11 Best Ladders for Any Kind of Usage

The exact time of the invention of the ladder is unknown.

However, the earliest known evidence is found in the Spider Caves of Valencia, Spain.

These caves contain a painting of a ladder from the Mesolithic period.

The painting portrays two men using a ladder to reach a wild honey bee nest, likely to harvest honey. This painting is approximately 10,000 years old however, it is believed that the idea of a ladder has been used even earlier than this.

The functional design of today’s ladders can be traced back to ancient Hebrew and Egyptian cultures. Over time these cultures perfected and refined the design, making them efficient and practical. All ladders meet a basic function to reach high places in a safe manner.

Not every ladder is the same. Ladders vary in style, design, and size. And they are created for different purposes. So when choosing a ladder make sure its the right ladder for the type of job you want to perform.

Weight Capacity Guide

Each ladder have different weight rating, which is the total weight capacity a ladder can handle or support comfortably.

Type III

200 pounds

Type II

225 pounds

Type I

250 pounds

Type IA

300 pounds

Type IAA

375 pounds

Type III

Type III ladders are typically household ladders. These ladders are recommended for light-duty work and can support a load of 200lbs. These ladders are usually manufactured with a length from 3 to 6 feet.

Type II

Type II ladders are used in various commercial applications. Painters, electricians and maintenance workers may prefer this medium-duty ladder. These ladders come in a variety of materials and can support a load of 225lbs.

Type I

Type I ladders are the strongest class of ladders and is used for specialized services such as construction and utilities. This class of ladders is broken down into three subcategories as follows.

  • Type 1 step ladders are manufactured for loads up to 250 lbs
  • Type1A step ladders are manufactured for loads up to 300 lbs
  • Type1AA step ladders are manufactured for loads up to 375 lbs

It is important to consider the duty rating of a ladder before purchasing one for your next project. A type III ladder may be enough for small projects in the home, however you will want something with a higher duty rating when taking on a larger project.

While the size of a ladder is an important aspect to keep in mind while shopping, the load capacity is an important factor as well. These ratings are based on the maximum weight the ladder can carry

As this rating is not related to the length of a ladder, do not assume a longer ladder has a higher load capacity.

Always check the sticker on the side of the ladder to fully understand the weight limit of the ladder.

When choosing your ladder, you will need to factor in:

  • Your weight
  • Any equipment or protective equipment you may wear
  • The weight of any tools you carry
  • The weight of any tools or supplies stored on the ladder

Combine all weights to find out what load capacity rating you will need.

What Size of Ladder do You Need?

Step Ladder (Size | Reach)Multi-Position Ladder (Size | Reach)Extension Ladder (Size | Reach)Platform Ladder (Size | Reach)
5′ | 9′ 5″

14′ | 15′

18′ | 17′

5′ | 9′

6′ | 10′ 4″

16′ | 17′

20′ | 19′

6′ | 10′

7′ | 11′ 4″

18′ | 19′

22′ | 21′

7′ | 11′

8′ | 12′ 3″

20′ | 21′

24′ | 23′

8′ | 12′

10′ | 14′ 2″

22′ | 23′

26′ | 25′

10′ | 14′

12′ | 16′

24′ | 25′

28′ | 27′

12′ | 16′

14′ | 18′

26′ | 27′

30′ | 29′

14′ | 18′

16′ | 19′
18′ | 21′
20′ | 23′ 8″

Best Ladders Comparison Table December, 2020

PhotoProductPriceReviews
Little Giant Ladders 15270-001Little Giant Ladders 15270-001 — Best Step Ladder
Size:
6 ft
Weight Capacity:
300 lbs
Weight:
14 lbs
Duty Rating:
Type 1A

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Louisville Ladder FXS1508Louisville Ladder FSX1508 — Best Fiberglass Step Ladder
Size: 4-12 ft
Weight Capacity:
300 lbs
Weight: 28.1 lbs
Duty Rating: Type 1A
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Werner D1528-2Werner D158-2Best Extension Ladder
Size: 28 ft
Weight Capacity:
330 lbs
Weight: 55 lbs
Duty Rating: Type 1A

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Little Giant Ladder Systems 13610-001Little Giant Ladder Systems 13610-001Best Fiberglass Multi-Position Folding Ladder
Size:
10 ft
Weight Capacity:
375 lbs
Weight:
27.5 lbs
Duty Rating: Type A
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Little Giant Ladder Systems 15422-001Little Giant Ladder Systems 15422-001 Best Aluminium Multi-Position Ladder
Size: 22 ft
Weight Capacity:
300 lbs
Weight: 39 lbs
Duty Rating: Type 1A

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WolfWise VILP230011EPEWolfWise-VILP230011EPEBest Telescoping Ladder
Size: 15.5 ft
Weight Capacity:
330 lbs
Weight: 39.1 lbs
Duty Rating: Type 1A
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Louisville Ladder AA2210 EliteLouisville Ladder AA2210 Elit — Best Attic Ladder
Size: 7.7-10.25 ft
Weight Capacity:
375 lbs
Weight: 49 lbs
Duty Rating: Type 1AA
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Youngman 313340 EasiwayYoungman 313340 Easiway — Best Loft Ladder

Size: 7.55-9.84 ft
Weight Capacity:
220 lbs
Weight: 15.49 lbs
Duty Rating: Type III
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Guide Gear 2-Man 12' Tower Tree StandGuide Gear GGQ20 12′ Tower Tree Stand — Best 2 Man Ladder Stand

Size: 12′
Weight Capacity:
500 lbs
Weight: 145 lbs
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Kidde 468094 Three-Story 25 ftKidde 468094 Three-Story 25 ft — Fire Escape Ladder

Size: 25 ft
Weight Capacity:
1000 lbs
Weight: 12 lbs
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Confer Plastics CCX-AGConfer Plastics CCX-AG Pool LadderPool Ladder

Pool Height: 60″
Weight Capacity:
400 lbs
Weight: 60.7 lbs
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Best Ladders for General Purposes

 

1. Little Giant Ladders 15270-001 – Best Step Ladder

Little Giant Ladders 15270-001The Little Giant Ladders 15270-001 Flip-N-Lite 6-foot step ladder is safe and reliable. It features deep rungs and a sturdy standing platform.

The rungs are designed for comfort when ascending and descending the step ladder.

And the standing platform is designed to reduce foot discomfort when you need to work for a lengthy period.

The handrail on the ladder provides security, stability, and convenience when using the ladder.

It is extremely sturdy and that is to ensure that your descend is safe and steady. It also comes with a tool tray to place your tools when working.

The heavy-duty construction supports up to 300 pounds, but the ladder is light in weight. It’s constructed with high-grade materials for strength and durability.

2. Werner D1528-2 – Best Extension Ladder

Werner D1528-2The Werner D1528-2, a 28-foot extension ladder is made of high-grade aluminum for portability, durability, and strength.

The strength and sturdiness of the ladder allow it to support a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds.

The ladder’s Traction-Tred D rungs are slip-resistant to ensure your safety when using the ladder.

It also comes with the heavy-duty I-beam side rails and guides brackets that make it easy to lower and raise the fly section.

The Alflo rung joint provides you with a twist-proof and safe climb. And the SHU-Lock feature holds the shoes in place when in a spur or resting position.

3. Little Giant Ladders 13610-001 – Best Folding Ladder

Little Giant Ladder Systems 13610-001This three in one ladder can be converted into a leaning, extension, and stepladder.

And its made of fiberglass, which means you can use it to repair electrical wires since the material does not conduct electricity.

It comes with a rotating wall pad that allows you to safely to lean the ladder against outside corners, inside corners, studs, and walls.

The wall pad is unlocked and locked by the press of a button, which works easily and effortlessly.

Little Giant Ladders 13610-001 King Kombo is equipped with dual steps for stability when it is used as an extension or step ladder. It has wide-flared legs for safety, comfort, and stability when climbing and up and down the ladder.

The feet are field replaceable, so you can quickly and easily replace the feet depending on the task at hand.

Another great thing about the ladder is that you can access tight places thanks to the narrow straight-line legs of the extension part of the ladder.

The weight capacity of the folding ladder is 375 pounds, which can comfortably support a person who weighs 300 pounds.

4. Little Giant Ladders 15422-001 – Best Multi-Purpose Ladder

Little Giant Ladder Systems 15422-001The great thing about this Little Giant Ladders 15422-001 is that it’s a multi-purpose ladder.

You can convert into an extension ladder, A-frame ladder, and a trestle and plank ladder.

The ladder fully extends to 19 feet, so you can easily reach heights that are above 11 feet.

It comes with some extra advanced features like the Rock Locks and dual-pin hinge for quick and safe adjustments.

For added safety, the ladder has wide-flared legs to ensure that your safety. And they come with Tip and Glide wheels for easy portability.

Constructed from high-grade aluminum alloy, the ladder is lightweight, strong, and durable. But it is a large ladder and requires two people to carry and set it up when fully extended.

5. WolfWise VILP230011EPE – Best Telescoping Ladder

WolfWise VILP230011EPEWolfWise VILP230011EPE telescoping ladder is made of aluminum alloy for strength, portability, and longevity.

The 15.5-foot ladder has a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds and it can be folded down to a small size for easy portability and storage.

The ladder comes with a non-slip mat and stabilizer bar to keep the ladder steady and increase your safety when using the ladder.

The height of the ladder is adjustable, so you can adjust to the desired height depending on the task.

There is a retraction button that quickly folds down the ladder saving you time and energy. Plus the quick retraction system protects your fingers from getting pinched.

Best Attic Ladders

6. Louisville Ladder AA2210 Elite

Louisville Ladder AA2210 EliteThe Louisville AA2210 Elite ladder features non-slip steps to protect you from sliding when using the ladder.

And the steps and other parts of the ladder are made of aluminum for portability, durability, and strength.

Designed to fit ceiling heights of up to 10 feet, the attic ladder has rough opening measurements of 22 and a half-inch by 54 inches.

For easy and safe operability, the ladder uses a gas piston system that allows you to open and close the ladder in a controlled way. The system prevents the ladder from slamming shut quickly, which may cause damage or injury.

The ladder has a weight capacity of 375 pounds. So it is quite sturdy and strong. But it is also large, so even though it comes already assembled, you are going to need an extra pair of hands to install it.

7. Youngman 313340 Easiway – Best Loft Ladders

Youngman 313340 EasiwayThe Youngman 313340 Easiway loft ladder is a 3-section ladder made of aluminum that is lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant.

The sliding sections allow you to extend the ladder up to 3 meters.

This makes the ladder suitable for ceilings that are 3 meters high with openings that are 0.43 meters wide.

The rungs of the ladder are wide for safety and comfort.

And for increased safety, the ladder comes with a handrail that makes it easy and safe to climb up and down the ladder.

It also comes with a pivot arm that allows you to operate the ladder easily and safely.

The feet of the ladder has a rubber covering to prevent the ladder from sliding. And lastly, the ladder is easy to install.

Other Purposes Ladders

8. Guide Gear GGQ20 12′ Tower Tree Stand – Best 2 Man Ladder Stand

Guide Gear 2-Man 12' Tower Tree StandThe Guide Gear GGQ20 12′ Tower Tree Stand is a two-man tower tree stand that comes with two padded seats and padded armrests for your comfort.

The seats can rotate up to 360 degrees, so you can position your seat to any angle of your liking.

There is adequate space for you and you’re hunting partner. You can both maneuver easily and there is enough room on the stand for your gear and accessories.

The seats are wide and have a weight capacity of 500 pounds.

So even if you have a husky physique, the seat can comfortably support and accommodate you, as long as you don’t weight more than 500 pounds. You can also adjust the seats to your desired height.

The stand comes with padded shooting rails that you can adjust with ease. The foot pads are sturdy and prevent the ladder from sinking into the ground.

The stand does not come fully assembled, so you need to assemble it before setting it up. But it should not be too difficult if you follow the easy to understand instruction manual.

9. Kidde 468094 Three-Story 25 ft – Best Fire Escape Ladder

Kidde 468094 Three-Story 25 ftThe Kidde 468094 Three-Story 25 ft fire escape ladder is a safety ladder that comes fully assembled for easy deployment.

It has a tangle-free design, so all you need to do is attach it to a window and release the rungs.

But once used, it can not be reused.

The ladder is made of steel and nylon for strength and durability.

The rungs are made of zinc-plated steel and are one foot wide to provide you with secure footing as you climb down the ladder.

To add to your safety, the rungs are non-slip to protect you from slipping and the ladder itself is fire resistant.

Designed for second-story homes, the ladder extends up to 13 feet and it can support weights of up to 1000 pounds. And it is compact and lightweight for easy portability and storage.

10. Confer Plastics CCX-AG Pool Ladder – Best Pool Ladder

Confer Plastics CCX-AGThe Confer Plastics CCX-AG Pool Ladder above ground swimming pool ladder is a sturdy 4-step ladder that has a weight capacity of 400 pounds.

The steps are wide and sturdy, so when climbing the ladder you don’t get that feeling that it’s about to give way.

The handrails have an ergonomic design to provide you with comfort and safety when using the ladder.

The Confer ladder is made of tough plastic for strength and durability, but it is also lightweight.

So you need to fill the side panels with sand or pea gravel to weight down the stairs. This is going to keep the ladder steady and in place making it easy to use while preventing accidents.

Despite the lightweight aspect of the ladder, you cannot install it alone particularly if the side panels are filled with sand. You need a second person to help with the installation.

It does not take too much space and you can install it in a pool that is 60 inches deep. The adjustable pads that come with the ladder make it possible to install it on uneven ground.

One issue some users have with the ladder is the price tag. If you are price-conscious, this might not be the ladder for you.

Ladder Materials

The most common materials used in making ladders are aluminum, steel, wood, plastic, and fiberglass. And the most commonly used ladders are aluminum and fiberglass ladders because they are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and durable.

Not many people use wood ladders because they require maintenance, and they are heavy. As for steel and plastic ladders, they are durable and require no maintenance.

So when it comes to material, it is a matter of preference and what you can afford. Usually, aluminum ladders are much cheaper than fiberglass, wood, and steel ladders.

Aluminum Hybrid Ladder

 

Aluminum

Aluminum ladders are very lightweight, due to this they may also flex under pressure and should not be used for heavy-duty projects.

Aluminum should also never be used near active electrical equipment. These types of ladders are great for home use as they are lightweight an easily maneuverable.

Ladder Wood

Wood

Wood ladders do not conduct heat or electricity.

Wood ladders are not recommended for industrial or commercial use as they have variable strength and are prone to damage by warp and decomposition.

 

Fiberglass ladders

Fiberglass

Fiberglass ladders are heavier than aluminum and are stronger because of this as well.

Fiberglass ladders are moisture and corrosion resistant and do not conduct heat or energy.

However, when put under extreme stress a fiberglass ladder runs the risk of snapping. These types of ladders are not well-suited for hefty weight.

Read also: Fiberglass vs. Aluminium ladder

Ladder Pro-Grade Steel

Steel

Steel ladders are very strong and are well-suited for heavy-duty projects.

The drawbacks are that they are not moisture or corrosion resilient and they conduct heat and electricity, so they should not be used near active electric equipment.

Step Folding Plastic

Plastic

You may find that some step stools or small household ladders are made from plastic.

These ladders are not meant for heavy-duty weight and should be kept from extreme temperatures to protect their structure.

While the body may be made of plastic it is likely that the hardware used (if any) will be made of metal.

 

Brands

When purchasing a ladder, you may be interested to know more about various brands and what their products can offer you.

Below are a few well known ladder brands with vast experience and expertise in the field of ladder manufacturing.

Gorilla Ladders Logo

Gorilla Ladders

Gorilla Ladders are known for their quality products, but also known for their low prices.

This has made them a popular option for home-use as well as use in professional applications.

With many years of experience, Gorilla Ladders is knowledgeable about providing a top-notch ladder at an affordable price.

 

LouisvilleLadder Logo

Louisville Ladder

Louisville Ladder is a ladder company, based in Louisville, Kentucky.

With a long history dating back to 1946, Louisville Ladder has a rich history of product development.

Currently, their ladders boast great reviews from consumers and are an affordable ladder option.

 

Werner Ladder Logo

Werner

Werner is a very well-known ladder company with and extensive variety of ladders to meet every need.

Werner has outstanding product reviews from their customers and is known for their high-quality ladder construction.

Finding the right ladder is important. When you’re faced with this decision make sure you take into account all the various features and options detailed above. This will allow you to reflect on what will fit your project the best.

Knowing the difference between ladder styles, variations in height, performance rating and material will ensure you purchase a ladder that is a proper fit. This will help keep you safe and ensure that your project flows smoothly.

Remember, you can accomplish the results you want with the right ladder.

Popular Ladder Accessories

There are various accessories for ladders that can help make your work more efficient. Before using an accessory, it is important to ensure that it is meant for use with your ladder. 

This will ensure your safety while working. Below you will find various accessories and their uses.

Stabilizer for Ladder

 

Stabilizer

A stabilizer can make positioning the ladder easier. A stabilizer is a metal bar that spans the outer edge of a ladder and provides a standoff from the resting point of the ladder. This can be helpful when you need to position the ladder over a window or other obstacle.

Ladder Jack

 Ladder Jack

ladder jack is a device that features a platform resting on brackets that attach to a ladder, which provides a working platform similar to a scaffold. This helps offer sideways mobility when using extension ladders.

These devices are typically used in light-duty applications and it is important to ensure the ladder jack is compatible with your ladders and can withstand the required amount of weight you will be placing on it.

Leveler Kit

Leveler Kit

A leveler kit can help the user level a ladder on uneven surfaces. This is done with adjustable base units that attach to the legs of the ladder in order to level the ladder.

 

Platform

There are various platforms and work space attachments that you may use with step ladders. Most platforms feature slip-resistance footing for safe standing. These platforms can provide more mobility for the user when on the ladder.

Project Tray

If you find that you need more area for your tools and supplies, there are options that allow you to add a tray for these items. These vary in attachment style and design, however, they all serve the same purpose.

This attachment can give you extra space for your tools and supplies to avoid multiple trips up and down the ladder.

Gorilla Ladders 4.5 Ft Hybrid Ladder with Flip Tray:

Types of Ladders

Step Ladder

Extension Ladder

Werner D1528-2

Multi-Position Ladder

Little Giant Ladder Systems 15422-001

Attic Ladder

Youngman 313340 Easiway

Library Ladder

Library Ladders

Scaffolding Ladder

Articulated Ladder

Step Stool Ladder

Step Stool Ladder

Platform / Step Up

Step Up Ladder Platform

Flexible
Ladder

When you think of a “ladder” this type will probably be what comes to mind. A step ladder is one of the most common and popular types of ladders.

There are two main styles of step ladders. A front step ladder features one side for use with rungs you can climb, while the other side is intended for support only. On the contrary, a twin step ladder is designed for use on both sides.

Step Ladders

If you need more space for your tools, platform ladders are available that feature a platform area for extra workspace, this area is not designed to hold the user of the ladder and is only meant for holding tools and supplies.

If you need more area to work from on a ladder, a podium ladder is designed to support the full weight of the user, giving them a safe area to work from near the top of the ladder.

To know more read ladder vs. stepladder
Benefits:

  • Easy to store
  • Sensible for indoor use
  • Simple to use

 

Extension ladders are used to offer versatility in height to reach places by leaning the ladder against a wall or the side of a structure. These ladders only work in a straight formation and may require abundant storage because of this.

A telescopic extension ladder is an adjustable and portable ladder consisting of two or more sections, used to adjust the length of the ladder. This type of ladder is non-self-supporting and only intended for use by a one person.

Extension LaddersThe maximum length of an extension ladder is reliant on on the duty rating of the ladder in combination with the number of sections it contains. These sections are meant to overlap in order to provide sturdiness and durability.

A straight ladder is like an extension ladder however, this ladder has only one section and is not extendble.

Benefits:

  • Adjustable height
  • Portable
  • Can be used by one person

Multi-position ladders give you extra adaptability. Depending on the model, a multi-position ladder can modify to perform as a single- or twin-sided step ladder, a stairway ladder or an extension ladder.

These ladders have various movable legs and locking mechanisms which allow them to transform into multiple ladder styles.

Multi-Position Ladders

On some multi-position ladders a built-in leveling system can help you adjust the ladder for use on uneven ground, which eliminates the need for an attachable leveling system. Some models can also function as a work bench.

Benefits:

  • Multiple ladder styles in one
  • Easily portable
  • Features safe locking mechanisms

 

An attic ladder is a folding staircase that pulls down from the ceiling to deliver access to the attic space. This ladder, then folds up into the ceiling frame out of the way when not needed.

An attic ladder makes accessing the attic much easier and safer. Attic ladders come in different lengths and it is important to measure from ceiling to floor to ensure you purchase the appropriate size.

Attic Ladders

The features of an attic ladder can vary, some ladders fold out while others are telescopic. The ladder may or may not include a handrail.

Benefits:

  • Makes trips to and from the attic safer
  • Easy to operate

 

Library ladders come in three general formations, based on the use and surrounding architectural foundations. Library ladders are not only functional, but they can add a decorative sophistication to the room.

Library Ladders

There are various styles of library ladders:

  1. Straight. The straight style is self-explanatory. It’s a straight vertical ladder that is intended to go against a vertical wall or cabinetry
  2. Bent. A bent library ladder, features a bend halfway to work around an obstacle such as a countertop. A ladder manufacturer can make this ladder based on the obstruction’s height and depth dimensions that you provide
  3. Loft. A loft-style ladder has lengthy side rails at the top to allow one to enter a loft or upper level mezzanine floor

When a ladder just isn’t enough, scaffolding can be the answer for construction or overhaul jobs that entail elevated labor over a large area. A scaffold gives you the flexibility to work and move on a stable surface to get the job done. There are various types of scaffolding that are suitable for different jobs.

Rolling and portable scaffolds make quick work of reaching an elevated job and are a good choice for projects where workers need to change positions regularly. These units consist of a frame and one or more platforms or stages for standing. Portable scaffolds often require only minimal setup.

Scaffolding

When not in use as work platforms, portable scaffolds can function as carts, storage shelves or work benches. Some models fold for easy storage.

Pump jack systems create a modifiable work podium intended for outdoor projects, allowing you to reach an elevated work area. This system allows you to alter your working height as desired.

In this system, manual jack devices, suspend a work platform on upright supports. A worker functions each jack to raise or lower the platform.

An articulated ladder is a transportable ladder with single or multiple pairs of locking hinges. These hinges allow the ladder to be set up in several formations. Allowing the ladder to be used as a single or extension ladder, a stepladder, a support ladder, scaffold or work bench.

Articulated LadderThe locking position of the hinges allow the user to set-up at the appropriate angles for each configuration that the ladder allows.

 

A step stool is a fold-able, self-supporting type ladder which is 32 inches or smaller in overall height. This type of ladder features flat steps and a top cap that can be climbed on. Like other ladders, step stools are available in various duty ratings that will accommodate different weights.

Aluminum Step Stool & Fiberglass Step StoolIt is important to consider the weight of the user and the maximum load they may be carrying while using the stool to choose an option that is safe.

 

The platform ladder is a self-supporting portable ladder that is non-adjustable in length, with a platform located at the highest available standing level. It has a hinged design for ease of storage.

Platform Ladder

The top platform is surrounded on three sides by a railing in order to protect the user and make for a safe experience. This type of ladder requires even ground support on all four sides due to its design.

 

Flexible ladders have very limited uses. However, their use is still significant. These ladders can be used when climbing curved surfaces such as caves. They can also be used on boats in case of emergency. Flexible ladders are lightweight and can be transported easily.

Ladders Buying Guide

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