As always, a bit of pre-planning can go a long way! The selection of bar and counter stools is large and varied so begin with an understanding of their use. Will they be surrounding a breakfast bar that serves as the main morning launch pad for a family of five? Will they pull up to a game room bar where their role is more casual and occasional? Once you determine a stool's purpose, the following guidelines will help you choose a style and size appropriate for their placement.
The general rule of thumb is to have 10"-13" between your seat height and your table height
Vanity Stools= 17-19"
Counter Stools = 24-26"
Bar Stools = 28-31"
Vanity Table = 28-31"
Island/Counter Table = 35-36"
Bar Table = 40-42"
High Bar Table = 45-48"
The main objective is comfort for all guests when seated. Be realistic about the number of people who will use the bar, island or pub table at once. When in doubt, use the seating guideline.
Really a matter of personal preference! Arms can be convenient as bar and counter stools are higher than standard dining chairs, but they also add some width that you may not have planned on. Stools with arms require an additional radius to turn, and ideally, should slide under the table surface without bumping into it.