8 Best Attic Ladders: Compact, Pull-Down Models Reviewed

Best Insulated Model
  • Wood Material
  • Load Capacity: 300 Lbs.
Best For Garage
  • Steel Material
  • Load Capacity: 350 Lbs.

Investing in an attic ladder is a great way to utilize extra storage space. Do you have an attic space that hardly gets used? Maybe it’s difficult to access or has been a project you’ve put off for a long time. In our review, we’ve broken down the best quality attic ladders you’ll find to make the most out of your home or office.

Image

Model

Rough Opening

Load Capacity

Ceiling Height

Check Price

Louisville Ladder 25.5x54 Aluminum Attic...

Louisville Ladder AA2510

25.5” X 54”

375 Lbs.

7’ To 10’

FAKRO LWP 66809 Insulated Attic Ladder for 30...

FAKRO LWP 66809

30” X 54”

300 Lbs.

7’10” To 10’1”

FAKRO LMS - 30x54-7'11'' - 10'1'' Insulated...

FAKRO LMS 66869

30” X 54”

350 Lbs.

7’11” To 10’1”

Werner W2210 250-Pound Duty Rating Wood...

Werner W2210

22-½” X 54”

250 Lbs.

8’9” To 10’4”

WERNER LADDER AA1510 AA1510B Ladder Aluminum...

WERNER LADDER AA1510

21” X 36”

250 Lbs.

7’ To 9’10”

Louisville Ladder 22.5 by 54-Inch Wooden...

Louisville Ladder S224P

22-½” X 54”

250 Lbs.

7’ To 8’-¾”

FAKRO LST  860432 Insulated Steel Scissor...

FAKRO LST 860432

27” X 31”

300 Lbs.

7’2” X 9’6”

Louisville Ladder 22.5-Inch by 63-Inch...

Louisville Ladder AL228P

22-½” X 63”

350 Lbs.

10’ - 12’

Benefits Of Installing Attic Stairs

There are many reasons why installing attic stairs can significantly improve your home. Whether you're converting your attic into a loft, an office, or want to utilize the extra space to store old keep-sakes, installing attic stairs is where you want to start.

By creating an easily accessible stairway to your attic, you're expanding your home or office with a straightforward fix. The great advantage of a retractable ladder is that you only see it when you need it.

There's no hassle with hunting down that old heavy ladder you store in your garage and lug around when trying to reach those hard-to-reach spaces; an attic ladder is built-in. When you’re done using your attic ladder, it’s simple, you just fold it or slide it back into its intended space in your ceiling.


How Do I Choose An Attic Ladder?

Ladder Dimension/Ceiling Height

The dimensions and ceiling height of an attic ladder vary based on which model you choose. As you'll notice in our list of the best compact, pull-down attic ladders on the market, dimensions fluctuate depending on material and style, and the ceiling height typically stays within the range of 7 and 12 feet.

Build Quality & Type of Attic Ladder

There are many different types of attic ladders on the market today. An aluminum ladder is going to weigh less and therefore be easier to transport. A steel ladder is heavier less likely to deteriorate over time. A wood ladder is resistant to heat, and depending on the kind of wood, can be more affordable.

Style And Design

Ladders also function differently depending on the model. A fold down ladder folds over on top of itself and needs a little more room; excellent for large spaces. Sliding ladders easily extract and detract with one fluid motion. Scissor and telescope ladders don’t slide too quickly and don’t require much clearance space, which would make them well-suited for small spaces.

Adequate Opening Space

The standard attic opening space is usually around 22" x 54". It is essential to have an accurate measurement of your opening space before selecting an attic ladder. You may need to widen your opening space to accommodate the ladder of your choice.

Length & Weight Capacity

Attic ladders tend to reach anywhere between 7 and 12 feet in length. Weight capacity truly depends on the material of the ladder as well as the model. For instance, aluminum itself is very lightweight, but depending on the quality and design of the ladder, aluminum can carry a lot of weight. Steel is a heavier material and can also carry a lot of weight. Wood can be anywhere between light and heavy and can hold a decent amount of weight.

Insulation

The better the insulation an attic ladder's door frame can provide you, the more cost-effective it'll be in the long run. If you plan to use your attic for storage or minimal use, it makes sense to want to seal off the air flowing from the rest of the house. If you prefer one ladder to another, but the insulation rating is slightly lower, you can always purchase an insulation box separately.

Ease of Installation

Installation is made easy with all the attic ladders on our list. Each ladder provides you with an easy-to-read manual. You will likely need at least two people to install the ladder securely and safely. Hired help with installation is optional. However, costly installation fees are unnecessary with the products we recommend.

Usability Features
  • Rungs vs. Steps
    A rung is rounded and, therefore, best for a path to get straight to the top and for small spaces. A step can allow for a standing-rest or halt in motion during a climb. If you plan to carry anything heavy, you may prefer a ladder with steps. Each kind of step can be made slip resistant with rubber or specially carved grooves.
  • Folding vs. Telescoping
    Ladders that fold do so on top of itself. Ladders that telescope, fold into itself. Folding ladders are an excellent option for large spaces because you'll have plenty of room for the amount of space they need. Telescoping ladders are so compact that these are well-suited for any size space and, in particular, small spaces.
  • Angle
    Most retractable attic ladders rest at an angle of 64 degrees. The staircase you have in your two or more story home rests at about 40 to 45 degrees. So, the attic ladder is fairly steep in comparison.
  • Handrail
    A handrail is provided for stability when climbing up and down your ladder. Not all ladders come with handrails.
Price & Warranty

Depending on the size, material, and many other additional features, the cost difference between retractable attic ladders may vary. On the list we have provided below, you will find ladders from anywhere between and around $100 and $700. Most of the attic ladders on our list have a 2-year warranty. However, some require you to contact the seller directly, and Werner Ladders have a limited warranty.


8 Best Attic Ladders Reviewed

1. Louisville Ladder AA2510

best attic ladder

Material

Aluminum

Rough Opening

25.5” x 54”

Load Capacity

375 lbs.

Ceiling Height

7’ to 10’

Weight

51 lbs.

The Louisville Ladder AA2510 is the best attic ladder on our list for several reasons. Compared to most ladders on the market, this Louisville is made out of aluminum, making it incredibly lightweight. This model in particular weighs in at only 51 lbs. It can also carry more weight than most ladders and supports up to 375 lbs. Consumers will appreciate the slip-resistance cross-tread steps, which will keep your footing steady while climbing or carrying heavy objects.

Another great feature included with this product is its adjustable shoes to keep it steady wherever it's placed. The advanced cylinder design makes opening and closing a smooth and quiet transition, while also preventing any damage from hard door slamming. The ladder can easily be pulled down with the ergonomic T-shaped handle.

You have just two sizes to choose from when purchasing this model: either a 22.5" by 54" rough opening or a 25.5" by 54" rough opening. Unfortunately, this model does not come with an installation kit included. However, the included EZ hang strap provides you with a quick and easy installation. The door on this Louisville Ladder also offers little to no insulation, so depending on your energy cost requirements and your attic space's size, it's worth considering a separate insulation box.  

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Insulated door
  • High weight capacity

Cons

  • No installation kit
  • No insulation

2. FAKRO LWP 66809

best insulated attic ladder

Material

Wood

Rough Opening

30” x 54”

Load Capacity

300 lbs.

Ceiling Height

7’10” to 10’1”

Weight

65 lbs.

The FAKRO LWP 66809 is the best insulated attic ladder on our list. This easy-to-install wooden attic ladder is cost-effective with its R-value of 5.9 to protect against heat loss. It comes with special thick rubber gaskets that are placed between the boards to block airflow. This ladder is also notable because it's designed to be adjustable for different ceiling heights and can accommodate a ceiling from 7 to 10 ft high. The box frame, as well as the ladder itself, are made from high-quality pine.

Thoughtfully designed grooves have been carved into each step to ensure the consumer runs into no issues with slippage. Passing all technical and safety requirements, this FAKRO model also has an opening mechanism in place that ensures the ladder will not slam shut once fully extended. The added benefit of a wooden ladder is that it won’t heat up the way metal can. This model also comes with a 2-year warranty.

The weight capacity can hold up to 300 lbs. Though easy-to-install, this ladder does not come with installation hardware, but it can be easily purchased separately. At a 65 degree angle, the steps on this model are relatively steep, and you'll need to be mindful of your knees when climbing.

Pros

  • Insulation
  • Adjustable ceiling height
  • 2 year warranty

Cons

  • Steep
  • Only holds 300 lbs

3. FAKRO LMS 66869

best garage attic ladder

Material

Steel

Rough Opening

30” x 54”

Load Capacity

350 lbs.

Ceiling Height

7’11” to 10’1”

Weight

71 lbs.

The FAKRO LMS 66869 is the best garage attic ladder because of its durability. Not only do steel ladders last longer, but they can withstand the wear and tear of garage life. You won't dent this ladder easily, and it is anything but fragile. Buyers love the way this FAKRO is engineered. It was designed to fit ceilings between 7’ and 11” up to 10’ and 1”. Customers feel the door opens and closes with ease and find there is little to no hassle with everyday function.

This model is also so sturdy that it can support a weight capacity of up to 350 lbs. Additionally, the FAKRO LMS 66869 comes with an insulated wooden door and frame with an R-value of 5.2 to reduce energy costs. Backed with a 2-year warranty, you'll have plenty of time to make sure this ladder meets all of your needs.

With a material of mostly steel, this means the ladder itself will be on the heavier side, and this model, in particular, weighs in at 71 lbs. For customers who are looking for a handrail for balance, this model doesn't come with one.

Pros

  • Holds up to 350 lbs
  • Durable
  • Size options

Cons

  • Heavy
  • No handrail

4. Werner W2210

best folding attic ladder

Material

Wood

Rough Opening

22-½” x 54”

Load Capacity

250 lbs.

Ceiling Height

8’9” to 10’4”

Weight

61 lbs.

The Werner W2210 is the best folding attic ladder. From floor to ceiling, this folding attic ladder can reach from 8' and 9" in height up to 10' and 4". This model is designed thoughtfully with a counterbalance mechanism that eliminates sag and springiness, ensuring a sturdy climb. There is absolutely no assembly needed for this Werner ladder as it already comes prepared for a quick and easy setup. The smooth wooden fiberboard door, as well as the ladder, are both light in color and ready for staining.

A unique feature that this Werner has is its wrap-around door hinge that was designed to help protect against heat loss. Weighing in at only 61 lbs, this attic ladder is on the lighter side and easy to install for consumers who don't want to deal with the hassle of heavy lifting. If you're on a budget, this attic ladder is one of the most affordable models.

Lightweight wooden ladders also tend to be built for a lower weight capacity, and this model can only support up to 250 lbs. The manufacturer also did not include any warranty. A handrail is not included with this product.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Wrap-around door hinge (for insulation)
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No warranty
  • Low weight capacity

5. WERNER LADDER AA1510

best lightweight attic ladder

Material

Aluminum

Rough Opening

21” x 36”

Load Capacity

250 lbs.

Ceiling Height

7’ to 9’10”

Weight

15.47 lbs.

The Werner Ladder AA1510 is the best lightweight attic ladder on our list, weighing in at 15.47 lbs. Such a lightweight product ensures buyers an easily manageable installation process. This easy-to-open-and-close attic ladder comes with an assist pole to help with stability while climbing. With a floor to ceiling height-range between 7' and 9'-10", this kind of ladder is best suited for small openings.

Consumers will find this model is perfect for closets, hallways, and other tight spaces. A telescoping design takes away the hassle of adjustments that are necessary with most attic ladders, as it glides with ease into itself and then back out again. The Werner AA1510 also comes with non-marring feet to prevent any scuff marks on the homeowner's floor.

Buyers who may need a heavier weight capacity if they plan to store bulky or heavy objects will find that this ladder isn't built to carry any more than 250 lbs at a time. Customers also noted that the lock for the door isn't very secure and with heat and humidity, it slides, causing the door to fall open. This product does not come with any warranty.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Non-marring feet
  • Assist pole

Cons

  • Lower weight capacity
  • No warranty

6. Louisville Ladder S224P

best attic ladder for the money

Material

Wood

Rough Opening

22-½” x 54”

Load Capacity

250 lbs.

Ceiling Height

7’ to 8’-¾”

Weight

51 lbs.

The Louisville Ladder S224P is the best attic ladder for the money. This cost effective wooden attic ladder provides you with reinforced steps built with grooves for traction and gives the buyer a safer climbing experience. A wire rod was built in underneath each carefully designed step to ensure your safety with added strength. This Louisville also comes with an EZ hang strap system intentionally designed for a quick-and-easy installation.

The elegant wooden finish is intended for a customizable look and can be easily painted or stained to suit the customer's desired aesthetic. A full-grip handrail is built-in for added safety and stability. This model glides in and out silently and efficiently with its ergonomic T-shaped handle. Weighing in at 51 lbs, this attic ladder is not ultra lightweight, but it’s on the lower-weight end and should be easy to install with just two people.

With a ceiling height of 7’ to 8’ and 9”, this ladder is perfect for smaller spaces. Unfortunately, the weight capacity doesn’t facilitate heavier objects and persons as it cannot carry any more than 250 lbs at a time. Some customers noted they had to add extra screws to ensure the product’s stability. The manufacturer also does not include any warranty with this product.

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Reinforced steps
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Low weight capacity
  • No warranty

7. FAKRO LST 860432

best scissor attic ladder 

Material

Steel

Rough Opening

27” x 31”

Load Capacity

300 lbs.

Ceiling Height

7’2” x 9’6”

Weight

88 lbs.

The FAKRO LST 860432 is the best scissor attic ladder. A heavy-duty ladder weighing in at 88 lbs and with a weight capacity of 300 lbs is made out of steel and will ensure your stability and long lasting durability. Scissor style attic ladders such as this FAKRO model, provide you with a unique folding system perfect for a more modern aesthetic. The S-shaped rings also function as a handrail, which customers found very useful. Additionally, an insulation system is built into this design with the carefully thought out thick rubber gaskets that were placed between boards and give this attic ladder an R-value of 5.2, protecting you against heat loss.

High-quality pine was chosen for the door and frame, and a unique opening mechanism for the hatch ensures a slow and smooth motion. The mechanism also prevents the door from slamming shut. Each step has been carefully carved to create traction for a steady climb. This product comes with a 2-year warranty.

Attic ladders made out of steel tend to be on the heavier side. This model in particular weighs in at 88 lbs, potentially making it more challenging to assemble alone or with persons who may not be able to manage a heavyweight product installation. Buyers have noted that the opening was too small for their spaces, so this product may not be suited for you if it doesn’t match your specific opening measurement requirements.

Pros

  • 2-year warranty
  • Insulation
  • Weight capacity

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Small opening

8. Louisville Ladder AL228P

best sliding attic ladder

Material

Aluminum

Rough Opening

22-½” x 63”

Load Capacity

350 lbs.

Ceiling Height

10’ - 12’

Weight

63.8 lbs.

The Louisville Ladder AL228P is the best sliding attic ladder on our list. This ladder conveniently slides down from your attic space and comes in an easy-to-use compact design. If you have a tall attic ceiling (approximately 10 feet or higher) with trusses on 16” or 24” trusses, it can be difficult to find an attic ladder that can be installed in your space.

This attic ladder is a great fit for tall ceilings on 16” or 24” trusses and won’t require a series of frustrating product adjustments. Adjustable feet on this model fits most spaces. Strong aluminum hinges and steps can hold up to 350 lbs. This model also comes with a hook and pole, making opening the door a breeze. An added bonus is that this ladder meets safety standards set by OSHA.

Unfortunately, the wooden frame that comes with this attic ladder package is lower quality and lacks the durability of the aluminum ladder. However, the frame isn’t used when climbing up or down and doesn’t affect the functionality of the ladder. We have heard that some consumers find installation difficult, and it's best to hire a handyman or install the ladder with a friend. The attic ladder does come with a quick installation kit that includes roofing nails, an EZ hang strap system, and plywood shims for home installation. If you want a durable, strong aluminum ladder that slides and offers a compact design, the Louisville Ladder AL228P is an excellent choice for your home.

Pros

  • Great for tall ceilings
  • Strong aluminum ladder
  • Compact design
  • Adjustable feet

Cons

  • Installation can be difficult
  • Wood frame not high-quality

Installing An Attic Ladder

Depending on the attic ladder you choose, each ladder on our list will provide you with an easy installation process. To install an attic ladder, follow the instructions provided with your purchase. Most basic attic ladder installations involve two people and simple handyman tools: hammer, Philips head screwdriver, slot head screwdriver, framing square, hand saw, and a power drill. We also recommend screws, nails, shims, and possibly temporary support slats (refer to your specific attic ladder installation instructions).

The process involves making an initial hole, cutting an opening, and framing the attic access point. Then you want to secure the door frame and place the ladder before stabilizing it. If you would prefer to work with a professional, most attic ladders can be professionally installed for $200 to $700 depending on your home set-up. If you want to install the attic ladder on your own, this video from Koven Carlson offers an overview of the installation process.


How To Use & Operate Attic Stairs

To use and operate attic stairs, it’s important to first know what kind of attic ladder you have in your home. There are several types: cover fold down, scissor, folding, sliding, and telescoping. Regardless of your attic ladder type, most ladders involve opening a door with a handle and then slowly lowering the ladder downward. The ladder may slide down or open up with several folds.

When your attic ladder is not in use, you want to fold the ladder down to create a clear walkway. In some cases, this involves slowly folding the ladder into two or three parts before sliding it up. In other cases, the ladder can slide straight up without folding for storage.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Which is better – wood or aluminum attic ladder?

We recommend an aluminum attic ladder for most homeowners. Aluminum tends to be stronger and more durable when compared to wooden ladders. Aluminum is also less likely to break down from moisture and temperature levels. 


How much do attic ladders cost?

The attic ladders on our list cost between $110 and $650. The more expensive attic ladders tend to have additional features such as padded insulation, ergonomic handles, and slip-resistant steps. More expensive ladders may also have better warranties.


Is it safe to go up in the attic?

Yes, it is safe to go up in most attic spaces. Ensure that your home inspector has given you a specific weight for storage and cleared the space as capable of holding your human weight and storage weight. 


How do you get into an attic without a ladder?

An attic ladder is the easiest and safest way to get into your attic. However, if you do not have an attic ladder, you can use a traditional ladder or build an old-fashioned staircase.


Can I replace attic ladder spring hinges myself?

Yes, it is possible to replace attic ladder spring hinges by yourself. We recommend purchasing springs through Amazon or a local hardware store. Make sure that you follow this video by Buyer’s Inspection Service to install your hinges safely.


Who makes the best attic ladders?

We recommend Louisville attic ladders as the best attic ladder brand. We have several Louisville ladders on our list and believe this brand most consistently delivers strong, functional, and durable ladders.


What is the minimum opening size of attic access?

The international residential code is a minimum opening size of 30 square feet with a minimum vertical height of 30 inches. The actual frame opening for the attic ladder must be 22 by 30 inches at a minimum.


Where is the best place to buy attic ladders and replacement parts?

We recommend buying attic ladders from Amazon as they have a wide selection of attic ladders and tools required for installation. Home Depot and Lowe’s are also good options for attic ladders and attic ladder replacement parts.


Conclusion

Attic ladders help homeowners easily climb into their attic and back down again, making it possible to use attic space for storage. We recommend the Louisville Ladder AA2510 for most people because of its lightweight yet sturdy aluminum build, slip-resistance cross-tread steps, and ergonomic T-shaped handle.

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