Barstool Buyers Guide #1
We use the term "barstool" to refer to a stool whose seat ranges in height from 26" to 44." They can be made of metal, wood, mdf, particle board, or other more exotic materials. They can range in price from $20 to over $2000 per stool. The variance in price is due to the building materials, the swivel mechanism, and the workmanship durring the manufacturing process.
Check out this good quality mass-produced bar stool. Simple wood finish, basic fabric, and few options keep this import stool price attractive. Glued and doweled wood components, steel bearings, and good quality foam set this appart from many cheeply made knock-offs. Stools like this range from $350 to $600.
Above is a domestic manufactured stool from Darafeev in California. This type of stool represents the "top tier" as every stool is hand made to order. Notice the custom leather welting, hand set brass tacks, ornate wood carving, and premium "distressed" oil finish. Stools like this have Sprung Seats, much like a full size relciner (as opposed to the foam seats on most bar stools). They also carry "lifetime warranties" against wood spliting and manufacturer's defects. This is truely investment furniture and prices start around $800 per stool
Because of the height of the legs better quality materials and better manufacturing are necessary for large swivel stools to last. Emagine a 250 lb person sitting on soft wood or thin aluminum tube high stool. Next time you are in a good bar feel the weight and sturdiness of the barstools. That should be your benchmark for quality. Now determine how much use your stools are going to get and how important the "look" of your room is to you, then start your search!
- Patrick McGarity