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Home/Mor Furniture Blog/Buying Guides/What Is Counter Height? Counter Height vs Bar Height

What Is Counter Height? Counter Height vs Bar Height

What is counter height vs. bar height in regard to kitchen and dining room sets? How do you know which is best for your space and your family's needs? These are questions that the design associates at Mor Furniture for Less hear quite frequently, and with so many furniture options available it's easy to understand the confusion surrounding the two different types of tables and seating.

Both counter height and bar height furniture pieces have standard measurements that are applicable at various retailers and across manufacturing brands. This makes it easier to shop for items such as matching stools or chairs, or a new table when necessary while knowing precisely what you're going to get. But first, it's important to know what these measurements are as well as what situations call for each unique type of seating and eating area.

Counter Height vs. Bar Height: Measurements

There are generally three different height measurements for kitchen and dining room tables: standard height (also sometimes called dining height), counter height, and bar height. The height refers to how far off the ground the eating surface of the table stands. The standard height for a kitchen or dining room table stands between 28 and 30 inches.

What is counter height? Counter height is anywhere between 34 and 36 inches off the ground, while bar height is even taller than that. Bar height tables have an eating surface that is anywhere from 40 to 42 inches off the ground.

To get a picture in your head of what each height table looks like, first imagine most dining room or kitchen tables you see. This is standard height or dining height. Next, imagine your kitchen counters, where you most likely prepare food, store kitchen appliances, and more. Named appropriately, this is counter height. Bar height is a little bit of a stretch up, close to what you'll see in restaurants and pubs where people gather for a drink.

Seating for Counter Height vs. Bar Height

It's also important to note that the height of your table will impact the height of the seats you purchase to match if you're buying them separately. Seat height refers to how far the cushion area of the seat stands off the ground.

What is counter height seating? Precisely 24 to 27 inches tall, while bar height seating is 28 to 33 inches and standard or dining height chairs are 16 to 19 inches from the ground to the cushion area of the chair. If you're unsure, the general rule is to leave a 9 to 13-inch gap between the table and the cushion area of the seat to allow for sitting room and space to move.

Having the correct height seating is essential for both comfort and functionality, particularly if you have children. Chairs that aren't the appropriate height for the type of table they are paired with can pose posture problems, causing physical discomfort in diners. Additionally, it can be cumbersome or difficult to reach items on the table if your chairs aren't at the best height for your type of table. Always get chairs that are suited for the height of your table.

Popular seating options for eating areas that are taller than standard height include dining stools that are suited for counter height spaces, as well as barstools for bar height areas.

Pros and Cons of Counter Height vs. Bar Height Dining Sets

There are several advantages to choosing counter height and bar height dining sets and tables instead of standard height pieces. The most often cited benefit is for individuals in small living spaces. Bar height and counter height pieces can often double as prep areas in the kitchen, providing more space to cook, display items, and more. Additionally, these seating areas are less formal than their standard height counterparts, encouraging individuals to gather and hold conversations. This is a significant advantage if you don't often sit down for traditional family meals, are often on the go, like to host weekend parties at your place, and more.

Some people view not having a formal dining area as a con when viewing a space, while others see it as being more modern and multi-functional. It all comes down to the unique needs of your home and family, and what you will be using the dining area for most often.

Tips for Choosing Kitchen and Dining Sets

If you're looking at counter height vs. bar height vs. standard height kitchen and dining sets and are wondering which is best for your needs, come on in and speak with one of our friendly design associates today. To get started, here's a list of questions you can ask yourself to begin determining the best type of seating area for your eating space.

  • What will you use the space for most often? Is it a homework spot for the kids or a formal area for guests to gather for holiday dinners?
  • How much space is present in the room? Are you looking for a dining set that's more compact or something expansive and decorative?
  • How much seating do you need? Remember that you should place chairs and stools approximately 24 inches apart once they're at the table to leave ample leg and elbow room.
  • What vibe are you going for? Are you looking for something more traditional or does something more modern and eclectic suit your style?
  • Will this be a standalone dining room table or will you also be using this space to prep food, act as a buffet table, and more?
  • What color palette do you like best? We have dining sets available in a variety of colors and materials to match every taste.
  • Who will be using the space most frequently, children or adults?

Shop Mor Furniture for Less Today

Here at Mor Furniture for Less, we're committed to helping every individual and family turn their house into a home. What better way to get started than revamping your eating space? It's where people gather to bond over a meal, have family game night, study for the big test, and so much more. Where you eat is integral to your life, and creating an atmosphere that meets your needs and speaks to your style is key.

Our friendly design associates are here to help you each step of the way. Whether you're looking for a full new dining set or are looking to expand seating at a set you already have, Mor Furniture for Less has just the pieces you need to complete the look of your dreams.

Browse our selection of dining room sets online or schedule a concierge appointment today.