They would be better used in a home than in a business as they would get a lot more wear and tear in a business. Only use them if they are for decoration, not for everyday use.

There are many decisions to make when selecting for either your home or your business and with careful consideration for your needs, you can select the best stool for your needs, whether it is of high quality or a cheap bar stool.

Back to Top ↑