Top 10 well-designed stools that are the smarter alternative to chairs

Top 10 well-designed stools that are the smarter alternative to chairs

I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’m team stool over chairs, and I truly believe that stools deserve a lot more recognition than they get. Stools are often overlooked, perhaps because they take up little space and aren’t really obtrusive. But these qualities make stools so great in my opinion! I mean they are compact and a great space saving furniture option for our modern homes. They are also super wearable. And we’ve put together a collection of stool designs that not only offer a healthy seating experience while promoting good and stable posture, but most of them are also made from sustainable materials. From a sculptural wooden multifunctional stool to a wild stool that invites nature into your space, these well-designed stools are the furniture pieces you need to add to your home.

1. The plastic translation stool

Dubbed the Plastic Translation Stool, this intriguing stool design attempts to reinterpret the lines of a plastic stool by creating a similar yet totally unique shape that allows the wooden stool to possess its own unique character.

Why is it remarkable?

However, the wooden legs alone will not be enough to offer the same stability as the plastic counterpart, so an extra element had to be added. This element comes in the form of buttresses made from birch plywood. These pillars distribute some of the force evenly to the beechwood legs, which in turn hold the pillars together. The result is increased architectural stability and visual reinforcement, giving the design an upgraded look.

what we like

  • No screws or nails need to be installed
  • A more sustainable alternative to the plastic stool
  • It’s like a fun design puzzle

What we don’t like

  • Options for customizing the stool are currently missing

2. The rock stool

The Fels stool by OUT stands out from most stools on the market because it is very aesthetic. They are a stark contrast to the boring wooden stools that we usually see in homes. They have a sculptural appeal and are multifunctional too!

Why is it remarkable?

The Fels stool is excellent for several reasons. It is made of wood, which makes it a sustainable and environmentally friendly piece of furniture. Second, even though it’s built out of wood, it looks like it’s carved out of stone! This immediately gives the stool a rather sophisticated and luxurious look despite being made from a simple material – wood. To be honest, it looks more like a sculpture than a piece of furniture.

what we like

  • It also serves as a side table
  • Looks carved out of stone

What we don’t like

  • The stool may be too bold and quirky for some people

3. The CONECTO stool


The CONECTO stool looks like a fairly ordinary stool, although in reality it is not. It consists of two half-cylinders joined at their flat side. These halves can be used modularly, allowing you to create larger stools that can hold and seat more people.

Why is it remarkable?

By joining the two halves at their curved side, a square ‘cover’ can be placed on top for a more traditional stool. Placing half a cylinder on one side lengthens it slightly for a more convenient arrangement, but adding another half on the opposite side creates an elongated bank. On the other hand, if you put three full cylinders together in a triangle formation, you can have a bench that can seat up to three people.

what we like

  • Modular and flexible design
  • A mix of brutalism and minimalism

What we don’t like

4. The Balanco stools


The Balanco stools were designed during the pandemic to give kids and adults something to play with and be occupied with! Aside from being interesting toys, the stools make great seating, inspired by rocks and boulders. You can stack the stools in different shapes and patterns while creating art.

Why is it remarkable?

The idea for the Balanco stools came from the Japanese practice of piling pebbles into towers. Traditionally, the pebbles mostly consist of rounded shapes. Designers Lisa Lai and Joel Wong decided that chiseled, rock-like shapes would create more visual dynamics while offering a variety of flat surfaces ideal for stacking and layering.

what we like

  • The poufs are deceptively light
  • The individual surfaces remain relatively flat, so that they stack on top of each other quite nicely
  • Inspired by rocks and boulders

What we don’t like

  • Because it’s made of felt, this design has a higher chance of staining

5. Wild Stool


Spanish designer Jorge Herrera and Spanish company Greenarea created a cylindrical low stool with a transparent base containing a miniature natural landscape. The unique stool brings nature indoors without maintenance. So you can enjoy nature indoors!

Why is it remarkable?

Featuring a natural wood base, Wild Stool is available in three different seating options – birch, oak or upholstered in sustainable Gabriel fabric for added comfort. The minimalist design draws attention to the small garden inside the stool and also allows the seat to blend seamlessly with existing furniture in your living space. Simple yet unexpected, this terrarium stool will liven up the room with wonders of the wild while also providing you with a comfortable seat.

what we like

  • Bring a piece of nature into your living space
  • Natural objects such as rocks and shells can also be added to create a terrain that gives you a sense of comfort, calm and inspiration

What we don’t like

6. The tie stool


The Tie Stool consists of three curved strips of plywood that effortlessly interlock to create a tripod shape that is comfortable to sit on. In addition to its unique design, the sheer simplicity of the stool and the use of minimal materials make the stool a beauty.

Why is it remarkable?

Making the tie stool would take a few simple steps. The three strips of plywood can actually be divided into a total of 6 pieces (you can see the dividing lines). The individual pieces are formed under high pressure and temperature, which causes the plywood to flex and retain its shape, and the pieces are interlocked through cutting/finishing processes.

what we like

  • The entire stool can potentially be flat packed and shipped to customers
  • It is stackable

What we don’t like

  • Due to its compressed design, it needs a tabletop to create more space on the stool

7. The flying closet


The Flightable Closet is quite an interesting concept as it’s not just a suitcase, it’s also a mini closet (as the name suggests) with a clothes rack. It can even function as a stool if you need it at the airport or in the room you are in.

Why is it remarkable?

The idea is to make your carry-on suitcase more than just an accessory by trying to fit as many clothes and toiletries in it as possible. It is designed for both frequent travelers and those who live in small spaces and need extra space for their belongings.

what we like

  • The suitcase’s telescopic handle can also be used as a clothes stand
  • Multipurpose design
  • Perfect for frequent travelers and those who live in tight spaces and need extra space for their belongings

What we don’t like

  • The actual weight it can withstand needs to be tested when creating a real life-size prototype

8. The Rubik’s Stool


The Rubik stool can be twisted, flipped and combined to create a versatile furniture design that you can use for any purpose in your home. It is specially designed for apartments that do not have space for a sofa or shelves to store magazines, books and other items.

Why is it remarkable?

If you need a seat, you can put it upright with the seat up. But you can also use the part underneath as a storage place for things like shoes, magazines or whatever else you would like to have under your seat. If you want it to become a mini shelf, just flip it over and you now have two levels on which you can place books, toys, plants or even some decorations. It’s not exactly modular, but it can serve multiple purposes.

what we like

  • Unique seating and shelf concept
  • The furniture is specially designed for rooms that cannot accommodate a sofa or shelves

What we don’t like

9. The binding

Bond stool 2022
Bond 2022 Designer

This is just a stool, but its specific purpose is to let two people live in unity. How? You open the stool system and separate the pieces to accommodate two people. Some people probably won’t get the point because the ottomans are too close together, but the Bond can be perfect for couples who change residence frequently.

Why is it remarkable?

If you and your partner love going out, you can sit together on the stools while you’re wearing your shoes and before you head out the door. Bond just wants to be closer because some couples just can’t get enough of each other. The Bond stool system also offers some storage space inside. You can put anything in it, like maybe your shoes or your laptop. Likewise, you can probably put your purse or pretty much anything you don’t want to forget there.

what we like

  • The Bond is made primarily of wood material so you know it’s durable enough to stand the test of time
  • Space-saving shape
  • Allows you to get closer to your partner

What we don’t like

  • Standalone design that cannot be added or extended

10. Stool made from rice husks


This reading stool is “inspired by rice”, which basically means that rice husks became the designer’s inspiration and material for this product. Farming isn’t usually associated with furniture, so this stool is really something special. The rounded shapes of the actual chair seat and the stand itself convey a “harmonious emotion” between the bionic design and the person who will be sitting on it.

Why is it remarkable?

When it comes to sustainable materials, he suggests taking a mixture of rice husk and carbon, shredding it and mixing the materials together, and then perfusion molding them into the final chair design. The seat itself is made of woven straw, with the rice husk serving as the base for the cushion. The straw is also used on the bottom of the stool. This closes the circle of the idea of ​​sustainable design, so to speak.

what we like

  • The stool looks like a sculpture with an agricultural touch
  • Sustainable + eco-friendly design

What we don’t like

  • As a reading chair, it looks uncomfortable when sitting for a long time

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