How to Choose the Best Step Stool with Handles for the Elderly

Reading 3 Min

As we age, our mobility, balance, flexibility, and overall muscle tone decrease, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks that were once easy.

A big percentage of falls among seniors in the United States has been linked to mobility issues, where seniors struggle to get in and out of bed or bathtub easily. Research revealed that seniors who didn’t use any mobility device or used just a cane had more anxiety of falling than those who incorporated mobility devices into their daily routine.

Keeping these challenges in mind, a bedside step stool with a handle can solve many problems, helping seniors get in and out of bed safely and independently while enabling them to age in place and have peace of mind.

bedside step stool with a handle

Table Of Content

What Is a Step Stool with Handles and What Are Its Benefits?

A safety step stool for seniors is a mobility device that enables a person to reach places that are too high and also helps them get in and out of their bed or bathtub safely and easily. A step stool with handles provides extra support by giving the seniors something to hold onto as they step onto the stool platform. It also gives the user some peace of mind as they can trust their entire body weight onto the stool, especially seniors who have confidence issues with their mobility. A step stool with a handle thereby helps boost their confidence to live independently. 

There are several other benefits of using step stools for seniors who chose to age in place:

  1. Prevents falls and injuries
  2. Gives seniors the freedom to move around
  3. Increased mobility
  4. Enables one to live independently

How to Choose the Best Step Stool with Handle for the Elderly?

Not all step stools for seniors are the same. With different features and designs, step stools have distinct materials and parts covering a range of needs. Each has its own pros and cons.

While choosing a step stool, there are some important factors that you need to consider. Although many seniors’ step stools are multifunctional and beneficial, we believe that the best step stool for the elderly is one with handles, as safety is first and foremost.

  • Size and number of steps

Consider the size of the bedroom and the amount of space you have for storage. If you have limited space, a compact model is best. However, seniors with limited mobility may prefer a bigger step stool with a wider step. We recommend you determine the number of steps and the extent of lift you need and choose the height of the stool accordingly.

  • Collapsibility and Portability

Consider if you need a step stool that’s foldable and easy to move around, based on the space you have. Keep in mind that you may require the stool around the house for others to use or for other different purposes.

  • Adjustability

A height-adjustable step stool is handy when you're using it for different purposes such as getting in and out of bed, the tub, or the car. More than one user can also benefit from it.

  • Padding

Padded step stools are less slippery and a lot more comfortable for the user. Padding is especially beneficial to seniors who need the added safety.

  • Rubber Gripping

When it comes to senior safety, this feature is a must. Rubber gripping on the stool and handrail provide much-needed traction, while rubber tips on the feet prevent the entire stool from slipping.

  • Material

Make sure the step stool for the elderly is of sturdy material such as wood or metal. If it’s plastic, it has to be slip-resistant and double-walled. Whether you need a waterproof stool is also something to consider.

  • Aesthetics and design

It's important to consider the design of the bedside step stool with handle if it isn't foldable or easily portable. Consider your home décor and your loved one's preferences as their bedroom is their haven, and aesthetics matter to a certain extent.

  • Price

Your budget is another factor to consider while choosing a safety step stool for the elderly. If your loved one has good mobility, a lightweight design with fewer features will help and won’t require a big investment. However, a senior who is at risk of falling regularly may need a bigger, more stable step stool with additional features to ensure their utmost safety. And, although these can get pricey, they’re worth the security they give.

  • Additional features 

Consider whether your loved one may need additional features that come with some step stools, including motion-sensitive lighting for nighttime use, double handles, glow in the dark, or even just a cane holder for convenience.

  • Assembly

If your loved one is aging in place and will assemble the step stool without help, you’ll need to consider getting one that’s easy to assemble or comes fully assembled.

  • Ability and Usage

It's vital to consider whether your loved one can use the footstool with a handle depending on their mobility, balance, strength, and ability to climb stairs comfortably or not.

Bed Step Stool with Handles Available Now: 

  • The step2bed 

This bed step stool with handles for the elderly has a multifunctional design with a range of different features devised to prevent falls and ensure senior safety while getting in and out of bed. A unique feature of the step2bed is that the two steel grab bars are at different heights that allow a senior to grab onto one while still seated. The soft foam padding allows for easy grip and additional safety, while the extra-wide step stool provides plenty of space for both feet with added traction on the non-slip surface. Another unique feature of the step2bed is the motion-activated LED lights that ensure visibility during those critical nighttime bathroom visits.

Features:  

  • Double steel grab bars with soft foam padding.
  • The sturdy steel frame supports weights of up to 400 pounds.
  • Extra-wide steps with traction
  • Velcro straps and an anti-slip rubber base on the feet keep the stool in place and prevent slipping.
  • Motion-activated LED light instantly illuminates an area of about 121 square feet.
  • Height adjustability allows for lift ranging from 2.5” to 7.5 inches off the ground.
  • Weighing 20 pounds, the stool is easy to move and assemble with only 6 bolts to fasten.

The Pros: 

  • High weight capacity
  • Slip-proof step and feet ensure stability
  • Extra-wide step
  • Height adjustable
  • Motion-activated LED lights
  • Easy to assemble

Available on: step2health

  • The step2bed Mini

Designed to fit in smaller spaces, the step2bed mini is a compact senior step stool that is light enough to move around. The durable steel frame has a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds. A unique feature is the perpendicular position of the two handrails that allow easy access in and out of bed, while the padding allows for comfort and grip.

step stool with handles for the seniors – step2bed mini

Features:  

  • Compact size and lightweight at only 13lbs
  • Comes with two foam-padded steel handrails.
  • Non-slip step and rubber padded feet prevent slipping
  • The step is height adjustable - up to 8”-10” from the floor.
  • Has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.

The Pros: 

  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Easy to install
  • Compact design fits smaller spaces
  • Foam padded handrails provide an extra-secure grip

The cons: 

  • The step is narrower than the regular step2bed 

Available on: step2health 

  • The step2bed XL:

The step2bed XL has an extra-wide landing base and a weight capacity of up to 800 pounds, making it one of the most heavy-duty bed step stools out there. The extra room it offers allows seniors to move freely and take their time as they get in and out of bed. This step with handle is ideal for seniors with limited mobility, who are specially-abled or suffer from hip and joint injuries. It’s also suitable for those who have undergone surgery and are recovering from it.

step stool with handles for the elderly – step2bed xl

Features:  

  • Reinforced steel base for heavy-duty use and a weight capacity of up to 800 pounds
  • Two steel grab bars with soft foam padding for extra grip
  • Motion-activated LED light for visibility at night.
  • Height-adjustable step - from 2”-8” from the ground.

The Pros: 

  • Has a high weight capacity
  • Extra-wide landing base allows plenty of room for the feet.
  • Rubber padded feet for slip-resistance
  • Height adjustable step
  • Easy to install

The cons: 

  • The step2bed XL may be too heavy to move around.

Available on: step2health 

  • The step2bed Fully Assembled:

This safety step stool for seniors has all the features of the step2bed with the additional benefit of being fully assembled. It not only saves you time and hassle but assures you that an expert has put the product together. Its height-adjustable landing base makes it ideal for both low and high beds.

Features:  

  • The steel frame has a weight capacity of up to 400 pounds.
  • The foam-padded perpendicular grab bars provide a tight and secure grip.
  • A wide step reduces tripping or falling.
  • Secure the stool in place with the Velcro straps and anti-slip rubber feet.
  • Comes with motion-activated LED lights.
  • Height is adjustable by as much as 2.5” to 7.5 “off the ground.

The Pros: 

  • Since it’s fully assembled, you’re saving time and effort.
  • The handrails offer extra security.
  • Extra-wide, non-slip step prevents the risk of falling
  • Height adjustable

The cons:

  • The stool may be heavy to move around easily.

Available on: step2health 

  • The Vaunn Medical Foot Step Stool with Handle

The Vaunn Medical Foot Stool is one of the most durable step stools for elderly use with its triple-layer chrome-plated steel frame. With wider legs than the average step stool, you get extra stability, and the reinforced rubber feet prevent slipping. The single handrail has a rubber grip for added safety.

Vaunn Medical Foot Step Stool with Handle

Features:  

  • Weight capacity of 250 pounds
  • The chrome-plated triple-layer steel frame adds durability and rust-protection
  • Rubber feet and padding on the handrail ensure stability.

The Pros

  • This step stool is ideal for wet surfaces and tiles due to the reinforced rubber padding on feet that prevent slipping.
  • The handle with rubber grip provides extra support
  • Wider legs for stability
  • Versatile design

The cons

  • You will have to assemble the stool

Available on: Amazon

  • Drive Medical Bariatric Heavy-Duty Footstool with Handrail:

This step stool with a handle for the elderly has a heavy and durable steel frame that adds to its weight capacity. Weighing 13 pounds, it’s easily portable, and with a welded frame, you won’t have to worry about any nuts and bolts getting loose.

Drive Medical Bariatric Heavy-Duty Footstool with Handrail

Features: 

  • Durable 1” steel tubing throughout the frame.
  • An easy-to-maintain silver vein finish. 
  • Non-slip rubber step for added traction and safety.
  • Comes fully assembled.

The Pros

  • No need for assembly
  • Durable 
  • Has a non-slip rubber step surface
  • Lightweight and portable

The cons:

  • The user will need to pull themselves up while holding on to the handrail, which can lead to tipping.
  • It can be too heavy for some to move without help.

Available on: Amazon

  • AdjustaStep™ Deluxe Step Stool:

This padded step stool with a handle is comfortable, slip-proof, and easy to clean. The densely padded step and handrail add to its safety, while the gripped legs prevent the stool from slipping on tiles or wet surfaces.
AdjustaStep™ Deluxe Step Stool

Features: 

  • The step, as well as the handle, are height adjustable.
  • Padding on step, legs, and handrail ensure traction
  • Chrome and silver-vein finish are rust-proof and add to durability. 
  • Streamlined design.

The Pros: 

  • The height-adjustable step and handrail make it versatile.
  • Padding provides comfort, traction, and security.
  • Can detach the handle
  • Allows height access from 8.5- 10.5 inches off the floor

The cons: 

  • Less portable
  • Needs assembly

Available on: Amazon

Expert Recommendation 

Vince Baiera (former ICU Nurse at the at the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac ICU): “I witnessed my grandparents struggle with mobility as they were aging. I found that the bed step stools available then were missing some features that would help my grandparents overcome the struggles of getting in and out of bed. I realized that there has to be a more optimal approach for the elderly to get in and out of bed safely. With years of experience as an ICU nurse, I then aspired to create a tool that would help seniors avoid the risk of falls. With extensive research and follow-up experimentation, I devised the step2bed - a modified step stool (and its variants) that caters to seniors and individuals with mobility issues.”

Read expert testimonials on the step2bed

With a variety of bedside step stools with handles available today, you can make the right choice to enable your loved ones to age gracefully without the risk of falls. Safety and stability should be key factors when making the final decision.  Always read the assembling instructions and the user guide of the product you choose carefully to avoid accidents and injuries. Safety isn’t just for the bedroom. The bathroom is also a high-risk area where we recommend senior safety devices.

Here is the next step for you - Best Bathtub Step for Elderly - 2021 Ultimate Guide.

FAQs:

1. Are step stools dangerous?

Step stools are considered safe if they have certain important features, including: 

  • A non-slip surface on the step, such as ribbed rubber matting or non-slip tape.
  • Skid-proof legs or legs with reinforced rubber tips to prevent sliding on tiles or wet surfaces.
  • Steps at an appropriate height
  • A handrail for balance

2. Why is a step stool called a stool?

A step stool is a platform that you can stand on to access high and inaccessible places. The word "stool " has its roots in Old English, referring to the small toilet seat people sat on in those days.

3 .What is a step ladder?

A step ladder is a ladder with broad steps designed for somebody to reach high, inaccessible places. The two pairs of legs connect at the top with a hinge and open at the bottom, allowing the ladder to stand. It's a cross between a ladder and a step stool.

4. Is there any step stool for the bathroom?

There are step stools that serve various purposes in the bathroom, such as helping toddlers reach toilet seats and assistive step stools that help those with limited mobility get in and out of the bathtub. These step stools for bathrooms are made of water-resistant materials and have slip-proof feet and platforms.

Vince Baiera

Vince Baiera is the founder of step2health, a mobility aids and wellness company for older adults. He is a former ICU Nurse of the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac ICU. With years of working on the frontlines, Vince noticed the struggles of older adults and people with mobility issues that became an impediment for both patients and their caretakers. He then designed and created the patented product, Step2Bed (and its variants) that helps seniors and those with mobility issues safely get in and out of bed. His philosophy concerning aging is to plan ahead and start with simple home and life modifications to avoid being overwhelmed at retirement.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published


Related Articles

How to select a senior-friendly bed step stool?
How to select a senior-friendly bed step stool?
The fastest-growing demographic in the USA belongs to the age group of 65 and above. As life expectancy improves, nea...
Read More
Select a Bed Stool for High Beds: Guide for You
Select a Bed Stool for High Beds: Guide for You
As we age, our range of mobility begins to see a lot of changes. Some seniors may have difficulty climbing stairs, ge...
Read More
Material Matters: What’s Best for Bedside Step Stools for Seniors
Material Matters: What’s Best for Bedside Step Stools for Seniors
Studies done by CDC have revealed that about 36 million older adults fall each year, and one out of every 5 falls lea...
Read More
x