When buying a step stool, there are several things you should consider in order to ensure you purchase one that meets your needs. The first thing you need to consider is the size that you require, which largely depends on its purpose. Most people buy a step stool in order to reach kitchen cabinets, for example. Keep in mind that some are shorter than others, so you need to be sure to purchase one that is tall enough to reach your cabinets or whatever you're trying to access.
Another consideration when purchasing a step stool is stability. While all must meet specific safety regulations before being sold to the public, this does not necessarily mean that every model will feel stable to you. It is best to test the stool at the store before purchasing it. If it feels wobbly to you or if it appears to slide too easily on the floor, consider purchasing a different one. If you have difficulty with balance, you should also look for one with handles on the side so that you have something to hold onto to provide you with the extra balance and support you need while climbing.
Comfort is also important when it comes to purchasing a step stool. Typically, the steps are textured in order to provide grip when climbing. If you plan to use it in your kitchen, however, you may be standing on the steps without shoes. Therefore, the texture should be enough to provide proper grip, but it should not hurt your feet when you climb up without shoes.
Versatility is another consideration when looking for a step stool. Some can be converted into chairs, so if you think you might have use for an extra chair, you might want to purchase this type. Otherwise, it should be able to fold up nicely in order to be stored away when not in use.
If you plan on using the step stool in your home, you might also want to consider its color and design. Ideally, it should fit within your decor, but safety and efficiency are most important.