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Best telescopic ladder 2021: Our favourite retractable ladders from £73

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No room for a full-sized ladder? The best telescopic ladders let you reach new heights without taking up precious storage space

A ladder is an immensely helpful tool for anyone who needs to maintain a home, but they can take up a lot of space. If you want a ladder with less of the bulk, then you need to consider buying a modern telescopic ladder. These ingenious inventions shrink down to a package that fits easily in a shed or storage box, yet can extend as far as six metres – plenty tall enough for all but the most extreme of DIY jobs around the home.

Whether you’re looking to clean your windows and soffits, clear the gutters or just give your walls a fresh lick of paint, a telescopic ladder can be your flexible friend. Extendable to varying heights depending on your need, and easy to store due to the way they pack down to a small size, the aluminium build of telescopic ladders makes them easy to move around. They’re easy to erect and collapse, too.

Here we’ll explain what to look out for when buying a telescopic ladder and suggest a range of options at a range of prices. Not sure what you’re looking for? Then read on and we’ll explain everything you need to know.

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Best telescopic ladders: At a glance


How to choose the best telescopic ladder for you

How do telescopic ladders differ from traditional ladders?

It may surprise you to learn that there are many distinct types of ladders, covering everything from step ladders to articulated ladders and beyond. The most common of all the ladders you’ll have seen being used by tradesmen is the extension ladder. While these are sturdy and reliable, they’re also heavy, often difficult to extend without effort, and need a lot more room for storage.

By contrast, the telescopic ladder begins as a compact base unit. Some designs allow you to pull the rungs upwards until you reach the desired height, while others need to be fully extended before locking into place.

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What size of telescopic ladder do I need?

The shortest telescopic ladders extend to around 2.6m (8.53ft) and the longest models top out around 6.2m (20.35ft). The question is what you want to be able to use your ladder for. Shorter models will be fine for general DIY duties in and around the house, while longer models will be required if you’re hoping to get up to the roof of your home to fix the guttering or replace tiles.

Are they safe to use?

Telescopic ladders are not as robust or flex-free as traditional full-length extension ladders and need to be used with care. All the options featured here come with non-slip feet for security you can feel confident in, and the majority cite a maximum load capacity of 150kg (330lbs).

As with any ladder, it’s essential to use it safely. It’s crucial to maintain at least three points of contact with the ladder, and you should never over-reach or over-load. The ladder should be placed at 75° to the surface you’re scaling, or you can use the 4 to 1 rule, which stipulates that the base of the ladder should be one foot away from the building for every four feet of height.

Something else to bear in mind is that telescopic ladders are safety regulated under EU ruling EN 131 Part 6. Make sure you look for EN 131 certification on any ladder you buy.

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The best telescopic ladders to buy in 2021

1. Werner 4 x 3 Combi: A brilliantly versatile ladder

Price: £121 | Buy now from Wickes

When you need a ladder that’s useful in and outside the house, there’s the Werner 4 x 3 Combination ladder.

The Werner weighs a reassuringly hefty 11.75kg and is only one metre high when collapsed, yet fully extends to a total of 2.8m, thus giving a safe working height of 3.63m (nearly 12ft). It also functions as a stepladder, stairway stepladder, extension ladder and as two scaffold bases, with the telescopic sections allowing for rung-by-rung height adjustment to reach the desired height.

EN 131-certified for safety, the Werner 4 x 3 comes with smooth curved rails that allow for comfortable climbing, slip-resistant feet and a splayed base for extra stability. Meanwhile, the simple Click-Lock hinge system guarantees ease of use.

The Werner is a strong and sturdy telescopic ladder, with no concerning creaking noises when in use, and is an option you can trust to help you get the job done.

Key specs – Maximum length: 2.8m (9.2ft); Closed length: 1m; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: 11.75kg; Material: Aluminium; Colour: Silver

Buy now from Wickes


2. Nestling 2.6m Telescopic Ladder: Best budget telescopic ladder

Price: £73| Buy now from Amazon

For simple indoor DIY jobs or lower-level outdoor work, such as fixing exterior lighting or CCTV cameras to walls, there’s little point spending over £100 on a huge telescopic ladder. Instead, a more practical and budget-friendly option is the Nestling 2.6m.

The Nestling is extremely lightweight at just 6.3kg and yet capable of bearing a maximum weight of 150kg. EN 131 certification goes hand in hand with a stable design that feels sturdy even on the higher rungs, and the non-slip rubber feet and stabiliser bar also do their bit.

It’s easy to use, too. The finger protection when opening and closing the ladder is welcome, while self-locking mechanisms make it easy to erect, and retraction is a one-handed process. Overall, this is a good budget buy.

Key specs – Maximum length: 2.6m/8.5ft; Closed length: 74cm; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: 6.3kg; Dimensions: 46 x 7 x 74cm (HxWxD); Material: Aluminium; Colour: Silver

3. WolfWise 4.7m: Best telescopic ladder for overall general use

Price: £135 | Buy now from Amazon

An extremely popular option, the WolfWise has been designed with safety at the fore, with non-slip end caps to keep it firmly in place when in use and a design that prevents trapped fingers.

Made from corrosion-resistant aluminium alloy, this 4.7m (15.5ft) option weighs in at just 13.3kg, while offering a maximum load of 150kg.

The sections open in one-foot increments, and locking pins on each step allow you to shorten the ladder safely. The WolfWise is simplicity itself to set to the required height for any and all jobs inside and outside the house, and when the work is done it retracts back down to under a quarter of its height and secures with a heavy-duty strap for ease of storage or transportation.

Sadly, WolfWise does not specify an EN 131 certification, but with so many safety features in place, owners should still be confident of usage.

Key specs – Maximum length: 4.7m (15.5ft); Closed length: 95cm; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: 13.3kg; Dimensions: 95 x 50 x 9cm (HxWxD); Material: Aluminium; Colour: Black

4. Youngman Telescopic 3.8m: A safety feature-packed ladder for home or pro use

Price: £170 | Buy now from Wickes

The Youngman 3.8m telescopic ladder comes rammed with safety features to keep you, your fingers and your bones protected from any height-based mishaps. And with full EN 131 certification, you can have complete peace of mind in its performance.

It features extra rung spacing to prevent finger trapping, an automatic locking mechanism for convenience and security, a single-handed unlocking system for easy closure, lock indicators for increased safety, rung-by-rung height adjustment to reach the height you need, safety grip wall bumpers for firmer grip and stability, and slip-resistant rungs and feet.

As the name suggests, the Youngman extends to 3.8 metres, giving you a safe working height of 4.51 metres (based on the average reach height). Collapsing down to just 1.1m, it’s also easy to store away when not in use.

Key specs – Maximum length: 3.8m (12.6ft); Closed length: 1.1m; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: 12.5kg; Material: Aluminium; Colour: Silver

Buy now from Wickes


5. Autofu 6.2m/20.35ft: A telescopic ladder for bigger jobs

Price: £124 | Buy now from Amazon

The Autofu extends from a compact 109cm base to a whopping 6.2m at full length, making it suitable for a wide variety of high-altitude jobs.

This model comes complete with its own Ladder Roof Hook Kit, which allows you to convert your ladder into a secure roof ladder with the quick addition of roof hooks.

The Autofu is EN 131-certified for safety and stability peace of mind, there are slip-resistant rungs and non-slip feet, and the inward-pushing locking buttons are designed to keep your fingers out of harm’s way when retracting the ladder.

Given the overall extended length, the Autofu is surprisingly compact when collapsed. Weighing just 16.3kg, it’s also easy to carry and simple to store away in a shed or storage box thanks to its thin 8.5cm width.

Key specs – Maximum length: 6.2m; Closed length: 109cm; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: 16.3kg; Dimensions: 109 x 48 x 8.5cm (HxWxD); Material: Aluminium; Colour: Silver

6. AutoBaBa Multi-Purpose 5M: A versatile, sensibly-price telescopic ladder

Price: £126 | Buy now from Amazon

The Multi-Purpose 5M from AutoBaBa is more flexible than many of its rivals: in addition to extending to a maximum of 5 metres, it can also fold into an A-frame design, providing even greater stability and doubling as a step ladder.

Non-slip caps marry with rubber-tipped, angled feet, and the easy to operate industrial-grade height-locking latches partner with a solid, durable aluminium build, The AutoBaBa is certainly sturdily built, despite weighing a reasonable 18.2kg.

Safety certified and capable of handling loads of up to 150kg, an additional benefit of the A frame capability of the AutoBaBa is that by setting the two sides at different lengths it becomes ideal for using on stairs too.

Compacting down from five-metre to just 88-centimetres when done, the AutoBaBa will easily fit into most standard sized cars and can be stored safely away free from any issues with space.

Key specs – Maximum length: 5m; Closed length: 88cm; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: 18.2kg; Dimensions (HWD): 88 x 50 x 19cm; Material: Aluminium; Colour: Silver

7. Homebase Telescopic Loft Ladder: Best telescopic ladder for loft access

Price: £200 | Buy now from Homebase

Some requirements for a Telescopic ladder around the home go beyond just D.I.Y., and those with a loft they regularly use for either storage or as another room of the house will find a world of convenience in the installation of a Telescopic ladder specifically for this purpose.

Here we have a prime example available from Homebase, and although the price may seem as steep as the ladder itself when compared with other stand-free options, it's important to know that this model has been designed specifically with loft access in mind. As such, this 2.6m Telescopic ladder, manufactured from anodised aluminium, features an automatic locking and release system, rubber feet to protect flooring, and extra wide steps for comfort and safety.

Easy to install with no cutting required, the Homebase Loft Ladder is adjustable to three lengths and telescopes down to a decidedly compact form, making it ideal for tight spaces.

Key specs – Maximum length: 2.6m; Closed length: 81cm; Maximum load: 150kg; Weight: n/a; Material: Aluminium; Colour: Silver

Buy now from Homebase


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