5 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!

After two years of continuous pikler triangle questions, I've rounded up the 5 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!

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, discovering physical limits, and practicing free 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 for your family!

Best Overall Pikler Triangle: Piccalio

Piccalio's pikler triangle wins best overall pikler triangle because it checks two major things that most families will be looking for: one of the most affordable pikler triangles that's actually quality AND one of the smallest footprints at 30″ by 34″. It's height comes in at a standard 33″. You can also get 10% off with code TCM when you click here!

It's price is inclusive of the rockwall and slide ramp attachment – which is what makes it the most affordable pick. 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: 33”H x 30”W x 34″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:
  • The average height of a 6 year old is 45 (ish) inches, and the tallest this climbing triangle goes is about 33″ meaning it may not last as many years if your child feels like it's too small

Longest Lasting Pikler Triangle: HOMEforDREAMS Climbing Triangle

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.

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.

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!)

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.

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: 27″ L x 39″ W x 33″ H
  • Weight: 22.91 lb.
  • Material: Solid hardwood
  • Metal-to-metal connections make the climbing ladder a solid and secure foundation for climbing
  • How to clean: Wipe with damp cloth
  • 1-year limited manufacturer's warranty
  • 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
  • Colors: natural or white finish
  • Quick shipping
Things to note / Cons:
  • The average height of a 6 year old is 45 (ish) inches, and the tallest this climbing triangle goes is about 33″ meaning it may not last as many years if your child feels like it's too small
  • 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 their original form and slides. Many montessori families appreciate the 3-in-1 pikler triangle, slide, climbing arch set for it's versatility. ShopJoeyCo is our top pick because the slide features a rockwall on the other side really 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!

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.

They are on backorder and as a thank you for your patience, they've dropped their pricing quite a bit to so definitely take advantage if you have the desire and space for a climbing arch!

Features:
  • Pikler Triangle Climbing Triangle – 120 lb limit (2 children limit @ 60 lbs each)
  • Ramp – 60 lb limit
  • Pikler Triangle Measurements: 31″ H x 31″ W x 34″ L
  • Arch Measurements: 42″ L x 20″ H x 20″ 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:
  • The average height of a 6 year old is 45 (ish) inches, and the tallest this climbing triangle goes is about 31″ meaning it may not last as many years if your child feels like it's too small
  • Very large foot print when using all 3 pieces – arch is obviously not foldable

Best Outdoor Pikler Triangle: PlayWilderToys

If you have a TON of space and are really looking to create an outdoor wooden gym with a pikler triangle and climbing arch then PlayWilderToys has you covered with their four piece set! 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.

You get the folding triangle, arch, and then you can choose 1, 2, or 3 pikler ladder ramps for an additional rate. The ladder ramps are smooth on one side and have either a rock or wrung ladder climbing finish on the other.

Most pikler triangles are unfinished and not intended long term outdoor use. The reason they win best outdoor pikler triangle is because they will actually work with you to recommend the best water sealers, and provide instructions on how to do it with the least amount of fuss which is wildly considerate for parents who want non toxic finishes but don't know where to start!

Features:
  • Large PlayWilder Foldable Triangle Dimensions: 48 X 30 X 36 (tall)
  • PlayWilder Arch Dimensions: 43 x 22 x 20
  • The Ramp Dimensions: 42 x 13 x 2.5
  • Weight: 22.91 lb.
  • Material: Baltic Birch Wood
  • How to clean: Wipe with damp cloth
  • Recommended age 6 months to 5 years old
  • Second tallest pikler triangle on the list!
Things to note / Cons:
  • Largest footprint of all the pikler triangles on this list

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!

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?

In my personal experience, having the height makes a big difference. 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

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 wall ladder, 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 great 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 learn to pull themselves up on a pikler triangle. 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.

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

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 safe 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 an option. 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)

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.

If your baby or toddler is not interested in a pikler triangle as first, do not fret! Especially if it's they are your first or only child! 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 stay away from anything under 32″ tall.

Best place to buy pikler triangle?

Etsy is generally the best place to buy a pikler triangle as the woods are typically the highest quality. Bed Bath & Beyond and Buy Buy Baby are close second options in my opinion, thanks to generous return policies and generally well vetted, quality brands are carried.

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 quality 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, and fine motor refinement with grips another toddler climbing toy will probably be your best option.

For that, we like 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. 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.

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.”

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 by many over the years as it encourages many of the principles and philosophies Dr. Montessori intended with her pedagogy.

Is A Pikler Triangle Worth It?

Yes! We've had one for over two years now and it is still one of my toddlers favorite toys! 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.

Our favorite pikler triangle is this one – because of the look and add ons and height. 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!
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