The best pet stairs
You want your pet to be able to safely hop up onto their favorite spot on the couch or your bed. But if your pet is small, senior, sick, or injured, they might not be able to do that unaided. A set of pet stairs can give your dog or cat the help they need without sacrificing their independence.
This buying guide will help you find the best pet stairs for your furry friend. We've also recommended some quality options, including our top choice, the Solvit PupSTEP Wood Pet Stairs, which are sturdy and can fold away when you don't need them.
Considerations when choosing pet stairs
It's important to choose pet stairs of the material that will fit your dog or cat's needs:
Wooden pet stairs tend to be the most stable on the market and have the highest weight limit, so they're great for big dogs. But, of course, smaller pets can use them, too. They are the heaviest option, however, and can be pricey.
Foam pet stairs are made almost entirely from high-density foam that's covered in fabric. These models are lightweight and reasonably priced, but they can sag too much when heavier pets step on them. This may make your pet feel insecure, even if the stairs won't really give way.
Cardboard pet stairs are made from specially designed corrugated cardboard with a surprisingly high weight limit. Like foam pet stairs, they have fabric covers. Although strong, cardboard options aren't especially durable over time. They are unlikely to last more than a few years.
Check that your pet stairs are the correct height for wherever you intend to use them. Some pet stairs are adjustable, and others are available in two or three different height options. You're sure to find something to fit your requirements.
If you have a medium or large dog, we'd recommend checking the width of your pet stairs as well, as some models might be too narrow for your four-legged friend to use safely.
Grip: The surface of each step should provide enough grip that your pet won't slide and lose their footing.
Portability: Lightweight pet stairs are more easily portable than heavier models, though foldable options are best for travel. Some include handles for easier carrying.
Weight limit: Make sure to look at the manufacturer's listed weight limit for any pet stairs you're considering. If you have multiple pets at home who are likely to attempt to use the stairs at the same time, factor in their combined weight.
The majority of pet stairs are priced between $50 and $100. However, you can find some low-quality options for a lower price tag, as well as some high-end, wooden pet stairs that could cost up to $250.
Q. Why might I need pet stairs?
A. Some small dogs may need pet stairs their entire lives if you want them to be able to independently access your bed or couch. However, many pet owners only need to purchase stairs in their dog or cat's twilight years, when they're no longer as mobile as they used to be, due to joint issues or the other general wear and tear that comes with old age.
Q. Are pet stairs safe for use on hard floors?
A. If you'll be using your pet stairs on hardwood, tile, or other hard floors, you'll need to check they don't slide when your dog uses them. They could be unsafe if they shift around too much. Look for options with nonslip bases.
Pet stairs we recommend
Best of the best: Solvit's PupSTEP Wood Pet Stairs
Our take: These wooden stairs are ideal for larger pets who are too heavy for foam options, though smaller pets can also use them.
What we like: Extremely sturdy, with a 200-pound weight limit. Three sizes available. Foldable for storage or travel. Side rails help prevent missteps.
What we dislike: Surface of stairs slightly slippery.
Best bang for your buck: Best Pet Supplies' Steps
Our take: Reasonably priced foam pet stairs available in three-, four-, and five-step configurations.
What we like: Available in a wide range of colors and prints. Foam sourced in USA and CertiPUR-US Certified. Cover is removable for easier cleaning.
What we dislike: Not stable enough for large pets.
Choice 3: Cozy Pet's Dog Steps
Our take: Made from surprisingly durable cardboard, these stairs can hold up to 150 pounds.
What we like: Excellent value for money. Three- and four-step options available. Nonslip bottom. Machine washable cover. Lightweight with handle for portability.
What we dislike: Cardboard construction won't last forever.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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