In this guide we’ll look at the best loft ladders.
We’ve compared design, material, ease of installation and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Loft Ladder?
More Detailed Loft Ladder Reviews
Optistep Wooden Folding Loft Ladder Review
The Optistep Folding Loft Ladder is one the best loft access kits around if you are looking for a wooden loft ladder and hatch set.
This is a very well constructed loft ladder made from pine wood. The set includes quality loft hatch fixings, sealing strips, architrave, handrail and of course the ladder itself. The ladder is easy to operate as it folds into 3 sections and comes with an opening rod. The frame is made of spruce and pine and the hatch door is counterbalanced and insulated.
This loft access kit looks really nice and is more sturdy and solid than an aluminium ladder. The kit itself does require some effort to fix as it is quite heavy, and the loft hatch and architrave need to be fitted. However the instructions are comprehensive and suitable for anyone with good DIY skills to follow.
This wooden loft ladder offers the perfect solution if you require regular access to your loft with a solidly built wooden ladder.
Youngman Easiway Aluminium 3-Section Loft Ladder Review
The Youngman 313340 Easiway Aluminium 3-Section Loft Ladder is the perfect way to access your loft conveniently, easily and safely.
This loft ladder is very easy to use as it pivots easily and has three sliding sections which are easy to unlock. The ladder folds away safely and easily into your loft space meaning no storage is required. The ladder feels sturdy and has a handrail for additional safety and support when carrying items up and down from the loft.
The loft ladder kit comes with all fixings supplied and is relatively easy to fit for anyone with reasonable DIY skills.
Overall this ladder is the one of the best loft ladders around for convenient, easy and safe access to your loft.
BPS Access Solutions Unique Concertina Loft Ladder Review
The BPS Access Solutions Concertina Loft Ladder is an ideal loft ladder for a small hatch. It fits virtually any loft and is easy to install and use.
This loft ladder can be adapted to fit even the smallest and most awkward loft openings. Its concertina design means its works even when the clearance height in your loft space is very low. The compact design means it is stored above the loft hatch and does not take up any extra room in the loft space.
This compact loft ladder is relatively easy to fit if you have reasonable DIY skills. It comes with a kit to convert an existing ‘push up’ hatch into a ‘swing down’ alternative.
The ladder has steel carriage and bolts for durability. It also has rubber-coated non-slip treads for safety. The ladder also features red rubber wheels attached to the base of ladder to protect your hard floors or carpets.
This concertina loft ladder kit offers a great solution if you have a small loft hatch as it can be adjusted to fit almost any application.
Nestling Folding Extendable Telescopic Aluminium Ladder Review
The Nestling® Multi-Purpose Folding Extensionable Telescopic Aluminium Ladder extends to 3.8 metres, features a telescopic design and is approved to safety standard EN131.
This versatile loft ladder has industrial-grade locking latches which means you can extend the ladder in 30 cm increments to get the exact height you need.
The compact loft ladder feels very sturdy in use and is well-engineered for a smooth operation. It has rubber feet to securely grip to most surfaces. It is also light and easy to manoeuvre thanks to its aluminium construction. The ladder has a maximum load of 150 kg.
Not only is this ladder ideal for accessing the loft it is also perfect for performing many other households tasks such as decorating and window cleaning.
This compact loft ladder folds down to a very small footprint making it easy to store.
This is a sturdy yet light ladder ideal both for the home and garden.
Loft Ladder Buyer’s Guide
Before you consider purchasing a loft ladder do take a moment to review their main characteristics and features.
Loft ladders come in three main designs.
The majority of loft ladders come in three sections and each section is opened with a catch. These loft ladders come with a handrail and are easy to use as they are always in situ. They are supplied with a pole to both open the loft hatch and pull down the ladder sections for locking into an open position. Because the ladder is fitted to your loft hatch it is easy to use and requires no additional storage.
Alternatively, for small spaces, a compact loft ladder with a concertina design can be used. This requires less floor space and can be fitted in a very small opening. These small loft ladders are the simplest to fit as they come fully assembled and can be fitted with four strong screws.
The third alternative is to use a telescopic loft ladder like the DICN 5M Loft Ladder or the Nestling Folding Ladder. These telescopic loft ladders fold down into a very small footprint and can be adjusted in increments to create the perfect length ladder.
The advantage of concertina designs is that they can also be used for other household tasks such as cleaning windows and decorating. In addition, they do not require fitting. Telescopic loft ladders come in a range of sizes with a range of tread options so it’s easy to find the perfect one for your loft.
Loft ladders are usually made from aluminium – it provides rigidity and strength but is also lightweight. A good example is the Youngman Easiway Ladder. There are also wooden loft ladders, like the Deluxe Wooden Loft Ladder which is also very sturdy and very high quality, but it is heavier than aluminium versions.
Ease of installation
Installing a loft ladder is a job for a competent DIYer. The operation is fairly straightforward but some basic carpentry skills are required. Obviously you should check the dimensions of the loft opening as well as the ladder size and consider the distance from the hatch to the floor too.
If you are searching for a loft ladder for a small hatch or have limited floor space beneath you might want to opt for the BPS Concertina Loft Ladder.
Loft ladders should come with all appropriate fixings. Some also come with an adaptor kit for converting a push-up hatch into a drop-down one. Some loft ladders come as a loft access kit with the loft hatch and ladder already attached. These should be supplied with an architrave to finish off your loft hatch opening neatly.
Always check the maximum weight limit of your ladder to ensure it is fit for purpose. Remember this means the total weight the ladder can hold so should include any tools or items you may be carrying.
Look for a loft ladder with non-slip treads to avoid slippage, and also a loft ladder with handrail for extra support. You should check that each rung or ladder section is securely locked into place before using the ladder.
If you are using a telescopic loft ladder, again ensure it has non slip feet and that you use it at a safe angle. It is always wise to engage two people when using a freestanding ladder, with the second person holding it securely while you climb.
How do I install a loft ladder?
Aluminium slider ladder
These usually consist of three sections that slide on top of each other and lie flat in the loft when closed. A pivot mounting at the top allows the top section to tilt down when you open the loft hatch. The other sections then slide out and lock into place.
You will need two people to install a slider loft ladder safely and always follow the instructions that come with the kit.
In general, though, you will need to follow the following steps:
- Slide the ends of the pivot mounting into the top ends of the stiles and secure with pivot bar stops
- Attach the handrails and fully extend the ladder so it locks into place
- The person in the loft then places the pivot bar mounts in place on top of the hatch crossbar and screws them in place whilst the worker below holds the ladder securely in place
- Position the ladder at a 65 to 80-degree angle and tighten the internal pivot
- Fix the two retaining bars to the top of the stiles and screw them to a wooden crossbar in the loft
- Tighten two more pivot stops to hold the ladder secure when stowed
Concertina loft ladders
Concertina loft ladders are by far the easiest ladders to install and will fit any loft hatch that is wide enough to comfortably pass your shoulders through.
If you already have a drop-down hatch, these ladders are simply installed with just four screws. If you have a push-up hatch this will need to be adapted to a drop-down hatch first.
Concertina loft ladders come fully assembled and simply need fixing vertically to the side of the hatch frame, above the hatch hinges, with the four screws.
Having an easy way to access you loft is both convenient and safe. We would recommend the 5M Foldable Ladder as it requires no fixing and is easy to store. It can also be used for a variety of household jobs since it is more versatile than a dedicated loft ladder.