Design Concierge

Stool height guide

Discover unique stools for your home

Stool heights

Stools can be a wonderfully handy addition to the home offering flexibility. They also add a finishing touch to your kitchen space and encourage the family to sit for a chat while dinner is underway. While picking a stool design that looks great in your home is important, so too is the practicality of finding the right height stool to work in your space for comfort.

Often overlooked is selecting a stool that works with the height of your benchtop. This can lead to anything from an uncomfortable stool to an unusable stool. Here we have put together some critical elements to look for when selecting the right stools for your home.

Stool Ergonomic's

Stools can be described by many different names which can be confusing; counter stool, kitchen stool, bar stool, or island bench stool. So which one do you need? Our recommendation would be to pay less attention to the name specifically and focus on the measurements instead to avoid any confusion.

Firstly we explain Australian ergonomic standards for stool seats. This means the measurements Australian designers use to maximise the best comfort for people sitting on a stool.  The main ergonomic measurement to take note of for stools is the space between the underside of the bench top and the stool seat. This measurement is critical to allow enough leg room for people to fit their legs under the bench comfortably and rest their arms on the benchtop with ease.

You’ll want to ensure that you have approximately 20-30cm between the seat and the underside of your benchtop to fit your legs and arms comfortably.

Seat height formula

Now that we know we need approximately 20cm to 30cm between the underside of the bench top and the seat, we can figure out the seat height we require using the formula below.


The general equation is:

  • The underside of bench top height (cm) – 20cm to 30cm = seat height required

This will give you a seat height range you can use to find a stool that fits.


Cheat Sheet:

As a cheat sheet, we’ve put together the two main stool heights suitable for Australian homes.

In Australia, there are two main ergonomic benchtop height measurements, 90cm high and 100cm high. The most common kitchen benchtop and kitchen island benchtop height is 90cm high. Some Australian homes will have a designated bar area and this bar benchtop height is most commonly a little taller at 100cm high.

A general rule of thumb is:

  • 90cm bench height = 60cm to 70cm high stool
  • 100cm bench height = 70cm to 80cm high stool

Seat Type

Solid seat v’s upholstered seat heights

It’s good to note that if you choose a soft upholstered seat in fabric or leather, the foam cushioning will compress an extra 2 or 3 cm when you sit on it reducing the overall height of the stool slightly compared to a solid wood or plastic stool. Generally, the additional 2 or 3 cm of foam compression won’t affect the height of your stool very much, but it is good to know that upholstered seats are usually 2 or 3 cm higher than solid seats to account for this foam compression.

We hope this helps provide a general rule of thumb to work towards. Of course, with any rule of thumb, there are exceptions. If in doubt, be sure to check your specific measurements or ask an expert for assistance. Our friendly team of designers are always happy to help with measurements and cross-check for you to ensure you have the right height stools. We welcome you to visit us in-store to chat or give us a call to talk over your specific measurements and space.

Melbourne showroom

259 Swan Street, Richmond, Victoria 3121

Adelaide showroom

442 Pulteney Street, Adelaide, South Australia 5000

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