Originally Published on May 11, 2020. Last Updated on February 27, 2024.
When choosing tables and stools for your outdoor oasis, deciding which style and heights fit your setup best can be challenging. Your goals for your outdoor space will ultimately determine the style of set you choose.
In this blog, we go over the three standard heights for tables and stools, the uses for counter and bar heights, and offer a few furniture suggestions to create your outdoor haven.
Bar-Height vs. Counter-Height vs. Dining-Height
Bar-height tables and stools are typically 40-42 inches tall, while counter-height tables and stools are usually 34-36 inches tall. Bar-height furniture is typically 6 inches taller than counter-height furniture.
Dining-height tables and stools are typically 17-30 inches, making them 4 to 12 inches shorter than counter or bar furniture.
- Leave about 9 to 13 inches from the seat of the stool or chair to the table’s underside: This measurement ensures optimal comfort, allowing guests to slide in and out their chairs comfortably. If the chair or stool has arms, be sure to account for those in the height measurement.
- Position your chairs or stools about 24 inches apart from each other: This guideline helps prevent overcrowding so that everyone can enjoy each other’s company without bumping elbows.
- Bar tables are the same height as outdoor bar ledges, letting you extend your serving space.
- Bar sets are great for tall family members who need more legroom.
- Many styles include footrests to accommodate shorter guests.
- Ideal for smaller settings because tables take up more vertical space than horizontal.
- Tall tables and chairs can be tricky for small children to sit at safely.
- Bar sets are not conducive to creating accessible spaces.
Choose bar-height furniture to maximize limited dining space or accommodate above-average-height family members.
- Counter sets are perfect for balconies because they sit at just the right height to get a clear view over railings.
- This furniture fits taller family members who need more legroom.
- Footrests are common additions to counter seats, aiding shorter guests.
- You can place these tables next to your outdoor kitchen counters for extra serving space.
- Counter-height furniture isn’t the best option for accessible spaces.
- Small children may need help getting into and out of the seats.
These sets complement second-story settings and extend the serving space of outdoor kitchen counters.
- Dining-height furniture better facilitates accessible outdoor spaces.
- Kids can typically get in and out of dining chairs without help.
- Dining furniture is more common than bar and counter products, offering more styles, material types, and sizes.
- Dining chairs sit low enough to the ground that most adults can rest their feet on the floor.
- Taller guests may not have enough legroom beneath the table to sit comfortably.
- Dining sets take up more horizontal space and may not suit smaller settings.
Dining sets are the most inclusive of the three furniture heights and offer the widest selection, making shopping and styling easy.