What Is Counter Height?

Whether you’re planning on refitting your kitchen, or you’re already a part of the way through the process, at some point you will have started to consider whether or not to add an island into your kitchen space, which is always a great addition if you have the room. 

What Is Counter Height?

Kitchen islands are always a great way of eating a casual and relaxed eating space in your kitchen, but if this is something you’re considering, then you’ll probably be wondering how to know exactly how tall the counter is so that you can buy chairs that are going to fit. 

Thankfully, all counters have a standardized height, which is known as counter height, so this will help make your task a lot easier. 

If you want to learn more about counter height, including what it is, how it compares to other heights, and what the benefits and drawbacks of counter height are, then you’ve come to the right place, as this article discusses it all!

So, let’s get started. 

Counter Height – What Is It? 

So, whether you’re wondering what counter height is so that you can pick the right chairs, or just so you can get a better idea of what height your new kitchen top counters are going to be, then this should hopefully clear everything up. 

Standard kitchen counter height was set almost 100 years ago, which is slightly crazy to believe, but is true! 

Counter height, AKA the standard kitchen counter height, measures in at 36 inches. Although this means that kitchen cabinets are typically manufactured to be 34 ½ inches tall, with the other 1 ½ inches coming from the countertop itself. 

So, if you ever see something being described as “counter height”, you’ll now know that it means 36 inches!

Why This Particular Measurement?

You might be wondering, “Why are all countertops made to this exact height?”Thankfully, there’s a great explanation for this. 

The main idea behind keeping a standardized height for all of the counters in the kitchen is that it makes moving from counter to counter easier for those using the kitchen.

If each countertop had varying different heights, then it would lead to an uneven kitchen, why isn’t just aesthetically unappealing, but it would also be hard to use too. 

In addition to this, 36 inches is seen as the perfect height for people to work on the kitchen tops without them being either too small or too high, especially for the average-sized person. 

There should be a few inches between your countertop surface and your elbow should you bend your lower arm upwards and straight out in front of you.

Working with a countertop at this height is comfortable for most people to work with food preparation or other tasks. 

Another one of the reasons why this height is a good height for the kitchen is because you’ll quite frequently be lifting heavy and uneven objects and items around the kitchen. 

Whether you’re lifting a large bag of potatoes, or a saucepan filled with boiling water, keeping a standard height is essential for ensuring your safety, having higher countertops would make it more difficult for you to either pick up or put down the heavy items, and would most likely lead to you overbalancing and dropping the item, which could be extremely dangerous! 

The Benefits Of Standardized Counter Height

So, if you’re considering installing counter height countertops into your home, then you’ll want to consider both the benefits and the downsides of opting for this height.

So in this section, we’ll take a look at some of the benefits of sticking with the standardized counter height. 

What Is Counter Height?


The first reason for choosing counter height is the cost.

If you want a particular design of countertop made into a different height, whether that be taller, or shorter, it often costs more money due to the extra work and labor that will be required to adjust the height, which will increase the cost. 

For those on a budget, it’s simply best to choose counter-height kitchen worktops, as it will ensure that you’re not spending too much on the countertops when you could be spending it on a nicer oven or refrigerator!


Another one of the benefits of standardized counter height kitchen worktops is their aesthetic.

Not only does having a singular height of worktops throughout your kitchen look more visually appealing, but they’ll also help to provide a greater sense of space in the kitchen too. 

Plus, if you have a standalone oven, then having countertops that are higher or shorter than the oven will make it look out of place, and disjointed. 


Although we mentioned it previously, it’s worth mentioning again that one of the biggest reasons why counter height exists is to help make the kitchen a safe workspace. 

Lifting, carrying, and putting down hot food and dishes would be made much more difficult if the countertops were higher or lower, especially if you’re taking them off of the top of the stove too. 

The Downsides Of Standardized Counter Height

Despite there being some benefits to standardized counter height, it doesn’t mean that it’s for everyone, so you’ll need to consider the downsides too before you make a decision. 

Your Height

Arguably the biggest reason not to opt for standardized counter height is because of your height. If you’re exceptionally tall or short, then using standardized counter height is going to be difficult for you, and not safe. 

If this is the case, then you should inquire about having some countertops produced that are going to be a suitable and safe height for your kitchen. 

Final Thoughts

We hope that you’ve found this guide to counter height helpful, just remember that counter height is 36 inches exactly, and you’ll be good to go! 

Luke Powell
Scroll to Top