16 Different Ladder Types

How much do you know about ladders? You may not know how to tell if one type of ladder is safer than another or which ladder to use in a particular situation or environment. This article will describe 16 different types of ladders, their uses, and safety precautions to keep in mind.

With that information, you'll be able to decide which ladder to purchase and use in any given situation.

Basic Ladders

These ladders have a series of rungs on one side that you use to climb, usually with alternating spaces between each rung. Basic ladders can be used for simple projects around your home. They are lightweight and easy to store when not in use. They're also relatively inexpensive and easy to find at any hardware store or home improvement center.

The downside is that they are less stable than other types of ladders and aren't recommended for climbing very high off the ground.

Step Ladders

Stepping up to the challenge.

If you're looking for a stable and reliable ladder for your next project, a step ladder is a great option. These ladders have a series of steps on one side and a flat surface on the other, which you can use to stand on while you work. If you're going to be using a step ladder, it's important to take some precautions to ensure your safety.

First, always read the manufacturer's instructions carefully before using the ladder. Second, never stand on the top step of the ladder, as this can cause it to tip over. Third, always make sure the area around the ladder is clear before you start climbing to avoid accidentally knocking it over.

By following these simple safety tips, you can help avoid accidents or injuries while using a step ladder.

Step Stool

For simpler tasks around the house.

A step stool is a handy tool that helps you reach items out of your normal reach. However, it is essential to use caution when standing on a step stool. Leaning or putting your full weight on a step stool can cause it to collapse, which can lead to injury.

When using a step stool, test its stability before standing on it. Make sure to grip the sides of the stool firmly and distribute your weight evenly. If you need to reach something high, take your time and be careful, avoiding leaning or applying your full weight.

Ladders with A-frames

A painter's best friend - well, after the paint. And the brush.

An A-frame ladder is designed to be set up against a wall so that one side of it can be used as a rail. This ladder type should only be used when two people are present since it can easily tip over. If you are using an A-frame ladder by yourself, be sure to set it up against a sturdy wall so that it will not move. Make sure the ground is level before you set up the ladder, and do not put the ladder in a position where it could slip.

To use an A-frame ladder safely, always have someone else hold the ladder's base steady while you climb. If you are using the ladder by yourself, be extra careful and ensure the ladder is secure before you climb.

Never stand on the very top of the ladder, and be sure to keep your center of gravity balanced so that you don't tip the ladder over.

Extension Ladders

These ladders are designed with a higher top, meaning they can extend up to twenty feet (6 meters) or more. They're used when working in high places such as roofing.

Since they go higher than other types of ladders, you should never use them inside unless you have proper anchoring. The rungs of these ladders are spaced farther apart than other models, allowing you to stand comfortably.

Basic Extension Ladders

The longer the ladder, the less table it is without additional support.

Basic extension ladders are ideal for reaching high places, as they can extend upwards without getting any wider. This makes them perfect for reaching ledges, gutters, and other elevated areas. However, they are not suitable for use on uneven surfaces, as they can become unstable. If you need to reach something more than 3 or 4 meters (10 to 13 feet) off the ground, then a basic extension ladder is the best option.

These ladders are made from aluminum or fiberglass, and they come in various lengths. The most common lengths are 6, 9, and 12 meters (20, 30, and 40 feet), but they can also be up to 18 meters (59 feet) long. Basic extension ladders also have various widths, depending on the model.

When using a basic extension ladder, it is important to follow all safety instructions. Make sure that the ladder is on a level surface before you start climbing, and never stand on the very top rung. Also, wear gloves to protect your hands from the ladder's edges.

Ladders with Telescoping Legs

A versatile tool.

Telescoping ladders allow you to adjust their height depending on how tall you are. For example, they can extend from 7 feet up to 16 feet (2 to 5 meters).

These ladders are great for people of all heights. You can adjust the height of the ladder to match your needs. For example, if you are taller, you can extend the ladder to be taller. If you are shorter, you can lower the ladder to be shorter. This is an excellent feature because it allows you to use the ladder without worrying whether or not it will be too tall or too short.

Telescoping ladders are also very easy to store. When you are done using the ladder, you can simply collapse it down to a smaller size. This makes it easy to keep it in your home or garage without taking up much space.

A telescoping ladder is an excellent option for anyone who needs an adjustable ladder that is easy to store.

Attic Ladders

Built-in for convenience.

If you have an attic that requires access, specific ladders are designed for that. An attic ladder provides easy access to an attic without compromising the structural integrity or strength of the attic. There are many different types of attic ladders, each designed for a specific purpose. Some attic ladders are designed for easy access, while others are designed for strength and durability. Attic ladders come in various sizes and styles, so it is important to choose the right one for your needs.

Flexible Ladders

Similar to A-frames.

Flexible ladders are typically used to access elevated spaces, such as attics and roofs. They often have a more extended reach than standard wooden ladders, which makes them ideal in these situations. They can also be more stable, making them easier to work with.

These ladders are made of aluminum or fiberglass, making them lightweight and easy to maneuver. They are also easy to store since they can be collapsed or telescoped. Flexible ladders are an excellent option for anyone who needs to access high spaces regularly. They are easy to use and store, offering a more stable and safe option than traditional wooden ladders.

Versatile Ladders

A versatile ladder can be used both indoors and outdoors. They have a broader base than standard extension ladders, making them more stable when used on hard surfaces, like driveways or concrete slabs. If you need to use your ladder in various settings, consider buying one of these types of ladders.

Podium Ladders

Not every ladder will be able to reach everything you need it to. This makes podium ladders very useful in a variety of situations. Podium ladders are great for getting to things that are just out of reach. It is a specially designed type of ladder that provides more stability than other types of ladders featuring three legs with rubber feet to prevent it from slipping.

Most of these ladders are also expandable, so you can adjust them as needed. These ladders feature multiple rungs, which means that you'll be able to move more comfortably and efficiently when climbing up or down them.

Multipurpose Ladders

This ladder is better at yoga than some.

A multipurpose ladder can be a great investment if you have a lot of different types of jobs around your home or office. These ladders are designed to be used as scaffolding, step ladders, and more, so they can be a versatile addition to your tool collection. Multipurpose ladders are typically made of aluminum or other lightweight materials, making them easy to transport and set up. Plus, most models come with various safety features, such as non-slip surfaces and stabilizing bars.

When choosing a multipurpose ladder, it's important to consider the height and weight capacity you'll need to complete your project safely. You should also think about how easy the ladder is to set up and take down and how portable it is. With so many options on the market, it's easy to find a multipurpose ladder that's perfect for your needs.

Articulated Ladders

Often interchangeable with multipurpose ladders.

An articulated ladder has a long body with hinges on one side, allowing it to rotate to a 90-degree angle. This makes it ideal for use in tight spaces or when you need to climb over an obstacle. The hinges also make it possible to fold the ladder up for easy storage.

When you need to get to a high place, but there is something in the way, an articulated ladder is a perfect solution. The long body and hinges make it possible to maneuver the ladder into the desired position and then climb up and over the obstacle. Once you are done, the ladder can be easily folded up for storage.

Painting Ladders

Painter's ladders are designed to give painters greater access to higher walls. They have wide rungs and are lightweight and easy to carry. A painter's ladder should be at least 30 inches (75cm) wide, with a minimum of 3 rungs per foot (30cm). Make sure you choose a paint-grade ladder or wear a harness when using one, so you don't slip off.

Platform Trestle Ladders

A-frame ladders are also known as trestle ladders. These ladders have an upper and lower section comprised of two pieces instead of three. This makes them lighter and easier to transport than other types of ladders.

A-frame ladders are perfect for tight spaces where a traditional ladder would be too bulky. They can be used indoors or outdoors and are ideal for tasks such as painting or when you need to reach high shelves.

A-frame ladders are easy to set up and take down, making them a convenient option for many different tasks. They are also relatively inexpensive, making them a great choice for budget-conscious consumers.

A-frame Ladder With Paint Can Shelf

Functional and convenient.

A-frame ladders are available in different sizes and heights. They are made of aluminum or fiberglass and have a variety of features. Many A-frame ladders have a paint can shelf to store paint cans, paintbrushes, and other painting supplies. Some A-frame ladders also have a tool tray that can be used to store tools, screws, nails, and other hardware.

A-frame ladders are typically used for indoor projects, such as painting or hanging pictures. However, they can also be used outdoors to clean gutters, trim trees, or similar tasks. A-frame ladders are easy to set up and take down, and they are very stable when in use.

Mobile Ladders

As their name suggests, mobile ladders are ladders that can be moved around easily. They're great when you need to reach a high place but don't want to risk your safety by trying to find another way of getting there safely. The smaller varieties can be kept in a toolbox and easily transported from one site to another. They are, however, not suitable for bigger jobs because they tend to be a little flimsy and unsteady.

Five-step Portable Ladders

A simple solution that often works.

A five-step portable ladder is ideal for when you need to perform a task at a specific height. For example, if you need to paint one wall, you can simply adjust the ladder to the appropriate height. Additionally, five-step portable ladders are easy to move around, so you can take them wherever you go.

These ladders are also perfect for tasks that require multiple people, as they can be adjusted to accommodate different heights. Additionally, the portability of these ladders means that they can be used in a variety of different settings, both indoors and outdoors.

Portable Warehouse Ladders

Not really for home use.

Portable warehouse ladders are common in the food and beverage industries. They are typically made from steel or aluminum and provide a safe way to access hard-to-reach items on high shelves. Portable warehouse ladders are an excellent solution for accessing things that are stored out of reach. They are easy to set up and take down and can be moved around the warehouse as needed. Portable warehouse ladders are a safe and efficient way to reach items stored on high shelves.

Specialty Ladders

If you work in a particular industry, such as utilities or railroads, there are types of ladders designed just for your line of work. These specialty ladders have unique features that make them safer and more effective when doing your job.

Net Ladders

Net ladders are ideal for situations where you need to scale an object and want an added measure of safety as you work. The net attached to the ladder provides such an extra safety measure, as it will catch you if you happen to fall. Net ladders are made from strong nylon or fiberglass, making them durable and long-lasting. They are also easy to set up and take down, which is ideal if you need to move the ladder around frequently.

The only downside to net ladders is that they can be more expensive than other types of ladders. However, the added safety they provide is worth the extra cost for many people.

Pool Ladder

Caution is always advised when a ladder is slippery.

The pool ladder was designed to help people get into swimming pools. A pool ladder may be right for you if you're looking for a ladder that will hold a lot of weight, has slip-resistant steps, and can withstand chlorine exposure.

A pool ladder typically has three or four steps, each about a foot (30cm) wide. The steps are usually made of a non-slip material, such as plastic or rubber, and textured for grip. Most pool ladders are made of metal, such as aluminum or stainless steel, to resist corrosion from chlorine.

Pool ladders are typically mounted on the side of the pool, near the shallow end. Some pool ladders have a handrail to help swimmers grip the ladder as they enter or exit the pool. If you have a swimming pool, a pool ladder can be a great way to increase safety and make it easier for people to get in and out of the pool.

Ladder Materials Matter

If you're going to be climbing up and down a ladder, you want it to be a safe experience. The ladder's material will have a significant impact on its durability. There are three main types of materials used in ladders: aluminum, fiberglass, and wood. Each has its pros and cons, but they will all get the job done.


Aluminum ladders are very lightweight, making them perfect for people who need to carry a ladder around. They're also quite durable and easy to store, which is another reason they're popular. If you choose an aluminum ladder, make sure that it has been anodized to be more resistant to scratching and chipping.


Common in work environments.

Fiberglass ladders are also very popular, and they have several benefits. Fiberglass has an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, so it's not going to be too heavy to carry around. They're also resistant to corrosion and breakage, making them ideal for long-term use. Plus, you can choose from several different colors, so they're more fun than many other ladder types!


Plastic ladders are another common choice. They're lightweight, making them ideal for smaller jobs and jobs that don't require you to work at a high height. They're also really cheap, which is great if you don't need to use a ladder regularly.


Steel ladders are durable and robust, making them a great choice if you need to climb up and down frequently. Their weight can be an issue, but they're much more cost-effective than aluminum. If you need a ladder that will last a long time, steel may be worth considering!


More of an antique option.

Wood ladders are a unique option. They don't have many of the benefits or drawbacks that you'll find with other ladder types, so they can be a good choice if you want something different. Remember that they won't last nearly as long as steel, so they may not suit everyone! Wood ladders also tend to be heavy, making it difficult to use them. Be sure to pick one with reinforced rails!

Things to Consider Before Buying a Ladder

There are so many different types of ladders out there that it can get confusing when you're shopping around for one. To ensure you buy a ladder that fits your needs, keep these things in mind:

The Ladder is Suited to Your Use Case

First, you have to consider what you're going to use the ladder for. If you're going to be using it all the time and in different situations, get a more versatile ladder. If you're going to use it for one specific task, you can look for a more particular ladder type.

The Ladder is Suited to Your Home

In terms of the home, you have to consider whether your ladder use will be indoors or outdoors, the condition of your home, and what your needs are. If your home is in bad condition, you might want to consider a ladder with a carrying case so you can easily move it indoors. If you're just starting out, it might be good to get a ladder that's easy to move around.

3. The Ladder is Suited to Your Budget

The cost of a ladder can vary greatly depending on the type of ladder you want. It can be as cheap as $20 or as expensive as $1,000. This is why it's important to think about your budget before buying a ladder.

4. The Ladder is Suited to Your Space

As with any other piece of furniture, you have to think about the space you have. The bigger the space you have, the more you can afford. Also, make sure you consider how much space you need to be able to move around the ladder.

5. The Ladder’s Height Is Appropriate for You

The ladder's height is another important factor that you have to consider. Suppose you have young children who need to access the ladder. In that case, you can consider a child ladder, which is shorter than a standard ladder. If you have ample space and can't use a traditional ladder, you might want to consider a telescopic ladder.

Adjustable ladders offer versatility.

6. It has a High Load Capacity

A ladder may also be used to lift and place objects at heights normally out of reach from the ground. Ladders with inadequate load-bearing capability might collapse while being used, resulting in injuries. Choosing the one that has the correct load capacity is essential.

The Ladder has a Durable Frame

Durability is another important factor to consider. If you have a particular use for the ladder, you can look for a ladder made of metal or wood. However, if you want a ladder made of wood, you should look for a ladder made of hardwood.

It’s Built With the Right Materials

Lightweight material is needed if you want to move your ladder regularly. This is where aluminum comes in. Steel is the best option for heavy-duty applications since it is very durable. Ladders with locking wheels are ideal if you need to transport hefty ones.


The main thing to remember when selecting a ladder is what it will be used for. If you're simply looking to hang holiday lights, there's no need to buy a commercial step ladder with a 300-pound (136kg) capacity. But if you'll be doing some home renovations or working on tall fences, you'll want something more sturdy. Safety equipment should always come first, and knowing which ladder-type will work best for your needs can ensure that.

Posted by Harry Winston

Harry is an expert when it comes to decorating the interior of your dream home - as well as the tabletop with all sorts of delicious dishes. Whether you need culinary tips or interior design guides, you can rely on his expertise. When not writing about food or furnishing, Harry looking into these topics to stay on the top of current trends and new innovations.