Should Seniors Use A Kitchen Stool? (2022)

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Towards the end of her life, my mom had trouble standing at the stove long enough to cook. She was diagnosed with a blood disorder that made her weak, especially after the medication made her anemic. She often sat on one of the chairs at the kitchen table, but it was wooden and heavy so she couldn’t move it around too well.

Instead, I got her a kitchen stool. A kitchen stool for older adults or anyone who has limited mobility is more like a chair than a step stool. It has arms and a backrest for extra support, plus a padded seat for comfort. It is lightweight for easy moving, but gives the user stability when standing or sitting.

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Who Should Use A Kitchen Stool?

Senior citizens with mobility issues, back pain, or any type of body weakness should use a kitchen stool. They make everyday tasks, like cooking and food prep, less of a chore because the elderly person can sit while they are working.

I’m not talking about using counter a bar stool. These have higher seats that often can’t be adjusted for height and may not have backs or arms, which could make them dangerous for a senior.

Conversely, older people might also have problems if they tried to sit by using a step stool.

Instead, they should get a kitchen stool that is more like a tall chair.

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There are a variety of stool options available in a range of sizes, depending on the person’s needs. For example, there are chairs without wheels that are sort of like a highchair for the elderly.

Also, there are roll-about stools for people who have a hard time getting up and down, and bariatric kitchen stools for larger seniors.

What To Look For In A Kitchen Stool

Senior safety is top priority, so you want to find a kitchen stool that has these important features:

  • Stable and won’t tip over when an older individual sits on it or tries to get up
  • Has non-slip feet (either rubber feet or silicone ones) on the bottom of the legs
  • Provides a back rest to keep them from sliding off the seat
  • Has arms/arm rests that are preferably weight-bearing, particularly if the senior has difficulty with mobility. Also, you want the arm rests to adjust to a variety of sizes width-wise to accommodate the person’s size
  • Able to adjust the seat height to prevent injury or to help someone who is recovering from surgery (for example, a hip replacement)
  • Has a seat that adjusts. An angled seat (the seat is tilted so that the front is slightly lower than the back) can allow the senior to rise to a standing position with minimal effort
  • Provides a padded seat and padded armrests for extra comfort
  • Is easy to clean
  • Will support the user’s weight
  • Lightweight for moving from place to place
  • Has a flat (padded seat). Avoid saddle-type seats that the senior could slide off of

Types Of Kitchen Stools For Seniors

Aside from using a plain kitchen chair for washing dishes or cooking like my mom did, an elderly person needs something they can easily move around. It also needs to be sturdy enough to keep them safe when sitting on it.

Adjustable Height Chair For Elderly

Should Seniors Use A Kitchen Stool? (1)

An adjustable height chair is safer for seniors.

It allows them to sit comfortably without having to boost themselves up into the seat, the way you do with most bar stools / counter stools.

Plus, having an adjustable kitchen stool for elderly users means the chair will be the correct height for the senior, so it will take less effort for them to stand up.

The Drive Medical Kitchen Stool in the photo is a good example.Should Seniors Use A Kitchen Stool? (2)

The height on this kitchen stool can adjust from 21 inches to 27 inches tall, so it can be used at both a table and a counter.

Bariatric Kitchen Stool

Bariatric kitchen stools are meant for larger individuals. If they are advertised as being bariatric, the stool should be capable of supporting more weight, so be sure to check that the one you get will meet the specific needs of your senior family members.

For a light weight kitchen stool that an elderly person could easily move around, check into bariatric shower benches. They can do double-duty and be used in the kitchen as well as the shower.

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The OasisSpace Tub Transfer Bench is made of heavy-duty plastic. Its anodized aluminum frame features A-frame construction for added support. Plus it has the extra features we like, such as a back rest, arm rest, non-slip legs, and adjustable height.

Although more expensive, a more decorative option is a bariatric arm chair or desk chair. Some of these come with castors (wheels) so the person can move around the kitchen without having to get up.

If you get something like this, be sure the material can be cleaned. No matter how neat the cook, they will always do something like getting sauce on their fingers and transferring it to the chair, or splatter something on it. It’s inevitable.

Roll-about Stool For Kitchen Use

Personally, I don’t think a frail senior should be using a stool with wheels. I understand the concept – it would be nice if they could scoot from stove to sink to table. But, stools with wheels are inherently unstable.

And, there backless stools out there (like the type the doctor sits on when examining you), but please don’t get one for your elderly parent. I’ve seen too many reviews of wheeled stools that tipped over when someone pushed themselves around on it.

However, if the person is fairly healthy, but their issue is with limb weakness, they could try using a wheeled office chair in the kitchen. Make sure it is one with a back and arms. Check that the base of the chair is supported by five legs (not just four) for fall prevention. Five wheels will make it less likely to tip over when rolling.

Some office models have a lift mechanism with pneumatic controls so the user can raise or lower the seat. Many also come with controls that allow the seat to tilt backwards or forward, which prevents the chair from tipping.Should Seniors Use A Kitchen Stool? (4)

As I mentioned before, one important factor in using an office chair in the kitchen is that the chair probably won’t stay clean for long. To help, it could be scotch-guarded or a towel could be placed over the seat and arms. If the backrest is plastic, it could be wiped down after use.

Another option for a kitchen stool could be a rolling walker with a seat like the image above. Some models come with a basket attached, which is handy for getting supplies from the pantry to the stove or taking dishes from the cabinet to the table.

TIP: A rollator walker should have locking wheels. Also, the wheels should be non-marring wheels so the kitchen floor doesn’t get covered in black marks.

Post-Surgery Hip Chair

Should Seniors Use A Kitchen Stool? (5)
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Should Seniors Use A Kitchen Stool? (6)If your senior parent has had a hip replacement, they are going to need a solid chair while they are healing, no matter where they are in the house.

One great option to consider is this Apex Hip Chair from Platinum Health.

This style of chair is specifically designed for someone who is recovering from hip surgery or a hip replacement, but it is perfect for use as a kitchen stool (and it can double as a shower chair).

It has an adjustable seat to prevent too much hip flexion. This ensures the user’s knees stay below their hips while they are healing.

Although it is safer with the arms attached, they can be removed on this model so it can be used at a table or counter/bar.

Senior Step Stools

Should Seniors Use A Kitchen Stool? (7)Should Seniors Use A Kitchen Stool? (8)

I don’t know about you, but I’m always needing something that is on the top shelves. I know my mom had the same problem, especially as she began shrinking in height in her later years.

Although simple plastic stools would be fine to give me that extra height right now, my mom needed to use something with a handle, like this AdjustaStep Deluxe Step Stool, because she had some balance problems.

Another good reason to have a handle on a step stool for home use is if a senior has health conditions that might make them dizzy or had joint issues that give them less mobility.

The extra support of a step stool with both an adjustable height base and an adjustable height handle, like this one, adds peace of mind when a senior needs to add a little height to their reach.

The AdjustaStep has a 300 pound weight capacity.

For more information on stove safety, fire safety, best cabinets, and more, visit our kitchen section.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a perch stool?

A perch stool is a stool with a small, sloping seat. They help you take some of the weight off your feet. You “perch” on one, partially seated, when performing simple chores or household tasks like cooking or vacuuming. It may not have a back rest or arms. The leg base isn’t as wide as a kitchen or shower stool, so a perch stool takes up less space.

NOTE: This is not the best choice of stool for someone with poor balance.

What is the best chair for elderly?

The best chair is the one that meets the senior’s needs, both now and in the long-term. The chair should be comfortable and have adjustable features (for example: an adjustable head support). It should be stable when the person sits or stands, be made of washable materials, have a foot rest, and provide back, head, and lateral body support.

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If you need help choosing the right aid for yourself or a senior loved one, a physical or occupational therapist can be a huge help in guiding your towards the best option for your particular needs.


Why should you use a kitchen stool instead of a chair? ›

There are several reasons why stools are a better option for improved posture when compared with office chairs. These include: Stools allow you to sit in a more natural sitting position (spine in a natural curve), as opposed to a traditional chair's sitting position that encourages a straight back.

Do I need a bar or counter stool? ›

Counter stool height: Countertops range from 36 to 39 inches, so you'll need a counter stool that ranges from 24 to 26 inches high. Bar stool height: Bar tops are usually around 40 to 42 inches high, so opt for a bar stool about 28 to 30 inches tall.

What style of bar stool is most comfortable? ›

Trait #1: Stools With Backs

Stools with backs are usually your most comfortable because they give support on the back if you're spending a lot of time on them. If you're socializing for an hour or more at the bar or counter, a stool with a back will be much more comfortable.

What is the best seat height for the elderly? ›

Seat height is also important and should be around 18” with the arm height around 26” so that they fit under the apron of the table. These are the baseline dimensions that we look for when selecting a chair that will be placed around a table.

Are rocking chairs good for elderly? ›

A rocking chair is a good solution because it strengthens muscles and loosens stiff joints while not requiring much exertion. Seniors can even pair rocking chair exercise with a favorite activity, such as knitting or reading.

What age is kitchen helper for? ›

Easy to Assemble
Kitchen HelperTower Step-Up
Weight capacity125 pounds200 pounds
Treads or non-slip mat
Recommended age2-53+
3 more rows

Are kitchen helper stools safe? ›

A kitchen helper is a wide-based stool with firm feet and guard rails that offers your child a safe and sturdy way to stand at counter level. Also known as a child-safe stool, kids kitchen step stool or learning tower, they are extremely popular with Montessori families because they promote independence and inclusion.

Whats the difference between a bar stool and a kitchen stool? ›

Bar stools, counter stools, and tables are often built to standard sizes, although not every structure adheres to these dimensions. Bar stools' overall height is 42" with a seat height between 29" and 31" while counter stools' over all height is 36" with a seat height between 24" to 27".

How many stools should you have at a counter? ›

If you have a 8ft counter top you can fit 4 average size bar stool. If you have a 8ft Kitchen island you can fit 8 average sized bar stools.

How tall should stools be for kitchen island? ›

Heights of counter stools are generally 24″-26″ inches from floor to seat. Pair with a table or counter 36″-39″ in height. Heights of bar stools are generally 28″-30″ from floor to seat. Pair with a table or counter 40″-42″ in height.

How do you use bar stools without a bar? ›

  1. 5 Creative Ways to Use Bar Stools In Your Home. by Oliver Hall May 30, 2017. ...
  2. Side Table. Many stools are the perfect size and height to be used as side tables in the living area or a bedroom. ...
  3. Plant Stand. ...
  4. Vanity Stool. ...
  5. Bathroom Towel and Clothing Stand. ...
  6. Studio Seating.
30 May 2017

How do you pick a good barstool? ›

How to Choose the Right Counter or Bar Stool For Your Home - YouTube

Are low back stools comfortable? ›

Low back bar stools can be a comfortable addition to your breakfast bar nook or even to a commercial dining area. They provide that little bit of extra support that is appreciated early in the morning or at the end of a long working day.

Can you use a stool as a side table? ›

When it comes to versatile furniture having an extra statement stool or two on hand is an easy way to elevate the style stakes in your home. In addition to this, a sturdy stool can also act as additional seating and storage, taking the place of side tables throughout the home.

What is difference between comfort height and chair height toilet? ›

Seat Heights

Toilet height is measured from the floor to the top of the seat. Heights vary enough to be noticeable. Most often, they fall somewhere between 15” and 19”, with standard toilets coming in under 17”. However, chair height toilets, what Kohler refers to as Comfort Height® toilets, measure 17” or more.

How high should a toilet seat be off the floor? ›

Standard toilets measure 15 to 16 inches from the floor to the top of the seat. This would be the toilet you would select for your home if your family has many young or short members. The seat of a standard toilet is lower than the seat of a standard chair.

What toilet height is best? ›

Today's so-called "comfort height" or "right height" toilets feature bowls that are 17 to 19 inches high, as compared to the standard 15 inches of a regular toilet.

Are recliners safe for elderly? ›

Recliners reduce the risk of injury

Recliners also minimize the possibility of the caregiver's injuries that occur while they are assisting the elderly with changing positions or standing up.

Why do elderly people rock back and forth? ›

While commonly associated with mental illness, rocking can indicate other anomalies or environmental factors, including: Vision or hearing problems, or other sensory issues. Brain disease including seizures or brain infection. Physical or sexual abuse.

Does rocking help blood circulation? ›

Rocking can be an important supplement to long-term care therapy programs. According to a clinical study of a clientele with a loss of autonomy, frequent use of a rocking chair improves balance and blood circulation, reduces muscle pain, anxiety and depression.

When should I stop using Tower? ›

What is the best age for a learning tower? Learning towers are wonderful for kids around 2 years to 6 years of age. Depending on size and the child's development, many parents start using Montessori toddler towers around 18 months with more close supervision.

Do I really need a learning tower? ›

The learning tower helps your child to stand in a safe environment from the early moments when they are able to stand independently. It is stable and safe. Because your child is now able to reach the kitchen work surface, they will be eager to help you while you cook.

When should I lower my tower? ›

As a general rule, your child can use a learning tower from 18 months up to 6 years. Most Learning Towers have adjustable footplates to accommodate your growing child.

What are the duties of kitchen helper? ›

A kitchen helper cleans and sanitizes kitchen equipment, assists in basic food preparation, and with receiving and storing products in kitchens, restaurants, clubs, fast food outlets and catering companies. They have knowledge of general kitchen operations and of general food storage guidelines.

Are learning Towers safe? ›

A Learning Tower is a safe, secure platform designed specifically to raise a child to bench height so they may better engage with the world around them. They are also one of our favourite parenting-hacks.

How do you sit on a bar stool? ›

The Best Way To Sit And Stand (Including Sitting On Higher Bar ...

What is a low stool called? ›

footstool. A low stool for supporting the feet. 11. 2.

What is counter height stool vs bar stool? ›

Bar Height vs. Counter Height

Bar height stools generally have seat heights that are around 28 inches high (28 to 32 inches as a rule) in order to fit under table tops with a height of 40 to 42 inches. Counter stools have a seat height of 24 to 27 inches high for table surfaces that are 36 inches high.

Can you use stools at island with no overhang? ›

The only issue is that the kitchen island doesn't include an overhang to accommodate bar stools. This wouldn't be a problem if there was room for any other seating, but there isn't.

How long should a kitchen island be for 4 stools? ›

In order to determine how many stools will fit at your kitchen island, home experts recommend you allow 28 to 30 inches for each seating space, which means you can divide the length of your island's counter by 30 to to figure out how many stools will comfortably fit.

How do I know what size bar stool I need? ›

How to Make Your Measurements
  1. Measure the height of your bar from the floor to the top of the surface.
  2. Determine how many inches you want between your lap and the bar. ...
  3. Subtract this number you've gathered in step 2 from the value gathered in step 1. ...
  4. Measure the bar from end to end to determine how many stools will fit.

Is a 10 inch island overhang enough? ›

A typical overhang for a comfortable seating area should be around 25-30cm (10-12”), this should leave enough knee room and adequate space between the countertop edge and the person seated. Therefore, as the depth of the overhang increases, so does the comfort and usability of the bar.

Should a kitchen island be the same height as counter? ›

Standard kitchen island height is the same as standard counter height: 36″. That's a good height for working and seating for average adults. If you plan to use your island mainly for seating and in-kitchen eating space, select bar stools that suit your island height.

What height should breakfast bar stools be? ›

The standard height for most bar stools is between 75cm – 85cm. When pairing with a tall or commercial bar, ensure the measurement from the top of the bar stool to the underside of the surface is between 20cm – 30cm.

Can you put bar stools in a living room? ›

Not only can bar stools be placed in any room of the house, but they can also be used for more than just sitting. Use a bar stool as a bedside table or an accent table in the living room.

How do you sit on an island without overhang? ›

Rather than including an overhang on one side, a niche under the deep countertop has been created to give plenty of room for knees to sit comfortably. While at the end, where there's more room, the countertop continues into a deep overhang to accommodate the stools.

Can you mix and match bar stools? ›

Achieving the Mismatched Bar Stool look at home

However, you can mix and match bar stools, and dining chairs on a budget and still get that striking look. There are a few different ways to achieve the mismatched style without your bar stools,a nd dining chairs looking too out of place.

How much should you spend on barstools? ›

The mid-range price for a bar stool is between $299 and $450.

How do you keep bar stools from hitting counters? ›

Put a silicone bumper on your bar stool to keep it from bumping the counter | Bar stools, Stool, Small cabinet.

Are stools with backs better? ›

Stools with backs are usually your most comfortable because they give support on the back if you're spending a lot of time on them. If you're socializing for an hour or more at the bar or counter, a stool with a back will be much more comfortable.

Do you need a back on a bar stool? ›

Back or No Back

If you plan to spend a lot of time sitting at the counter, a bar stool with a back is the right way to go in terms of comfort. Also, if there are young kids in the household, having a barstool with a back may be a better option for added support and safety.

What is the difference between stool and table? ›

Dining-height tables are about 28 to 30 inches high, while the seat heights of dining stools and chairs range from 17 to 20 inches in height. Dining-height chairs and stools do not have footrests. They're low enough to the ground that you can easily touch your feet to the floor.

How can I make my stools rustic? ›

How to make a Rustic Stool/from a board and some sticks - YouTube

How do you make side stools? ›

DIY Knock Down Stool or Side Table // Easy Woodworking Joinery ...

How do I choose an elderly recliner? ›

Here's how to choose the perfect recliner chair:
  1. Find a size that fits your body shape and living space. ...
  2. Choose the right type of recliner chair. ...
  3. Don't be cheap when looking at recliner chairs. ...
  4. Decide on your most important features.
22 Oct 2020

What is geriatric chair? ›

The geriatric chair definition is a large, padded chair that is designed to help seniors with limited mobility. When compared to transport chairs, geriatric chairs are easier to lounge in because they are roomier.

Which chair is best for back pain? ›

Summary: Best Office Chairs for Back Pain
ProductForbes Health RatingsMaterial
Takasan Ergonomic Home Office Chair4.7Mesh
Homall Computer Desk Chair4.6Leather
ComHoma Ergonomic Office Chair Swivel Mid Back4.4Mesh
ComHoma Ergonomic Desk Chair Mesh With Flip-Up Arms4.4Mesh
6 more rows

What is an orthopedic chair? ›

What is an Orthopedic Chair? Orthopedic chairs are designed to give proper support to your spine and body to ensure you sit in the correct position. Due to their ability to be adjusted, they can help to provide temporary positional relief to aches and pains so you can sit more comfortably for longer.

What does a geriatric chair look like? ›

Geri chairs (or geriatric chairs) are large padded chairs with wheeled bases, and are designed to assist seniors with limited mobility. When compared to transport chairs, these units tend to be roomier and easier to lounge in, and are usually both cushioned and reclinable.

Is a Geri chair considered a wheelchair? ›

Geriatric Wheelchairs (or Geri Chairs as they are often called) are a comfortable, fully reclining chair with wheels so that they can be used for mobility.

How is a Geri chair different from a wheelchair? ›

A Geri chair is a useful addition to a clinical environment or home where a patient needs more substantial seating than what is provided by a conventional wheelchair. Geri chairs are great for the elderly, but they can also be used in any situation where comfortable seating is important.

What chair do chiropractors recommend? ›

Chiropractors recommend kneeling chairs as they help your body maintain its natural curvature of the spine and ease discomfort in the lower back.

Is standing or sitting better for lower back pain? ›

In fact, an article published in the Journal of Ergonomics reports the following: The lowest percentage of low-back pain amongst the studies population was reported when standing with the possibility of sitting down at will.

How should I sit to avoid back pain? ›

When seated, keep these tips in mind:
  1. Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest.
  2. Keep your knees at or below the level of your hips. ...
  3. Adjust your chair to support your back or place a rolled towel or small pillow behind your lower back.

What is the difference between ergonomic and orthopedic chair? ›

While ergonomic chairs can prevent back ailments, orthopedic chairs alleviate the impact of sitting on existing medical preconditions of the lower back.

What is ergonomically correct chair? ›

An ergonomic chair, therefore, is one that aims to find a solution to body pains and strains created by using a standard chair for prolonged periods. It is a chair designed to best support the body when sitting at a desk. It considers posture, back support, distribution of weight, comfort, and movement.

How do you know if a chair is ergonomic? ›

An ergonomic chair should have a lumbar adjustment (both height and depth) so each user can get the proper fit to support the inward curve of the lower back. Backrest. The backrest of an ergonomic office chair should be 12 to 19 inches wide.


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