The never ending need to buy gear and gadgets that will improve playing and technique is a common trait in guitarists, and yet there are simple items that will actually provide tangible benefits that are simply overlooked. Take for example, the guitar stool. A proper guitar stool will not only provide comfort, but it can improve your guitar playing posture, which can lead to noticeable improvement in your playing.
In this guide, I will be taking a look at the 7 best guitar stools on the market in 2021. To make sure it’s an apples to apples comparison, each stool will be reviewed against the same criteria – comfort, additional features, build quality, and practicality.
- Our Top Three Picks
- Guitar Stool Buyer’s Guide
- What Kinds Of Guitar Stools Are Available?
- What Are the Features To Look For?
- Best Guitar Stools And Chairs – Our Reviews
- Final Thoughts
Our Top Three Picks
The Gator Frameworks Deluxe Guitar Performance Seat was our top choice in this comparison of the best guitar stools. It offers an unparalleled level of adjustment and customization, making a great choice for players of all shapes and sizes. It’s a comfortable stool with superb ergonomics that is purpose built for guitarists.
Our winner of the best budget guitar stool was the Performance Tool W85011 Bar Stool. While it’s not specifically made for guitarists, it definitely feels as though it was. It’s rock solid and offers a sturdy base with a perfectly positioned footrest. Pneumatic adjustment increases convenience and comfort, and it comes in at an unbelievably low price.
The K&M Performance Stool took our Editor’s Choice award. The bicycle saddle style seat allows for hours of playing in incredible comfort. It offers multiple areas of adjustment which lends a bespoke feel unlike any other stool. Not only is it comfortable, but it’s also extremely robust – you can tell that this was built to a standard, not a price.
Guitar Stool Buyer’s Guide
There are some key features that distinguish good guitar stools from those that are simply not suitable. You should also note that a stool doesn’t necessarily have to be specifically designed for guitarists to be a great chair for playing guitar!
Comfort is King
A good guitar stool should be comfortable above all else. If you’re using it for practice, an uncomfortable seat will make you less inclined to spend time using it, and therefore less time practicing. Good, thick padding will increase comfort for most, but overall, comfort comes from a combination of elements, including height, seat angle, and seat shape, as well as materials used.
Don’t Buy a Stool with Arm Rests
A good guitar stool should never have arm rests. If you have arm rests, you can reduce the freedom of motion in your fretting hand, particularly when playing at the higher frets, making it more difficult to play.
Do Look for Stools with Footrests
When playing guitar while seated, it is important to keep your thighs at 90 degrees or higher. This will prevent the guitar from constantly slipping down, which will promote proper posture and help to improve technique. A properly place footrest will raise your leg above the horizontal, keeping the guitar tucked where it needs to be.
Sturdiness is Paramount
Having a chair that wobbles is going to be distracting and is more likely to lead to falls. If you’re recording, wobbly chairs will also create unwanted background noise. Investing in a solid, sturdy guitar stool with good rubber end caps on the feet will prevent noise and inspire confidence.
What Kinds Of Guitar Stools Are Available?
There are two main types of guitar stool available:
Folding Guitar Stool
Folding guitar stools are ideal for gigging musicians. They are easy to transport and take up very little room when broken down. They typically have a good, wide base, and are very sturdy, but lack a swiveling seat, which may deter some from considering this style.
Bar stool style guitar stools are great for fixed location use. The best bar stools are rock solid, have fixed legs, and some are available with adjustable height and swiveling seats. Additionally, bar stool style stools are available with or without seat padding.
What Are the Features To Look For?
Some of the other additional features that help the best guitar stools to stand out include:
- Built in guitar stands
- Ergonomic seats
- Pneumatic adjustment
- Adjustable footrests
- Removable/adjustable backrests
Best Guitar Stools And Chairs – Our Reviews
Gator Frameworks Deluxe Guitar Performance Seat – Our Top Pick
A great all-rounder with durable materials and convenient features
This Deluxe Guitar Performance Seat from Gator Frameworks is loaded with features, ensuring comfort for almost any player. It features a 3 point height adjustment system, giving you the option of adjusting the back rest height, the seat height and the footrest height independently of one another for a true custom fit. In addition to height adjustment, the backrest can also be adjusted forwards and backwards, allowing you to adjust the level of back support to your preference. All of the adjustment points are tight, with very little, if any play, which does help to prevent shaking and wobbling
The 3” high density seat padding is supple – soft enough to sink into, but firm enough to provide hours of comfort without creating flat spots. To keep your feet from slipping, the footrest is coated in grip tape. The tape works really well, and this helps to keep a stable platform for your guitar. On the base, the feet are thoughtfully finished with squared off rubber end caps. Using squared caps provides a bigger surface contact area with the floor than the rounded caps found on many other models, which really helps to keep this stool steady at all times.
As far as practicality goes, this stool folds almost flat, and weighs in at just 15lb, making it easy for anybody to pick up and transport. Rather than a guitar stand like you might find on other stools, this model features a guitar hanger on the back. This assists in keeping your guitar safe from low level hazards, and because it’s on the back, it means you can keep a second guitar there while you’re actively using the stool.
Verdict: The Gator Frameworks Deluxe Guitar Performance Seat is a stool that’s perfectly suited to use at home, on the stage or in the studio. The fit and finish on this model is excellent, with quality materials used throughout. The only fault that could be picked with this stool is that it doesn’t swivel, but if that’s not a dealbreaker, this is a great choice.
Performance Tool W85011 – Best Budget Option
A bar stool style chair with rock solid stability and excellent adjustment
The Performance Tool W85011 is an excellent barstool style guitar stool that comes in at an affordable price for any budget. It offers smooth pneumatic height adjustment via the under-seat lever and can adjust from just 26” high to 32”, and the pre assembled heavy duty frame can safely support up to 330lb, making it ideal for players of all heights and sizes. Comfort is further enhanced by the pneumatic lift system, which absorbs shock when sitting down and standing up. All of the structural components are made from powder coated steel, which provides corrosion resistance and excellent strength. For stability, this stool boasts 4 rubber coated feet with an extra wide footprint.
The seat swivels 360 degrees, and every angle is useable thanks to the sturdy square footrest. The 12.5” diameter cushion itself is soft and coated in high quality PU leather. The PU leather looks good, it’s scratch resistant, and can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth. This is a great choice if you’re looking for something with a little bit of lower back support, but you don’t want a full size back rest.
This stool is heavy duty without being heavy weight. It weighs 14lb, so it is relatively easy to pick up and relocate. It has a fixed leg arrangement, so it won’t fold down, making this a good choice for home or studio use, rather than for taking to gigs.
Verdict: The Performance Tool W85011 Stool offers excellent value for money for budget conscious guitarists. It doesn’t come fully assembled, but all that’s required is to slide the seat shaft into the base, a 30 second job at most. It’s sturdy enough to see you through years of use, and it looks nice, too!
K&M Performance Stool – KGR Editor’s Choice
A high-end ergonomic guitar stool for discerning players
Our Editor’s choice in this test was the K&M Performance Stool. This is an ultra high quality guitar stool that offers plenty of adjustability, including footrest height, seat height, and even seat angle. The seat can be raised from 23.6” to 35.4”, so it’s comfortable for a wide range of players. The ergonomically shaped bicycle saddle style seat is large and cushioned with deep, dense foam, and designed to be the ultimate in comfort. It relieves pressure from the lower back which keeps fatigue at bay, which ideal for long sets or for spending time practicing at home.
This is a German made stool, engineered to tight tolerances. Because of this, adjustable components fit tightly together without rattling, and all parts designed to move do so smoothly. The wide base comes with adjustable end caps designed to improve safety. By offering adjustment on the end caps you can ensure that the stool is sturdy and secure, even on uneven surfaces.
If you’re looking to take it with you, it folds flat for convenience. It is one of the heavier models on test at 20.7lb, but the extra weight is forgivable due to the exceptional build quality. The frame is made from powder coated, high grade steel, and the seat is finished in a supple, yet hard wearing imitation leather.
Verdict: The K&M Performance stool is a luxury choice if money isn’t an issue. It’s exceptionally comfortable and offers a lot of customized adjustment. The seat alone does provide plenty of back support, but if you need more, K&M will sell you a compatible back rest separately. Yes, it’s heavy, but that weight really helps this stool to feel rock solid.
A simple, yet functional guitar stool and stand
Donner are quite well known for making budget guitars, amps and even pedals, but they also make guitar stools, too. This is a folding barstool type design with a fixed height of 35.4 inches. It arrives fully assembled, so there is no need to have any tools prepared. The footrest is also fixed, but well designed – it projects a little way forward from the legs, making it very comfortable to use. For a budget stool, it’s exceptionally well made, and can support up to 300lb in weight.
The seat is round but does not rotate. It’s constructed from thick, high density foam that will conform to your body, but quickly regains its natural shape when not in use. Its finished in imitation leather, so it’s easy to care for. The choice of finish gives this stool just the right amount of tackiness, not so much that you stick to the seat, but enough to prevent slipping off while playing.
This is one of the lightest seats around, weighing just 8.7 lb. It folds completely flat for ease of storage and transportation. When folded, this stool actually latches shut, and is released with the press of a button, a nice touch for a stool at this price point. It features a guitar stand with 3 points of contact for extra security, and the stand is covered in soft foam to protect your guitar’s finish.
Verdict: This Donner Guitar Stool is a great choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive folding guitar stool with a built in stand. It’s comfortable, well made, and extremely light weight. It has a small footprint, and doesn’t take up much room, so it will work well for in home use, and it’s portable enough to take out to an open mic night or your next gig.
A comfortable and supportive stool from a brand that knows guitarists’ needs
Much like Fender’s premium instruments, this guitar stool is proudly made in the USA. It is a non-folding barstool type design. It does require some assembly, but the instructions are clear, and the process is straight forward. The stool height is 30”, and while it isn’t adjustable, it does sit in the middle of the usual range of heights, so It should be suitable for most guitarists. Unlike some other stools, the backrest on this model isn’t an afterthought. It’s sturdy and reaches about half way up the back for excellent support, but manages to remain completely clear of the arms and the guitar while in use.
The stool itself is made from plush high-density foam and is exceptionally comfortable. The seat does turn through 360 degrees, and the swivel action is good and smooth. Having a smooth action is especially important if you’re using stools in a studio setting to prevent squeaks and other unwanted noises during takes. The legs are made from attractive, chrome plated 1” tubular steel.
This is one of the most attractive guitar stools on the market. The blend of the black imitation leather with the chrome gives a classic look, and the embossed Fender logo on the backrest really sets it off. Weight is above average for this style of chair, coming in at 23.85lb, making this a good single location stool for use in the studio or at home.
Verdict: This Fender Barstool is a premium guitar stool with exceptional sturdiness, and great looks. It’s a great choice for any studio, and because it’s tastefully designed, it should fit right in with most home décor. It offers a lot including smooth, quiet swivel action, a comfortable seat and a supportive backrest.
An ideal guitar stool for shorter players
This Eastrock Foldable guitar seat is one of the few truly flat folding stools on the market. This is ideal if space is at a premium for you and you need to put your guitar stool away when it’s not in use. It features a locking mechanism to stop it from coming open when folded, or collapsing when open, which is always a reassuring feature. The seat cushion is “barely there” but despite the depth of the foam, it is surprisingly comfortable. It’s nonadjustable, and sits at 27.5” tall, which is at the smaller end of the scale for guitar stools – this does make it a good choice for shorter guitarists.
The Seat is finished in PU imitation leather. It has a nice texture and looks convincingly like the real thing. At the base we have non-skid rubber cups on the feet to help prevent slipping, and just as importantly, to prevent squeaks and scrapes from cutting through the mix. The footrest slightly protrudes from the front legs, giving just enough purchase to keep the experience comfortable.
At the back there is a fold out guitar stand with a neck securing point at the back of the stool, too. This is great for occasions in which you just need to put your guitar down quickly to tend to something. It weighs in at just 9.1lb, making it one of the most easily portable stools around.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a simple stool that’s made well and suits shorter players, the Eastrock Foldable Guitar Seat could be a good option for you. It boasts features normally associated with more expensive models, making it an excellent value proposition if you aren’t worried about height adjustment or having a swiveling seat.
High load capacity and great ergonomics in a compact stool
The Pyle PYG60 Folding Guitar Stool is a great option for any guitarist who likes the idea of an X style (crossed legs) design, but also wants the comfort and support of a back rest. Like other stools in this style, it does fold completely flat, so it’s a breeze to move around. The padding on both the seat base and the back rest is thick and dense, making it extremely comfortable for players of all sizes. The seat and backrest are clad in hard wearing PU, not only does it last well and look good, it’s also super easy to take care of, with cleaning requiring nothing more than a wipe with a damp cloth.
It is of fixed height at 27.1”, which is great for shorter and id height players, and it boasts a heavy duty 300lb capacity. The non slip rubber feet work well and prevent unintentional movement while helping to keep chair nose to a minimum. Speaking of chair noise, there are very few squeaks, indicating that this chair is well constructed. The foot rest stands out from the rest of the frame, making it easy to locate when you’re not able to look down.
The guitar cradle is located at the front, and is wrapped in soft EVA foam, which will prevent damage to the finish of your guitar if that’s where you choose to keep it. It doesn’t feature a neck securing point, but there is a slight recess in the front of the chair that helps to secure the neck. The stand is big enough to accommodate full size acoustic guitars, electric guitars and basses, and it does fold away when it’s not in use.
Verdict: If having a back rest on a collapsible guitar stool is high on your list of “must haves”, the Pyle PYG60 Folding Guitar Stool should check all the boxes. It’s comfortable even during extended use, it folds completely flat, and weighs just 13.7lb. You could comfortably practice all day at home, pack this stool into your car or van, and play a 2 hour set if you needed to.
Because getting a guitar specific chair is often an afterthought, many find that there is a surprising amount to consider when it comes to selecting a guitar stool. While a big, soft seat is always nice, there are other factors affecting comfort, including ease of carrying, ergonomics, and adjustability. Remember – there are guitar stools to suit everyone, and because there are such a vast number of shapes, sizes and styles on the market, the odds are good that you will find something that checks your boxes for comfort, style, durability, features, and fits within your budget.