Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Who hasn't experienced this? You want to reach something on the top shelf of the kitchen cupboard without having to climb onto the worktop, the children are still too small to wash their hands on their own or you need an extra step to get into the motorhome when camping. There is a helper for all these situations: the step stool.

In our big step stool guide, we want to help you find the right step stool for you, because one thing is for sure - there really is a step stool for everyone. We compare the different step stools with each other and present the editors' favourites. We also answer all your questions about buying and evaluation criteria and help you with things you need to consider before buying a step stool.


  • Step stools are suitable for everyone. They are household and kitchen helpers, can be used for cleaning or serve as a relief for small children and seniors in everyday life.
  • Step stools come in many variations. Round, square, with single or multiple steps or with a different number of legs and castors.
  • With all step stools, attention should be paid to stability, depending on the intended use as well as the size and weight of the persons using the stool.

The Best Step Stool: Our Selection

Step stool: buying and evaluation criteria

In the following section of this article, we explain what is important when buying and evaluating a step stool.

The most important criteria are size, the material the step stool is made of and the stability. The warranty and features should also be taken into account.


The size of a step stool depends on the number of steps. Accordingly, single-step step stools are significantly smaller than those with multiple steps.

In addition, step stools for children differ significantly in size from step stools for adults.

Children's step stools are available from a height of 15 cm. This makes it easy to overcome small hurdles in everyday life, for example, by enabling children to reach inaccessible objects on the table by standing on the step stool.

Single-step stools also vary between 20 and 40 cm.

Multi-step stools are available up to 100cm. They differ in shape and number of steps. Square step stools usually have more steps than round ones.

Depending on the possible use, the different step stools sometimes have a slightly wider, sometimes a narrower standing surface. They are often adapted to the size of the user's feet, so that children have a smaller surface than adults.


Most step stools are either made of plastic or wood.

Depending on the use and target group, solid wood such as oak, birch or walnut is used. The plastic version is often made of BPA-free plastic, which is also used for lunch boxes or drinking bottles, for example, and is therefore harmless.


Stability is a decisive criterion, especially for step stools. Most step stools are used for standing on, so they often have to withstand up to a hundred kilograms, depending on the user.

The stability of a step stool can be recognised by its shape and workmanship, as well as the material. Stools made of wood are often more solid and can support several hundred kilograms.

Cheaper plastic stools, on the other hand, often have a less stable tread surface, although there are also very resilient examples in the plastic category.

Always check the stability of your stool first.

Round stools or those with castors should be checked intensively for stability before climbing onto them.

For folding step stools, make sure that the movable elements are locked in the unfolded position and connected to each other to ensure optimal stability.


Since some step stools are priced in the higher segment, you can expect that there will be a guarantee from the manufacturer for the high-priced ones made of solid wood.

However, this depends on the place of purchase. At discount stores or furniture stores, you should always keep the receipt and if there is no guarantee, you can easily ask for a higher-priced step stool.

If there is a guarantee, it is often stated on the Internet.


A step stool is not just a step stool. There are some with a folding function, which saves space. These stools are ideal if you don't use them all the time or want to use them on the go, as they are not as bulky as their solid alternatives.

  • Space-saving
  • Sturdy
  • Good for travelling
  • Easy to use
  • Not as attractive visually
  • Usually only available in the plastic variety
  • Few suppliers

There are also step stools that not only function as steps but also have additional storage space inside the stool. If you choose this type of stool, it is a little more difficult to reposition it, but you benefit from additional storage space for objects.

  • Additional storage space
  • Stable
  • Easy to handle
  • Difficult to move
  • Usually still little space inside the stool
  • Few suppliers

Step stool: frequently asked questions and answers

This section of the article answers the most important questions about the step stool.

What is a step stool?

A step stool is a small multi-legged chair without a backrest made of wood or plastic that helps you reach things that are difficult to reach. Step stools allow you to reach things that were previously difficult to reach in everyday life. They can help little ones to reach work surfaces, the sink or the toilet.


Step stools are available in different versions.
(Image source: Nugroho Wayu / Pexels)

They are also ideal everyday helpers for senior citizens, who can tie their shoes on them without having to bend down. However, step stools can also simply be a storage surface or elevation for plants that should not stand directly on the floor.

What types of step stools are there?

Step stools come in different shapes and varieties. The most common ones are listed and presented here:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Step stool made of plastic Easy to clean Less beautiful appearance
Step stool made of wood Natural material Sensitive
Step stool with castors Easy to reposition Less stable
Step stool with storage space Space-saving Hard to reposition

Furthermore, there are step stools that differ in the number of steps, those especially for babies and toddlers, or step stools that can be folded up.


Step stools must have the necessary stability depending on their intended use.
(Image source: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels)

So if you are looking for a step stool, you are sure to find one, as they come in a wide variety of shapes and versions. Depending on your needs, you can pick out the right step stool here.

What does a step stool cost?

The prices of step stools vary depending on where you buy them. Below you will find options on where and how to buy your new step stool.

The prices vary depending on the furniture store or online shop or on the type and quality of the step stool.

Type Costs
Step stool made of plastic From approx. 10€
Step stool made of wood From approx. 30€

Inexpensive step stools are already available from 10 euros. Upwards, quality and material as well as stability are decisive and justify a price that can be close to 100 euros.

What are the alternatives to a step stool?

Step stools are unique, there are few good alternatives that can compete with a step stool. However, here are the most common ones that are used instead of a step stool.

Alternative Description
Kitchen chair Chairs from the kitchen or dining table are often used as step stools to reach things at height
Ladders Large ladders are often heavy to use around the house or to take on a camping trip
Household ladders This type of ladder is designed for indoor use and usually has only two steps. It can also be folded and is easy to store

The alternatives to a step stool are manageable.

The potential alternatives mentioned above are often also suitable for getting at things, but they are usually rather impractical to use and are intended more for adults than for children, as they can easily get their fingers caught or are too small to move them.

What can I use a step stool for?

Step stools are primarily used as a kind of step to reach objects at inaccessible heights. For example, they can be used in the home to store things at the very top of shelves and reach them with the help of the step stool when needed.

To change a light bulb or to remove dust from the top shelf of a cupboard, the step stool is also ideal.


Step stools are particularly suitable for children when they are still small.
(Image source: Tatiana Syrikova / Pexels)

Children use a step stool when they are still too small to wash their hands at the sink or to go to the toilet.

On camping holidays, the step stool is suitable as a step in the motorhome or camper van to get into the mobile home or to put their feet down in the camping chair.

Furthermore, step stools can also be used as a plant stand if the plant is not to be placed directly on the ground.

Who are step stools suitable for?

Step stools are basically suitable for everyone. From toddlers to senior citizens, step stools can be used by everyone. Step stools are particularly suitable for those who are somewhat smaller and often have to reach higher things.

However, care should be taken to ensure that the properties of the step stool are adapted to the person using it. For example, the height and weight should be taken into account here.

However, it is also suitable for those who may no longer be able to bend over so well. They can use step stools to put their foot or other things down and reach them again more easily later.


A step stool is suitable for everyone. Whether camping with a camper or caravan, for adults, seniors or children who are still too small to reach the sink: A step stool offers the solution to all these problems.

It is also the perfect household helper for dusting or mopping the upper cupboards, for storing something in the wardrobe or as a seat and for putting your feet down. Another possible use of a step stool is to put flowers or similar things down.

Step stools are available in different sizes, shapes and variants, so it is not difficult for a potential buyer to find the right step stool for him or her. There is also something for everyone in terms of budget.

Photo source: serezniy/ 123rf

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