Spreetail Blog

Choosing the Right Style of Ladder

A Step in the Right Direction: Finding the Right Ladder for You

by Nathan Sousek
Mar 28, 2019

From home renovations to outdoor projects, ladders make hard-to-reach tasks easier to accomplish.But choosing the correct ladder for the job can be difficult. Today ladders come in a variety of lengths, sizes, and materials, making the decision of which 1 to buy all the more complicated. The first step is matching the proper ladder style to the job.  

We’ve broken down the most common ladder types to keep you climbing safely no matter where you need a step up in your life.  


Stepladders are some of the most common ladders used in everyday life. They feature a fixed-length, A-frame design with steps running up one or both sides of the ladder. When using a stepladder, you should never lean it against something in order to climb; always unfold to ensure the ladder doesn’t slip from under you. Built-in spreader bars will lock the stabilizing legs in place for secure free-standing applications.Often lightweight and simple to setup, stepladders are a good choice for use around the home, such as when changing a lightbulb, painting walls, and reaching top shelves or cabinets. 

Podium Ladders 

Like stepladders, podium ladders have an A-frame design and steps on one side for climbing. The key difference between the two is how you stand once you’ve reached the top of the ladder. Stepladders feature narrow steps, meaning you often need to keep one hand on the ladder for balance. Instead of rungs, a podium ladder has a flat platformat its highest step that allows you to stand more comfortably and utilize both hands when reaching for boxes or holding tools.   

Extension Ladders 

Extension ladders allow you to reach heights not possible with shorter ladders. Unlike straight ladders that feature only one ladder section, extension ladders have a base and either one or two sliding upper sections that allow you to reach different heights depending on your needs. Pivoting feet on the base section provides added stability on uneven surfaces. Extension ladders need a solid surface such as a wall or roofline to lean against for support. Their long length and adjustable height makes extension ladders ideal for outdoor projects like cleaning gutters or trimming tree limbs.  

Telescoping ladders 

Similar to extension ladders, telescoping ladders reach taller places such as roofs. The key difference between the two is their design. Whereas traditional extension ladders feature a sliding, fixed-step design, a telescoping ladder’s stepscollapse down for storage and travel capabilities.  

Multi-position Ladders 

Multi-purpose ladders are more than merely a hybrid between step and extension ladders. Also known as combination or articulating ladders, multi-position ladders are known for their versatility. Locking hinge joints and adjustable legs allow you to use this ladder in a variety of ways, includingas a stepladder with even or uneven sides or as a single-section straight ladder. Depending on the model, you could also use this type of ladder as support for scaffolding. Their adjustable designs make multi-position ladders perfect when working on uneven surfaces such as stairwells.  

If you aren’t sure what height of ladder you need, our blog, Choosing the Correct Ladder Heightwill provide you with everything you need to know.  

No matter where or how you plan to use a ladder, beyond all else, safety should be your number one concern. Having the right style of ladder will not only make your job easier but will ensure you make it safely back to the ground once the job is done. Check out our entire ladders at Spreetail.com.  

Still not certain which ladder you need? Talk to our experts 24/7 at 833-777-3382, [email protected], or chat us below. Be the first to know about new products and can't-miss promotions by signing up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page.