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Best telescopic ladder 2024: Top retractable ladders for indoors, outdoors and lofts

A group of telescopic ladders

No room for a full-sized ladder? Save on precious storage space with the best telescopic ladders, as reviewed by our experts

A ladder is an immensely helpful tool for anyone trying to maintain a home, but it can take up a lot of space. Fortunately, the best telescopic ladders can do a very similar job while being significantly more space-efficient.

These ingenious inventions shrink down into packages that can easily fit into a shed or storage box, yet can extend as far as six metres – plenty tall enough for all but the most extreme of DIY jobs around the home.

Each telescopic ladder featured in this roundup has been tested by one of our expert team. Our testing methodology involves assessing the performance of the ladders in terms of ease of use (how easy they are to set up and to store away), safety features (such as non-slip feet), length, maximum load capacity and sturdiness. After performing a range of tests, we whittled down our favourites to cover a wide range of features, scenarios and budgets.

Below our mini-reviews of the ladders that made the cut, you can find our detailed buying guide explaining what to look out for when buying a telescopic ladder. However, if you already know what you’re in the market for, skip straight ahead to our favourite options.

Best telescopic ladders: At a glance

Most versatile telescopic ladderWerner Telescopic Multi-Purpose 4 x 3 (~£179)Check price at Wickes
Best budget telescopic ladderNestling 2.6m Telescopic Ladder (~£60)Check price at Amazon
Best for general useRIKADE 6.2m Telescopic Ladder (~£170)Check price at Amazon

The best telescopic ladders to buy in 2024

1. Werner Telescopic Multi-Purpose 4 x 3 Aluminium Combination Ladder: The most versatile ladder

Price when reviewed: £179 | Check price at Wickes

best telescopic ladder Werner 4x3 on a white background

Great for: Indoor and outdoor jobs
Not so great for: Those on a budget

When you need a ladder that’s extra useful inside, outside and all around the house, there’s the Werner 4 x 3 Combination ladder.

It weighs a reassuringly hefty 8.6kg and is just shy of a metre tall when collapsed, but fully extends to 2.94m, giving you a safe working height of 3.53m (a little over 11 and a half feet). With the separately telescopic sections allowing for rung-by-rung adjustment to reach the desired height, it can function as a stepladder, a stairwell ladder, an extension ladder and even as a scaffold base.

EN 131-certified for safety, the Werner 4 x 3 has smooth, curved rails that allow for comfortable climbing, as well as slip-resistant feet and a splayed base for extra stability. Meanwhile, its simple Click-Lock hinge system all but guarantees ease of use.

The Werner is a strong and sturdy telescopic ladder and, with no concerning creaking noises when in use, is an option you can trust to help you get the job done.

Key specs – Maximum height: 2.94m (9ft 8in); Closed height: 0.97m; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: 8.6kg; Material: Aluminium; Colour: Silver

Check price at Wickes

2. Nestling 2.6m Telescopic Ladder: Best budget telescopic ladder

Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at Amazon

Great for: Simple indoor jobs, lower-level outdoor jobs
Not so great for: Versatility

For simple, indoor DIY tasks or one-off, lower-level outdoor jobs – such as fixing exterior lighting or mounting a CCTV camera to the wall – there’s little point spending over £100 on a huge telescopic ladder. A budget-friendly yet still practical alternative is the Nestling 2.6m.

It’s extremely lightweight at just 6.3kg, but capable of bearing a maximum weight of 150kg. Its EN 131 certification goes hand in hand with a sturdy design that feels secure even as you climb to the higher rungs, with the non-slip rubber feet and stabiliser bar also doing their bit.

It’s easy to use, too. The finger protection when opening and closing the ladder is welcome, while the self-locking mechanisms make it easy to erect, and retraction is a simple one-handed process. Overall, this is a great budget buy.

Key specs – Maximum height: 2.6m (8ft 6in); Closed height: 0.74m; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: 6.3kg; Material: Aluminium; Colour: Silver

3. RIKADE 6.2m Telescopic Ladder: Best telescopic ladder for general use

Price when reviewed: £170 | Check price at Amazon

best telescopic ladder RIKADE Telescopic Ladder on a white background

Great for: Reaching high places
Not so great for: Those wanting a lightweight ladder

The longer a ladder is the further you can reach, and this model from RIKADE tops out at an impressive 6.2m (over 20 feet). It follows the same general design as most of the other telescopic ladders in this guide but adds more rungs to get that extended height. The rungs are individually clicked into place with a couple of thumb-operated locking mechanisms for each one, ensuring the ladder doesn’t collapse and helping you get the height you want.

Made from 6063 medium-strength aluminium alloy tube, it has a maximum load of just a touch under 150kg (about 23-and-a-half stone). Note that the ladder is flexible – and the greater the length and the load, the more it flexes – so realistically, it’s more suited to taking around 15 stone when fully extended.

As you might expect with more rungs – 17 in total – this telescopic ladder isn’t as lightweight as some of the other models in this guide, but it still only weighs a very manageable 15kg. And, when closed, it measures 107.5cm in height with a width of 50cm, so it’s easy to fit in the boot of a car.

Key specs – Maximum height: 6.2m (20ft 4in); Closed height: 1.07m; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: 15kg; Material: Aluminium; Colour: Black and silver

4. Werner Telescopic 3.8m Aluminium Extension Ladder: Best telescopic ladder for safety features

Price when reviewed: £239 | Check price at Wickes

best telescopic ladder Werner Telescopic 3.8m Aluminium on a white background

Great for: Safety features, easy storage
Not so great for: Penny-pinchers

The Werner Telescopic 3.8m Aluminium Extension Ladder is packed with safety features to keep you protected from any height-based mishaps. And with its full EN 131 certification, you can have some peace of mind about its performance. There’s also a one-year guarantee, if needed.

Its weight of 12.5kg and its 1.1m x 0.5m measurements when closed make it easy to transport and manoeuvre. It has an automatic locking mechanism for convenience and security, a single-handed unlocking system for easy closure, and lock indicators for increased safety.

It also extends to almost 3.8m, giving you a safe working height of 4.5m (based on 1.75m being the average reach height), and rung-by-rung height adjustment means it can extend one rung at a time (about 0.3m) to reach the height you need. The safety grip wall bumpers, meanwhile, offer a firm grip and plenty of stability.

Key specs – Maximum height: 3.79m (12ft 4in); Closed height: 1.1m; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: 12.5kg; Material: Aluminium; Colour: Silver

Check price at Wickes

5. YOUNGMAN 2.6 Metre Telescopic Loft Ladder: Best telescopic ladder for loft access

Price when reviewed: £204 | Check price at Amazon

best telescopic ladder YOUNGMAN Telescopic Loft Ladder on a white background

Great for: Easy installation and access to your loft
Not so great for: Other indoor and outdoor jobs

If you regularly use your loft space for storage or as an extra room, then you need to be able to access it readily and easily, and a telescopic ladder specifically designed for the task is perfect.

The YOUNGMAN 2.6 Metre Telescopic Loft Ladder is simple to install and operate. Just affix a couple of hatch hinges and the top component of the ladder, then attach the telescopic ladder with a couple of bolts and you’re ready to go – you can pull it down or push it up whenever it’s needed.

There’s one caveat in that you need a large enough hatch to store the ladder out of sight when not in use. That’s a minimum hatch size of 510mm x 600mm, with an overhang of 235mm (which most lofts have) to accommodate the hinges.

The ladder is sturdy, made from good-quality anodised aluminium and features rubber feet to hold it in place and protect the floor. It has a maximum floor-to-loft floor height of 2.61m, which means it will work for most ceiling heights, and it can be adjusted and locked down to a minimum of 2.17m for those with low ceilings.

Key specs – Maximum height: 2.61m (8ft 7in); Closed height: 0.815m; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: 12kg; Material: Aluminium; Colour: Silver

How to choose the best telescopic ladder for you

How do telescopic ladders differ from traditional ladders?

It may surprise you to learn that there are many distinct types of ladders, covering everything from step ladders to articulated ladders and beyond. The most common of all the ladders you’ll have seen being used by tradesmen is the extension ladder. While these are sturdy and reliable, they’re also heavy, often difficult to extend without effort, and need a lot more room for storage.

By contrast, the telescopic ladder begins as a compact base unit. Some designs allow you to pull the rungs upwards until you reach the desired height, while others need to be fully extended before locking into place.

What size of telescopic ladder do I need?

The shortest telescopic ladders extend to around 2.6m (8ft 6in) and the longest models top out at around 6.2m (20ft 4in). The question is what you want to be able to use your ladder for. Shorter models will be fine for general DIY duties in and around the house, while longer models will be required if you’re hoping to get up to the roof of your home to fix the guttering or replace tiles.

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Are they safe to use?

Telescopic ladders aren’t as robust or flex-free as traditional full-length extension ladders and need to be used with care. All the options featured here come with non-slip feet for security, and the majority cite a maximum load capacity of 150kg (330lb).

As with any ladder, it’s essential to use it safely. It’s crucial to maintain at least three points of contact with the ladder, and you should never over-reach or over-load. The ladder should be placed at 75° to the surface you’re scaling, or you can use the 4 to 1 rule, which stipulates that the base of the ladder should be one foot away from the building for every four feet of height.

Something else to bear in mind is that telescopic ladders are safety regulated under EU ruling EN 131 Part 6. Make sure you look for EN 131 certification on any ladder you buy.

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