When buying furniture for an apartment, there are a few things that are typically on the top of the list. A bed is the obvious first, a good sofa will often come second, and dining tables and chairs sometimes come third. But the gig economy, freelancing, and telecommuting have shaken up the typical 9-to-5, so it can be hard to gather everyone for a dinner around the table. The dining table often ends up becoming a storage space for loose receipts and empty takeout containers. If you’re looking for a dining room seating solution when you might not even have a dining room or need a table, consider bar stools.
Outfitting your living space with bar stools is stylish, space-saving, and decidedly modern. If you have an open-concept kitchen with a counter between the kitchen and living room, setting up bar stools will turn unused space into a multifunctional counter that can be a breakfast nook, home bar, and dining counter. Bar stools are perfect for kitchen islands as well, and they can even double as office chairs if you have an elevated or standing desk.
Looking to raise your seating selection (pun intended)? These are the bar stools to get.
1. UrbanMod Bar Stools
These 24″ metal bar stools are the same style that you might find at a trendy, modern cafe or bar. They’ve been subtly updated with a more comfortable wood seat, rather than the metal seat with the slot in the middle that is more typical of chairs like this. The legs have a burnished gunmetal look that will fit in well with an industrial, minimal or rustic space. Like cafe chairs, these are conveniently stackable.
Pros: Four stools included. Stylish industrial/rustic design. Also available in other colors like orange, blue and silver (without the wood seat). Space-saving backless design. Stackable.
Cons: Wood tops could be better finished.
2. Signature Design by Ashley Bar Stool
If you’re looking for something with a rustic appeal, consider this set of chairs from Ashley Furniture. It features dark, matte black legs and a classic dark brown wood top. The stools have a circular design, making them space-saving and adaptable. The stools are “pub-height,” making them suited for taller tables and counters. There’s also a footrest around the perimeter of the legs.
Pros: Rustic look. The round backless design makes them adaptable and space-saving. Straight-forward assembly.
Cons: Seat is a mix of wood and engineered wood, rather than full wood.
3. Boraam Augusta Bar Height Swivel Stool
This classic bar stool has a swivel, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself spinning around just for fun. It has a cushioned faux-leather back and seat, so it’ll be as comfortable as any other chair in your house.
Pros: Classic look, easy to assemble, swivel design.
Cons: Colors may look slightly different on arrival than what is pictured.
4. Modern Square PU Leather Adjustable Bar Stools
For a minimalist, modern look, these swivel stools have a square shape and come in several stylish colors. The height is adjustable, and they come in a set of two. The padded faux-leather design makes them a comfortable option, and the padded back offers additional support while sitting up.
Pros: Stylish, modern design. Only option on this list that has an adjustable height.
Cons: Lightweight, which makes them prone to moving.
5. Winsome Satori Stool
For a classic, no-frills bar stool, this affordable backless chair will save space in your apartment or home. It’s available in 24″ or 29″ heights, and the curved saddle seat makes it more comfortable than a comparable round or square stool. We like the walnut-hued wood, which adds a touch of classic, tasteful decor.
Pros: Compact option made of natural hardwood, good for a kitchen island.
Cons: The included Allen wrench for assembly is difficult to use.
6. AmazonBasics Saddle-Seat Kitchen Counter Stool
AmazonBasics makes unfussy and affordable products, and these simple backless bar stools are a good option for small spaces. They’re available in 24″ or 29″ heights. Two stools are included. They’re available in black, white or walnut. The seat features a curved design and the leg rests make the stool comfortable to sit in.
Pros: Comfortable and space-saving chairs available in two heights.
Cons: Assembly can be challenging.
7. Linon Home Counter Stool, 24-Inch
If you’re looking for a more traditional chair, then this simple option from Linon Home Decor is a great pick. It features a padded back and seat with a gap between the two. Unlike most of the options on this list, this chair is sold individually, making it easier to decide how many chairs you want. The best feature of this chair is that it’s foldable, making storage a breeze.
Pros: Comfortable padding on the seat and backrest. Folding, space-saving design. Comes fully assembled.
Cons: Although it folds, it doesn’t fold as flush as the kind of folding chairs you might see at an event.
8. Angel Line Cambridge bar stools, 24″
This set of two backless bar stools from Angel Line are 24″ tall, making them a good option for normal counters or kitchen islands. These feature the saddle shape of many bar stools, but instead of a curved wood seat, there’s a padded cushion. The seats and legs are available in a variety of colors. The option below has a white finish with gray cushions.
Pros: Padded cushion for comfort, backless design saves space. Set of two included. Various fabric and wood colors are available.
Cons: Sometimes the pre-drilled holes are not properly aligned, which may add time to assembly.