Differences Between Step Stool and Step Ladder

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Step stools and step ladders are two of the most useful substances of our regular life. But most of the people get confused when the term comes differences between step stool and step ladder. Yes, I was also one of them. But I have researched a lot and finally found out the dissimilation between step stool and step ladder.

If you view a step ladder and a step stool properly then you will see lots of similarities. You will find similarities in their construction, design and appearance.

But you will also get some differences. The main differences come with the size, design, use, and duty rating. In this article, I will share discuss these factors in detail. So keep reading this article.

What is a Step Stool and What is a Step Ladder?

Before discussing the differences in detail, I am showing what exactly is a step ladder and a step stool.

According to Wikipedia "A step ladder is a self-supporting portable ladder hinged in the middle to form an inverted V, with stays to keep the two halves at a fixed angle." It generally contains flat steps. It is very easy to use and has a good weight rating.

On the other side, a step stool is a low platform having a set of steps sharing some design concepts with the step ladder. Step stools are generally used to reach little high places. This is not similar to a normal stool but kind of a step ladder.

Factors That Differs a Step Stool and a Step Ladder

Well, now come to the main point. Now I will show you the factors in details.

  • Size: If you compare the size of a step ladder and a step stool, you will find a step ladder is bigger than a step stool. Step ladders are used for reaching extra hight. Step stools are used for reaching little height.

A step ladder generally contains more than 4 steps. But a step stool contains 1, 2, 3, or 4 steps. You may not find any step stool having more than 4 steps. So obviously a step ladder is taller than a step stool.

  • Design: There are dissimilarities in the design of a step ladder and a step stool. Though there are not so many changes in design, there are some changes overall.

The first thing is the step. I have already said, a step ladder contains more than 4 steps where step stool contains highest 4 steps. A step ladder is taller than a step stool.

The design of a step ladder makes it appropriate for using outdoor. The design of step stool makes it perfect for use inside the home.

A step ladder is more likely as a two-sided ladder in look. A step stool is more like as a stool having V-shaped legs.

A step ladder comes with different types of designs such as twin, multi-position, single-sided, foldable and others. But a step stool comes with mainly two design foldable and non-foldable.

These are the most common differences in the design between a step stool and a step ladder.

  • Weight and Materials: These are 2 common factors that differ a step stool and a step ladder. A step stool has fewer steps than a step ladder. Besides, the size of a step stool is shorter than a step ladder. So obviously a step stool is lighter than a step ladder.

A step ladder is generally used for heavy-duty works. On the other hand, a step stool is used for simple works. So obviously a step ladder uses stronger material than a step stool. Again, as the material is stronger in a step ladder, it is heavier than a step stool.

So, you can easily find the differences by determining the types of material and weight.

  • Types of Use: We all know, a step ladder can be used in so many works than a step stool. Step ladder can be used indoor or outdoor.

It is used in construction works, reaching shorter trees, painting houses and other outdoor works. It is also used in repairing fans and bulbs, reaching ceiling, cleaning high places and other indoor works.

A step stool is generally used only for indoor works like reaching shelves, high cabinets, cleaning short areas, hanging postures or artworks and others.

  • Duty Rating: I think you have already understood the duty rating of a step ladder is higher than a step stool. A step ladder has a higher duty level from Type I, Type IA and Type IAA. That indicates they can be used for commercial and industrial purposes.

A step stool has a duty level range of Type I, Type II and Type III. That means they are appropriate for use in indoor household purposes.


In this article, I have described the differences between step ladder and step stool. You can see there are many factors which differs a step stool and step ladder from each other.

If you see the discussed factors, you can see the design is the main theme that differs a step stool from a step ladder. Also, there are some other core factors I have described.

I have a different suggestion for you, if are trying to find the best step ladder and step stool then you can check out our other articles. We have articles on Best step stools and best step ladders.

Hopefully, you have understood the differences and dissimilarities between step stool and step ladder from this article.

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