The general opinion is that bar stools with backs are more comfortable than the backless ones. It’s quite logical actually. Having something to rest against is definitely comfortable and even ergonomic, especially if you’re sitting on the stool for long periods of time. Backless stools can be comfortable too, usually if they’re only used periodically or for short periods of time.
So the height is an important criteria when choosing a bar stool, especially if you opt for a custom countertop height. But there’s more to counter-height stools than just that. Other measurements need to be taken into consideration as well. For example, make sure you space out the stools in a comfortable manner. The space between the center of a stool to the center of the one next to it should be between 26” and 30”.
Another good example of simple design that fit in a variety of interior designs is that featured by Stool_One by Magis. Here you can see it displayed in a contemporary setting where it complements a large kitchen island.
Speaking of a vintage or reclaimed vibe, these Knoll stools from Steven Shell of London are fantastic. Substantial yet with an elegant touch thanks to the curved bottom of the feet, they are available in a variety of finishes. Made from premium mahogany, the stools are hand finished and have a mortise and tenon frame construction. While they might be pieces with a vintage look, they are of a quality fit for handing down over time.