Updated: November 2017

Step Stool Reviews:

Finding the Best Step Stools for Your Home - For those of us not blessed with the tall gene, step stools are a life-saver. Around the house or yard, these are invaluable tools, and not just for the height-challenged either. Everyone can use a boost now and then, whether it's to get the jar on the top shelf of the cabinets or to paint the trim around the ceiling. It can save those tall people the trouble of standing on their tippy toes when they're changing light bulbs. See? Invaluable! What is the best type of step stool to get? Where are they most useful in your home? What materials should you look for? This guide will answer all your step stool questions - and probably some that you've never thought of. You'll be surprised you managed this long without a high quality step stool.

What Type of Step Stool is Right for You? - The answer to this question depends largely on your preferences: there is a surprising variety of metal, plastic, and wooden step stools from which to choose. In general, though, you want to consider a few different factors before you make your purchase:

*Load rating. You don't want to find out the hard way that you're 20 pounds over the load rating. So that means that you parents can't always use your kid's step stool. Also consider what you will be using your stool for: for instance, if you weigh 180 pounds and will be painting the inside of your home, you have to also factor in the weight of the paint. A gallon of paint typically weighs about 10 pounds, so you'll need a load rating of 190 at the very least.
*Folding step stool vs. non-folding. Ah, the decisions in life! Folding stools are very convenient because of the light weight and portability they offer. But they can also be more flimsy than standard step stools. If you do opt for a folding step stool, make sure the load rating is sufficient and that it is made of a strong, durable material.
*Floor grips. It's nice to have a strong, sturdy step stool - but it does little good if it slips and slides all over the floor. Wood step stools are notorious for this. Before you buy a step stool made of any material, make sure it has good floor grips.
*Consider what you're going to be using the step stool for. Is your child going to be using it to reach the sink when he brushes his teeth? Are you going to be using it on a tile or linoleum floor? Do you need the extra height of a third step or is a two-step stool sufficient for your needs? Do you need a medical step stool with extra support, rubberized mat, and heavy duty floor grips? And, most importantly, what do you want it to look like? Let's take a look at some of the best and brightest.

You can browse the best selling step stools here.

Best Step Stools - Step Stools for the Kitchen:

Several brands stand above the rest when it comes to quality and durability: Rubbermaid, Cosco, Werner, Tricam, and Polder. The Rubbermaid Folding 2-Step Step Stool is a top choice of Buzzillions reviewers, who love its practicality and durability. This handy stool is very lightweight, making it great for anywhere around the house or garage. The frame is made of metal and is rust- and dent-resistant for superior performance. This folding step stool has a 300-pound capacity and four skid-resistant foot pads for added safety. We caution against flimsy folding stools, and you can be assured that this is not one of them. Amazon reviewers like its functionality and rugged construction. One commenter noted that it was "ugly." Harsh! It is very utilitarian-looking, so if you want flair, you'll have to look elsewhere. This is not flashy; it's just useful and strong. Another reviewer did note that, while the folding step stool was very stable and durable for adults, it tended to slip when little children were using it. If you need a stool to help your child reach the sink in the kitchen, for instance, you may want a blockier, heavier kid's model. The Rubbermaid step stool is a bit over $28 at Amazon. If you like a little versatility and style with your kitchen step stool, the Cosco Retro Chair Stool is perfect for you. This cute stool has a great chrome finish and padded vinyl seat and back. This provides a comfortable seat for the counter or bar. The step stool is integrated and slides out easily on smooth tracking. The step treads are over molded for added safety and security. The Cosco Retro Chair Stool has a 225-pound weight capacity: as such, it's ideal for placing in the kitchen, extra seating, and a boost when you need to reach things in the higher cabinets. It's not meant for tough jobs like painting or repair because of the relatively low load rating. You can find the Cosco step stool and chair for $50. For many people, stability is the utmost concern when they are looking for a step stool. Whether for getting into or out of bed, the shower, or to help with reaching higher objects, a medical step stool can be very convenient and have a higher degree of safety. The Foot Stool with Handrail by DeluxeComfort is an excellent choice for those with physical conditions that prevent high steps or demand the utmost security. This step stool is constructed of stainless steel for durability and has an anti-slip rubber platform. Rubber-tip legs prevent slipping, and the wide base prevents tipping. A very convenient feature of this step stool is the handrail. It is chrome-plated and has an extra foam grip for comfort and stability. Everything about this stool shouts "Secure!" and that is ideal for many people. You can find this for $40; a small price to pay for increased independence.

Step Stools for Kids:

Kids' step stools are also very common: kids need a hand getting to the potty, the sink, or to reach things safely. There is no shortage of kid's step stools from which to choose; again, choose stability over appearance. Luckily, though, there are a lot of cute options! A great one to try is the BabyBjorn Safe Step. Ideal for toddlers and small children, the BabyBjorn provides a safe 6-inch lift, rubber padded legs to prevent slipping, gripped surface on top of the stool, which makes it safe even if your child has just jumped out of the bath, and rounded corners to prevent injury. In bright, kid-friendly colors, this is a safe, practical, and fun kid's step stool. You can find it for under $15. One Amazon reviewer said her 1.5-year-old son uses it to step up and brush his teeth, and then moves it to his room to help him get into bed. You have to love that toddler independence! When shopping for good step stools, safety is the first priority. Fortunately, there are also a lot of different styles and colors that ensure you can get something that appeals to you and complements your decor. View the most popular kids step stools here.