Last Updated: Jun 5, 2023 @ 6:46 pm.

What is the best learning tower? And how are they helpful? Learning towers are step stools with safety rails for toddlers. In the kitchen, a tower brings the toddler up to counter height so he can help a parent prepare dinner. Or make cookies. To find the best ones, we tried out several learning towers with actual toddlers. Which ones were best? Here are our recommendations.

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Best Budget-Friendly Learning Tower

Easy in, easy out!
Loved this well-made step stool with four-sided safety rail. Solid wood, anti-slip stripes on all four legs. For kids age 18 months to 3 years. Critics note the assembly instructions could be more clear.

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Best Budget-Friendly Learning Tower: SDADI Kids Kitchen Step Stool with Safety Rail

Let’s talk about learning towers and safety. The learning towers we recommend in this article should be used with close parental supervision—basically, you are going to need to keep a close eye on your child anytime they are using it!

While we think these learning towers are stable and well made, a rambunctious toddler may be able to tip them over if they tried hard enough. Or they could slip through an opening in the side or back of the tower. That’s why supervision is necessary!

Learning towers can be rather pricey. We were happy to find this one, SDADI’s Kids Kitchen Step Stool; it is well made yet easy on the wallet. Our kid testers just loved this one. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Solid wood with four-sided safety rail.

• Easy for kids to get in and out.

• Nice size—it can fit under some counters for storage.

• Anti-slip strips on each leg. We found this made the stool very stable.

• Painted with non-toxic, lead-free paint.

• Recommended for use from 18 months up to 3 years.

• Wide base.

• Weight: 15 lbs.

What Needs Work

• Open sides allow curious toddlers to try climbing the sides.  That would not be wise, but try telling that to a 2 year old!

• Legs can be uneven. We didn’t have a problem with the one we tried out, but we see reports about this from other parents. Uneven legs can cause the stool to be wobbly.

• Assembly instructions could be more clear.

• Just one color choice.

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Best Adjustable Learning Tower

4 height positions!
This learning tower won kudos from our testers for its overall quality and design: wide base, rubber foot pads and easy to assemble. Very sturdy. Caveat: it is easy to trip over the legs.

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Best Adjustable Learning Tower: Little Partners The Original Learning Tower

Designed by a Montessori school teacher, this step stool claims to be the original learning tower. We liked the overall quality, construction and design—it has a frame with four open sides and two steps. Here’s more:

What We Liked

 4 different heights. As your toddler grows, you can adjust the height for this learning tower—a nice plus. Most other towers we tested had fixed heights.

• Easy to assemble.

• Wide base = stable tower.

• Supports up to 250 lbs. Wow!

• Nice design with rounded edges.

• 7 different color choices.

• Rubber foot pads keep it in place.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Easy to trip over the feet. We understand the legs on the base are there to provide stability—but they also stick out and present a tripping hazard, in our opinion.

• Very wide width (33″) means it may not work in smaller kitchens.

• Bulky/heavy. That makes it hard to move around. We realize that adds to the stability, but don’t expect to be lugging this thing around without help.

• Kiddos can fall out of the open sides. That’s why we always recommend any learning tower be used with close adult supervision! That’s true for all learning towers, of course.

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Best Foldable Learning Tower

Folds flat for storage
Nicely designed! This compact learning tower has a no-slip mat and safety netting. Easy to assemble (except for the netting). Folds easily. For kids age 2 and up.

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Best Foldable Learning Tower: Guidecraft Classic Kitchen Helper Stool

Learning towers are a great way to involve your child in the kitchen, but most have one major flaw: they don’t fold away for storage! If you have a smaller kitchen or just need the space, we’d suggest Guidecraft Classic Kitchen Helper Stool. Our testers loved the overall design, plus it folds flat for storage! Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Safety netting to prevent children from sliding out the sides. You can clip on or off the netting.

• Easy to assemble . . . except for the safety netting, which is rather difficult to screw in.

• Non-slip mat standing surface.

• Platform adjusts from 14″ to 17″ to accommodate a growing child.

• Narrow width (22.5″ square) fits nicely in smaller kitchens.

• Made of birch plywood. 

• Easily folds for storage. Yea!

• Weight capacity 125 lbs.

• Two colors: white or natural.

What Needs Work

• For kids age 2 and up. Most other learning towers we researched start at 18 months instead of 2 years.

• Cut-out shapes on sides encourage toddlers to climb up the outside of the tower—and that can cause it topple over. Again, supervision at all times is important for all learning towers!

• Base feet are a tripping hazard. Granted, the Guidecraft’s feet are smaller and stick out less than the Little Partners Learning Tower . . . but we still find that anything that sticks out can be tripped over!

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing gear for babies and toddlers since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward safety, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert gear reviews.

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