Best Step Stools for the Elderly

Best Step Stools for the Elderly

Best Step Stool With Handle

Vive Heavy Duty Step Stool with Handle - Bariatric Footstool Riser for Adults and Kids - Platform with Handrail for Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom - Portable, Medical, Lightweight Step for Child, Senior

Vive Heavy Duty Step Stool with Handle

Sturdy step stool with wide legs and angeled handrail for better access

Best Double Handle

AdjustaStep(tm) DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool/Footstool with Dual Handle/Handrail, Height Adjustable. Modern White/Blue Design. Padded Non-Slip Hand Grips

DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool

Adjustable step and handle heights, with dual handles for increased balance assistance

Best Half Step Stool

Evelots Mobility Half Step-Indoor-Outdoor-Sturdy-Lightweight-NonSlip-Large Size

Evelots Mobility Half Step Stool

Sturdy half-step stool with wide, textured surface area for great stability

Did you know that every 15 seconds, a senior is admitted to the emergency room for a fall? Falls become a serious health risk for elderly seniors as their balance becomes compromised.

But thanks to step stools, many seniors find it easier to access certain things that were initially beyond reach.

In this article, we’ll review some of the best step stools for the elderly, covering their features, specifications, pros and cons, and more to help you find the right step stool for your elderly loved ones. 

How Do Step Stools Help the Elderly?

Step stools provide significant benefits to older seniors in that they provide a higher ground for individuals seeking access to items beyond their reach under normal positioning. In this context, ‘normal positioning’ means the natural human standing position before stepping on this stool. 

A few examples of when a senior might benefit from a step stool include:

  • Reaching a kitchen appliance stored on a high shelf
  • Getting in and out of a car (especially with a raised seat)
  • Getting over a bathtub or door with a raised edge
  • Switching a ceiling fan on or off
  • Accessing built-in stove microwave

Traditionally, many individuals may climb up a chair, jump onto a counter, or stand on their tip-toes to access these kinds of hard-to-reach spaces. However, these options aren’t realistic for older seniors who have compromised mobility.

Step stools can be a huge help for seniors who need an extra lift to access higher shelving or storage spaces. However, step stools have risks associated with them as well. Because so many seniors have poor balance, it can be easy for an older individual to lose balance and fall when using a stool. Falling from a raised height can cause even more damage than tripping and falling from standing height.

Seniors struggling with balance should avoid using step stools. This applies even for handled, slip-proof step stools. It’s simply not worth the risk! Whenever such seniors need to reach high-placed items, they should always seek a family member or caregiver’s assistance. If neither of them is available, a reacher or grabber tool comes in handy. 

However, for those who don’t have especially poor balance, step stools can be handy tools for maintaining independent living.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best step stools for the elderly the market has to offer. 

1. Drive Medical Heavy Duty Bariatric Footstool 

Best bariatric step stool
Drive Medical Heavy Duty Bariatric Footstool with Handrail and Non Skid Rubber Platform, Silver Vein

Drive Medical Heavy Duty Bariatric Footstool

Accommodates heavier seniors while still providing comfort and confidence as they reach for higher-placed items

The Drive Medical Heavy Duty Bariatric Footstool accommodates heavier weight thanks to its handrail, along with its durable one-inch steel tubing and a cross brace for extra stability.

This step stool also comes fully assembled, so you don’t have to endure the stress of trying to put it together by yourself. Additionally, it’s attractive and easy to maintain.

This stool features welded parts to enhance stability. After unpacking, you only need to insert the handle into the lower base, and you’re good to go!

Given that it is easy to assemble (and relatively lightweight), you can carry it with you from room to room or when traveling, and it won’t feel heavy or inconvenient. 

Stability aside, this step stool is durable thanks to its high-quality paint finish. It’s a sturdy, no-nonsense step stool that will provide a bit of extra reach whether you’re grabbing a box of cereal or clearing out boxes from the top of a closet.

Product Specifications

  • Color: Silver Vein
  • Brand: Drive Medical
  • Handle Height: 34 inches
  • Step Height: 9 inches
  • Surface Dimensions: 10 inches x 14 inches
  • Weight: 2.37 lbs 
  • Max capacity: 300 lbs

Pros

  • It comes fully assembled, preventing hassle
  • Lightweight + easy to store
  • Accommodates heavier users up to 300 lbs
  • Includes a rubber platform to prevent slips

Cons

  • May not be ideal for people with knee problems because it sits up relatively high
  • Handle may be a little bit shaky if not correctly inserted 

2. Vive Heavy Duty Step Stool with Handle

Best step stool with handle
Vive Heavy Duty Step Stool with Handle - Bariatric Footstool Riser for Adults and Kids - Platform with Handrail for Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom - Portable, Medical, Lightweight Step for Child, Senior

Vive Heavy Duty Step Stool with Handle

Wide-angeled legs & more surface area

Designed for easy and safe step up, this stool provides both balance and comfort when reaching higher placed items.

The Vive Heavy Duty Step Stool with Handle comes with important features to enhance stability for its older users. It features wide-angled legs to cover a wider surface area on the floor, a sturdy handrail for improved strength, and a non-slip rubber base. 

This medical-grade footstool measures 9 inches tall, making it the ideal step stool for reaching high areas. You can use it on titles, hardwood floors, or just about any other flooring without worrying about slipping or falling.

For improved stability and security, each leg features a rubber tip that grips the floor to prevent unwanted movements. Additionally, the rubber tip does not leave marks on the floor when moving the stool around.

The 35-inch handrail leans inward for improved stability while providing the perfect balance for the elderly. The length and inward angling also increase accessibility, especially for shorter individuals.

Not all users need the handrail, though, and that’s why it is detachable. If you don’t need it and want to save space, you can simply remove it. 

Product Specifications

  • Color: Black 
  • Brand: Vive Health 
  • Handle Height: 33 inches
  • Step Height: 9 inches
  • Surface Dimensions: 14 inches x 11 inches
  • Weight: 7 lbs 
  • Max weight: 300 lbs

Pros

  • Designed for stability thanks to its angled handles
  • Made of corrosion-resistant steel for durability
  • Reduces unwanted movement thanks to its angled legs with rubber bases

Cons

  • Product weight is on the heavier side
  • Because of its high elevated base, some users with knee problems may struggle stepping onto it

3. Evelots Mobility Half Step Stool

Best Half-Step Stool
Evelots Mobility Half Step-Indoor-Outdoor-Sturdy-Lightweight-NonSlip-Large Size

Evelots Mobility Half Step Stool

Great half-step stool that works well for doorways and areas where a small step is needed

The Evelots Mobility Half Step Stool is one of the best if you are looking for stability and mobility. Because of its mobility, it fits anywhere; your bathtub, bedside, kitchen, or even at a doorway. 

Measuring 3.5 inches high, this step stool is perfect for individuals with knee problems who just need a small boost here and there. The shorter height and wider frame also contribute to this step stool’s great stability. 

This step stool is perfect for indoor and outdoor use; it comes with 12 drain holes to prevent water accumulation when used outdoors and eight non-slip feet for added stability on slippery surfaces, like tile. It also features non-slip treads, each measuring 1MM, for better friction. 

The Evelots Half-Step Stool consists of sturdy polypropylene plastic, which holds up to 400 lbs. It is lightweight yet stable and effective for individuals recovering from an injury or those with limited mobility. 

Portability is yet another factor that makes this stool stand out. Because it’s made from plastic and is small, you can carry this stool practically anywhere with you. It can also easily fit into tight spaces, making it a convenient travel item  and suitable even for seniors with very small living quarters.

Product Specifications

  • Color: Black 
  • Brand: Evelots 
  • Handle Height: NA
  • Step Height: 3.5 inches
  • Surface Dimensions: 19.75 inches x 15.75 inches
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs
  • Max weight: 400 lbs

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Accommodates up to 400 pounds
  • Ideal for both indoor and outdoor uses
  • Great for individuals with knee problems because it’s easy to step on

Cons

  • Not suitable for reaching higher spaces 

4. DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool/Footstool

Best double handle step stool
AdjustaStep(tm) DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool/Footstool with Dual Handle/Handrail, Height Adjustable. Modern White/Blue Design. Padded Non-Slip Hand Grips

AdjustaStep DoubleSafe Deluxe Stool

Ideal for those with mild balance issues, thanks to its double handles.

The AdjustaStep(TM) DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool has adjustable double handles to make it easier for mobility-imapired seniors to reach for items in higher places. 

This step stool has a rust-resistant white powder coat finish, which also contributes to its durability. Additionally, the finish makes it easier to clean and disinfect the step stool before being used by older adults. 

You do not need any special tools to assemble this modern step stool; you can put it together in minutes! Despite being bigger and having more features than the ordinary step stool, AdjustaStep(TM) DoubleSafe Deluxe is lightweight, making it easy to move it from one place to another.  

These customizable handrails are 17.5 inches apart, offering enough standing room while also allowing you to adjust the height to suit your range of motion and physical capability. 

The AdjustaStep Stool consists of all-metal parts and no plastic for durability and safety reasons. 

The non-slip pad allows for enhanced grip even with wet feet. You can use this stool anywhere at home, including stepping out of the bathtub to minimize falling or slipping risks. 

Product Specifications

  • Color: Black 
  • Brand: Evelots 
  • Handle Height: 31.5 – 33.5 inches (adjustable)
  • Step Height: 8.5 – 10.5 inches (adjustable)
  • Surface Dimensions: 11 inches x 14 inches
  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Max weight: 300 lbs

Pros

  • Offers two handrails for additional support
  • Perfect for reaching higher-placed items 
  • Handrails are adjustable, allowing for custom handle height
  • Cushioned grip for stability 

Cons

  • Heavy, not ideal for travel
  • Fairly bulky – may require dismantling to fit into smaller storage spaces

5. IdeaWorks JR5539 Bath Step

Best Bathroom step stool
Ideaworks Slip Resistant 4' Bath Step, Stackable Platform for Bathtub

IdeaWorks Bath Step

Made of plastic, this blue and white bath step reduces the risks of slips and falls on wet surfaces.

The IdeaWorks Bath Step consists of two primary materials; a textured foam surface for better grip and plastic to provide a stable step structure. These step stool pieces can even stack on top of each other, adding an extra 2 inches to the first stand-alone 4” step. 

The ability to stack makes this stool suitable even for seniors with knee problems. Several of these steps can be bought, stacked, and placed alongside one another to create a mini staircase so that the individual doesn’t have to raise his or her feet too high in one go to step on the surface of the stool.

Given its small size, this step stool is highly portable and lightweight. It’s a great step stool to help you get in and out of the car or bathtub. 

One of the best things about this stepping stool is that there is no need for assembly. You simply place it on an even surface and step on it. If it’s not high enough, you can add another stackable step piece on top to increase its height. 

Product Specifications

  • Color: White/Blue
  • Brand: IdeaWorks
  • Handle Height: NA
  • Step Height: 4 inches (and another 4″ with additional step)
  • Surface Dimensions: 18 inches x 14 inches
  • Weight: 2.99 lbs
  • Max weight: 418 lbs

Pros

  • Highly portable and extremely lightweight despite accommodating up to 418 lbs
  • Steps can be stacked for additional height
  • Designed specifically for bathroom use

Cons

  • One step stool may not be tall enough for some users

6. Drive Medical Footstool with Non-Skid Rubber Platform

Best Simple Step Stool
Drive Medical Footstool with Non Skid Rubber Platform, Silver Vein, Without Handrail

Drive Medical Footstool

Simple yet stable step stool with sturdy, ribbed rubber platform for better footing

The Drive Medical Footstool does not come with complex designs or features, opting for a simple, functional design that makes it a great step stool for the elderly. 

The step stool consists of a steel frame for impressive durability and a non-skid ribbed rubber platform surface to prevent slipping. Each of its four feet has rubber reinforcements to make the stool even more sturdy on tile or hard flooring. 

While the lack of handrails may be a problem for some, this allows this stool to be highly portable and ideal for storage in smaller spaces. 

Assembling step stools or any other equipment is such a daunting task – so it’s a good thing that this step stool comes fully assembled! You do not need any technical knowledge or to read through countless pages of user manuals to install this simple stool. 

Product Specifications

  • Color: Black/Silver 
  • Brand: Drive Medical
  • Handle Height: NA
  • Step Height: 9 inches
  • Surface Dimensions: 11 inches x 14 inches
  • Weight: 5lbs 
  • Max weight: 300 lbs

Pros

  • Lightweight, durable and portable
  • Simple, pre-assembled design
  • Textures rubber platform surface and feet to prevent slipping

Cons

  • Does not have a handrail

7. North American Healthcare 4” Portable Folding Step Stool 

Best Portable Step Stool
North American Healthcare Portable Folding Step, Black, 1 Count

Portable Folding Step Stool

Foldable step stool that allows for easy transportation and the ability to fit in tight spaces

The 4” Portable Folding Step Stool is one of the best options in terms of portability and folding for on-the-go use. It can easily be folded and stored in the car when traveling to appointments, vacations, or any other trip because it is portable. It can also be used to help an older individual get in and out of the vehicle without slipping. 

Outdoor activities aside, you can also use this foldable step stool in the bathroom, doorway, kitchen, and other areas around the house. 

The large platform for stepping also comes with small, horizontal non-slip grips for more stability. The stepping area is spacious enough to accommodate different foot sizes while also providing room to turn in different angles.

The bottom of this step stool has rubber feet for improved stability, allowing it to be used on a variety of flat surfaces.

The Portable Folding Step Stool even has a handle that allows you to easily carry the small step stool from place to place. The only drawback is that the folding design does result in a less stable structure compared to one-piece steps.

Some users have even reported the stool breaking, although most don’t seem to have this issue. If portability is extremely important, this stool is a solid pick, but some seniors may feel more comfortable and safe with a one-piece stool that is not foldable.

Product Specifications

  • Color: Black/Silver 
  • Brand: Jobar International, Inc.
  • Handle Height: NA
  • Step Height: 2.5 inches
  • Surface Dimensions: 16 inches x 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs 
  • Max weight: 300 lbs

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and portable, with foldable design

Cons

  • Does not have handles for better balance
  • Folding design makes it at higher risk for breaking

Consideration When Choosing a Step Stool for Elderly Seniors

There are a number of elements to consider when choosing a step stool for an older senior.

How wide is the surface area? 

Step stools with larger surface areas provide more room for a senior’s feet, allowing for a more natural stance that won’t put a senior’s balance at risk. This extra surface space is also essential to avoid slips and falls caused by the feet hanging over the edge of the surface. 

In physics, items with larger surface areas are usually sturdier than those with smaller surface areas. The same applies to step stools – a wide surface area, coupled with the senior’s weight, provides extra sturdiness.  

A larger surface area also creates enough turning space, so that the user doesn’t have to step down and back up before turning safely in another direction.

Does the step have a non-slip surface? 

Step stools that have non-slip surfaces are usually safer than those without this feature. Non-slip surfaces may come in the form of treads, rubber ridges, etc. 

Is the step stool portable?

Many seniors already struggle with lifting certain items, so a heavy step stool can become quite the burden. If a step stool is too heavy for a senior to maneuver, they may simply not use it!

Because many seniors have issues with balance, step stools that are heavy could cause back-related problems, especially when lifted frequently. 

Furthermore, portable step stools are ideal for traveling, especially for seniors who need help getting in and out of the car. 

Does the bottom of the stool have rubber tips? 

These tips help secure the step stool to the floor when the user steps on it, preventing rocking or sliding motions. However, be sure to select rubber tips that do not leave markings on the floor when dragged.  

Does the senior need handrails or no handrails?

Handrails provide extra support when stepping on the stool. However, it is not advisable to rely too much on them for balance; this could increase the chances of slipping.  Plus, handrails can make a stool heavier and not quite as portable.

How tall is the step stool?

When the step stool is too high, it can be difficult for seniors to raise their leg and step onto the stool (particularly for seniors with knee problems). The ideal height depends on the user’s capabilities, but as a general rule, the higher the step stool, the more dangerous it becomes. 

When possible, opt for lower step stools; they are usually more stable because of their closeness to the ground. In the end, choosing an appropriate step stool height requires keeping the height as low as possible while still allowing it to function as intended for the individual’s specific needs.

What is the maximum weight capacity of the stool?

Measure your weight, and then shop for a step stool that accommodates at least 50 lbs more than your body weight. 

Where do you intend to use the step stool?

If you plan on using a step stool in the kitchen or around the house, there are many step stools to choose from. Those who want a step stool specifically for the bathroom will be made from water-resistant materials and are easy to clean and dry. 

Does the stool need to be foldable or not?

While foldability doesn’t necessarily determine the usefulness of a step stool, it comes in handy for users who travel a lot. In that case, you need a step stool that is collapsible, lightweight, and portable at the same time. However, for those who don’t need an ultra-mobile step stool, something that does not fold might feel a bit more secure.

Types of Step Stools for Seniors

Step stools come in different sizes, types, and designs, but the right one depends on your needs. Below are some good examples. 

Foldable Step Stools

Foldable, collapsible step stools are ideal for older people who travel a lot. Whether traveling for appointments, vacation, or visiting friends and family, these step stools are convenient because they fold into small sizers for better storage.

However, the ability to fold and collapse a stool has the potential to make it less stable, so be sure to read reviews of foldable step stools to confirm their durability. 

Step Stools With Handrails

Ideal for seniors struggling with balance, these step stools provide extra support through the use of raised handrails that can be grasped when stepping on or off the stool. 

However, as discussed earlier, the handrails can only accommodate a certain weight or pressure. Therefore, it is not advisable to rely entirely on them for support. 

Outdoor Step Stools

Outdoor step stools are usually used at entryways to provide additional foot support for accessing a raised room or to cover an elevated threshold step. They are generally shorter in height and wider than the typical step stool. Additionally, most of them consist of durable, water-resistant materials to accommodate harsh weather conditions outside. 

Bathroom Step Stools

Bathroom-specific step stools consist of water-resistant materials. The ideal bathroom step stool should be easy to clean and quick-drying. 

Bedside Step Stools

Bedside step stools are placed by the bedside to help seniors get in and out of bed, functioning as bed steps. They are generally wider, and some may come with handles for better grip. 

Bariatric step stools

Bariatric step stools consist of durable, heavy-duty materials to accommodate heavier people. Although some may be portable, most are usually heavy, so they don’t tend to be great for travel. 


If you are a caregiver, friend, family member, or relative of an older adult, you probably know that they love taking care of themselves as a sign of independence. 

As seniors get older, they begin to get worried about their health and – in the process – they try to stay as active as possible. This explains why an elderly relative may love to cook for you even if she’ll need a walker to navigate to the kitchen. Other than being naturally sweet, she’s trying to keep fit by doing some simple household chores here and there. 

However, because of age-related reasons, they may not be able to do things they used to back then when they were younger. A good example is reaching for items in higher places. 

Also, because they do not want to bother you all the time, sometimes they may attempt to reach for these items without supervision. That’s when accidents happen. If you are concerned about your loved ones’ safety as they age gracefully, these step stools are worth considering!

What has your experience with step stools been like? Are you a fan or do you think it’s best for elderly seniors to simply ask for help reaching hard-to-access items? Let us know in the comments!

Last update on 2021-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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