The 6 Best Step Ladders [Updated for 2021]

Last Updated on January 7, 2021 by Paul King

Whether you need to easily reach higher shelves in your garage, or you need something heavy-duty to withstand a workload while you do renovations or repairs, a step ladder is a common tool for any homeowner to have at their disposal.

You often won’t realize you need one until a DIY project or remodeling effort puts something out of your reach. Next time you need to paint a wall or fix a window, you’ll wish you had something light, sturdy, and easy to store that you can pull out at a moment’s notice.

In order to be prepared for any project, ongoing repair, or everyday use, we prepared this itemized list of some of the best step ladders currently on the market. We cover them from the basic functions and technical specs to specific recommendations depending on your needs. With this list, we hope that you will be able to make the most informed decision possible when you go step ladder shopping in preparation for a remodeling project, or just to have around the house.

Here’s our list of the 6 best step ladders to buy in 2020.

The secure, industrial-grade construction of the Flip-N-Lite proves that cheap ladders aren’t necessarily made cheaply. This one ticks all the boxes, including a heavy-duty construction backed up by a surprisingly slim profile.

Its platform is completely stable, providing support for your entire foot and avoiding the possibility of foot pain that ladders with narrower steps can often cause. It’s light and easy to set up no matter which version you buy, ranging from 9.5 pounds to 14 pounds depending on the height of the model.

We especially liked the one-handed opening mechanism on this one, which is especially useful when you need to open it and you already have an armful of tools, paint cans, or boxes.

You’ll also appreciate the slim profile when storing it in your shed or closet. The comfort of the wide steps also provides anyone, of any experience level, with enough stability to comfortably work from the ladder without worrying about falling.

This is why the Flip-N-Lite Stepladder is a great choice for most people, from experienced workmen to hobbyists who are doing remodeling work around their house. Its aluminum construction and 300-pound weight capacity should provide a versatile, sturdy experience for just about anyone.

Despite the fact that the Flip-N-Lite is rated for industrial work, its construction prioritizes comfort and ease, resulting in a lightweight and easy-to-store ladder that will only take up 6 feet of your toolshed’s wall, can be opened with just one hand, and is fit for any job of any size.

Why we like it

  • Slim construction allows for easy storage
  • Lightweight frame ideal for transportation to a work site or for maneuvering around the house
  • Comfortable steps and standing platform designed to reduce foot fatigue and provide safety and comfort while working
  • One-handed opening mechanism for easy use
  • Industrial-grade construction that doubles as a perfect household tool
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration-approved

Our Verdict

The Flip-N-Lite Stepladder with Platform is a versatile ladder that works for seasoned construction workers as well as for those who need work done around the house thanks to its convenient construction and surprisingly low weight compared to the strength and functionality of its frame.

Our Rating


The Rubbermaid Folding 3-Step Stool is ideal for work around the house. This 9-foot stool folds for easy storage in any garage and reaches 27.25”, making it a particularly good pick for those with a lot of high shelves and storage areas significantly out of reach.

Whether you’re putting away dishes in a high cupboard or painting the top of your living room wall, the Rubbermaid Stool is built to provide you with comfort while you work. It only weighs 13 pounds so it’s easy to take out, carry to different parts of the house, and put back in storage later.

A convenient handgrip and automatic locking steps make the stool safe to use, while its non-marring rubber feet will keep your floors safe from scuffs and cuts while you use your ladder.

The Rubbermaid has a weight limit of 200 pounds, which is comfortable for most people working around the house but may not be enough for more heavy-duty work that includes carrying and storing heavy boxes. However, for reaching dishes, light fixtures, high bookshelves, or high walls around the house and in the garage, the Rubbermaid 3-Step Stool is an excellent choice, particularly in its lower price range.

Why we like it

  • Folds for easy storage and at a reasonable height
  • Non-marring feet protect wood floors for convenient household use
  • Extended height for reaching troublesome shelves and ceiling fixtures
  • Sturdy steel frame and 200-pound weight capacity
  • Amenities designed for comfort, such as a convenient handgrip and wide steps
  • Low end of the price range
  • 1-year limited warranty

Our Verdict

The Rubbermaid 3-Step Folding Stool is a great low-cost addition to any household. Whether you need to reach ceiling fixtures or high shelves, the comfortable, sturdy steel construction and convenient, foldable frame make this a great budget pick for anyone who needs a little help around the house.

Our Rating


The Cosco Folding Step Stool puts safety first with wide, slip-resistant steps. Its reinforced steel frame matches type III standards and is approved to hold 200-pound loads.

Particularly useful is the wide back of the frame that spreads out flat on the floor without separate feet. This rubber-footed square support structure keeps the Cosco extra steady, which is why we especially recommend this model for people who are older or worried about falling in general.

When you buy Cosco, you also buy into a tested 80-year legacy of providing these products for people to use in their everyday lives. This 46” steel-frame step ladder weighs in at 12 pounds and in its sturdy construction represents a part of that legacy.

For the most stability and balance possible at a mid-range price, this Cosco Folding Step Stool is a great pick for casual home repairs and everyday use. Its opti-bond powder coat finish also comes in a surprisingly wide range of colors, adding to the perception that this is a consumer-grade ladder for people to store and use around their house.

For arranging high shelves, doing home painting projects, or changing light fixtures, this is a safe and affordable choice for pretty much any level of experience.

Why we like it

  • Extra stability provided by the wide back of the frame
  • Comfortable wide steps with wavy tread for balance and rubber hand grip
  • Sturdy steel frame construction
  • Easy to store and lug around despite the height
  • Perfect for older customers who want an extra amount of stability

Our Verdict

For entry-level DIYers or people who need a home project helper on a daily basis, the Cosco Folding Step Stool is an all-around good pick. It’s particularly favorable for those looking for extra stability while climbing and standing.

Our Rating


The Delxo 3 Step Ladder is a multi-purpose step stool designed for home use. It comes fully assembled and features an extra sturdy solid metal frame that keeps you feeling safe and secure no matter what you need this ladder for.

Its extra-wide pedals help you climb and stand without having to worry about foot pain or fatigue, which is particularly useful for longer remodeling projects. These pedals also make the Delxo ideal for long-term housework like dusting high cabinets or painting walls. In addition, the back of its frame spreads out for extra stability, ending in non-marring feet that will keep your floors safe and your feet stable.

It can hold up to 330 pounds, making it one of the sturdier ladders on this list in regard to carrying capacity, which may be what you’re looking for. It’s so sturdy, in fact, that the Delxo can even be used as a chair if you want to take a break. Its handle is curved to accommodate your back for this purpose.

For a multi-use ladder that combines practicality and stability, the Delxo is a great mid-range option for those that need something around the house. The non-slip rubber platforms are extra wide (15” x 10.25” x 1.02”) to give you that extra feeling of security.

Like the Cosco, this is another great option for older customers who may be extra worried about falling when getting dishes from a high place or arranging shelves in the garage. Safety locks and space-saving folding technology round this one out as a great multitasker for any homeowner.

Why we like it

  • Extra-wide, rubber-patterned pedals for stability
  • Extended back frame that keeps the ladder particularly steady
  • Rounded handle to let the ladder double as a chair for your work break
  • Extra weight capacity
  • Folds flat and stores easily at just 4.5” storage depth

Our Verdict

The Delxo 3 Step Ladder is perfect for heavier customers, particularly if they’re older and afraid of falling. Extra sturdy and stable, it even doubles as a chair for those that need a mid-work break. Its mid-range price and easy storability make it a great all-around option for anyone that needs a multitasking step ladder around their house.

Our Rating


Definitely more of a budget pick, the second Rubbermaid Step Stool on our list is lighter and less multi-tasking than others on the list, but no less sturdy. This little 2-step stool has a nice slim profile and stores easily in any pantry, closet, or garage for easy access when you need a little boost.

Just because it’s a little smaller and cheaper doesn’t mean that you sacrifice any utility, however. Its traction-molded steps give you a stable footing and like many ladders on this list, its rubber handle keeps you secure, since its wide enough to have three points of contact at all times.

It has a tested locking mechanism and rubber padded feet to prevent scratches on wood floors and keep you stable. A 1-year limited warranty should reassure you of any doubts that this stool has been tested for quality assurance.

It’s also one of the lightest stools on the list, weighing in at only 10.5 pounds. This makes it easy for anyone to pick up and carry to their DIY project or out to their garage. For easy storage and plenty of everyday utility, the Rubbermaid RMS-2 is a no-frills, simple 2-stepper that comes with plenty of stability. It’s a great budget pick.

Why we like it

  • The wider than average rubber grip on the handle
  • Wide steps traction-molded for stability
  • Lightweight for the dimensions
  • Low end of the price range
  • 1-year limited warranty

Our Verdict

It’s only two steps, but the Rubbermaid RMS-2 is a good all-purpose step ladder for those that don’t need too many frills. For your purposes around the house, the light weight and simple design should appeal to anyone looking to not spend a whole lot but still get a sturdy little step ladder in the process.

Our Rating


For any remodeling needs, the Louisville 3-Foot Step Ladder is an incredibly light and versatile stool. The ladder weighs only 8 pounds, making it the lightest on the list, and stands only 3 feet tall.

Unlike other stepladders, the Louisville is designed especially for work in renovations. Its Patented Pro-Top System gives it a V-shape that allows it to lean against walls while you work. It also comes with many safety features that you won’t find in ladders designed for lighter, more everyday use.

These include a non-conductive tray and top to make you safer when remodeling electrical systems for work in residential or construction jobs. A magnetized hardware tray has room for all your drills and bits as well, so you don’t have to fumble with a toolbox or open container.

Slip-resistant rubber feet on the back and angled feet with rubber treads on the front ensure stability when you’re dealing with your heavy tools, knocking out walls, or painting your kitchen.

The molded self-closing shelf, aluminum side rails with channel extrusions for stability, and replaceable rubber tread all contribute to the Louisville Ladder’s reputation of being an industrial-grade consumer step ladder at a budget price.

Why we like it

  • Renovation-centric with non-conductive trays and places to hold all your tools
  • Replaceable rubber treads on angled aluminum legs
  • Lightweight at only 8 pounds
  • Pro-Top System allows it to be leaned against walls: perfect for doing renovations
  • Non-slip feet for comfortable work, especially when using heavy machinery

Our Verdict

The Louisville 30-Foot Aluminum Step Ladder is an industrial-strength little ladder for those that need heavy-duty stability in their remodeling projects. With slots and trays for tools, non-conductive materials for work in electrical projects, and slip-resistant angled feet for stability, it’s a wonder that this is also the lightest and cheapest ladder on the list.

Our Rating


The Takeaway

Whether you’re planning a remodeling project or just buying a tool to give you more versatility cleaning and repairing your home, you can’t go wrong with these stepladders. The Flip-N-Lite Stepladder comes highly rated for its sturdy yet lightweight construction, the stability of its wide platforms, its slim storage profile, and its handy one-handed opening mechanism.

This is why the Flip-N-Lite is our top pick for stepladders in 2020 in terms of price, versatility, construction, and safety features.

For even more intense home repairs, you may need something higher than a stepladder. In that case, take a look at our recommendations for the best ladders available on the market today.

Regardless, a stepladder has a ton of utility in any home when you need to reach a high shelf, organize your garage, paint a wall, fix a window, or get started on that DIY construction project you’ve been putting off. No matter your needs or experience level, any of these options would make a valuable addition to your toolshed.

Paul King

I have an unhealthy obsession with contracting and renovation. I’ve been a contractor for over 15 years and I love tackling challenging projects to make them look amazing.