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Stool Buying Guide

Finding the just the right stools for your classroom or café can be tricky. It's best to consider a stool's height, material and features before you make any big investments. This will ensure that you make the very best purchase for your space.

Height

Choosing the right stool height is critical. Before you make a purchase, measure the height of the counter or tabletop (from the floor up) where your stools will be placed and use our chart of standard heights below to determine the best stool height for you. A good rule of thumb is to leave about 9 to 13 inches between the stool seat and the counter/tabletop for maximum comfort.

Table Height Counter Height Bar Height
Surface Height 28" - 30" 36" - 39" 40" - 42"
Stool Height 18" - 20" 24" - 26" 28" - 30"

Material

Stools are generally wood, plastic or metal, and may or may not have vinyl or cloth seat padding. Think about where your stools will be used before you choose a material.

  • Wood - Highly durable, offers a more classic look.
  • Metal - Exceedingly strong and versatile. Can withstand heavy use and gives an industrial look.
  • Plastic - Lightweight, easy to clean and affordable. Not as durable as metal or wood.
  • Vinyl seat padding - Resists moisture and food particles; easy to clean, and often comes in a variety of textures and colors. Will withstand heavy use for a number of years, but can be hard to repair if it cracks or tears.
  • Cloth seat padding - Includes linen, microfiber, cotton and more. Generally soft, comfortable and available in a number of patterns and colors. Certain cloths require specialized cleaning or maintenance.

Generally speaking, soft plastic stools with vinyl seat padding are great for cafés and bistros, while solid metal stools are ideal for science labs and medical offices. Wood stools are excellent for art rooms, offices and classrooms.

Features

There are several features to consider before you purchase stools. Would you like your stool to have a foot ring, or an adjustable back rest? These features are ideal if people will be using the stools for long periods of time. Locking casters are especially useful if people need to move frequently throughout a space. Plus, stools with casters can be easily rolled under tables to save space.

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