Industrial style decor has become increasingly popular over the last several years. The clean, simple lines and vintage touches bring a warehouse chic vibe to any space. If you’re looking to add some industrial flair to your home, barstools are a great place to start. Not only do they provide extra seating for entertaining, a set of sleek industrial stools can instantly transform an ordinary kitchen or dining area.
But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the perfect industrial style barstool for your needs? In this complete guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know, from materials and key features to stylish ways to incorporate these versatile pieces into your home. Read on to learn all about the benefits of industrial barstools, what defines the industrial look, the top styles and brands to consider, as well as expert tips for styling and placement.
What Exactly is an Industrial Style Barstool?
Before diving into the details, let’s clarify what makes a barstool “industrial.” At its core, an industrial style stool prioritizes function over form. Many of the common characteristics aim to highlight the raw, industrial materials used to create the stool:
- Made predominantly from metal, usually steel or iron, sometimes combining with wood or leather
- Exposed joints, screws, and hardware for an unfinished, straight from the factory look
- Minimal padding or upholstery on the seat, if any at all
- Simple, clean lines and silhouettes without elaborate detailing or finishes
- Often has a vintage inspiration but modern industrial styles are also common
- Raw, distressed, or weathered materials are left untouched instead of painted or lacquered
Overall, industrial stools embrace a practical, form-follows-function aesthetic. This utilitarian style works perfectly in today’s eclectic homes, from modern lofts to farmhouse kitchens.
Why Choose Industrial Style Barstools?
Before making a purchase, it helps to understand all the benefits this style has to offer:
- Extremely durable and built to last. The metal construction can withstand years of wear, wobbles, and weathering.
- Easy to coordinate with your existing decor. The simple silhouette matches well with various color schemes and material mixes.
- Provide an informal, relaxed look. The industrial vibe brings a casual, approachable feel to any space.
- Offer great support. Metal stools provide sturdy seating, even with minimal padding.
- Perfect for open concept spaces. The airy, minimalist design suits open kitchens, bars, and living areas.
- Budget-friendly option. Industrial stools are typically more affordable than other barstool styles.
For longevity, character, and convenience, industrial style barstools check all the boxes. Next, we’ll explore the key features to help you find your perfect match.
Most Important Features to Consider
With so many options available, narrowing the choices down can feel overwhelming at first. Focusing on these vital features will make finding The One much easier:
One of the most important factors is the stool height. Standard options include:
- Counter height: 24-26 inches, for pairing with kitchen islands or counters
- Bar height: 28-33 inches, designed for bars and high-top tables
Choose based on your existing counter and table heights. Measure carefully to ensure your new stools fit properly. Industrial styles are not often adjustable.
Consider how much weight your new seats need to handle. Some industrial stools support up to 500 lbs or more.
Iron, steel, reclaimed wood, and leather are typical materials used. Iron offers more ornate shaping and finishing, while steel has a more rugged, welded look. Wood or leather seats add warmth and comfort.
The legs form the foundation of the stool. Common choices include:
- Straight or gently angled legs
- Tapered legs, wider at top and narrower at base
- Crossed legs for added stability
- Triangle shaped legs
- Curve shaped legs
Some industrial stools have no back at all. This sleek, space-saving design works well with high counters or tables. For additional comfort:
- Low back stools support the lower back only.
- Counter height back rests reach halfway up the back.
- Full back stools offer maximum support and comfort.
Armrests provide a place to rest elbows and arms. They add comfort but also take up more visual space.
Many industrial stools incorporate a 360 degree swivel function. Swiveling makes it easy to have conversations across the counter or bar area.
Some stools arrive fully assembled, while others require some home assembly. This ranges from minor assembly to more complex projects.
The minimalist industrial look favors little to no padding. But seats and backs can be upgraded with leather or fabric upholstery for an extra cozy feel.
Higher end stools allow you to select custom colors and materials to match your exact vision.
By evaluating these aspects, you can find the ideal blend of form, function and style. Now let’s look at the top industrial barstool picks currently available.
The 5 Best Industrial Style Barstools
Here are my 5 favorite options that offer quality, durability, and timeless industrial charm:
1. Foundstone Tessa Steel Counter Stool
- Sleek and minimal design
- 30 inch counter height
- Sturdy steel frame and legs with cross bar for stability
- Narrow saddle seat of hard polyurethane
- Supports up to 300 lbs
- No assembly required
- Budget-friendly price point
- Available exclusively at Target
Pros: Super affordable, no hassle assembly, clean modern look
Cons: Seat is quite narrow and may not be comfortable for long periods
2. Urban Shop Tractor Seat Barstool with Low Back
- Iconic tractor seat shape pays homage to vintage industrial
- 30 inch bar height
- Durable powder coated steel frame and legs
- Comfortable contoured plywood seat
- Low profile back for lumbar support
- Holds up to 330 lbs
- Minimal assembly required
- Offered in black, silver, white, rust, and red
Pros: Timeless retro design and various colors
Cons: Seat comfort could be improved with padding
3. Global Furniture Nova Bar Chair
- Minimalist yet statement-making silhouette
- 33 inch bar height seat
- Constructed from welded iron with integrated footrest
- Unupholstered wood seat and back
- Weight capacity up to 275 lbs
- Some assembly required
- Offered in gray, black, brown, and cream finishes
Pros: Eye-catching shape. Integrated footrest for comfort.
Cons: Lack of cushions not suitable for everyone
4. Industry West Mina Barstool
- Sophisticated rounded curves and slim profile
- Select from 25 or 30 inch heights
- Polished gleaming steel frame with ring-shaped feet
- Built-in handle on back for easy repositioning
- Upholstered seat and low back cushion options
- Supports up to 300 lbs
- Partial assembly required
- Wide selection of metal finishes and fabrics
Pros: Stylish curves, good comfort, and customization options
Cons: A higher price point than more basic styles
5. Design Within Reach Counter Stool with Back
- Timeless, architecturally inspired look
- Available in counter or bar heights
- Constructed from solid American oak wood
- Subtle convex shaping on seat for comfort
- Optional padded leather upholstery
- Supports up to 500 lbs
- Some assembly required
- Offered in a range of wood finish colors
Pros: Extremely well-made. Custom leather and wood options.
Cons: Investment piece pricing starts around $1000
This covers a wide range of budgets and styles. From minimal seats under $100 to designer collector’s items over $1000, there really is an industrial barstool for every preference.
Styling Your Industrial Barstools
Once you’ve selected your stools, it’s time for the fun part – styling them! Here are some creative ways to showcase your new seats:
From bold to subtle, the finish provides an instant style update. Popular choices include:
- Matte black – matches everything and feels modern
- Polished chrome – shiny and trendy
- Brushed brass – warm and luxe
- Antique copper – earthy and elegant
Matching other metals in the space, like light fixtures or hardware, creates a pulled together look.
For comfortable seats, opt for vintage leather or fabric in complementary colors.
- Black, brown, or tan leather have a timeworn look
- Burlap or denim give off a rugged vibe
- Wool or corduroy offer softness and texture
Aged elements reinforce the old-world industrial aesthetic. Try incorporating:
- Distressed wood tabletops
- Galvanized metal accents and containers
- Burlap, jute, or rope for wall art or wraps
- Filament bulb lighting
Complementary Tables or Counters
To complete the look, pair stools with:
- Butcher block surfaces
- Concrete countertops or tables
- Reclaimed wood tables with metal bases
- Gleaming stainless steel for a modern pop
Styling the Surrounding Area
Elevate the whole space by adding:
- Pendant lights suspended at varied heights
- Plants for an inviting, living touch
- Barware and glassware for entertaining
- Cozy textiles like blankets or pillows
With the right furnishings and accessories, your industrial stools can stealing the whole show.
Where to Utilize Industrial Barstools in Your Home
Thanks to their versatility, industrial barstools work well in just about any room of the home. Here are some of the most popular spots:
Kitchen Islands and Bars
The kitchen is the natural environment for barstools. Use them around kitchen islands or eat-in bars for casual family meals and entertaining. Their simple style blends in effortlessly.
Home Bars and Wine Rooms
Bring your home bar area to life with industrial seats. Their vintage look suits small home pubs, wine rooms, and liquor nooks perfectly.
Workshops and Garages
For hobby, craft, or work spaces, industrial stools right at home. The shop style matches functionally-minded rooms.
In laidback game rooms or man caves, industrial stools provide seating for playing pool, cards, or just lounging.
High-Top Dining Tables
For elevated dining tables, stools keep everything cohesive. Mix metal and wood pieces together for visual interest.
Offices and Stores
Even commercial spaces like cafes, offices, and shops are stylishly furnished with these multipurpose seats.
Truly, the versatility and flexibility of industrial barstools make them a smart addition to any room.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re still unsure if industrial barstools are right for your particular space, consider these common questions:
Are industrial stools comfortable without much padding?
It depends on the specific design, but many people find them comfortable enough for short term seating thanks to the upright posture. Look for wider seats and contoured shapes to maximize comfort. Additional cushions can also be added.
Do industrial stools come fully assembled?
It depends on the brand and price point. More affordable options usually require self-assembly using provided instructions and tools. High-end designer stools often come ready to use out of the box.
How durable is metal over time?
When properly maintained, the steel or iron frames resist rust and deterioration for years of use. Avoid moisture damage by keeping stools fully dry. Also check for plastic caps on legs to prevent scratches.
Can you use industrial stools outdoors?
Most stools are intended for indoor use only. But some iron, teak wood, or aluminum options work outdoors when treated with weather-resistant finishes. Always check manufacturer guidelines before using outside.
Are industrial stools hard to clean?
The metal and wood materials wipe down easily with minimal crevices or upholstery to trap debris. Avoid abrasive cleaners that could scratch the finish.
Do industrial stools come in different heights?
Yes, heights typically range from 24 inches to 33 inches. The most common are counter height (24-26 inches) and bar height (28-33 inches). Be sure to get the right size for your space based on counters or table height.
Can I find industrial stools with backs?
While backless is most common, styles with a low, mid, or full backrest are also available. These offer more support for comfort while maintaining the industrial look.
Are industrial stools safe for kids?
Always supervise kids around any barstools. Choose stable, tip-resistant designs with closer foot rails. Or look for stools with built-in handholds for easy climbing. Also confirm weight limits work for children in your family.
The Final Verdict
If you appreciate simple utility mixed with vintage charm, few furniture pieces nail the sweet spot quite like industrial barstools. Not only do they infuse spaces with character, they offer sensible durability and affordable options to suit any budget.
Hopefully this guide illuminated what defines the industrial stool look, how to select the best fit, and creative ways to incorporate them into your home. Always measure carefully, read reviews, and buy from reliable brands for stools built to last.
With the right stools in place, get ready to enjoy an influx of laidback, loft-inspired style. Pull up a seat and relax – your new favorite space awaits!