A loft ladder is a great option for pretty much anyone who is wanting better access to their loft space. It may be that you are wanting to use the space as an extra room or want to have better access to the loft as a storage space. Loft ladders can be connected to your loft hatch so that you don’t have to rely on having a set of “big ladders” and getting them from the shed or garage every time that you need them.
This not only means that you will be more likely to use your loft space regularly, but that storing things up there will become quicker and easier!
Best Pick – Youngman 301001 Telescopic Loft Ladder
- Adjustable to 3 lengths
- Manufactured in anodised aluminium
- Rubber feet for safety and protection to flooring
- Easy to install and operate
- No cutting required
Only Got 5 Minutes?
This section is for those people who are in a rush to get purchasing their loft ladder – we have crammed it, as full as your loft probably is at the moment, with all that key information that you are going to need. Keep reading, get buying and the sky’s your limit!
Types of Loft Ladders
Before you can even begin to think about fitting your loft ladder, you need to decide which ladder is going to be right for both you and your hatch. There are five main styles to choose from, so we have explained each of these in a little more detail below to help you make your decision.
- Sliding Loft Ladders – These are arguably the easiest to fit and often the cheapest loft ladders that you will find as well! These will be secured to the joists in your loft space and then come down in two or three sections that fit together. They will be fitted on “runners” that allow you to slide each piece down from the next until they are all slotted into place.
- Concertina Loft Ladders – Basically everything that it says on the tin, a loft ladder that concertinas down once you have moved it out of the main loft hatch. These are great space saving loft ladders as they concertina on themselves so that they are taking up little to no room when packed away. They are also able to take a fair amount of weight because of their design so you can trust them to hold when carrying even the heaviest of boxes up to the attic! You do tend to find they can be more expensive though!
- Telescopic Loft Ladders – These ladders are by far the best if you are wanting something that you can slide away and forget about. Telescopic ladders are perfect for anyone who thinks the aesthetic side of things is important, as these ladders slide into themselves leaving a super minimalistic look. They also tend to be relatively cheap but can’t always hold the same weight value of other ladders.
- Folding Loft Ladders – Folding loft ladders are super easy to use, relatively cheap to purchase and can hold quite a bit of weight, which makes them very popular for anyone that needs a loft ladder for occasional use if you are just sneaking stuff in and out of the attic. If you opt for folding loft ladders then you simply “unfold” as and when you need them, however you just need to bear in mind that they can be bulky so potentially need a larger loft hatch or more space!
- Electric Loft Ladders – The height of luxury! Electric loft ladders are by far the way forwards…quiet, streamline and easy to use, they are perfect for if you are going to be using your loft ladders regularly! However, they are more expensive and harder to fit so you need to know it is going to be worth this time and money!
NOTE: There are some loft ladders available that are just one fixed piece, making them even easier to fix into place and extra secure, however this does mean that they have to be left out all of the time which isn’t ideal for everyone.
Best Budget – Teenza® 3.2M Telescopic Ladders
- Stable and Contraction: Hooks and widened base, effectively prevent movement, large rubber foot covers are effective anti-skid, suitable for a variety of terrains, and effectively protect the indoor floor.
- Light weight-portability: The ladder is made of aluminum, which is strong and can bear 330 pounds / 150 kg. . Easy to carry-multifunctional, portable telescopic ladder, suitable for indoor, outdoor, office, warehouse, courtyard, etc.
- Easy operation-extend and retract, when you extend, pull up a section, hear a "click" sound, confirm that the left and right locks are in place; to retract, please unlock step by step, do not put your hands on the "step" To avoid pinching hands.
- Safety function-safety in design (certified by EN131). The bottom balance bar and non-slip rubber feet ensure your safety.
- International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.
Loft Ladder Features
Here are some of the main features that you need to consider when purchasing a loft ladder. There are some key designs to look out for and sizing factors that you need to check for before you buy.
It goes without saying that the first thing you need to check is the size of the loft ladder that you are going to need. There are two main sizes that you need to check for – the length of the loft ladder so that it can reach from the loft to the floor and the width of the loft ladder so that it fits in the space for the loft hatch.
You will usually find that loft ladders come in varying sizes to fit standard sizes of loft hatches, but you can also find that some loft ladders will come with loft hatches included for if you are needing to make some adjustments.
If you know that you loft ladders are going to be a bit of a tight squeeze (either because of their size or because of the room size that you have to work with) then there are some extra measurements that you will need to look at to make sure you are getting a good fit. These include the horizontal and vertical clearance from the hatch and the floor clearance at the bottom of the ladder.
Floor to floor heights tend to range from around 2m to just over 3m so you are guaranteed to be able to find one to fit any standard sized home. We feel it is always better opting for a slightly longer length in case you need to adjust the angle but make sure that your loft ladder can work at different heights safely.
The two main materials that you will find loft ladders made from are metal and timber. Metal is going to be the cheaper option and will usually be lighter – particularly if using aluminium. However, timber loft ladders will have a nicer “look” if it is going to be on show quite regularly. Although they are heavier, this does tend to mean that they have a greater load capacity. You can find that timber loft ladders are more difficult to set up but they will be quieter when you are getting them out and putting them away.
All loft ladders will have a maximum load, which is important to check for when you are making your purchase. Different loft ladders will have different loads (largely depending on the material that they are made from) but it is important to consider not just your weight but also the weight of any boxes that you are going to be carrying! So if you know that you have some rather heavy loads that need to come up and down from the loft then you will need to take this into consideration when checking the maximum load.
As a general rule, you will often find that the maximum load links directly to the weight of the actual loft ladder. Lighter loft ladders will be much easier to work with, making them more compatible for those people that are going to be regularly getting their loft ladder out and putting it away again. However, they usually have a lighter maximum load and just generally have a less “sturdy” feel about them.
Whereas, heavier loft ladders will feel more solid and have a greater maximum load, but they can be more difficult to get out and put away, so are better for less frequent use or homes that have the luxury of leaving their loft ladder out when it is being used more regularly.
We found that maximum loads tended to be around 150kg to 160kg as standard, however some models went down to just 100kg so it is important to check for this!
The Best Loft Ladder Features
Now that you know the main features you need to look out for when purchasing a loft ladder, here are some of those extra features that we found when reviewing different loft ladders that helped them to stand out from the rest! Safety is a key feature when buying a loft ladder, so it is important to look out for features that are going to increase the safety of your ladder.
- Handrails – if, like us, you aren’t always a fan of going up ladders then opting for one with handrails will be particularly beneficial for you. It massively adds to the safety when you are using your ladder, especially if you are carrying boxes at the same time. However, you will normally only find these on sliding loft ladders due to the design.
- Strong joints – High quality, strong joints will often give you a higher maximum load and will save them from buckling when being used.
- Locking mechanism – Look out for a loft ladder with a secure and strong locking mechanism made out of durable metal. This is so important both for safety and for ease when you are packing the ladder away again.
- Treads – The treads on your loft ladder are crucial as they are going to help you feel secure and stop you slipping when you are climbing the ladder! Make sure that they have a good grip and are durable. Equally, if your ladder is going to be left out or more visible then it may be worth looking for treads that are cut into the material (particularly with wood loft ladders) instead of strips that are screwed on.
- Non-slip feet – rubber, non-slip feet will help to keep the ladder secure and fixed in place no matter what surface your ladder is going to be placed on. Not just this, but they will also help to protect the floor from any scratches or damage.
- Opening stick – Not all loft ladders come with a stick to open and close, which is something that we would recommend you getting as it will make your life much easier! This is worth checking for if you are wanting to get using your loft ladder straight away.
Best of the rest
- Compact, telescopic loft ladder
- Saves attic space
- Automatic locking and closing down
- Made from a unique aluminium alloy.Wide threads for comfort.Floor to Ceiling Height 2350 to 2450 mm
- Floor to Ceiling Height 2350 to 2450 mm
- Comfortable and safe operation; easy and quick installation
- Flexible positioning can be installed onto a wall instead of a hatch
- Attachment for operating pole included; trap door not included
- Ideal for use in small spaces
- Alufix provide 3 years warranty
Frequently Asked Questions
What warranty comes with a loft ladder?
Warranties for loft ladders vary quite considerably depending on the material and style that you opt for. We found warranties ranging from 1 year all the way up to 10 years so this is definitely something that you should be checking for before you buy! Providing your loft ladder is fitted and used correctly (plus well looked after) you should find that it can be used regularly for 5-10 years without any problems!
How do you fit a loft ladder?
Most loft ladders will be relatively easy to fit and although it is always important to check the instructions for individual models as a general rule it is a relatively simple DIY task. They usually come as a complete kit with the ladder secured to the hatch, so all you have to do is attach the box and hatch to the rafters/joists in your attic space.
Do I need planning permission for a loft ladder conversion?
No, you can fit a loft ladder without needing any planning permission and put boarding in your loft for storage without needing any permissions too! The only time that this is going to change is if you are wanting to use the room as a proper living space, involving fitting skylights etc.
Are loft ladders easy to remove?
If you are moving house and wanting to take your loft ladder with you then they are relatively easy to remove – providing they have been fitted correctly in the first place. You will need to consider purchasing a hatch or boxing in the space that is left behind though when it has been removed.