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The Best Step Ladders

🕚 Updated February 2022

When it's time to get some work done around your home and you need to access those hard-to-reach areas, a step ladder is a handy item to have to make it easy for you. Here are several of our recommendations.

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  Top Choice Most Color Options Most Compact Best for Extra Height Best Wooden Option
3-Step Folding Ladder
Folding Step Stool
2-Step Steel Step Stool
Folding Portable Step Ladder
Aluminum 3-Step Ladder
Our SummaryThis reliable step ladder is compact, portable, and suitable for many different purposes.A sturdy, lightweight step ladder that you can use for various home projects.This durable and lightweight step ladder features a slim profile.A heavy-duty step ladder that provides you with extra height to reach those high-up areas.A sturdy aluminum step ladder that displays a wood grain finish.
Pros500-pound load capacity, nonslip design, optimal safety.Portable, easy to store, versatile design, suitable for various tasks, stable rear leg support.Nonslip base, weighs less than 11 pounds, 225-pound load capacity.Optimal load capacity, multiple safety features, comes with tool pouch.Certifiably safe to use, incredibly lightweight, classic wood grain design.
ConsLess secure on hardwood floors.Less secure on hardwood and tile floors.Suitable for small DIY tasks around your home.Weighs over 27 pounds.Doesn't come equipped with safety handles.
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How Did We Research?

14 Models Evaluated

6 Hours Researched

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The Best Step Ladders

Low section view of a foot climbing ladder.

Buying Guide for Step Ladders

Two different women using step ladders

Why buy a step ladder?

A step ladder can be used for many reasons and can offer various benefits to make completing tasks around your space even more simple. It is convenient for deep cleaning around your home or office when you have to reach high-up areas where mounds of dust have been collecting for months. Painting and remodeling the interior of your place are also times that call for a step ladder.

What should you look for in a step ladder?

  • Load Capacity: Weight capacity is incredibly important for laborers who make use of step ladders for remodeling and construction purposes. Many heavy-duty, industrial step ladders can handle loads up to 500 pounds.
  • Height: Step ladders, though normally low to the ground, can still provide you with the extra height to access areas of your home that are out of reach. This makes them versatile in how you decide to use your step ladder.
  • Safety Features: With a strong emphasis on safety, step ladders are can be made sturdy with their anti-skid rubber coverings at the base. Some of the more advanced models also come equipped with metal crossbars that you can grab onto for greater security.

How do you keep a step ladder from slipping out from under you?

Step ladders are much less likely to slip out from under you than normal ladders because they are closer to the ground and much sturdier overall. However, when you place your step ladder on uneven ground, there is a chance it will become unstable while you’re using it. Make sure that you place the ladder on solid ground, and always face the ladder while you are climbing up and down it.

Our Picks for the Best Step Ladders

Top Choice

HBTower 3 Step Ladder

This reliable step ladder is compact, portable, and suitable for many different purposes.

Pros: This foldable step ladder is portable, features a space-saving design, and comes fully assembled when you purchase it. The industrial-grade steel frame of the ladder offers incredible sturdiness, keeping you safe while working on projects around your home. Also, it features a load capacity of 500 pounds!

Cons: This step ladder is less secure on hardwood floors and surfaces.

Bottom Line: This step ladder offers features to help you accomplish various household tasks, such as painting or remodeling. It’s also easy to place in storage after you are done using it, and it provides optimal sturdiness and stability to make you feel safe and secure.


Most Color Options

Cosco Folding Step Ladder

A sturdy, lightweight step ladder that you can use for various home projects.

Pros: This lightweight and compact step ladder is available in multiple different colors, which include green, platinum, and red. Because it is easy to carry around, it makes it efficient and simple to use while working on a job site. It also comes with tipped legs to keep your floor from scruffs or marring.

Cons: This step ladder tends to be less secure on hardwood and tile.

Bottom Line: This ladder is a good option to have when you move to multiple areas since it is lightweight and portable. Since it comes with either two or three steps, you can choose from different heights depending on your needs, which makes this a customizable choice.


Most Compact

Rubbermaid Step Stool

This durable and lightweight step ladder features a slim profile.

Pros: This lightweight and durable step ladder offers incredible slip-resistance and has a weight capacity of 225 pounds. Made of steel and featuring a slim profile, it offers enough versatility for DIY jobs around your home. Also, with its traction-molded steps, you have secure footing.

Cons: It is more suited for smaller, simple tasks that you complete by yourself.

Bottom Line: This compact step ladder has a design that prioritizes personal safety so that it will remain stable and upright. It is an excellent option for those easier DIY projects that you want to perform around your home and can be stored in most spaces once you’re done using it.


Best for Extra Height

EdMaxwell Folding Portable Ladder

A heavy-duty step ladder that provides you with extra height to reach those high-up areas.

Pros: This industrial multipurpose step ladder has a load capacity of 500 pounds, and it boosts you 38 inches from the ground, allowing you to reach high-up areas. It also comes equipped with numerous safety features, which include padded rubber handrails, large stepping platforms, a nonslip base, and more.

Cons: This is a heavy-duty step ladder that weighs over 27 pounds, making it more suitable for contractors and construction workers.

Bottom Line: If you work on a construction site and oversee major remodeling projects, you should consider purchasing this step ladder from EdMaxwell. It’s sturdy, safe to use, and doesn’t take up a ton of storage space.


Best Wooden Option

Delxo Aluminum 3 Step Ladder

A sturdy aluminum step ladder that displays a wood grain finish.

Pros: This foldable wood grain ladder is certified safe and secure—it features an extra-long handle and oversized top platform with anti-slip properties. The wood grain design gives it a classic look that is hard to replicate. It weighs only nine pounds, making it super easy to move around.

Cons: It doesn’t come with handles.

Bottom Line: This ladder is sturdy yet lightweight enough to perform a wide range of tasks around your home, and you shouldn’t encounter problems in terms of your storage options. Although it features a wood grain design, the ladder is made of aluminum, which provides you great durability as well.

Final Thoughts

Selecting a step ladder specific to your needs is important so you can get your tasks done even more efficiently. If you need one that requires greater load capacity or if you are in search for one with additional safety features, keep these options in mind as you find the best one for you.

Nick Pappas Nick Pappas
Nick Pappas is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy from South Bend, IN. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and has written content and short stories for ABC57 News and Kansas City Voices. Away from the computer, you can find Nick traveling and filmmaking, though his interests are constantly changing! Read Full Bio »
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