Choosing loft ladders for small spaces isn’t simply about making the right purchase. There is a lot of work that goes into choosing the best product for your home. 

For example, one must consider the dimensions of the loft ladder and building codes before making a purchase. 

Buyers must also recognize the different types of ladders for loft boarding.

In this guide, we’ll list all of the ways to choose the best ladder for small spaces. 

Measure Your Loft’s Dimensions

Before buying a loft ladder, you should make sure the product fits the existing space in your roof. 

There isn’t any one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to picking the right loft ladder.

For this reason, here are some ways you can make accurate measurements for your loft ladder:

  • Measure the height from the floor to your loft’s ceiling. 
  • Measure the dimensions (length, width, height) of the opening slot. 
  • Measure the landing swing clearing space. 

No matter which type of loft ladder you choose to buy, following these measurement tips is key. 

Choose the Right Materials

Loft ladders are usually made from two types of materials: wood and aluminum. 

Wood ladders are the traditional choice in older lofts because they’re easier to create. 

Aluminum ladders are sturdier and a more modern option. 

In fact, aluminum and stairway ladders can support up to 375 pounds. Wooden ladders can usually support 275 pounds. 

If you plan on boarding a loft any time soon, it’s preferable to select an aluminum ladder.

This way, you can safely scale your loft without worrying about the strength of the ladder you choose. 

Remember That Installation Matters

It’s important to note that it usually takes two people to install a loft ladder. 

You must also have the right squaring, aligning, and sawing tools to get the job done. These are the standard tools you’ll use when installing a door or window. 

If you don’t have these tools, it’s best to speak to a licensed carpenter for help. 

The good news is that every loft ladder comes with an instruction manual. You can even find online videos that can help you with installation. 

Pay Attention to the Building Code

It can be frustrating to install a loft ladder, only to discover that it doesn’t meet your property’s building code. 

Before moving forward with your purchase, make sure you research your home’s building code. 

You can do this by contacting the local government that has jurisdiction over your home. 

They should be able to provide you with all the information you need to get started.

Learn About the Different Types of Loft Ladders

There are two main types of loft ladders to choose from. These are:

  1. Folding loft ladders
  2. Sliding loft ladders

Folding loft ladders are fully collapsible. They can be attached to your ceiling’s door. 

When you access the ceiling’s door, you can unfold the ladder, and it will slide down so you can use it.

Sliding loft ladders are a bit different when it comes to design. 

These ladders don’t fold. Instead, they slide and become smaller, much like a normal household ladder. 

Folding loft ladders are entirely safe. They usually come already installed with a handrail. 

Sliding loft ladders are the most ideal space-saving option.

The Location of the Ladder Matters

This factor is very important. 

Most lofts will already have a ceiling door where you can install a ladder. 

Sometimes, your ladder may fit into this existing space. Other times, this space may need to be enlarged or rebuilt. 

For this reason, you should make sure the ladder is installed between existing ceiling joists. 

You should also make sure that the bottom of the ladder will fall into a space that doesn’t obstruct your home’s natural navigation.

The Framing Matters Too

Your roof or attic floor is probably framed with rafters and floor joists.

They can also be framed using trusses. 

Trusses act as an interlocking system that strengthens your roof. Thus, they cannot be altered or cut to position a new loft ladder.

Doing so can reduce the strength of your roof. Again, the basic workaround is to install a ladder between the gaps of two trusses.

On the other hand, joists and floor rafters can be reorganized to help you install a new hatch for your ladder.

Check the Product’s Usability Features

An important part of choosing the right loft ladder is making sure it’s easy to use. 

Below are some helpful features every loft ladder should have:

Steps vs. Rungs:

Many loft ladders have shallow steps. Others have rungs that look more like ladder steps. 

Selecting steps or rungs is entirely a personal preference. 

Telescoping vs. Folding:

There are many loft ladders that are more advanced than your typical garden variety. 

Some ladders will fold out for use, while others will extend outwards like a telescope. 

There are also loft ladders that fold like scissors. These are sometimes called concertina loft ladders.


Loft ladders are usually stepper than your average staircase. Because of this, your ladder may need a higher or lower angle from your ceiling. 

Most loft ladders have an angle similar to a ladder when cleaning windows or painting a house. 


Many loft ladders include handrails for safety. 

Keep in mind that handrails are optional. It’s a personal preference to buy a loft ladder with a handrail. 

Mind Your Budget

Another important aspect of choosing the right loft ladder is knowing how much you’ll spend. 

Loft ladders usually aren’t expensive. In fact, you can expect to spend anywhere between $200 to $700 on the ladder.

Though, you can spend a lot more if you hire a professional to install your ladder.

Always Check Online Reviews

One of the greatest consumer tools is online reviews. 

These reviews are important for previewing a product before you buy it. 

Thus, before you buy a loft ladder, always check online reviews from your trustworthy publications and influencers. 

You should also read in-depth product reviews before making a decision. 

Browse Our Loft Ladders for Small Spaces

As you can see, it’s not difficult to choose the best loft ladders for small spaces.

By following these tips, you can purchase your next loft ladder with confidence. For more information about loft ladders, check out more of our blog posts.