Best Step Stools for Easier & Safer Transfers

Best step stools for easier and safer transfers
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While entering our senior years means that we can enjoy the freedom of retirement and spend time doing the things we love, there is also the issue of health and safety.

For older adults who find it difficult to transfer from one place to another, for example in and out of the bath, a step stool may provide some much needed assistance.

Contents

Best Step Stools Comparison Chart

Here’s a handy reference list of our reviewed step stools. Further below is a more comprehensive comparison and review guide.

Step 2 Bed Height Adjustable Bed Step Stool Vaunn Medical Step Stool Drive Medical Heavy-Duty Footstool BodyHealt Portable Folding Step Stool Hoovy 3.5" Step Riser Step Stool Support Plus Stackable Bath Steps
Weight Capacity 400 lbs 300 lbs 500 lbs 300 lbs 400 lbs 330 lbs
Dimensions 32" (W) x 18" (D) x 32" (H) 17" (W) x 14" (D) x 34" (H) 17" (W) x 13.25" (D) x 34" (H) 15.75" (W) x 11" (D) x 4" (H) 20" (W) x 16" (D) x 3.5" (H) 19.5" (W) x 16" (D) x 4–6" (H)
Height Adjustable Yes (2.5" – 7.5" adjustments) No No No No No
Product Weight 21 lbs 7 lbs 10 lbs 3.86 lbs 4 lbs 11 lbs
Construction Materials Steel Steel Steel Plastic Plastic with rubber top Plastic with rubber top
Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

What is a Step Stool?

A step stool is a small assistive piece of equipment that can be used by older adults and people with limited mobility. While they may look simple, these devices can be used for a range of purposes including transfers. If you find it difficult to step up onto your bed or up very high steps, these stools can serve as a way of shortening the height you need to move.

The step stool may also be suitable for reaching up into high cupboards without posing a safety risk by over extending yourself.

Who are Steps Stools Suitable for?

The step stool is a very beneficial piece of equipment and we will take a look at its advantages a little later on. However, before deciding that a step stool is for you, it is important to understand who they may be suitable for.

  • Elderly people who may find their mobility is more limited than it used to be.
  • Anyone with mobility impairments.
  • People who are unsteady on their feet; many step stools have handles which allow you to maintain your balance.
  • If you have recently undergone surgery that has limited your mobility, such as a knee or hip replacement, a step stool may be beneficial to you.
  • If you live alone and need assistive devices to help you maintain your independence, a step stool could be advantageous and may help you remain in your own home.

Benefits of Using a Steps Stool

Step stools for seniors

For many people using a step stool makes a significant difference to their lives. However, since these pieces of equipment have such varied uses, it can sometimes be difficult to judge whether they would be beneficial to your situation. Below, you will find a list of step stool advantages.

  • Many older adults are at a higher risk of slipping and falling. This is often caused by attempting things that are slightly out of their mobility range. Adding a step stool into the scenario may reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Getting into the bath or into bed can become much more challenging as we reach our later years but a step stool can provide a boost to make transfers simpler and safer. This is particularly true of people whose bed is higher than average.
  • A lot of seniors find that getting into and out of the car, especially if the vehicle is higher, like an SUV, to be difficult. Using a step stool, shortens the length of the step, making the experience much easier.
  • If you store your belongings in a high cupboard or on a shelf that’s just out of your reach, it can be dangerous to attempt to extend yourself that little bit further. Your step stool will give you a boost and could help to prevent an accident.
  • Your porch steps may be a little more difficult to ascend and descend as you get older but with a step stool, there is no need to pay for expensive building work to install a ramp or shorter steps.
  • While many of the challenges we have discussed mean that seniors have to lose their independence, something as simple as a step stool might allow you to remain in your own home for longer.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Step Stool

While many step stools have similar features, there are key differences between each product so before you commit to purchasing, it is essential that you research each option carefully and assess the following aspects.

Weight Capacity

Using a step stool is supposed to improve your safety but if you use something that does not have the correct weight capacity then you may find that the stool won’t support you. As a result, accidents may happen.

If you are a slightly larger person, it is important to look for a step stool that is compatible with your weight. There are many bariatric step stools that have greater weight capacities and offer improved safety for heavier users.

Platform Size

You should make sure that the platform is large enough for you to stand comfortably upon it. Your feet should not be so close together that your balance is affected or that there may be a risk of slipping off the edge. However, you should also make sure that the platform isn’t so large that it affects the portability of the step stool.

Portability

The chances are that you will want to use your step stool in different locations around the home. Of course, you could purchase more than one but quite often, budget doesn’t allow for this. For this reason, it is essential that you have a step stool that is light enough to be moved around with you.

You might also consider opting for a folding step stool making it much easier to store. With all of this in mind, you do not want to compromise safety for being lightweight. To achieve both, you should look for a step stool that is made from a light yet durable material like aluminum.

Non-Slip Surface

Once again, we must reiterate that your safety should be the main concern when choosing a step stool. In order to make sure that you are not at risk of slipping and falling, you should opt for a step stool with a non-slip surface. This is the case with many products and it is an even more important factor if the stool will be used in the bathroom since water could cause the surface to become very slippery.

Handrails

If you are unsteady on your feet, it is vital that you choose a step stool that is equipped with a handrail. This will give you something to hold on to when getting on and off the stool. What’s more, there are some products that feature double handrails for users who are at a very high risk of falling.

Height Adjustable

There may be ascents you need to make that are just a few inches whereas in other situations, you might need a little higher reach. There are lots of step stools whose height is adjustable and this makes them much more versatile.

Best Step Stools for Easier and Safer Transfers

After considering the above information, you should be armed with the right knowledge to choose a suitable step stool. However, with such a varied choice on the market, it is important that you go for a stool of the best quality. These are some of the best options, in our opinion.

1. Step 2 Bed Height Adjustable Bed Step Stool

Best Step Stool for Bed Transfers

Key Specs

  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs
  • Dimensions: 32" (W) x 18" (D) x 32" (H)
  • Product weight: 21 lbs
  • Construction materials: steel

For getting in and out of bed, this step stool can be installed on either side of the bed and offers that boost you need. It comes in a durable stainless steel which won’t rust and will remain sturdy for as long as you need it to. However, owing to the larger size of this step stool, it is slightly heavier than others at 21 lbs. That being said, it will typically only be used for bed transfers so doesn’t need to be portable.

The step stool features an extra wide platform with a non-slip surface significantly reducing the risk of slipping and falling. Furthermore, the step stool features an adjustable height with a choice of six height settings. It has a weight capacity of 400 lbs making it ideal for slightly larger users.

Pros

2. Vaunn Medical Step Stool

Best Budget Step Stool

Key Specs

  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Dimensions: 17" (W) x 14" (D) x 34" (H)
  • Product weight: 7 lbs
  • Construction materials: steel

If you are looking for a more affordable option that doesn’t compromise on quality and performance, then the Vaunn medical step stool might be right for you. It features a tall handle with a padded grip for safer use and a non-slip platform to prevent falls.

This step stool is made using triple layered chrome which offers amazing durability and stability. The extra wide legs are finished with sturdy rubber feet and thanks to the anti-rust design, the stool can be used in the bathroom without the worry of degradation.

Weighing just 7 lbs, this step stool is highly portable and can be moved around the home easily. It would also be suitable for taking with you when you travel.

Pros

3. Drive Medical Heavy-Duty Footstool

Best Step Stool for Bariatric Use

Key Specs

  • Weight capacity: 500 lbs
  • Dimensions: 17" (W) x 13.25" (D) x 34" (H)
  • Product weight: 10 lbs
  • Construction materials: steel

For heavier users, it is essential to source a step stool that will offer the best support; this one has a weight capacity of 500 lbs. It is made from high-quality and durable stainless steel with a tubular frame and a cross brace to reinforce the support.

The Drive Medical heavy-duty footstool offers an attractive design so it won’t look out of place in your home. It also lightweight at just a little over 10 lbs so even if you struggle to move things around, this will likely be easier and more portable.

What stands out most about this step stool, however, is that it comes fully assembled. If you would struggle to put a stool together yourself, this is an ideal solution

Pros

4. BodyHealt Portable Folding Step Stool

Best Portable Step Stool

Key Specs

  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Dimensions: 15.75" (W) x 11" (D) x 4" (H)
  • Product weight: 3.86 lbs
  • Construction materials: plastic

For those who are on the go and need a step stool for getting in and out of the car, this folding stool is perfect. When folded down, it is almost flat with a thickness of just two inches. This means it can be stored in the car and taken wherever you go. It is also equipped with a handy carry handle to make it even more portable.

The Bodyhealt step stool boasts a 300 lbs weight capacity making it suitable for most users and is made from durable plastic. Not only does this make the stool robust but the material is also lightweight and easy to carry.

The step stool benefits from a non-slip surface aiding those who may be at a higher risk of slipping and falling.

Pros

5. Hoovy 3.5" Step Riser Step Stool

Best Step Stool for Outdoor Use

Key Specs

  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs
  • Dimensions: 20" (W) x 16" (D) x 3.5" (H)
  • Product weight: 4 lbs
  • Construction materials: plastic with rubber top

Many older adults enjoy spending time in the garden but this requires a special kind of step stool that is more resistant and suitable for outdoor use. The Hoovy step riser boasts a simple design that is incredibly robust. It is slim and lightweight, weighing just 4 lbs so it is ideal for taking out and about.

The step stool has a height of three and a half inches and so would be suitable for people who need just that little extra boost to step or reach. There is a weight capacity of 400 lbs so this is ideal for most older adults. The stool is made from heavy-duty materials that will stand up to whatever you put it through.

Pros

6. Support Plus Stackable Bath Steps

Best Step Stool for Bath Transfers

Key Specs

  • Weight capacity: 330 lbs
  • Dimensions: 19.5" (W) x 16" (D) x 4–6" (H)
  • Product weight: 11 lbs
  • Construction materials: plastic with rubber top

The Support Plus bath steps feature a stackable design which means that you can set them up in a way that suits you. Each step has a height of four inches and when all three are stacked together, you can boost your reach by eight inches.

These steps are specifically designed for use in the bathroom and boast a non-slip design that won’t be affected by water. That being said, they would also be suitable for use in other areas around the home. Each step has a weight capacity of 330 lbs making them surprisingly strong. When carrying all three, the weight of these steps is 11 lbs and while that may be heavier than some of the other products we have looked at, it certainly isn’t a huge weight.

Pros

Jackie

Jackie

Jackie is a passionate advocate for keeping people with all types of mobility problems active. After suffering complications after a knee replacement she knew that she wanted to remain as active as before her numerous operations. Her passion is to advise others on how to be able to lead a fulfilling and independent life no matter what disability they may have.

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