The 19 Best Step Stools for Kids of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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Step Stools for Kids

VeryWell Family / Kevin Liang

As kids grow more independent, a step stool can become a valuable tool around the house to promote their newfound freedom. Being able to grab a book from a high shelf, reach the faucet to brush their teeth, use the potty, or help in the kitchen are all a wonderful milestones for kids. To find the best step stools for kids, we had parents and their children put 26 of them through multiple tests at home, evaluating their stability, adjustability, design, and overall value.

Reviewed & Approved

The BabyBjörn Step Stool featured anti-slip features that provided extra safety, and it was lightweight for our toddler tester to carry. For an adjustable step stool, we recommend the Skip Hop Large Double-Up Step Stool.

Regardless of where you use the step stool, there are a couple of safety reminders to follow. “Always place step stools on the ground to avoid falls,” says Whitney Casares, MD, MPH, pediatrician, author of “The Working Mom Blueprint,” and founder of Modern Mommy Doc. “They should never be placed on an elevated surface.”

To ensure the safety of everyone who uses the step stool, check the manufacturer’s weight recommendations and age requirements. Consider other helpful features, like anti-slip material on the base and surface, while thinking of where the step stool will be used, such as the bathroom or kitchen. We took into account these criteria when testing step stools for kids in the real world before narrowing down our list here.

Best Overall

BabyBjörn Step Stool

BabyBjörn Step Stool

Amazon

Pros
  • Rubber edging provides stability

  • Lightweight

  • Easy to clean

Cons
  • Does not fold/adjust

With its stability, durable material, and solid design, the BabyBjörn Step Stool earned the highest scores in each testing category, which is why it’s our top pick. We loved the rubber bottom edging that keeps the step stool in place while in use, and the grippy material on the top to prevent little feet from sliding off (5 out of 5 stars for stability). “The anti-slip surface provided traction when my 16-month-old was stomping his feet and fidgeting,” said our tester. “It did not move, nor did he feel unstable.” Moreover, the plastic material was easy to clean with a damp cloth or by rinsing in the sink. 

The compact shape and low weight of the step stool (1.2 pounds) made it effortless to move around from room to room, even for a busy toddler. According to our tester, it was also small enough to fit in under-sink cabinets when not in use.

The only downside with the BabyBjörn Step Stool was the lack of adjustability, which is why our tester docked half a point for that category. However, aside from this missing feature, the step stool earned 5 out of 5 stars for its overall value. “Really durable, lightweight, easy to clean, and overall, very safe features for little ones,” said our tester. “It’s constructed very well—solid and sturdy.” 

Price at time of publication: $30

Dimensions: 14 x 9.5 x 6 inches | Weight Limit: Reached out 12/12 | Material: Plastic | Product Weight: 1.2 pounds

What Our Testers Say

“I love this step stool and will be using it as my son grows. [Its] features provide safety and durability, and it’s easily accessible.” — Shannon Amann, Director, Beauty & Style Brand Partnerships

Best Adjustable

SKIP HOP Large Double-Up Step Stool

4.8
Skip Hop Large Double-Up Step Stool

Amazon

Pros
  • Converts from one to two stools

  • Easy to pick up

  • Doesn’t move with children on it

Cons
  • Less sturdy with adult weight

The Skip Hop Double-Up is the only option on our list that converts from one step stool to two. A smaller step stool connects to a bigger one to create a sturdy two-step stool, and everything separates easily if you’d instead like to use them as two separate step stools, earning top marks for adjustability. Our tester usually used the step stools separately because her children are older, but added, “We have never had an instance where the stool came apart while my child was standing on it.” 

Stable and secure, the step stool didn’t move or shift when children stood on it, thanks to non-slip bases. However, our tester said they also used the step stool to reach high shelves in their kitchen but felt the stool gave a little despite the 250-pound weight limit. “I don’t think I’m in danger of breaking it, but it does give ever so slightly whenever I stand on it,” they explained further, scoring stability 4.2 out of 5 stars.

The step stool has a simple design that won’t feel like an eyesore in the bathroom, though it’s not exactly a conversation piece. It is lightweight and has a slot in the top for easy portability. Plus, the nesting design saves space when storing both step stools. At $22, this stool is a steal for the features you gain in return. 

Price at time of publication: $22

Dimensions: 13.25 x 8.5 x 10.25 inches (large step stool) and 10.37 x 6 x 10.25 inches (small step stool) | Weight Limit: 250 pounds | Material: Plastic | Product weight: 2.4 pounds

What Our Testers Say

“It’s lightweight and easy to move but still sturdy enough to hold the kids’ weight. I can easily push it under the table to free up space in the kitchen when not in use.” — Rachel Abraham, Production Director, People

Best Two-Step

Pop-Pop’s Children’s Furniture Kids Hickory T-Rex Step Stool

Pop-Pop’s Children’s Furniture Kids Hickory T-Rex Step Stool

Maisonette

Pros
  • Beautiful yet fun design

  • Extremely stable

  • Pre-assembled

Cons
  • Too wide for small bathrooms

Four dino-loving brothers (ages 3 to 8) were lucky enough to try this super cool dinosaur step stool. According to our tester, the step stool arrived pre-assembled straight out of the box with two steps and felt sturdy for all four children. In addition, there were no issues with tit wobbling, tipping, or tilting when in use, which is why it earned 5 stars for stability. 

Made of hickory plywood, both sides of the step stool featured a fun T-Rex. Despite its large size, it was surprisingly lightweight and fit well in the kitchen. However, the size was less than ideal in our tester’s bathroom. “It’s a bit too wide to use in our small bathroom at the sink (too wide for the bathroom door to close),” she said.

The step stool isn’t adjustable, but this was no problem for our tester and her children. “It works well for helping my kids wash their hands at the kitchen sink or as a step stool in front of a bookshelf for reaching high books,” she said, adding that adjustability didn’t matter compared to the well-made, beautiful construction. 

While the $160 price tag is one of the highest on our list, our tester thought the step stool was worth it, given its unique design and usefulness. Plus, children ages 18 months to 8 years old can use this step stool, so you’re sure to use it for a long time. Bonus: You can customize the step stool with your child’s name (up to 14 characters) for an additional $25. 

Price at time of publication: $160

Dimensions: 16 x 15 x 20 inches | Weight Limit: 100 pounds | Material: Hickory plywood | Product Weight: 8 pounds

What Our Testers Say

“We’ve been using this step stool in our kitchen, and I don’t mind it being out all the time because it’s stylish with beautiful craftsmanship.” Jessica Fleming, Senior Commerce Editor, Health

Best Stability

OXO Tot Step Stool

4.7
OXO Tot Step Stool

Amazon

Pros
  • Anti-slip top and rubber base

  • Great quality

  • Low profile

Cons
  • Too short for kitchen use/smaller children

With its grippy pattern on the surface and non-slip base, the OXO Tot Step Stool provided a stable spot for our tester’s toddler. “It is a little narrow for toddler balance, but after a couple of uses, my 2-year-old is a pro with it, and I have no fear of slipping,” said our tester, who tried the step stool out, too. Thanks to the 200-pound weight limit, the step stool comfortably held an adult, earning 5 stars for stability. 

The lack of adjustability wasn’t much of a problem for our tester, who took one point off for that category. Our tester noted the “wonderful quality” of durable plastic and appreciated its low, compact profile. The step stool lived in our tester’s small bathroom without taking up much space, and the shorter size allowed cabinet doors to open over it (5 out of 5 stars for design). While the 7-inch height worked great in the bathroom, however, it may not work for shorter children or at taller counters. Regardless of where you use it, two easy-to-grip handles on the side make it easy to carry from room to room. 

Our tester scored the step stool’s overall value 5 out of 5 stars, giving credit to its stability and simple design. “We get daily use of it for toothbrushing and hand washing, and it’s not intrusive in the space,” our tester said. 

Price at time of publication: $23

Dimensions: 10.1 x 13.8 x 7.1 inches | Weight Limit: 200 pounds | Material: Plastic | Product Weight: 1.5 pounds

Best Non-Slip

Joovy StepTool Step Stool

4.6
Joovy StepTool Step Stool

Amazon

Pros
  • Wide base

  • Unobtrusive for any room

  • Entire top covered in grip material

Cons
  • Does not fold/collapse for portability/storage

There’s a reason the Joovy Step Stool earned our best non-slip option: A grippy material covers the whole surface. The non-slip material on the bottom of the wide base provided some welcome security for our tester’s daughter (earning 5 out of 5 stars for stability). 

“Even though it’s stable and solid, it would be great to have another height option or have it turn into something more useful once it’s done being a stool,” said our tester, knocking off nearly one and a half points for adjustability. 

Aside from that detail, the step stool’s compact and simple plastic design was welcoming (and unobtrusive) in any room. Our tester also liked the round shape that set it apart from other step stools. The only downside our tester found was that it doesn’t fold, making it challenging to transport on family vacations or overnight stays at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. 

With a 300-pound weight limit, the step stool is safe for nearly anyone in the family. Its simple functionality, appealing design, and anti-slip materials all performed well, earning the step stool’s overall value 5 out of 5 stars. 

Price at time of publication: $32

Dimensions: 15 x 10.5 x 6.25 inches | Weight Limit: 300 pounds | Material: Plastic | Product Weight: 1.5 pounds

Best Wood

ECR4Kids 13 Inch Sit Or Step Preschool Stool

4.6
ECR4Kids 13 Inch Sit Or Step Preschool Stool

Amazon

Pros
  • Sturdy and durable

  • Fits in with house decor

  • Multipurpose design

Cons
  • One assembly option at a time

Undoubtedly, this step stool is built to be sturdy, and it’s made from high-quality wood material that our tester appreciated. A special seal on the wood and protective feet prevent scratching and sliding. The step stool can also be configured into a small seat. The only problem is that you switch between seat or step without having to take it apart and assemble it with tools, which is why our tester gave it 3.5 stars for adjustability. 

“This is one sturdy stool! It’s not foldable or anything, so once it’s built, it’s built. This baby ain’t going nowhere,” said our tester of the step stool’s stability. 

Two built-in handles are on each side, along with integrated storage for books, games, and even potty training supplies. 

While the $70 cost isn’t budget-friendly for all families, the high quality of the wood makes it a fair price.

Price at time of publication: $70

Dimensions: 15.3 x 15 x 10 or 13.2 inches (depends on design option) | Weight Limit: Not listed | Material: Wood | Product Weight: 11 pounds

What Our Testers Say

“It’s really lovely with the natural wood stain, and fits in nicely with my house decor. [It] doesn’t feel kid-specific at all, which I appreciate.” — Amelia Edelman, Senior Editorial Director, Parents

Best Metal

Schoolhouse Utility Stool 10"

Schoolhouse Utility Stool 10"

Schoolhouse

Pros
  • Simple yet stylish

  • Durable material

  • Rubber feet provide stability

Cons
  • Too short for some children/counters

This stool is small but mighty! This cool steel piece is available in various bright and neutral colors, like persimmon and factory white. “It’s very simple yet stylish,” she said, scoring the step stool’s design 5 out of 5 stars. 

Our tester was impressed with the step stool’s stability too. “This is very sturdy and has a nice wide platform for kids (and even adults) to stand on,” our tester noted, adding it was lightweight enough for children to move on their own. Despite the smooth metal material, there were no issues with the step stool slipping and sliding, thanks to rubber feet that protected the floors. While the Schoolhouse Utility Stool is just one step, its 10-inch height was enough for our tester’s children to reach the kitchen counters. However, it may be too short for some children or at higher countertops. 

This pick is the highest-priced step stool on our list at nearly $200, which is why it lost a point for overall value. Still, with its durable steel material, it should last through multiple family members. 

Price at time of publication: $199

Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 10.5 inches | Weight Limit: 250 pounds | Material: Steel | Product Weight: Not listed

What Our Testers Say

“The metal has rubber on the legs, so [I had] no worries about scuffing up my wood floors and no issues with scratches from my kids dragging it across the floor.” — Jodi Espinosa, Inventory and Procurement Manager

Best Character

Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Bathroom Step Stool

4.5
Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Bathroom Step Stool

Amazon

Pros
  • Grippy material on surface and base

  • 200-pound weight limit

  • Small footprint

Cons
  • Difficult to nudge with foot

No job is too big for this adorable Paw Patrol step stool. The popular Nickelodeon show theme was a hit with the kiddo who tested this pick. “He loves Paw Patrol, and when he saw the step stool, he had to say ‘hi’ to all his friends and started to name them off,” our tester said. While the 3-year-old Paw Patrol fan loved the design, their parent found a few issues. The step stool looks a bit low quality with its bright red-orange color and Paw Patrol sticker, and it is difficult to nudge with just your foot, the way one often moves a step stool around. However, our tester liked the two holes drilled in each side that make it easy for her toddler to pick it up (the 1-pound weight is also a nice touch). Additionally, the curve in the step stool fit nicely around the sink, so it didn’t get in the way of guests.

The step stool features anti-slip material on the base and surface to keep kiddos safe. “The stool didn’t move or wiggle when standing up,” said our tester, scoring stability 5 out of 5 stars. On the downside, the stool was too short for our tester’s taller countertops, resulting in her child having to stand on their tippy toes to reach the sink. 

You can’t beat the $14 price tag on this step stool, especially if you have a Paw Patrol admirer under your roof. Our tester felt the step stool was sturdy and portable, and she even used it for herself thanks to the generous 200-pound weight limit that makes it safe for adults, too. 

Price at time of publication: $14

Dimensions: ‎4.7 x 12.1 x 9.4 inches | Weight Limit: 200 pounds | Material: Plastic | Product Weight: 1 pound

Best Classic Design

West Elm Sydney Step Stool

4.5
West Elm Sydney Step Stool

West Elm

Pros
  • Sturdy

  • Stylish design

  • Doubles as small shelf

Cons
  • Low maximum weight limit

The classic design of the West Elm Kids Sydney Step Stool fits in with any home decor thanks to its neutral simplicity. It was sturdy for our tester’s kiddos to use with its solid engineered wood material, and it arrived pre-assembled. “It's the right height for them getting to the counter for brushing teeth or ‘helping’ in the kitchen,” explained our tester, adding that after their children outgrow the 50-pound weight limit, they would keep the stool as a plant holder or bathroom accessory. 

While the step stool doesn’t adjust, the company offers a dual-step version of the same design if you need more height. Weighing only 4 pounds, the stool is light enough for children to pick up and move themselves. It’s important to note the company recommends this step stool for children ages 3 and up. 

The step stool’s overall value earned four stars for its strong wood material and stylish design. “I think it’s a great, solid wood stool that can have many functions beyond just a step stool,” our tester said.

Price at time of publication: $69 

Dimensions: 13.5 x 9.5 x 8 inches | Weight Limit: 50 pounds | Material: Solid and engineered wood | Product Weight: 4 pounds

Best Cute Design

Bumbo Step Stool

4.4
Bumbo Step Stool

Amazon

Pros
  • Grips on bottom and surface

  • Kid-friendly look

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Design won’t suit all places

The adorable Bumbo Step Stool resembles an elephant’s foot, but you don’t need to worry about it going anywhere. According to our tester, the slip-resistant surface and base (the elephant’s toenails) provided a stable spot to stand, even for a kid in socks. In addition, the grippy material is available in 10 vibrant or neutral colors. “It was very sturdy,” our tester noted, scoring both design and stability 5 out of 5 stars. 

Weighing barely over 1 pound, the step stool is lightweight enough for our tester’s child to carry. Additionally, two holes in each side allowed for easy pick-up. The only downside our tester found was the absence of any adjustability. It’s recommended for children ages 18 months up to 3 years old, which is fine, since the elephant design may not appeal to older kids or adults. 

The Bumbo Step Stool is $20, making it an affordable step stool for many families. 

Price at time of publication: $20

Dimensions: 15.16 x 11.22 x 6.5 inches | Weight Limit: 110 pounds | Material: Plastic | Product Weight: 1.23 pounds

Best Budget Two-Step

Pillowfort Double Step Stool

4.3
Pillowfort Double Step Stool

Target

Pros
  • Two heights

  • Rubber grips on base and surface

Cons
  • Wobbles some

  • Higher off the ground (may be a problem for littles)

Our tester had mixed feelings about the two-step design of the Pillowfort Double Step Stool. While this option allowed her toddler to wash his hands more easily, she wasn’t fully satisfied with its height. “It is higher off the ground, so this is not a step stool I would feel comfortable with my 2-year-old using on his own,” she explained. “He does need supervision still.” Additionally, the bottom step doesn’t have as much depth as the top, and the step stool wobbles when there’s too much weight on either side. Still, the step stool felt sturdy enough, and the two-step design was a hit with our tester’s toddler, who loved picking the stool up by its integrated handles. 

Despite the step stool lacking adjustability, there are technically two heights for kids to use. “My son is 2 years old, and having the second step allows him to reach the sink and soap well when washing his hands or brushing his teeth,” she said. 

The Pillowfort Step Stool is one of the lowest-priced step stools on our list, earning 5 out of 5 stars for its overall value. 

Price at time of publication: $15

Dimensions: 14.6 x 13.8 x 10.3 inches | Weight Limit: 75 pounds | Material: Plastic | Product Weight: 1.98 pounds

Best Folding

ACSTEP Folding Step Stool 9” Tall Kids

4.3
ACSTEP Folding Step Stool

Amazon

Pros
  • Folds

  • 300-pound weight limit

  • Sturdy

Cons
  • Adult help needed to unfold

Lightweight, foldable, and sturdy, this step stool is ideal for taking on the go or saving space at home. “We liked that it could easily fold up so we could tuck it away behind something so it wouldn’t take up space,” our tester noted. In addition, it’s available in several fun colors, like pink or blue, and features carrying handles for better portability. The only flaw in the design was our tester’s toddler needed help to flatten the top from its folding position. Otherwise, he had no problem carrying the step stool (5 stars for design). 

Once unfolded, the step stool proved true to its 300-pound weight limit with great stability. There were no issues with the step stool moving or slipping, and white polka dots on the top provide traction for feet. The step stool doesn’t adjust, but our 22-month-old tester found other ways to use it while their family traveled in an RV, as a chair on the ground or as a driver’s seat booster (only during stops, of course!). 

The step stool earned 5 out of 5 stars for value, considering its affordability, durability, and simple yet functional design. 

Price at time of publication: $13

Dimensions: 8.5 x 11.25 x 9 inches | Weight Limit: 300 pounds | Material: Plastic | Product Weight: 1.98 pounds

What Our Testers Say

“We liked that it could be folded up, didn’t have to be left out, and didn’t take up too much space.” Holly Klamer, Associate Commerce Editor, Nutrition

Best Easy-to-Fold

Utopia Home Foldable Step Stool for Kids

4.3
Utopia Home Foldable Step Stool for Kids

Amazon

Pros
  • Folding is simple and quick

  • Durable

  • Carrying handle

Cons
  • Holds weight best when distributed evenly

No, you’re not seeing things! The Utopia Home Foldable Step Stool is nearly identical to the ACSTEP pick above. However, according to our tester, they experienced a different issue with this step stool’s stability. “I do worry that it may collapse when [my child] stands on it if she is ever to put the weight in the middle rather than starting from the sides,” said our tester of their 5-year-old kiddo, scoring stability 3.8 out of 5 stars. 

There’s also no adjustability with this step stool, although its height was just right and not a huge step for our tester’s child to make. The step stool folds in half and features a carrying handle for easier portability anywhere. “I love the simple design and easy collapse of this stool,” our tester said. “It’s great for easy storage but still stable for my 145-pound body when I’ve needed something from a high shelf.” 

This step stool earned the same 4 out of 5 stars for overall value as the ACSTEP step stool. Its simple design worked well for bathroom use, and its low price is the cherry on top.

Price at time of publication: $13

Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 x 9 inches | Weight Limit: 300 pounds | Material: Plastic | Product Weight: Not listed

Best Basic

Melissa & Doug Step Stool

4.3
Melissa & Doug Step Stool

Amazon

Pros
  • Wood design fits in with decor

  • Stable on wood and tile flooring

  • Slip-free with socks on

Cons
  • Assembly required

Toymakers Melissa and Doug created a step stool for kids that’s sturdy and stylish. According to our tester, the two-step design required assembly but was easy to put together and didn’t come with many complicated pieces. Once assembled, the step stool felt stable, didn’t slide on wood or tile flooring, and was slip-free when used with socks despite a lack of anti-slip material.  “I have no concerns about this stool tipping over,” our tester noted, scoring stability 5 out of 5 stars. 

The step stool’s durable wood is available in several finishes, like natural, white, or gray, to fit in with any home decor. “You can’t adjust the height of this stool. That being said, so far, it’s been a great height for my son to wash his hands,” our tester noted about the step stool’s design. The nearly 14-inch height allows children ages 3 and up, and weighing up to 100 pounds, to reach items. There’s also a cutout under the top step to make carrying it easier. 

While it is priced higher than many other stools, Melissa and Doug is a well-known, trusted toy company, which our tester took into account when scoring its overall value 4 out of 5 stars. 

Price at time of publication: $65

Dimensions: 18 x 16.75 x 2.5 inches | Weight Limit: 100 pounds | Material: Wood | Product Weight: 12 pounds

What Our Testers Say

“I think the best part of this stool is the design. I didn’t really want a stool that had bright colors or cartoon characters on it. The light wood fits in with my decor and doesn’t stand out a lot.” — Julia Warren, SVP, Commerce Operations

Best Learning Tower

Little Partners Learning Tower

Learning Tower

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • High weight limit

  • Safety rails

  • Non-toxic finish

Cons
  • Bulky

Whether your child loves to lend a helping hand or is simply curious, a learning tower puts them at the right height to reach counters and high tables. While a learning tower may be a larger investment than a step stool, it has safety rails that allow kids to climb up and down, and to prevent falls while they “work.”

It’s important to note we did not test this learning tower, but it certainly deserves a spot on our list with its solid wood construction. It's super sturdy with a 250-pound weight limit and has a safe, non-toxic finish. It has a larger footprint than other options, so it's better for bigger kitchens with space to spare.

Price at time of publication: $200

Dimensions: 33.1 x 23.1 x 38.0 inches | Weight Limit: 250 pounds | Material: Wood | Product Weight: 28 pounds

Best Budget Learning Tower

Simplay3 Toddler Tower

Simplay3 Toddler Tower

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Rubber anti-skid feet

  • Three height settings

  • Weighs less than wood learning towers

Cons
  • Low weight limit

We did not test this pick on our list, but it’s a great alternative to wood learning towers. The rubber anti-skid feet keep the tower in place, and the multiple height settings allow it to adjust with your growing child. However, it has a 60-pound weight limit, so it may not work for bigger kids.

Price at time of publication: $90

Dimensions: 18 x 16.5 x 34.5 inches | Weight Limit: 60 pounds | Material: Plastic | Product Weight: 13.2 pounds

Best Color

Peek A Boost Kids' Step Stool Mint

4.3
B. Spaces Peek A Boost Kids' Step Stool Mint

Amazon

Pros
  • Whimsical design

  • Built-in handles

  • Appropriate height for children

Cons
  • Assembly required

The “whimsical” color and design of this kids' step stool was a breath of fresh air for our tester. “This is a really cute and attractive step stool. Even though it’s a children’s step stool, it wouldn’t look out of place in other rooms of the house,” she said, giving it 5 stars for design. The wooden steps feature fun bubble-like patterns, while the sides of the step stool are light mint green (also available in ivory) and have built-in handles. 

This step stool, recommended for ages 2 and up, was tested by four children, ages 3 to 8, and felt sturdy and stable with each child. However, our tester noted while the step stool worked great for her boys, she felt it wasn’t as sturdy for adults with its 154-pound weight limit. 

Although the step stool doesn’t adjust, this wasn’t a problem for our tester. “It’s very attractive and sturdy and could be used for multiple children over the years,” she said.

The drawback of this step stool was the assembly process, which required a second person to hold the pieces (16 total) in place. However, it’s an affordable step stool, and considering how stylish and stable it performed during testing, it earned 4 out of 5 stars for its overall value. 

Price at time of publication: $25

Dimensions: 14.5 x 13 x 10.9 inches | Weight Limit: 154 pounds | Material: Wood | Product Weight: 3

Best for Bathrooms

IKEA Forsiktig Step Stool

4.2
IKEA Forsiktig

 Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Didn’t feel wobbly/unstable

  • Not too tall

  • Grips on top to keep feet stable

Cons
  • May be too short for some kids/tall countertops

The IKEA Forsiktig Step Stool is a great budget option that we recommend for use during potty training, hand-washing, and tooth-brushing because it’s so light, sturdy, and easy to clean. The step stool weighs less than 1 pound, and is plenty sturdy, with grippy material on the bottom and top for extra security. “My son didn’t feel wobbly or unstable with this,” said our tester, scoring stability 5 out of 5 stars. 

This step stool has a basic design, with a small curve that fits nicely against a toilet. But it was a bit too short for our tester’s 2-year-old to reach the sink faucet and soap. Our tester wished the height was adjustable for her child to have access more easily. However, the grippy material was colorful and bright on the plus side, and the step stool isn’t overpriced, earning 5 out of 5 stars for its overall value.

Price at time of publication: $8

Dimensions: 14 x 9.5 x 5 inches | Weight Limit: 77 pounds | Material: Plastic | Product Weight: 14 ounces

Best Modern Design

EKOBO Kids Step Stool

4.2
EKOBO Kids Step Stool

The Tot

Pros
  • Stable

  • Interesting shape and colors

  • Durable, eco-friendly materials

Cons
  • Difficult for child to move

  • Too low for small children

The EKOBO Kid’s Step Stool gave our tester’s home a boost in style with its modern design. This step stool’s eco-friendly bamboo and 100% food-grade melamine (plastic) resin binder materials felt extremely stable, even when the tester’s 3-year-old stood on one side of it (5 stars for stability). 

This stool has a seamless shape that goes all the way down to the sides without handle cutouts, which made it slightly difficult for a young child to move it around. “It’s got a little bit of weight to it, so anytime she picks it up, it leans forward in her arms, but she’s able to hold onto it,” said our tester, knocking a point off the step stool’s design. 

Despite a lack of adjustability, the step stool helped our tester’s preschooler (who is tall for her age) reach both sinks in their house. The step stool’s 6-inch height may be a problem for shorter children or when placed at high countertops. 

“It seems like it would last a really long time and would stay looking nice since it’s easy to clean,” said our tester, giving the EKOBO an overall value score of 4 out of 5 stars.  

Price at time of publication: Starts at $32

Dimensions: 13 x 8 x 6 inches | Weight Limit: Approx. 175 pounds | Material: Bamboo and melamine resin | Product Weight: Not listed

How We Rated the Best Step Stools for Kids

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best step stools for kids we tested. We recommend them without reservation.
4.5 to 4.7 stars: These step stools for kids are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.
4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great step stools for kids, but others are better.
3.5 to 3.9 stars: These step stools for kids are just average.
3.4 and below: We don't recommend step stools for kids with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Tested Step Stools for Kids

Testers evaluated 26 step stools for kids in the comfort of their homes, assessing each on stability, adjustability, design, and overall value. We also spoke with Whitney Casares, MD, MPH, pediatrician, author of “The Working Mom Blueprint,” and founder of Modern Mommy Doc, to determine what to look for in step stools for kids and step stool safety. 

First, testers unboxed the step stools and followed assembly instructions, if any. Next, we asked testers to make notes about assembly, describing if it was easy, difficult, or somewhere in between. We had our kid testers step up and down onto the stools to determine initial stability before standing on them for a longer period of time. We asked their parents and caregivers to make notes of how the step stool performed, including if its height was accessible for their children. 

When possible, we asked the children to pick up the stools and move them to another area of their home. We wanted to know if the step stools were light enough for kids and had carrying handles or other features to make portability easier. We asked testers to wipe the step stools down and make a note of any hard-to-access crevices. Finally, we carefully considered all other attributes compared to the price of each step stool to assess overall value.

Step Stools for Kids We Also Tested

  • Glamore 2-Step Stool: There’s no doubt this step stool was stable with all three pieces, but separating the stools required adult help and affected the stool’s sturdiness. 
  • StrongTek Wooden Portable One Step Stool: Our tester loved the step stool’s beautiful wood design and grippy material but found it less stable with weight on one side.
  • West Elm Kids Mid-Century Step Stool: This step stool’s wooden material was stylish yet contributed to its heavier weight that was difficult for children to carry.

What to Look for in a Step Stool for Kids

Safety Features

Safety is of the utmost importance for children using step stools. Look for step stools with safety features like anti-slip material on the base and surface to prevent tiny feet (and the stool) from slipping and sliding. “An anti-slip mat that’s adhered to the step stool can help to keep kids sturdy as they climb up, especially in bathrooms or kitchens where surfaces are more likely to get slippery,” says Dr. Casares. If you opt for a learning tower, they typically have rails children can grab for extra stability. 

Encourage your children to face the step stool when ascending or descending, and to distribute their weight evenly instead of standing on one side or the edge. “Make sure to train your child on how to step on and off a step stool properly, including moving it carefully across the floor to avoid scratches or extra mess,” Dr. Casares adds.

Weight Limit

When shopping for a step stool for kids, it’s important to check the weight limit of the product. If you're looking for a step stool the whole family can use, you'll want to consider a higher weight limit. Some step stools have weight limits over 200 or 300 pounds, such as the Skip Hop Large Double-Up Step Stool and ACSTEP Folding Step Stool, so parents and caregivers can often use them, too. 

There are also step stools with a lower weight limit for younger children, like the West Elm Kids Sydney Step Stool. Step stools with a lower weight limit are fine for younger children who need a little extra help reaching the kitchen counter, bathroom sink, or other areas.

Product Weight 

Choosing a light enough stool for your toddler to pick up and move around safely is helpful and promotes independence. Some materials, like wood or metal, weigh more than plastic, making it difficult for children to move them independently. Learning towers are heavier than the average step stool, so your help will likely be necessary to move the tower.

Purpose

Consider who will be using the step stool and where they’ll need it. For example, do you want a step stool for your child to stand on to brush their teeth? Or does your child love to help out in the kitchen? Do you want something that will look good when it’s left out in your kitchen, or something you can fold up and store away?

For cooking purposes, consider a learning tower such as the Little Partners Learning Tower, if your child is younger. However, a step stool, like the BabyBjörn Step Stool, may work best if your child simply needs a lift up to the potty or the sink.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • At what age does a kid use a step stool?

    There isn’t exactly a universal rule for children using step stools, so you should consider several factors. Check the manufacturer’s age and weight recommendations for the step stool or learning tower to ensure your child (and others in the family) use it safely. “Children can generally use a step stool once they start walking up and down steps reliably,” explains Dr. Casares. “This occurs by age 2 for most children, but every little one is different.”

  • How tall should my child’s step stool be?

    A step stool should be between 7 and 24 inches tall. It should be high enough for a child to reach a counter or sink but not too high. You’ll have to judge whether your child has the balance and motor skills to climb a two-step stool.

    Learning towers and adjustable step stools can grow with your child, but always keep in mind your child’s age and development. Before using any step stool, consult the manufacturer’s guide to see the recommended age range and weight limit.

  • What should not be used as a step stool?

    A step stool should always have a sturdy base, regardless of shape. Anything that leans—like a ladder— cannot be used as a step stool for safety reasons. Step stools often have extra safety precautions like textured standing surfaces and feet to ensure a child does not slip and that it does not slide on the floor. Don’t use anything as a step stool that’s too high off the ground and lacks a sturdy base, such as a chair, stack of books, or a side table.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Katrina Cossey is a commerce writer for Verywell Family with nearly eight years of experience. Katrina’s background in journalism began at an Emmy Award-winning news station in Oklahoma before she obtained her B.A. in professional media. Her love for service journalism, helping others, and becoming a parent led to her commerce writing role, which allows her to research and recommend the best products for families, pregnant people, and kids of all ages. She and her son tested the StrongTek Wood Step Stool and still use it daily, though she doesn’t recommend it because it could tip when an adult fails to distribute weight evenly.

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She's also the mom of a 10-year-old son, 7-year-old son, and 3-year old daughter. With three kids, her house is full of step stools. She's ended up with personalized name stools for all three of her kids. Two live in two separate bathrooms and one gets moved around the kids' rooms. They also have two foldable step stools, and at one point she had a learning tower which she loved but found too bulky for her kitchen.