10 Best Step Ladders Reviewed & Rated

If you like to fix things in and around your house, you must have noticed that your height might not be enough to reach some fittings. This includes even individuals who are over six feet tall. However, this hasn’t slowed anyone down as the existence of ladders has made these fittings more reachable. A step ladder is even more ideal for the inside of your house as most of them are stable and provide you with a platform where you could rest your weight as you carry out any job. Step ladders can even be used to reach items stored on shelves. They also have a few applications on the outside of your home.

Our Top 3 Picks

Coscoimg
  • Cosco
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight
  • Price: See Here
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Little Giant
  • Little Giant
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Versatile
  • Price: See Here
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Flip-N-Liteimg
  • Flip-N-Lite
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Stable
  • Price: See Here
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Most DIYers will already own one of these. If you are new to the DIY field, you probably have a step ladder on your to-buy list. There are so many different brands and makes to choose from that you can find yourself making a purchase decision that you will regret later on. To prevent this, you must take into consideration a few factors before picking out a ladder from your local dealership or ordering one from Amazon. Weigh the pros and cons early enough, and you will be content with making only one purchase.

Some factors that you might want to consider before getting a step ladder are as follows:

Intended use – Not all step ladders can be used in the same way. Some can handle the weight of your bag of tools in addition to your own. Manufacturers have even added tool pouches in some of their models to make your work easier. Others will be frailer, with the ability to handle relatively small weights and thus will need careful handling to live out a long life. It is therefore vital to have a list of jobs you expect to be carrying out with your new ladder. Compare that with the features of some of your prospective buys, and you might get yourself a winner.

Materials used in construction – Is the ladder made of wood, aluminum or some other metal? How does this affect how you want to use it? If you store it in a moist space will it be subjected to rust or decay? These are some questions you need to ask yourself. You know the conditions in your home better than anyone else, and thus you can predict the impact these factors will have on your ladder and vice versa. Try and select a material that you are sure will not only last but also provide excellent service. Aluminum ladders seem to be very popular at the moment both on the manufacturer and buyer sides, and thus you should consider how well they can serve you.

Height – Ladders come in different sizes. Some are quite short with only three steps. If you want one for your pantry, then this is probably enough to get you through most days. If you have a large house and you need one to fix your gutters you are probably going to need something longer. Longer ladders are of course more versatile than their shorter counterparts. It is even possible to find a ladder with several levels of foldability. These can be folded to suit jobs where you don’t need a long ladder or unfolded to reach your roof.

Duty rating – In other words, you need to consider how much weight each ladder can carry. A standard rating is 225lbs. If you get this one, you should try not to exceed that weight limit. You will otherwise suffer a fall that could cause you injury. In addition to the medical expenses occurred you will also need to purchase a new step ladder.

Other people’s opinions – It is not always wise to listen to what other people have to say. This is not one of those situations. When buying a step ladder, it will be better to ask for advice from as many people as possible. These include friends, family, other DIYers, store attendants and more. There are more than a few reviews on the step ladders you are thinking of buying. This information could prove beneficial in helping you make a final decision.

Listed below are ten of the best step ladders to choose from.

10 Best Step Ladders

 

1. Cosco Three Step Max Steel Work Platform

1. Cosco Three Step Max Steel Work Platform
Our top pick is made of steel and plastic and is mostly catered to indoor utility and projects. These include repairs, cleaning, paint jobs and getting to the tops of shelves placed higher than you can reach. Overall this is a pretty solid build, and you will see that in the duty rating of 225 pounds. This is inclusive of both you and any other materials you might want to use while atop the ladder. The only color available for this product is gray for the frame and black for the steps. Once you take a moment to look through the features list, you are likely to see the following two as favorites.

Slip-resistant treads – Remember that a fall from the ladder could badly injure you as well as cause damage to whatever project you were working on. Slip-resistant treads will thus give you a better foothold and in the process lessen the likelihood of you falling. You will then gain peace of mind whenever you are mid-project and that in return will help you give your best to that paint or clean up job.

Utility tray – At the top of the three steps, there is a tray onto which you can place the materials you are working with. An illustrative example is when you are painting you can put your paint can on the tray as well as a few brushes. This will save you a few trips up and down your ladder, and you will thus spend less time on top of it. Also if you were to hold these things in your hands, it might affect the quality of your work for the worse.
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Product Features

One hand lock release
Three steps plus a utility tray
Skid-resistant + non-marring leg tips
Slip-resistant treads
225 pounds duty rating

Who is it for?

Although this tool falls in the mid-price range between more expensive models, it edges more on the higher price end. You may thus have to budget for it, but it should be worthy endeavor as you will get a quality ladder relative to the amount of money you spend.
Pros

It is lightweight

Space for your tools when you are atop the ladder

A wide gap between the front and back legs makes it much more stable

The locking clasp is placed ideally to make using it easy

Cons

Some users don’t like the fact that the steps are made of plastic

2. Little Giant 12022 RevolutionXE

2. Little Giant 12022 RevolutionXE
Everything about this tool is made to quality standards that exceed even those set by accrediting bodies OSHA and ANSI. The ladder is fitted with wide flared legs that help hold it in place as you are using it. You will note that this ladder does not have a tray for you to place your tools. It does, however, make up for that deficiency in a few different ways. The most notable ones are as follows:

Aircraft grade aluminum – If you are looking for something with the most durable construction, then this is it. As you would expect of this material, the duty rating is also pretty high. You can put up to 300 pounds on it, and you won’t hear as much as a squeak from the hinges or any other parts.

Several different use configurations – The A-frame is ideal for indoor applications and those much closer to the ground on the outside. If you are trying to reach the roof, you can use the extension configuration which will give you the highest reach. There are a few other configurations that will be ideal depending on the situation and project at that time, and this makes it one of the most versatile ladders you can own.

As you can guess this is a rather heavy model due to both the material construction and size of the ladder. You don’t need to carry it to and from your storage area. There are wheels that you can use to glide the 12022 model around.
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Product Features

MAG4 hinge
Wide-flared legs
Gliding wheels for easy transport
Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
Many different use configurations
22-foot length

Who is it for?

Most people would say that this gadget is overpriced, but with the materials and function, it could be worth every penny. You, however, have to have the money and be willing to spend it. If you do, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t get yourself one of these 12022 models.
Pros

Wheels make it easier to transport

Versatile

You can reach small heights in the house when folded and extend it to reach areas that are further up

Solid construction

Cons

It is heavy if you plan on carrying it around

3. Flip-N-Lite

3. Flip-N-Lite
If storage is your main concern then here you have one item that takes up very little space and the quality of the product does not suffer because of it. One look at this option and you would think it is a frail one. Nonetheless, looks can be deceiving. You will notice it has a higher duty rating than some of its sturdier looking counterparts. Here are two of the most significant benefits you could get from owning one of these:

Lightweight – The ladder is super lightweight to make it easier to transport to the project location and back into storage. As you will notice the frame is quite thin-looking but as mentioned above it can still handle quite a lot of weight.

Full foot support – Most ladders require careful handling because your weight is not well distributed. Because of this, one small misstep could have you hitting the floor and badly injuring yourself in the process. If your weight were more evenly distributed then, you would probably see less falls. This ladder offers you the advantage of a full footrest where stability is increased.

An additional safety feature is a handrail that extends support and which you can hold with your hand for a more steady work station.
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Product Features

Lightweight
Slim profile
300-pound duty rating
Standing platform

Who is it for?

This option is affordable but not the tallest ladder you will see. If you plan on always using the ladder indoors, then you are going to have a field day with this one. Be careful not to stand on the lower rungs too long as you might experience discomfort.

Pros

More comfortable to transport due to its weightlessness

Doesn’t take up much storage space

The handrail adds an extra layer of stability

Cons

Standing on the lower steps can be uncomfortable as your shin will be resting on other steps causing you pain

4. Werner 6208

4. Werner 6208
For most commercial buildings the roofs are usually higher than you would find in a residential setup. Every so often something on the roof or even close to it needs to be worked on by a professional.

As one worth your salt you can’t in good conscience show up to the job site with a three-step ladder. You need one that will help you reach all those high and hard-to-reach places. This is where this Werner model comes in. The professional grade ladder is duty rated to 300 pounds to withstand the user’s weight and hold a few of their tools. Here are two of the most impressive features you can find on this step ladder:

Fiberglass construction – As a professional, you will likely find yourself working in rooms where electricity is all around. Standard rails would conduct the electricity right up into your arms, and this has the potential to cause injury and even death. Fiberglass doesn’t conduct electricity like metal rails, and hence you will be safer for it. However, this shouldn’t be used as a justification to neglect your workspace. Ensure everything is in order before starting on that project; otherwise, if anything goes wrong, you will blame no one but yourself.

HolsterTop – The top is lined with slots that you can use to make storage of tools easier while you are there working. You will thus only come down from the ladder when the project is done.

Energy diffusing geometry braces abbreviated as “EDGE” are placed on the bottom. Their primary function is to provide extra strength and protection from damage while you are using the ladder. This could also help protect the floor you are working on.
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Product Features

EDGE braces
300-pound duty rating
Fiberglass construction
Holster top

Who is it for?

This tool is for professionals and DIYers alike, and while there are other cheaper options, this tool is still worth the money you pay for it.
Pros

It is steady and of solid build

The duty rating is relatively high

Cons

Does not ship in a box and hence a few scuff marks can be found here and there

5. Little Giant Ladder Systems 14010-001

5. Little Giant Ladder Systems 14010-001
Little Giant also has another model similar to the 12022 on this list. There, of course, have to be some critical differences between the two products. The most obvious difference is in the size of the product. This 14010 model is significantly smaller than its counterpart. There are also some significant similarities. As a product on its own, it both has some strengths and some weaknesses. Here are two of its most significant advantages.

Solid construction – The aircraft grade aluminum used in the making of this option is guaranteed to hold up your weight well when you use it. There is always a limit to how much every ladder can handle. This particular one is duty rated to hold about 250 pounds.

Multiple configurations – You get the option of an A-frame where it stays stable without needing support. You can also elongate it and place it on a wall if you are looking for that extra reach. There are a few other configurations that allow for use in a variety of situations. The triple-locking hinge makes all these different configurations possible and easy to switch to.

The rubber feet will give you more stability as you are climbing to the top and back down to the ground. This is also one of the smaller models by the manufacturer, and they made sure that it was one of the lighter models as well.
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Product Features

250-pound rating
Aircraft grade aluminum construction
Different configurations
Triple locking hinge

Who is it for?

Little Giant is one of the more expensive manufacturers of ladders, and thus you will be paying a pretty penny to own one of these. The versatility provided by the different configurations is probably worth more than the price, and therefore you should get fantastic value for your money.
Pros

It is very sturdy

The versatile configurations make it usable in a few different scenarios

Cons

The small ladder is supposed to be lightweight, but most customers have had a different experience in that regard

6. Folding 3-Step Ladder - Padded Side Handrails

6. Folding 3-Step Ladder - Padded Side Handrails
Aesthetics are also a critical component of a ladder to some. If so then you are in luck with this model. Unfortunately, the color scheme isn’t all that good, but the design is excellent making this a joy to work with for all types of people. This is inclusive of ladies and the elderly who might not look forward to getting on top of step ladders. It is suited for indoor use scenarios as you only have three steps without the possibility of extending the ladder’s reach. These two features form a basis for which we can comfortably recommend this step ladder to you:

Handrails – Most ladders don’t have handrails like the ones you have grown accustomed to on your stairs. They thus need a lot more care as you are using them. This lack of support may scare some people away from ever using these tools. With this model, you not only get handrails, but you also get them padded as well to enhance comfort. Now there is no practical reason not to use the ladder.

Tool caddy – At the top of the steps there is a pouch for you to store your hammer, nails, paint brush and anything else you might have thought to bring along. The total number of slots is ten so you can even differentiate which tools go where.

The name suggests that this ladder can be folded down to take up less of your storage space and it does precisely that. It is even possible to hang it on one of your walls. As for the duty rating, 300 pounds is enough for most of the population.
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Product features

Steel construction
Treaded steps
300-pound duty rating
Convenient folding design
Tool Caddy
Comfortable handrails with padding

Who is it for?

This item is inexpensive, and for the elderly, it should prove an invaluable asset. Just don’t expect to be using it to reach your roof.
Pros

Easy to open up and fold back up for storage

Wide steps add extra support

Storage caddy makes it easier to carry all your tools

The handles make it easier for the elderly to get atop it

Cons

There appears to be a very steep incline which can be taxing on some people

Setup can be a complicated process

7. Best Choice Products 3 Step Platform

7. Best Choice Products 3 Step Platform
This fan favorite is one that you can wholeheartedly recommend to your friends even before buying it. The top features of the ladder are:

High duty rating – It is rated for 330 pounds which is the highest so far. It even exceeds that of the airplane-grade aluminum mentioned in some of the products above. It all depends on your circumstances and whether or not you need that extra 30 pounds catered for.

Storage tray – This is for holding your tools. You can slip them into the various slots right before you use the ladder. Even a can of paint should fit right in.

The steel used in the construction is of exceptional quality and is lightweight to boot. Potentially one of the slimmest ladders you will find around but still not have to worry about the steps or frame-breaking when you put a little weight on it.
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Product Features

Steel construction
330-pound duty rating
Foldable design
Anti-skid rubber feet

Who is it for?

Thi is for everybody as it has quite a high duty rating. Also of note is the low price point making it affordable for a very high percentage of the general population.
Pros

Can handle a lot of weight

Stable while in use

Wholly supports the user’s feet

Cons

Most customers have noted it is a bit heavier than they expected; however, in comparison to other options of the same caliber, it is still pretty lightweight

8. Little Giant Ladder Systems 10410BA

8. Little Giant Ladder Systems 10410BA
Little Giant has made a name for themselves in making quality ladders. This particular one is different from the other two ladders mentioned on our list by the same manufacturer in that it doesn’t unfold into a longer one. The only configuration available is the A-frame. However, you can fold it when you are about to put it in storage. Of the features listed these two are the most eye-catching of all.

Large steps – This ladder is built to look and feel like a regular stairway and just like a stairway you will enjoy the stability of a stronger foothold because of it.

Safety bar – Use one hand to hold on to this while you are working. Alternatively, you could lean your body weight on the safety bar so you can free up both your hands for the job.

Whichever way you go, you won’t have to multitask between trying to stay balanced on it and doing any other task.
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Product features

Large steps
Safety bar
Folds into storage mode

Who is it for?

Little Giant ladders have a reputation for being pricey. You can pay the moderate to high price point and get one of these delivered at your doorstep. Even if buying this might hurt your pockets, you get great value for your money.
Pros

Very sturdy

Steps are wide and comfortable

Cons

The ladder is very heavy

9. LivingSURE 354173

9. LivingSURE 354173
Most of the options on our list have been three-step ladders so if you were looking for extra reach this four-step addition might be what you need. The aesthetics on this are high in comparison to most of the other ladders. Nonetheless, remember that this is an option and that there are only so many options to choose from with regards to color. It comes in a white frame with black steps. Features that make this a worthwhile consideration are as follows:

Handrails – That extra support may be crucial in helping some individuals get on the ladder. You can use your hands to hold on to the rails then pull yourself up gradually. This also reduces your chances of you falling over backward.

Anti-slip treads – There is a chance that something might spill onto the steps you are using for support. This might cause the surface to become slippery. If the anti-slip treads are present, this is a non-issue, and you can continue to enjoy the use of your ladder without having to worry about slipping.

A duty rating of 300 pounds should be sufficient for your needs.
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Product features

Foldable design
Handrails for support
Anti-slip treads
300-pound duty rating

Who is it for?

It provides so much value that the price point almost makes it hard to believe its authenticity. Nevertheless, this makes it more accessible to a broader population and as such everybody should own one of these.
Pros

Easy to carry when folded and stable while extended

The wide steps provide extra comfort

Rails make the ladder more comfortable to climb

Cons

Doesn’t come with a pouch or storage tray to place your tools while you are mid-project

10. Cosco Lite Solutions

10. Cosco Lite Solutions
Another edition by Cosco makes it onto our list albeit in the last place. Despite being dubbed the 5’ Lite, it bears the same duty rating as its predecessor on our list of 225 pounds. You also notice a similarity in the material used in the construction of the ladder as both feature aircraft grade aluminum. The best two features that you will appreciate having once you buy this ladder are as follows:

Non-marring leg tips – This should come most appreciated by people with wooden floors. These are likely to suffer damage if the ladder legs are not in optimum condition. Even some tiles may get damaged if the leg tips are particularly sharp. Good thing neither of those floor owners needs to worry about that ever happening due to the leg tips being designed to cause no damage.

Slip-resistant platform step – The other two steps are small and may present a problem if you have to stand on them for hours on end. However, the platform step at the top of the ladder is different. You can rest all your body weight on it as it is wide enough to accommodate both your feet.

Like most other options on our list, this one folds and therefore will take up less space in storage.
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Product features

Non-marring leg tips
225 pounds duty rating
Large platform step
Folds to take up little space in storage

Who is it for?

The price is relatively low, and anyone who wants a light option that doesn’t take up much space will not regret getting this.
Pros

Extraordinarily light and so easy to transport.

Sturdy

Cons

The aluminum legs tend to dent easily, and thus you should take great care while using the ladder

Tips on Using a Step Ladder

Check the integrity of the ladder often – Take time to check whether the hinges are okay and if the rubber feet on the legs are present. This should be done before, and after every use so if a problem presents itself you can solve it before getting on top of the ladder for your next job.

m Avoid moving the ladder from the side – This includes either pushing or pulling as it can result in less stability for your ladder. Less stability leads to a higher risk of injury.

Face the ladder – Whenever you go up or down the ladder make sure you are facing the ladder. This enhances stability and balance due to your body being centered between the rails.

Hold on tightly to the rails – This will prevent you from falling backward as you climb the ladder.

FAQs

What height ladder should I get?

This all depends on circumstances and what you wish to use it for. If you live in an apartment with a low ceiling, then you probably won’t need a very long ladder. If you need something to help, you reach shelves in the house and gutters on the roof a step ladder which unfolds into a conventional ladder configuration is ideal. Having that as a two-in-one ladder will save you money as you won’t have to buy two separate ladders. It should also save you storage space.

How much weight can a ladder hold?

The duty rating should give direction on this. Medium-duty options hold 225 pounds; heavy duty ones can carry 250 pounds while extra heavy duty can hold up to 300 pounds. Featured on our list are mostly medium duty and extra heavy duty, but you can always find other options if you expressly need one rated at 250 pounds.

Conclusion

With a step ladder present in your home, you never have to worry about those heights that seem out of reach. Also if a light bulb needs changing you don’t need to call a professional to come change it. DIYers already know that they should have one of these lying around as their hobby involves using ladders a lot. Take the above options into consideration. Once you buy one of the stepladders listed here make sure to leave a comment on your experience with it. Let people know if they are missing out on anything.