The popularity of outdoor residential bar areas has risen, particularly among Southwest Floridians expanding their outdoor living spaces with built-in bars and kitchens. This trend has increased demand for functional bar outdoor stools and dining sets. When choosing furniture for your outdoor bar area, including bar stools and chairs, consider the intended purpose and strategic placement to optimize the space. Read along as we uncover how to choose the perfect bar stools for outdoor entertaining, dining, and living. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing Bar Stools

Height and compatibility with the bar counter

One of the first factors to consider is the height of the bar stools and their compatibility with your bar counter. 

  • Measure the distance from the floor to the underside of your counter to determine whether you need bar-height or counter-height stools. 
  • Leave about 9 to 13 inches from the seat of the stool or chair to the table’s underside to ensure optimal comfort.
  • Bar stools typically sit 28-33″ tall at the seat and are designed for the average 42″ high table or bar, while counter stools sit 24-27″ high and are made for the average 36″ high dining table or countertop. 
  • Bar-height stools facilitate eye-level conversations with standing guests, fostering an atmosphere of engagement.


Materials and durability for outdoor use

Consider the materials and durability of the bar stools, depending on whether your outdoor bar area is partially covered, fully exposed, or in a covered area. 

  • Polymer materials are an excellent option for waterside or fully exposed areas due to their heavy and stable nature, very low maintenance requirements, and wear and tear material. 
  • Due to their higher maintenance requirements, teak and textilene rope materials are ideal for covered areas, so they are protected. 
  • Powder-coated aluminum and wicker are suitable for partially covered areas, due to their versatility of styles and offering sling and cushion seats.



Comfort and design

When choosing stools, it’s essential to consider if the stools are more for looks or functionality. 

  • Backless stools are a sleek option for limited spaces as they fit under the table without obstructing the view. However, they may be less comfortable for extended periods. 
  • If your outdoor bar area is close to the indoor living space, choose bar stool styles that match the interior for a seamless flow. 

The number of stools you need is dependent on the size. Follow these guidelines. 

  • For stools 16″ to 18″ wide, allow for 6″ between each seat.
  • For stools 18″ and wider, allow for 8″ to 10″ between each seat.
  • With swivel stools, allow extra room between each seat to make it easier for people to get in and out of the stool. Ensure 24″ between each seat.


Style and aesthetics

Select bar stools that complement and align with your overall outdoor style. It’s also essential to consider the preference of the guests you host when choosing a bar stool style type. 

  • Counter-height stools are a trendy selection in our SWFL region as they offer ease of getting in and out due to their lower height. 
  • Counter and bar tables are space-efficient and ideal for smaller balconies and patios, and they do not obstruct views over the railings on high-rise buildings.
  • Avoid placing a bar table and stool next to an outdoor sofa or lounge chairs, as the height difference may disrupt the visual harmony.


arm bar stools with mountain background

Different Types of Outdoor Bar Stools

  1. Backless stools: Perfect for small spaces, these sleek options fit under the table, providing a clean and compact look.
  2. Swivel stools: Ideal for conversations and entertaining, swivel stools offer easy movement and convenient exit from the table.
  3. Armless stools: Great for accommodating more chairs around a table/bar.
  4. Traditional arm and back stools: Expected comfort for extended periods, particularly suitable for families with young children.
  5. Adjustable height stools: While brands like Tommy Bahama have introduced adjustable height tables, the same level of innovation has yet to be achieved for outdoor stools due to challenging mechanics. 

By following these tips, you can be sure to select the perfect bar stools for your outdoor bar area that is functional, stylish, and comfortable. Explore our wide selection of trendy bar stools at our three showroom locations.

Coming to EOL stores this fall…We are introducing a new brand and concept. Dining sectionals! These sectionals will include a counter table and counter stools.