You have all this additional storage space above your home. Make sure you can access it with ease! Whether you’re purchasing replacement attic stairs or buying an attic ladder for newly created attic access, you want to find the one that’s best for your home.
Finding which attic access ladder is the best will depend on what you’re looking for. Do you need the pull-down attic stairs that are the easiest to use? Does your attic staircase need to be the sturdiest for frequent access? Or do you just need simple?
Whatever you need, we have personally tested and analyzed 7 best pull-down attic stairs for you to check out. We know that one of these will be a great fit for your home. And, we have all the information you need to decide which attic ladder it will be!
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Best Attic Ladders
Our favorite attic ladder
Extremely compact, sturdy, and safe, this is one of our top picks for attic stairs.
The FAKRO LST 860432 is an adjustable attic access ladder that ranges from 7 feet, 2 inches to 9 feet, 6 inches. Made to handle up to 300 pounds and including a 2-year warranty, these pull-down attic stairs can last a long time.
In speaking with installers, we were impressed with how easy it is to install and use this attic staircase. Extremely compact and lightweight, it is easy to pull down whenever needed. And it’s just as easy to return to its original position.
Moreover, the handrails provide a modern look, but it’s not just about aesthetics! They also make it safe and stable for users when ascending or descending the attic staircase.
- Handrails for safe use
- Compact design, perfect for small spaces
- A well-insulated door means attic air stays out of the living spaces
- Expensive, but worth the price for the design and materials
These are on the expensive side, so not the right choice for those who need bare-bones stairs. It is, however, the perfect choice for anyone who struggles with bulkier, heavier attic stairs and wants something easy and compact.
Best multi-purpose ladder
The LWW Aluminum Ladder is an excellent option to consider if you go in your attic less frequently. Why invest in attic stairs that mostly sit unused between spring cleaning and winter holidays? You can instead invest in a great ladder that can be used for any job in addition to functioning as an c access ladder.
The LWW ladder is a straight ladder with many heights available. What we like about the LWW ladder is that you can purchase it anywhere from 6.5 feet to 13.45 feet. And any size easily compacts for portability and storage between uses.
No installation is required since it’s a straight ladder that leans. However, it can still bear up to 331 pounds, which makes it great for moving storage items.
- Can be used anywhere, not just as attic stairs
- Very easy to install
- Sturdy, but still lightweight
- Six height options available between 6.5 feet to 13.45 feet
- Not fastened in place
- Requires frequent setup and more effort to access the attic
This ladder is perfect for people who rarely use pull-down attic stairs and could use another portable ladder. Because it is portable, it is only sometimes ready to use. That means retrieving the ladder could be an extra step. If you frequently use your attic, you may want a more traditional attic staircase. If your attic is hard to get to or you lack physical strength, consider a more conventional drop-down attic ladder.
Best budget option
The Louisville Ladder AA2210 is another popular choice. These pull-down attic stairs are affordable compared to some more top-of-the-line products, but they still include great features.
The steps are about 3.25 inches deep in a simple pull-down attic stairs design, making it a safe climb for anyone. It also features an opening larger than many other attic staircase options. With such a large opening, you can quickly move just about anything up to storage!
The only downside is that the low price is reflected in the materials. The wood for the opening is not the strongest or sturdiest of the options available.
- Large opening
- Comfortably large, slip-resistant steps
- Folds easily and quietly
- Wooden materials are cheaper than high-end products, and they may be a bit less sturdy than more expensive ladders.
If you plan on using your stairs often, you may want something a little sturdier. But for a few times a year, it’s a great option.
Best wooden option
Have extra tall ceilings but don’t want to spend an extra-large fortune trying to reach them? Then the Louisville Ladder L224P pull-down attic stairs could be a perfect choice.
This attic ladder provides a larger ceiling opening. So, when using the attic stairs, you can transport bulkier items upstairs easily. The attic access ladder also reaches ceilings of up to 10 feet. However, it also comes in a smaller size (7-8.75 feet) if you want this product, but you need more extra height.
- A wooden ladder that makes for less noise and clanging than metal
- Choose the size that best fits your home with multiple options
- Extra tall length available for ceilings of up to 10 feet
- This Louisville product only holds up to 250 lbs. This could be a problem when carrying heavier items up the attic staircase.
With extra-wide steps and slip-resistant cross treads, you can use the attic access ladder with confidence while enjoying the affordable price tag.
Best for long-term use
These stairs are meant to last forever! Made of rugged steel, you will feel extra safe using these stairs to go up to your storage and back down again.
The stair is made entirely of steel, but the opening is made of wood. With multiple sizes, you can easily find the size that will fit your existing ceiling access hole.
The door is designed to be perfectly balanced, so there are no surprises when you go to open your stairs. The steps also feature no-slip grips.
- Some of the best insulation for attic access stairs.
- More affordable stairs, especially when compared to other FAKRO products
- These stairs will last for many years to come!
- While the steel makes for durable and safe climbing, it also makes for heavier stairs.
While steel makes for durable stairs and a safe climb, they are not lightweight. This is just about as strong as attic ladders get. Perfect for those looking for a simple, reliable, and long-lasting attic ladder.
Best for strength and tight spaces
Last but certainly not least, we have the Werner ladder. The design is one of the most compact. Anyone looking to install and use these stairs in smaller spaces will love this option!
For one of the more affordable options, these attic stairs come with many thoughtful features that make using them a better experience. Featuring a handrail at the top of the pull-down attic stairs for safer use, you can look forward to going up to your storage space. It also includes a plastic assist pole which makes opening and closing easier.
The ladder extends from 7 feet to 9 feet, 10 inches for ceilings. So you only need to worry about getting the right size if you have abnormally short or tall ceilings.
- The all-aluminum material makes for a lightweight ladder
- Non-marring feet protect your floors
- Compact stairs and opening means it’s perfect for tight spaces like closets
- Users report that instructions can be hard to follow. Be prepared to spend a little more time installing to get it right.
Simple, affordable, and easy to use. This attic ladder is a great option for tight spaces.
How to Choose an Attic Ladder
Attic ladders are an important part of any home. They provide easy access to the attic, which can be helpful for storage or accessing insulation and other roof components. With several different types and brands of ladders on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?
When choosing an attic ladder, there are a few factors to consider. It’s not as easy as selecting the one that appears to be the most attractive. You need to ensure you get the right size and style for your needs and that it’s properly installed and it’s safe to use. Let’s look at how to choose an attic ladder for your home.
An attic ladder needs to support the weight of whoever uses it, plus any items you might store in the attic. Most ladders have a weight capacity of around 250 pounds, but some can handle more. If you plan on keeping heavy items in the attic, or if you’re particularly tall or heavy, look for a ladder with a higher weight capacity.
When choosing an attic ladder, you must decide what style is right for you. There are three main types: folding, telescoping, and sliding. Folding ladders fold up against the wall when not in use, making them a good choice if you have limited storage space. Telescoping ladders telescope (or extend) to different lengths, so you can choose how long you need it to be. Sliding ladders slide along a rail, making them easy to open and close.
An attic ladder should be the right height for your needs. If it’s too short, you’ll have to bend over or climb up on a box to use it, which can be difficult and dangerous. If it’s too tall, you might not be able to reach the attic easily. Most ladders are adjustable, so you can ensure it’s the right height. Your ceiling height will also affect how long your ladder needs to be. For more information, read our guide on how to determine what size attic ladder you need.
The material of your ladder is also important. Ladders can be made from wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. Wooden ladders are the heaviest but also the most affordable option. Aluminum ladders are lighter and more durable than wood but are also more expensive. (Read our detailed guide on wood vs aluminum attic ladders).
Fiberglass ladders are lightweight and strong, making them a good choice if you often need to move your ladder around. It would be best if you also considered how the material would affect the ladder’s weight capacity.
There are two main types of attic ladders: permanent and temporary. Permanent ladders are attached to the ceiling joists with screws, making them more stable. Temporary ladders are usually held in place with straps or hooks to be removed when not in use. You should also consider how easy it is to remove and reattach the ladder if you need to use it for other purposes.
An attic ladder needs to be installed correctly to be safe. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional to do it for you. Ensure that the ladder is level and secure before using it. This is especially important if you have young children in the home. With the right ladder, you can safely and easily access your attic. It can be a good location to store extra holiday decorations or furniture or get to your roof for repairs.
Attic Ladder Installation
If you’re fairly handy, and have all of the tools, installing an attic ladder can be a relatively easy DIY project. But in some cases, it can require a lot of time, especially if you don’t have an existing ladder, or if an attic access needs to be constructed.
For these types of situations, we recommend contacting a qualified home improvement contractor. To find a local professional near you, we recommend using Home Advisor. To get help installing your new attic ladder, visit their website and enter in a few pieces of information about your project. From there, Home Advisor will use their ProFinder Technology and send you up to four pre-screened, local home improvement pros. This will help you get your project done faster and for the best possible price.
To prepare yourself for getting estimates, make sure your read our detailed post on attic ladder installation costs. We share average costs for attic ladders and labor. This way you can budget accordingly before speaking with contractors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Weight Can an Attic Ladder Hold?
Attic ladders come in all shapes and sizes. When looking at attic ladder weight capacity, be sure to review the specifications of each product. As a general rule of thumb, a quality attic ladder can hold between 200-400 lbs comfortably. Aluminum ladders are typically stronger than wooden ladders, but they may cost more.
Take into consideration how frequently you’ll be using your attic ladder and whether you need to use your attic for storage. If you need to carry heavy objects up your attic ladder frequently, you may need to opt for a product that can support more weight.
How Long Do Attic Stairs Last?
The average life expectancy of a pull-down attic ladder is usually 40 years, although these mechanisms can last up to 60.
Like any piece of equipment, attic stairs require maintenance to reach their maximum usability. If you want to make the most out of your attic stairs, clean the steps, trapdoor, hinges, locks, and draught excluders regularly with a cloth soaked in soapy water.
Either way, other factors can affect the 40-60 year time frame, such as heavy usage, prolonged exposure to excessive weight, and product modifications.
Attic stairs don’t usually offer warranties, but FAKRO typically offers two-year limited warranties on its products.
Is an Attic Ladder Necessary?
Depending on how you use your attic, an attic ladder may or may not be necessary.
In general, if you need to gain access to your attic because you use it as a living space, or for storage, then having a set of quality attic stairs is essential.
Depending on where you live, there may also be certain building codes or requirements that you need to follow. Check with your local municipality and homeowners’ association where applicable to be sure.
Read our post, “Is an Attic Ladder Worth It?” for more information to weigh attic ladder benefits agains the cost investment to install.
Your attic holds so many of your precious belongings. Make sure you don’t dread going up to retrieve your own items! Having the right attic staircase could make you enjoy going up to your storage space.
You must have durable, reliable stairs for accessing your attic. We think all of these products are great in their own way.
But as each home is different, finding the right staircase will depend on your space, budget, and preferences. Before you purchase, make sure you measure out your space (ceiling height, hatch dimensions), pick the material you want, and decide the style you want.
No matter which of these you choose, we think you’ll love your new ladder! Buy your new attic ladder on Amazon and see what a difference it can make.