5 Best Learning Towers of 2023, Tested by Experts

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Give your kitchen helper a boost to the counter with these top-tested towers. 6ft Folding Table

5 Best Learning Towers of 2023, Tested by Experts

Whether your kid is eager to lend a hand in the kitchen or wants to watch more closely as you prepare dinner, learning towers can be a huge help. Without the extra boost and rails, young children can have issues reaching the countertop and staying stable while doing so. Learning towers are similar to step stools except they have the added benefit of guardrails, so your little helper can more safely join in on the fun. (Still, it's important that caregivers should maintain close, careful supervision at all times.) To find the best learning towers for toddlers, the Good Housekeeping Institute tested top-sellers in this category, including Piccalio, Guidecraft, dadada and more. Our Lab experts looked at a variety of aspects to pick our favorites, including ease of assembly, construction quality, stability and how easy the unit is to clean. We also took into account any additional features, like if the learning tower has a step-up, adjustable heights, attachments or other modules.

Below, you'll find more on the best learning towers for toddlers, plus additional information on the safety aspects and purpose of learning towers, how we test, what to consider while shopping and more. For even more top-tested parenting products, be sure to check out our favorites from our annual Parenting Awards.

Believed to be the original learning tower, this model by Little Partners is a classic you can't go wrong with. It may just be the prototype all others have built off of (and for good reason). Not only did it earn a 2020 Good Housekeeping Parenting Award for its ability to grow with your kid and its sturdy materials that stood the test of time, but our pros also gave it high marks for easy assembly and solid construction. "I like that it can be attached to other Montessori-inspired functional learning objects (like the brand's playhouse kits or climbing ladder) and that it has an adjustable height and fun attachments," says Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist and Executive Technical Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute.

Under careful supervision, this learning tower's four adjustable heights mean toddlers of different ages and sizes can express their creativity and independence while in the kitchen. Plus, if you're looking for something a little different, this brand now carries a bunch of other models, including the Limited Edition Learning Tower Step Stool that we've included further down on this list. It also comes in a number of finishes to suit your decor. Natural wood and white are classics, but red lends a fun pop of color to a kitchen. Just keep in mind that it has a large footprint and it can't be folded down, so be sure you have the space to accommodate it.

Live in an apartment with a small kitchen and little storage space? This foldable kitchen tower gives you all the benefits of a learning tower without having to sacrifice precious real estate. Rothman says this hardwood-and-hard plywood unit folded like a dream during testing and easily squeezed into small nooks for out-of-the-way storage, like the narrow gap between a fridge and cabinets or even a cramped pantry. And this feature isn't just ideal for small spaces — it's also great for those who simply prefer a more streamlined look in their kitchen.

The learning tower has other enviable features too, like three adjustable heights so it can grow with your child. It's also available in an array of colors and style options from the classic wooden look to pretty teal or yellow. One tester particularly appreciated how sturdy this unit was, how it helped kids join in on the fun in the kitchen and that it could easily be stored when not in use. The included non-slip mat and two Kitchen Helper Keepers (a.k.a. safety nets) are designed for additional security and are nice add-ons that you don't get with other learning towers. The one downside is that kids may need assistance climbing into it.

The little one in your life will absolutely adore this step stool toddler tower that helps bring them up to your level and grants them access to the kitchen counter. But what our Lab experts appreciated the most about this learning tower was its relatively small footprint. They also loved the integrated steps, which make it easier for toddlers to climb into the kitchen helper on their own.

For maximum security, it includes a guard plate for children under 32 inches. (Word of caution: A curious toddler would be able to remove the guard plate.) No tools are required to assemble or break down the tower either, so almost anyone can build it on their own without too much struggle. We also appreciate the three adjustable heights that make it easy to customize the tower to your counter, and the grip tape on the steps that help limit any possible accidents.

SDADI's step stool tower is a pick that won't break the bank but is still a bit sturdier than a plastic option. While testing, our experts found that the overall construction was fairly good and that the tower wiped down easily for a quick clean. We also noted that it was relatively easy to put this tower together, so even if you aren't exceptionally handy, you'll still be able to do it without too much fanfare.

While the top opening can be a bit small for larger kids, its more affordable price and classic, no-frills step-stool design is great for parents and kids who are eager to exercise their independence while under careful supervision. While testing, we did find the tower to be a bit wobbly, but this is a problem that's easily solved by adding a felt furniture pad to one leg to even it out. It also helps to place the learning tower against the counter for extra stability while in use.

Little Partner's Limited Edition Learning Tower was designed by a Montessori educator and hails from a trusted brand that manufacturers an assortment of children's products, including our top overall learning tower for toddlers.

What separates this unit from others, including its sister product, is that it features removable panels, so parents have more control over the enclosure levels around their child. It also boasts four adjustable heights and a built-in activity center for kids to draw, scribble and practice their letters and numbers. Our experts love that this addition means this tower can stick around as an activity center even after your little one outgrows the tower part. Also unique to this learning tower for toddlers? The brand notes that with the high weight limit and wide platform, there's even enough room for two kids to stand on this tower at the same time — perfect for twins. Of course, its larger size means that it's heavier than others at nearly 32 pounds.

The Good Housekeeping Institute tests everything parents need, including toy storage, crib mattresses and even more niche categories like toys for kids with autism. To select our favorite learning towers, we lean on our experts' collective expertise and spend hours reading through five-star reviews, looking at top-rated products and brands to decide on the best learning towers to consider.

Next, we query new moms on our consumer testing panel about their personal experiences. We then do rigorous testing on top models in our Lab and in testers' homes to gather both controlled and real-life data. We consider factors like ease of assembly, construction quality, stability and how simple it was to clean the unit. We also look at additional features and assess overall safety to ensure that each product we recommend is a high-quality option across the board.

✔️ Adjustable height capabilities allow learning towers to grow with your child, plus lets multiple children of various heights use it.

✔️ Foldability makes for easy storage in smaller spaces. It's also a great feature for those who prefer a more minimalist kitchen.

✔️ Footprint matters when you live in an apartment or smaller home, but bigger models usually mean extra features like a chalkboard or accessories to keep your child engaged.

✔️ Steps are nice to have to help the child get in and reach the appropriate height. Any grips on the treads are a bonus to help prevent mishaps.

✔️ Sturdiness is a very important safety consideration, say our Lab pros. Wooden learning towers tend to be more stable than plastic ones.

Also known as a kitchen helper tower or Montessori tower, a learning tower is a unit with typically four sides and a step stool. "Inspired by the Montessori methods of teaching, the learning tower is designed to help kids learn and explore," says Rothman. That's because they allow your child to reach tabletop height alongside you while under your close watch. This way, you can encourage them to exercise their own independence and creativity without giving them too much independence for their age.

"In a busy kitchen, a learning tower can help children safely access the work surfaces and feel more on the level with adults, which is good for confidence," says Amanda Gummer, the founder of The Good Toy Guide and a Ph.D. in neuropsychology. "I love that learning towers allow my kids to more carefully watch as my husband cooks," Rothman says. "We use them for science experiments and hand-washing too."

Always adhere to the age and weight specifications provided by the manufacturer, but many have a starting age minimum of 18 months and up, Rothman says. "Every child is different, and parents know best whether or not a learning tower is intellectually and physically developmentally appropriate for their child," she notes. "I made sure to use one with a safety net with my 18-month-old and turn the open side against the wall or counter so he can't crawl or accidentally fall out." With her older toddlers, she lets them crawl in and out freely since they have the motor skills to execute this safely. "This helps foster a sense of independence and allows them to experiment, of course, under careful supervision," Rothman says.

It bears repeating: It's vital to adhere to age and weight specifications. Learning towers should also be used with close supervision at all times. These products may provide a false sense of security, says Rothman. Never leave your little one alone in the tower for even a few minutes, as it can be dangerous. In essence, they are not the equivalent of a car seat, which is tethered and includes a multi-point harness, nor a highchair, which restricts movement with a belt. With a learning tower, like other kid products, a curious child can do imaginative things. Be vigilant of potential falls or your child trying to maneuver out without you realizing.

To maximize security when using a learning tower, Rothman recommends the following:

The Good Housekeeping Institute provides expert reviews and advice on everything a parent needs, including learning towers.

This article was written by former Products & Reviews Editor Shanon Maglente with expert advice from Rachel Rothman, the Chief Technologist and Head Engineer at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Rothman has a B.S.E. in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics with a mathematics minor from the University of Pennsylvania. She has been evaluating juvenile products (kids products like highchairs, strollers and car seats) for 15 years. She has been a judge for the Good Housekeeping Parenting Awards since its inception as well as other industry awards, including the Best of Parenting at CES and JPMA Parenting Awards. Plus, as a mom to three kids under six, she's personally tested many of the products we recommend in real life. She has vetted and tested most of the products in this guide.

Parenting & Pets Reviews Analyst Jamie Spain most recently updated this guide to reflect our latest learning tower testing information. She brings years of experience to the Institute, having reviewed products for Good Housekeeping like the best new toys and humidifiers for your baby's nursery.

Shanon is a writer and editor who specializes in best-of product roundups and deals. She has over six years of experience, including almost three years as a Good Housekeeping product and reviews editor, covering the best sales and products across home, appliances, health, beauty, parenting and more.

Jamie (she/her) is a parenting and pets reviews analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she spends her time testing, researching and writing about pet and family products. Prior to starting at GH in 2021, she worked at BuzzFeed and People, covering a combination of product reviews and lifestyle content. She's a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and psychology and a master’s degree in journalism.

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5 Best Learning Towers of 2023, Tested by Experts

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