Updated: June 8, 2015
Step Ladder Reviews:When it comes to indoor household chores like putting in lightbulbs, dusting the tops of cabinets, or perhaps painting walls, there is no better item to have around except a step ladder. Some step ladders are referred to as step stools, and others are higher than a 3 foot step ladder. I own both a 3' step stool and a 6 foot aluminum step ladder so that I can take on any task in my house. The step stool is handy for simple things like light bulb changes or dusting around my chandelier but the step ladder allows me to get up even higher and be more stable such as when I want to paint the walls in a room. I would say the main difference is that the step stool is for lighter, faster jobs and the step ladder is for more intensive work like changing light fixtures or painting walls. Models like the Little Giant are adjustable and give you a variety of positions and platforms to potentially stand on. You will pay quite a bit more for adjustable step ladders like the Little Giant - $200+ for most models.
Buying Guide - The top brand names are Werner, Cosco, Tricam, Polder, and Rubbermaid. The basic step stools from Cosco and Werner are top rated and worth looking at if you have simple tasks around the house. My wife uses our step stool to put some items away high up in the kitchen cabinets since she is only 5' 2". The extra heigth on the step stool lets her reach the upper cabinets. I prefer the step stool that have deeper steps so that you can feel secure when standing on them and not worry about slipping or falling. A few of the popular Cosco step stools have more of a "platform" for the steps and this makes this handy for doing painting jobs or for holding supplies when doing repairs around the house. A Werner 6 Foot step ladder will run you $75 and it should handle most of your indoor and even some outdoor jobs. On lower gutters on single story homes, a 6 foot ladder is often sufficient enough to reach up and get the debris out it. If you have high ceilings in your house, a step stool will probably not let you reach the light fixtures to change light bulbs and a 6 foot ladder will be the tool of choice. I find that most American households have several different types of ladders in their home for all types of chores and DIY projects. You can find most ladders in home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot and at conventional department stores like Sears or Target. You can browse the top selling step stools and step ladders online here.
Best Step Ladder:RECOMMENDED - One of the top selling units on Amazon.com is the Polder 5620-92 3-Step. With a near perfect score (5 of 5 stars) from almost all that review it, it's hard to go against this model. The anodized aluminum frame keeps the Polder lightweight and yet still very sturdy. Another brand worth looking at are the Cosco step stool ladders which are stable and come in a variety of styles.
6 Foot Step Ladder:Some things just require a taller step ladder and 6 feet seems to be pretty standard these days. I must say that my Louisville 6 foot ladder is not as stable as I would like but I am comfortable enough at 6 feet that I don't worry too much about it. The biggest complaint that we read on 6 foot ladders is the lack of stability for the user when up at full height. I've owned Werner ladders as well and they too can be a bit unstable if you are not on an exactly even surface. That's the reason why ladders like the Little Giant have become so popular. There's no doubt they are more versatile and stable than the average ladder. For those that don't feel comfortable on a tradional step ladder then perhaps consider the more expensive Little Giants.
Platform Step Ladder:For an all around step stool with deeper steps for storage we suggest the Cosco 11-880-PGY Max Work Platform Step Stool, Steel. At less than $50 you are getting a real bargain with this lightweight platform step stool that features skid resistant step treads that provide secure footing. The molded utility tray is great for storing your tools and paint cans. It's a 3 step aluminum folding step stool with a 12 inch deep platform top step and a carrying handle for easy transport around your house. Almost all the reviews on Amazon are positive for this step stool with many owners saying "it's time to get rid of the old wooden step stool". I own this model and I find it stable, durable, and very reliable when I'm working on project around the home.
See our buying guides for all ladder types below: