7 Best Pikler Triangles: How To Choose + Use A Safe Montessori Climber

Figuring out how to choose the best pikler triangle doesn't have to be overwhelming despite the endless sea of options!

I'm sharing all the common pikler triangle questions I've received since getting ours in 2019 to help you figure out if it's worth it for your family. I've also rounded up the best pikler climbing triangles for a handful of the most common situations: affordable, small spaces, climbing arch and pikler ladder attachments and more!

And if you're still on the fence as to whether or not the pikler triangle is worth it, I'm sharing tips on how to maximize your use with a safe montessori climbing triangle!

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What is a pikler triangle?

A pikler triangle is an indoor climbing triangle designed by Hungarian pediatrician Dr. Emmi Pikler, about 100 years ago!

It's quite often a montessori parent's first major purchase as it allows babies as young as 6 months old to begin working on gross motor skills, discover physical limits, and practice freedom of movement.

A pikler triangle can be used from about 6 months of age until around 6 or 8 years old – depending on the size of the pikler climbing triangle and size of the child.

I'll get into more FAQs about Pikler Triangles below including tips for how to choose the best pikler triangle set for your family!

Best Overall Pikler Triangle: PlayWilderToys

Play Wilder Toys has officially taken the winning spot of best overall pikler triangle as they've filled as massive need many have requested: adjustable height to grow with your child.

This is something I've gotten countless emails about the last couple years as our specific pikler triangle was discontinued from Home4Dreams (more on that below); which was previously the tallest pikler on the market.

Their new modifiable climbing triangle can adjust between two positions: 26″ tall and 38″ tall. It's the perfect size to grow from the baby to toddler years.

Additionally, they are made in Colorado, They used the highest grade Baltic Birch wood making it incredibly strong and completely free of any harmful chemicals. Their wood is NAF-certified and CARB P2 Compliant and they do not treat our wood with any chemicals.

Additionally, if you have a TON of space and are really looking to create an outdoor wooden gym in lieu of traditional playground equipment, you can purchase a combo pikler triangle set with a climbing arch! You can even purchase the extender legs for the montessori triangle climber as your kid grows to extend the years of use.

Lastly, you can choose between a rock wall or wrung ladder with reversibel slide attachment as an add on.

Features:
  • Small Dimensions: 30.25 L x 29.75 W x 25.75 H
  • Large Dimensions: 51.25 L X 29.75 W x 38 H
  • The Ramp Dimensions: 42 x 13 x 2.5
  • Weight: 22.91 lb.
  • Material: Baltic Birch Wood NAF-certified and CARB P2 Complian
  • How to clean: Wipe with damp cloth
  • Recommended age 6 months+
  • Tallest on the market
Things to note / Cons:
  • Largest footprint of all the pikler triangles on this list

Best Name Brand Pikler Triangle: Little Partners Pikler Climbing Triangle

Most pikler triangles are from small shops in our experience, but Little Partners (who has a ton of awesome wooden toddler products), has a Pikler Climbing Triangle that's a solid choice. It comes in two colors, natural or white, and can be combined with the Little Partners® 2-in-1 Climbing Ramp-Slide on it's own or the ramp can connect it to another Little Partners Pikler Climbing triangle or the Little Partners Learning tower to create a unique configuration with the set of 3.

montessori climbing toys

This adjustable pikler triangle has three heights and is foldable for easy storage when not in use. What is nice about this particular adjustable Pikler triangle, is that when you adjust it taller, it decreases the overall footprint in the home (see photo)

Features:
  • Measurements: 26.3″ L x 38.58″ W x 32.68″ H
  • Weight: 22.91 lb.
  • Material: Solid hardwood , metal, and nontoxic paint
  • Metal-to-metal connections make the climbing ladder a solid and secure foundation for climbing
  • Ships assembled
  • How to clean: Wipe with damp cloth
  • 1-year limited manufacturer's warranty
  • Colors: natural or white finish
  • GREENGUARD Gold certified
Things to note / Cons:
  • Add ons: Can be combined with the Little Partners® 2-in-1 Climbing Ramp-Slide which can connect to another Pikler or the Little Partners Learning Tower
  • It's technically recommended for ages 3+ due to safety certifications and the fact is has screws

Best Pikler Triangle Set of 3 with Pikler Climbing Arch: ShopJoeyCo

Pikler triangles have come a long way from the original simple climbing frame Dr. Pikler designed. Many montessori and waldorf families appreciate the 3-in-1 pikler triangle set for its versatility.

ShopJoeyCo is our top pick because it includes a the wooden triangle, a reversible rock climbing wall that doubles as a slide, and a wooden climbing arch; making it a 4-in-1. The climbing arch can also be flipped over and used as a rocking boat to work on balance control and creativity too!

pikler triangle set with montessori climbing arch

It's a great option for multiple configurations if you have the space. It's also made from a high quality birch plywood and 100% sustainably farmed brazilian pine wood.

Overall, I'd say a pikler triangle set like this is an excellent choice if you have the space for the large size. Thanks to the versatility, the set of open ended toys provides limitless free play opportunities that help children's motor skill development and imagination.

Features:
  • Pikler Triangle Climbing Triangle – 120 lb limit (2 children limit @ 60 lbs each)
  • Ramp – 60 lb weight limit
  • Pikler Triangle Measurements: 31″ H x 27″ W x 34″ Base
  • Arch Measurements: 36″ L x 20″ H x 24″ W
  • Ramp Measurements: 40″ x 16″
  • Material: Birch plywood and sustainably harvest brazilian hardwood
  • One of the only CPSIA toy tested Climbing Triangles available on Etsy.
  • How to clean: Wipe with damp cloth
  • Climbing Triangle is sanded smooth with no coating.
  • The ramp has been coated with a polyurethane based varnish, has been chemical tested and passed safety tests.
  • Age recommendation 6 months and up
Things to note / Cons:
  • Very large foot print when using all 3 pieces – arch is obviously not foldable

Best Outdoor Pikler Triangle: RAD Pikler® Triangle (and safest)

While pikler triangles really are intended for indoor use, the RAD Pikler® Triangle is the best outdoor climbing triangle option for short intervals. Additionally, it's the only certified climbing triangle by the original Pikler Organization according to the pedagogical guidelines developed by child development pioneer Dr. Emmi Pikler. Due to intensive safety testing Pikler® put this climber through, and the proprietary automatic childproof locking mechanism, it's also safest climbing triangle on the market.

It's made from 13-ply Sustainable Formaldehyde-free Euro Birch and solid hardwood. The triangle is sealed with a Zero VOC UV cured finish. As with all climbing triangles, it's designed for indoor use. However thanks to it's finish it's probably one of the better options for outdoor use too. As with all toys, prolonged exposure to moisture and the sun can obviously degrade it faster.

You can purchase a RAD Reversible Climbing Ramp separately in two sizes. The Short Ramp is best for smaller spaces where storage and flexibility are a consideration. The Long Ramp is perfect for schools or dedicated play spaces where the Pikler® Triangle has a designated spot. Lastly, parents in small spaces with limited storage can rejoice as this triangle folds flatter (under 5 inches) and has a lower profile than most of our major competitors in the same size bracket.

NOTE: You can get 5% off your purchase with discount code TCM – the cost of the RAD Pikler® Triangle is pretty standard, but their ramps are a bit pricier. The gap between rungs is 3.5″ so we think you could easily pair this with a different slide from another brand on this list.

Features:
  • Discount code TCM for 5% off here
  • Measurements: 28″(L) x 35″(W) x 29″(H) [when open] // 28″(L) x 4.75″(W) x 33.5″(H) [when folded]
  • Material: 13-ply Sustainable Formaldehyde-free Euro Birch and solid hardwood. The triangle is sealed with a Zero VOC UV cured finish
  • Folds up to less than 5″ for compact storage
  • Only certified climbing triangle by the original Pikler Organization
  • How to clean: Wipe with damp cloth
  • Age recommendation 6 months to about 5 years
Things to note / Cons:
  • Slide attachment is pricey
  • On the samller end size wise

Best Small Pikler Triangle: Piccalio

Piccalio's pikler triangle wins best small montessori climber because it checks two major things that most families will be looking for: one of the most affordable pikler triangle sets that's actually quality AND one of the smallest footprints at 27″ by 36″. You can also get 10% off with code TCM10 when you click here!

best pikler triangle set

The wooden triangle price includes the rockwall / slide ramp attachment. Since this pikler climbing triangle set includes the accessories, it becomes one of the most affordable picks of it's quality. I don't know a single person who owns a climbing triangle without a slide, and 99% of brands charge extra for it!

Features:
  • Measurements: 30.5”H x 27.5”W x 36.5″D
  • Maximum Weight Load: 132 lbs
  • Material: Birch plywood + pine hardwood
  • How to clean: Wipe with damp cloth
  • Tested and certified to meet ASTM International's Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety
  • Made with completely non-toxic materials
  • Recommended for 6 months to 6 years old
  • Quick shipping
Things to note / Cons:
  • No rung or rope ladder attachment options
  • On the smaller end of height

Best DIY Pikler Climbing Frame Instructions: BaileyCreative

If you have the tools and are pretty handy, the truth is figuring out how to make a pikler triangle doesn't need to be hard thanks to these digital plans from BaileyCreative. You can instantly download the schematics, text directions, AND a drawing which break down everything you'll need to do to make your own pikler triangle! If you get stuck for any reason, the shop owner can send additional drawings and/or models.

For this build you'll need a and 3 basic power tools.

Features:
  • Instantly download and print DIY pikler climbing triangle instructions
  • Materials: 16×48″ piece of 3/4″ plywood and 13x dowels that are 1 1/8″ diameter and 24 inches long
  • Tools: A CNC router OR you can make a similar modified version using 3 basic power tools: a jigsaw/bandsaw/scroll saw and a drill
Things to note / Cons:
  • This is a DIY – so obviously choosing the best wood for the pikler triangle will be on your for quality/durability control!

Prettiest: HOMEforDREAMS

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ: This is the brand we got our Pikler triangle from. Unfortunately it looks like they discontinued our exact model with 3 adjustable heights (formerly the TALLEST pikler triangle on this list); however you can request a custom order from the shop. I'm leaving it in this post incase they update their shop again and begin selling it again because it is my favorite.

Please always double check the listing before purchasing as I have no affiliation to the shop owners and can't control/know what they do with their listings.

Beyond that, they offer fairly similar climbing triangles to the others on the list, only with a rainbow rung option which I think is the prettiest.


This is the exact pikler triangle we have with a set of 3 attachments: rope ladder, wood ladder, and rock ladder. I personally chose it because it was the tallest adjustable Pikler triangle I could find, coming in at about 43.5″ when on the tallest of its three settings.

best montessori climber

It's made from a high quality polished aspen wood and birch plywood. The finish is a baby safe eco wax containing linseed oil, pine resin, and beeswax. The wax does give it a nice finish that's easy to wipe clean without making it slippery or sticky.

It's fairly easy to put together, though the instructions are awful and I do recommend using an allen key drill bit. You just want to be very careful if using a power drill to not overdo it and splint the wood.

Adjusting the height and footprint of this pikler triangle is also a breeze! No turning a key or unscrewing anything! You just lift and shift it to the next rung as shown in this video. And folding up this climbing triangle is just as easy.

best pikler triangle

Just like the others on this list, this pikler climbing frame is an excellent training device designed to develop baby's muscles, balance control, courage and much more.

Features:
  • Measurements: Three heights: 43.31”, 41”, or 38” and floor footprint: 35” wide and the length on the smallest setting is 41” and on the largest setting it 57”
  • Material: Aspen hardwood and birch plywood
  • CE marked, tested and compliant with the European Union Harmonized Standards for Toy Safety that are internationally accepted (Directive 2009/48 / EC).
  • Pikler triangle age recommendation is 6 months to 8 years old kids
  • Maximum load up to 194 lbs
  • How to clean: Wipe with damp cloth
  • Add ons: ladder, rock board, and rope board
  • Colors: natural wax finish, rainbow, blue, green, yellow, or pink rungs
  • Ships free
Things to note / Cons:
  • The rainbow and colored rung options don't have a thick wax finish due to the coloring and without regularly wiping it down dirt can collect in the wood. I suggest using coconut oil on it once in a while to keep the wood hydrated and easy to clean
  • On biggest setting, it does have a fairly large footprint
  • Shipping does take a while (ships from the country of Georgia, not the state!)

How To Choose The Best Pikler Triangle

How do I choose a pikler triangle?

  • Size
  • Affordable
  • Attachments
  • Safety
  • Indoor/outdoor usability

Those are going to be the five major things to consider before investing in a pikler triangle.

Size:
  • Where do you plan to put the pikler triangle?
  • How much floor space do you have compared to how much it'll take up?
  • Height: How tall is the pikler triangle and how long do you think you'll use it?

These come in various sizes, but in my personal experience, having the height makes a big difference. You don't want anything shorter than 26″ with 30-33″ being the sweet spot overall.

We can easily toss a blanket over our pikler triangle and I can comfortably sit under it with my child, so at the very least, measure how tall you'd need it to be for you to sit in it too!

Price:

Pikler climbing triangles are not cheap – but they do get a ton of use and last for many years! With that said, pay attention to “hidden pricing” if you will. Is there a shipping cost? Does it come with a ladder/slide or is that an added cost?

Attachments

Triangle ramps really make the experience special. At the minimum, most parents opt for a ladder/slide ramp that attaches to the pikler triangle. However you can also get interesting attachments and add-ons. I've seen some families opt for two mini pikler triangles and use the ramp to attach the structures. Similarly, some families opt for a pikler triangle and a climbing arch and use the ramp to connect the two. The former is preferred for small spaces since every pikler triangle I've ever seen is adjustable and foldable, whereas a climbing arch will always take up the same footprint in a room.

There's also various ramp styles you can get. For instance, we have the wrung ladder, rock climbing ramp, and a rope ladder.

If you do opt for a pikler triangle from one brand, and a ramp from another, just make sure it'll safely connect to the pikler triangle AND that the width of the ramp still leaves room for climbing next to it. In other words: cross check the width of the pikler to the width of the ramp!

Safety

While pikler triangles are generally considered safe, it is still a climbing structure and children should always be supervised on it.

Pikler triangles typically are made of wood and bolts, so that also always leaves a risk that a bolt falls out and poses a choking hazard as well as a safety hazard to a wrung falling. As with all kids toys, you always want to check it regularly for signs of wear and tear.

Lastly, pikler triangles are made of unfinished wood – which obviously leaves some concern about splinters or splintering. For this reason, I tend to stay away from Amazon pikler triangles as the reviews tend to be a bit more negative in terms of quality wood and it seems like the retailers just start new seller accounts to avoid the bad reviews. Instead, myself and friends have all had success with smaller shops on this list, or with a major name brand like the one on this list.

With all of that said it's always nice to look for any safety certifications the brand may have for added peace of mind.

Indoor or outdoor pikler triangle:

Since most pikler triangles are made of wood, they aren't really intended as permanent outdoor climbing gyms. With that said, on a nice day you can certainly move any pikler triangle outdoors. If you want to keep your pikler triangle outdoors, even under an overhang, where it'll be exposed to “the elements” we suggest a nontoxic water sealant and recommend this brand as they will give you all the tips you need for sealing a pikler triangle!

FAQs About Pikler Triangles

What age is best for Pikler Triangle?

Pikler Triangles are generally recommended for use as early as 6 months to as old as 6 years.

Personally, we introduced a pikler triangle around 10 or 11 months, which worked out well for us!

Six months old is a great age to introduce the pikler triangle as babies are learning to sit up and will be working on pulling themselves up to stand in the coming months. However if you feel more comfortable waiting until your child is a 1 year old, that works great too! As kids enter the toddler years they tend to want to climb on all the things as they learn their new physical capabilities and the pikler triangle provides an appropriate area for them to explore and refine the motor skills!

Are pikler triangles good for babies?

Yes! Pikler triangles are a great way for babies learning their physical limitations and working on motor skills.

Babies as young as six months old can begin working on grip strength and balance as they discover their sense of balance while learning to sit independently. As they grow, they'll work on pulling themselves up to a standing position on a pikler triangle at their own pace, on their own terms. This encourages concentration and independence.

Furthermore, babies know how to climb before they know how to walk! The pikler supports them in learning how to shift weight and balance as they go up and down.

We started both of our babies with the climbing triangle ladder on a low setting. This provided a safe space if they did fall, while working on new skills and physical strength.

Pikler Triangle Benefits:

  • Work on gross motor skills
  • Increases concentration
  • Builds strength
  • Learn physical limits with balance
  • Boost agility
  • Problem solving
  • Hone spatial and directional awareness
  • Increase hand-eye-foot coordination
  • Reduces stress and acts as a positive coping skill
  • Builds self reliance and confidence
  • Boosts focus
  • Stretches the body
  • Encourages creativity and imaginative play

From personal experience, we found our kids had better control and development of gross motor skills using the foldable triangle at home, compared to only having access to a climbing toy at a park.

Is Pikler Triangle safe?

When it comes to pikler triangle safety, adult supervision is always recommended to prevent pikler triangle injuries.

A pikler triangle is generally considered a safe place for uninterrupted play though.

Many do include some sort of bolt to keep things in place, which could pose a choking hazard. And of course, they are made of wood, which has the potential to splinter, chip, or rot. As with all kids toys, it's always a good idea to regularly inspect and clean to ensure nothing is loose or damaged.

Furthermore, it is a kid and toddler climbing toy, so the risk of falling is always there. It can help to put a mat under your pikler triangle if you're concerned.

With that said, because it teaches physical limits and boundaries, my toddler has had her pikler triangle since she was 10 or 11 months, and is now almost 3 and has never fallen. Of course, every child is different, but there's a reason pikler triangles have stood the test of time and been around for nearly 100 years!

Best mat for under pikler triangle?

A soft foam mat is a great option for under a pikler triangle in my experience.

We have this one which is non toxic, easy to clean, and thick. Making it comfortable for parents to sit on while watching kids on the climbing triangle, and shock absorbent if a fall does happen while also protecting your floors!

Ways to use a pikler triangle:

  • Learning to pull up to stand
  • Climbing multiple ways depending on your attachment
  • Learning balance/physical limits and rotation over the top
  • As a fort (toss a blanket over it)
  • Sliding down
  • For STEM lessons like an egg roll
  • Practice sorting and tossing items like my daughter created in this holiday activity for toddlers!
  • Reading nook
  • Race car track
  • Drying rack
  • Pirate ship and plank (if you have a slide attachment)
  • Pretend wooden airplane or little glider when sitting on the top

How do I get my baby or toddler to climb/use the pikler triangle?

Come up with a way to model how to use a pikler triangle for them!

With my daughter, I took one of her dolls and showed her how the doll climbed the pikler triangle. She quickly followed suit. But it was really after we had some older kids over and she watched them play, that her climbing went to the next level.

If your baby or toddler is not interested in a pikler triangle at first, do not fret! Especially if it's they are your first or only child! Every child's development is different. Sometimes kids need to see how to use something before they'll engage with it.

Best size pikler triangle?

This largely depends on where you plan to place it (double check those length and width dimensions to map out the overall footprint in the room!).

In my experience, having a taller pikler triangle is great. Our friends 6 and 7 year old come over and still want to climb on it. With that said, if you have more of a mini pikler triangle and plan to use the ramp to attach it to another pikler triangle, learning tower, or climbing arch, the fun can last just as long!

There's really no wrong size pikler; but look for a minimum height of the triangle at 26″ – with 30-33″ being nice middle of the road size.

Best place to buy pikler triangle?

RAD Pikler® Triangle is the only climbing triangle on the market certified by the Pikler Organization, making them probably the best place to buy a pikler triangle.

Beyond that, Etsy, and small shops mentioned on this list, are generally the next best place to buy a pikler triangle as the woods are typically the highest quality.

What about Amazon?

I would stay away from Amazon though. In general, the pikler triangle reviews about the quality of the product tend to be way more mixed on them. There are a lot of fake reseller accounts, or low quality brands who just start a new account when the reviews start to tank I think. At least that's my hypothesis as to why so many of the pikler triangles on Amazon have so few reviews and tend to be on the lower side.

When it comes to wood toys, you always want high-quality wood in my experience to limit splintering, splitting, or other hazards. There is a reason after all as to why IKEA doesn't sell pikler triangles! They can't be made cheap (run from anything under $190!) if they are quality!

What is the best pikler triangle alternative?

The best pikler triangle alternative really depends on what you are looking for your child to work on.

For instance, a 6 month old learning to pull themselves up to stand can easily use crib bars to work on that. However if you're looking for something to work gross motor skills, creativity, or refine fine motor skills, another toddler climbing toy will probably be your best option compared to a crib.

Our top suggestions for alternatives are this outdoor play gym or a multipurpose climbing arch.

Should I get a pikler triangle or climbing arch / rocker?

Either is a good option for encouraging climbing and working a ton of skills in toddlers and young children.

One isn't necessarily better than the other and both can be used multiple ways.

I think it comes down to budget and space. I personally liked that pikler triangles are foldable and adjustable; making it easy to store if I need the extra floor space in our montessori playroom. In the video above, I show how we store/hide it in our playroom. With a climbing arch, that wouldn't be possible.

While I know firsthand my toddler loves a rocker/climbing arch, I found using a wooden balance board was a cost effective and space friendly alternative paired with the pikler triangle.

Which pikler triangle is the safest?

RAD Pikler® Triangle which is the only wooden climbing frame certified by the Pikler Organization, which put them through rigorous safety testing. Additionally, it's the only one with a childproof locking mechanism that we know of.

What is the difference between a pikler triangle and a climbing triangle?

Nothing. When pikler triangles started becoming popular, someone trademarked it and reported any Etsy or Amazon listing with “pikler triangle” in the name to either be removed or pay for using the “brand name”. So everyone switched to “climbing triangle” or “montessori climber” instead.

The only official pikler triangle on the market comes from RAD Pikler® Triangle which is certified by the Pikler Organization.

Is the Pikler Triangle montessori?

No, pikler triangles were not developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, but instead by Dr. Emmi Pikler who was another physician at that time.

However Pikler triangles have been considered montessori climbing toys by many over the years for good reason. The simple climbing structure aligns with the montessori philosophy. The principles Dr. Montessori intended with her pedagogy of free movement, independence, child's development of new skills on their own terms, and uninterrupted play can all be found in the use of one.

Is A Pikler Triangle Worth It?

Yes! We've had one since 2019 with two kids now and it is still one of the best toys we've owned! My 3 year old loves it and teaching her baby brother. It's a great little indoor climbing gym for such a wide age range. Plus pikler triangles are easily adjustable and foldable if you need the floor space for other activities.

While there are lots of pikler triangles out there there is only one certified by the Pikler Organization and you can get 5% off of it here. We love this one because it folds flatter than any pikler we've come across (under 5 inches) and has a lower profile than most of our major competitors in the same size bracket, making it a great option for small spaces. Additionally, it's gone through the most rigorous safety testing in order to become certified by the Pikler organization, making it one of the safest pikler triangles on the market.

Alternatively, the tallest one currently comes from PlayWilderToys. Speaking from experience that extra height is a huge help for extending play and we think it's worth considering.

However you can't go wrong with any of the picks on this list!

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Discover the best pikler triangles for small spaces, affordable, indoor and outdoor use, foldable, and adjustable. Plus recommendations for pikler climbing arch and pikler climbing triangle alternatives!

Originally published 10/7/21; Updated 10/24/22

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