The 8 Best Learning Towers
From helping prep dinner to doing science experiments and more — kids need a safe spot to focus on the task at hand without teetering on a chair or you having to hold them. The best learning towers are an easy alternative that bring kids up to counter level to watch, learn, and help. With that in mind, investing in a learning tower isn’t just for special bonding with your little one, it’s also keeping them safe when it counts.
What To Consider When Shopping For A Learning Tower
First of all, you may be wondering what the difference is between a learning tower and a kitchen helper. While some models may be handier in a kitchen, there are no structural differences between learning towers and kitchen helpers. Call them whatever you want, just keep these features in mind:
- Height: The height of the standing platform varies widely among learning towers. Choosing the perfect learning tower for your child involves a little math: Consider their height and the height of your counters to determine what height you need. Some models begin with a modest 12-inch boost, while most start off 15 inches from the ground. Many kitchen helpers allow you to adjust the standing platform; some have as many as four different heights. One of our picks below gives kids a 22 inch-boost from the ground, which works well for younger or shorter children and homes with higher-than-average countertops.
- Material: With the exception of one lightweight plastic option, all of our picks below are made of wood, bamboo, birch-based plywood, or a combination of these materials. The more substantial weight of wood means they will stay in place, but also be heavier to move around and more expensive. Several models have been GREENGUARD Gold Certified.
- Age and Weight Limits: Most learning towers are designed for children that are at least 18 months old. Some models cap off use at a certain age or weight. Weight limits vary widely, from 60 pounds all the way up to 220. For your convenience, we’ve noted this for each learning tower.
- Safety Rails and Walls: All learning towers have some form of safety rail on at least three sides to keep kids in place, and most have a wall or rail on all four sides. Some models make use of safety netting (known as keepers) for two of the walls for easy entry. You may prefer three walls for older, more stable children who use the opening to easily get in and out themselves.
- Storage: The overall size and footprint of learning towers can be daunting for those with a smaller kitchen or bathroom. There are several models on the more compact side and some even fold flat, so you can easily store them when not in use.
Gather your ingredients, get ready to pass down your famous recipe, and let your little helper get their hands dirty with one of the best learning towers below.
The Overall Best Learning Tower, All Things Considered
The Guidecraft Classic Kitchen helper stool is designed to safely nestle children 2 years old and up within its four sides, two of which are netted keeper walls. Made using solid hardwood and birch plywood with a nontoxic finish, this has an adjustable platform that can be set at 15 or 18 inches high, plus a slip-resistant mat to go under little feet. It’s a fan favorite with an impressive overall 4.7-star rating after 3,000 reviews on Amazon. This helper folds flat for easy storage beside a fridge or in a small closet. It arrives almost ready to go: Assembly simply involves attaching the feet. It also has a small chalkboard and whiteboard to keep kids busy on the ground as well.
Helpful Review: “My son LOVES to cook with daddy and my husband has been having to baby wear him. It was starting to hurt his back so I got this and it is amazing. My son had so much fun being at the counter with daddy and my husband was able to cook easier not wearing him. Feels super sturdy and stable and love that I can fold and store in the closet. Great product!”
Dimensions: 23 x 23 x 36 inches (L x W x H) | Maximum Weight Limit: 125 pounds | Foldable: Yes | Available Colors: 6
The Most Budget-Friendly Learning Tower
This highly rated solid pine kitchen step stool tower is designed for kids from 18 months to 3 years old — and it’s a great deal for $75. Its A-shaped frame minimizes the risk of tipping and the tower has a nontoxic finish and four anti-slip strips on the bottom to prevent sliding. Assembly is easy with hand-twist screws and recessed joints for added strength. One note: This model doesn’t have adjustable heights and the platform is almost 16 inches off the ground with safety railings on all four sides.
Helpful Review: “Total game changer for toddler! My son loves the stool! It took him a minute to figure out how to crawl underneath the bar, once he did he was so excited. We have two, one for the bathroom and one for the kitchen. He now washes his own hands after meals and brushes his own teeth and loves playing in the sink. He can even reach the bathroom light switch now! He’s 19 months old [and] about 33 inches tall and 26.5 pounds. It’s the perfect countertop height. [...] It’s a great price and very solid and sturdy we love it, if you’re considering buying it do it it’s a 100% yes!”
Dimensions: 18 x 18.1 x 34.8 inches (L x W x H) | Maximum Weight Limit: 150 pounds | Foldable: No | Available Colors: 3
The Sturdiest Learning Tower (It’s Strong Enough To Hold An Adult)
This solid bamboo learning tower is adjustable to three different levels ranging from about 17 to 22 inches using a handy included thumbscrew. It has unique rough footprint treads to keep children from slipping as they climb in and it features three walls with a bar on the fourth side with an opening. It’s designed for kids 2 years old and up but is strong enough to hold up to 200 pounds. This model is a compact size, perfect for smaller bathrooms and tighter kitchens. The feet at the bottom of the tower have nonslip pads and wings on the feet to increase stability. Assembly takes about 15 minutes, according to the brand.
Helpful Review: “The learning tower was easy to assemble, everything came perfectly drilled and there were no problems. [...] There are 2 rough sanded footprints on the step so the kid doesn't slip when going up or down. It looks very safe and sturdy, after reading reviews for almost every single learning tower on Amazon, I went for this one and I don't regret it. My daughter loves it and now she wants to be in it the whole time, just looking at whatever is going on in the kitchen.”
Dimensions: 20.3 x 17.7 x 36 inches (L x W x H) | Maximum Weight Limit: 200 pounds | Foldable: No | Available Colors: 3
The Most Portable Learning Tower
This waterproof toddler tower has a lower weight limit than other models at 60 pounds, but it offers several adjustments, portability, and a smaller footprint. The platform can be adjusted to 12, 15, or 18 inches high, covering a wide range of heights for growing tots. At just over 13 pounds, this plastic pick is easier to move around the house than heavier wooden models. This tower is made in the U.S. and has rubber feet on the bottom to prevent sliding on slick floors. Assembly takes only five minutes and this model is designed for children between 18 months and five years old. Shoppers love this one, and it’s earned an overall near-perfect rating after more than 2,000 reviews.
Helpful Review: “My sons loves to “help” me in the kitchen. I wanted something that was easy to wipe down and easy to move and this def is. I love that the base can be moved higher or lower depending on their height and he absolutely loves using it. [...]”
Dimensions: 16.25 x 14 x 33.75 inches (L x W x H) | Maximum Weight Limit: 60 pounds | Foldable: No |Available Colors: 1
The Best Learning Tower For Two Kids
The Guidecraft Kitchen Helper double wide stool is the one you want if you have two young children or twins that are 2 years old and up. The extra-wide 29-inch platform comfortably gives both kids a boost. This folding learning tower features a nonslip mat at the platform and anti-tip feet at the base. The platform’s height is adjustable to 15 and 18 inches from the ground, and the tower is made using solid hardwood and birch plywood with a nontoxic finish. The two safety netting keeper walls have snapped buckles to allow for easy entry and to keep toddlers secure. It features a small whiteboard and chalkboard on the sides just for fun. Reviewers rave that it arrives mostly assembled.
Helpful Review: “Love that this comes basically assembled! I use it to let my 3 year old and 1 year old help me bake. It easily holds both of them (55+ lbs) with plenty of space. It is so much better than the step stool we were using before. I don't worry about them falling at all.”
Dimensions: 23 x 29 x 36 inches (L x W x H) | Maximum Weight Limit: 175 pounds | Foldable: Yes | Available Colors: 2
The Best Learning Tower For Older Kids
Made with sustainable birch plywood, the highly rated ECR4Kids Chef's Helper kitchen tower is certified GREENGUARD Gold. The platform is adjustable to two levels (15 and 17.5 inches) to grow with your child. Curved cut-out handles along the rails let children get a secure grip as they step up, and the tower has anti-tip feet to stabilize it. The clean lines blend well with any decor, but it’s important to note the lack of a back rail. This pick may work best for older toddlers and kids who are a little more steady on their feet and will love the easy entry; it’s recommended for kids between the ages of 2 and 7 years old.
Helpful Review: “My 2 year old daughter LOVES this! She wants me to put it everywhere for her so she can help, watch me cook, brush her own teeth, etc. It has been so much fun to use and she gets to be up at the counter with us. It's very good quality and was easy to assemble. I have already recommended it to 3 friends that asked about it when they saw ours. I by far prefer it over some of the other designs I have seen because she doesn't need my help to get up or down. She can use it on her own and is free to get up and down on her own. It also doubles as a step stool for us when we need to reach things up high!”
Dimensions: 20.5 x 21.5 x 35.8 inches (L x W x H) | Maximum Weight Limit: 100 pounds | Foldable: No | Available Colors: 1
The Most Versatile Learning Tower
Bamboo wood grain makes this model a nice-looking addition to any kitchen and the adjustable platform can be moved to 12, 16, or 20 inches high — the widest range of any of our picks. It is designed for use by kids 18 months and older. This stable learning tower’s easy assembly only requires screwing on the four anti-tip feet and the safety railing can be easily removed without tools for older children who no longer need the rail. The tower has two cut-out handles for moving it around with ease and the bamboo has a smooth, polished, and nontoxic finish — you’ll love that this pick has the most adjustability of the towers we chose, and it can also function as a chair. One reviewer wrote, “I bought [it] because it can be used both for my granddaughter to ‘wash’ my dishes and to use as a chair at the table to eat.”
Helpful Review: “ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!! We have been shopping for one for over a year and found this one and loved the whole concept of only 4 screws and made from child safe bamboo. Assembly was a breeze in less than 10 minutes!! I can’t rave about this enough!! [...] I love the bamboo especially because it’s super smooth and there [are] no worries for splinters! Best purchase ever!!!!”
Dimensions: 19.64 x 15.86 x 35.94 inches (L x W x H) | Maximum Weight Limit: 176 pounds | Foldable: No | Available Colors: 1
The Most Adjustable Learning Tower With 4 Possible Heights & A Fold-Away Step
This design of this Montessori learning tower for toddlers 2 years old and up makes it easy to pull children up your kitchen or bathroom counter. It has railings on all four sides to prevent falls and the bottom step folds in for storage with included thumbscrews. This tower has a whopping four levels that the platform can be adjusted to from just over 12 inches high up to just over 18 inches. Anti-tip feet project from the sides of the tower for stability. Made of solid layered birch and poplar wood, the tower has GREENGUARD Gold Certification, too. Reviewers report it’s easy to assemble, taking about 10 minutes.
Helpful Review: “Took my wife and I about 10 minutes to assemble. Once it was done, can't keep my daughter off of it. Everything from looking out the windows to helping wash dishes in the kitchen. When installing they give you a sandpaper footprint sticker set. I used the full square on the first step and the four feet on the top landing. This gives your child extra grip while standing on the top instead of two on the step and two up top. [...] All in all this learning tower is durable but lightweight. If you have a strong 2-year-old they will be able to drag this with them. There's fins on the side in front to ensure this does not tip over. Even the rowdiest of toddlers would not be able to tip this while in it. [...]”
Dimensions: 22.28 x 19.56 x 33.5 inches (L x W x H) | Maximum Weight Limit: 150 pounds | Foldable: No, except for the bottom step | Available Colors: 4
Nice To Have: A Knife Set Young Kitchen Helpers Can Use
Set your mini sous chef up with this set of kid-friendly knives, and they’ll be ready to tackle more with you in the kitchen. These dishwasher-safe knives are suitable for kids ages 4 and up — always with adult supervision — and they’re a shopper favorite with an impressive overall 4.8-star rating after 12,000 reviews.
Helpful Review: “I’ve only had these for a couple of days, but already my 4 year old daughter keeps asking me for things to chop up. They’re perfect for the little chef in your life or the kid who want to be a big helper. So far she’s easily (and safely) chopped up: Lettuce, apples, bananas, strawberries, potatoes, even carrots! I can run my hand along the blade and not cut myself and yet it’s designed in a way that you can still chop through veggies and fruits. Another pro is they are super easy to clean & dishwasher safe. [...]”
Also Great: A Cookbook For Little Chefs
America’s Test Kitchen is known for its foolproof recipes, and this cookbook for kids gives them over 70 recipes tested and tasted by fellow children. The intro gives a handy explainer on common recipe terms, like whip and mince, and there’s another useful section with pictures for breaking down basic tasks, like melting butter and grating cheese. Besides the tasty-sounding recipes, including loaded nachos and honey-mustard pork chops, all the prep pictures make this a very practical book for new cooks.