Best Adjustable Ladders for Stairs: Top Choices and Buying Guide

When it comes to getting handiwork done at home, there are primarily two kinds of people. Those who call ‘the guy’ and those who pick up the tools and do it themselves. This post is for the second category of people.

If you’re one of those, you will agree that one of the most important items in your toolbox is perhaps not inside the toolbox. Whether you want to adjust a lighting fixture or create a collage of photos on the stairs, there is one item you absolutely must have—a ladder. But if you want things moving smoothly without being nervous about falling off the stairs, you need an adjustable ladder.

What Is an Adjustable Ladder?

This section is for uninitiated. Let’s say you are setting up your new light fixtures on the staircase. This is something that needs patience and will take time. Even if you have both of those, you need to have the right tools to be able to get the job done. You need to have a stable ladder that can move up and down the stairs without the help of another person.

The best way to make that possible is to get an adjustable ladder. These are ladders that open up in such a way that you can adjust their structure to move around the stairs. An adjustable ladder comes in very handy not just for fixtures but also for painting jobs on high walls and design changes on your ceilings.

Whether you want to get something out of an attic or dust the high walls of a given room, adjustable ladders are certainly the way to go. It is also useful on construction sites, offices and complexes. But you still need to keep a few safety tips in mind.

How to Stay Safe When Working on a Ladder

Working on a steady ladder is a matter of great joy. But if you make a silly mistake and lose balance, you might end up with broken bones. Remember that we are talking about using ladders on the stairs. That’s a double threat. To save you from yourself, we put together a few safety tips you will want to go through.

  1. There is a different ladder for every task. From step ladders to attic ladders to extension ladders, you must make the right choice so that you don’t end up in an accident.
  1. Each of those ladders comes with a user manual and it is crucial to follow the instructions.
  1. Maintaining a ladder properly is just as important as using it the right way. So make sure the hinges and the bolts are free of dust and rust. For that, you must store it in a dry place and far away from water and sometimes, moisture too.
  1. Do not abuse the ladder. Check its weight capacity and do not push it.

Factors to Consider before Buying an Adjustable Ladder for Stairs

The best way to use a ladder well is to understand why you are buying it. Once you know the purpose, you will be equipped to pick the best one for the task at hand. So, let’s see what you need in an adjustable ladder for stairs.


The tallest ladder isn’t necessarily the best ladder. Some ladders can go really high but that always comes with the challenge of maintaining balance at a height. You must also remember that the taller they get, the more challenging it is to store them.


This is perhaps the most important factor. The whole reason you are looking for an adjustable ladder is to be able to do things on your own. Make sure the width of the ladder corresponds to the maximum height. You must also look for one with non-slip material at the feet. Thick rubber soles with a grip are highly preferred.

Weight Capacity

There are a few categories in this. You must consider the weight of the ladder itself so that you can move it around easily. You have probably considered your own weight but don’t forget to add the weight of your tools too. And since there are steps, we are often tempted to allow another person to climb up. That might be fine if you don’t push its boundaries. Generally, the more weight a ladder can handle, the better it is.


This is particularly important in the context of this piece. You will find ladders that are capable of taking many different positions. That typically ranges from 4 to 12 positions. The versatility of positions is very important if you want to use it for multiple purposes. But more positions also means that it is harder to adjust the ladder at each of them. So, unless you are a professional, figure out what you want to use it for and get something that is just enough to meet your needs.

The Top 5 Adjustable Ladders for Stairs

Now that we have the primer on picking an adjustable ladder for stairs in place, let’s look at some options in the market. Here are our top five picks.

#1 Little Giant Velocity 17 Foot Aluminum Adjustable Folding Ladder & Work Platform

The first one is perhaps the most popular choice across the board. It’s from Little Giant Velocity and is made with a special alloy. This adjustable ladder is 20 percent lighter than other industrial-grade ladders and has a lot of cool features. The dual-pin hinge is a good example and so is the Rock Locks feature which makes it easy to adjust the positions.

This ladder comes in many configurations and has Trestle brackets which help form a trestle-and-plank scaffolding. It also has wide legs and the construction is aluminum which gives it extra stability and safety. It can hold up to 300 pounds on both sides which means two of you can easily get on it to get the job done.


  • Load Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Easily adjustable to accommodate A-frame to staircase, extension, 90-degree, scaffolding.
  • Provides stability and versatility for two people thanks to the aircraft grade lightweight construction.
  • Comes with a Rock Lock system that makes setup and adjustments easy. All  you need to do is push the lock, release the ladder and then tap it again to lock it.
  • Has a dual-pin hinge and also wide-flared legs for safety.


  • Sturdy
  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • Easy to fold


  • A bit pricey
  • A little heavy

#2 Louisville 6′ Fiberglass Step Ladder

Our second choice is a multi-purpose ladder which is quite popular among home users. It is non-conductive and molded on top and has a recessed tray to hold your tools that is perfect for handiwork.

It can handle up to 300 pounds (including tools) and the design is rather elegant too. Why should something not be pretty because it is functional, right? It has a smooth finish which means you won’t accidentally scratch yourself on the ladder’s surface. There are spreader braces on the inside which make it a safe choice and also keep the ladder secure if you are taking it to another place.


  • Brand: Louisville
  • Color: Orange
  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Item Weight: 17 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 73.2 inches (LxWxH)
  • Size: 6 feet
  • Has a tray for handyman tools
  • Can be transported easily because it is lightweight


  • Easy to use
  • Stable and sturdy
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Enabled with raptor top system


  • Some customers said they received an old product—dusty and with scratches

#3 COSCO 2061AABLKE Signature Series Step Ladder

This one is part of Cosco’s Signature series and is a lightweight step ladder made of aluminum. This is a safe tool for those who are working on a larger platform top step. It has an aluminum box frame and two project trays where you can keep the rest of your tools. Whether it is a painting job or a remodelling, this six-foot-tall ladder will help you get the job done with ease.


  • Brand: CoscoProducts
  • Color: Steel
  • Material: Alloy steel, aluminum
  • Item Weight: 17.6 Pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 5.2 x 21 x 75.6 inches (LxWxH)
  • Size: 6 feet
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Designed with an aluminum box frame.
  • Has a one-hand secure lock and a release carry handle which make it easy to fold the ladder.
  • Has a project tray which has slots along with a paper towel holder for you to place your tools.
  • Has a large platform step which makes it stable.
  • There is a slip-resistant tread design at the bottom to make it more secure.
  • You only need a couple of screws and a screwdriver to set it up.


  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Affordable
  • Sturdy and easy to fold


  • Can be short for a 13-foot ceiling
  • Storage can be difficult because of its size

#4 NSDirect Adjustable and Folding Ladder A-Frame with Hand Rails and Safety-Lock, Anti-Slip Pedal

This telescoping ladder from NSDirect is an excellent choice for those who want to do their handiwork themselves and have no one to help. It has an A-frame with hand rails that make it a safe choice. The sides can be used independently which means you can adjust them according to your needs. This is exactly what you want when you are working on stairs. The design is innovative, the aluminum frame is strong and the overall item is light.


  • Brand: NSDirect
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Item Dimensions: 5 x 17 x 31 inches  (LxWxH)
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
  • Size: 6 feet
  • Item Weight: 20.3 pounds
  • Open Size: 80.7 inches in seven steps, 57 inches in five steps
  • Folding Size: 29.33 inches in seven steps,  26.38 inches in five steps
  • Step Spacing: 11.8 inches
  • Step Width: 15.75 inches
  • Good choice for indoor and outdoor tasks.
  • Does not take too much  storage space when folded.
  • Constructed with scratch-resistant aluminum that keeps it in the running for long-term use.
  • Has automatic height-locking latches that kick in when the extensions are opened making it more secure than ladders from the competition.
  • Comes with rubber-tipped feet for support.
  • Can be used for DIY and commercial projects.


  • Does not need assembly
  • Automatic step locks
  • Two arms design
  • Safety bar at the center
  • Non-slip foot cover


  • Adjusting the legs can be tricky for first timers
  • Steps are made of plastic

#5 Little Giant Ladders, Revolution with Ratchet Levelers

We end the way we began—in glory with Little Giant Ladders. This is another lightweight multi-purpose ladder that can hold up to 300 pounds. It has a bunch of unique features that make it easy to lock and quick to adjust. It has an A-frame extension and can be a great asset on the stairs.

This ladder comes with a trestle-and-plank scaffolding system and wide-flared legs. It is constructed with aerospace-grade aluminum which makes it a safe and stable choice. And for hands-free adjustment look no further than the Ratchet Levelers which offer about 8.5 inches of leveling adjustment. Since they contract efficiently, storage is quite easy.


  • Brand: Little Giant Ladder Systems
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Item Weight: 38.5 pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 57 x 25 x 9 inches (LxWxH)
  • Maximum Reach (Single or Extension): 17 feet 11 inches; Step Ladder: 11 feet 4 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Comes with wide ratched leg levelers that make it easy on stairs and other uneven terrains.
  • Easy to convert it into a step or extension ladder.
  • Comes with trestle brackets and lock adjusters that help alter configurations easily.


  • Palm buttons make shifting configurations easy
  • Lock adjusters make height and position change quick
  • Has tip and glide wheels to male movement possible
  • Comes with cargo hold options


  • Expensive
  • Not great packaging

Final Thoughts

Adjustable ladders are extremely convenient. While they are not difficult to find, getting a good one that meets your specific requirements takes some time. After all, there are a lot of specifications to go through. The above list takes all of those needs into account. Hopefully, you found the one you were looking for. For any other home improvement needs, check out PVC Workshop.

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