For some, an attic is wasted space simply because it’s a hassle to get to. Closets and trunks are stuffed, while the loft – which could potentially provide plenty of handy storage – remains empty. But your loft doesn’t have to be a mystery if you have the right ladder to reach it.
A loft ladder is a safe and space-saving way to access your attic. Unlike the old-school (and rather dangerous) technique of leaning a standalone ladder against the opening, modern loft ladders are sturdy and secure.
However, finding the perfect loft ladder for you will depend on several details, including the measurements of your loft, the people who will be using it and even your personal style. The good news is that, once you find the right one, loft ladders are generally easy to install and use.
There are a surprising number of options available when it comes to loft ladders, but the key thing to remember is safety – if you’re planning on carrying boxes, or other items, up and down the ladder, it’s important that you can do so with as little risk as possible.
Below, we’ll discuss what types of loft ladders are available and round up some of the best options you can buy now.
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Best loft ladders: At a glance
- Best overall loft ladder: Dolle Hobby Wooden Loft Ladder | £179
- Best concertina loft ladder: BPS Access Solutions Concertina Loft Ladder | £180
- Best loft ladder access kit: Youngman Timberline Loft Ladder Access Kit | £139
- Best vertical wall loft ladder: Premio Vertical Steel Concertina Loft Ladder | £995
- Best telescopic loft ladder: Youngman Telescopic Loft Ladder | £220
- Best aluminium loft ladder: Youngman Aluminium Loft Ladder | £90
How to choose the best loft ladder
What types of loft ladders are available?
There are a few different types of loft ladders to choose from. These include:
- Sliding loft ladders: A common and straightforward option, they’re generally made with two or three sections that slide down from the loft and lock into place. They’re typically mounted to the loft floor, meaning you’ll need to consider the floor-to-floor height, not just floor-to-hatch.
- Telescopic loft ladders: This is technically a type of sliding ladder but designed to be a bit more streamlined and easy to use. They also tend to take up much less space as they’re constructed more compactly.
- Concertina loft ladders: If you’re really looking to conserve space, this is the best option. These metal ladders fold together and are stored right on the hatch door, so they don’t really take up any loft space. You can find standalone concertina ladders, but also ladders that include the hatch.
- Folding loft ladders: This type is similar to sliding ladders. They’re typically either metal or wood, and they pretty much always include a hatch, as it’s part of the ladder’s overall construction. This means that, like concertina ladders, they tend to store on the door, saving you space in the attic.
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What features should I look for in a good loft ladder?
There are several things to consider when shopping for a good loft ladder. To start, you’ll want to look at the size of the ladder you need. You’ll need to know the measurements from floor-to-floor and floor-to-hatch, the storage measurements, and the loft opening measurements.
Next, you should be looking at safety features. These days most ladders come with anti-slip treads, but you need to be sure you choose one that does, and don’t just assume it will. It’s also worth considering whether it comes with a handrail. You’ll want a ladder with reliable locking mechanisms and, finally, one that’s made from a durable and sturdy material, so it won’t bend or buckle from use.
Tied into this will be the ladder’s maximum weight allowance. When you look at that data, keep in mind that it’s not just your own physical weight you should factor in – you’ll also need to consider what you’ll be carrying up and down the ladder to ensure you don’t risk exceeding its weight limit.
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The best loft ladders you can buy in 2022
1. Dolle Hobby Wooden Loft Ladder: The best overall loft ladder
Price: £179 | Buy now from Ladders UK Direct
For an all-round convenient and aesthetically pleasing loft ladder, the Dolle Hobby ladder is an excellent choice. Made of spruce, this ladder is ideal for trapdoor lofts – it folds into three sections and stores entirely on the hatch, which means it won’t take up any extra storage space in your loft.
The ladder features a metal handrail and includes a pole for pulling the ladder down. It has wide, deep wooden treads, making it comfortable for climbing up and down, and they’re also non-slip, making it safe to use.
This loft ladder comes with the hatch, and the hinges on the trapdoor are hidden, so it’s easy to paint, stain or varnish, to match your home’s character. The ladder has a maximum weight load of 150kg and is tested and certified to the European Ladder Standard.
Key specs – Max load: 150kg; Max floor-to-floor height: 2.85m (extension kits available for up to 3.5m); Material: Timber; Handrail: Yes; Hatch: Yes; Pole: Yes
Buy now from Ladders UK Direct
2. BPS Access Solutions Concertina Loft Ladder: The best concertina loft ladder
Price: £180 | Buy now from Amazon
This convenient ladder is a perfect choice for awkwardly located doors or loft areas with limited space. With an aperture width of 45cm, this ladder will work in practically any space that you can fit your shoulders through, and it arrives fully assembled, so all you have to do is fit it on the door.
The ladder’s treads are designed to be both extra deep and extra wide, with a rubber coating that’s unique to the company. The ladder is deceptively strong, having a maximum load weight of 150kg, and it has a double sprung mechanism to handle its weight as it’s being lowered or lifted.
Included with the ladder is a conversion kit to change a lifting door into a swing-down one to match the ladder. It also has a hook for lowering the ladder, though not a pole for the hook itself.
Key specs – Max load: 150kg; Max floor-to-ceiling height: 2.74m; Material: Aluminium; Handrail: No; Hatch: No; Pole: No
3. Youngman Timberline Loft Ladder Kit: The best loft ladder access kit
Price: £139 | Buy now from Wickes
For those who want to install a loft entrance themselves, the Youngman Timberline kit makes easy work of it. The kit comes partially assembled – making installation an even quicker process – and includes the ladder itself, a 26mm insulated trapdoor, a loft surround and a pole for accessing the ladder.
As mentioned, the trapdoor is fully insulated, preventing draughts or heat loss from the loft area. Both sides of the door are laminated, making it easy to clean. The ladder stores right on top of the trapdoor, so it doesn’t take up any loft space.
The ladder has slip-resistant treads, making it safe and comfortable when carrying things up and down. It uses spring-assisted stowage, so opening and closing is smooth and simple. The kit is designed to accommodate ceilings as high as nine feet and can be cut to suit your needs.
Key specs – Max load: 150kg; Max floor-to-ceiling height: 2.80m; Material: Timber; Handrail: No; Hatch: Yes; Pole: Yes
Buy now from Wickes
4. Premio Vertical Wall Steel Concertina Loft Ladder: The best vertical wall loft ladder
Price: £995 | Buy now from Loft Centre
Some lofts have their doors located in a wall rather than in a ceiling and for that, you’ll need an appropriately designed ladder. This steel concertina ladder will offer easy access to even the most awkwardly placed wall entrances. It includes a galvanised steel hatch that locks in using four clamps to keep it in place, and a shock-absorbing, spring-assisted, chipboard trapdoor.
The ladder is available in multiple standard opening sizes, up to a height of more than three metres, and has a right-side telescopic handrail for safety, as well as non-slip treads and support wheels for stability. As with many loft ladders, the Premio folds and stores neatly behind the trapdoor, so it won’t take up space. This set also includes an operating pole and all the appropriate fittings to install it.
Key specs – Max load: 150kg; Max floor-to-floor height: 3.25m; Material: Zinc plated steel; Handrail: Yes; Hatch: Yes; Pole: Yes
5. Youngman Telescopic Loft Ladder: The best telescopic loft ladder
Price: £220 | Buy now from Wickes
A compact space calls for a compact ladder, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with this telescopic design. The ladder’s folded dimensions are small enough that it will take up next to no space in your loft. It’s easy to install and adjusts to three different heights to match your loft height without the need to cut.
For safety, the ladder automatically locks in place when in use, and it has extra wide steps so users can feel comfortable while climbing or descending. The feet have slip-resistant coverings for both safety and floor protection, but there’s no handrail and no pole for easy access.
Sturdy and secure, this aluminium ladder is the perfect option for anyone looking for a sleek and simple loft ladder. With nine treads and the standard maximum load weight of 150kg, this ladder is a DIY dream.
Key specs – Max load: 150kg; Max floor-to-floor height: 2.61m; Material: Aluminium; Handrail: No; Hatch: No; Pole: No
Buy now from Wickes
6. Youngman Aluminium Loft Ladder: The best aluminium loft ladder
Price: £99 | Buy now from Amazon
Some people prefer the industrial look of metal over the rustic style of wood, even with a loft ladder. This sliding, three-section ladder has a unique shoot bolt fastening, making it both safe and easy to use.
It’s a good choice for tight spaces, as it folds neatly, taking up minimal attic room. It has wide treads for comfortable use, and a pivot arm to help it open and close smoothly. It also features a handrail on one side for extra safety.
It’s important to note that this ladder only works with a swing-down door, not a lifting door, as it attaches beyond the frame. There’s no conversion kit to switch the direction of the door included with the ladder, but it does come with a pole for easy access.
Key specs – Max load: 150kg; Max floor-to-floor height: 3m; Material: Aluminium; Handrail: Yes; Hatch: No; Pole: Yes