When seniors live alone, there is the constant need to climb on the bed, get into the bath, take something from a shelf, or even get down from a height. They might also need to get into a car or get down from it. But these tasks are usually difficult due to their weak bones. To make all these easy for them, step stools are more than necessary.
With a step stool, even seniors with mobility issues can confidently step up to small heights and get down from them easily without assistance. So, to say a step stool is a must-have for every senior is stating the absolute truth.
Step stools for the elderly people: Features to look for
Step stools abound in the market, but not all of them are good for seniors. So, if you’re a senior or a caregiver looking to buy a step stool, here are some important factors to consider before making a choice.
- Number of steps: A step stool can have one, two, three, or even more steps. But since the risk of falls — which are common in the elderly — increase with increasing number of steps, it’s highly recommended to not go beyond two steps. Consider the various heights in the home where the step stool is to be used and figure out if you’ll need a one-stepper, two-stepper, or three-stepper.
- Handle or handrail: Some step stools come with a long, upstanding handle or handrail, while others do not. For seniors, one with a handle is always better, as it can be easily carried or dragged without the need to bend down — which might be very difficult for some seniors.
- Weight: It goes without saying, but a lightweight step stool is best for seniors, since it’s much easier to move about than a heavier one.
- Capacity: Step stools vary in terms of the maximum weights they can bear. Some can bear weights as much as 300 pounds, while some can bear even more. The rule of thumb here is to factor in the weight of the user when making a choice.
- Platform: This is the stepping surface of a step stool. It can be made of the same material as the rest of the stool, or of a different material. Some stepping stools have rubber platforms, while others have roughened plastic or aluminum platforms. The aim here is to ensure friction, which will help to prevent slips and falls. Rubber platforms tend to provide the most friction.
Review: Best step stools for seniors
As stated earlier, the market is flooded with step stools of various shapes and sizes, and of various brands and models. So, making a good choice from the several options available can be a huge challenge.
However, there’s good news: we have scoured the Amazon.com online marketplace and have been able to come up with some of the best step stools for seniors — based on the features explained above alongside buyer opinions, brand trust, and other factors that matter.
And based on our findings, here are the 3 best step stools for seniors/ elderly people.
1. AdjustaStep Deluxe Step Stool with Handle (Height Adjustable)
The AdjustaStep Deluxe Step Stool with Handle is a lightweight step stool with just one step. However, what made us favor it over all others in the market is its adjustable height and handrail length. That is, lengths of the four stands as well as the handrail can be adjusted based on the user’s need. So, it can never be too high to comfortably step on or too low to accomplish the task at hand.
And interestingly, the custom height adjustments can be done within seconds. The three height settings for the platform are 8.5, 9.5, and 10.5 inches, while the top of the handrail distance from the floor can be adjusted from 31.5 to 33.5 inches. Its four stands are covered with rubber tips for stability.
The AdjustaStep Deluxe Step Stool with Handle is made of all steel with a clean powder coated finish. Its platform is non-slip and measures 13.75 by 11.25 inches. Another interesting feature of this step tool is that you can remove the handrail… and turn it into a stool — probably for sitting on.
The AdjustaStep Deluxe Step Stool with Handle is a relatively new product in the market as evidenced by its having just 35 buyer reviews as of this time of this writing. Of this total, 88 percent were 5-star reviews and 9 percent were 4-star reviews. Overall, it has a very impressive rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
2. Duro-Med Step Stool with Handle
The Duro-Med Step Stool with Handle is a one-step lightweight step stool with a handrail that makes it easy to reach out for and carry around. The hand rail has a rubber handle that helps the user maintain a firm grip on it. The frame is made of silver, which makes the stool aesthetically appealing.
The platform is overlaid with non-slip textured rubber matting that provides maximum friction. Each of the stool’s four stands also has reinforced rubber tips to maintain stability on a single spot. With these features, there are almost zero chances of losing balance.
The stool platform measures 10″ x 14″ x 9.5″, while the handrail is 34″ long. The stool can support up to 250 pounds of user weight.
As at the time of this writing, the Duro-Med Step Stool with Handle had 673 customer reviews on Amazon.com. Of this total, 69 percent were 5-star ratings, and 16 percent were 4-star ratings. Overall rating stood at 4.5 out of 5 stars.
3. Rubbermaid RM-P2 2-Step Molded Plastic Stool
The Rubbermaid RM-P2 Molded Plastic Stool is unique in two ways: It has two steps, unlike the other two options on this list, and it is made of plastic. It’s only obvious downside is that it doesn’t come with a handrail. But it makes up for that by being relatively lightweight for easy portability. And ironically, it can bear as much as 300 pounds of user weight — 50 pounds more than the maximum allowed for the Duro-Med step stool.
The Rubbermaid RM-P2 2-Step Molded Plastic Stool comes with a black finish. Its platform is overlaid with non-slip step treads. Although the feet don’t come with rubber tips, they’re non-marring and don’t slip easily while in use.
The Rubbermaid RM-P2 2-Step Molded Plastic Stool presently has a staggering 699 buyer reviews on Amazon.com. 74 percent of reviewers gave 5-star ratings and 18 percent gave 4-star ratings. The overall rating presently stands at 4.6 out of 5 stars.