Step Stool vs Step Ladder- Which is Your Need

Step Stool vs Step Ladder

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If you ask anyone the difference between a step ladder and a step stool, you will receive answers that will lead to a pool of confusion. Well, this is because their construction, design, and general appearance is similar. The two only have very few differences. Lets now deffer step stool vs step ladder bellow.

What Is A Step Stool

A step stool is a foldable, portable, and self-supporting ladder that cannot be adjusted in length. It is 32 inches in overall size and consists of flat steps without a shelf. It is designed in such a way that you can climb the top cap ladder as well as all the steps. It can only be used by one person at a time.

Further, most of the step stools feature four steps and are commonly found in garages, bedrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and other rooms inside the house. They also have self-support and don’t require a wall to lean over. For safety purposes, they have treads on the steps, rubber grips, and locking systems. They also have a wide top shelf to provide sufficient legroom to stand on when reaching for high heights.  

Step stools are manufactured from lightweight and strong materials that match the interior environment. Some of the materials used to make step stools include aluminum, fiberglass, and steel.

 We have three different types of step stools, they include

  • Type I with a carrying capacity of 250 pounds.
  • Type II with a carrying capacity of 225 pounds.
  •  Type III with a carrying capacity of 200 pounds

Since step stools are made for indoor use, we don’t need to specify whether they are commercial, industrial, heavy-duty, or rugged. It is also important to note that the step stools come in several designs according to the taste of the buyers and owners. Buyers are encouraged to select versatile designs, especially those stools that can be converted to side stools, shelves or side stands when no one is climbing on them.

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What is a Step Ladder

Similar to the step stool, the step ladder is self-standing. This means that it doesn’t require a wall or any other surface to support it. Whether the ladder is in an open field or the center of a room, it will stand independently and efficiently. There are several types of step ladders, they include foldable, multi-position, single-sided, and twin ladder. They are all used for different functions including construction in the house and lifting objects in different areas of the compound.

It is important to note that since most of the step ladders are used within the home compound, they are made from light yet durable and strong materials. The most commonly used materials include steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood.

When selecting a ladder, you should consider the durability and strength. It is important to consider the ladder’s materials based on whether they will be used indoors or outdoors. As well as if it will be exposed to corrosive substances, water, or electric connections.

Just like the step stools, the step ladders come with rubber grips, locking features, and treaded steps.

The step ladders are classified into five categories based on their environment, maximum height, and weight. They include:

  • Type I is used in an industrial environment, its height ranges between 3 to 20 feet and a maximum weight of 250 pounds.
  • Type IA is used in an industrial environment, its height ranges between 3 to 20 feet and a maximum weight of 300 pounds.
  • Type IAA is used in an industrial environment, its height ranges between 3 to 20 feet and a maximum weight of 375 pounds.
  • Type II is used in a commercial setting, its height ranges between 3 to 12 feet and has a maximum of 225 pounds.
  • Type III is used for household functions, it has a height range of 3 to 6 feet and a maximum weight of 200 pounds.

When handling a step ladder, you must comply with the duty rating to prevent injuries, death, and destruction of property. For a good experience, find a sturdy and durable ladder to cater to your weight and any impact caused by rough environments.

How To Use A Kitchen Step Ladder Safely  

  • Before starting a task, conduct a pre-use inspection to confirm that the ladder is in good condition. The pre-check should be done by the user at the beginning of the activity.
  • Check if all the stepladder feet are in contact with the kitchen floor.
  • Ensure that you only carry light materials
  • Avoid overreaching
  • Ensure that all the locking devices are engaged
  • Position the step ladder to face the working station and don’t position it to work side on
  • Don’t stand and start your activities when standing on the top three steps, unless you have a handhold.
  • Maintain three body contacts when working. This refers to at least two feet and a hand in contact with the ladder.    

How To Use A Kitchen Step Stool Safely

  • The first step involves inspecting the step stool to spot any defects. If there are no defects, set up the stool according to the manufactures directives. Review all the instructions and warning labels and also read the manual for guidance on safety precautions.
  • Also, ensure that the step stool is placed on a flat level with solid support from the four feet.
  • Ensure that you set the step stool close to the working area, and if you begin to climb and feel like there is an imbalance, climb down and try to reposition. 
  • Avoid overreaching when you are on the step stool.
  • Remember to always face the step stool when going up or down. Step stools can only be used by a single person at a time.
  • Further, ensure that the step stool is sturdy and can support the intended task. The maximum weight includes the weight of an individual and that of materials being carried.
  • Always ensure that the step stool is well locked when climbing.
  • Don’t attempt to move the step stool while you are standing on it. When changing locations, get down, move the step stool to a safe location before climbing it again
  • Step stools should not be used on slippery floors, make sure you wipe and kitchen soups and oils. 
  • While using the step stool, avoid placing it on top of other objects such as barrels, shelving, or boxes. If any additional height is required, consider looking for another ladder that is more suitable for the task at hand.
  • Don’t be tempted to use other objects for the same role such as boxes, bins, cabinets, chairs, and shelves. The objects are not appropriate and safe to perform the exact role.   
  • Finally, never leave a step stool unattended especially if children are expected to pass by.


There are very few differences between the step ladder and step stool. Instead, they share several similarities such as the inverted V, leg design.

Also, to ensure the effective functioning of the step ladder and step stool check if the ground is leveled. This will securely support the four rails, Further, the two can only be used when the two halves are well spread and locked to prevent snapping and maximize stability.

The final precaution is that the users should not overstretch themselves. Overstretching leads to a shift in balance that could cause falling, slipping, and tripping, which are the main causes of injuries and death for users.

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