Best Telescoping Ladder: Paint High Ceilings With Ease

Ceilings can often pose a tricky challenge to the painters among us – it can be hard to paint accurately and safely, even with the best rollers and brushes out there.

Telescoping ladders are the answer to our prayers – they fold away easily so are easy to store when you’re not using them, and extend to allow you to safely paint the ceiling and any other places that are normally hard to get to!

Telescoping Ladder - Comparison Guide

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Model

Sizes (ft)

Price

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Werner MT-22 300-Pound Duty Rating Telescoping Multi-Ladder

Werner MT-22 300-Pound

13, 17, 22, 26

$$

Generic EN131 Std. 12

Generic EN131 Std

12.5

$

Little Giant 14016-001 Alta One Type 1 Model 22-foot Ladder

Little Giant 14016-001 Alta One

13, 17, 22

$$

Xtend & Climb 770P Aluminum Telescoping Ladder 

Xtend & Climb 770P

8.5, 10.5, 12.5, 15.5

$

OLLIEROO TL03124 EN131 Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder

OLLIEROO TL03124

12.5, 13.5 

$$

Telesteps 1800EP OSHA Compliant Professional Extension Ladder

Telesteps 1800EP

14.5

$$$

OxGord Aluminum Folding Scaffold Work Ladder

OxGord Folding Scaffold Work Ladder

11.5

$

Little Giant Revolution XE Multi-Use Ladder

​Little Giant Ladder Systems 12026 26-Feet

17, 22, 26

$$$$

Vulcan Ladder USA ES-17T11G1

Vulcan Ladder USA ES-17T11G1

13, 17, 21

$

Xtend & Climb 785P Aluminum Telescoping Ladder

Xtend & Climb 785P

8.5, 10.5, 12.5, 15.5

$$

Telescoping Ladders Vs Other Types

Ladders. We all have one in our homes. And if not, you should get one … after you’ve finished reading this. Most ladders are now made from aluminium but they can come in wood or even fibreglass if you’re going to be working near electricity. The most basic ladder is the rigid single-section. Your grandpa probably had a wooden one in his tool shed. The single-section is useful for quick jobs, but it will take you only so far. You might end up having to buy a range of heights, which then become difficult to store and handle.

The step ladder is useful for reaching high shelves and for painting indoors, but not much else. It has the same height restrictions of the single-section. The extension ladder is step in the direction. It has at least two sections, sometimes three, that overlap each other when not in use. The extra sections can be deployed and locked into place when you need the extra height.

They’re usually manufactured from aluminum, sometimes even wood. While they’re more versatile than the single section and step ladder, they can become bulky and difficult to manoeuvre. Like the extension ladder, the telescoping ladder can only be used as a straight ladder.  Unlike the extension ladder its rungs collapse into each other. They’re easy to store and because they’re so light – they’re usually made of aluminum – they can be taken anywhere. Multi-use ladders are most versatile as they can be used as an A-frame step ladder, a straight ladder, and even a temporary bridge. But they tend to be heavy and difficult to use.


What Is A Telescopic Ladder Used For?

The telescopic ladder is probably the most compact, portable ladder on the market.

Painting

It ticks a lot of the boxes for painting contractors because it can be moved from indoors to outdoors quickly. It is compact, meaning you won’t bump into any of your client’s possessions on the way in or out. You can lean it against walls and doors, and outside, you can telescope it to reach the roof. They are usually rated to about 250 pounds and above – so it will hold you and your tool belt.

Attics

I’ve seen telescoping ladders used most effectively to access using attic spaces. No you don’t have to haul out the old step ladder when you want to climb up to the attic. You can make the ladder a permanent access point fixing it to the attic entrance, pulling it down when needed. They’re so easy to use and can be stowed away neatly and safely. So you can turn your attic into a safe, functional space. If you’re not fond of the industrial look, you can get very stylish telescoping ladders made especially for attics.

Boats

If you spend a lot of time on the water, telescopic ladders also come specially designed for boats. They can be used as a dock ladder as well as a swimming ladder. The ladder is simply bolted on to a horizontal platform, be it the boat itself or swimming deck like a pontoon, and is ready to use. Made of stainless steel, it won’t rust and the hand rails make it easy to board a boat.

When not in use the ladder can simply be retracted and the rails folded away. If you want to take your dog along for the ride, I’ve seen special doggie ladders too. The steps are covered in non-slip vinyl so there’s no danger of anyone going overboard.

RVs

Most RVs come with their own ladders, but they are fixed and can’t be moved around where you need them. This where the telescoping ladder’s portability and compact size come in handy. You can use it to access the RVs roof for maintenance and cleaning. Then you can take it inside so the little ones can climb up to their bunk beds.


Qualities of a Great Telescopic Ladder

When it comes to ladders, safety must always come first. I read somewhere that there are two million accidents involving a ladder ever year. I don’t know how accurate that is, but I wouldn’t take any chances. A great telescoping ladder should have rubber grip on the feet to prevent the ladder from slipping on any surface.

An added benefit is that the rubber will protect floors from scratches. Ensure that the ladder has a stabilizer bar between the two legs to prevent them from bending inwards. While I’m talking safety, only purchase ladders that are OSHA/ANSI rated and make sure they can carry your weight.

Quality telescoping ladders will feature extra-thick aluminum tubing for stability because you don’t want your ladder shaking when using it at its full height. Another feature I’d look out for is multi-height adjustment, so you don’t have to expand the ladder fully if you need to extend it by only a few feet.  Ladders with wide, angled rungs and a non-slip tread are preferable.

The telescoping operation should be fully automatic. Just a word of warning here.  The ladder can collapse quickly, so be careful of your fingers. The better ladders will have an anti-finger jamming device, which I’d recommend if you want to save your digits.

Some ladders come with their own cases or carry-straps so you can transport them quickly. They should be compact enough to fit in your trunk and light enough to carry even if you’re a 150-pound weakling. So, remember Safety, Usability, Stability, and Transportability and you’ve got ladders sussed.


10 Best Telescopic Ladders Reviewed

I’ve reviewed the top-rated telescoping ladders out there so that you don’t have to. Read on to find out more about my favorite ladders currently on the market so you can crack on with painting high ceilings without scaffolding!


Werner Mt-22 300-Pound Duty Rating Telescoping Multi-Ladder

Werner MT-22 300-Pound Duty Rating Telescoping Multi-Ladder

Best Features

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    Multi-height conversions
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    Professional grade
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    Non-slip

My Overall Rating

For those with very high ceilings, let me introduce you to the twenty two foot lifesaver – Werner have produced this giant to help you get to the places that are desperately in need of a lick of paint, however far away they are!

My favorite thing about this ladder?

It comes with an impressive twenty eight height options, meaning you can adjust the ladder as much as you need to for whatever project you’re working on.

For me, this is the ideal ladder for painting high ceilings as it offers so much flexibility. Sturdy and non-slip, this ladder is a reliable choice for any DIY-er out there…


Generic EN131 Std. 12.5ft Aluminum Telescopic Ladder

Generic EN131 Std. 12

Best Features

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    Lightweight
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    Heavy-duty
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    Multi-height adjustment

My Overall Rating

Generic have produced this excellent ladder to help out with all your painting needs. Twelve and a half feet of tough aluminum will keep you steady while you reach for those high up places.

Each rung snaps securely shut with spring-loaded technology so you know that you’ll be safe, meaning you can maneuver around to your heart’s content.

This ladder packs away quickly and is lightweight so can be easily transported, be it back to the garage or to another site (or to one of your inevitably-jealous friends)

This ladder is perfect for painting ceilings without dislocating your shoulder through overzealous stretching!


Little Giant 14016-001 Alta One

Little Giant 14016-001 Alta One Type 1 Model 22-foot Ladder

Best Features

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    Aircraft-grade aluminum
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    Versatile
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    Triple-locking hinge

My Overall Rating

The Little Giant could not be more perfectly named – this ladder comes in a variety of lengths so you can choose which best suits your needs, and it packs away neatly so you have plenty of room to buy even more new kit and gear!

Strong aluminum will keep you feeling secure as you use this ladder, and the hinges triple-lock, so you can rest assured it’s a sturdy choice.

It’s also super easy to assemble, so you don’t need to worry about getting your thumb trapped anywhere.

This ladder is great for painting both indoors/outdoors and will help you reach those annoying patches on the ceiling!


Xtend & Climb 770P Aluminum Telescoping Ladder 

Xtend & Climb 770P Aluminum Telescoping Ladder 

Best Features

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    No-pinch closure
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    Multi-height adjustment
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    Compact

My Overall Rating

Xtend & Climb have come up with a great telescoping ladder for anyone undertaking home and garden maintenance. It reaches to twelve and a half feet, so is perfect for painting ceilings and hard to reach areas.

The feet at the base of this ladder are coated in a non-slip material, so you can set it up on any surface, be it indoors or outdoors. This is the best telescoping ladder for use outside – great for any outdoor painting work you need to get done, like gutters.

You can even use your feet to secure each rung, meaning there’s no risk of getting trapped or pinched by its hinges. This ladder also comes with an integrated handle, so it’s easy to carry around!


OLLIEROO TL03124 EN131 Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder

OLLIEROO TL03124 EN131 Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder

Best Features

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    Non-slip
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    Compact
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    100% quality assurance

My Overall Rating

Ollieroo have a great range of telescoping ladders ranging in height from twelve to sixteen and a half feet. Each ladder uses thumb buttons to click each rung into place – this way you’ll know for sure that everything is in place before you climb aboard!

This ladder is great for painting in the home or outdoors, as grippy material has been used to ensure it won’t slip around, whatever the surface you’re setting it up on is. Rubber sleeves protect each rung from bumping the next, or creating unwanted friction. The best telescoping ladder for anyone who’s looking to invest in a great, long-lasting product.


Telesteps 1800EP OSHA Compliant Professional Extension Ladder

Telesteps 1800EP OSHA Compliant Professional Extension Ladder

Best Features

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    Automatic telescoping
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    Quality aluminum
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    Sturdy

My Overall Rating

A little more pricey, this Telesteps ladder offers eighteen feet of extension. Weighing around thirty pounds, this ladder is really easy to pack up, store and transport, making it perfect for use in the home and garden, as well as work!

In fact, it retracts to around 33 inches, so it’s easy to squeeze into a full garage, shed or van. My favorite thing about this telescoping ladder is that you can adjust the height in one inch extensions – essentially giving you a huge variety of heights in just one ladder.

The rungs are serrated, meaning they lock into place so you’re free to move around as much as you need to.


OxGord Aluminum Folding Scaffold Work Ladder

OxGord Aluminum Folding Scaffold Work Ladder

Best Features

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    Bridge configuration
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    Automatic locking
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    Lightweight

My Overall Rating

OxGord have created a multi-purpose ladder, perfect for painting ceilings and high up places. In fact, this ladder can be used in seven different ways – including as a temporary bridge if you want to set it up once and work your way along a surface easily.

Reaching twelve and a half feet in total, this ladder is made from sturdy aluminum and is very lightweight, meaning you can easily transport it and carry it around.

They’ve added extra, self-locking hinges to keep you as safe as possible while you work – no need to fiddle around with keys and snapping bits into place with this one!


Little Giant Ladder Systems 12026 26-Feet

Little Giant Revolution XE Multi-Use Ladder

Best Features

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    Wide-flared legs
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    Quad-lock hinge
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    Five-in-one

My Overall Rating

Another from Little Giant, this ladder measures up as the largest on our list. Twenty six feet will give you not only a great panoramic view, but the ability to paint the ceiling, gutters or roof, even!

Flared legs keep you stable, despite the dizzying height, and this ladder offers some of the safest hinges on our list. This ladder is great for using outdoors as it can be easily placed over and around any obstacles, such as walls and plants.

Essentially, the perfect ladder for anyone who really needs a height boost - just don’t forget to take your altitude sickness tables before you head up…


Vulcan Ladder USA ES-17T11G1 17-Feet Multi Task Ladder

Vulcan Ladder USA ES-17T11G1

Best Features

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    No-pinch hinge
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    Aircraft-grade aluminum
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    Versatile

My Overall Rating

This seventeen foot telescoping ladder from Vulcan is a great little multi-tasker (it also comes in different heights if needed).

It transforms into a step-ladder, scaffold frame and wall ladder, meaning you can take on pretty much every job in the home and get professional-looking results.

Great for painting ceilings, as well as outdoor surfaces, this aircraft-grade aluminum frame and wide base will keep you feeling grounded.

This ladder also comes with a no-pinch promise, something that is more important the more you think about it! You can also alter the height by one inch at a time, great for getting the perfect height for all your painting needs.


Xtend & Climb 785P Aluminum Telescoping Ladder

Xtend & Climb 785P Aluminum Telescoping Ladder

Best Features

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    Heavy-duty
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    Carrying handle
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    No-pinch closure

My Overall Rating

Another ladder from Xtend & Climb, but I couldn’t resist. This time, they’re offering fifteen and a half feet of sturdy aluminum, topped off with no-pinch assembly and retraction.

I love this ladder for its ease of use – you can use your feet to lock the rungs into place, meaning you can get set up in no time at all. A classic touch from this brand, the ladder comes with a soft handle so you can easily carry it around.

Anyone suffering from vertigo will feel safe atop this beauty; it’s one of the most secure ladders on the market, allowing you to paint in peace.


Best Brands

When it comes to ladders, the name Werner is ubiquitous. There seems to be a Werner on every jobsite in America. The company, based in Pennsylvania, has been manufacturing ladders for more than sixty years and its name is a byword for safety and professionalism.

It boasts an integrated manufacturing and distribution line, which means the company, has control over every aspect of the ladder’s life until it is sold. Its innovations include its Edge Professional Bracing System to reinforce ladder rails, and the Equalizer, for uneven surfaces.

From its telescoping attic ladder to its 16-foot, three-section extension ladder, which can reduce to 6 feet, it has a ladder for every occasion.

The Little Giant ladder system was born way back in the 1970s. It started out small but now it’s a giant in the market. The professional-grade ladder, billed as the strongest, safest and most versatile, can be set up in 24 ladder positions. It is the foundation on which the company was built. And Little Giant hasn’t stopped innovating.

One of its newest ladders is the Revolution which can be adjusted to be used on stairs, ramps and other uneven surfaces. Many of Little Giant’s ladders are manufactured from durable lightweight aluminum, the same stuff that’s used in the aerospace industry.

Ladder Safety Tips

  • Your ladder must be OSHA/ANSI compliant.
  • Check its weight capacity.
  • It must be high enough for the job.
  • Check for cracks, stress or corrosion.
  • Ensure the non-slip rubber grips on the feet are intact.
  • Set up the ladder on a stable surface and make sure it’s well-supported at the top.
  • Place it at the angle, about 75 degrees, recommended by the manufacturer.
  • If you’re getting off on the roof, for example, make sure the ladder extends three rungs above your exit point.
  • Never stand on the top rung of the ladder.
  • Use a fiberglass ladder if you are going to be in contact with electricity.
  • Always ascend or descend a ladder one step at a time; do not skip rungs.
  • Test each rung before you add your full weight.
  • Always maintain three points of contact: one foot or two hands; or two feet and one hand.
  • Don’t carry loads that are likely to topple you over.
  • Don’t make sudden moves that could destabilize the ladder.
  • That old superstition about walking under ladders came about for a reason. Don’t set your ladder near exits or in the path of pedestrians or other traffic.

Conclusion

Hopefully, these reviews have been useful to you and you’re now ready to embark into the world of telescoping ladders. It’s important to remember a few crucial bits of information – it can be tempting to go for the longest ladder you see straightaway, but think about what you’re going to be using it for.

Some ladders are designed purely for outdoor work, so you may not need as much height if you’re going to be painting the bedroom ceiling instead!

Non-slip feet are a great feature to look out for, as they allow you to paint anywhere and set up your work station on any surface without having to worry about slipping or sliding. Strong, sturdy rungs that automatically lock into place are perfect for easy assembly and no-pinch hinges are a blessing in disguise.

Aluminum is a pretty standard metal when it comes to ladders, but look for something that can be tucked away easily – compact is key! Lightweight ladders are great for anyone who’ll be working on a few different projects, you’d be amazed at the damage that lugging a heavy ladder around can do to your back.

Now, go forth, and climb aboard with confidence!


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