Houses are getting smaller and we all need to make the best possible use of our vertical space.  The irony of this statement is that getting to that vertical space means using a ladder and conventional ladders can actually be a real pain to store.  Thankfully there is an answer to this problem - telescopic ladders.  You can literally store them under a bed (or even in a car boot), but when they’re extended, they’re still long enough to reach up to the top of most household walls.

If you know for sure you want to buy a telescopic ladder, then feel free to skip on down to our telescopic ladder review.  We’ve rounded up some of the best rated telescopic ladders around and summarized everything we think you need to know to choose the best telescopic ladder for you.

If you want to know a bit more about telescopic ladders before deciding whether or not you need one in your life, then keep reading and we’ll give you a complete buying guide for them.

Best Telescopic Ladder

Telescopic ladders, a complete buying guide

We know the words “health and safety” can make people’s eyes roll, but you’re going to be using a telescopic ladder to reach high places.  If that’s not enough to convince you that safety matters, then we’d also like to point out that there’s generally a strong connection between safety and ease of use in general.  With that in mind, let’s look at the points to check when you are looking for the best telescopic ladder for you.

Quality of construction

These days, the best telescopic ladders tend to be made of aluminium because it’s both light and strong (and fairly rust-proof).  You need them to be put together well so you can be confident standing on them at height.  One quick point to note about telescopic ladders is that the rungs are probably going to be a bit slimmer than with regular ladders.  This may feel a bit strange at first, but it’s perfectly safe.

Safety features

In principle, you want to look for one or both of the EN131 or CE standards.  In practice, the key point to check is whether you are confident you can easily open and close the telescopic ladder without trapping your fingers.  For bonus points you want a support foot or bar for extra stability when your telescopic ladder is fully extended.

For the sake of completeness, we ought to mention that the one slight downside to aluminium is that it doesn’t give any protection from electric shocks.  We doubt this will be a great concern for the average buyer but if it is you have two options.  One is to buy a telescopic ladder made of some other material, such as fiberglass, the other (more affordable) option is just to buy a rubber safety mat and put it between your telescopic ladder and the ground.

Safety note

Always double-check your telescopic ladder before using it.  Make sure that there is no visible damage and that the locking mechanisms are working properly.  If the feet are supposed to be covered in slip-resistant material, make sure it is intact and if not replace it before you use the ladder.

Best Telescopic Ladder

Weight and weight-bearing capability

This is slightly different from construction standards.  It’s more about construction priorities.  Basically, you can have maximum lightness and portability or you can have maximum weight-bearing capability and accept that the price of this is a heavier (and usually more expensive) telescopic ladder.

You should be aware that telescopic ladders do tend to “flex” a bit when you use them, which can be a bit unnerving at first.  If you’ve set up the telescopic ladder properly then you should be perfectly fine, but as always, if in doubt, just come down and reassess the situation.


As a rule of thumb, you want the top of the ladder to be at least 1M/3Ft longer than the top of the surface against which it will rest.  For extension ladders, you want it to be at least 2M/7Ft longer than the supporting structure for the upper section of the main ladder.

In addition to this, you will need to remember that on straight ladders, the highest safe step is the on which is third from the top.  In other words, the top two rungs should be considered “off-limits” for safety reasons.  For an extension ladder then it’s the fifth rung from the top.


Most telescopic ladders can be used either as standard ladders or as step ladders.  You do, however, want to double-check before you buy.  You can also get telescopic ladders which allow for multiple variations in their configuration.  These are commonly known as multi-position ladders and they’re much more common in work environments than in the home.

Do telescopic ladders have to be fully extended?

We get asked that question a lot and the answer is, it depends.  The best telescopic ladders can generally be used only partly extended but some are only designed for use fully-extended and, quite bluntly, some telescopic ladders are advertised as being suitable for use partly-extended when they’re actually not.


Telescopic Ladder Review

Here’s a quick round up of what we think are the best telescopic ladders on the UK market.  We’ve picked them based on safety, features and price, basically value for money.  All of these telescopic ladders are made of aluminium.

AutoBaBa 8.5Ft/2.5M Telescopic Ladder

2020 Latest Design DIY Multi-Purpose Aluminium
  • Closed size - 72cm x 47cm x 9cm
  • Max Load·150kg
  • Step spacing·28cm

The key point to note about this telescopic ladder is that, in our opinion, it’s only safe to use fully-extended.  It doesn’t appear to lock properly.  Also, the closing mechanism could be a bit slower (and safer).  That said, you should really be keeping your fingers on the outside anyway and the closing procedure is clearly explained in the instructions.

It gets a place on our list, however, because we suspect a lot of people will be able to live with its limitations in exchange for its budget-friendly price, especially since its height indicates that it’s clearly intended for light domestic use.

AutoFu 16.4Ft/5M Telescopic Ladder

5M/16.4ft Aluminum Extension Foldable Telescopic Ladder
  • Closed size: 98cm*48cm*8.5cm
  • Max Load 150kg
  • Step spacing : 40cm

This telescopic ladder is stable to use when partly extended.  It is, however, a bit noisy to close.  You can reduce the “bang” it makes by tilting it before you close it.  This will also help to slow down the closing mechanism a bit, which is our other slight gripe about this telescopic ladder.  Basically, you’ll need to ensure that your fingers are properly out of the way before you close it.

That said, in general, this is a decent telescopic ladder for a decent price.

DICN 10.5Ft/3.2M Telescopic Ladder

DICN 10.5Ft/3.2M Telescopic Ladder
  • Closed size: 82cm x 49cm x 8.5cm
  • Max Load 150kg
  • Step spacing : 27.5cm

There are two points to keep in mind about this telescopic ladder.  First of all, heavier people will find it does tend to flex a bit.  This means that you’ll want to pull it out from the wall somewhat, essentially giving it a wider base, which will reduce its reach.  Secondly, this is another telescopic ladder which could have a better closing mechanism.  Again, watch your fingers.

Nestling (2.6/2.9/3.2/3.8M foldable) Telescopic Ladder

Nestling Multi-Purpose Folding Extensionable Telescopic Aluminium Ladder

We’re skipping the basic statistics because they will vary depending on which version of this telescopic ladder you get.  What we will say is that these telescopic ladders are much sturdier than average (at least based on our experience).  The bad news is that this makes them heavier to carry (although still very manageable.  The good news is that this makes them feel more secure and results in minimal flex, even for heavier people.  As a result, this telescopic ladder feels very stable even when only partly extended.

WolfWise 15.4Ft/4.7M Telescopic Ladder

  • Closed size: 95cm x 48cm x 9cm
  • Max Load 150kg
  • Step spacing : 30cm

This is by far the most expensive telescopic ladder on our list, but the build quality justifies it.  We just wish the closing mechanism was a bit better.  Essentially, if you’re expecting to use your telescopic ladder a lot, or to use it for heavy-duty activities and you have the budget, then the WolfWise is the way to go.

Telescopic Ladder Review - overall conclusions

Objectively, the WolfWise is the best telescopic ladder on our list, but, frankly at its price it should be.  We suspect that there will be quite a few people out there who only need a telescopic ladder for occasional jobs around the house, for example, getting things down from the attic.

If that sounds like you, then you might want to look at the more affordable options.  The Nestings telescopic ladders are also very robust and come in at a lower price point.  They are a good choice if you’re wanting a telescopic ladder for regular, light work.  The other options are better suited to occasional, light use.