Which outdoor bar stools are best?
One of the easiest ways to add seating to your patio or deck is with outdoor bar stools. Theyâ€™re portable and donâ€™t usually take up much room â€” convenient for those with limited space. Many also have padded cushions, armrests and back support. Theyâ€™re comfortable enough to entertain guests or enjoy an afternoon outside. The best bar stools are the Kingdely Swivel Outdoor Barstools because of their ergonomic design and functionality.
What to know before you buy outdoor bar stools
Some bar stools are stationary, while others swivel. Many modern ones offer ergonomic back support, though some take after the classic design. A few have armrests.
Outdoor bar stools have either straight or angled legs. The shape and length of the legs are important since it affects the furnitureâ€™s stability. Short straight ones, for example, are more prone to wobbling than triangular-shaped ones.
Finally, bar stools come in many design aesthetics, including modern, minimalistic, rustic and beachy. Finding ones that complement your other outdoor furniture is vital to avoid letting anything clash. For example, if you have an outdoor fireplace and sofa with a wooden frame, choose wooden or nature-inspired bar stools to go with the setup.
Support and comfort
The most supportive bar stools are those that have:
- Padded armrests
- High back with an ergonomic design
- A cushioned seat or crisscrossing materials that have some give when you sit
If you want something more compact and donâ€™t need the extra support, go with bar stools with a low or no back and no armrests. These are usually lightweight and more portable.
Outdoor bar stools usually come in sets of two or four, though you can buy them individually. By getting a set, you can ensure each piece matches and is of consistent quality.
What to look for in quality outdoor bar stools
The materials in outdoor bar stools are typically more durable and resistant to the elements than those meant for indoor use. For the frame, common options include:
- Wood: This is resistant to moisture and wind damage, as well as rust-resistant.
- Wicker: Environmentally-friendly and lightweight, wicker has a more natural look and goes well with most design schemes. If not properly woven, it could start to unravel over time.
- Stainless steel: Unlikely to rust or corrode, this material is highly durable. It does show spots and dirt, though, and requires frequent cleaning.
- Aluminum: Although itâ€™s easy to clean and move around, aluminum bar stools are lightweight enough to topple over in strong winds.
- Wrought iron: Often stylish, this material is resistant to environmental damage. Itâ€™s also long-lasting, though it can be heavy.
- Plastic: Light and portable, plastic is also low-maintenance. Furniture made from this can be knocked over, though.
- Synthetic resin: Strong and long-lasting, the resin is resistant to water damage and pests. Itâ€™s also usually lightweight, meaning it can be easily knocked over in the wind. If left in direct sunlight for long hours, it could start to crack.
The cushions can consist of synthetic or natural fibers or a blend of both. This includes polyester, nylon, high-density foam or leather. Most of these are not waterproof and require routine maintenance to keep them in good shape.
When choosing bar stools, consider the environment. For example, if it frequently rains or is windy in your area, go with heavier furniture thatâ€™s resistant to mold, corrosion and mildew.
The shape of the seat affects the overall aesthetic of the bar stool. Most have either an oval, square or rectangular seat.
Height and size
Many outdoor bar stools are considered â€œcounter height,â€ which is around 22 to 28 inches high. However, you can find ones that are a few inches shorter or taller than that. Think about the following factors when choosing the furniture:
- The average height of the people using them. For taller people, go with a higher stool, and vice versa.
- The size of any outdoor bar, table or other furniture. You or your guests should be able to comfortably eat, drink or chat while seated.
- How much space you have. In smaller setups, go with similarly-sized stools. If the stools are too big, for example, they can look out of place or cause people to bump into each other when trying to maneuver around.
Color and theme
When it comes to color, your options are limited only by the materials used. Many bar stools have a single color for the frame and a complementary one for the cushion. Others have contrasting design features, such as striped, bright cushions and solid frames.
As for the theme, here are some ideas:
- Beachy with blues, whites and other bright colors, such as yellows and greens
- Nature-inspired with dark or light browns, greens and even oranges
- Rustic with browns and grays
- Minimalistic or modern with a contrasting black frame and a white cushion or back
How much you can expect to spend on outdoor bar stools
They usually cost $80-$300, depending on the materials and how many are in the set.
Outdoor bar stools FAQ
How many bar stools should I get for my patio?
A. To figure this out, start by measuring your patio. Take into account any other furniture, such as tables, chairs or couches you want to have outside. Leave at least 30 inches between each bar stool so thereâ€™s room to maneuver around them without bumping into anything or anyone. If you use swivel stools, increase the distance between them.
How do I take care of my outdoor bar stools?
A. This depends on the materials, but itâ€™s a good idea to wipe down any surfaces once a week or after heavy rains. If it snows or hails, consider putting the bar stools inside or in a covered space until the weather improves. For the cushions, consider getting a cleaning solution to prevent mold or remove stains.
What are the best outdoor bar stools to buy?
Top outdoor bar stool
Kingdely Swivel Outdoor Barstools
What you need to know: This pair of bar stools are designed to withstand most weather conditions, making them perfect for year-round use.
What youâ€™ll love: With armrests and an ergonomic back, these swivel bar stools are comfortable and stylish. They consist of durable iron and have a protective coating that is resistant to rust and water damage. Theyâ€™re also quick-drying. They can hold up to 300 pounds.
What you should consider: The assembly can be difficult.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Top outdoor bar stool for the money
Christopher Knight Home Caribbean Outdoor Barstools
What you need to know: These backless bar stools are great for small outdoor spaces.
What youâ€™ll love: These stools are constructed from acacia wood and have a gray finish. Theyâ€™re durable and simple. Plus, theyâ€™re lightweight and easy to reposition.
What you should consider: Since they donâ€™t have a back or armrest, theyâ€™re not the most comfortable.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This set of four woven bar stools adds a splash of bright color to any outdoor space and is comfortable for all-day use.
What youâ€™ll love: They have a sturdy metal frame wrapped in woven polyethylene rattan, making them resistant to rust and corrosion. The cushion is 2 inches thick and supportive.
What you should consider: They can be difficult to assemble.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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