The 5 Best Attic Ladders [Ranked]

In this post, we examine 5 of the best-selling attic ladders and see how they compare. First we'll take a look at how they're used and installed.

Attic ladders are useful to have in your home if you have an attic or loft. Without one, you won't have a convenient way to reach the attic.

These ladders install into your attic and easily drop down so you can quickly clamber up.  (Scroll down for an installation video).

You will want a quality option, though, since you won't want it breaking as are climbing through a musty attic access panel (Source).

These ladders are generally retractable. This is because you won't want to leave the ladder to your attic down all the time. Usually, these will fold up into the attic when you aren't using them (Source).

You will need to consider the material as well as the tread on the ladder. The material will ensure durability while the tread secures the weight it can handle. If you want to carry a lot of heavy loads, look for a wider tread.

Attic Ladders Compared

How To Install An Attic Ladder

How Do They Compare?


Most of the attic ladders that we are looking at here today are steel or aluminum, giving them durability. The shorter Louisville option is wooden, though, making it a  flimsier, if more aesthetically attractive, choice. This difference isn't too noticeable though and didn't bother many customers.

The next difference is if they are telescoping or folding attic stairs. Both Louiseville options are folding, each made with strong hinges. The Werner and OxGord ladders, though, are telescoping.

The Fakro option is interesting in its design. Rather than folding or telescoping in the traditional sense, it is a steel scissor design. This means that each step has an almost circular space between it and the next step.

The areas fold in on themselves, making this a folding ladder. Instead of folding like the other models, though, this ladder has a more accordion design.

Best Attic Ladders For 2017

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The Louisville Ladder aluminum attic ladder is a solid option if you want a lightweight model. Users love the sturdiness of this attic ladder, but some do complain about the poor quality of the wooden frame.

This attic ladder that uses gas cylinders instead of springs, which means that you need less force for opening and closing the attic stairway and it also eliminates door slamming. It is rated for 350-pound load capacity. The item is claimed to be fitted with extra insulating panels that help to keep the heat in. This item might be a solid choice if you need access to your additional storage space.

In general, buyers have a favorable opinion of the Louisville Ladder 350 lbs. attic ladder. They agree that it is well-made, sturdy and fairly easy to install. Users appreciate that the distance between the steps and depth of the steps are comfortable for safe use.

However, some complain that the wooden frame is not of good quality and that the joins are uneven and coming apart. In addition, some state that the latch cover doesn’t fit very tightly.

Pros

  • Well-made
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to install
  • Comfortable distance between the steps and depth of the steps

Cons

  • Some complain that the wooden frame is not of good quality
  • Complaint – the joins might be uneven and come apart
  • Some state that the latch cover doesn't fit very tightly

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you are looking for an attic ladder, you might want to consider this Werner Ladder model. Users like the compactness of this attic ladder, but some complain of the flimsiness.

This product is an aluminum telescoping ladder rated for 250 lbs. capacity. It is claimed to be lightweight and easy to open and close with the included assist pole. The stated floor to ceiling height range is 7 ft. to 9 ft. 10 inches (floor to floor). This item could be a solid choice if you need a ladder for hallways, closets and other tight spaces.

In general, users state that the Werner Ladder 250 lbs. attic ladder meets their expectations. They agree that this item is compact, easy to pull down and push up. Also, the installation is said to be pretty straightforward.

However, there are some who complain of a kind of light and flimsy feeling. Many state that the ladder is quite narrow and not heavy-duty.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Easy to pull down and push up
  • Straightforward installation

Cons

  • Some complain of a light and flimsy feeling
  • Many say the ladder is quite narrow and not heavy-duty

How to Install an Attic Ladder


  1. First, you need to measure your attic ladder opening size and mark it on your ceiling.
  2. Next, you are going to want to cut this opening out. If you are fitting a ladder into a pre-existing opening, skip to the next step.
  3. You will now need to create and cut header boards to fit the opening. The easiest way to install these is with a nail gun.
  4. Installing support boards around the opening is crucial as well. This will ensure that the system won't collapse under its own weight.
  5. Install shims. These are small, wooden blocks that will help to ensure support of the supports. It may sound redundant but you want to make sure this doesn't fall.
  6. Secure the ladder so that when it's open the legs are flat against the floor.
  7. From here, you will be able to open and close the ladder at will. If you are planning on closing it, you might want to also install a door to keep the ladder in place when it isn't in use (Source).

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The Louisville Ladder wooden attic ladder could be a solid option if you want an attic ladder that meets the safety standards set by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Users like that the ladder is well-made, but some complain of its sturdiness.

This ladder is able to be used in tight spots since it unfolds to provide a compact way for you to reach high-up storage areas. The manufacturer states that it folds and unfolds quietly. Other features include an exclusive metal EZ-hang straps for quick and simple installation, 250 lbs. load capacity, adjustable spring tension, and grooved steps on each ladder to, it’s claimed, provide maximum traction.

This item might be a solid choice if you want a ladder that offers greater access to a small attic or other storage areas, i.e. in tight spaces where regular staircases won’t fit.

The general user consensus concerning the Louisville Ladder attic ladder is that it is well-made and easy to install. Many buyers appreciate its good construction and solid mechanics.

Buyers warn that if you’re looking for pull-down attic ladder for everyday use this one may not be for you. However, if you’re just going to be using it occasionally to get to your storage, it should work just fine for many years.

Pros

  • Well-made
  • Easy to install
  • Good construction
  • Solid mechanics

Cons

  • Buyers suggest choosing a different ladder if you're looking for pull-down attic stairs for everyday use

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you’re looking for a top-rated attic ladder, you might want to consider the Fakro scissor attic ladder. Users like the design and functionality of this attic ladder, but some do complain of incorrect measurements.

This product’s ladder box frame is said to be constructed of high-quality pine. The manufacturer claims that the unique mechanism of the hatch ensures the ladder to open slowly and prevent it from slamming. Some features include S-shaped strings, thick rubber gasket insulation between the boards, a specially embossed pattern on the step surface for preventing accidental slippage and a maximum 300 lbs. load capacity.

This product might be a good choice if you are looking to avoid the installation of costly and space-consuming staircases.

In general, users have a good opinion of the Fakro insulated steel attic ladder and they conclude that it is sturdy, well-designed and well-engineered. Many buyers appreciate that the installation is straightforward and not complex.

However, some buyers complain that the advertised size is incorrect.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Well-designed
  • Well-engineered
  • Straightforward installation

Cons

  • Some buyers complain that the advertised size is incorrect

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The OxGord aluminum telescoping ladder is a solid option for someone who needs a lightweight multi-purpose ladder. Users like the functionality and price of this attic ladder, but some do complain about the poor quality construction.

This product is a 2.5 feet heavy duty extendable ladder reaching 12.5 feet at its full length. It features locking pins at each step and it is claimed to allow easy extension and shortening. The manufacturer boasts that this 12.5′ extension ladder is built to hold up to 250 lbs at an angle of 75 degrees. This attic ladder seems like a solid choice if you are looking for an inexpensive 12.5’ extend climb ladders.

The general user consensus concerning the OxGord attic ladder is that it is a decent and handy tool to have. They agree that it is functional and affordable. One happy purchaser states that the telescoping mechanism is easy to use. Moreover, he shares that the base is wide and feels stable, as well as that the red and green dots, which show you if the segment is locked, represent a good feature.

However, some buyers complain about the construction, saying that the ladder feels cheap and bends too much when fully extended. A dissatisfied purchaser we spoke with shares that the carry bag can tear easily and that the steps are a little narrow for your feet, though the width of the ladder is great.

Pros

  • Good price
  • Easy to use mechanism
  • Marks show if the segment is locked

Cons

  • Complaint – cheap construction
  • Some users complain that it is flimsy and bends too much when fully extended
  • Complaint – the carry bag tends to tear

What Are Buyers Saying?

Before you buy an attic ladder, you should run through a list of important considerations.

Different Brands

There are a variety of brands you can choose from- Home Depot options, Louisville ladders, Werner ladders, telescoping ladders, ones that are heavy-duty and pulldown, and others that are sliding and folding.

Our Research

Doing our research, we discovered a variety of different styles including large attic stairs, attached loft hatches, fold up attic ladders, attic ladders for 10 foot ceilings, pull down attic stairs, drop ladders, electric loft hatches, attic ladders and even sliding wooden loft ladders. In addition, our readers submitted the following different types in an effort to disambiguate this unexpectedly complex product category: folding wooden loft stairs, timber loft ladder, steel attic stairs, 12 foot attic ladders, folding stairs for garage, 11 foot pull down attic stairs, Ramsay Loft ladders, timber loft hatches, stair systems, foldable ladders, 10 ft attic ladder, collapsible loft ladder and extra wide attic ladder.

Where To Buy

You can purchase them at retail vendors such as Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, Ace Hardware, Walmart, Harbor Freight, Walgreens, in addition to Costco.

General Advantages

One of the primary advantages is that with a ladder installed you're more prone to access those hard to reach, elevated areas of your residence. This means that you'll be using the storage space more often, helping to keep your first and second floors more organized and neat.

Installation Considerations 

Installation usually isn't too complex and can be a fun DIY project for the family. While you can buy them online, local hardware stores will also sell you pre-assembled kits with do-it-yourself instructions to make it easy to build. While most of these attic ladder kits will seamlessly integrate between the ceiling and the framing which comprises the attic floor, sometimes you will have to enlarge the access hole slightly.

Make sure you have some power tools on hand so that you can frame and cut a wider access opening for your ladder. It should be said that you shouldn't cut truss roofs because of their interlocking system, but if you have a standard rafter framing system you can cut it. In terms of the exact spatial requirements, for a full-size attic ladder to properly function the ceiling opening should measure minimum 22.5" x 54".

Model Numbers To Consider

We took some time and compiled all the different attic ladder model #s. Check them out by cross-referencing them on Walmart. Let us know in the Comments section which one you'd like us to review next: 62022, 66801, 66802, 66803, 66804, 66809, 66820, 66821, 66822, 66823, 66854, 66855, 66858, 66859, 66865, 66866, 66867, 66868, 66869, 66875, 66891, 66892, 66893, 66894, 66894, 66895, 860432, 869716, 869717, 869718, 869719, 869720, AA1510B, AA2210, AA2510, AE2210, AH2210B, AH2510B, AH2512, AL228P, AL258P, CL254P, CS224P, CS254P, L224P, L254P, L305P, LTK RB-021185, LTK RB-021186, S224P, S254P, S305P, W2508, W2510, WH2508, WU2210

Other Installation Considerations 

Another often overlooked consideration is adequate landing space. This means that when you climb up it you'll want there to be suitable headroom and area space to access the attic without hitting your head or destroying your knees. You also want to do some length wise measurements to ensure that you don't purchase a ladder that is too long.

Perform these measurements by assessing the distance from the ceiling to the floor and then purchase one that is appropriately sized. Obviously, you'll want to purchase a sturdy ladder. Sometimes you have to consider who will be using it- an obese member of the family will be going up and down on it, make sure that it is rated for their weight.

Different Materials 

You'll also want to consider whether to purchase wood, steel or aluminum. Aluminum is widely considered a solid all-around option because it is strong and lightweight. Unlike wood that can be prone to rotting, aluminum is rust-resistant so it is hypothesized that it will withstand the negative effects of temperature changes and moisture better.

Other Buying Considerations 

Some other options you'll want to consider is whether you prefer steps or rungs, whether you want to handle rail, how steep the angle of the stairs and ladders are, and whether you prefer a folding or telescoping ladder.

Finally, make sure that your attic access panel is insulated. Many homeowners don't realize that you can lose a lot of cool air and heat through them.

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