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Restaurant Bar Stools Guide

Restaurant Bar Stools

More than just functional, bar stools are ever growing in popularity and are becoming an integral part of most restaurants and dining venues. With countless designs available there is a bar stool out there for any style and we compiled this guide to help you find the one that is the best fit for your needs.

Restaurant Bar Stools: Wood vs. Metal

When shopping for restaurant bar stools, most people seem to have a stronger preference for wood bar stools. They are a classic piece of furniture. People love these type of bar stools for several reasons – one of them being that there is so much that can be done to and with wood. Commercial grade wood bar stools are strong, durable and beautiful. Perfect for upscale locations, they add warmth to your interior and comfort for your diners with the right color and finish.

Wood bar stools for restaurants are durable and very long lasting. This is one of their best qualities as they don’t need to be repaired and replaced often. They also come in a variety of stains and varying heights to match different bars, tables and counters. Common wood materials used to construct bar stools are walnut, oak, cherry and birch. Natural colors of the wood are often showcased but there are also stain options to match your décor. The wood is treated prior to the construction of the bar stool. This process reinforces the strength and durability of the wood as well as its natural look.

Size and weight go hand in-hand when it comes to wood bar stools (or any restaurant wood furniture for that matter). In other words, the larger the bar stool is, the heavier it will be. On the subject of high-quality wood, especially locally sourced, wood bar stools tend to be more expensive.

On the other hand, most consumer driven bars and nightclubs are furnished with metal bar stools as they hold up better to drinks being spilled on them. Metal bar stools have a more modern design, perfect for contemporary and urban style venues. The use of metal for bar stools came from the demand for stronger and sturdier chairs. Resistance to discoloration and undue wear are what make commercial metal bar stools very popular. They also have many other advantages.

Style and Design

There are many options to consider when purchasing a bar stool for your bar, restaurant or club. One important choice you will have to make is whether to buy wood or metal bars stools. Both sides have their advantages. Wood is considered to be higher end and is more classic in design while metal is more versatile both in design and locations used. Wood has a natural warmth and glow that will brighten the interior design of any venue. Wood furniture in general is typically more desirable than metal and can upgrade your venue to have a more upscale look. This is a good option if your interior design is tilted towards a rustic or traditional look. In contrast, metal bar stools are ideal for venues that have an industrial or modern interior design.

Colors and Finishes

A key factor in choosing your bar stool is the finish. Our wood bar stools typically come in several standard finishes such as mahogany, cherry or walnut and premium colors for an additional cost the metal ones mostly come in black or clear coat finish. Another advantage to metal frames is the finish is more resistant to scratching and scuffing than wood. Many of our wood and metal bar stools come with arms and are available in matching side chairs.

Strength, DUrability and Weight

One advantage to metal bar stools is their strength and durability. This makes them a popular choice for venues with high traffic. Our metal bar stools have a strong load capacity so you don’t have to worry about them breaking. They are also typically more lightweight than their wood counterparts, which can be a bit heavier. Wood has a lower weight capacity compared to metal and comes with a shorter guarantee but when made for commercial use they are still very strong and durable ensuring their quality.

5 Popular Bar Stools for Restaurants

Commercial bar stools come in a seemingly endless number of designes and styles and yet a selct few, like the ones below, are amongst the more popular and can be seen across the US.

Fast food restaurant bar stools

The metal ladder back design is one of the most popular and well known in the restaurant industry and is ideal for fast food, ice cream parlors and small restaurants / bars thanks to its strength, durability and cost. Its versatility compliments most décor themes. Available bolt-down or with arm rests, these bar stools offer a classic and casual style with high durability performance at any location. Customization options are available for you to design this ladder back metal bar stools according to your preference.

High-end restaurant bar stools

If you are aiming for a more upscale look for dining or bar area, these padded back wood bar stools are great, comfortable and luxurious companions for your interior design. They are one of the top bar seating choices for fine dining establishments and hotels where comfort and quality match with the food and service. Padded backrest and seat allow for hours of sitting and relaxing. A myriad of materials, colors and wood stains are provided for your choice to create your own look.

Commercial bar stools for clubs

These bar stools are great for a variety of locations but will fit in perfectly in night clubs. The sleek metal frame in black finish fades into the darker interior while reflecting light and enhancing the atmosphere. The curved back and padded seat are designed for comfort and allow your customers to enjoy their stay. A striking upgrade for industrial, mid-century and contemporary bar décor themes, these bar stools are a higher take on the retro-modern design and bring ample seating as well as stylish intrigue to any counter or bar table.

Industrial style restaurant bar stools

Industrial décor is an ever-growing and evolving trend. Easy to create and maintain, the industrial design can fit in with a variety of cuisine types and these industrial style bar stools are amongst our most popular and versatile on offer. The wood metal combination with two-toned finish create an eclectic look that perfectly sits with vintage, modern, rustic and urban industrial design themes.

Black Heavy Duty Plastic Teak Patio Bar Stool

Restaurant patio bar stools, especially those made of aluminium, are a great choice for outdoor locations. The weather resistance capabilities of aluminium make these all-weather bar stools look great anywhere. They are low maintenance, eco-friendly and lightweight. The combination of synthetic teak with an aluminum frame gives these bar stools a beachy and summery look. Resembling that of real teak wood, the plastic teak slats are made of high-grade materials that stand against harsh outdoor elements and don’t rot. Durable and comfortable, they also compliment the bar stools’ design.

Styles and Types of Bar Stools for Restaurants

Midcentury Style

If you operate a retro-themed diner or ice cream parlor, these bar stools are a great option. They are also a perfect way to inject a little fun and vintage charm into your existing décor. The retro style bar stools we sell come with a swivel mechanism.

Many of them are height adjustable making them ideal for barber shops, hair salons, etc. They will catch your eye and delight with their timeless design.
backless restaurant bar stools

Backless Bar Stools

Backless bar stools are another popular choice as they allow people to slide in and out of their seats and remain out of the way.

This potentially minimalizes accidents and disruption of service when there is a lot of traffic at restaurants/bars. These stools can be can be used in places where visual connectivity is needed. They have a versatile design that is perfect for any décor.
industrial restaurant bar stools

Industrial Style

Industrial bar stools have a sturdy rustic look as well as a contemporary feel to them. Inspired by iconic designers, these bar stools often feature metal-wood materials and two-toned finishes.

Distressed wood, black/grey metal championed with rich warm finishes bring a utilitarian flair and add a casual warehouse charm to these bar stools.
bar stools with arm rests

Arm Bar Stools

Bar stools with armrests provide your décor with a more formal look. Some of these restaurant bar stools are offered in padded or cushioned armrests for a more comfortable seating experience.

Wood / metal arms deliver more function and structure. Measure the height of your table or counter top to make sure the armrests will fit properly underneath.
swivel bar stools


These bar stools offer the comfort and maneuverability with their 360 degree swivel function while the rest of the frame remains stationary.

Swivel bar stools allow you to easily turn around allowing guests the ability to move in and out of their seats without having to move the entire stool. This makes them ideal for sports bars and other venues offering live entertainment.
bolt down restaurant bar stools

Bolt - Down Bar Stools

These bolt down swivel bar stools are the only place to sit in any contemporary designed eatery. Thoughtfully engineered and meticulously designed, these bar stools are made of supreme craftsmanship to withstand the rigorous demands of the food industry.

Bolt down bar stools are common in bowling alleys where fixed furniture is often used. They certainly add character and blend design with functionality.
urban restaurant bar stools

Urban Style

If you don’t want anything over the top and if easy styling is a must for you, these sleek contemporary bar stools may be just what you need. These bar stools are featured in glossy minimalist frames that are normally molded from fully welded metal.

They mix well with both modern and traditional décor themes. Their various back designs match with any style and bring an update look to any venue.
traditional restaurant bar stools


If you want something with visual interest, quality craftsmanship and elegant details, these bar stools are a fantastic decoration piece. These traditional bar stools characteristically feature a dark finish wood frame and a vinyl upholstered seating to produce a formal and stately look in a space, especially in a fine-dining setting.

Available in an extensive variety of styles, and finishes, these bar stools can be used to create a welcoming and authentic look of a typical British/Irish pub look.
upscale restaurant bar stools

Upscale / High-End

If you want something with visual interest, quality craftsmanship and elegant details, these bar stools are a fantastic decoration piece. These traditional bar stools characteristically feature a dark finish wood frame and a vinyl upholstered seating to produce a formal and stately look in a space, especially in a fine-dining setting.

Available in an extensive variety of styles, and finishes, these bar stools can be used to create a welcoming and authentic look of a typical British/Irish pub look.

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