We know firsthand the back pain that comes from constantly lifting your toddler up to new heights – and the tears that come from falls and finger pinches in choosing the wrong step stool for toddlers. Which is why we've tested out and reviewed the best toddler step stools with rails, for the sink, to use in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.
Discover top multi-use kids step stool for your situation. In this buying guide we've evaluated foldable stool options, one's with storage, wooden vs. plastic, and more so you can skip the trip to the chiropractor and headache. Plus find tips on how to choose the best step stools for your kids so you don't end up with 5+ step stools that go untouched until you find the perfect fit for your child like we did.
How To Choose The Best Toddler Step Stool:
Once your child is old enough to begin managing self-care skills by themselves (think toilet training, being a little chef, washing their hands, etc.), it’s time to take a page from the montessori philosophy and let them have a bit of autonomy. A step stool gives them a little boost in height and confidence to do everyday tasks themselves. While your child's safety and a sturdy stool are the most important factors, don’t forget that you need to match it to intended tasks and even aesthetics.
While most people only think of stools for the bathroom, toddlers love to flex their independence and do all the things adults do throughout the home. A step stool can be used to lift your child to counter top height while working in the kitchen, give independent access to items in closets or storage, give them access to turning the lights on and off, help them in and out of a larger bed, and of course, use the big toilet and sink.
Pairing the stool with your goals is a good way to make sure you’re picking the right product in your home. Depending on the space available in your home, you may find that owning more than one stool is a better investment — keeping them dedicated to specific areas (i.e. bathroom vs. kitchen vs bedroom vs playroom).
For instance a toddler helper stool is better suited for a kitchen counter, while a traditional foldable step stool is best for small spaces like bathrooms or pantries.
A step stool for a toddler should feature non-skid feet, support the child's weight, be sturdy and ideally have rounded edges at minimum.
Toddlers like to do everything themselves, and are also prone to impulses, like jumping up and down or moving too quickly in socks. Thus, additional safety features like non slip surface included are great, but you can also add non slip stickers to a step stool if the one you like doesn't include it.
If assembly is required, be sure that there aren’t any raw edges or exposed screw or nail heads which can lead to scratches. And any pieces that must be connected should fit snuggly to prevent wobbling which can cause a child to lose their balance.
Lastly, many families like fold flat step stools like this one. However, the top isn't the most sturdy if a toddler decides to jump on it, and little fingers may get pinched when folding and unfolding it.
When choosing a step stool you need to consider the height you're looking to comfortably lift your child too, as well as their height, and whether or not you want the option to adjust the height as your child grows.
In general, for toilet use, a 10.5″ step stool is typically suitable for short toddlers but may be a little too short for independent sink access, and a 5″ step stool is suitable for taller toddlers on the toilet, but they may need a taller one for sink access.
For counter tops, like at the sink or in the kitchen, a good rule of thumb is: 18″ for children 28-32″ tall, 15″ for children 32″-38″ tall, and 12″ for children 38-44″ tall.
Folding vs. Permanent
If you're tight on space, opting for a foldable step stool may be a good option. However, if you have the space, we recommend a permanent structured step stool for the additional safety.
Fold flat step stools can pinch little fingers, and they also have more “weak points” that can break or cause injury with toddlers who can be a little rough or wild at times.
Permanent step stools can be just as lightweight as foldable ones, at comparable prices, but with much needed sturdiness to support a toddler's urges.
While not a requirement, if you don’t like the idea of purchasing multiple stools around your home, looking for a stool that can work in more than one location in your home is a good idea.
This might not be practical for everyone depending on varying object heights across your home, but it can help to save space if you have a smaller home. For example, an adjustable-height or multi-step stool that can pull double duty for potty training for a toddler, used as a squatty potty for adults, then used as a bench for getting dressed, or in the kitchen to lift toddler to counter top height can be a smart investment.
A children's step stool often becomes a permanent fixture in the home, so taking into account the aesthetic, just like any piece of furniture, can create a nice environment.
Beyond that, you'll want to consider the style of the step stool functionally speaking. Does it have 1 step or 2 steps? Can it be stacked or folded? Do you want handrails or low enough to slide under a toilet bowl?
Additionally, some step stools include storage which can be helpful in small spaces with limited storage solutions that gives a toddler independent access to their items.
Overall Best Kids Step Stool: Skip Hop 2-in-1 Foldable Stool
The Skip Hop Toddler Stool is one of the few compact stools with a beautiful minimalist design that's a great safe solution to use with your toddlers; and as a bonus it actually converts to two separate stools!
While this popular foldable step stool folds flat, it has a tendency to pinch toddler. I also found the top of the fold flat step stools to be a little flimsy, since the top folds, which I don’t love from a safety standpoint as toddlers tend to inevitably jump on their step stools.
For this reason, the Skip Hop's smart design of foldable 2 step to single step stool wins. The adjustable height feature meets your child's need as they grow and the foldability is perfect for small bathrooms.
You’ll get non-slip bases plus treads and a fantastic space saving design. This stool is one of the best options and weighs just one pound, meaning that toddlers can easily bring it to any room in the house. Additionally, while the small step stool can fold into the large one (or convert it to a 2 step stool), it can also be detached to create two separate stools making it a great buy for multiple kids in the home.
- Space-saving nested design with interlocking pieces
- Converts to a 2 step stool or 2 separate step stools
- Lightweight construction
- Comes with non-skid base and tread
- Maximum capacity of 250 lbs
Good To Know:
- Large Step Stool Dimensions: 13.25W x 8.5H x 10.25D
- Small Step stool dimensions: 10.375W x 6H x 10.25D
Best Wooden Toddler Step Stool: HAJACK Kids' Step Stool
While there are definitely more stylish wooden step stools on the market, the Hajack takes the cake for it's unique safety features and smart design.
The back of this 2 step stool is a nice straight line (many are angled) which makes it the perfect step stool for sitting flush against a bathroom cabinet, bedframe, or wall in situations your child may need the extra height.
Additionally, it includes 6 anti-slip grips for the base so the stool won't slide around on the floor, as well as 4 non-slip step pads for the top of the stool step so if you're child is wearing socks they won't slide. It also features handles on either side so they child can lift and move it around; though it is on the heavier end so it may be a little awkward/challenging for young toddlers.
And you’ll appreciate that this pick is made from solid wood rather than MDF with a total weight limit of 200 pounds.
I personally use this in my kid's bedroom for easy access in and out of bed. It's a little taller than more 2 step stools and find its a little too high for a comfortable resting position while sitting on the toilet.
- Two-step toddler stool
- Non skid base & step strips
- Comes with 4 non-slip mats
- Right angle design for added stability
- Rounded edges for added safety
Good To Know:
- Assembly required
- Dimensions: 13″ H X 13.4″ D X 13.3″ W
- Can support up to 200lbs
- Included option slip-resistant surface stickers may be clear or black
Best Bathroom + Kitchen Stool For Toddlers: Simplay3 Sibling Step Stool
If you have multiple littles in your home, then you know that having children pushing to be first to the sink can get old very quickly. The Simplay3 Sibling Step Stool is a great extra wide step stool solution for saving space while letting two children of different heights use the step stool simultaneously.
It features no slip feet and two sides. One being a step stool with two heights and the other can double as a bench.
Children can use the handles to easily carry and move it around too.
The all-plastic construction means that it’s lightweight so even youngsters can move it. You’ll also appreciate that no assembly is required, and even though it’s feather light, it can support up to 300 pounds.
- Two-sided for seat or stool use
- Allows two children of different heights to use it simultaneously
- No assembly required
- Lightweight design that toddlers can move
- Can support up to 300 lbs
- Non-slip feet
Good To Know:
- Dimensions: 10.5″ tall, 22.5″ wide, and 13″ deep
- Not suitable for twins as the step stool is intended for two children of different heights.
- Comes in grey or blue
Best Kid Stepping Stool With Storage + Personalization: Pottery Barn Kids
Multifunctional furniture is always a bonus — especially if it can double as storage. The Pottery Barn Kids Storage Step Stools is available in two colors, white and navy, and is designed with hidden storage in the top step.
This wooden stool is perfect for bathroom or bedroom use (or wherever you need a stool with child accessible items nearby) and features kid-friendly built-in handles.
This toddler stool is made from solid poplar wood for added durability and a velvet under pad which makes it easy for children to move. The wooden stool is durable so even a big kid can use it. Additionally, it can be personalized too with a choice of 10 colors and four different fonts.
NOTE: There is a cheaper wooden step stool with storage available in less color options and without personalization here.
- Made from solid poplar wood
- Hidden built-in storage in top step
- Kid-friendly hand-holds
- Velvet base pads for easy movement
- Can be personalized
Good To Know:
- Doesn’t come with non-skid tread for steps but you can add them on
- Stool Dimensions: 4.25″ wide x 15″ deep x 10.75″ high
- Interior Storage Dimensions: 11″ wide x 5.75″ deep x 7.75″ high
Best Child Bathroom Step Stool: Stackable 2 Step Stool
I'm not even going to name an official brand for this because SO many brands make this exact same white plastic 2 step stool with handles and a non-slip surface on the top and at the feet base. The brand we originally bought ours from is no longer selling it, but this brand is. I suggest getting the 2 pack because these stools are SO handy.
This is personally my toddlers favorite step stool to use on the toilet. She even uses it as a bench for putting her shoes on or getting dressed. The height gives her excellent positioning for going number two, and I honestly use it as a squatty potty as well.
It's also super lightweight so we often move it between the bathroom off our kitchen and the kitchen itself. The back is not quite a 90 degree angle, but very close so it can lay almost flush against a cabinet or wall.
I personally prefer this to a wood step stool in bathrooms since it's waterproof. Personally I use the wood step stool in the bedroom, and plastic in the bathroom. These stackable step stools comes in single or two packs and a slew of colors:
- Two-step toddler stool
- Non skid base & steps
- Easy to move: lightweight and comes with handles
- BPA and PVC free
- Sit flush design
- Can support up to 175lbs
Good To Know:
- Can come as a pack of two for cheaper pricing per stool
- Multiple brands sell the exact same stool so double check pricing
- Dimensions: 14″ D x 12.7″ W x 10.5″ H inches (5.5″ to first step then 5″ to second step)
Best Personalized Toddler Step Stool: J+P Wood Name Step Stool Bench
To a toddler, any object can become a toy, so why not let that be a step stool? The J & P Wood Products Name Puzzle Step Stool Bench is the perfect customized step stool that can shift from being a utilitarian item to a fun way to keep little ones occupied.
This simple single-step toddler stool is available in three sizes to accommodate a variety of name lengths — 13, 17, and 21 inches. However, all stools are eight inches tall.
Note that the 13-inch stool can only accommodate names up to four letters and that for all stools light assembly is required. Additionally, you can choose between pastel or primary colors. And you can rest easy that the paint used on the letters is non-toxic with a clear top coat.
- Customized name stool
- Available in three lengths — 13”, 17”, 21”
- Can choose primary or pastel colors for names
Good To Know:
- Light assembly required
- Doesn’t come with anti-skid pads for the little feet base
Best Small Step Stool: Dreambaby Step Stool with Dots
The Dreambaby Step Stool with dots is a great, lightweight little step stool with a non slip base and no slip tread dots on the top surface.
Measuring at only 5″ tall it's a great pick for tall kids, but we don't recommend it for young toddlers in most situations. While it does slide under the toilet bowl well to act as a squatty potty for adults, it's too short for most toddlers to use for an independent boost onto the big toilet.
However it is very light weight and comes with finger holes, so if your toddler wants something to reach items on counter tops or turn a light on, etc. it may work. We look at this pick as the “graduate step stool” when a toddler no longer needs a 2 step stool thanks to it's affordable price, sturdy construction, and non slip features.
- Non slip grip on feet
- Slip resistant rubber dots on top
- Lightweight with finger holes for easy portability
- Low profile single step stool
- Comes in aqua and grey
Good To Know
- Dimensions 10″ D x 14.5″ W x 5″ H
- Small enough to slide under a toilet bowl or some bed frames
Best Toddler Step Stools With Rails
Best Toddler Tower Step Stool: Sprout Kids Sous-Chef Toddler Tower
Quick description: Best for kitchen + sink use, especially for younger toddlers thanks to enclosed sides but will grow with the child for years
A toddler-friendly kids kitchen step stool is usually going to be very different from the one you use in the bathroom. The Sprout Sous-Chef Toddler Tower is a safety-first solution that features multiple steps (including an adjustable top one), 3 enclosed sides, and two protective rails to prevent your little one from falling backwards. Click here for 10% off with discount code TCM or TCM10!
This pick is designed to grow with your child, featuring three height adjustment options for the top step and two for the top rail.
The toddler kitchen stool is made from Baltic Birch and some assembly is required. There’s also a maximum weight capacity of 150 pounds.
- Durable material
- Three height adjustments
- Includes rail and additional Guard Plate for children under 32″ height
- Only weighs 20 lbs
- Non-toxic finish for easy cleaning
- Handles for ease and stability for the child
- Made in the USA
Good To Know:
- Footprint dimensions: 34.5″ H x 17.5″ W x 17.5″ D
- Top of tower dimensions inside: 10.5″ W x 10″ d
- Height adjustable platform 18″ (for children 28-32″ tall), 15″ (for children 32″-38″ tall), and 12″ (for children 38-44″ tall)
- Weight limit:150 lbs
Best Traditional Toddler Step Stool With Rails: Little Partners 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool
Quick description: Best for accessing a tall bed, kitchen, or sink use; especially in shared bathrooms with multiple kids
the Little Partners 3-in-1 Growing Step stool is a sturdy wooden step stool with safety rails that are easy for little ones to hold onto. It's Greenguard Gold Certified and has three adjustable heights.
It features two steps on the highest settings, and can support up to 200 lbs. Aside from being finished in non toxic materials, it's crafted from FSC certified wood and has a lifetime warranty.
We love that this step stool can easily fit against a sink, wall, or counter top to foster independence in young children, or it can convert to a little bench/seat too. It also comes with non slip treads for added safety.
NOTE: Of this style, this is the best step stool of it's kind in our opinion, however we prefer more of an enclosed learning tower style mentioned above and after this pick due to its smaller footprint and more enclosed sides.
- Large hand rails
- 3 height settings
- Converts to bench/seat
- Greenguard Gold Certified
- Supports up to 200-250 lbs
- Includes non slip treads
- Comes in multiple colors: espresso, light and dark green, grey, black, natural wood, white, turquoise blue
Good To Know
- Dimensions: 20.39 x 17.76 x 31.5 inches
- Fairly wide, so depending on size of children it may be able to support two at once safely
- If using at a sink or high splash area paint may show wear over time
Best Multi-Use Children's Step Stool With Rails: Piccalio
Quick description: Best for toddlers over the age of 2 and families looking for a smart space/money saving solution for a child sized table/chair as well as a toddler tower combo
I'm a HUGE fan of the Piccalio Kitchen helper tower which is basically a safer step stool with rails. While “kitchen” is in the name, it can actually be used in bathrooms for access to the sink, or anywhere around the house your child needs a step stool with rails. It's easy enough for toddlers to push around for added independence as well.
Compared to other learning towers, it has a smaller footprint. But what makes this such a great pick is the fact it converts to a toddler sized table with a bench.
We personally use this one in our kitchen which is right off of our playroom. It's SO helpful that my toddler can move it between rooms to access things in the kitchen or art supplies. She also uses the table to eat snacks or work on her art.
It's very easy to clean, non-toxic, and the access step (doubles as the bench) has 3 height options.
- Two-step toddler stool with handrails and safety bar
- Non toxic finish and birch plywood + pine
- Comes in four colors: natural wood, white, black, and mint green
- Right angle design for added stability and sitting flush to cabinet, wall, or other surface
- Children's Product Certificate (CPC) in accordance with ASTM F963 and California Prop 65 Standards and Regulations
- Can support up to 175lbs
- Includes free mini wooden cutter
- Converts to table and bench for child to sit and eat/play at
Good To Know:
- Assembly required
- Platform height 18″ (this is how high your child will be lifted up); step to platform can be set at 6″, 8″ or 10″
- Assembled tower dimensions: Height 36″ * Width 16″ * Length 16″
Best Toddler Step Stool For Toilet: Toddler Potty Step Stool: Mangohood Potty Training Toilet Seat with Step Stool Ladder
Quick description: Suitable for toilet use only
If you're looking for a toddler potty step stool combo the Mangohood Potty Training step stool toilet seat combo is a great pick for toilet potty training and bathroom independence for small children.
Compared to other popular versions on the market like this one, the actual step is wider which makes it significantly easier for the child to turn around and sit down on. Additionally it provides added stability. The handrails are also larger which provides an easier grip for smaller tallers.
Additionally it comes in five color combinations and can be lifted up, folded in half and rested against the bathroom wall when not in use.
- Foot rest/step has two height settings for as the child grows
- Step stool with handrails
- Padded non-slip toddler size toilet seat
- Anti slip mats for ladder feets
- Extra wide step so it's easier for turning around
- Supports up to 165 lbs
Good To Know:
- Fits standard height toilets which ranging in height from 14″ to 16.5″ from floor to toilet bowl seat
- Must lift up the toilet seat to rest the device on the actual bowl
- Assembly required, but it's easy
- Be sure to clean between the pad and plastic seat area regularly
FAQS About Toddler Step Stools
What age can toddler use step stool?
Most manufacturers will list a recommended minimum age for using a step stool. This is usually set around 18 months old. However, you should ensure that your child is developmentally ready before introducing a step stool. This means that they’re steady on their feet, able to walk up stairs — even just a few — and can maintain their balance.
If you want to introduce a step stool earlier, say in the kitchen, I'd suggest reading this blog post on How To Choose The Best Toddler Learning Tower + When To Start Using One.
When should toddlers use a step stool?
Toddlers can use a step stool whenever they need a boost for everyday activities to foster more independence. This often includes: using the big toilet, washing hands at the sink, turning lights on and off, working at the kitchen counter, and access to clothes, food, or toys higher up.
Are toddler step stools safe?
If you prioritize safety features, pick a stool that is sturdy without hazards, and ensure that your child is developmentally ready to use a stool, they can be a safe way for little ones to navigate your home without feeling like everything is too big for them.
What is the safest step stool?
The safest step stool is one that incorporates essential safety features like non-skid feet, a textured non slip step, and is sturdy enough and rated safe for your child's weight.
Additionally, looking for step stools with rounded edges, free from pinch points or loose parts, and is the appropriate height can further minimize risk.
What should never be used as a step stool?
Random household items should never be used as a step stool. For example, storage containers — no matter how durable — aren’t intended for anyone to step on, no matter how small your toddler might be. Likewise, other objects like overturned buckets, baskets, toy chests, or even benches are not replacements for a kids' step stool.
How do you make step stools for kids?
If you're handy and have the tools these DIY toddler step stool with rails plans are top rated.
How do you choose the best toddler step stool for the sink?
Choosing the bestkids step stool for independent sink access will largely depend on if it's a kitchen sink or bathroom sink and if you add a faucet extender to the sink to make hand washing easier.
While a step stool can lift the toddler to the sink, if it's set too far back, they may still need help turning the faucet on or reaching their hands under the flow of water until they can bend forward enough. A faucet extender can help with the latter issue.
While there are easily hundreds of kids step stools on the market, we found the best toddler step stool to be the Skip Hop Toddler Step Stool thanks to it's smart design. You basically get two for one with either a single stool two-step design or can separate out to one small stool and one larger one. It's a great step stool for a growing child or if you end up with multiple kids. The plastic design makes it a solid choice for bathrooms compared to wooden step stools, though you may want to add some non slip treads for added safety.
As far as toddler step stools with rails, each of the one's mentioned earlier in this post serve a slightly different purpose so knowing where you intend to use it will ultimately be the biggest decision factor.
With that said, we love the Sprout Kids Sous-Chef Toddler Tower for it's small footprint, fully enclosed sides, and adjustable height so it's always the perfect countertop height for your kid. While it can't be used at a toilet, it can be used at the kitchen counter or at sinks and provides an added level of safety compared to others, especially if being used by young toddlers. You can click here and use code TCM or TCM10 for a discount.
- Top Toddler Step Stool By Categories
- How To Choose The Best Toddler Step Stool:
- Best Toddler Step Stools
- Overall Best Kids Step Stool: Skip Hop 2-in-1 Foldable Stool
- Best Wooden Toddler Step Stool: HAJACK Kids' Step Stool
- Best Bathroom + Kitchen Stool For Toddlers: Simplay3 Sibling Step Stool
- Best Kid Stepping Stool With Storage + Personalization: Pottery Barn Kids
- Best Child Bathroom Step Stool: Stackable 2 Step Stool
- Best Personalized Toddler Step Stool: J+P Wood Name Step Stool Bench
- Best Small Step Stool: Dreambaby Step Stool with Dots
- Best Toddler Step Stools With Rails
- Best Toddler Tower Step Stool: Sprout Kids Sous-Chef Toddler Tower
- Best Traditional Toddler Step Stool With Rails: Little Partners 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool
- Best Multi-Use Children's Step Stool With Rails: Piccalio
- Best Toddler Step Stool For Toilet: Toddler Potty Step Stool: Mangohood Potty Training Toilet Seat with Step Stool Ladder
- FAQS About Toddler Step Stools
- Final Thoughts: