The Best Step Stools
EasyReach 2-Step Ultra-Light Aluminum
An extra-large platform and a grip up top offer a particularly solid stance. And what a bargain. Height: 21 inches*.
To buy: $30, homedepot.com.
*Heights are from floor to top step.
Aero Step Stool
The bottom portion of this substantial steel piece tips up and tucks inside, transforming it into a bar stool (and justifying the price). Height: 25½ inches.
To buy: $74, conranusa.com.
For the aesthete who sees every household purchase as a decorating opportunity, rich lacquered wood too nice to hide in a closet, with a hanging peg for display. Height: 26 inches.
To buy: $295, aplusrstore.com.
Best for Kids
Kikkerland Easy Fold
Just the right level for brushing teeth, this cleverly engineered mini stool collapses flat when not in use, so you can slide it between tub and sink (it has a handle for easy retrieval). Height: 8½ inches.
To buy: $15, bedbathandbeyond.com.
KidKraft Built-in Step N Store
In painted wood veneer, it can blend in with most types of decor. The hinged top hides a space for spare shampoo or small toys. Height: 7½ inches.
To buy: $30, target.com.
Polder 3-Step Stool
The top platform gives a five-foot-five person access to a nine-foot shelf. This model is very solid but a bit heavy, so it’s best left out—say, in a basement to reach bulk-storage items. Height: 27 inches.
To buy: $81, stacksandstacks.com.
Easiest to Stash
Rubbermaid EZ Fold
When collapsed, this sturdy plastic stool stands up all on its own, with no risk of tipping over. Lightweight, affordable, and able to take a beating. Height: 17½ inches.
To buy: $28, amazon.com.
A cool, timeless looker with brains: Castors let you slide the stool with your foot (rubber trim protects baseboards), then the wheels retract and lock in place when you step up. Height: 14½ inches.
To buy: $75, cramerstore.com.