How To Choose A Patio Bar Table

A good patio bar table can easily transform your outdoor entertainment space. This guide shows you the right size, style, and materials for your bar height table and chairs.

Patio bar tables are the ultimate furniture piece for outdoor entertainment. Just imagine – leading your guests into the backyard, maybe by the pool, and lounging around on bar height tables with an ice-cold drink in hand.

With the perfect patio bar table, this could be your reality! Bar height tables add an extra layer of luxury that you don't always get with regular outdoor dining furniture.

In this article, we're sharing all the tips on:

  • how to pick the right height and size patio table,
  • how to style an outdoor bar table,
  • what materials are best for patio tables next to the pool,
  • what style you need to fit your space.

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How tall are patio bar tables and chairs? 

Patio bar tables are appealing because they give the feeling of lounging at a bar. The trick is to get the right height table.

Standard outdoor dining tables are generally 28-30 inches high. This is regardless of how big the table diameter is.

For bar height tables, the average height is 42 inches. To sit comfortably at your pub-style tables, you will need stools that are approximately 29-32 inches high.

If your table is slightly taller or shorter than 42 inches, the general rule is to have a stool that is 10-12 inches shorter than the table.

Regardless of how high the table is, you should always try and find stools and table frames that both allow for leg room and also have a bar for people to rest their feet on. This ensures your bar height dining set is comfortable no matter how tall your guest is.

What are the best materials for outdoor bar tables?

Like other outdoor dining table sets, patio bar tables need to stand up to the changing elements. This means that no matter what size table you get, you need long-lasting materials.

If you want a bar table in the pool area, you need to choose materials that will stand up to more water damage than most outdoor furniture pieces.


You should avoid metal furniture with iron or steel as these will be susceptible to more rust over time. Powder-coated metals are a traditional outdoor choice. For metal tables used next to the pol, avoid rust by opting for an aluminum frame, or stainless steel if you have the budget.

Black Traditional Metal Bar Table
Silver Modern Stainless Steel Folding Bar Table
White Modern Aluminum Rectangular Bar Table
Brown Traditional Metal Patio Bar Table
White Modern Aluminum Bar Table
Gray Classic Iron Patio Bar Table


Untreated wooden furniture may look appealing, however over time water damage and warping will force you to replace it. Opt for furniture made from a treated hardwood such as teak or eucalyptus. They should last a lot longer, especially if you use them next to the pool

Brown Contemporary Solid Wood Bar Table
White Modern Wooden Patio Bar Table
Brown Modern Wooden Rectangular Bar Table
Brown Minimalist Solid Wood Bar Table
Brown Stylish Solid Wood Rooftop Bar Table
Brown Modern Teak Patio Bar Table

Synthetic wicker and rattan

Resin wicker furniture with water-resistant upholstery is always a great idea for an outdoor area. They are inherently durable and known for being low maintenance. However, it usually exchanges luxury with comfort. For an ultimately natural look, go for rattan, but remember it is not as durable as its synthetic counterpart.

Black Modern Wicker Bar Table
White Modern Rattan Patio Bar Table
Black Contemporary Wicker Bar Table
White Modern Rattan Bar Table
Brown Classic Wicker Patio Bar Table
Black Modern Rattan Bar Table


Bar tables with glass topsare still a popular choice. Glass tops are waterproof and very easy to clean. Although clear glass is stunningly minimalist, smoked, black, opaque, and translucent glass offer you contemporary alternatives.

Black Classic Glass Patio Bar Table
Gray Contemporary Wicker Glass Bar Table
Blue Classic Metal Glass Bar Table
Brown Classic Metal Patio Bar Table
Gray Stylish Rattan Glass Bar Table
Gray Modern Wicker Glass Patio Bar Table

No matter what materials you choose, it is best to mix and match. Rather than choosing upholstery that matches the frames of the furniture, try mixing textures and materials to create interest. For example, matching metal, glass, and wicker is a lot more aesthetically pleasing than a table and chairs that are all one color.

What style and size patio bar table will suit my space?

The style and size of your bar height table will depend on what space you have to work with.

Before you buy a bar table, make sure you measure your space.

  • For dining tables and chairs, you generally need at least 2 ½ feet between the table and the edge of the patio to ensure enough room for people to get up. 
  • If you have a pool area with a fence, then a tall, round table might look out of place. Instead, get a long table that can fit effortlessly along the fenceline.
  • For a small patio without the adjoining backyard, your table will need to be in a corner or along the fenceline as the tall table will look unbalanced in the middle.
  • For large backyards and patios, a full bar size table will create an entertainment space you will be dying to show off. Instead of a standalone table that only seats 2 or 3 people, you could create the full bar experience in your own home using an outdoor kitchen island.
  • An outdoor kitchen island with a BBQ on one side and bar stools on the other will be approximately the same height as a patio bar table. You may be able to achieve this using standalone furniture, however, a permanent concrete structure will require professional consultation.

How to style high outdoor tables to look like a bar? 

The best part of having a high outdoor table? The entertainment lifestyle that comes with it! To help you curate your outdoor living space, below are a few expert design tips for your patio bar table:

  • Flow from your interior design - Just because your bar table is outside, that doesn't mean it should be a completely different style from your interior! Your outdoor living space should flow naturally from your indoor space with similar colors, textures and styles.
  • Design with people in mind - Your tables and chairs should invite people to sit and talk facing each other. Whether that is across a small bar table or a larger island with a bench for making cocktails, the emphasis should be on socializing.
  • Add an outdoor bar cart - To really get the feeling of having your own bar, why not include an outdoor bar cart? This could include ice buckets, glasses (plastic for poolside!), and cocktail making equipment. For kitchen island style bar tables, this could be tucked away underneath for extra storage.
  • Include shade - For long luxurious afternoons outside, don't forget an umbrella or overhanging shade cover. If you have a full bar style BBQ area, a cover will add to the "tiki-style" bar aesthetic.
  • Don't forget to decorate - Whether you have a small, free-standing bar table or a full table that sits multiple people on stools across from the BBQ, decoration will tie it together. If you imagine a bar or beer garden, small details like fairy lights, small pot plants, outdoor cushions and artwork all contribute to the overall "bar" atmosphere