Ladders are extremely useful tools, and most homeowners have several ladders in their garage or basement.
Most ladders are used for light duty projects like painting a ceiling or reaching something from a high shelf.
However, other projects require quite a bit more weight capacity, and it is important to consider that before you step on a ladder.
We have compiled a list of ten different ladders and the approximate weights they can hold.
Ladders are rated for the weight that they can hold, and you should always be aware of this when using them.
How Much Weight Can a Ladder Really Hold?
Prior to purchasing a ladder, it is good to understand how they are classified.
There are some basic guidelines that you will want to keep in mind.
It is also important to remember that these are not going to always represent the maximum capacity, just the most that the ladder could be certified to support.
A Type 1 ladder is one which can hold up to 250 pounds.
This is what you will see among most of the commercial ladders.
Below Type 1 are the Type 2 and Type 3 ladders.
These can hold 225 pounds and 200 pounds, respectively.
For large projects that require lots of heavy products to be moved around, you will need to look at Type 1A and Type 1AA special duty ladders.
These are going to hold up to 375 pounds and be relatively stable as well.
The more activity you plan to do on a ladder and the more supplies you will need, the higher the weight capacity needs to be.
It should not be all that difficult to figure out these math problems, and you should make sure you calculate them before purchasing your new ladder.
You always want to keep safety in mind while using a ladder.
Below are 10 examples of ladders and their weight limits.
1. Step Ladder
A step ladder is a very standard ladder that most people have in their homes.
The step ladder comes in two basic types, and some people will call them step stools and not step ladders.
The step ladder is something that most people will use for light duty projects.
Most step ladders are not rated to carry more than 200 pounds.
Although 200 pounds may seem like a lot, larger people need to consider the weight of the objects they are carrying while on the ladder.
A step ladder can have either one side that is just a support or two sides of steps.
The ladders that have two sides with steps tend to be a bit more stable and will sometimes support more than 200 pounds.
The step ladder is a simple and affordable type of ladder that really makes sense to have around when it comes to light duty projects.
If you are working on a project that requires serious construction or are bringing a ladder to a job site, the step ladder is not going to be the best choice.
2. Extension Ladder
An extension ladder is going to allow you to reach very high places with ease.
It is very easy to adjust the height of an extension ladder because the top part of the ladder is highly adjustable.
When you use an extension ladder, the bottom part is placed on the ground, and the top part will lean against the building.
It is very important to make sure that you don’t place too much weight on the extension ladder.
If an extension ladder is extended out all the way, and too much weight is then applied, it could break.
Extension ladders are rated in the same way as other ladders when it comes to the type and amount that they will hold.
At the lower end of the price range, a Type 1A ladder is going to hold about 250 pounds.
If you are a lightweight person and plan to use this for general painting or lightweight housework, then the extension ladder could be a good choice.
However, if you own a roofing company with several people of all different sizes working for you, and they are carrying materials up and down the extension ladder, the Type 1A won’t be sufficient.
Ladders that are rated Type 1AA are extra heavy duty, and they will work best for those who need more than 350 pounds of weight capacity on a ladder.
Extension ladders are not cheap to purchase because it takes so much material to build them.
3. Platform Ladder
A platform ladder is one of our favorite types of ladders.
With a platform ladder, you are going to find that you have a nice, stable place to stand and balance when you get to the top.
In addition, a platform ladder also works really well for those who are painting.
You can go up a step or two and rest your paint on the platform.
Platform ladders tend to be slightly lower in height but higher in stability and safety.
Many of the platform ladders that you see on the market are going to be Type 1A.
If you consider that a can of paint weighs about 12 pounds and a person, on average, could be around 150 pounds, then a rating of 250 pounds on the ladder should be more than enough.
Of course, if your plan is to hang a very large and heavy mirror which could weigh 80 pounds or more, you may need to consider which ladder you are using.
Overall, the platform ladder’s stability certainly helps to make it feel as though it can hold some more weight than other ladders.
Regardless of the feel or the quality of the ladder, you must always consider the type instead of trying to guess how much the ladder will be able to hold.
4. Multipurpose Ladder
A multipurpose ladder is one that can change shape and be used for different situations.
If you need an extension ladder sometimes and a step ladder at other times, the multipurpose ladder is a great choice to consider.
The great thing about this multipurpose ladder is that it will fold up and store quite easily.
If you are limited on space, the multipurpose ladder is going to be a great choice.
As far as the weight that this ladder can hold, it is typically going to be one of the sturdier ladders.
Since the ladder manufacturer does not know how you intend to use the ladder at all times, they make it so that it will be able to hold a high level of weight, regardless of the application.
Most multipurpose ladders are at least Type 1A, meaning they will easily hold more than 250 pounds.
The multipurpose ladder is a popular choice for homeowners who have less storage space but still want the versatility of many different ladders.
With all the unique ways to use a multipurpose ladder, homeowners need to be careful that they are following the manufacturer’s guideless quite carefully.
5. Attic Ladder
Attic ladders are quite simply a way for homeowners to access the attic of their homes.
You typically get a pull-down solution with an attic ladder which looks very similar to a small extension ladder.
An attic ladder is not intended to be very heavy duty in the same way that a construction type ladder is.
With an attic ladder, you will be able to carry between 200 and 300 pounds into your attic.
Typically speaking, you will want to store the really heavy bowling balls and extra exercise equipment in the basement.
Putting these heavy things in the attic will cause more stress on your home than necessary.
The attic ladders are also not going to hold that much weight because they are going to be held up in the ceiling of one of your bedrooms.
You won’t want the extra strain and weight of a very heavy-duty ladder in your ceiling day in and day out.
6. Flexible Rope Ladder
A flexible rope ladder is made for emergency purposes only.
With these types of ladders, you can escape out the window of a burning building.
The escape will be much safer with one of these ladders in place.
Since this is for safety purposes and they are typically made with very high-quality material, a rope ladder tends to hold a lot of weight.
Some manufacturers will rate their rope ladder as able to hold more than 1000 pounds.
Remember that these ratings are not going to be quite the same as the Type 1 or Type 1A ratings that the standalone ladders are subject to.
In fact, many companies make ladders that are capable of holding 500 pounds or more.
However, when it comes to safety ratings, there are not many classifications over the Extra Heavy Duty rating.
If you purchase from a manufacturer that you trust, and the rating is above that of the national certifications, you will usually be safe.
If you ever question the ability of a ladder to hold the weight of a person, you should contact the manufacturer directly and see how the ladder performed during testing.
Since these rope ladders have been highly tested for safety in emergency-type situations, you should have no issues getting them to hold the weight that you need.
7. Podium Ladder
A podium ladder is similar to a platform ladder, except that there is not really room to stand at the top of the ladder.
Instead, you will use the top podium of the ladder as a place to hold some of your supplies or gear while you do your work.
Podium ladders come in a number of different sizes.
A typical 8-foot podium ladder should hold about 300 pounds.
There are lower quality ones that will hold closer to 200 pounds.
If you are purchasing a podium ladder, chances are it will be holding some supplies with you.
If you want a place to organize and stabilize these supplies, you will need the podium ladder’s room to hold this extra weight.
In other words, podium ladders are designed to do more than just help people reach high up items.
They are built with much more functionality and usability in mind.
8. Portable Warehouse Ladder
A portable warehouse ladder is a large set of steps that you can transport around a workplace.
The warehouse ladder allows workers to get to higher locations, reach materials, and then bring them back down.
The warehouse ladders are some of the largest ladders on the market, and they are mostly built on wheels.
The wheels allow workers to move the ladder from one area of the warehouse to another.
With a portable warehouse ladder you can move, you are going to get much more weight capacity than other ladder options.
This comes from the fact that the ladder itself is so large and very capable of holding larger loads.
The smaller warehouse ladders will hold 450 or more pounds.
Bigger warehouse ladders could hold 700 or more pounds.
When a warehouse is purchasing these types of ladders, they need to consider the size of employees, but most importantly, the size of their products as well.
As you can see, there are some math problems that go into purchasing a new ladder.
Keeping safety and production in mind will help you choose the perfect ladder for your unique situation.
9. Five-Step Portable Ladder
A five-step portable ladder is one that will resemble a portable warehouse ladder.
The five-step can be rolled around a workplace or even a home library to make it easier for people to access things that are higher up.
The five-step portable ladder typically has a weight capacity of around 300 pounds.
With these types of ladders, you are going to have a stable base on one side and the five steps on the other.
The five steps don’t lead to a platform or anything, but these types of ladders sometimes have railings on the side.
You can get something that is built specifically for either home or warehouse use, depending on what you would need.
The thing people like about the five-step portable ladders is that they don’t take up too much space when you are not using them.
You will find that you have much more space to store these than you do an entire warehouse ladder.
10. A-Frame Ladder
An A-frame ladder is typically one of the most popular ladders on the market.
With an A-frame ladder, one side will be steps, and the other side will look like a ladder.
However, that side does not function as a ladder.
The A-frame ladder is sturdy, stable, and easy to transport from one location of your home to another.
One of the best things about an A-frame ladder is that they are affordable.
Even the ladders that can hold a significant amount of weight will be something that you will be able to afford.
When purchasing an A-frame ladder, you must consider the longevity of this model as well.
You will be able to use your A-frame for many years to complete various projects.
This is important to consider and something that you will want to remember when making your ladder purchase.