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Choosing a Safe Step Stool for Seniors: Which is Best?

safe step stool for seniors

I once walked in to my grandmother's house to a frightful sight. She was standing on a dining room chair cleaning her ceiling fan. Obviously with senior falls being so dangerous I made her get down immediately. Keeping a senior or elder safe at home sometimes means getting them the right tools for the job. Like in this example. She was still pretty spry at the time so a safe step stool for seniors like her would have been helpful. And much more safe. Here's how to choose the best step stool for you or an elderly loved one.

Comparison Chart: Best Step Stools for Senior Safety

Photo
TOP PICK!
Product
Bath Step Stool with Handle by Vive - Stainless Steel Bath Foot Step for Bariatrics, Seniors,...
Evelots Indoor/Outdoor Non-Slip Plastic Half Step for Elderly Mobility
AdjustaStep(tm) DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool/Footstool with Dual Handle/Handrail, Height Adjustable....
Ideaworks JR5539 Bath Step
Kings Brand Large Cherry Finish Wood Bedroom Step Stool With Storage
Mini-Review
Best step stool with a handle for seniors with lots of safety features and good looks to boot!
A great choice when seniors need a little help with a single step.
Safest step stool for seniors with double handles and non-slip surface.
Best step stool for the bath - waterproof, rust proof, and non-slip.
High end step stool / bed steps for getting in and out of the bed more safely.
Price
$49.99
$78.51
$89.11
from $19.95
$58.99
Photo
Product
Bath Step Stool with Handle by Vive - Stainless Steel Bath Foot Step for Bariatrics, Seniors,...
Mini-Review
Best step stool with a handle for seniors with lots of safety features and good looks to boot!
Price
$49.99
Photo
Product
Evelots Indoor/Outdoor Non-Slip Plastic Half Step for Elderly Mobility
Mini-Review
A great choice when seniors need a little help with a single step.
Price
$78.51
TOP PICK!
Photo
Product
AdjustaStep(tm) DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool/Footstool with Dual Handle/Handrail, Height Adjustable....
Mini-Review
Safest step stool for seniors with double handles and non-slip surface.
Price
$89.11
Photo
Product
Ideaworks JR5539 Bath Step
Mini-Review
Best step stool for the bath - waterproof, rust proof, and non-slip.
Price
from $19.95
Photo
Product
Kings Brand Large Cherry Finish Wood Bedroom Step Stool With Storage
Mini-Review
High end step stool / bed steps for getting in and out of the bed more safely.
Price
$58.99

Last update on 2017-08-23 at 03:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Should Seniors Even Use A Step Stool?

It depends on the senior. As you will see by my recommendations below, there are some step stools that can be used safely with some seniors.

If the senior has good balance and is physically pretty healthy, a step stool may be fine. The purpose of providing them with a stool is to reduce the chance of a fall. Many people in that generation are resourceful. So, they may use a chair or some other unsafe device instead.

Seniors with balance problems or significant weakness should never use a step stool. If they lost their balance while using it, they could fall and cause an injury. These elders should never use a stool, climb, or even reach very high over their head for that matter. Move items they regularly use to lower shelves. Teach them to ask for help with items like this. Yes, I know, that is much harder than it sounds! ​

step stool against the wall

Oh look, my step stool by Sara on Flickr.com (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Places That Stools are Helpful

There are tons of places inside and outside the home that a step stool is useful. When used properly, they help restore independence and increase overall safety.

  • Kitchen. ​Reaching items in higher shelves of cabinets or on the back edge of the counter top. Useful when getting items out of an above the stove top microwave oven.
  • Bathroom. Stepping over a high tub edge, reaching something in the vanity mirror, or getting a bath towel out of a cabinet
  • Bedroom. Getting in and out of a high bed, reaching items on a closet shelf, turning ceiling fans on/off.
  • Porches. use a step stool for high porches with no steps or with a single step that may be too high
  • Vehicles. Getting in and out of an SUV or truck or even medical transport vehicles.

Step Stool Safety Features to Consider

​Not just any step stool is good enough for use with seniors. There are several key features to look for while keeping safety in mind:

  • Choose a step with a large surface area. You do not want a step that the senior's foot hangs over the edge. This could cause them lose their balance. Buy a stool that is as at least as wide as their feet.
  • Find a step with a non-slip surface. The best step stools for seniors and the elderly have a textured rubber mat to reduce the chance of slipping while on the stool.
  • Buy a lightweight step stool. It is important that the senior can carry the stool from room to room of the home as needed.
  • Use a stool with a handle. ​Handles add to the stability of the person by giving them a place to hold onto while reaching with the other hand.

Other Features to Consider

There are other features to consider when shopping for a step stool for seniors and elderly:

  • Weight capacity. For larger seniors, make sure the stool will support their weight. Some plastic stools only support 200 lbs or so.
  • Number of steps. Most step stools have a single step. But, there are some models with 2, 3, or even 4 steps. For most elderly users, the closer to the ground the better.
  • Waterproof. Especially for step stools used in the bath, make sure it is waterproof and rust-proof.
  • Cleanability. Most step stools can be wiped down to stay clean.

My Recommended Step Stools for Seniors and Elderly

Bath Step Stool with Handle by Vive

Bath Step Stool with Handle by Vive - Stainless Steel Bath Foot Step for Bariatrics, Seniors,...

Key Features

Has nearly everything I recommend: non-slip surface, non-slip feet, small step size, durable, and a handle

Other Features

The hammered steel finish I think is a plus. Doesn't look as medical as chrome stools.

Price

Priced under $50 this stool offers a lot of features for a good price.

In my opinion, this is the best step stool with a handle, especially for seniors. It has nearly every safety feature that I suggest. This model is designed for the bath but is handy anywhere in the house.

Here's a quick run-down of the safety features. For anti-slip protection, it has on slip tips on the bottom and a textured non-slip surface on the stool itself. The step is only 9" off of the ground which should be manageable for most elderly people. But, it also isn't so high they risk a major fall if they have a mis-step. There is also a handle to help them get on and off of the stool and give them added balance while they are using it.

I really like the finish of this stool. Many step stools like this are bright shiny chrome. And they look like a piece of medical equipment. With a darker, hammered steel finish, this one does not. It will blend in better with the room decor and not stick out as bad. Plus, because it is stainless steel, it is durable and easy to clean and care for.​

There have been a few complaints that the handle wobbles a little. This is because the handle is removable using 2 steel push pins at the bottom. But overall it is a very secure and stable safety stool.

  • Dark hammered finish doesn't look like medical equipment
  • 9" step height
  • Anti-slip surface
  • Anti-slip feet on bottom
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Handle for added balance
  • Handle does have a little wobble to it

My Overall Rating:

Bath Step Stool with Handle by Vive - Stainless Steel Bath Foot Step for Bariatrics, Seniors,...
  • ANTI-SLIP: Rubber feet and gridded platform prevent slipping and falling.
  • STEEL CONSTRUCTION: Heavy-duty steel frame is incredibly sturdy and capable of supporting up to 300...
  • IDEAL HEIGHT: Measures 9" tall, providing ample extra height without compromising safety.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Stool weighs only 7 pounds. this stool is extremely lightweight and easy to store when...
  • SUPPORT HANDLE: Sturdy steel rail helps promote balance and stability.

Last update on 2017-08-23 at 03:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Evelots Indoor/Outdoor Non-slip Plastic Half Step

Evelots Indoor/Outdoor Non-Slip Plastic Half Step for Elderly Mobility

Key Features

Most of the safety features of the stool are due to it's small height. Has non slip surface and 6 support feet.

Other Features

This stool can be used inside or outside. Easy to clean and wipe down. 

Price

Priced less than $25, this is an affordable option to improve senior independence.

Sometimes, seniors just need a little boost getting up a step, into a tub, or into a bed. A small, half-step sized step stool is probably best for these types of uses.

The stool is only 3.5" off of the ground but is just enough to reduce the amount of strength needed. A step like this one works well with a walking cane for added balance.

  • Non-slip surface
  • Very light - only 10.1 oz
  • 6 support feet underneath
  • Easy to clean plastic surface
  • No handle so make sure user has adequate balance

My Overall Rating:

Evelots Indoor/Outdoor Non-Slip Plastic Half Step for Elderly Mobility
  • Elderly non-slip mobility half step walking aid is designed to help you climb steps with ease.
  • Non-Slip tread allows for indoor and outdoor use. Reduces the height of the step into a doorway.
  • Features: Remove-able plastic tread is for easy cleaning with warm water and mild detergent....
  • Measures approximately 19.5" L x 15.5"W x 3.5"H.
  • *Evelots is the only certified seller of their items. Evelots is not a wholesaler so there should be...

Last update on 2017-08-24 at 01:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Adjustastep DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool

AdjustaStep(tm) DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool/Footstool with Dual Handle/Handrail, Height Adjustable....

Key Features

This stool has all of the basic safety features I recommend... plus a few extra!

Other Features

The extra features like adjustable height step and double handles are a big deal

Price

Priced less than $70.00 and offers a lot of value for that price.

This is by far the safest step stool for most seniors. It has all of the basic safety features I recommend plus a few more I didn't know existed now.

Adjustable Height Step

The step itself adjusts from 8.5" to 10.5" using those little steel retracting push buttons. This is a big help. That way, the step can be adjusted based on the abilities of the elderly person using it. The adjustment is also handy if their function declines so that they can continue using the step stool as long as possible.

Double Handles​

Having 2 handles instead of 1 is also a huge help. First, it gives the senior 2 places to hold onto to really maximize their balance. Second, the handles give them a choice of which side to use without having to turn the stool around. Also, the handles are adjustable in height from 31.5 " to 33.5" to fit a wider range of heights better.

​Also available at Amazon in a model with only one handle.

  • Adjustable height step
  • Adjustable double handles
  • Steel with white powder coated finish
  • Anti-slip surface on step
  • Non-slip rubber feet
  • Weighs about 7 lb
  • 300 lb weight capacity
  • One of the higher priced stools but worth it for the extra safety features
  • Does not fold but disassembles quickly with steel push pins

My Overall Rating:

AdjustaStep(tm) DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool/Footstool with Dual Handle/Handrail, Height Adjustable....
  • HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE- The only height adjustable step stool with handle available. Customize both step...
  • THE SAFER STEP STOOL- The ONLY STEPSTOOL with 2 Handrails. Customize the step height and handle...
  • THE MORE VERSATILE STEP STOOL- Customize the step height and handle height based on the task at...
  • MODERN, CLEAN DESIGN- Modern 2016 white/blue design. No need to settle for old-style,...
  • ALL-METAL CONSTRUCTION- No plastic parts here! Robust all-metal construction for superior safety,...

Last update on 2017-08-23 at 03:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A Few More Step Stools To Consider

Kings Brand Large Cherry Finish Wood Bedroom Step Stool With Storage
  • Kings Brand Large Cherry Finish Wood Bedroom Step Stool With Storage.
  • This functional item can be used as a ladder or a step stool and provides a little extra storage...
  • This piece offers a durable wood construction, and a rich finish.
  • Size of top panel: 18"W x 9.25"D, Storage size 15.75"W x 7.25"D x 13.125"H
  • Simple assembly required. Dimensions: 18"W x 18"D x 16"H

There are other step stool options for seniors that aren’t so institutional looking. For example, these bedside steps can be very helpful with getting in and out of bed. They also look more like furniture and aren’t as noticeable as some of the other options. However, an option like this doesn’t quite have the same level of safety. There are no handles to hold onto and the wood surface could be slick.

Last update on 2017-08-23 at 03:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ideaworks JR5539 Bath Step
  • Adds almost 4" to your step
  • Design for secure stackability
  • First step adds almost 4"

For seniors and elderly people who primarily need help getting in and out of the tub, it may be worth considering a single bath step. These offer an easier, non-slip way to step in and out of the tub by providing a 4 inch step.

However, there is no handle to hold onto. If an option like this is used, I would suggest using it only with properly installed grab bars to minimize the chance of a fall.

Last update on 2017-08-23 at 03:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion and Final Recommendation

It is definitely important to find a safe step stool for seniors who need a little help around the house. Step stools can help with reaching items and with getting in and out of bed, bathtubs, and even vehicles. But, not every elderly person can safely use one. They should have good balance and not feeble or unable to judge their own safety.

A safe step stool will have a few basic features: non-slip, a handle, and lightweight. Also, for seniors I recommend avoiding any step stool with more than one step.

My top recommendation is the ​Adjustastep DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool. This stool is adjustable in height and has double handles - one on each side of the step. It also has all of the basic safety features I recommend.

What do you think about seniors using step stools around the home. Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Also, let me know if this information was helpful or not. A quick comment below is appreciated!

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