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How To Choose The Best Loft Ladder In The UK?

A loft ladder is more convenient and saves more space compared to stairs. Most are foldable or retractable, meaning you can get the ladder out of the way when not in use.

A good loft ladder should be sturdy and easy to use. There are different types of loft ladders available ranging from simple one-piece ladders to electric loft ladders.

In this buying guide, we review the best loft ladders and give you tips for choosing the right one for your needs.

What to Consider When Choosing a Loft Ladder

1. Type of Ladder

Here are the most common types of loft ladders.

a) One-piece

A one-piece straight ladder is a traditional type of ladder that does not fold or retract. You simply lean it against the loft opening. You can fix it in place using brackets.

A one-piece ladder is ideal if you don’t see the need for a folding or retractable ladder, for example, if the ladder is not in the way. It’s also ideal if you want a ladder that’s easy and quick to set up.

One advantage of a one-piece ladder is its versatility. You can use it in any situation where you need to reach something high such as in the library or a bunk bed.

These types of ladders are also cheaper than folding, sliding or retractable ladders thanks to the simpler design.

b) Telescopic

A telescopic ladder is ideal if you don’t have much space in the loft to store the retracted ladder. Instead of folding, the treads of a telescopic ladder slide into each other.

When full retracted, a telescopic ladder is more compact than other types of loft ladders.

A telescopic ladder also requires very little clearance and can fit into a small loft opening.

Another advantage of a telescopic ladder is that it is easily adjustable to different heights. With other ladders, you have to cut off a section at the bottom if the ladder is too big. With a telescopic ladder, you extend the ladder only as far as you need.

A telescopic ladder is also easier to install and use.

c) Folding

Folding loft ladders have multiple sections – usually three – that fold onto each other.

Folding loft ladders are bulky and require quite a bit of storage and clearance space in the loft. They also take more time and work to install.

On the upside, folding ladders, especially wooden ones, are sturdier and can support more weight. If you go to the loft often, a folding ladder is the best.

d) Concertina

Concertina loft ladders have an accordion-like retraction mechanism. Like telescopic ladders, they take up less space in the loft and are easy to operate.

e) Electric

Electric loft ladders have a powered folding mechanism. You press a switch to unfold or retract the ladder.

The effortlessness of operating an electric loft ladder makes it ideal for the elderly and disabled. It’s also a great choice if you don’t want the hassle of pulling down the ladder every time you want to get into the loft.

2. Floor to Loft Height

Before you shop for a loft ladder, measure the distance between the floor and the loft. Some manufacturers specify the floor to loft floor height while others refer to the floor to ceiling height.

Make sure you get a ladder that is similar to or longer than your floor to ceiling or floor to loft floor height. If the ladder is longer than you need, you’ll need to cut off a section at the bottom (unless it is a telescopic ladder).

3. Loft Opening Size

Loft ladder manufacturers often specify the required length and width of the loft opening. Make sure your loft opening is within the specified range.

If it’s not, you’ll need to modify it or make a new opening.

4. Material

Loft ladders are available in two materials: wood and aluminium.

Wood ladders are more expensive but they are sturdier and last longer. Get a wood ladder if the loft space is used frequently. Some people also love the rustic look for wood ladders over the industrial appearance of metal ladders.

Aluminium ladders are lighter and easier to handle. They are easy to install and are especially ideal for seniors who may not be able to operate a heavy wooden ladder.

5. Load/Weight Capacity

Most loft ladders have a max weight capacity of 150kg.

If there’s someone in the house that weighs more than that, you’ll need a heavy-duty loft ladder that can support up to 200kg of weight. This will typically be a wood or steel ladder.

6. Other Considerations

  • Handrails: Handrails make it easier and safer to go up and down the ladder.
  • Hatch and frame: Some loft ladders come complete with the hatch and frame you need to install and operate the ladder. Others come with just the frame. There are also those that include just the ladder. You have to make the frame and hatch yourself.
  • If you are buying a ladder with a hatch, make sure the hatch has a low U value to keep the loft well insulated.
  • Scratch and slip-resistant feet: Make sure the ladder has feet to keep the ladder from slipping on the floor. Feet also protect your floor from scratches.  

Best Loft Ladders: Reviews (UK Edition)

1. DICN 3.2M Extendable Aluminum Ladder Review

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If you are looking for an affordable loft ladder, we recommend this telescopic aluminium ladder from DICN.

It is not designed specifically for getting into a loft. You can use it like any other ladder. In addition to accessing the loft, you can also use it to reach the curtain rod, reach a high shelf or clean windows.

The ladder doesn’t need to be fixed or mounted to the loft. Just lean it against the loft opening, make sure it is secure on the floor and then climb up.

After you are done, collapse it for easy storage.

The lightweight aluminium construction makes it easy to carry the ladder from place to place. It also protects it from corrosion, making the ladder ideal for outdoor use.

For safety, the ladder has anti-slip rubber feet and a rubber sleeve on all steps to provide grip. The only safety risk is your fingers getting caught between the rungs. Be very careful when collapsing the ladder.

The ladder has a weight capacity of 150kg and a height of 3.2m (because it’ll be inclined when in use, the max floor to ceiling height will be lower).

What we like about it:

  • Lightweight but sturdy aluminium construction.
  • Versatile – perfect for any situation where you need access to a high place.
  • Collapses to a compact size for easy storage.
  • Low price.

2. Dolle Straight Flight Timber One Piece Loft Ladder Review

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If you prefer a one-piece ladder that doesn’t require any folding or retraction, get the Dolle Straight Flight timber ladder.

The wooden construction makes it extra-sturdy and durable. It can safely hold up to 150kgs.

The ladder itself weighs 10kg. It’s light enough that you can easily move it on your own. The lack of any sliding or folding mechanisms certainly helps keep the weight down.

The Dolle ladder is ideal for floor to ceiling heights of up to 2.8m. It has a fixed angle of 70 degrees. You can set up the ladder only when you need to access the loft or install it permanently using the included mounting brackets.

Non-slip treads ensure safety when going up and down the ladder.

The Dolle ladder does not come with handrails, but most people did not have trouble going up and down the treads while holding the sides of the ladder.

If you want the extra safety assurance, you can always add handrails to the ladder.

What we like about it:

  • Versatile – you can use it around the house, not just for getting inside the loft.
  • High weight capacity.
  • Easy to set up.

3. Youngman 313340 Easiway Aluminium 3-Section Loft Ladder Review

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The Youngman 313340 is a good choice if you are looking for a sliding metal loft ladder at an affordable price.

It has a 3-section design slides smoothly to extend or retract the ladder.

The Youngman 313340 is ideal for floor to ceiling heights between 2.3m and 3m – so it should work well for high ceilings.

It requires a loft opening measuring at least 50.8cm long and 43.2cm wide. To fold and unfold without a problem, you need a clearance of at least 75cm above the ceiling.

The Easiway ladder comes with everything you need to install it, including handrails. But you’ll need to install your own frame and hatch if you don’t already have them.

The ladder weighs just 7kg, thanks to the lightweight aluminium construction. You’ll have no trouble installing it on your own. It’s also easy to extend and retract it.

Despite the lightweight construction, it can safely hold up to 150kg of weight.

What we like about it:

  • Easy to install and use.
  • Lightweight but sturdy.
  • High weight capacity.
  • Affordable.

4. Youngman 301000 Telescopic Loft Ladder Aluminium Review

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If you prefer a telescopic ladder to a sliding or folding one, the Youngman 301000 is one of the best.

The Youngman 301000 telescopic ladder is a great choice for space-limited lofts. Unlike a folding or sliding ladder, a telescopic ladder requires a much smaller loft clearance and storage space.

The telescopic mechanism works smoothly. It takes just a few seconds to extend or retract the ladder.

The Youngman 301000 is designed for a floor to loft floor height between 2.1m and 2.6m. It can be adjusted to three lengths and you don’t need to cut it to size. If it’s too long, just shorten it by retracting part of the ladder.

The minimum loft opening required is 60cm by 51cm.

The Youngman ladder has a lightweight but sturdy aluminium construction that can hold up to 150kg of weight.

The extra-wide treads and rubber feet improve safety. The rubber feet also protect your floor from scratches.

Handrails are not included. You’ll also have to supply your own frame and hatch.

What we like about it:

  • Lightweight but sturdy.
  • Easy to install and use.
  • Space-saving telescopic design.
  • Adjustable length – no cutting needed.

5. BPS Access Solutions Deluxe Wooden Loft Ladder Review

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If you are looking for a sturdy wooden loft ladder, we recommend this folding one from BPS Access Solutions.

It comes with a high load capacity of 150kg, EN 14975 certification and a lifetime guarantee.

The BPS Access ladder comes complete with a hatch door as well as a frame.  It’s ready to install out of the box.

The door is 36mm thick and has rubber seals around it for insulation. The frame is 1.1m by 0.7m. You need to make a fairly large opening in your ceiling to fit it. You also need quite a bit of clearance space in the loft to store the folded ladder.

The BPS wooden ladder is ideal for ceilings up to 2.8m high.

The ladder is fairly heavy (30kg), but the sprung opening/closing mechanism makes it easy to fold and unfold it. The only tedious part is installation – it’s a two-person job.

For safety, the BPS Access ladder deep and wide treads that provide a good grip. It also comes with two handrails for added safety, especially for seniors.

What we like about it:

  • Sturdy and durable.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Includes handrails.
  • Complete installation kit including hatch door and frame.

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