Best Step Stool For Toddlers and Kids

by Ayesha Ahmed |

Recent studies indicate that giving children the tools and space to exercise their independence is directly correlated to significant reductions in the occurrence of depression and anxiety disorders.

Step stools are one small way to give toddlers the freedom to be helpers, hand washers and have greater access.

We’ve done extensive research and selected step stools that are safe, functional and reasonably priced.

Best Step Stools for KidsTop ProductWhy?
KidKraft Two Step2 Steps
Sturdy
Easy to Clean
Little Partner’s 3-in-1 Growing step stoolHandles
Sized for all ages
BumboInexpensive!
Non-slip
Sturdy

 

Best Step Stool for Toddlers: The Top 6

KidKraft Two Step

Winner: Best Two Step Stool

KidKraft Two Step is my go-to step stool for sure.  It has two steps making it accessible for younger toddlers to be able to reach those out of reach places.

What makes it so great

It’s perfect for your growing child, KidKraft recommends using it for kids between 3- 8 years old though it worked absolutely perfectly with my 2-year-old. The bottom step is about 6” above ground, with the second step, the height of the stool goes up to 14”. It can hold up to 81 pounds which is okay, although I would have loved a greater weight limit.

Image of the KidKraft Two Step Stool - Natural

The Two Step stool requires assembly. If you’re anything like me (zero construction skills) then it may take about 20 – 30 minutes to set up even though the instructions are pretty straightforward. For the average person, it should take about 15 minutes.

It’s crafted really well and has a high-end finish. Handle holes on either side of the top step make it easy to carry, even your toddler can carry it (well maybe not the toddler since it’s slightly heavy at 10 pounds). Currently the Two Step stool is available  in white, espresso and natural wood color. Bonus tip, if you get the natural color you can always customize it by painting it over with a color of your choice or even adding your toddler’s name on it.

Maintaining and cleaning the Two step is pretty simple; a quick wipe with a damp cloth and you’re done.

Image of the KidKraft Two Step Stool, Espresso

Size-wise it’s pretty standard for a wooden stool, it measures about 15.5″L x 13″W x 14″H. Whether your toddler is reaching for the sink, toys or even in the toilet, the low center of gravity prevents the stool from tipping over. It’s made of wood which gives it a strong robust base. However, I would recommend adding non-slip tape on the step and on the base as an added precaution.

For the price, I wish it had more features like storage under the top step. But overall, it’s a pretty good buy.

Why you need it

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to assemble
  • Can be customized
  • Compact
  • Easy to clean

The downside

  • Does not come with non-slip surface/base
  • Not portable or suitable for travel

Little Partner’s 3-in-1 Growing 

Winner: Best Step Stool with Handrail

Little Partner’s 3-in-1 Growing step stool is a long-lasting option. It’s well built and pretty sturdy. I mean it can hold up to 250 pounds! Safe to say I know adults will be using it as well.

What makes it so great

It’s very versatile being a 3-in-1, with 3 positions the stool can be adjusted to. Start with the bottom step which is 8” above the ground. As your toddler grows you can add a second step that increases the height from the ground to 12”. Finally, the third step that raises the total height from the ground to 15”. You can adjust the height according to your child’s height and the surface that needs to be reached. The added support of railing is a fantastic option for kids to learn to be more independent in a safer way.

Image of the Little Partners 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool, Espresso

The Step stool does require assembly and takes about 20-30 minutes to get it all set up if you’re not that handy. The final product comes with non-slip strips that you can stick to the steps to prevent any such accidents.

The Growing step stool is made from birch wood with Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) construction; that’s going to last you a very long time. It does come in a variety of colors which means whatever color your furniture is in, Growing Step will blend right in.

Kids can chime in and help parents in the kitchen since this is a safe, skid-proof way for them to access countertops. Safe and stable for reaching out to the kitchen sink, bathroom (think brushing teeth, washing hands without having to set the little one on the counter or your arms). If you have toddlers who try to jump out of the crib when they get up, I know that definitely caused my strand of white hair. Well, another use of Growing Step is that it can be placed in the crib, letting the kids an easier and a more secure way of letting themselves down. Obviously there are other considerations doing this, but I’ll leave that up to your judgment.

Image of the Little Partners 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool, Espresso

Maintenance is pretty easy. All it really needs is a wipe down with a damp cloth and you’re done. The non-slip strips do seem to catch quite a bit of dust so be prepared!

The Growing Step is that it’s pretty big in size. It measures about 20”L x 15”W x 32”H. It does take up a considerable amount of space. But because of its size, it’s also stable and does not topple over.

It’s also on the pricier side of the spectrum. Given that it can be used for both kids and adults, it may very well be worth extra $$.

Why you need it

  • Sturdy
  • Great center of gravity and balance
  • Can hold up to 250lb
    • Can be used by kids and adults
  • Available in many colors
  • Allows kids to hoist themselves up independently
  • Non-slip surface strips

The downside

  • Takes a lot of space
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to clean the non-slip strips
  • Not portable or suitable for travel

Bumbo Step Stool

Winner: Best Basic Step Stool

Starting with the basics, Bumbo Step stool is the perfect step stool to help your little one being able to reach the sink or even the toilet.

What makes it so great

It’s a one-step stool about 7” above the ground. Bumbo step stool is made of plastic (so no assembly required!) which makes it very light and easy to carry. It’s a lightweight yet sturdy enough to hold up to 110 pounds. Plus it’s a slip-resistant surface and base. Technically its feet are slip-resistant. I mean it’s made to look like cute elephants’ feet after all. In any case, I was sold when I read that it resists skidding on multiple surfaces. A kick test confirmed it too.

Appearance wise the Bumbo is adorable looking! It comes in a variety of colors (non-slip parts only) while the base stays white.

Image of the Bumbo Step Stool in Blue

It’s the right height for your toddler to reach up to the sink and be able to wash hands or brush teeth completely on their own. Not only that, Bumbo can also be used as a potty training stool so your child can use it for easy access on/off the potty. Unfortunately, it may not be high enough to be used in the kitchen as a mommy’s helper, but can definitely be used for reaching high enough to grab what’s needed off shelves and similar places.

Bumbo Step Stool is great for traveling too since it’s so lightweight and hollow from inside. You can easily chuck it in the suitcase and take it with you. It’s got holes to be used as handles on both sides so even your toddler can help you carry it! Also, it’s much lighter on the wallet.

Image of the Bumbo Step Stool, Blue

Maintaining isn’t too hard. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth should do the trick. The non-slip parts do snag on quite a bit of dirt, so it does require regular clean up.

It doesn’t take too much space. It measures about 15.125″ w x 7″ h x 11.125″ d. One trick to add on height is to order two Bumbos Step Stools and stack them on top of each other (they stack and nest). It adds about another inch or two in case you need additional height boost.

Why you need it

  • Sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Non-slip surface and base
  • Can hold up to 110 pounds
  • Easy on the wallet
  • Easy to store
  • Portable
  • Can be stacked and nested

The downside

  • Non-slip surface snags a lot of dirt

Little Partners Learning Tower

Winner: Best Enclosed Step Stool

Little Partners Learning Tower Kids Step Stool is a unique option. This large step stool is a more sedentary option for those parents that need a kitchen-only stool. The surround style of this stool makes it perfect for toddlers on the younger end of the spectrum.

What makes it so great

For starters, this unit is big and solid. It measures in at roughly 12 inches wides, 33 inches long, and 38 inches tall, from the bottom of the side rail to the top. Within those dimensions, you can adjust the actual standing height of the stool to 4 different positions. This allows you to get your child at just the right height for helping at the kitchen counter.

The platform itself is 15 inches by 18 inches. It can hold up to 500 pounds! That means that while an adult probably won’t be using this step stool, a child will be easily supported. Children access the platform by using two steps in the side of the tower. These steps are more or less holes in the side of the unit, so they do need some supervision to get up there. There is a wider opening for them to crawl in and out of. The four sides surround them so that they can’t topple sideways or backwards once up.

The tower is made from solid birch and poplar and has a very solid build. It weighs about 20 pounds, so you won’t be moving it a lot without some effort. The colored finishes are non-toxic and make the unit a cinch to clean up. The natural finish is the most durable, as you don’t’ have to worry about chipping paint or wearing stain.

Assembly is required, but it’s a simple matter of lining up some holes and screws. But because of the sheer size and the number of attachment points, you will probably need 2 people, plus an Allen wrench attachment for your drill. This makes it a much faster process.

If you have the kitchen size to accommodate it, then the Little Partners Learning Tower is so nice! No more having to constantly keep a hand near your toddler in case they topple over as they help you do things on the counter. Now, they can have safe and independent play while you keep both hands on your task. Your little one won’t be whining at your feet while you cook, clean, or pay bills. Just put them in the tower near you with their own task (like sorting different shaped noodles, coloring, stirring dry oats and water, playing with Play Doh, etc). You will be surprised at how much they will use this, even as they get to preschool and kindergarten age.

This stool is very expensive. If the price tag has you gasping, then consider this. You can buy add-ons for this Montessori-approved learning tower and take it from just a stool into a play center. There are chalkboard add-ons and a Playhouse Kit that will turn this stool into a toy that your kiddos can use for years to come.

Why you need it

  • Sturdy
  • Protects child from all 4 sides
  • Can hold up to 500 lb
  • Available in many colors and stains
  • Montessori-approved for independent play
  • Adjustable height platform
  • Can turn into playhouse and easel

The downside

  • Needs lots of room
  • Very expensive
  • Paint chips and stain wears off
  • Best if used in only one room

Fantasy Fields Wooden Step Stool with Storage

Winner: Best Storage Step Stool

Cute designs? Check. Two steps? Check. Carrying handles? Check. Storage? Check. This toddler step stool is sure to be a hit in the playroom, bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere.

What makes it so great

Measuring in at 12 inches tall at the top step and 7 inches tall at the bottom step, the Fantasy Fields Wooden Step Stool with Storage is the perfect size for toddlers. It’s roughly 13 inches wide and 13 inches long, so it’s compact without being tiny. The storage compartment is small, at only 5 inches deep by 13 inches wide by about 6 inches long, but it’s adequate for most things.

The stool is made from MDF (medium density fiberboard), which is frowned upon by a lot of DIY woodworkers for being questionable to health. However, since it is fully painted and sealed in this stool, you have zero worries. Speaking of the pain, it’s put on by hand. The paint is water-based and non-toxic. It’s then fully sealed with a non-toxic clear top coat to keep it all looking lovely. It comes in a variety of designs, so you can find a pattern to suit your child’s interest and decor.

All you need is a screwdriver and a few moment’s time to put this stool together. It comes with instructions for assembly and cleaning. All you have to do to clean is wipe with a dry or damp cloth! Do be cautious of getting it wet, since there is no non-slip finish or stickers or anything.

Oh, and did I mention that there are 3 carrying handles? One on each side, and one at the front of the top step. That makes it easy for anyone at any age to carry this just-over-10 pound step stool. Even though it is so light, this sturdy and durable stool can hold up to 100 pounds.

This step stool is very similar to most of the two-step stools that you’ll see on this list and on the market. But what sets is apart is the extra storage you get. Now you might be thinking, “why do I need storage in a step stool?” But you definitely do! You can use the storage compartment to carry the things you need when you move the step stool from room to room. For example, just put the Play-Doh into the stool storage, drag the whole thing into the kitchen, and let your kiddo play at the counter while you get some cooking done.

The storage compartment is also great as your kiddo gets older. Potty training? Keep extra undies, pull-ups, and treats in the storage compartment. Play time? You could have your kiddo stick some legos or some small toys in the storage compartment and use the stairs as the base for their play. It really is a fun option to have.

One warning with the storage: watch your kiddos closely! The lid is just hinged, and it could easily slam down on tiny, unsuspecting fingers.

Why you need it

  • Special storage compartment
  • Durable design
  • Hand-painted patterns
  • Easy to assemble
  • Perfect size for toddlers
  • Easy to carry around

The downside

  • Gets slippery
  • Little fingers could get pinched by lid

Utopia Home Kids Step Stool

Winner: Best Potty Training Step Stool

Potty training is one of the most popular uses for a step stool. Kids need to be able to reach the toilet and the sink during the whole bathroom process, so a curved step stool is the perfect choice.

What makes it so great

The Utopia Home Kids Step Stool only weighs one pound. And yet it is still able to support up to 70 pounds of weight. And even though that’s the listed weight limit, you could occasionally step on this stool as an adult and it won’t break.

I know you’ll laugh at this, but parents can actually use this stool, too. For going potty. It elevates your feet and makes it easier to go. No need to spend a bunch of money on a toilet stool when this will do the trick for much, much cheaper!

The dimensions of the stool are about 14.5 inches wide x 9.75 inches long x 5 inches tall. That’s just right for tiny feet. The height of only 5 inches means that this is probably better suited for taller or older children since 5 inches isn’t going to give a just-turned-two-year-old enough of a height boost.

It’s not a perfect square, which is why it’s ideal for the potty. The curved design helps it fit next to the toilet more snugly. That means less chance of it sliding around while your child is trying to climb up. When it’s time to stand at the sink or counter? Just flip it around, with the curve going up and over like a rainbow. That still gives your child plenty of space for their feet and the shape is actually more ergonomic.

Anti-slip polka dots on the top will help keep your child from slipping. That’s the other reason why this one is perfect for potty training and bathroom use. A little wetness won’t make this stool useless. Plus, it’s easy to disinfect the plastic because you won’t have to worry about damaging the paint or stain. Use disinfecting wipes to your heart’s content!

There is a bottom mat that keeps the stool from sliding around on the floor. This lining goes around the 4 corners and keeps the stool secure. This sides of the stool have a carrying handle, which is actually 2 holes. I would prefer a single, larger opening, but it does the job when children are carrying it.

Why you need it

  • Non-slip design
  • Curved for use around toilets
  • Easy to clean/disinfect
  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive

The downside

  • Only 5 inches tall
  • Limited color choices
  • Weird carrying handles

Tips to Remember

While researching for the perfect step stool I realized a couple don’ts that all parents should think about just for sheer convenience.

  • Do not get a folding step stool for your child. They will be using it daily for a good amount of time, it’s going to become a pain open and closing it again. Or your child is going to want to try doing that and may hurt those little fingers. Not worth it, trust me.
  • Should be for multiple uses. If you’re splurging on a step stool make sure you can use it in multiple ways or by multiple people (ie adults). If you’re spending a lot then might as well make sure you get your money’s worth out of it.
  • Make sure it’s easy to carry. It will be used in multiple places within your home and you do not want it to be a heavy piece of furniture.
Ayesha Ahmed
I'm a stay at home mom to a 2 year old daughter. My background is in consumer behavior so I'm super critical and wide angled when it comes to making baby product purchases. Unless they are so darn cute that all logic escapes my mind:)

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