The best outdoor bar stools are attractive, resilient, and comfortable to provide practical outdoor seating. Outdoor bar tables and stools are a popular choice for many homes. Ideal for entertaining guests or having drinks on the patio, these sets can elevate outdoor living while also taking up less space than many traditional dining sets. These taller seats are casual but classy, and they are the perfect seating choice for an outdoor kitchen counter, island, or bar. Read on for the best outdoor bar stools for seating family and friends.
- BEST OVERALL: Best Choice Products Wicker Bar Stools w/ Cushion
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: FDW Stackable Metal Bar Stools
- UPGRADE PICK: AllModern Farrah 25.6″ Patio Bar Stool Set of 2
- BEST BACK SUPPORT: Sundale Outdoor Bar Stools, Set of 2
- BEST WITH ARMRESTS: Best Choice Products Set of 2 Outdoor Wood Bar Stools
- BEST SWIVEL: Phi Villa Patio Swivel Bar Stools
- BEST FOLDING: Giantex Folding Wicker Rattan Bar Chairs
Choosing an outdoor bar stool isn’t as easy as finding a set you like and going with it—there are several factors to consider to make sure the bar stool is suitable, comfortable, and long-wearing in an outdoor space. When shopping for a new outdoor bar stool, consider its size, height, material, swivel options, comfort, and style.
Size and Height
It’s important to measure the counter or table height before choosing the best bar stool for your needs; too tall or too short and the bar stool will be uncomfortable to use. Broadly speaking, bar stools can be categorized into a few different heights, all measured to the seat of the bar stool.
Short bar stools are similar in height to dining chairs, measuring between 16 and 23 inches tall. Counter height stools are slightly shorter than standard bar stools, measuring between 24 and 27 inches, and are designed for use around a kitchen counter. Bar stools are taller at 28 to 33 inches high and are suitable for most bar tables. Tall bar stools measure over 34 inches high and are the right pick for tall bar tables. In any case, account for 10 to 12 inches of space between the bar stool seat and the bottom of the bar.
Besides height, also take the overall size of the bar stool into account. Ensure that the bar stools aren’t too wide to all fit around the table, and check that backrests or armrests won’t get in the way. Bar stools should be placed around 26 to 30 inches apart, measured from the center of each bar stool, to give guests space to sit comfortably and get in and out of the seat.
Outdoor bar stools come in a wide variety of materials, but the best outdoor bar stools are made of durable and weather-resistant materials. Common ones include aluminum, steel, wood, teak, plastic, and resin.
Metal bar stools are a popular pick for their contemporary look. They’re also very durable, but be sure to choose corrosion-resistant options to prevent rust. Well-protected wood materials are also suitable for outdoor bar stools but may need occasional maintenance to keep their weatherproof properties. Both metal and wood create beautiful but sometimes heavy bar stools.
Plastic and resin bar stools are a durable and attractive pick, they are made in a range of colors and designs. These materials are naturally waterproof, lightweight, and can also make affordable and comfortable bar stools.
For those looking for outdoor stools with cushions, look for both fade- and weather-resistant cushion materials, like high-quality polyester, acrylics, or Sunbrella fabrics.
Swivel vs. Non-Swivel
Outdoor bar stools are often chosen for their space-saving design. However, since bar stools are often placed close together and can also be heavy, they can be difficult to get into and out of.
For easier maneuvering, consider choosing a bar stool that swivels. Swivel seats eliminate the need to drag the barstool away from the counter or to try to scoot back to get out (which can be dangerous for less agile users). The best outdoor swivel bar stools make it easier and safer for anyone to use this seating type.
Swivel seat outdoor bar stools do have a few drawbacks. They need a bit more clearance space around each side to allow guests to turn around. Since they have moving parts, they’re also more prone to mechanical issues than non-swivel seats.
For added comfort, barstools can include backrests, armrests, footrests, and cushions. The most basic bar stools have none of the above, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own merits. Basic backless and armless bar stools are ideal for those with limited space since their simple design allows the entire stool to fit under the table or counter. They’re also typically more affordable, lightweight, and easy to store since most are stackable.
A backrest and armrests can offer more support, making them more comfortable for sitting in for longer periods of time. However, these parts can get in the way of putting the bar stool under the table or stacking it for storage. Many bar stools also have a footrest, which gives users a comfortable place to perch their feet.
Cushions can add another layer of comfort to a bar stool. They offer a soft spot to sit, but most options will need to be taken in during bad weather.
Outdoor bar stools come in a huge range of styles to suit almost any home aesthetic. Just like when you choose any other furniture piece, you’ll want to consider the current style of your outdoor space and take into account the bar stool design, color, and materials.
Outdoor bar stools are available in several popular design styles, from sleek full-metal options to quaint woven rattan stools. Since outdoor bar stools are made to last several years, sometimes even a lifetime with options like solid teak stools, it may be safer to choose a classic style rather than a trendy pick. Ultimately, choosing an outdoor bar stool style comes down to personal taste, although you’re likely to want to choose an option that matches the bar table or kitchen-counter aesthetic.
Our Top Picks
Create a functional and beautiful outdoor space and seat guests in style with the best outdoor bar stools ahead.
It’s hard to go wrong with the classic style and comfortable design of this outdoor bar stool set from Best Choice. With a sturdy iron frame covered in plastic wicker, this set of two outdoor bar stools captures the classic charm of wicker furniture while taking advantage of modern durable materials. The iron frame and plastic wicker are made to withstand outdoor conditions through the seasons.
On top of their timeless look, these bar stools also boast several comfort features. Each stool has a backrest, armrests, and comes with an extra-plush seat cushion. The wide, slightly curved backrest supports the back, while high armrests give arms and hands a spot to relax, perfect for perching an elbow for eating or reading a book outdoors. These bar-height stools each measure 30 inches to the seat.
- Material: Iron and plastic wicker
- Seat height: 30 inches
- Dimensions: 20 by 18.75 by 46 inches
- Classic wicker look
- Comfortable and supportive
- Includes seat cushions
- Exposed screws take away from the appearance
Get the Best Choice Products outdoor bar stools at Amazon, Target, or Best Choice Products.
Working with a small patio? Stackable outdoor bar stools just might be the space-saving solution. With a fully stackable design, this affordable bar stool set from FDW is an excellent choice for those tight on space. This set includes four bar stools, but once stacked, they won’t take up much more space than one stool. The backless and armless design contributes to this set’s compact and stackable build. Each stool is made of high-strength iron with a rust- and scratch-resistant coating.
The metal construction and simple design give these bar stools an industrial look. An X-brace under each seat provides excellent support and stability while nonslip rubber feet help to protect patio flooring.
- Material: Iron
- Seat height: 24 inches
- Dimensions: 15.75 by 15.75 by 24 inches
- Stackable design
- Rust- and scratch-resistant coating
- Less supportive and comfortable than some other options
Get the FDW outdoor bar stools on Amazon or at Lowe’s.
With a stylish look and several comfort features, the AllModern Farrah 25.6″ Patio Bar Stools are worth a bit of a splurge. This bar stool pair boasts a midcentury-inspired design, with a curved bucket seat that cradles and supports while also giving these stools a modern look. The mesh seat and backrest encourage airflow to keep the seats cool in hot weather.
The stools are made completely from water-resistant resin and are designed to weather the sun, rain, and spills. Since they’re made from resin, they’re lightweight, plus they have carry handles to make them easier to move about the patio. Lastly, despite having a backrest, these bar stools are stackable for easier storage.
- Material: Polypropylene resin
- Seat height: 25.6 inches
- Dimensions: 17.3 by 20.1 by 37.4 inches
- Contemporary style
- Comfortable bucket-seat design
- Durable and weather-resistant all-resin build
Get the AllModern outdoor bar stool on Wayfair or AllModern.
A comfortable backrest can make sinking into a bar stool even more pleasant, especially with a drink in hand. The Sundale Outdoor Bar Stools feature a supportive backrest for extra comfort. This set includes two 30.5-inch-high bar stools, each made with an iron frame with a plastic wicker rattan finish.
Unlike some stools with partial backrests, this one is fully wicker-wrapped. The wicker rattan creates a smooth and wide backrest. Plus, since the backrest has a slight recline, this chair is ideal for leaning back and enjoying time with family and friends. Two water- and mildew-resistant cushions are also included to add to this bar stool set’s superior comfort.
- Material: Iron and plastic wicker
- Seat height: 30.5 inches
- Dimensions: 17.5 by 18.5 by 43.5 inches
- Comfortable backrest
- Includes cushions
- Timeless wicker design
- Can be difficult to assemble
Get the Sundale outdoor bar stools on Amazon or at Sundale Outdoor.
For those who intend to use an outdoor bar set as a dining table, a bar stool with armrests can greatly improve comfort. Made from weather-proofed acacia wood, this bar stool set from Best Choice Products is an excellent pick for creating an outdoor dining area. A teak finish gives these bar stools a beautiful finished look, but beyond their style, they also have a supportive design.
The wide seat and elevated armrests make these bar stools comfortable enough to sit on for long periods of time, like through dinner or drinks with guests. To keep cool on sunny days, the stool has a slatted backrest. Each chair includes a seat cushion (with a weatherproof washable cover) for even more comfort.
- Material: Acacia wood
- Seat height: 29 inches
- Dimensions: 23 by 21 by 46 inches
- Wide seat
- Elevated armrests
- Solid acacia wood build
- Needs occasional maintenance to maintain weather-resistant qualities
Get the Best Choice Products Set of 2 Outdoor Wood Bar Stools at Amazon, Target, or Best Choice Products.
Swivel bar stools make it easier to get into and out of the seat (no more need to shimmy the chair from the counter) as well as turn around to socialize with others. The Phi Villa Patio Swivel Bar Stools feature a comfortable design on a swivel base, making it the ideal set for hosting guests. Their contemporary look also adds style to any patio setup.
This set includes two outdoor bar stools, each made of durable steel with a textilene fabric seat. These barstools have a 30-inch seat height. A tall textilene backrest and steel armrests make these chairs even more comfortable and stable for turning about. Along with a convenient footrest, the 360-degree swivel feature makes these bar stools a safe and comfortable pick.
- Material: Steel and textilene fabric
- Seat height: 30 inches
- Dimensions: 23.2 by 26.4 by 51.4 inches
- Smooth 360-degree swivel
- High backrest for better support
- Curved armrests
Get the Phi Villa outdoor bar stools at Amazon, Wayfair, The Home Depot, or Phi Villa.
To increase the longevity of patio furniture, especially in harsh climates, it’s best to bring outdoor furniture indoors during bad weather. Those looking for an easy-to-store outdoor bar stool should consider the Giantex Folding Wicker Rattan Bar Chairs. These bar stools go further than stacking options; not only do they have a backrest and armrests, but they also fold flat for even simpler storage.
This outdoor bar stool set includes four bar stools with heavy-duty steel frames and a plastic wicker finish. For added comfort, they also feature a backrest and armrests. With a 24.4-inch seat height, they’re ideal for shorter bars and counters.
The weather-resistant materials make these bar stools an excellent choice for relaxing throughout the summer. When it’s time to bring the chairs in after the season, they fold flat, making them easier to store in a garage or shed.
- Material: Steel and plastic wicker
- Seat height: 24.4 inches
- Dimensions: 26 by 22.5 by 42.5 inches
- Easy to store and carry
- Design includes backrest and armrests
- Can feel less sturdy than nonfolding bar stools
Get the Giantex outdoor bar stools on Amazon or at Giantex.
With a classic wicker style and supportive design (including a comfortable backrest, armrests, and seat cushion), the Best Choice Products outdoor bar stools are the best outdoor bar stools for most patios. A simpler option is the FDW outdoor bar stool, which includes four basic metal stools for an affordable price.
There are several features to consider when choosing an outdoor bar stool, and with so many options available, picking the right one can feel overwhelming. Like any other furniture piece, shoppers want a stylish option, so we kept aesthetics in mind when choosing the best outdoor bar stools. An attractive bar stool doesn’t need to come at a high cost, so we made sure to choose several affordable options.
Durability is top of mind, especially when choosing outdoor furniture. A good bar stool should last several years, so we made sure our top picks were durable. Through extensive product research, we chose outdoor bar stools made of sturdy materials, made to withstand water and sun exposure, season after season.
Lastly, what good is a bar stool if it’s uncomfortable to sit in? Comfort was our last major criteria point. While we did choose a couple of simple bar stools, we mainly stuck to bar stools with extra comfort features, like backrests, armrests, cushions, and swivel bases.
Perfect for entertaining or just relaxing, patio bar stools can help create an inviting outdoor space, providing ample seating in a relatively small footprint. Still having trouble deciding the best outdoor bar stools for your home? Read on for some frequently asked questions and answers on this versatile and stylish outdoor furniture option.
Q. What is the best material for outdoor bar stools?
The best material for outdoor bar stools is durable, fade-resistant, and weather-resistant. Some of the top long-lasting materials include resin, aluminum, and teak.
Q. What’s the difference between counter stools and bar stools?
Counter stools are slightly shorter than bar stools, intended for use at shorter kitchen counters rather than taller bar tables. However, since heights can vary so much between tables, always make sure to measure before buying counter- or bar-height outdoor chairs.
Q. How do I measure for outdoor bar stools?
Start with measuring the distance from the floor to the bottom of the counter. Decide how much space you want between the bar and the bar stool seat (10 to 12 inches is usually recommended). Subtract this number from the floor-to-counter height to get the ideal seat height for new bar stools. Also measure the bar width to determine how many bar stools can fit in the space, making sure to leave at least 6 inches of room between each stool.
Q. Are bar stools with backs better?
Bar stools with backs are more supportive and can be more comfortable; however, they can also take up more space.
Q. How do I clean outdoor bar stools?
The best way to clean outdoor bar stools depends on the bar stool material. Start with dusting off the outdoor bar stool with a soft cloth, then follow the manufacturer’s directions for a deeper clean.
Q. Can I use outdoor bar stools inside?
Yes, it’s perfectly fine to use outdoor bar stools inside—in fact, since they’re designed to be durable, they may hold up to daily wear and tear even better than indoor bar stools.