The 7 Best Ladders to Buy in 2018

Reach new heights with these garage must-haves

Ladder Leaning Against Pink Brick Wall
Siddharth Kumar / EyeEm / Getty Images

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A ladder is an important element of every job site. But while they may all share similar features — and, essentially, the same function — no two ladders are exactly the same. That’s why it’s important to consider a number of variables before dishing out your hard-earned dough and buying the first ladder you come across.

For one thing, every job requires a ladder tall enough to tackle it. That means ensuring that the ladder you purchase can reach the height you need for the work you’ll be doing. But that’s not the only thing to keep in mind — your budget plays a big part in every potential purchase too. Be sure to weigh the amount you’re willing to spend against the reason you need the ladder. Is it for a one-time job? Invest in a more affordable model. If you’re in the field of professional construction, however, you’ll definitely want something that’ll stand the test of time.

Finally, don’t forget to always consider the specific type of ladder you’re seeking out: after all, while they all offer a little boost, you’d never need an extension ladder to change a lightbulb — likewise, you can forget about mounting a step ladder to reach your roof!

With these considerations in mind, read on for our picks for the best ladders to buy.

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  • 01 of 07

    Best Overall: Little Giant Velocity Multi-Use Ladder

    There’s a reason this brand’s name is “Little Giant,” and it may have something to do with the fact that their products bring big quality and incredible versatility in small, compact packages—literally. Unfolded, this multi-use ladder — which doubles as an extension ladder — folds out 19', so feel free to toss out that old wooden dinosaur in your shed and take full advantage of the many ways to put this baby to use.

    Diversity is the name of the game with the Little Giant Velocity Ladder, which is designed for several different uses. In other words, this is a worthy addition to any home whether you’re in need of a new staircase ladder, an A-frame ladder, an extension ladder—or all of the above. Buyers report getting a lot of use out of this ladder, but they are quick to point out that it weighs a little on the heavy side, clocking in at nearly 40 lbs.

    Safe, sturdy, and offering a diverse range of uses, The Little Giant Velocity Multi-Use Ladder is worth its admittedly hefty price tag.

  • 02 of 07

    Best Budget: Cosco World's Greatest Multi-Position Foot Ladder

    Homeowners who find themselves tackling minor jobs around the house don’t necessarily need an expensive ladder — but that doesn’t mean quality and features aren’t important to them. The Cosco World’s Greatest Multi-Position Foot Ladder is a must for any amateur handyman looking for a high-grade, safe and flexible ladder at an affordable price.

    Whether your home improvement work takes you to the attic or the shed, this ladder provides slip-free safety on tons of surfaces, inside and out. It even boasts double-sided climbability and ten different height options — and that’s just when you’re using it as an extension ladder! The World’s Greatest Multi-Position Foot Ladder’s name sounds less and less like an exaggeration once you lay your eyes on its specs: Extra heavy duty construction means this ladder holds up to 300 lbs., and easy foldability makes storage a cinch. This ladder is sturdy, secure, affordable and tough to pass up.

  • 03 of 07

    Best Heavy Duty: Louisville Fiberglass Extension Ladder

    Just because your inner handyman doesn’t exactly need a professional-grade ladder, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve it! The Louisville Fiberglass Extension Ladder is a favorite of pros, amateurs and everyone in-between for its durable frame, sturdy design and bargain bin price tag — all the while offering professional quality that makes accessing even the most out-of-reach spots a breeze. Specially-designed quick latch rung locks keep you safe and secure atop your new favorite ladder, and a surprisingly lightweight frame means transporting it from job to job has never been easier.

    With the ability to hold up to 300 lbs., this ladder is ideal for workers weighed down by heavy belts and clunky tools. Professionals who perform residential, utility or electrical work will likely get the most use from this ladder, since its fiberglass construction means optimal safety when working with electricity. But amateurs and semi-pros seeking a dependable ladder for home projects can’t go wrong with Louisville either. 

  • 04 of 07

    Best Step Ladder: Support Plus Folding 4-Step Safety Ladder

    From dusting bookshelves and replacing light bulbs to painting hard-to-reach corners of the ceiling, keeping your home in tip-top condition can mean all but defying gravity! Luckily, step ladders can offer assistance to the vertically-challenged — and to those who just need a little boost. The Support Plus 4-Step Safety Ladder combines a wide variety of features from some of the most popular step ladders on the market. The result? A sturdy, comfortable, easy-to-store alternative to bulkier options that’s ideal for indoor use.

    Padded handles mean slip-free use while gripping this untippable titan. And backtracking to your workbench for the tools you need is a thing of the past — just store them in the handy attached tool caddy until you’re done with each job. While it’s pretty hefty, weighing in at almost 30 lbs., that extra weight only serves to keep it grounded. Customers who claim to have bad feet and backs report feeling safe and secure atop this trusty ladder. Plus, when the job is done, simply fold it up and pack it away  —it’s remarkably easy to store for such a durable product. 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Best Professional Grade: Werner Fiberglass Extension Ladder

    Werner 24 ft. Fiberglass Extension Ladder with 300 lb. Load Capacity Type IA Duty Rating
    Courtesy of Home Depot

    If you work in the fields of utility services, electrical repair or residential construction, you need the right tools to get the job done — it’s your career after all, and one unfortunate accident could potentially spell ruin for your reputation. That’s why choosing proper equipment—like the Werner Fiberglass Extension Ladder — is imperative. This ladder, which is available in seven different sizes from 16' to 40', is a must-have for the career handyman who wants eye-catching equipment that reflects his abilities.

    This high-grade, ALFLO rung joint-equipped ladder boasts enough safety features to please even the most jaded professional. For one thing, exclusive traction-tread, slip-resistant D-rungs means falling is all but impossible — in other words, clumsiness is no longer an excuse! Weather-proofed materials make this ladder an exceptional choice for outdoor jobs and a durable fiberglass frame designed for optimal safety — especially around electricity — rounds off a ladder that truly has it all.

  • 06 of 07

    Best Multi-Purpose: Lifewit Folding 7-in-1 Multi Purpose Extendable Ladder

    When we say that the Lifewit Folding 7-in-1 Multi-Purpose Extendable Platform Ladder is flexible, we mean it in both senses of the word: it can perform a variety of different functions depending on the job, and it’s literally flexible. Boasting three sets of heavy-duty joints, this ladder can fold into four different positions — standard ladder position, straight ladder position, stand-off ladder position, and scaffold position. We know: Lifewit’s versatile ladder already carries an unbeatable price tag — couple that with the money you’ll save purchasing this four-in-one ladder instead of a shed’s worth of separate units, and you’ve got yourself a small fortune!

    Marrying portability and durability, this ladder does the impossible, boasting a lightweight yet heavy-duty rust-proof aluminum frame that can hold up to 330 lbs. of weight while still being light as a feather at under 20 lbs. Automatic safety locks and stabilizer bars with protective rubber padding redefine safety, rounding off the only ladder you’ll ever need — no matter the project.

  • 07 of 07

    Best Compact: Telesteps Professional Extension Ladder

    Let’s face it: most households — even most toolsheds and garages —don’t exactly have the room to fit a whole, full-sized ladder. That’s why compact ladders like the Telesteps Professional Extension Ladder are popular alternatives to large, bulky ladders. This extendable ladder isn’t the most affordable ladder on the market — but what it lacks in affordability, it more than makes up for with a variety of features that differentiate it from other telescopic ladders.

    For one, this ladder can be extended up to 14.5' — and, after use, it can shrink down to a mere 33". Satisfied users also report that its construction is much sturdier and more rigid than they’d expected, comparing it to other less durable telescopic ladders in the past. While most telescopic ladders are marketed for commercial use, the Telesteps Professional Extension Ladder is thoughtfully designed for daily commercial use — in other words, it boasts all the bells and whistles of a full-sized ladder in a convenient, easy-to-store aluminum frame.