Toddler step stools are also known as kitchen helper stools or towers because our kiddos love t0 help (sometimes a little too much). With counters (and our favorite kitchen gadgets) just out of reach for little hands, it quickly becomes an insane arm workout trying to hoist our LOs up to counter level. Or better yet, when we bring the mixing bowl down to them and the family dog thinks she’s being treated to homemade meatballs, it quickly spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R. Investing in a sturdy step stool for kitchen helping is one of the best purchases we’ve made this spring. The kids are safe and actually helpful, plus as a bonus— when they help make food they’re more likely to eat it (yup that’s right: Spinach pesto, here we come!).
Step stools aren’t just limited to the kitchen though. We know more than a few mamas who have accumulated quite the collection around the house, a smart idea if grabbing every little thing for your increasingly independent kid has become something of a pet peeve. LOs need to step up in the bedroom, bathroom, and playroom to reach their favorite things and definitely to brush their teeth (and wash their hands). Different stools can be great for different situations. Foldable options are great to avoid the clutter, but smaller two-step stools with handles can also do the trick. After all, who can be bothered to lug those heavy things from room to room? That’s the last thing we need – one more excuse to delay going to bed because we’re looking for the stool!
With so many choices from handcrafted cutesy stools to sturdy gate-like creations, it’s hard to know what to pick. Dr. Leah Alexander, a pediatrician and consultant for Mom Loves Best says there are a few things to look for when shopping for a step stool:
- Age and developmental skills: Depending on how old your child is, they will have different coordination and motor skills, which will affect what type of step stool is safest. “For example, toddlers fall multiple times during everyday activities. They need a very basic stool, and possibly with hand supports,” says Dr. Alexander. “Most grade school-aged children, however, will be able to navigate a multi-step stool with ease.”
- Stool stability and other safety measures: Regardless or age or type of stool, the most important thing is prevent falls and injuries. Step stools should have a firm and level base, and a mechanism that prevents sliding. For foldable stools, the folding mechanism should be designed to lock when the stool is in use so it doesn’t collapse or pinch any fingers. From a safety perspective, notes Dr. Alexander, this type of stool is not ideal for toddlers. For additional safety standards, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has specific recommendations (including third-party safety testing and using lead-free or low lead paints).
- Environment setup: Where are how step stools are being used is as important as what kind to get. For example, they’re ideal to use at sinks and counters where children can lean onto these surfaces for additional support. Multi-step stools that are used to access out-of-reach items are better reserved for older children, and with adult supervision, says Dr. Alexander.
We’ve found a handful of great options in a variety of sizes that are both cute and secure. So go ahead, mama, let them brush their teeth by themselves!
Best Kids Step Stools
This Little Partners Toddler Step Up Stool comes in 9 different colors to match any bedroom decor. We love how this wooden step stool style matches the look of a ladder style bookcase for classic bedroom style (we wouldn’t be opposed to storing books on the deep steps either when it’s not in use). The sturdy railings make gripping this mini ladder super easy and fun for toddlers, especially for climbing up to bed or the potty.
The second step has an adjustable height feature that can grow with your LO. As an added safety feature, the included nonslip grips have us breathing a little easier watching our tots going up and down over and over again. One of our favorite features is how this transitions to a parent step stool and is secure enough for adults up to 150 lbs.
The Explore N Store Adjustable Height Kitchen Step Stool for Toddlers from Little Partners is built on the principle of helping hands in the kitchen. This tower safely brings kids ages 2-6 to counter height without the fear of slipping off or back. We love the adjustable height feature so that this can grow with our littles and provide just the right amount of support for cooking and crafting.
While the idea of an entire tower in the kitchen may seem overwhelming, (we know we’re not the only mamas working in small kitchen spaces) this stool is designed with small spaces in mind. The entire thing is under two feet wide and comes up to exactly counter height, meaning you won’t lose precious counter space working around the “helpers”. To make it even more functional the bottom step easily folds up for storage and the entire tower can quickly be tucked away under the breakfast bar to be out of sight when not in use.
Okay, this has got to be one of the cutest toddler step stools out there! Your tot will love climbing aboard their tall giraffe friend in order to help you out at the counter. It features three height adjustments, no-slip feet, and safety bars to keep your kiddo contained on all four sides. Sure, this design is super kid-friendly, but its sleek wooden silhouette means you won’t mind keeping it in your kitchen. Be sure to check out the brand’s equally adorable elephant step stool, too!
The bestselling 11-inch Spranster Super Strong Folding Step Stool is perfect for when things are just a little bit out of reach for tots — or you, for that matter (short people problems, amiright?). Easy to maneuver from room to room and fold up to store beside the sink or in a closet, this one-step wonder is both budget-friendly and secure.
Made of lightweight plastic, the jigsawed designed sides give this stool its strength. This children’s step stool may look basic, but it can hold up to 300 lbs, making it as much for the mamas and dads looking to get that platter down from the pantry as it is kiddos wanting to brush their teeth. The top has a raised anti-skid pattern to prevent slips and it folds up nearly flat for storage anywhere. This is the one that belongs in every room (or at least one per floor).
Best Kitchen Helper Stools & Towers For Kids
Talk about a multitasker! This versatile pick from ComfyBumpy is so much more than a step stool. First off, it’s great for giving your kiddo a boost to the counter while keeping them safe and contained with three sides of rails. Second, it’s equipped with a chalkboard and doubles as an art easel. Third, it’s a desk when it’s laid on its side, chalkboard side up; there’s a plank between the bottom legs that functions as a built-in seat. Needless to say, your LO will get tons of use out of this triple threat, plus lots of hands-on, educational experience, both as your sous chef and an esteemed chalk artist.
This tower stool will keep your little kitchen helpers nearby (and hopefully out of trouble). It folds up flat so you don’t have to have it taking up kitchen space when you don’t need it, and the platform is adjustable to 15” or 18” depending on your child’s height. It has a non-slip mat inside and has guards on all sides, including two sides that have cute shape cut-outs, and it comes in four colors.
One happy parent said, “We bought this over 6 years ago and it was one of the best kid purchases we made. We bought it when my son was 2 and used it daily for years. When our daughter was big enough to stand she started using it too! Both of them would stand in it to dye eggs, bake cookies, or help with dinner. I loved having them up and secure. When it was not being used it stored folded up in our pantry. So many great memories were made with our kitchen helper!”
This Kitchen Helper Stool from Guidecraft may look like a playpen on wheels but it’s unique foldable design (think the size of a baby gate) makes it one of our favs. We love the nonslip mat inside for when our kiddos are rocking out while we bake together and the clip on safety netting provides an extra layer of security. The height is matched perfectly to the counter, while the adjustable platform makes this tower work for kids of all heights and ages up to 125 lbs.
One reviewer shared these thoughts, “Not many products get better with time, but this ‘helper stand’ has even more features than the last 2 purchased for my grandchildren. I make a lot of wooden items as a hobby, but for the time and money, it has proven better to buy these for my grandchildren than spend the time to make them. For me, one of the best features is that it is built partly or entirely out of plywood! The stained wood finish looks great, and they’ve added nets to cover the open sides, plus a non-skid mat and snap clamps to keep the “floor” from lifting unintentionally. Zero assembly required – ready to use right out of the box.”
Best Toddler Step Stools 1-Step
Whoever designed this Simplay3 Two Child Step Stool clearly had two kids fighting over the sink. Designed for two pairs of little feet to stand on at one time, (each at varying height – think 2 and 4 year olds) everyone can brush their teeth at the same time. The adorable little footprints tell our littles exactly where to stand so it’s safe and that this stool is meant for them.
Our favorite part is that this isn’t just for the kiddos! Mamas flip this thing over at bath time or bedtime and presto you have a seat or stool for you too. The supportive sides transform into a stable frame meant for sitting or standing adults up to 300 lbs when it’s flipped over.
One reviewer wrote, “We used to have two seperate stools for both of our children, 5 and 3. We have one really small bathroom and having this one stool has made one aspect of the clutter in the bathroom disappear.”
Perfect for teeth brushing, hand washing, potty training, or anything else, this step stool is a bathroom must-have for any family with tots. Although it’s sturdy enough to hold up to 180 pounds, this plastic stool is light enough for littles to move on their own, plus two large side handles make for extra-easy carrying. It even folds down for simple storage.
You’ll love that the top is textured for extra grip while your kiddo will love their newfound independence (oh yeah, you’ll love that part, too). Get this pick in pink, blue, or grey.
This adorable step stool is lightweight and portable so it’s easy for your toddler to move it around the house if needed. But it’s also safe — it has a non-slip grip on top and under the feet to prevent it and your little one from sliding around.
Best Kids Step Stools 2-Step
Kids step stools take up precious real estate in our already overcrowded rooms (seriously who knew kids had this much crap?!). This wooden step stool from King’s Brand does double duty: It offers step-up ability for the kiddos plus storage capacity for the mamas. The top step has a hinged lid that opens to reveal storage space for books or toys, reducing the room clutter and providing a safe option for kids to get their gear themselves.
Sized right for the bedroom, bathroom, or playroom, this white-painted stool will blend seamlessly into any room, be it a nursery, bathroom, or kitchen. Since it’s made from wood, you’ll love how it looks sleek and feels nice and sturdy.
Beautifully painted in a variety of colors to match any bedroom or playroom, this Adjustable Height Growing Wooden Step Stool from Little Partners is a no brainer. We love the wide set steps and the adjustment lock for shifting stair heights for added safety. Plus the rounded corners and smooth construction prevent damage to our wood floors! The quality design makes this stool sturdy enough for adults too. One mama we know uses it to put her daughter in her crib because she’s a little too short to reach.
One reviewer shared this thoughtful feedback and genius idea, “This is a high quality, durable, and easy to assemble stool worth its price tag. Our toddler now climbs up this stool independently to brush his teeth, floss, wash hands, and smile at himself in the mirror. Prior to this, we would have to awkwardly lift him up many times a day to the sink and he was dependent on us to facilitate each of these self-care skills. So glad we purchased this and a faucet extender. The combination is a dream!”
For all the Disney-obsessed, non-stop princess dress wearing kids that need a boost: This 2-step stool is the one! The Disney characters featured are five of the OG Princesses (from Ariel to Snow White). “Our granddaughter loved this stepstool. She loved the princesses!!! It is very sturdy and just the right height!!!” said one happy customer. “It’s light enough for my 3year old to carry and sturdy,” another reviewer mentions.
Simple, clean-looking, and functional, this Wood City step stool has two steps, rounded corners, and carry handles. It’s made of solid wood and comes with non-slip pads you can put on the bottom of the stool to help keep it in place on floors. It comes in natural, white, or black.
This wooden stool has two wide steps and a sturdy base, as well as handles on the sides to make it easy to carry. Its simple design and wood and mint green color will look stylish hanging out in any room of the house, and it can support up to 154 pounds of weight. One reviewer and parent said, “I wanted something cute and functional. This is it! My 21 mo old loves this stool. We have normal height counters with the raised bowl sinks. This allows my son to easily reach the raised sink to brush his teeth and wash his hands. Not slippery when wet. Easy to assemble, all the screws and the little tool was included. This has good weight to it and isn’t flimsy.”
Looking for more great ways to let the kids “help” by getting out of the way? Check out all of our mom approved kids toys for hours of entertaining ideas.