What is a Swivel Bar Stool?

B. Miller

A swivel bar stool is a tall stool designed for high counters and bars in restaurants or at home. The stool rotates, or swivels, to allow one to face in different directions while sitting on the stool. Swivel bar stools are popular in homes because they are very versatile and take up less room than a table and chairs.

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

Bar stools come in different sizes, but are usually between 29 and 31 inches (73 to 78 cm) from the floor to the seat. A swivel bar stool may come in many different styles -- some are backless, and can slide under a bar or counter when not in use, while others have backs that will take up more space. Some swivel bar stools also have arms, which will also make it more difficult to fit the stool underneath anything but an exceptionally tall counter.

An option for lower counters is to get a counter height stool. These are usually between 24 and 27 inches (60 to 68 cm) from the floor to the seat, and are designed to slide more easily underneath counters. As a general rule, whether you are buying a swivel bar stool or a counter height stool, there should be about 12 inches (30 cm) between the seat and the counter so the stools are comfortable to sit in. Shorter and taller stools than these are available, and some can be custom made to best fit your home.

One benefit of a swivel bar stool is that they are easier to get in and out of than a tall chair that needs to be pushed back. Swivel bar stools can be customized with seat cushions designed to match your decor. Most bar stools are designed of metal, wood or a combination of both, and give a fairly contemporary look to a room. The seats may be made of wood, plastic, cloth, leather, or suede, to name a few possibilities.

A kitchen can be turned into an eat-in kitchen with the addition of swivel bar stools that can be stored underneath a counter when not in use. In a small apartment, this will save space and money because a dining table will not be needed. Swivel bar stools range in price depending on the materials and labor needed to create them, but you are almost certain to be able to find a swivel bar stool that fits your budget.

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