The 8 Best Step Stools for Kids of 2022

Lightweight, affordable, and easy to use, the IKEA Forsiktig is our top pick

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Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

As kids grow more independent, a step stool can become essential around the house. Empowering kids to safely grab a book from a high shelf, reach the faucet to brush their teeth, use the potty, or help in the kitchen is a wonderful milestone for kids.

Reviewed & Approved

The IKEA Forsiktig is budget-friendly, features anti-slip grips for safety, and doesn't take up too much space. For an adjustable step stool, we recommend the Little Partners 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool.

Double-check the weight limit of the step stool to ensure it's safe for your child to use in addition to the weight of the stool itself. You may want to also consider the purpose as that will determine what type may be better for your kiddo to use. We carefully considered age and weight recommendations, material, design, and value when reviewing products.

Here are the best step stools for kids, no matter what style you're seeking.

Best Overall: IKEA Forsiktig

4.9
IKEA Forsiktig

 Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Anti-slip material

  • Budget-friendly

  • Doesn't take up much space

Cons
  • May be best for older children

  • Too low for certain areas (kitchen sink, etc.)

What do buyers say? 79% of 300+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

The IKEA Forsiktig tops our list because it's affordable, easy to use, and has safety features parents and caregivers will appreciate. Crafted from safe plastic, it's all about the anti-slip features on this step stool. The cover is coated with anti-slip material to reduce the risk of falls, and the same material is present on the underside of the stool to keep it steady. Plus, it's lightweight enough for kiddos to move around by themselves.

Dimensions: 14.6 x 9.5 x 5.1 inches | Weight Limit(s): Up to 77 pounds | Product Weight: 14 ounces

Best Adjustable: Little Partners 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool

Little Partners 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Can adjust to three heights

  • High weight limit

  • Slip-resistant steps and feet

Cons
  • Takes up more space than a step stool

  • Steps are narrow

This is one of the few step stools that can adjust to three heights and will be sure to become a hard-working stool in your family. It supports kids and adults up to 250 pounds, and with a slim profile, it’s easy to store when not in use.

The top step can provide up to a 16-inch boost, so it’s helpful for kids at the kitchen counter or for parents to reach something high up in the pantry. With slip-resistant steps and feet, this sturdy step stool is big on safety.

Dimensions: 20.3 x 17.7 x 31.5 inches | Weight Limit(s): Up to 250 pounds | Product Weight: 16 pounds

Best Learning Tower: Little Partners Learning Tower

Learning Tower

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • High weight limit

  • Safety rails

  • Non-toxic finish

Cons
  • Costly

  • Bulky

If your kids are constantly pulling themselves on the counter unsafely or are very intrigued by cooking, it’s worth getting them standing at the right height, so kids can cook safely and help in the kitchen. A learning tower is like a step stool with safety rails that allow your toddler to climb up and down from the tower safely.

While a tower may be a larger investment, it will encourage confidence, independence, and safe exploration. This solid wood version is a classic and is well-loved for many reasons. It's super sturdy, can hold up to 250 pounds, 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.

Dimensions: 33.1 x 23.1 x 38.0 inches | Weight Limit(s): Up to 250 pounds | 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 most wood learning towers

Cons
  • Low weight limit

  • May not be best for older children

A made-in-the-USA plastic learning tower, this step stool has a completely enclosed step-up platform. The rubber anti-skid feet keep the tower in place, and the three height settings (12, 15, and 18 inches) allow for it to adjust with your growing child. At 13 pounds, this option is much lighter than wooden towers. It has a 60-pound weight limit, so it may not work for older kids.

Dimensions: 18 x 16.5 x 34.5 inches | Weight Limit(s): Up to 60 pounds | Product Weight: 13.2 pounds

Best for Big Kids: Dreambaby Step Stool

Dreambaby Step Stool

Courtesy of Dreambaby

Pros
  • More than 100 rubber dots for anti-slip lining

  • Can be used almost anywhere

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Plastic may break after excessive use

  • Too low for some toddlers

Sometimes older kids just need a quick boost to reach something a bit too high. That’s when this lightweight, portable stool becomes so handy. It’s only 13.4 ounces, light enough for bigger kids to grab and move to where it’s needed.

The white style with gray or aqua dots is plain and doesn’t scream baby gear, while the rubber lining on the bottom prevents slipping. With a height of 5 inches, this stool is best for bigger kids needing a bit of a boost. It can safely hold up to 175 pounds.

Dimensions: 7 x 12 x 5 inches | Weight Limit(s): Up to 175 pounds | Product Weight: 13.4 ounces

Best Folding: Simplify Plastic 9" Stripe Top Single Step Folding Step Stool

Simplify Stripe Folding Step Stool

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Foldable (easy to store)

  • High weight limit

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Too short for some children

Strong, light, and foldable, this easy-to-store, 9-inch step stool is helpful for life on the go or for providing a quick boost when your kiddos need it. Since it weighs less than 3 pounds, even a toddler can tote it around.

There’s a safety feature to help prevent kids' fingers from being squashed while opening, but it’s still best to monitor kids and teach them how to open the stool safely. Special rubber dots on both the surface and bottom of each foot prevent slippage, and it can safely hold up to 200 pounds.

Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 9 inches | Weight Limit(s): Up to 200 pounds | Product Weight: 2.6 pounds

Best with Storage: Maisonette Tender Leaf Toys Forest Steps

Tender Leaf Toys Forest Steps

 Courtesy of Maisonette

Pros
  • Secret storage compartment

  • Cute design

  • Holes in side for handles

Cons
  • Pricey

  • Heavier for children to move around

As cute as it is useful, this two-step step stool helps give kids a boost exactly when they need it. Perfect for kids’ rooms, this sweet stool has lovely bird prints and a sweet seagull painted on the stool.

Lift the lid to find a secret compartment where kiddos will love stashing books, toys, or other treasures. The stool weighs 6 pounds, so it is a bit heavy for smaller kiddos to move around, especially if they load it up with treasures.

Dimensions: 13.0 x 14.3 x 11.4 inches | Weight Limit(s): 3 years old and up | Product Weight: 6.6 pounds

Best Splurge: Alcott Hill Hatolina 2 Step Wood Step Stool

Alcott Hill Hatolina 2 Step Wood Step Stool

Courtesy of Wayfair

Pros
  • Multiple color options

  • High weight limit

  • Assembly not required

Cons
  • No anti-slip feature

  • Heavy (best for older children)

Available in multiple color options, like white and rich chestnut, this step stool is not only functional, but it's also stylish. It features a curved accent and can be used almost anywhere. While it doesn't have an anti-slip feature, the bottom step is large, and the weight limit is 375 pounds, so everyone in the family can use it.

Dimensions: 18 x 16 x 15 inches | Weight Limit(s): 375 pounds | Product Weight: 20 pounds

Final Verdict

Want a step stool that doesn’t take up too much space, but doesn’t skimp on safety features? Check out the IKEA Forsiktig (view at Amazon), which is coated with anti-slip material on its surface and underside to reduce the risk of falls.

If space isn’t an issue, take a look at the Little Partners Kids Learning Tower (view at Amazon). With a 250-pound weight limit and four adjustable height positions, it’s perfect for kids who want to help in the kitchen or during other hands-on activities. 

What to Look for in a Step Stool for Kids

Weight Limit

When shopping for a step stool for kids, it’s important to check the weight limit of the product, depending on who plans to use it. 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, so parents and caregivers can often use them, too. 

There are also step stools with a lower weight limit for younger children. Step stools with a lower weight limit are ideal for younger children who need a little extra help reaching the kitchen counter, bathroom sink, or other areas.

Product Weight 

Step stools help to foster independence and self-exploration. Choosing a stool that is light enough for your toddler to safely pick up and move around is helpful. If you are using a learning tower, a heavier product that will stay put while your child climbs up and down is a better option.

It's important to note that the person using a step stool should always climb down first before attempting to move it to another location. And, don't forget to encourage your children to face the step stool when ascending or descending.

Purpose

Think about the purpose of the step stool before making your final decision. 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?

If your child is younger, you may want to consider a learning tower for cooking purposes. However, a step stool may work best if your child simply needs a lift up to the potty for potty training or regular use.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

    The age at which kids can use step stools depends on the child’s abilities and the step stool itself. A 10- to 12-month-old who is standing upright on their own could use a learning tower, for example, since there are extra safety measures in place like safety bars and high sides that they can't slip or fall through. Generally, kids can start using step stools when they are toddlers (1 to 3 years old). Each child is different, though, and you should always supervise step stool use. Check the manufacturer’s recommended age range before allowing your kid to use a step stool.

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

    A step stool should be between 7 and 24 inches tall. It should be just high enough for a child to be able to reach a counter or sink, but not too high that they could injure themselves. Learning towers and step stools that grow with your child are the exceptions. They will have varying steps of varying heights. 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 four stable, sturdy points of connection with the ground. 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 feet to make sure a child does not trip while using it, or so that it does not slide. Anything that is too high off the ground or doesn’t have a sturdy base should also not be used as a step stool, such as a chair, a stack of books, or a side table.

Why Trust Verywell Family

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.

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Safety. Step Stool Safety.