The Best Attic Ladders of 2023

Optimize neglected space in your home with an attic ladder for easy loft access.

By Timothy Dale | Updated Apr 26, 2023 2:26 PM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more.

Best Attic Ladder Options


A home’s attic usually has untapped potential. Homeowners know it’s up there, but it’s a hassle to access for storage, much less use it as living space. Installing a new attic access ladder or replacing an old one can change that, opening up a whole floor to be used for whatever you like.

The best attic ladders are easy to use, durable, and sturdy enough to support the heftiest family member—and the heaviest object that person might carry. To choose the right model for a home, consider the following options, each regarded as one of the best in its respective category.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Fakro LMS 66866 Insulated Steel Attic Ladder
  2. RUNNER UP: Fakro LWP 66802 Insulated Attic Ladder
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Boweiti Telescoping Extension Ladder
  4. BEST FOR SMALL OPENINGS: Yvan Telescoping Ladder
  5. BEST TELESCOPING: Telesteps 1800EP Fully Automatic Telescoping Ladder
  6. BEST FOLDING: Louisville Ladder Everest Aluminum Attic Ladder
  7. BEST WITH HANDRAIL: Louisville Ladder 25.5-by-54-Inch Wood Attic Stairs
  8. BEST ELECTRIC: Bruce&Shark Electric Attic Ladder
  9. BEST SCISSOR STYLE: Fakro LST Insulated Steel Scissor Attic Ladder
The Best Attic Ladders


How We Chose the Best Attic Ladders 

To put together this list of the best attic ladders, it was necessary to research more than 30 products. Attic ladders are used for accessible ingress to the attic space and egress from the attic, so they need to be able to support the weight of the user and provide enough space for the average person to move freely up and down.

Convenience and portability also factor into the product design. For instance, an electric steel scissor attic ladder can fold up into the attic or fold down with the touch of a button. However, it’s more common to see manual pull-down attic ladders that can be released by hand or with an assist pole; then when you’re done with the ladder, it folds up into the attic space.

Telescoping ladders may also slide up into the attic or could be portable models that can be tucked into a closet when the ladder isn’t required. The ceiling height was also a consideration during the selection process because if the ladder doesn’t reach the ground or extends too far, it won’t work for the given space. If a product had additional features, such as textured steps to help prevent slips, it typically stood out from similar attic ladders that lacked these extra features.

Our Top Picks

We chose the top-rated products below for quality, price, and customer satisfaction to help consumers find the best attic ladder for a home.

Best Overall

The Best Attic Ladder Option: Fakro LMS 66866 Insulated Steel Attic Ladder

This steel attic ladder is capable of supporting as much as 350 pounds and comes with an insulated pinewood frame and door. The Fakro insulated-steel attic ladder can be folded up into three sections and comes in sizes to fit attic stair openings of 47 inches long by 22 inches wide and 47 inches long by 25 inches wide.

It can be used for ceiling heights from 7 feet 2 inches to 8 feet 11 inches and features a unique opening mechanism to ensure that the ladder opens slowly. The tread pattern on the surface of the rungs prevents slipping, and when the hatch is fully open, a safety mechanism keeps it from accidentally slamming shut.

Product Specs

  • Type: Folding
  • Weight capacity: 350 pounds
  • Material: Steel


  • Comes with an insulated pinewood box frame and door for installation
  • Fire-resistant construction keeps all items in the attic safe
  • Anti-slamming safety mechanism protects fingers and any stray items in the doorway
  • Safe design; anti-slip treads prevent injuries, slips, and falls


  • Folding design can take up a lot of attic space

Get the Fakro steel attic ladder at Amazon or The Home Depot.


The Best Attic Ladder Option: Fakro LWP 66802 Insulated Attic Ladder

The Fakro LWP insulated attic ladder is made of high-quality pine and folds into three sections. The ladder can fit many different attic stair opening sizes including 47 inches long by 22 inches wide, 54 inches long by 22 inches wide, 47 inches long by 25 inches wide, 54 inches long by 25 inches wide, and 54 inches long by 30 inches wide. The ladder includes the box frame and hatch (door) for the attic, which are also made of premium pine.

The folding ladder has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds and works with ceiling heights between 7 feet 5 inches to 8 feet 11 inches. When completely open, the hatch locks into place, preventing it from slamming shut. The steps are also grooved to prevent accidental slippage, and an optional handrail can be installed for added security.

Product Specs

  • Type: Folding
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Material: Wood


  • Compatible with many attic-door opening sizes to suit any home’s attic
  • Comes with a box frame as well as a hatch door; both are made of premium pine
  • Works with ceiling heights of up to 8 feet and 11 inches
  • Added protection integrated; the hatch locks into place when in use to prevent slamming


  • Some users have reported difficulty installing this model properly without professional help

Get the Fakro LWP attic ladder at The Home Depot.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Attic Ladder Option: Boweiti Telescoping Extension Ladder

For those who are interested in an easy, temporary ladder for entering their attic, the Boweiti telescoping extension ladder could be just the ticket. This simple extension ladder comes in 8.5-, 10.5-, 12.5-, and 15.5-foot lengths for those with either low or high ceilings, and the 330-pound weight capacity can withstand heavy-duty use while emptying or loading the attic.

Made with durable aluminum alloy, rubber feet, a soft carrying handle, and buckle strap, this ladder comes with a carrying bag, a user’s manual, and work gloves, making it ideal for indoor and outdoor use if needed. The only downside to this pick is that it does not have hooks or any other attachments on the top rung for securing while in use.

Product Specs

  • Type: Telescoping
  • Weight capacity: 330 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum alloy


  • Portable, collapsible design is easy to use as well as store
  • Soft carrying handle and buckle strap for carrying or transporting
  • Comes with a carrying bag, user’s manual, and work gloves


  • Not made for permanent installation; no prongs, hooks, or other attachments on the top rung

Get the Boweiti attic ladder at Amazon.

Best For Small Openings

The Best Attic Ladder Option: Yvan Telescoping Ladder

One of the first steps during attic ladder installations is measuring and cutting the opening in the ceiling to fit the new ladder. However, many attics already have openings that were added during the home’s construction, so if the opening is too small, it can be altered to fit a larger ladder. For individuals who don’t want to take on this additional work, a smaller ladder that fits the existing opening is a great choice.

The Yvan telescoping ladder is made of fire-resistant lightweight aluminum and can support as much as 330 pounds. It measures just 19 inches in width, making it ideal for small openings, and can stretch up to 12.5 feet in height. This ladder has a one-button retraction system, so you don’t need to struggle to pack the ladder up after use, and the portable design makes it easy to set up or store. However, for those who prefer a permanent or semipermanent attic ladder installation, this elite aluminum attic ladder isn’t the right choice.

Product Specs

  • Type: Telescoping
  • Weight capacity: 330 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum


  • Portable and easy to store; suitable for transporting if necessary
  • 1-button retraction system makes the model a cinch to open or retract
  • Lightweight fire-resistant design provides years of longevity and use
  • Safety features integrated; textured steps to prevent slips and falls


  • Not made for permanent installation; should be held or secured while in use

Get the Yvan attic ladder at Amazon.

Best Telescoping

The Best Attic Ladder Option: Telesteps 1800EP Fully Automatic Telescoping Ladder

Despite weighing just 30.5 pounds, this telescoping ladder can extend up to 18 feet in height and support as much as 300 pounds. This lightweight aluminum attic ladder is resistant to fire and easy to carry and store when it’s not in use. However, if you prefer to have a more permanent attic ladder installation, the Telesteps ladder isn’t the best option because it cannot be secured to an attic opening.

When the telescoping ladder is closed, it is just 34 inches in height, but with the built-in one-touch system, the ladder automatically extends. To adjust the height, raise the ladder from the bottom rung in 1-foot increments until it is at the correct height. Textured steps and silicone anti-slip pivoting feet help to keep users safe as they climb. However, it’s still important to ensure that the ladder is supported effectively before stepping onto the first rung.

Product Specs

  • Type: Telescoping
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum


  • 18-foot maximum height can reach attic doors in homes with very high ceilings
  • Weighs just 30.5 pounds; provides ample durability but can be transported if necessary
  • Safety features integrated; fire-resistant aluminum construction and silicone anti-slip pivoting feet


  • Not made for permanent installation; may require holding or securing while in use

Get the Telesteps attic ladder at Amazon or Telesteps Ladders.

Best Folding

The Best Attic Ladder Option: Louisville Ladder Everest Aluminum Attic Ladder

The Louisville Ladder Everest is a lightweight folding attic ladder with heavy-duty power. Capable of supporting as much as 350 pounds, it can be used with attic openings of either 63 inches long by 22.5 inches wide or 63 inches long by 25 inches wide. It fits ceiling heights from 10 to 12 feet.

When not in use, this elite aluminum attic ladder can be folded up into three sections for easy storage. This folding Louisville Ladder option comes with adjustable rubber shoes for better grip on the feet and has reinforced grooved steps for maximum traction when ascending or descending. Robust hinges on either side of the ladder help it to unfold smoothly and keep it from wobbling as you climb into the attic space. You can also grip the built-in railing handles to help steady yourself as you ascend or descend the ladder.

Product Specs

  • Type: Folding
  • Weight capacity: 350 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum


  • Comes with a box frame for added ease of installation
  • Aluminum design is fire-resistant to protect the contents of the attic
  • Reinforced grooved steps are durable while preventing injuries, slips, and falls
  • Built-in railing handles integrated improve safety while in use


  • Folding design takes up a lot of attic space; may not be ideal for some users’ preferences

Get the Louisville Ladder Everest attic ladder at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best With Handrail

The Best Attic Ladder Option: Louisville Ladder 25.5-by-54-Inch Wood Attic Stairs

The Louisville Ladder wood attic stairs is a budget-friendly option that folds into three different sections. It uses Louisville Ladder’s exclusive EZ hang system for simple installation. The folding ladder can support as much as 250 pounds and comes with reinforced grooved steps for increased traction.

This attic ladder can be used with ceiling heights from 7 to 8.75 feet and for attic openings of 54 inches long by 25.5 inches wide. The ladder also includes a helpful handrail and an easy-to-use pull-down cord.

Product Specs

  • Type: Folding
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Material: Wood


  • Simple installation with the help of the integrated EZ hang system
  • Comes with a box frame for easy installation
  • Handrail and grooved steps provide added traction and prevent slips and falls
  • Wire rod supports under each step to ensure maximum durability


  • Folding design takes up a lot of attic space; may not be ideal for those with small attic spaces
  • Not as safe as some comparable options; the wood is vulnerable to fire

Get the Louisville Ladder wood attic ladder at Amazon or DK Hardware.

Best Electric

The Best Attic Ladder Option: Bruce&Shark Electric Attic Ladder

You might be used to the traditional pull-down attic ladders on the market. But you may not know that electric models can be a useful and safe alternative that requires a lot less work to operate. For this category of attic ladder, we trust the Bruce&Shark electric attic ladder. This unique model is sturdy and functional with a 375-pound weight capacity, hydraulic retraction, and slip-resistant steps and feet.

Though the assembly may be a hassle and needs a direct power source to operate, this aluminum model has a telescoping design that does not take up a lot of space in the attic and extends to up to 9.5 feet.

Product Specs

  • Type: Electric
  • Weight capacity: 375 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum


  • Electric operation allows for hands-free use; no pulling required for opening or retracting
  • Extreme heavy-duty aluminum construction allows for a 375-pound weight capacity
  • Telescoping design retracts into a compact unit; will not take up a lot of space in an attic


  • May be very difficult to install; users may require professional help
  • Requires a nearby power outlet; may be tricky for some attic setups

Get the Bruce&Shark attic ladder at Wayfair.

Best Scissor-Style

The Best Attic Ladder Option: Fakro LST Insulated Steel Scissor Attic Ladder

The Fakro Insulated steel scissor attic ladder collapses into itself for simple storage. Unlike a folding ladder, it doesn’t require a lot of clearance space when it opens, and the stairs descend smoothly and slowly compared with the quick drop of some telescoping ladders. This ladder can be used with small to average attic openings of 31 inches long by 22 inches wide, 47 inches long by 22 inches wide, 54 inches long by 22 inches wide, and 47 inches long by 25 inches wide.

The collapsible S-shaped brackets at the side of the ladder act as a handrail and are made of rugged steel that suits modern decor. The scissor-style ladder has a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds and can be used on ceiling heights between 7 feet 2 inches and 9 feet 6 inches. This attic ladder also comes with a frame and hatch made of high-quality pine and uses an embossed pattern on the steel steps for better traction.

Product Specs

  • Type: Scissor
  • Weight capacity: 350 pounds
  • Material: Steel


  • Collapsible brackets act as a handrail for added safety while in use
  • Comes with a box frame for added ease of installation
  • Insulated steel construction is fire-resistant for long-term reliability
  • Slow, smooth opening function for added safety; prevents any accidental injury


  • Step width is a little more narrow than that of some comparable models

Get the Fakro scissor attic ladder at Amazon (multiple sizes) or The Home Depot.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing an Attic Ladder

Keep these factors and features in mind when shopping for an attic ladder.

Types of Attic Ladders

There are four types of attic ladders: telescoping, folding, scissor-style, and electric.


Telescoping attic ladders come in mobile or semipermanent designs that allow them to be installed in an attic or stored nearby. These ladders take up less space than folding ladders because fitted mechanisms on the side supports and steps allow them to collapse into themselves. When needed, just pull on the bottom step and the ladder extends out.


Folding attic ladders can fold up into two, three, or four sections, depending on the length of the ladder, the height of the ceiling, and available clearance space for folding. These attic ladders are stronger than telescoping ladders and are easy to use, but they take up a significant amount of attic floor space because they lie on the floor when closed.


These ladders, which have scissor-style collapsible rungs for easy storage, have two main benefits over their counterparts. The scissor-style steps don’t slide too quickly during unfolding (the way telescoping ladders do), and they don’t require a large clearance space to unfold (like folding ladders do).


Powered by direct wiring to raise and lower with the push of a button, pricey electric attic ladders are new to the market. Some high-end models can be operated with a smart device. These are a good option if homeowners have physical disabilities that would prevent them from pulling down a manual attic ladder or if they are looking to add another automated smart-home feature to their homes.

Ceiling Height

One of the first things to ascertain before purchasing an attic ladder is the height of the ceiling below. Because manufacturers have already measured the angle of their product, consumers need to be concerned only with the distance between the attic opening and the floor of the room below.

Most attic stairs will fit ceiling heights from 7 to 10 feet, but shoppers should double-check their ceiling height: If you purchase a ladder that’s too long or too short, you won’t be able to use it. To measure, a helper in the attic can hold one end of a tape measure at the attic opening while you extend the tape until it touches the floor directly underneath. The reading on the tape at this extension is the height of the ceiling.

Dimensions and Weight

Attic ladder descriptions include dimensions for the length and width of the attic opening that they fit. If an attic already has an opening, you’ll want to measure its width and length before buying an attic ladder. If, however, you’re making a new opening, you’ll want to cut the hole to a length of 54 inches and a width of 22.5 inches, because most attic ladders are designed for an opening of this size.

Attic ladders also have weight restrictions that can range from just 200 pounds to more than 400 pounds. If family members are on the slight side and won’t be taking particularly heavy items up to the attic, a heavy-duty ladder capable of supporting 300 pounds may not be needed. lf family members are within 10 pounds of the weight limit, you shouldn’t take the risk of a ladder breaking while in use and will want to buy a stronger attic ladder that can be used with confidence and safety.


Attic ladders are generally made of aluminum, steel, or wood.

  • Aluminum attic ladders, typically the top choice, are strong yet lightweight, making them easy to access. A rust- and rot-resistant metal, aluminum is the ideal option in high-moisture climates. Aluminum ladders are fire-resistant and generally more affordable than their steel or wood counterparts.
  • Steel attic ladders are stronger—and pricier—than wood and aluminum; they are also moisture- and fire-resistant. Invest in one if the attic will be used on a regular basis, particularly as a living space.
  • Wood attic ladders are strong and resilient, and some may be treated to be fire-resistant, but because of the porous nature of wood, they’re more susceptible to the effects of moisture and temperature changes. Wood can also have natural defects that could result in premature wear.

Ease of Installation

Though ease of installation depends largely on the ladder type and the layout of the attic, any model should include clear, easy-to-understand installation and operation instructions. It’s recommended to set up an attic fan during installation to improve the airflow and provide adequate ventilation while working.

  • Telescoping and scissor-style attic ladders are relatively easy to install compared to folding ladders. They’re fastened to either the ceiling joist above or floor stud below the attic floor, easily collapsing up into the attic when not in use.
  • Folding attic ladders need to be attached to a hatch or opening so that they can swing down and unfold. Therefore, you’ll also want to install a hatch capable of supporting the weight of the ladder and some weight of the climbers, though most of the weight is supported by the feet of the ladder when it is unfolded and resting on the floor. This can make installation more involved than telescoping or scissor-style attic ladders.
  • Electric attic ladders have similar installation challenges as the other types, but they also require wiring the ladder directly into the electrical system. These ladders may also require additional setup on a smartphone if they are WiFi- or Bluetooth-enabled.

Fire Resistance

Fire resistance is an important factor for attic ladders—in case of a home fire, everyone in the attic will need a safe route down and out. Most ladders offer some fire resistance, with both aluminum and steel having a natural resistance to heat, yet not all aluminum and steel ladders go through the required testing to be designated as fire rated. The term “fire rated” certifies that the product has passed official fire-resistance tests. It can be awarded to aluminum, steel, and even some wooden attic ladders.

Check building codes on the local government website or at the town hall to find out what restrictions may be in place, as some locations permit only fire-resistant attic ladders. Even if that’s not the case for a home, the added safety factor of a fire-resistant ladder is of inestimable value, especially if the attic is being used as a living space. Consider investing in fire-resistant attic insulation as well to help reduce the risk of fire-related incidents.

Safety Features

Attic ladders can come with various safety features, including handrails, slip-resistant steps, and locking latches.

  • Handrails can be included on one or both sides of the attic stairs, providing an area for you to grip when ascending and descending the steep ladder rungs.
  • Slip-resistant steps are grooved or coated with rubber to provide more friction and grip surface for feet. This simple addition helps prevent slipping when climbing up and down.
  • Locking latches are found on folding ladders to lock the ladder in place once the sections have folded down. This prevents the ladder from bouncing at the hinges, giving users a more rigid climb.


The following is some additional must-know information before shopping for the latest attic ladders.

Q. How much does an attic ladder cost? 

Depending on whether you want a portable or fixed ladder, the cost can range significantly. Small portable telescoping ladders that can be stored in a nearby closet when not in use will typically cost about $100 to $200. If you are looking for fixed attic stairs or pull-down attic stairs, then the price increases to a range of about $300 to $1,000. Electric pull-down attic stairs are the most expensive option. These attic stairs can exceed $3,000.

Q. Which is better: a wood or aluminum attic ladder? 

Aluminum and wood attic ladders are comparably strong, but aluminum attic ladders are more affordable, lightweight, and not at risk of damage by moisture. Some aluminum ladders also come insulated or with fire resistance for long-term reliability as well as durability. Overall, for simple or periodic use, wooden pull-down attic stairs should be sufficient. But for frequent use, an aluminum option should be used.

Q. How is the height of an attic ladder measured? 

To determine the right height of an attic ladder, use a tape measure to measure the distance from the ceiling, where the attic door panel is, down to the floor. Buy an attic ladder of the same measurement. However, please be advised that attic ladders fall on a sloped angle, which may make it difficult to measure which ladder can accommodate your ceiling height.

Q. What is the standard attic opening?

The standard opening for most attics is 54 inches long by 22.5 inches wide, but some homes have a smaller or larger opening. Luckily, many attic ladders come with a box frame for ease of installation on openings of various sizes. But, make sure to move any unnecessary items out of the attic and measure the attic opening before buying a new attic ladder.

Q. How is an attic ladder installed? 

To install pull-down attic stairs, you’ll want to measure and cut an opening in the ceiling, then create a framework around the opening. Some aluminum or wooden attic ladder kits include a box frame, so DIYers don’t have to build their own framework. Once the frame is in place, the installer can position the ladder and attach it to the ceiling frame. When installing a wooden attic ladder, you can cut the ladder feet so that the ladder sits flat on the floor. To avoid this step, make sure to check the ceiling height before purchasing an attic ladder. The best attic ladder kits will include parts and instructions for installation, so always check the manufacturer’s information to figure out how to install a specific set of attic stairs.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.