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Best Toddler Towers for Kitchens, Bathrooms and Beyond
Updated on
December 6, 2023

Best Toddler Towers for Kitchens, Bathrooms and Beyond

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Best Toddler Towers for Kitchens, Bathrooms and Beyond.
Best Toddler Towers for Kitchens, Bathrooms and Beyond

If your toddler is eager to tag along for household chores, it’s not only adorable—but also a good sign that your days of tidying up and cooking meals by yourself are numbered. Research shows that helpful toddlers grow up to be excited and proactive little helpers by around age five. But before they can learn to turn on the sink or grab a washcloth, they need a safe way to reach the kitchen counter themselves. Enter the toddler tower!

Like step stools outfitted with safety rails, these modern contraptions are as fun for little ones to climb into as they are practical. But there are so many styles out there. A quick search brings up thousands of models equipped with everything from built-in chalkboards and add-on slides to wild colors and personalization options. It can be hard to pick one. Even rounding up the top five or so seemed a daunting task for us here at Babylist.

But our gear editor, Jen LaBracio, is no stranger to sniffing out the best baby products. And as Babylist’s newsletter editor, it’s my job to deliver the best content possible to new parents. So we teamed up, got our hands on the most highly reviewed and recommended toddler towers, assembled them ourselves and put our own toddlers to work testing them out. Here’s what we learned followed by our favorite toddler towers.

What Is a Toddler Tower?

A toddler tower is a step stool optimized for toddlers with safety rails, sturdy bases, easy-to-wipe surfaces and thoughtful designs. And the contraption has many names. Popular makers also refer to toddler towers as learning towers, kitchen towers, kitchen helpers, standing towers, Montessori towers and, simply, toddler step stools. Some are even marketed as exclusively for budding chefs, with phrases like kitchen helper or kitchen tower.

When Can Toddlers Begin Using Toddler Towers?

On average, toddler towers are safe to use from one-and-a-half to two years old, when your little one can safely stand and walk on their own. When we plopped a younger toddler into one, we learned why: crawlers and very early walkers aren’t able to steadily climb into or out of toddler towers on their own, and their little legs tire easily. Also, if they need to hold onto the rails in order to stay upright on the standing platform, sign language users (and grand gesticulators) aren’t able to safely let go in order to communicate that they need help.

If you have older children who would like to use the toddler tower, too, it’s worth noting that they often come with weight limits, which we’ve seen range from 60 to 250 pounds.

Are Toddler Towers Worth It?

A toddler tower isn’t a must-have item, but certain families would get lots of use out of one.

A toddler tower might be right for your family if:

  • You enjoy cooking. Some toddlers make excellent kitchen helpers. (We’re big fans of the tiny chef @chezoliz, who got his start measuring, stirring and taste testing in his high chair but has since graduated to a toddler tower.) Toddler towers also help little ones access the sink and (when they’re ready) the stovetop so that your sous-chef-in-training can enjoy making meals with you—and cleaning up afterward, too.
  • Your toddler needs to reach the sink. Some children learn to wash their hands by themselves around two years old, when they’re able to remember and handle all the steps for scrubbing clean—but aren’t tall enough to reach the faucet. A toddler tower operates similarly to a step tool to give them independence but with the added flexibility of adjustable heights, larger standing platforms and safety rails to give them something to hold onto as needed for balance.
  • You have more than one child. If your toddler wants to join in on their older siblings’ activities, a toddler tower allows them to access taller surfaces while standing on their own two feet.
  • You want to include your toddler in household chores. According to this list of age-appropriate toddler chores, the youngest toddlers can start helping out with things like washing vegetables, pressing the button to start the washing machine or dryer, handing you items from the dishwasher and squirting the plants with a water bottle. A toddler tower is a great way to help them reach many of these areas of the home independently and safely.

What Is the Best Toddler Tower?

When choosing a toddler tower, consider the size of the room(s) where your toddler will use it, whether you want it to fit in with other home decor and what additional features may make your life easier.

These are the features to think through before deciding what the best toddler tower is for you:

  • Size. If you’d like to pull your toddler tower up to the counter or the table, check the height of your furnishings first. Then decide whether you’d like the toddler tower to sit flush with that surface or, as one of us prefers, just underneath it. You’ll also need to consider the size of the toddler tower itself, and whether or not it collapses for storage. If you live in a smaller space, or simply don’t want your toddler tower as a permanent fixture in your kitchen, look for a tower that folds compactly for easy storage. (If you’ll be storing your toddler tower somewhere else, consider that measurement, too.)
  • Weight. If you’ll want to move the toddler tower from room to room (or stow it when not in use), check the weight to be sure you’ll be comfortable handling and carrying it around. Some toddler towers have felt pads to make it easier to slide them around instead of lifting them. But bear in mind that children are not meant to use them unsupervised, and the sliding feature may be very attractive to some active toddlers. One of our own children pushed a lighter-weight toddler tower around the house and climbed up and over the top of it onto kitchen counters and other unsafe areas.
  • Versatility. If you have more than one child who will be using the toddler tower, and your children are different heights, you may need to adjust the standing platform and the bottom step each time they take turns. This is easier on some toddler towers, where you can easily slide out a step and then slide it into the position you need. You may want to avoid towers where you need to use a screwdriver or other tool to make these frequent adjustments. You’ll also want to consider longevity. If you’d like to get the most out of your investment, consider finding a toddler tower with some of the features we mentioned earlier: built-in chalkboards, add-on slides and foldable bases that convert the toddler tower into a tiny table and chair.
  • Safety. Some toddler towers feature extra safety features to prevent children from falling out and onto the floor. If you’re worried about this, look for safety rails along the back, mesh panels that cover wide openings and grippy tape on the steps. If your little one is a climber, like one of ours is, avoid toddler towers with anything that can help them scale the tower, such as cutouts on the side panels.
  • Appearance. Whatever your home looks like, there’s a good chance there’s a toddler tower out there to match it. So if aesthetics are important to you, try searching for something that suits your style first.
  • Cleanliness. Often, toddlers stand in these towers while completing untidy tasks like preparing meals, potting flowers and making crafts. And some toddler towers are easier to wipe down than others. Extra grooves and seams can be more difficult to clean, while smoother and simpler surfaces are generally easier to scrub.

How We Chose Our Best Toddler Towers

We put these toddler towers to the test! Two Babylist editors, gear editor Jen LaBracio and newsletter editor Alainna Wurfel, researched the best toddler towers and tested them with their own toddlers over a period of several months. We also drew from our own research, expert insight and real user reviews to choose the best toddler towers as you shop for your newest little kitchen helper.

Sturdiest Toddler Tower

The Scoop
  • Super sturdy, solid construction
  • Extra safety features like non-slip mat and two side keepers
  • Folds for storage
What Our Experts Say

Guidecraft’s toddler tower, the Kitchen Helper, is one of the first we tested—and it set a pretty high bar. The first thing we noticed about the Kitchen Helper is how sturdy it felt. The tower’s base is wide and stable; it’s made from high-quality (yet lightweight) hardwood; and overall, the tower feels impressively durable.

Assembly of this toddler tower was quick and easy. It’s almost ready to use right out of the box—all you’ll need to do after unfolding it and ensuring the metal latches and standing platform are locked into place is attach the no-tip wooden feet to the tower’s base and you’re set to go. (We did ours with a drill to speed things up, but you can just as easily use a screwdriver.) We love the platform’s size; at almost two feet by two feet, there was plenty of room for our toddler to move around as needed. (It’s also adjustable to two different heights depending on your toddler’s size.) The non-slip mat provided much-needed traction for sock-clad toddler feet and the two “keepers” (AKA mesh screens) on either side helped keep our sometimes unsteady explorer safe and contained. It was also tricky for our little climber to scale the sides since there was nothing for their feet to latch onto—something that wasn’t always the case with other toddler towers we tested.

The Kitchen Helper was easy to wipe clean, and even easier to stow away when it wasn’t in use—it folds smoothly in just a few seconds, a huge plus as we didn’t want the tower permanently stationed in our kitchen.

What’s Worth Considering

This is one of the larger toddler towers on our list, both in size and weight. Although it does fold compactly, it takes up a fair amount of space when it’s open and in use, something to consider if you plan on using the tower in a tight space. And while adjusting the platform’s height is doable, it’s not very quick or easy. You’ll need an Allen wrench and to remove (and reinstall) bolts, something to consider if you want to use a tower that’s easy to switch between children of different heights.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 23”D x 23”W x 36”H
Product Weight 22 lbs
Age Range 2-5, up to 125 lbs
Extras Adjustable platform; foldable; non-slip mat; color options

Most Versatile Toddler Tower

The Scoop
  • Easily converts to a toddler table and chair
  • Sturdy and easy to clean
  • Stylish aesthetic
What Our Experts Say

We are eternal fans of kid gear that’s multipurpose, and get even more excited by products or furniture that can go the distance. That’s why we had our fingers crossed that this toddler tower from Piccalio would live up to our expectations. We’re happy to report that it not only lived up to but exceeded our hopes.

As a toddler tower, the Mini Chef is sturdy, functional and amply sized—but not overwhelmingly so. It was easy for our toddler to climb in and out of on his own and very stable. (We didn’t use the safety net, but it’s easy to add on—and beautiful, too.) The access step offers three different height options, and the tower has a stylish aesthetic and complements just about any type of space.

But by far the best part? In just seconds, the top part of the helper tower folds down to create the perfect toddler table. The bottom part of the tower acts as a stool for built-in seating and the table itself offered plenty of space for our little one to color, snack or just hang out and play.

Assembly did take some time (the tower comes flat-packed and there’s an Allen wrench involved), but it was otherwise simple and straightforward. Cleanup wasn’t an issue, either; the toddler tower was easy to wipe down after any (inevitable) messes.

What’s Worth Considering

The biggest knock against this toddler tower is its size. Because it pulls double duty as a table, it doesn’t fold for storage. (You win some, you lose some.) And while the step portion of this toddler tower adjusts to three different height positions, the standing platform does not.

If you’re on the hunt for a toddler tower you can tuck away when not in use, we recommend Piccalio’s Mini Chef Foldable Helper Tower, which we also had the opportunity to test. It has a smaller footprint and folds quickly and easily so you can stash it against a wall or in a closet when you need it out of sight.

It’s also worth noting that if your toddler likes to climb, they may try to use the side cutouts and front lower bar as a ladder. (Ours did.) It’s a nice reminder to never leave your little one unattended while using a toddler tower, even for a short moment.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 16”D x 16”W x 36”H
Product Weight 15 lbs
Age Range Up to 175 lbs
Extras Adjustable platform; converts to toddler table and stool; color options

Best Mid-Range Toddler Tower

The Scoop
  • Anti-slip strips
  • Solid hardwood
  • Removable back safety rail
What Our Experts Say

With a wide base and stabilizing feet, other parents (and gift givers) love how sturdy this Montessori-style Kids Kitchen Step Stool Helper from Katanabana is—especially given the price, which is below the average cost of the most popular toddler towers. And we love how it’s made: from solid hardwood, with a non-toxic and lead-free finish, and by a family-owned business.

We’re also big fans of its weight: heavy enough to stay in place while active toddlers crawl in but light enough to move. The standing platform, which can be adjusted at two different heights, is wider than most of the others we tested, giving our toddler plenty of space to move from side to side while working on a kitchen task. And the anti-slip strips are the largest we’ve seen: they run the length of the tower, ensuring little feet don’t slide off the step or standing platform.

Though the furniture is larger than some of the others on our list, it doesn’t look as bulky as we expected thanks to wide openings, rounded edges and a removable safety rail at the back. If you’re interested in creating a Montessori-style space at home, check out the brand’s matching wood cube chair, which is currently rated as an Amazon’s Choice pick.

What’s Worth Considering

The stabilizing feet stick out the back. If you plan to pull this up to a countertop that has cabinetry underneath, the feet may push up against the cabinets, creating a bit of space between the top of the tower and the countertop.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 15.8”D x 18.3”W x 34.7”H
Product Weight 16.8 lbs
Age Range Up to 110 lbs
Extras Adjustable platform; sturdy; non-slip strips

Best Minimalist Toddler Tower

The Scoop
  • Luxurious
  • Minimalist
  • Sustainably made
What Our Experts Say

If you’re looking for more of a traditional but high-style step stool, the sweet and simple Little Helper Learning Platform from Micuna is a great option. Unlike the other models we tried, the standing platform and step are both not adjustable, making it a great pick for older (taller) toddlers.

What it lacks in versatility it makes up for in design and sustainability. The brand—headquartered in Spain, where products are handmade by the Mediterranean Sea—turns out quality bassinets and high chairs, too. They prioritize eco-friendly processes and strict safety standards. And as the second-most expensive on our list, this minimalist option is also a luxurious pick. We noticed that the design’s simplicity makes cleanup even easier, too: there are fewer nooks and crannies to clear than most toddler towers, and the smooth surfaces are easy to wipe down.

What’s Worth Considering

Micuna also offers a larger (and heavier) Mini Chef Learning Platform outfitted with multiple steps and ideal for budding chefs.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 21”D x 23.5”W x 36”H
Product Weight 15 lbs
Age Range 20 months to 5 years, up to 39 lbs
Extras Made in Spain; chemical-free; one-year warranty

Most Stylish Toddler Tower

The Scoop
  • Stylish
  • Colorful
  • Easy to assemble
What Our Experts Say

You may already be familiar with dadada, which is popular for its GREENGUARD Gold certified cribs and dressers. We love that the brand’s Learning Tower is crafted with the same care and quality: it’s lead-free, phthalate-free and meets strict JPMA standards. We also love that it comes in six attractive and baby-safe finishes—sage, blush, graphite, light grey, white and natural (beechwood)—that can easily blend in to any decor (while other toddler towers seem to stand out).

Design enthusiasts will appreciate the tower’s clean lines, too, while any busy parent will appreciate the uncomplicated assembly: with only one kind of screw, this streamlined style is quick and easy to put together. At the highest setting, the standing platform accommodates younger toddlers better than others we tested—and there are four height options in all, which is the most we’ve seen on a toddler tower.

What’s Worth Considering

The smooth surfaces are easy to clean with a damp cloth, as recommended. But if you love using more aggressive cleaners, you should know that certain formulas will null the one-year warranty.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 15.24”D x 15.75”W x 35.51”H
Product Weight 14.3 lbs
Age Range Up to 100 lbs
Extras Adjustable platform; adjustable step; color options

Best Compact Toddler Tower

The Scoop
  • Smaller width and depth
  • The bottom stem folds up
  • No tools required for adjustments
What Our Experts Say

This compact Explore & Store Learning Tower Toddler Step Stool from Little Partners is a great option all around and ideal for smaller spaces. It’s narrow from side to side (15.5 inches at the top; 22.25 inches across the feet); and when you fold in the bottom step, it’s a mere 17 inches from front to back. Of all the towers we tested, we think this would be the best bet for an apartment.

Though you’ll need to screw the standing platform into place when adjusting it (there are four possible positions—the most we’ve seen on a toddler tower), you won’t need to use a screwdriver. The platform (and the step) are held in place by easy-to-turn knobs. To prevent active toddlers from slipping around, optional grippy stickers are included. And like the rest of the products from Little Partners, this Learning Tower is GREENGUARD Gold certified. It’s made from birch and poplar and comes in a natural color as well as four other neutral finishes. We tested the Silver Drop colorway, which isn’t metallic like it sounds but a calming, matte grey.

What’s Worth Considering

Despite its smaller size, this step stool can hold up to 150 pounds. For even more holding power, consider the brand’s highly-rated Learning Tower, which is safe to use up to 250 pounds.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 22.3”D x 19.6”W x 33.5”H
Product Weight 16.08 lbs
Age Range 2-6 years, up to 150 lbs
Extras Adjustable platform; foldable step; non-slip stickers

Alainna Wurfel

Senior Newsletter Editor

Alainna Wurfel is Babylist’s Senior Newsletter Editor, a role that combines her enthusiasm for discovering new parenting tips and great baby gear with her love for writing. When she’s not curating emails and creating content to support them, Alainna enjoys gardening, sewing and cooking. In past lives, she was an editor at The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Texas Monthly Magazine; and a marketing director at the design company Schumacher. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their two children.

Jen LaBracio

Senior Gear Editor

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.