10+ Barstools with Backs & Arms to Buy for Entertaining

Posted In Tips & Trends - 05/13/2021

The ideal barstool is an essential item for any party – but, it can be tricky to find. Get the best ideas here for bar stools with backs and arms.

When it comes to choosing a barstool, there’s a lot to think about. You have to consider how tall it should be, whether it should swivel and if it should have back or arm support that can help with comfortable sitting for extended periods – not to mention all of the designs that exist out there!

The perfect chair is comfortable and provides excellent support, something that is helped by having backs and arms. Adding a little extra to the price tag makes it possible to find the perfect barstool that gets comfier the more you sit in it!

Should I Buy a Barstool With Backs And Arms

Every barstool is distinct, making it suited for different venues, functions, and types of entertaining. It’s not always easy to know what type of barstool you should buy, but it depends on what it’s being used for.

Ideally, you want to consider who’ll be using the chairs and in what context. It generally makes more sense to spend a little extra on a barstool that provides back and arm support to the user to ensure their comfort.

Simple bar stools with flat seats are perfect for a bar’s waiting area or the typical household breakfast counter, but they don’t work for anyone sitting down for an evening or for a few hours to have a meal.

A barstool used for a function it’s not designed for can result in discomfort, and perhaps a spoiled evening. On the other hand, a bar stool with lower- to mid-back support and higher arms can drastically affect one’s entertainment experience.

These bar stools help improve one’s posture by supporting stabilizing muscles and taking pressure off upper-body muscles and the spine. Utilizing the chair’s supportive design can significantly improve personal comfort and mood and, overall, contribute to a better atmosphere.

What to Consider when Buying a Barstool with a Back and Arms

By now, you’ve decided that a barstool with back and arm support is what you want – but where do you start? There are so many different options out there; it can make choosing a single design quite a challenge.

Consider the following questions to help your choice:

  1. What are the barstools being used for, and how high should they be?
  2. Should your bar stools be fixed and robust, or swivel with a fluid design?
  3. Which materials compliment your setting? I.e., wood, metal, or fabric.
  4. Do you prefer a sturdy, heavy design or something a little lighter?
  5. Remember better furniture brands are likelier to offer better overall design (albeit more expensive in most cases).

The best way to figure out what type of barstool you’re looking for is to think of the end-users, the setting, and the type of entertainment that’s usually provided.

If your guests are sitting for long periods and holding drinks, you’ll likely want to go for a supportive design. This will provide plenty of support for both the back and arms when sitting and interacting with others.

If you’re looking for chairs for your home, it’s not likely that your guests will be turning and interacting with many people. However, if the chairs are for a bar venue, your patrons will need to be able to move freely, interact with bar personnel, and turn and speak with many people throughout an evening.

Also, it makes sense to have sturdier chairs in a home environment as its long-term investment. In a nightclub or bar environment, lighter chairs that are easier to carry and clean are the ideal options given the sheer volume of traffic passing through those types of venues.

Finally, don’t be afraid to shop around for a while! There are tons of furniture websites out there with great prices. Almost all of them have seasonal sales, daily specials, and clearance sales. If you’ve narrowed down your options to style and function, waiting around until the next big sale can save big.

Best Examples of Bar Stools with Backs and Arms for all Venues

When it comes to choosing your barstool design, there is a range of different options out there. Below, we’ll cover some of the most popular and budget-friendly choices suitable for any home, bar, or other entertainment venues.

Fixed Bar Stools That Don’t Swivel

While it’s more of a guideline than a rule, fixed bar stools without a swivel mechanism look incredibly useful in homes and higher-end venues. Bar stools aren’t the only swivel chairs out there either! Check out this roundup of luxury round swivel chairs to get an idea of all your options! They give the impression of a fixed piece of furniture, and often have a sturdier and more robust look and feel.

The Everyday Sitter

black counter height stool with chrome base, back and arms

Perfect for the average coffee shop, small suburban ice cream store, or local bar, this light-framed and sturdy barstool is a simple entry-level choice. It features a light design composed of incredibly sturdy 16-gauge steel with both heightened back and arm support. This type of barstool is perfect for an average sitting time of around 30-40 minutes, the ideal time to grab a quick refreshment or have a brief lunch.

The Ol’ Faithful

Lyman Barstool from Rooms to Go

With a sturdier, antique look, this barstool would sit well in a hotel or upper-class inner-city bar or lounge. The leather-wrapped cushion with a dark chocolate brown finish gives a feeling of rich, wholesome textures that are inviting and elegant.

While this piece gives the impression of heightened luxury, its solid structure also makes it feel like it’s meant to be a permanent feature. It’s unlikely that something like this would be found in a quick-sitting area with a high traffic volume. With well-rounded support, a barstool like this could easily sit someone for many hours throughout an evening or longer-type function.

The Suede Sitter

Pink Suede Lorean Barstool from Rooms to Go

This barstool provides an elegant, upholstered finish that would find a suitable home in an upscale lounge, club, or bar. Alternatively, it would also work well in a home that is suited to its contemporary, modern design.

The delicate fabric could pair well with either a dimly lit room with warm textures and artisanal drinks or a well-lit home bar that prioritizes silver finishings and reflective marble. With a sturdy sitting basin, the chair’s legs aren’t overwhelming in size and appearance, which draws more attention to the sitting area.

The Industrial Stool

Metal industrial style bar stool
Simple, raw, and functional, this barstool has a straightforward design that places function over form. It would be ideal for a small sitting area nearby a household pool, outside bar, small cafe, or a city diner. While it might not place the most importance on long-term comfort, it certainly provides all the support required for a lunch or quick meet.

Unassuming yet effortless, this affordable option is ideal for anybody looking to find a barstool with a back and arms with a slightly unconventional style.

The Great Outdoor Stool


With an understated metal finish, this barstool would be ideal for an outdoor seating area with elements of wood, cloth, and similar-colored metals. Its design is ornamental yet modern, lending itself to a casual outdoor setup that would see ideal placement around an outdoor bar or eating area. While the backrest isn’t as cushioned as other designs, the seat provides a greater degree of comfort with an exaggerated seat and some basic foot and leg support.

Bar Stools that Do Swivel

While there is no hard and fast rule for where to place swivel barstools, they make more sense to include in venues that receive more significant foot traffic. With swivel features, it makes it a lot easier to get into and out of barstools. Additionally, if placed in a busy venue with a bar, a barstool with a swiveling mechanism makes it a lot easier to interact with both bar or restaurant staff and other guests.

The Executive

Black leather and chrome adjustable bar stool with swivel

Simple, minimalist, and contrasted, this type of barstool provides the most comfort that an essential barstool can while remaining light and easy on the eye. While many variations of this barstool exist, it is the ideal companion in a nightclub, bar, or lounge for those guests looking to sit and have a drink.

Given the large degree of support for both one’s back and arms, this type of barstool provides a lot more comfort than one would expect from this chair design. Again, the swivel design makes getting into and out of this barstool a breeze. It would make sense for anyone socializing in large groups and interacting with many people simultaneously.

The Berkeley

simple black counter height bar stool

This type of stool provides the basic, necessary comforts for anyone seeking back and arm support from a minimalist, swivel barstool. With a soft upholstered finish, this type of design would be ideal in a setting that resembles an upper-class lounge or business diner. The soft finish contrasts nicely against textures of glass, metal, and tanned wood, making it an ideal barstool for venues that portray a professional yet upmarket feel. Its minimalist design and low-contrast appearance ensure that it will easily fit and blend into any unassuming venue.

The Antique Turner

antique inspired metal swivel bar stool with upholstered seat

Placed in a bar, kitchen, or home bar environment, this solid-wood barstool brings a timeless feel to any venue. It is the epitome of friendly, homely support with a leather finish that uses a nailhead trim to enhance the backing and arms’ details.

The bulky appearance gives connotations of a permanent, sturdy piece of furniture that will provide an understated sense of authenticity when sitting on it. This barstool makes perfect sense in a home environment, especially with interiors of cream, wood, or upholstered finishings.

The Non-Swiveller

gray non swivel barstool with finished leather and high back

Given the appearance of having a fixed base, this type of barstool fits perfectly in various venues. It provides the promise of sturdy reliability found in a fixed barstool but has the versatility that comes with having a swivel stool. With a deep seating basin and high, supporting backrest, this is the ideal barstool for any serious venue about entertaining and seating their guests in style.

Its build allows for an open and comfortable sitting position, ensuring that your guests will be comfortable when using it. The design inspires a sense of freedom, as there aren’t armrests to make one feel enclosed when using it. It manages to pair a soft-spoken elegance that oozes contemporary charm.

The Ergo

Black ergonomic bar stool with back and arms

Resembling the typical ergonomic office chair, this barstool presents an open frame that places more importance on the tall backrest. It’s ideal for a simple setting like a home bar or kitchen, providing a comfortable setting for anyone looking to have a quick meal or drink. It would also find an ideal placement in any bar or cafe that offers quick-eating arrangements at high tables for customers who don’t plan to sit for long extended meals throughout the evening.

The Alpine

sleek wood and black leather adjustable bar stool

With a delicate finish of faux leather and wood, this barstool provides an excellent dual-tone finish that glistens with a metallic, chrome finish. Bold and understated, this barstool would make sense in almost any venue, whether a home, bar or restaurant. The striking materials make it an eye-catching feature on its own that quickly can provide comfort for anybody that plans on using it for up to a few hours. With a deep back and high armrests, this barstool is likely to be a very comfortable option for anyone that sits in it.

Final Thoughts About Barstools with Backs & Arms

Finding the perfect barstool can be a daunting task, as there’s a lot to consider that goes into buying one. For example, what size bar stools are most appropriate for your area? Check out our barstool measuring guide for that one.

It’s a delicate balance between trying to find a bar stool with proper back and arm support so that your guests and friends are as comfortable as possible while being entertained. Luckily, if you’ve followed the designs outlined above, you’ll know exactly what to look for when shopping for your next barstool.

Make sure to always keep in mind your venue, your end-user, and how many people will be sitting in the barstool, as this will give you a pretty good idea of what you should be looking for.