What Are the Different Types of Counter-Height Stools?

G. Wiesen

There are quite a few different types of counter-height stools, though they can be broken down into two categories: backless stools and backed stools. Backless stools do not have a backing on the stool and simply have a seat and legs. On the other hand, backed stools do have a backing on them, which may be preferable in some instances, and they can even be designed with armrests. In these two categories of counter-height stools there is a variety of styles and designs, including swivel stools and saddle stools.

Swivel bar stools are commonly seen in restaurants with high counters.
Swivel bar stools are commonly seen in restaurants with high counters.

Counter-height stools are pieces of furniture designed for sitting, which are made at a height that allows people to sit on them while at a counter and easily interact with each other and someone behind the counter. These stools are often used in kitchens or dining rooms that feature a counter between the kitchen and another room. Counter-height stools can be used to allow a person to remain in the kitchen, while preparing food for example, and still interact with guests sitting on the opposite side of the counter.

A backless wooden bar stool.
A backless wooden bar stool.

One of the most common types of counter-height stools are backless stools. These stools are designed with a seat that has no backing, usually with four legs to provide greater stability. Saddle stools, for example, are typically designed as backless stools and have a dip curving downward in the middle of the stool. There are also swiveling backless stools that allow the person sitting on them to turn more easily during conversation or when standing up.

Counter-height stools can also be designed with a backing, which may allow for more comfortable seating. These stools are often designed as swivel stools, since the backing on the stool can otherwise make them hard to get in and out of without turning. Backed counter-height stools can also be designed with armrests, which are not usually found on backless stools, though such armrests can make these stools even more difficult to get into or out of.

There are also counter-height stools designed with a lifting mechanism, making the stools adjustable. These stools are typically made with a single base leg, rather than the four legs found on other stools, which includes a hydraulic lift that allows the stool to be raised or lowered by someone. While such stools do not necessarily have the classic design and appearance found with other stools, they can be more convenient for houses in which children will be using such stools.

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