The 9 Best Step Stools of 2021

Your home's highest shelves just became more accessible

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Our Top Picks
"This stylish two-step stool has a lightweight design that folds down into a compact form."
"While not the most stylish, this plain plastic step stool will keep you steady on your feet."
"These handcrafted step stools are made from sustainably sourced oak wood."
"The two-tier steps make it easier for little feet to climb up to reach counters or sinks."
"This professional-grade step stool can support up to 300 pounds and has a large top step to hold your tools."
"You'll be able to slip this step stool in beside your fridge, as it folds down to a compact 2-inch form."
"This wildly popular step stool quickly folds flat, sporting a handle for easy carrying."
"The 34-inch handle that attaches to this step stool will keep you steady as you step up and down."
"This circular step stool is mounted on caster wheels that retract when you step on it."

How many times are you going to drag a dining chair around the house to put up artwork, reach high shelves, or dust off blinds? If you're ready to purchase a step stool, there are many different types to consider.

Whether you’re looking for a multi-step ladder to keep in your pantry or a small one-step stool to help your children reach the sink, there are plenty of stylish and affordable options to choose from. Many fold down for compact storage, ensuring they don’t take up too much space in your home. (Or, if you're feeling up to it, you can make a DIY step stool!)

Here are the best step stools to consider for your needs.

Best Overall: Frontgate Ultralight Slimline 2-Step Stool

Frontgate Ultralight Slimline 2-Step Stool

The sleek, lightweight design of the Ultralight Slimline Step Stool is a stylish unit that comes in five pretty colors, and it features two steps that will give you access to every high shelf in your home.

This step stool is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, and it weighs just 7 pounds, making it easy to carry throughout your home. It can support up to 250 pounds. Its top platform is 8.5 inches to give you secure footing. The unit’s nonmarring leg tips are covered with nonslip rubber feet to protect your floors and keep it steady. When you’re done using it, the whole stool folds down to a 2-inch width, allowing it to be slipped beside the fridge or in the corner of your broom closet.

If you want to climb even higher, Frontgate offers this step stool in larger models with three, four, or even six steps.

Best Budget: Rubbermaid Gray Step Stool

Rubbermaid Gray Step Stool

If you’re not concerned about the appearance of your step stool, this model from Rubbermaid is a total steal. Despite its plain appearance, this step stool is extremely functional, boasting wide skid-resistant feet and a textured standing surface to prevent slipping.

This gray plastic step stool is 13.5 x 17.25 x 7.75 inches, and it can support up to 300 pounds. The design may not be stylish, but it will serve its purpose well, and you really can’t beat its low price.

Best Design: Peg and Awl Handcrafted Wooden Step Stool

Peg and Awl Handcrafted Wooden Step Stool

These handcrafted wooden step stools are stylish enough to leave on display all the time. The Peg and Awl Wooden Step Stool comes in either a natural oak or dark blackened oak finish. They’re made from sustainably sourced wood and crafted in the U.S.

This beautiful step stool is 8.75 x 12 x 8.5 inches, giving you just enough of a boost to reach that upper shelf. The natural oak version is finished with tung oil to show off its natural grain. The black model is finished with a Japanese wood-charring technique, which not only gives it a lovely dark hue but makes it waterproof and ideal for the bathroom or kitchen.

Best for Kids: Crate & Kids On the Double White Wooden Step Stool

Crate & Kids On the Double White Wooden Step Stool

Do your kids need a boost to reach the kitchen counter or bathroom sink? The On the Double Wooden Step Stool is a cute and handy solution! This step stool is designed for children, featuring two levels that easy for young kids to use.

This stool measures 11 x 15 x 12.5 inches and can support 120 pounds. It has a white powder-coated metal frame and two solid mango wood steps that make up its two-tier design. Rubber feet protectors on the bottom prevent it from scratching the floor and keep the stool in place during use. It can support up to 120 pounds. The clean, modern design will fit into just about any home. Kids can also use it as a sitting space, adding to its versatility.

Best Indoor-Outdoor: Gorilla Ladders 3-Step Pro-Grade Steel Step Stool

Gorilla Ladders 3-Step Pro-Grade Steel Step Stool

Gorilla Ladders are known for their extreme durability, which makes this step stool a solid option for indoor and outdoor use. The three-step ladder is made from steel. It features oversized steps that can support up to 300 pounds.

This professional-grade step stool has large, nonmarring feet, keeping you steady on any surface. It has nonslip treads on each of the steps. The large top step is handy for holding tools or other supplies if you’re painting, mounting wall decor, or tackling other projects. When you’re done, the top-rated unit folds flat for better portability and easy storage.

Best for Kitchen: Dotted Line Bella Slim 2-Step Aluminum Step Stool

Dotted Line Bella Slim 2-Step Aluminum Step Stool

Many people like to keep a step stool in their kitchen, as it will come in handy for reaching ingredients, cookware, and appliances stored on high shelves. The Dotted Line Bella Slim Step Stool has a narrow design that is easy to store and boasts two steps to give you an even bigger boost.

This cute step stool comes in several fun colors, and its aluminum frame weighs just 9 pounds, making it easy to move around your home. The stool has slip-resistant feet and steps and can support up to 225 pounds. The best part is it folds down to a compact 2-inch frame, allowing you to slip in beside your fridge for easy access.

Best Folding: Handy Laundry Folding Step Stool

Some step stools take up quite a bit of space, but not this one. The Handy Laundry Store Folding Step Stool is as compact as they come. The whole thing folds into a flat form that makes storage a breeze—perfect for apartments, RVs, or other small spaces.

This step stool is 9 x 12.5 x 9.75 inches, weighing just over 2 pounds. It comes in three colors. It has a convenient handle when folded to make it easier to carry. The step stool has a grip-dot textured surface to keep you steady as you stand on it and features anti-slip footpads.

Best with Handle: Duro-Med DMI Step Stool with Handle

If you often feel wobbly while standing on raised surfaces, the Duro-Med DMI Step Stool will feel more secure with its handle. The 34-inch long padded handle attaches to one side of the stool, allowing you to maintain stability while you step up and down. If you ever want to use the step stool without its handle, the rail can be removed.

This step stool has a steel frame with a 12 x 17-inch step that’s lined with a nonslip textured surface. It is lightweight, weighing around 8.5 pounds, and able to support up to 300 pounds of weight. Its platform is 9 inches high, giving you the perfect boost in height. The rubber feet on each of the legs keeps the stool from sliding.

Best Rolling: Cramer Industries 2-Step Steel Lightweight Step Stool

Cramer Industries Lightweight Step Stool

A rolling step stool may sound unsafe, but the Cramer Industries Step Stool has a unique design that keeps it from moving while in use. This same style of step stool is a mainstay at many libraries, where they're used to reach high shelves.

This circular, two-tier step stool has spring-mounted casters. When you step onto it, your weight causes the wheels to retract, ensuring it won't shift around. This rolling step stool comes in several colors and can support up to 300 pounds. The stool is made from steel with nonslip vinyl treads and a protective bumper around its base. It stands over 12 inches tall and around 15 inches wide at its base.

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Frontgate Ultralight Slimline Step Stool (view at Frontgate), which is everything a good step stool needs to be—sturdy, lightweight, versatile, and stylish. However, if you're looking for a step stool for kids, we recommend the On The Double Wooden Step Stool (view at Crate and Barrel) for its smaller steps that make it easier for little ones to climb.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester who specializes in all things home. She swears by her own Gorilla Ladders Step Stool, which gets regular use in her kitchen and pantry.

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