Last Updated On July 23rd, 2020
Whether you use your loft or attic as a storage area or would like to convert it into an additional room, you’re going to need a safe way to access it. Installing a loft ladder is a great solution. The best loft ladder offers a convenient and economical alternative to fixed stairs as it can be easily packed away should you need to save space in your home.
However, with so many choices on the market, how do you choose the right loft ladder for your particular needs? If you get it wrong, you could find yourself struggling to make the most of your attic or loft space. Worse, you’ll be fighting with a ladder which is cumbersome or impractical.
It doesn’t have to be this way. In this article, we bring you a comprehensive list of loft ladder reviews – so you can view the benefits of accessing your space without the hassle.
Our Favourite Loft Ladders Compared
Best Loft Ladder Reviews – Top 10 Picks
This wooden loft ladder by Keylite makes a great choice if you need a space-saving model that can be installed by just one person. Also, thanks to its recessed locking system, you can easily fold it away to save space when not in use. The continuous seal around the insulated trapdoor effectively reduces heat loss, too – making it perfect for draughty loft spaces.
Designed especially for installation from below rather than above, this detachable loft ladder can be put in place single-handedly. Hence, it would save you money on extra installation costs.
It also comes complete with a pre-fitted handrail towards the top of the ladder, making it suitable for all users by reducing the risk of falling. This is further enhanced by its slip-resistant treads on the rungs. Plus, the scratch-resistant feet ensure that it won’t damage your flooring.
While this wooden loft ladder is comparatively easy to install, bear in mind that you will need an Allen key to get it set up. Unfortunately, the said key is not included in the package. You may also find the hinges to be fairly stiff at first. It’s a drawback which is not helped by the fact that the opening tool is a little too short if you have particularly high ceilings.
In spite of these slight niggles, we still believe that this wooden loft ladder is a great, solid choice. Its easy installation, safety features, and unique detachable design make it the perfect solution for compact homes where space is limited.
If you want a loft ladder but you’re short on space, then this compact ladder is well worth considering.
Able to handle loads of up to 150kg, this retractable ladder is made from a strong and durable aluminium alloy and features convenient automatic locking for additional safety. Wide treads make it slip-resistant and simple to use, however, you do need a fair bit of strength to open and close it.
This is a great loft ladder for compact spaces, but some people found the instructions difficult to understand and complained they often pinched their fingers when opening and closing.
If you do not have the room for a conventional loft ladder, then this fully assembled concertina ladder may be just what you need.
This space-saving loft ladder fits almost any loft and can even be used with very small hatches. Unlike many similar ladders, this model comes with a lifetime guarantee and extra deep, wide treads, making it simple and comfortable to use. Depending on your circumstances, this ladder can also be installed at varying angles to suit your preferences.
While the ladder itself is fairly stable, the hard plastic feet may slip on hard flooring and the closing and opening mechanisms may be difficult to use if you are not particularly tall or strong.
This sturdy, retractable loft ladder by Youngman uses three sliding sections to provide you with easy occasional loft access.
A handrail is included for added safety and the aluminium construction is tough and durable. All fixtures are included such as screws, a hinge and lock, so you won’t have to source additional materials to get started. However, some people said the instructions are fairly difficult to understand.
This sliding loft ladder smoothly glides into place when required. But, if you have a rather small hatch, you may find that this style of ladder takes up too much space, making it difficult to fit larger items through.
If you want a loft ladder for frequent or daily use, you should take a look at some of our other recommendations.
This Youngman 345350 solid spruce loft ladder stores within your loft hatch, meaning it requires no clearance or storage space within your loft.
You will need a larger than average hatch with this loft ladder, so you may have to make some alterations. The supplied hatch trap door comes with a draft excluder, however, you will have to supply your own architrave. You should also be aware that the ring to release the ladder hangs down, rather than lying flush with the ceiling.
As one of the best wooden loft ladders on the market, this model conforms to EN 14975:2006 safety standards. It’s strong and comes complete with a handrail and slip-resistant treads and feet for safer, more comfortable use.
If you’re looking for a ladder for occasional loft access that you can also use for other tasks – this 3.8M aluminium telescopic ladder by Finether could be a great choice
Its telescoping function means it’s easy to store or transport and it only takes up a minimum amount of space, great for small homes and apartments. Made from strong, durable aluminium alloy, this ladder has been EN131 certified and its slip-resistant rungs and feet ensure your safety during use. Just be careful of your fingers when extending or collapsing the ladder, as they could potentially get trapped.
In our view, this ladder makes a great all-rounder where you have limited space available. But if you are looking for a loft ladder for regular use or heavy loads, then we suggest you look at some of the other fixed models on our list.
This 2.9 m loft ladder is an excellent space saver as its telescopic design takes up minimal space.
Adjustable to three different lengths, it has automatic locking and release mechanisms for ease of use. However, if you are not of an average strength you may struggle with the stiffness extending this ladder, although this issue should ease over time.
This ladder can be a little tricky to fit and the included instructions do not offer much guidance. However, its rubber feet prevent it from slipping and will protect your hard floors from marking. It also has an EN131 certification which means it’s made from safe, approved materials.
This multipurpose, telescopic ladder is a great all-rounder and could easily be used for occasional loft access.
You can extend it to various heights thanks to its independently locking rungs.
It’s also easy to transport and store, so it’s a good choice for small homes or people looking to use it in a variety of locations. The anti-slip rubber feet improve safety, as do the industrial-grade locking latches, and the ladder is EN131 compliant.
On the downside, the collapsing mechanism is very rapid, so you’ll have to be very careful not to trap your fingers. Also, the rungs are not very comfortable for extended periods of use.
Unlike a smaller 2 section loft ladder, this generous Abru 3 section model is suitable for a variety of heights up to three metres and comes complete with a universal stowing pole.
This loft ladder boasts non-slip feet and is certified to EN1497 standards. The D-shaped rungs add comfort and security, however, the ladder itself is rather narrow and not particularly sturdy.
In our view, although it takes up little space, it can be pretty fiddly to stow away. So all in all, we’d recommend this ladder for occasional loft access than regular or daily use. That said, this 3 section loft ladder is excellent value for money and comes with a generous five-year guarantee.
Last on our list is the Aurora wooden folding loft ladder UK buyers will like because it is a good, solid choice for easy loft access.
This ladder comes with an insulated loft hatch, that could help you save money on your heating bills. The soft close feature means it stows away safely and easily and comes complete with an opening rod for quick access.
The included handrail and protective feet make this ladder safe and simple to use. Additionally, it’s delivered fully assembled for convenience. However, it’s worth noting that you may have to extend your hatch size for it to fit and that installation is a two-person job.
Furthermore, this ladder will require 30 cm clearance within your loft, which may take up some precious floor space.
What To Consider When Choosing a Loft Ladder
In this section, we guide you through some critical features to look for when choosing the best loft ladder for your needs.
1. Style of Ladder
If you’ve ever wondered ‘how do loft ladders work?’ the answer depends on the style of the ladder you choose. Below, we break down the different types of loft ladder and their key features.
Concertina ladders expand and contract just like the instrument. This style is ideal if you’re looking for space saving loft ladders. They are highly-adjustable and usually lightweight, making them easy to use.
Telescopic ladders compress and extend in the same manner as a camera lens and they’re another good choice for compact spaces. As seen in our telescopic loft ladder reviews, these models are also one of the easiest to operate for beginners.
Sliding loft ladders are sturdy and quick to operate. Simply unlock each section and pull down to slide them into place. They usually come with handrails too. Sliding ladders tend to be heavier than other ladders.
Folding ladders must be folded multiple times and require the most effort to open and close. These fixed loft ladders are usually made from timber or metal but take up little space when stored.
Size is a key consideration when choosing the best loft ladder for your needs. If it’s too short, or too long, you’ll struggle to install your new ladder – let alone use it effectively.
Before going shopping for a loft ladder, you must take note of the available space underneath your loft hatch or attic, and what dimensions you should look for.
Important Measurements to Remember
- Floor to ceiling height
- Floor to floor height (of the loft space)
- Hatch length and width
- Horizontal and vertical clearance from the hatch
- Floor clearance where the ladder must rest
Size Based on Type
The space required will depend on the type of loft ladder you choose, but having all of these measurements in hand when you go shopping will make the process much earlier.
Wooden ladders usually take up the most space, as they must be folded away when stored. This process requires more clearance than a concertina loft ladder, which is a better choice if you have a small area to work with.
3. Ease of Use
If you have to get into your attic or loft space frequently, you should make sure you pick a loft ladder which is simple to use. Concertina ladders and telescopic ladders are usually the easiest options, as these require little effort to open and close.
Wooden and metal loft ladders are much more physically demanding to unfold and store away. Therefore, folding models are better suited to situations where you’re happy to leave the ladder extended for long periods.
When shopping for a loft ladder, your safety should be an important consideration. Thousands of injuries take place in the home every year, with many of them being the result of falls when accessing a loft or attic. The best loft ladders in the UK will be awarded government safety certifications to acknowledge that they have achieved certain standards.
Quality loft ladders in the UK will include safety standards to help you reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
Safety Features to Look For
- Slip-resistant treads on the steps to provide your feet with additional grip.
- Handrails to help stability and balance when ascending and descending the ladder.
- A built-in locking feature so the ladder remains securely stored when not in use and won’t suddenly fall onto you when you open it.
- Strong joints which are capable of supporting heavy weight without buckling.
As we’re sure you’ll agree, all of our loft ladder reviews offer fantastic choices for accessing your loft safely. But if we had to choose an overall winner, we would recommend our Editor’s Choice – the Keylite Timber wooden loft ladder.
We love that this loft ladder is simple and easy to install, even if you’re doing it by yourself. The recessed locking system is perfect for saving space if you have limited room to manoeuvre, while its sturdy design feels strong and durable underfoot. The high-quality slip-resistant treads ensure that you have a good grip when ascending and descending the ladder. Additionally, the pre-fitted handrail towards the top provides an additional element of safety should you make a misstep.
Loft spaces are a common source of draughts, so we particularly like that this loft ladder is designed with a continuous seal and insulated trapdoor. Working in combination, these two features will help protect against home heat loss and help you to save money on your energy bills.
All in all, it’s clear to see why we think the Keylite Timber wooden loft ladder is the best wooden loft ladder on the market today. With its safe design, easy installation, space-saving and heat-conserving qualities, this loft ladder ticks all the boxes.