A simple step stool can make a massive difference in the life of an elderly person with limited mobility. These stools are cheap, sturdy, and they serve many different uses. In this guide, we’ll look at the best step stools for this purpose, all of which have handles to provide that extra support when needed.
How to Use a Step Stool with Handles
Step stools can be used in the bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere else around the home. Maybe you want to climb into the bath and don’t quite needed the added support provided by a transfer seat or even a walk-in bathtub. Maybe you need to reach a kitchen counter or get something down from a shelf.
In your younger years, you may have simply climbed on the bench or grabbed the nearest chair. Even a standard stool would have sufficed. But as you age, you lose your balance, stability, and strength—the risk of falling increases, and the damage caused by those falls becomes life-threatening.
Step stools like the ones listed in this guide are designed to give you an extra few inches when needed. They also contain handles, so you can grip them and keep your balance as you stand.
What to Look for in Step Stools for Elderly Uses
When choosing a step stool, keep an eye out for the following features to ensure you’re getting the best value for money:
The main difference between a standard step stool and one designed for elderly users is the addition of handles or a handrail. These handles should be strong and supportive, feature firm grips for you to hold, and be comfortable. The handles can also be used to carry the stool from one room and one location to the next.
All mobility products have a weight capacity. If you exceed this, you risk breaking the device, which could cause serious injury. This is usually only an issue for obese individuals, such as those who weigh over 300 pounds, but it’s always worth checking if you’re overweight or very tall.
The Right Materials
Is the stool made from plastic or metal, is it prone to rust, and will it wear down over time? These are important considerations, especially if you’re using the stool outside where it will be prone to weather damage and rust.
How sturdy is the platform that you will be standing on? Does it feature anti-slip materials and is it low enough for you to step on and off without issue?
The Best Step Stools with Handles on the Market
We’ve found a number of the very best step stools available right now, including some heavy duty and standard stools. They all look similar, but the materials used and the features they provide vary slightly, as do the prices.
Drive Medical Heavy-Duty Footstool
This is sitting at the top of our list for several reasons. Firstly, it’s sold by Drive Medical, which is one of the biggest names in the mobility sector and is always a guarantee of quality. Secondly, it can withstand weights of up to 500 lbs., making it an ideal solution for taller and larger patients who typically struggle to find suitable stools.
It features a rubber-topped platform to prevent slips and the handles are made from thick steel and can withstand a lot of pressure and damage. It comes pre-assembled, so bear this in mind if you are getting it shipped to your home, and it is also much heavier than the other options on this list.
It is to be expected for a heavy duty mobility product, but it could be a problem if you suffer from serious mobility problems or lack upper body strength.
The Drive Medical Heavy Duty Stool is available for around $60 and can be purchased through a number of online and offline dealers.
Vaunn Medical Footstool
The Vaunn Medical Footstool is a cheaper option than the Drive Medical and is also available for much less, costing around $35 to $45 depending on the dealer. It can’t take as much weight, but it is much lighter, easier to carry, and it features many similar anti-slip and anti-skid features.
This footstool needs to be assembled by the user, and a few reviewers have complained about the instructions by saying they are not very clear. However, the device itself isn’t too complicated to set up and if you have some prior experience with these types of products, you won’t even need the instructions!
AdjustaStep Double Safe
The AdjustaStep footstool is the most expensive one on this list, costing between $80 and $100, but it also has a little more to offer. There are two handles, instead of one, and they sit on either side of the platform, making it easier to support your weight.
The height is adjustable, it features rubber-tipped feet, and the frame and handles are very solid and sturdy.
You can buy this product on Amazon. The product description proudly declares that it is not made in China, and it says this a few times. However, it doesn’t state where it actually is made, which is a little confusing.
Single handle/rail versions of the AdjustaStep are also available, but when it comes to single rail options we prefer the items listed above. If you’re going to buy the AdjustaStep, we recommend the double bar option.
Step2Bed Bed Rails
This is much less portable than the other stools on this list and is more of a permanent feature. It’s designed to sit by the side of your bed and assist with getting into and out of bed.
It has a weight capacity of 400 lbs., features a strong and sturdy design, and is very well made. It includes motion-activated LED lights for when you need to leave the bed in the middle of the night, and the handlebars are comfortable and strong.
At around $150, it’s not going to be for everyone, and we can’t help but think there are better solutions, such as lower beds and/or bed rails. However, there will be users who need a step stool just for getting in and out of bed, and in those cases, when the budget allows, it’s probably the best option.