Back vs. Backless Kitchen Bar Stools – Which Are Better?


Hello everyone! In this post I want to compare back and backless kitchen bar stools, and decide which of these 2 types is better. Because one of them has to be better than the other one, right? 🙂

Well, in the last months I noticed that more and more people are interested in bar stools. I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about this kind of chairs, so I can see that a lot of people start giving up the regular kitchen chairs and go for unconventional, modern ones.

And which chairs could be more modern than bar stools?

So in this post I want to focus on these special kitchen chairs, and decide whether it’s better to choose bar stools that have a back or bar stools that don’t have one. If you want to find out the answer, stay tuned! 😀

Back vs. Backless Kitchen Bar Stools - Which Are Better?


Appearance – WINNER: Back Stools

When it comes to appearance, I don’t have to follow any criteria. It’s rather about personal preferences here, and in this case I prefer back stools.

It always seemed to me that chairs with a back have more elegance than the other ones.

It may be just a personal opinion, I told you, but if I were to choose between these 2 types of stools judging exclusively on how they look…I would get the ones with a back.

I am subjective here, I admit it. So I can’t say it’s 100% for the back chairs, because I rather advise you to choose the ones you like best. There aren’t any rules when it comes to appearance, so you can pick your favorite of these 2.

Mines are back stools, so I chose them as the winners. 🙂

Back vs. Backless Kitchen Bar Stools - Which Are Better?


Versatility – WINNER: Backless Stools

What do you understand by “versatility”? If you’re not very sure what exactly I refer to when I use it, let me give you a short explanation.

A furniture piece is versatile when it can be used in many decor styles, all different of each other. For example, it could blend a Rustic decor, but it would also look good in a Vintage one. Or it could match a light colored room, but it would also fit in a place with darker elements.

And when it comes to versatility, backless stools are surely the winners.

A kitchen stool without a back can easily be used in a lot of decorative styles. So if you have a Rustic decor in your kitchen and you want to change it, you will probably be able to keep the stools in the new decor.

Moreover, as these stools don’t have a back, no one would know they were designed for the kitchen. I mean, you can even add some in the living room, near the coffee table for example.

Believe me, everyone would think they’re just some living room stools, because they are so general that they don’t look like kitchen pieces.

On the other hand, that’s not available for back stools. They belong to “classic kitchen items” category, so adding a back stool in the living room wouldn’t look that good. Do you agree? Just imagine, how would a shiny, metal back stool in front of your coffee table? Not too good, I guess.

So if you want to choose the stools that can be used in several other decors, backless ones are my recommendation.


Comfort – WINNER: Back Stools

The third criteria that I want to use in my comparison is the level of comfort that each type of bar stools provides.

And in my opinion, back stools are much better when it comes to comfort.

Back plays a really important part in the comfort of a chair, you probably agree with me here. Who likes chairs that you can’t lean back on? I definitely don’t… Sitting on a backless chair makes my back hurt many times (no, I don’t have any back problems :P).

So no matter how comfortable is the seating of a bar stool, if it doesn’t have a back it will not feel right for me.

Everyone wants to feel relaxed when eating, and how can you relax without being able to lean back on the chair after a hard day? That really soft cushion from that stool won’t make you feel any better, believe me. Only a back stool would do it.

So when it comes to comfort, I don’t even have to hesitate too much between these 2 types of chairs. Back is an essential element for the comfort, so I wouldn’t recommend backless stools when it comes to this.


Popularity – WINNER: Back Stools

In order to choose correctly which is the most popular type of kitchen bar stools, I asked several people.

About 70% of them told me they preferred back stools (for various reasons, that I won’t mention here) and only 30% chose backless ones. Somehow, they confirmed by beliefs… I was guessing that back stools were more well-regarded, but now I am completely sure.

In my opinion, the reason that lays behind the popularity of back stools is the media. We see a lot of pictures and ads of different kitchens everyday, and most of them have back stools.

You may not have noticed it, but pay attention next time you see a picture of a kitchen. I almost bet it will have back stools there. 😉

So if we had to choose the most popular type of bar stools for kitchen, back ones would easily win the competition.


Price – WINNER: Backless Stools

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but backless stools are way much better when it comes to price.

Most of them are also made of regular fabrics, like wood or plastic, which means that their prices will be rather affordable. Besides, I really like that there are a lot of single pieces available.

When it comes to back stools, usually you can only buy them as a set of 2, and that’s in the best case. Many of them only come in sets of 4 or more, so if you only need a smaller number, then what…?

Moreover, a back stool usually cost around $20 more than a backless one. That’s probably because of the extra fabric used for the back, so nothing to complain about here. And even though $20 doesn’t seem much, if you need 8 stools you will have to pay around $160 extra.

So if price is a factor that matters in your decision, I would probably recommend you backless stools because they have slightly better prices than back chairs.

Back vs. Backless Kitchen Bar Stools - Which Are Better?



My Final Verdict – So It’s Back Or Backless Stools?

Well, you can see by yourself: backless stools are the best when it comes to versatility and they have a much lower price but…back stools win at comfort and appearance. Plus that they are really popular among all categories of people.

So the score is 3-2 for back stools, which are the final winners.

Therefore, if you ever have to choose between back and backless kitchen bar stools, choose the last ones. That’s my opinion.

Comfort matters a lot for a kitchen chair, so having some stools that you can’t lean back to doesn’t sound so cool to me. Back stools are also much more beautiful and elegant, and they may become a trending element in kitchens in the following years.

So keep all these things in mind before making a choice, okay? 🙂


Now tell me your opinion: which of these 2 types of kitchen stools do you prefer? Back stools or backless ones?

Let me know your answer in a comment. Anne 😀

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4 Responses to Back vs. Backless Kitchen Bar Stools – Which Are Better?

  1. Toney says:

    I loved reading this comparison post, even though I’m a huge fan of backless kitchen stools simply because of a personal prefernce. In my view, they look better in my home so I’m not planning to change them too soon. But now I’m starting to like back stools a little better than before.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Toney, I’m glad you enjoyed reading this.

      Well yeah, I agree that the most important factor you should consider when it comes to any type of furniture is personal taste. Because if you’re not satisfied with the way your home looks, you will always want it to look something else.

      So if you’re for backless stools, just go for it without thinking back twice. 😉

  2. Patrick says:

    I have recently been in the market for kitchen/counter bar stools. I have done some research mainly based on looks and price but your article really gave me some new ideas and a few things to think about. Especially when you speak about comfort. I think you have helped convince me on the direction I will be going. Keep up the great work.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Patrick, I’m glad my post helped you make an opinion 🙂

      Yes, when it comes to comfort, I definitely go for back bar stools and I can honestly tell you that the back really makes a difference. Especially when you’ve had a long day, you get home and you want to eat. Imagine how it would be having to sit on a stool without a back…I bet it wouldn’t be the most pleasant thing in the world 😛

      So that’s why I recommend back stools if comfort is an important aspect for you.

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