When it comes to home maintenance and DIY projects, step ladders are an essential bit of kit. They’re great for helping you paint higher areas of walls or ceilings, for cleaning hard to reach areas and for getting things down from the attic.
When buying a step ladder, you want something compact and easy to store, as well as safe and sturdy so that you feel secure while working.
I’ve reviewed the top ten best step ladders out there to help narrow down the options for you – I’ve chosen a variety of products within a wide price range, so there’s something for everyone and every job...
With so many ladders available on the market it can be confusing to know which size best suits your needs. Should you guess and go with one? Probably not...
Most traditional 'step' ladders will only consist of 2,3 or 4 steps. These are small ladders and usually reach a maximum height of 6 ft tall. Many sizes are reviewed below.
Click through the view the product in more detail on Amazon and always remember to read customer reviews before buying.
Considerations When Choosing a Ladder
When you are looking for a step ladder, there are a lot of things you may not consider. Step ladders have a myriad of uses, and each use has a separate consideration. Here are things to think about before you purchase.
Because step ladders are so versatile, they need to be able to handle anything you need them for. When painting, you will want to have sturdy footing, especially if you are still working overhead while standing on the ladder.
Step ladders come in a variety of styles. The two most common are folding and a-frame. Folding ladders have a handle, and the steps fold down for easy transport and storage. A-frame ladders have two hinges in the middle of two pieces; the steps side collapses into the backside to make them easier to store.
You can also find telescoping step ladders, though they are far less common. Usually, these are reserved for standard-sized ladders, though some brands make smaller step ladders to mimic their larger size line-up.
Height & Weight Considerations
Another thing to think about is how much weight the ladder can hold. While it may be rated to support your weight, you will also need to consider the weight of your tools and equipment that you may be hoisting up with your body.
The point of a step ladder is to get you even with your work surface. If the ladder will not get you high enough, and you still need to reach, you may want to consider a standard-sized ladder.
Because they are smaller, it is easy to forget basic safety considerations. However, when you are spray painting with your new airless paint spray gun, the last thing on your mind is how safe the step ladder is.
You never want to stand on the pail shelf (top step). Nor do you want to walk the ladder while you are standing on it. All step ladders will come with a manual that will outline all of their safety precautions and warnings.
10 Best Step Ladders On The Market
1. Rubbermaid RM-3W
- Folding 3-step steel frame stool with...
- Designed with a hand grip and plastic steps
- Folds up for easy storage
- Type III duty rating and 200-pound load...
First up is a awesome three-step ladder from Rubbermaid.
This folds away easily so that you can store it in even the smallest of cupboards, and it’s easy to transport around the home, or put in the back of a car or van.
The steps are nice and wide, so you’ll feel safe no matter what, and also lock in place. They’re coated with non-slip material, too.
This ladder reaches just over twenty seven inches in height, meaning you can reach those hard to get to places!
Whether you’re doing a spring clean or freshening up the walls with a lick of paint, this is the best step ladder for the job.
- ESSENTIAL FOR ANY ROOM - Height assist for...
- LIGHTWEIGHT - Easy to carry for multiple jobs
- NON-MARRING - Leg tips keep floors clean
- SECURE - Extra large, slip resistant step
Cosco offers a great step ladder for an even greater price.
This may only have two steps (although there is a three step option - see below), but it comes with a handy rubber grip on the handle so you can climb up and down while feeling secure. Again, big steps with grippy material mean that you can clamber up and down with ease.
Even better, the feet are covered in non-marring material, so you can use it on any kind of surface without worrying leaving any marks behind.
You can use this for cleaning around the home, as well as painting and decorating jobs.
3. Best Choice Products Shade 3 Step Ladder
- PROJECT ACCESSORY: Perfect for both indoor...
- STABLE AND STURDY: Wide steps and anti-skid...
- DURABLE AND SECURE: High-grade steel frame is...
- PORTABLE AND SPACE-SAVING: Lightweight,...
Best Choice have created a sturdy step ladder with three steps and the ultimate security. Easy to fold and store, this ladder is great for DIY around the home.
My favorite thing?
It comes with a handy tray so that you can keep all your tools at the top of the ladder instead of having to climb up and down constantly/ summon your offspring to bring you paintbrushes and mugs of coffee (don’t lie, everyone does it!)
Anti-skid feet mean that you can use this on lino, tiles and laminated floors without worrying about slipping and sliding around. Wide-set legs only add to its sturdiness!
4. Flip-N-Lite 300-Pound Duty Rating Platform Stepladder
- Comfortable standing platform makes the...
- Extra-wide rungs prevent foot fatigue.
- Lightweight aluminum stepladder is easy to...
- The Flip-N-Lite meets or exceeds all OSHA and...
Flip-N-Lite’s five foot ladder is at the top end of my price range, but it’s well worth splashing out. Despite its height, it’s a very lightweight ladder so you can easily transport it if needed.
It’s a nice, compact ladder so also stores away without much effort. The top level of this makes for a perfect standing platform – wide and stable so you’ll feel safe whatever you’re doing.
Great for DIY tasks and any cleaning jobs you need to get on with around the home, this ladder does come in different heights if you think you need a little more or less.
5. Cosco Three Step Max Steel Work Platform
- EASY TO USE - Easily folds with the one-hand...
- CONVENIENT - Project trays include slots for...
- STABLE AND SECURE - Large platform step with...
- SAFETY - Meets ANSI standards for Type II...
If you’re looking for the easiest step ladder to assemble, this might just be the one for you!
Cosco’s three step ladder only needs one hand to set it up, so you can easily do so while holding a paint tin or feather duster in the other hand. This product also comes with a storage tray at the top, which is moulded and perfect for storing your painting tools.
The feet are anti-marring, so you can safely use it on indoor surfaces without worrying about leaving any marks.
Secure, grippy and non-slippy, you’ll be safe atop this ladder no matter what you’re doing.
6. Jeronic 11-Inch Plastic Folding Step Stool
- Approx 11 Inch Black with dots Ideal use for...
- Great folding step stool for in the kitchen,...
- Foldable step stool opens with one flip of...
- Handle for easy carrying, Approximately...
For those looking for a step ladder that’s small in height as well as price, this product is perfect.
Just eleven inches and under ten dollars, this folding step ladder is great for jobs around the home. It may not help you paint the ceiling, but it’s great for little jobs you want to get on with.
It’s compact and folds away so easily you won’t even know it’s there – it assembles quickly and is sturdy and safe. Good for your DIY needs, great for your little ones who want to help out but don’t like the vertigo that comes with some of the bigger ladders out there!
7. Best Choice Products Multi Purpose Aluminum Ladder
Anyone looking to splash out should look no further. This may be one of the priciest ladders on my list, but it’s well worth the money – the best step ladder for getting to those hard to reach places.
This ladder stretches to twelve and a half feet, making it the best ladder for painting ceilings and gutters. This is a great bit of kit for any outdoor work, as it’s coated in rust-proof material.
It’s compact enough to store inside, but can be kept outside if needed.
You can use it in a variety of ways – as a telescoping ladder, as a stairway stepladder or as a simple step ladder!
8. Louisville Ladder FS1510
- SUPERIOR BUILD: This 10-foot stepladder is...
- STURDY AND STRONG: With its 300-Pound...
- DESIGNED FOR YOUR NEEDS: Molded top with...
- PROTECTED: Inside spreader braces keep your...
This may be the most expensive ladder on my list, but I still had to include it. Made of fiberglass, this step ladder from Louisville is a solid ten feet of stability.
This is a heavy duty ladder, bearing up to three hundred pounds so that you can feel secure whatever work you’re undertaking.
The steps on this ladder are wide and stable, reinforced with steels rivets for extra sturdiness.
This ladder is super durable, so well worth the money if you’re after an investment piece to add to your DIY den. There’s a reason this is in my top ten step ladder reviews.
9. Cosco Signature 3-Step Stool
- ESSENTAL FOR ANY ROOM - Height assist for...
- LIGHTWEIGHT - Easy to carry for multiple jobs
- NON-MARRING - Leg tips keep floors clean
- SECURE - Extra large, slip resistant step
Another Cosco gem, this three step ladder is a great way to add a little height for any tasks around the home. The steps on this ladder are super grippy and wide, so you’ll feel safe atop it.
The rear leg on this step ladder keeps it stable, and its non-marring feet allow you to work on any surface without having to worry about leaving any nasty marks behind.
This is worth the money for anyone after a helping hand around the home, and is easy to transport around between jobs or around the house and garden.
10. VonHaus Steel Folding Portable 4 Step Ladder
Finally, VonHaus’ steel ladder offers support for up to one hundred and fifty pounds – three wide steps support you whatever you’re up to.
Grippy material coats the steps so that you’re secure, and the wide legs prevent any slipping.
This ladder is easy to transport as it’s lightweight – it’s also super easy to fold and store compactly. Mid-range in terms of price; great in terms of quality.
If you’re after something to help you paint high up places, this is the ladder for you. Coated steel means that this ladder is also good for outdoor work – reaching gutters and low roofs is no problem with this step ladder!
Wooden, Plastic or Metal Ladders: Which is Best?
Aluminum tends to be the material of choice when it comes to ladders. That’s because they are lightweight. With a wood or fiberglass model, they become too heavy as the size extends. That’s why you’ll only find them in smaller ladder sizes.
A plastic ladder isn’t going to be a durable option, so you should avoid that if possible. The only time that these would be acceptable is if you’re buying a step stool ladder.
For the best construction, price and lightweight capability, you want an aluminum ladder. As you can see with the Flip-N-Lite 300-Pound Duty Rating Platform Stepladder, you get a nice lightweight construction that is still stable enough to hold 300 pounds.
What is the Difference between 2-Step & 3-Step Ladders?
A 3-step ladder is going to get you elevated higher than a 2-step will, but you have additional safety concerns to think about. Many people opt to use the 3-step ladder when they need to reach something high or do a small project around the house like changing light bulbs.
In this case, you’ll want something with a solid construction, wide steps and sturdy gripping handle. If you just need a little boost off the ground, a 2-step ladder works well. These are also handy to have for kids who want to help in the kitchen or with laundry.
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Use A Step Ladder?
Position it where you want it and open it up. Then, face the stepladder as you climb up. Maintain a firm grip on the handle at all times.
How Do I Fold A Step Ladder?
Each ladder has different methods of folding, so you’ll want to refer to your manual.
Where Can I Buy A Quality Ladder?
Many hardware stores carry quality ladders, but the largest selection can be found at Amazon.
Do I Need A Telescoping Or Step Ladder?
If you will be planning to do more extensive projects, or need to reach high heights, then a telescoping ladder is better suited to your needs.
What is the best ladder for home use?
The best ladder for use around the home will be one that can get you to the heights you need to be at, whether for a painting job or just to reach that glass in the back of the cabinet. Ideally, though, a fiberglass 4-step ladder or 6-foot ladder will accomplish most tasks around the home.
Which is better, aluminum or fiberglass ladder?
In most situations, the fiberglass models will be better. They are stronger than aluminum, don’t conduct electricity, and aren’t susceptible to rust, corrosion, or mold.
How do I determine the right size ladder for my needs?
Step ladders are designed to help you reach higher places while still being small and portable. They aren’t designed for long term use or for getting you very high in the air. The best way to determine what size ladder you need is to determine how many feet you need extra, so you are not working above your head.
What is the highest step ladder in the market today?
Technically, the Skyscraper 1A by Little Giant is a step ladder, and it has a reach of over 21-feet.
These top ten products have all made it into my best ladder reviews for a reason. Whether they’re a great budget buy or an investment piece, these step ladders each have something that makes them stand out. If you’re looking for a good little ladder for small jobs in the home, I’ve got you covered.
Equally, if you’re looking for more of a telescoping step ladder for higher up jobs, there are options here for you, too. It’s important to consider what you’ll be using the ladder for before you get carried away – price, length and add-ons are all important things to think about (I’m all about the trays, personally).
There’s one thing all my picks have in common though: they’re sturdy, safe to use and secure – everything you need from a step ladder!