Bar Stools For Your Den

Wooden stools under bar counter

Stools aren’t known to be the most comfortable member of the furniture family. The ones you find in pubs can give the impression that they are all cheap, hard, and cramped. However, when you only need two for your home bar, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

With a mid-range budget you can get a set of counter stools that adjust height, freely swivel, and, most importantly, have enough padding to rival some recliners.

Here we reveal our recommendations for the two main types: those with a backrest, and those without. Not all will fit under your counter or match the theme of your man cave, but once you see the right ones, you’ll know.

Backless Stools

In a time before chairs even existed, basic wooden stumps were supporting bottoms all across the world - the original seating furniture.

On the one hand backless stools are not made for extended periods of sitting (take away the back support and you begin to work muscles you never knew existed), but on the other they are lighter, more economical, and generally cheaper than those with fancy backrests.

Industrial Pinewood Stool

Pipe frame stool with round wood seat
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Dimensions (LWH) 16.5" x 16.5" x 29"
Weight 14.3 lbs
Material Metal / pinewood

The word "industrial" has been thrown around over the years. If something has a rough texture and muted colors certain sellers think that’s enough to slap on the industrial sticker and mark it up by 25%. Well, this mixed material stool has every right to claim that style, and it is easy to see why.

Taking inspiration from exposed piping and wooden support beams found in old factories, it has a circular pinewood seat propped up by an assortment of metal pipes, valves, bolts, and fittings. Each part coming together to create an awesome seat that doesn’t sacrifice functionality.

Instead of adjusting height hydraulically via a lever, here you turn a rustic valve wheel which screws the seat into the base.

Minimum seat height = 23 inches. Maximum seat height = 29 inches.

The powder coated frame adds a protective layer to reduce the chance of scratches and dents while increasing the weight capacity to 220 pounds.

It isn’t the most comfortable stool on the market, however, it isn’t trying to be that. It is a functional seat for your man cave bar that both provides a talking point and injects a healthy dose of character.

Other notes:

Nailhead Counter Stools

Two leather seat stools with wooden bases
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Dimensions (LWH) 12.3" x 18.5" x 26.2"
Weight 22.5 lbs
Material Hardwood / bonded leather

Aside from the cushioned seats, these are your classic wide-base counter stools that are even sturdier than they look.

The frames are made from an espresso-stained hardwood with l-beams connecting the legs for added structural support. Finished with a dark espresso coating, the end result is rich in both color and texture.

The seats are made from two to three-inch thick foam pads upholstered with brown faux leather even darker than the wood. You almost sink into them since they naturally curve towards the center.

Copper-like nailhead trimming separates the leather from the wood and provides contrast well with the overall dark tones. Also, they are slightly indented so won’t snag on your clothing.

A bonus is that they require no assembly on your end. Somewhat unusual for shipped furniture, but welcomed nonetheless. We would have liked to seen a better wrapping job (majority of it being a few layers of cardboard around the legs and seat) but it's enough to avoid dents and scratches on the way over.

The journey to yourself is one of the ways furniture damage can occur. Once arrived and unwrapped, place a Scotch Felt Pad under each leg to protect your floor.

Backless Metal Stackable Set

Four metal indoor/outdoor stools unstacked
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Dimensions (LWH) 16.5" x 16.5" x 30"
Weight 11.7 lbs
Material Metal

If quantity is what you are after, this set of four stackable stools is for you (and seemingly every bar and bistro in America, too.)

Despite being lightweight, the metal frame is supported by purpose-build poles connected the legs, as well as a cross brace directly under the seat. Add to that the curved legs and you get a solid piece of furniture that handles nearly 30 times its own weight (up to 330 lbs.)

The head-to-toe black polish coating makes it scratch-resistant and great for patio seating. Keep in mind that although the modern, glossy shine fades quicker outdoors, it will take a while for rust to appear.

Since these don’t adjust height, it is important you get the right size for your table/counter. Our rule of thumb is to minus 10 inches off the top of your counter; meaning the 30-inch set (pictured above) matches 40-inch tall counters; the smaller 24-inch set matching 34-inch tall counters. Ensure there is enough space for you legs.

Their stackable design makes them perfect for man caves with limited room; only needing a 17x17 inch area of storage space. Have a friend over? Peel off two in a moments notice. No, they won’t win the prize for being the most comfortable place to sit, but they demolish the competition when it comes to being economical, versatile, durable, and fitting the industrial-style to a T.

Novelty Bottle Cap Stool

Red bottle cap pub stool with chrome base
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Dimensions (LWH) 15" x 15" x 32"
Weight 14 lbs
Material Chrome / fiberglass

Straying from modern decor, this retro bar stool is a blast from the past; back when soda came in glass bottles and roller skates were a legitimate form of transport.

"Comfortable" isn’t a word we would use to describe it, but two of them nestled under a counter are great for short bursts of sitting, making them the ultimate addition to vintage-themed dens that are not just for show.

In terms of material, the bottle cap seat (slightly concave top surrounded by a grooved trim) is made of fiberglass with your choice of red, black, or white paint coating while the base and footrest is made of a chromed-metal. What stands out the most is the seat’s finish which, up close, reveals a glitter pattern synonymous with 50s pop culture.

Fiberglass is pound for pound stronger than most metals used to make furniture and less prone to rusting, however, we recommended having it exclusively indoors as the metal frame will wear quickly.

On top of a smooth 360-degree swivel, the height can be adjusted to 24 inches at the lowest position and 32 inches at the highest.

Assembly is about as easy as you can get for a stool but we recommend taking a few extra minutes to attach felt pads around the base’s perimeter. Hollow bases distribute less of the weight, increasing the chance of damaging the floor.

Backrest Stools

By combining the comfort of chairs and height of stools these give you the best of both worlds.

Despite being harder to hide under counters and having bigger price tags compared to the backless variety, they are far more ergonomic, letting you sit for extended periods of time.

Tanned Leatherette Swivel Stools

Two tanned swivel seats at a counter
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Dimensions (LWH) 21.3" x 17.8" x 42.5"
Weight 18.7 lbs
Material Chrome / bonded leather

Add style and grandeur to your home bar with this set of swivel stools that are as comfortable as they look.

Starting from the top, the faux leather backrest curves inward and slopes back, giving you the option of sitting up straight or lounging. Attached is the seat, padded with foam and folding up on the sides and back. A polished chrome trim around the edges provides structural support and a cool aesthetic that matches the natural tone of the upholstery.

Underneath, a handle and footrest are welded to the first chrome tube which in turn is connected to a second, thinner tube that sits on a wide-profile circular base 16.3 inches in diameter.

The handle controls the airlift functionality which takes the stools as low as 34 inches to as high as 42.5 inches from the top of the seat to the ground. Like the 360-degree unobstructed swivel, changing height is as smooth as butter and, since the footrest is welded to the upper tube (the one moving up and down), your feet remain the same distance from the seat. No dangling legs or high knees.

There is a range of color options, including tanned brown (pictured above), black, gray, red, light blue, silver, and white. Our personal favorites being the brown and black.

Despite the backrests not being 90 degrees, they are incredibly comfortable to lean back on. If you prefer to sit up straight, rest a cushion on the back to get full lumbar support.

Black Tufted Stools With Chrome Bases

Two stools with black seats and metal frames
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Dimensions (LWH) 15" x 16" x 43.5"
Weight 15 lbs
Material Chrome / bonded leather

With a minimalistic frame and seat and back made of dense foam, you get the comfort of a traditional chair without the extra bulk.

The faux leather upholstery is stitched throughout to create tufts in the shape of a waffle; not only making it look modern but also helping air escape when you sit on it.

The chrome frame is similar to others on this list with the exception of the base. Where most bases have a diameter equal to that of the seat, these stools have a 15.2-inch base with a 16-inch wide seat, making it less stable. However, that is only an issue if you have kids that like climbing furniture.

Available in 11 colors, including black (pictured above), blue, white, silver, gray, light khaki, crimson brown, purple, gold, red, and orange.

Other notes:

Vintage Wing Chairs

Two wingback style chairs with extended legs
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Dimensions (LWH) 21.5" x 25.3" x 45"
Weight 30.6 lbs
Material Wood / cotton/polyester mix

The classic wingback design is hard to hate. Centuries have gone into refining its iconic high backrests and sloping, wing-like armrests, making them the old and wise member of the furniture style family.

Ashley Furniture’s take is to have longer legs and an over-padded foam seat tucked between one to two inch thick armrests. Silver rivets line the outer edge of the arms; not only a functional move due to securing the fabric, it also adds much-needed contrast between the dark frame and upholstery.

Speaking of material, the high-quality polyester–a synthetic fiber holds strong to exposure from the sun–is easier to clean than other fabrics and less prone to ripping. Lint builds up quickly so make sure you have a lint roller on hand.

The wooden frame is comprised of four legs, four supporting l-beams, and a flat platform to hold the seat. Each piece is finished with a protective coating that gives them a distressed/worn texture.

Again, assembly is required and they will take a longer to put together compared to others on this list. One reason is that higher-quality furniture generally have more parts. The other reason being the basic hex wrench included in the kit. Speed things up by replacing the wrench for a drill (or even screwdriver.) Just make sure to not drill further than flush as you risk puncturing the polyester.

Modern Hydraulic Swivel Stools

Two brown leatherette counter stools
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Dimensions (LWH) 18" x 19" x 45"
Weight 22.5 lbs
Material Chrome / bonded leather

Out of the past and into the future we have this set of uniquely-shaped counter stools.

Split into a grid of triangular segments, both synthetic leather seats are densely packed with enough specialized foam to get the "sinking" feeling but not enough to where it's uncomfortable. Keep that in mind when determining the height needed to fit your table.

The chrome frame is solidly-built, following the typical design and footrest placement with the main difference being the rubber ring underneath the base which stops it from scratching the floor (potentially saving you hundreds in repairs.)

Other notes:

From the luxury seat that almost cradles your body to the sleek metal frame, this is everything you’d expect from a high-end set of stools at a more affordable price.