We’ve seen thousands of hacks on IKEA Hackers, but this is a first. Henk’s innovative transformation of the BEKVÄM step stool adds a handle, offering a clever modification designed to provide extra support for those who need it.

The BEKVÄM step stool is wildly popular among IKEA customers and is seen in many homes. It offers a step-up to reach upper kitchen cabinets or high wardrobe shelves. However, its basic design might not offer the stability and support that some seniors require.

Understanding this need, Henk Schevers from the Netherlands developed an original hack to enhance the IKEA step stool, making it more stable for elderly users.

The hack —named BEKVÄM Senior— involves adding a piece of the reused handrail and a small triangular piece of lightweight plywood to the original step stool. These additions aim to provide support and ensure seniors can use the steps with increased confidence.

Step Stool With Handle Hack:

BEKVAM stool handrail hack for seniors
Photo Credit: Henk Schevers

The first step is to buy a BEKVÄM step stool from your local IKEA store, if you don’t already have one.

Then, drill a 40mm (2″) hole on the right-hand side (or left-hand, depending on which side is the senior’s dominant hand) of the top seat of the stool using a “7-hole saw.” The size of this hole should be a snug fit for the handrail with minimal wobble and shake.

Cut a small triangle from 16mm plywood, notching a small angle to fit around the stool’s leg.

IKEA step stool with handle hack
Photo Credit: Henk Schevers

Install the plywood triangle with screws to the lower rung of the BEKVÄM before fully assembling the stool, following IKEA’s instructions. (If your BEKVÄM step stool is already fully assembled, remove the top seat to make it easier to access the lower rung and screw in the triangle piece.)

Once the stool is assembled, slide the piece of handrail through the hole on the top seat of the BEKVÄM and secure it from the bottom of the triangle with screws.

The recommended handrail length is 115 cm (approx. 45 inches) with a diameter of 40mm (2″), bringing the total height of the steps to 140cm (55 inches).

Painting is optional but will help blend the handrail with the stool.

The addition of the handle provides a secure grip for seniors to hold onto while climbing the steps, and the plywood triangle offers additional structural support.

IKEA step stool with handle hack
Step Stool With Handle | Photo Credit: Henk Schevers

Creating the BEKVÄM Senior should take about an hour for those who are handy with tools. This simple yet effective modification can make a significant difference for elderly individuals using the stool, allowing them to steadily reach for items on high shelves or cabinets.

For those interested in replicating this DIY step stool with a handle, it is important to ensure that all modifications are securely attached and that the stool remains stable during use. Regular checks and maintenance may be necessary to keep the BEKVÄM Senior in top condition.


learning tower ikea bekvam step stool hack
Photo Credit: Jenny

Enhancing the stability of IKEA’s BEKVÄM step stool caters not only to the safety needs of the elderly but also to young children who are eager to climb up to a higher vantage point and engage with activities at the counter level, such as cooking or crafting.

Learning tower hacks are popular modifications of the BEKVÄM step stool. These hacks typically involve modifying the BEKVÄM stool to include features like guardrails or steps, ensuring that children can climb and stand securely without the risk of falling.

Here are a few of our most popular learning tower hacks:

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