13 Best Step Ladders to Climb This Year | Buyers’ Guide

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Every one of us has climbed the ladder at least once, and we are not talking about the figurative ladder of success here!

Whether a light bulb had to be replaced or minor repairs were needed in the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet, most of us literally came up short and had to rely on a ladder to get the job done! And if you think about it, there will be instances quite often when you need to climb a ladder.

No wonder ladders are making their way into the majority of homes and offices lately. Gone are the days when only construction professionals climbed ladders.

But what about the type of ladder?

When we hear the word ladder, most of us imagine the conventional straight ladder. But it needs strong support and a firm base to be of any use, which may not always be possible. As a result, homeowners, as well as construction pros, use step ladders instead of straight ladders.

A step ladder is a self-supporting ladder with steps in place of narrow rungs. It offers a ton of convenience and stability, and can be used practically anywhere at all!

If you want to buy the best step ladder but are confused by the hundreds of options available today, this guide will help clear the air.

Best Step Ladders

We have used each of these 13 recommendations extensively for various tasks. This helped us gain a comprehensive and unbiased understanding of the pros and cons of each of these step ladders.

Without further ado, here are the 13 best step ladders you must consider.

1. Little Giant Ladder Systems Flip-N-Lite Step Ladder with Platform

The top two recommendations on this list come from Little Giant Ladder Systems, as it is one of the most renowned brands in the ladder industry. The first one is the Flip-N-Lite Step Ladder. It has an excellent average consumer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars based on over 1,500 reviews on Amazon.

Little Giant Ladder Systems 15355-001 5' Quick-N-Lite
  • The Little Giant Quick-N-Lite Fiberglass...
  • The lightweight Quick-N-Lite opens easily with one...

Experience

Straight off the bat, we were impressed by how light this ladder is – it weighs a mere 12.5 lbs! It is one of the best lightweight step ladders on this list, with an industrial-rated construction and a capacity of 300 lbs make its lightweight build even more impressive!

We especially liked the built-in standing platform of this ladder, as it provides full foot support. Measuring 14.25” x 12”, it is larger than the majority of platforms you will find on step ladders.

Another win-win aspect of this ladder is that it is incredibly easy to store. The base of the ladder measures slightly over 1.5 feet in width, and it is over 6 feet high when not in use. Lastly, its tall handrail and handy tool tray add stability, support, and convenience.

We observed only a couple of downsides of this exceptional step ladder, for example it is expensive compared to other recommendations on this list and the rungs are spaced one foot apart, which can feel like a big step down while descending this ladder.

Pros
  • Incredibly lightweight design
  • Industrial-rated construction
  • Wide standing platform
  • Comes equipped with a handy tool tray
  • Portable and easily storable
Cons
  • Tad bit expensive
  • Footlong space between rungs

2. Little Giant Ladder Systems Safety Step Ladder

The second spot on our list goes to the Safety Step ladder from Little Giant Ladder Systems. It makes an ideal ladder for commercial, industrial, or home use. Very few step ladders can compete with it in terms of durability, convenience, and storage. Read on to know what makes this step ladder tick. 

Little Giant Ladder Systems 10410BA Safety Step Ladder Four Step with...
  • Ideally suited to industrial, commercial, or home...
  • The ultimate in durability and safety. Weight:27.5...

Experience

We wanted to keep a ladder in the kitchen because of the recurring need of accessing the top shelves of the cabinets. We read some reviews and decided to go for the Safety Step ladder. 

Weighing 27.5 lbs, it is more than two times as heavy as the Flip-N-Lite Step Ladder. We did not face a lot of inconvenience because of its weight as we kept it in the kitchen permanently. But it is by no means portable. So if you want to buy a step ladder that you can quickly move around, you should look at one of the other recommendations on this list.

You will appreciate the durable build and the built-in safety bar, which ensure maximum stability and safety. We especially liked the unique design of this ladder – the steps unfold in an angle that makes it feel like you are climbing any standard stairway.

It folds to a ridiculously slim 5.5-inch depth, allowing you to store it practically anywhere at all when not in use.

Pros
  • Unique stairway-like design
  • Made from corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty
  • Weight capacity of 300 lbs.
  • Folds to a 5.5-inch depth
Cons
  • Quite heavy and not portable

3. Cosco Three Step Lite Solutions Folding Step Ladder

It is time to introduce another top-notch brand in the step ladder industry – Cosco. The Lite Solutions Folding model is one of the best lightweight household step ladders you will find in the market. After all, it has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars based on 500 reviews on Amazon!

Cosco Three Step 5' Lite Solutions Folding Step Ladder
  • Lightweight, aircraft grade aluminum frames
  • Non-marring leg tips keep floors clean

Experience

We have loft storage across three of the four sides of our basement, which has a 9-foot high ceiling. So we wanted to get a not-so-tall ladder to reach the lofts. Also, the ladder had to be light enough to be carried down to the basement.

We found the Lite Solutions Folding Step Ladder from Cosco to be the perfect match for these requirements, and we have been using it for almost a year now. It is five feet high and features three steps, the topmost of which is a platform.

Given how light it is, you need not drag it along the floor. But even if you do, its non-marring leg tips will prevent any scratches on the floor. Also, it is made from aircraft-grade aluminum materials, which makes it quite sturdy.

One of the highlights of this step ladder is its slip-resistant, extra-large platform step. You don’t have to worry about its quality as it meets the ANSI standards and has a load duty rating of 225 lbs.

Pros
  • Lightweight yet sturdy construction
  • Requires minimal storage space
  • Steps have slip-resistant treads
  • Backed by a 10-year limited warranty on parts
Cons
  • Not durable enough for heavy-duty work

4. Best Choice 3-Step Folding Steel Ladder

Best Choice Products offers the excellent 3-Step Folding Steel Ladder, which is our next pick. With an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 based on over 800 Amazon reviews, this step ladder had to be included in our top five recommendations.  

Best Choice Folding Steel 3-Step Stool Ladder Tool Equipment for...
  • PROJECT ACCESSORY: Perfect for both indoor use to...
  • STABLE AND STURDY: Wide steps and anti-skid rubber...

Experience

We wanted to get a ladder that could be used indoors as well as outdoors. And we must say, it seems like the 3-Step Folding Steel Ladder from Best Choice was designed keeping that in mind!

Do not be fooled by its lightweight – it has a maximum load capacity of 330 lbs. Moreover, its high-grade steel frame offers top-notch durability and stability. All of this at such a reasonable price made this one of our best purchases ever!

We especially liked the folding design, which ensures quick and easy storage when not in use. Also, you can easily carry this ladder, thanks to its portable and lightweight design.

Each step on this ladder is broader than that of a standard step ladder. Anti-skid rubber feet of the ladder provide additional stability and support, even when you are standing on the topmost step.

There is a tray above the three steps, which can hold tools, paint trays, and other hardware. But it is not as durable as the platforms and tool trays you would find on other step ladders.

Pros
  • Made of high-grade steel
  • Wider-than-average steps
  • Top tray can hold various things
  • Anti-skid rubber feet for additional stability
Cons
  • The top tray is not durable

5. Louisville Ladder FS1508

The next step ladder we have picked for you today is the FS1508. This masterpiece comes from the well-renowned Louisville Ladder brand. You can choose from eight different sizes of this ladder, ranging from 2 feet to 12 feet. We have used and reviewed the 8-feet variant.

Sale
Louisville Ladder FS1508 Ladder, 8-Foot, Orange
  • Commercial Brand: Louisville
  • Import from: Mexico

Experience

Convenience is the first word that came to our minds after using FS1508. We opted for the 8-feet tall ladder, and it has been living up to our expectations until now. Installing the pergola near our swimming pool and the outdoor ceiling fans on our deck became effortless with this ladder.

With a 300-lb capacity, this ladder is strong enough to withstand accidental mishandling. We especially liked the thick rubber tread on each of its four legs, as it ensures sure-footing.

The full metal boot, slip-resistant rubber tread, aluminum angle feet, and reinforcement plates around the rail work together to give this ladder unparalleled durability.

You will appreciate the thoughtful inclusion of the “Raptor Top” system, which includes a curved front, hardware tray, magnet tray, paint bucket holder, slots for drill and tools, and 2×4 or pipe holder.

At its price, it should have included a platform or safety bar (if not both).

Pros
  • “Raptor Top” system to keep tools
  • Exclusive “Shox System” for extra stability and durability
  • Meets or exceeds several ANSI and OSHA standards
  • Made of high-quality fiberglass
Cons
  • No platform or safety bar

6. Support Plus Folding 3-Step Safety Ladder

The next step ladder on this list comes from the reputed brand of Support Plus. The Folding 3-Step Safety Ladder is one of the safest and most affordable options you can find. It packs a ton of features that make it much more than a regular ladder.

Sale
Folding 3-Step Safety Step Ladder - Padded Side Handrails - Attachable...
  • MORE STABLE THAN A REGULAR STEP LADDER: Feel safe...
  • COMFORTABLE PADDING ON DUAL HANDRAILS: No more...

Experience

This step ladder from Support Plus is one of our favorites. We placed the order after reading mostly positive reviews about it. Assembling it was not as quick and easy as we would have liked but once we got it done, we found it to be an absolute delight!

There are many positives and a couple of negatives we observed. First, let’s talk about the positives. It is one of the very few ladders with padded side handrails. The steps are large and equipped with slip-resistant treads.

We especially liked the thoughtful inclusion of a tool caddy at the very top of this ladder. You get ten pockets in different sizes to hold everything you may need. The foldable design allows for convenient storage of the ladder when it is not being used. Also, its legs have non-marring rubber feet.

On the downside, this ladder weighs approximately 19 lbs, which is not as lightweight as some of the other recommendations. Also, the steps have quite a steep angle, and your shin will likely hit the next step if you try to place your entire foot on any of the steps.

Pros
  • Padded side handrails
  • Attachable tool caddy
  • Foldable design for portability
  • Non-marring legs
Cons
  • Not very light
  • Steep steps
  • Tricky assembly

7. VonHaus Steel 4-Step Folding Ladder

We are halfway through with our recommendations, and it is time to take a look at another top-notch step ladder. This next pick bears the brand name of VonHaus, so you can rest assured about its quality. The 4-Step Folding Ladder is portable, reliable, and lightweight.

VonHaus Steel 4 Step Ladder Folding Portable Stool with 330lbs...
  • STURDY STEEL STRUCTURE - built from durable steel,...
  • ANTI-SLIP FEET - feet keep the ladder from...

Experience

The 4-Step Folding Ladder from VonHaus is perhaps one of the safest and most user-friendly options you will find on this list.

While the majority of step ladders come with a platform and standard steps, each step on this beauty is as good as a platform! Each of the four steps is wide enough to accommodate your entire foot comfortably. Moreover, the gripped treads on the steps prevent slipping.

Taking a cue from the steps, even the feet of the ladder are equipped with non-slip features. You can place this ladder anywhere without having to worry about scratches on the floor. If that wasn’t enough to sell it, it is incredibly lightweight and takes negligible storage space.

Although it comes with an advertised maximum load capacity of 330 lbs (which impressed us a lot), we didn’t find it to be sturdy enough to withstand that much weight. It wobbled a bit when we were on the topmost step.

Pros
  • Weighs a mere 9.2 pounds
  • Takes only 2 inches of storage space when folded
  • Each step is comprehensive like a platform
  • Non-slip feet prevent damage to all kinds of surfaces
Cons
  • Not very durable

8. LivingSure Folding 4-Step Safety Ladder

The next recommendation is quite similar to the step ladder from Support Plus a couple of spots above. While this Folding 4-Step Ladder has an additional step, it does not have an attachable tool caddy. You can choose to get 3-step and 2-step variants of this ladder if you don’t need something as large as a 4-step ladder.

LivingSURE Folding 4-Step Safety Ladder - Padded Side Handrails -...
  • Ladder That Lasts - Heavy-duty ladder is...
  • Anti-Slip Treads - Feel confident and secure as...

Experience

Not many of us need a step ladder that’s over five feet tall. But if you do, LivingSure’s Folding 4-Step Safety Ladder is one of the best options out there.

Having said that, it is only suitable for people who don’t have to move it around too often as it weighs over 27 lbs. The non-marring legs are its saving grace – even if you drag it, your floor will not get damaged.

The reason for its weight is the heavy-duty steel construction. LivingSure ticked all the boxes on the durability checklist, but we can’t say the same for portability. However, it features an ergonomic, folding design for convenient storage. We especially liked the anti-slip treads on each of the four steps and the padded side handrails.

It is one of the most inexpensive 4-step ladders you will find in the market. And did we mention that assembling it was quite straightforward with the help of detailed, easy-to-follow instructions?

Pros
  • Padded side handrails
  • Skid-resistant tread on each step 
  • All-steel, durable construction 
  • Easy to assemble 
Cons
  • Quite large and heavy 

9. Cosco Three Step Max Steel Work Platform

One Cosco step ladder bagged the third spot on this list. And here we are with another exceptional step ladder from Cosco – the Three Step Max Steel Work Platform. We were impressed by its average rating of 4.7 out of 5 based on over 850 Amazon reviews.

Cosco Three Step Max Steel Work Platform
  • ANSI Type 11 Duty Rated 225-pounds
  • Slip resistant step treads for security

Experience

Very few step ladders come close to the Step Max Steel Work Platform in terms of convenience and portability. Given its lightweight build and foldable design, you can easily carry this ladder anywhere at all. But we would not recommend dragging it along the floor.

Although it claims to have skid-resistant, non-marring leg tips, it can scratch the surface because the tips are made of plastic rather than rubber. Other than that, you should not find any downside of this ladder; we certainly did not.

Having a 225-pound Type 11 Duty rating from ANSI is reflective of its top-notch durability. We especially liked its fold and lock mechanism, which is easy enough to be done using one hand only. Moreover, the locking clasp is carefully positioned to ensure that you do not pinch your hand accidentally while folding the ladder.

Another key highlight you will appreciate is the molded utility tray above the topmost step.

Pros
  • Backed by a 10-year limited parts warranty
  • One-handed lock and fold mechanism
  • Molded utility tray
  • Lightweight construction
Cons
  • Leg tips are made of plastic and not rubber

10. Giantex 3-Step Ladder with Tool Platform

Giantex offers one of the best step ladders you can find in the market. The 3-Step Ladder with tool platform has an impressive average rating of 4.8 out of 5 based on almost 300 Amazon reviews. This ladder is made using heavy-duty iron and makes for an excellent addition to any home or office.

Giantex 3 Step Ladder Folding Ladder Stool with Tool Platform 330 LBS...
  • 【Easy-to-Reach Tool Box & Safe Top Handrail】...
  • 【Solid & Rust-Resistant Ladder Structure】--...

Experience

The Giantex 3-Step Ladder is as good as any in its category. We found very little to complain about after using it for more than a year. One of its win-win features is the tool tray above the three steps. It allows you to place work tools easily. Be careful about not stepping on it though, as it is not built to withstand that much weight.

We especially liked the heavy-duty iron construction of this ladder, as it ensures long-lasting performance. Giantex paid attention to details while designing this ladder, or so it seems from the thoughtful rubber pads on the bottom of each of the four legs.

It weighs over 16 pounds, so you cannot hope to carry it around all the time. The only significant downside we observed was the steep angle of the steps, which results in your shin hitting the next step.

Pros
  • Sturdy, heavy-duty iron construction
  • The maximum load capacity of 330 lbs
  • Anti-skid rubber feet
  • Built-in tool tray above the topmost step
Cons
  • The steep angle of steps leads to overlap

11. Delxo 3 Step Folding Ladder

If you are looking for a compact 3-step ladder that can carry out light day-to-day climbing work, this next pick fits the bill perfectly. Delxo’s 3 step folding ladder is a beautiful, multi-use, lightweight, and sturdy option that has been designed with safety and practicality in mind.

Sale
Delxo 3 Step Ladder Folding Step Stool 3 Step ladders with Handgrip...
  • GS CERTIFICATE. For product quality and safety,...
  • SIZE OF STEP LADDER. Open: L18" x W28.9" x...

Experience

We were looking for a small 3-step ladder to help us reach the top shelves in our cabinets. With its topmost step 28 inches high, this ladder from Delxo proved to be the ideal option for us. Its folding design allows you to store it within 5 inches of space.

For its small size, it has an impressive maximum load capacity of 330 lbs. However, it is a bit heavy at over 15 pounds. We especially liked the curved handgrip on top, which adds convenience while climbing or carrying it.

Each step on this ladder is wider than the average size found on most step ladders. Also, the non-marring feet eliminate the chances of any damage to the floor.

The only downside we observed was that the locking mechanism beneath the topmost step is not as efficient as it should have been. Overall, it feels a bit expensive at 60 dollars.

Pros
  • Folding design saves storage space
  • Non-slip rubber steps
  • Approved with GS Certificate by TUV
  • Stylish white and black color
Cons
  • Faulty gravity latch
  • Heavy

12. Polder LDR-3500RM Ultralight 3-Step

The penultimate step ladder recommendation we have for you is the LDR-3500RM Ultralight 3-Step ladder from Polder. It has an average customer rating of 4.7 out of 5 based on over 130 Amazon reviews. Polder has been offering top-notch home goods for more than four decades.

Sale
Polder LDR-3500RM Ultralight 3-Step Stool, 52.5" Tall, 24.5" Top Step,...
  • Lightweight aluminum construction weighs only 7.5...
  • Safety latch registers to securely hold ladder in...

Experience

We ordered the LDR-3500RM Ultralight 3-Step ladder from Polder after reading overall positive reviews. It seemed like the perfect ladder for us as we needed a not-too-tall ladder to reach the top shelves in the kitchen.

The packaging was not up to the mark. We were scared that the ladder would be damaged, but fortunately, it wasn’t. The first thing we noticed about it was its extremely low weight. At just 7.5 pounds, it is the lightest step ladder in its class. That’s the beauty of top-notch aluminum construction.

We especially liked how easy it was to fold and unfold this ladder. When folded, it takes only five inches of storage space, practically allowing you to store it almost anywhere! Also, the high loop handle adds a ton of convenience and safety, especially for older people.

Pros
  • Ultra-lightweight build
  • ANSI Type II rated for 225-lb capacity
  • Foldable design saves storage space
  • Non-skid treads on each of the steps
Cons
  • Poor packaging
  • Not very stable

13. Core Studio SL3HLight Slimline 3-Step Ladder

The final recommendation on this list of best step ladders is the SL3HLight Slimline 3-Step Ladder from Core Studio. This is not meant for heavy-duty work. We wouldn’t even climb it to hang a ceiling fan. So consider buying it only if you’re looking for a simple, lightweight step ladder for day-to-day activities.

Sale
Core Studio SL3HLight Slimline 3 Step Ladder
  • Aerospace anodized aluminum finish
  • Large folding steps with tread

Experience

For those of you who have been climbing chairs or kitchen counters to grab crockeries, Core Studio offers the SL3HLight Slimline 3-Step Ladder. It is one of the slimmest and most lightweight step ladders on this list.

Its ultralight design allows it to weigh merely a couple of pounds, which is almost ten times less than the heaviest ladders we have included on this list. Also, the anodized aluminum finish lends an elegant yet simple look to this ladder.

We want to emphasize that it is not meant to withstand a lot of abuse, and it can only take so much weight. One of the downsides we noticed while using it was the narrow width of the steps. At its price, there are other recommendations with better durability, so it is a bit expensive for what it has to offer.

When folded, it takes up less than three inches of space. You can easily store it anywhere you want and move it around as much as you like.

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight design
  • Anodized aluminum finish
  • Portable
  • Fixed top handle for safety
Cons
  • Cannot handle heavy-duty work
  • Narrow steps
  • Expensive

Step Ladder Buyers’ Guide

Now that you have gone through our 13 step ladder recommendations, how do you pick one out of these? Don’t worry. We are here to help you through every step of the way!

This informative guide will tell you about all the factors you should consider before purchasing a step ladder.

1. Durability

A step ladder’s durability is perhaps the most vital factor you need to consider before choosing one of our recommendations. Aluminum, fiberglass, and steel are three of the sturdiest and most commonly used materials. We recommend buying rust and corrosion-resistant ladder.

Also, you must pay attention to the maximum load capacity of the ladder you want to buy. Remember – it may be required to take much more than your body weight.

2. Features

Step ladders came about to add more convenience! And when it comes to the best step ladder, there can be several features that make it more convenient than the rest. Here are some features you should look for in a step ladder,none of the options will have all the features but don’t go for one that has none of them:

  • Platform
  • Foldable Design
  • Anti-Skid Tread on Steps
  • Non-Marring Leg Tips
  • Tool Tray
  • Side Rails

You will need some of these features, based on the intended use of the ladder. Be sure to spend some time to get this part right – it will pay huge dividends eventually!

3. Portability & Storage

A step ladder is no better than the conventional straight ladder if it isn’t portable! Portability depends significantly on the design of the step ladder. You should be looking for a ladder that can be easily folded and is lightweight.

Another important determinant of the best step ladder would be its storage space requirement. Nobody wants to buy a step ladder that is going to occupy a lot of space in the garage or basement when it is not in use.

4. Safety

One of the most vital things to look for in a step ladder is its safety specification. We recommend buying a ladder that meets American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. You can easily find this information on the company website.

As important as compliance with safety standards is, it isn’t everything. There are a few tips and tricks at your disposal to guarantee a safe usage of a step ladder:

  • Check the placement of the ladder – it should be placed on a solid, dry, and level surface.
  • Maintain two points of contact with the ladder at all times.
  • Do not bend or reach too far while standing on the ladder as that may topple it.

Conclusion

Unless you are a pro-wrestler, you should not be okay with falling from a ladder!

Each of the 13 recommendations we have included in this guide will ensure that you do not experience any unfortunate mishaps while using a ladder. And we hope that our informative buyers’ guide helped you select the ideal option for your needs.

Till next time!

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