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Most of us have ladders in our home and, if you’re anything like me, you get them out quite often to reach those just out of touch places. They’re useful for plenty of reasons and you don’t want to be without them, especially if you’re on the job or working. Problem is, ladders are typically quite tall and take up a lot of room, and this can be a real issue for those places which are just slightly out of reach, but still not high up enough for a ladder to be of use. In my experience this is typically putting up pictures or getting the top corners of a wall with my paint brush, and I don’t want to go to the effort of setting up a ladder just to do that, and it makes it quite tiring to do so!

So, situations like that really annoy me because I end up having to get the ladder out, and they take up that much room and make things so awkward to do (usually I’m reaching round or balancing off the ladder just to get the job done), and this is where hop ups come in. Hop ups are a great way of reaching higher spots when you’re working, whether it is professional or in the home, instead of having to get out your ladder and go to the trouble for something that can be done with just a little bit more height. They’re really ideal bits of kit and it wont drain you dry either, and I’m confident that a hop up will work for you too.

What is a hop up? 

As I said a hop up will get you some height instead of a ladder, but what exactly is it? Well, most hop ups are portable and can fold, but when unfolded, it acts almost as a step/small table which you can step on to reach higher places. You can get square hop ups which are usually around 60cm x 60cm, or you can get rectangular, longer hop ups which are typically around a meter long. Effectively, a hop up is a robust platform which you can stand on and which is supported with two foldable leg braces, allowing you to get high up jobs done easily.

Best Hop up in the UK

Why is a hop up more ideal than a ladder? 

Well of course they’re smaller, so you can only reach to certain heights, but hop ups allow you to reach heights without having to go to the effort of getting the ladder setup. Of course if you’re going to be doing very high up jobs, for example painting outdoors above 2 or 3 meters, you’ll need a ladder, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, in my years of being on site and carrying ladders about, I find that I only ever really use the first couple of steps as it is!

So, when I invested in a hop up I noticed that it really did come in handy, and the fact that they are lightweight and fold easier makes life so much easier when you’re out and about. It was a lot easier to transport than a ladder and much less effort to set up. I also noticed that they’re pretty common in the workplace too, as a few mates of mine (construction workers) use them more often than ladders too. All in all, I do prefer them to ladders and unless I’m going to be working really high up, the hop up is my go to and they’re much easier to work with. They fold easily, aren’t heavy and don’t take up much space, so they’re much more ideal for working than ladders are, especially for frequent use.

Do I really need one if I already have a ladder? 

I would say you don’t need one, but they really make life a lot easier compared to just having a ladder. Ladders are usually so big that it means you have to reach around or balance yourself in such a way to get jobs done if it’s below the height of the ladder, which is not only awkward but dangerous too. You could get a small stepladder, but I find these are so lightweight and small that it’s easy to lose balance, making it just as bad.

That’s why a hop up is the perfect in-between, being not too big so that smaller high up jobs are a pain, but also not too small so that it feels unstable or unsafe. The spread of the weight on the legs makes it safer to stand on and will support heavy weights, so they’re perfect for standing on for long periods of time. With all this in mind, you can get by with a ladder, but I just wouldn’t suggest it. Buy yourself a hop up to make things easier.

So, with all this in mind, let’s look at the best hop ups that are on the market right now. To make buying easier, I’ll cover some FAQs too.

Comparison table: Best Hop Up in the UK : 2021

ProductWhat We ThinkPrice

Folding Step Stool Multi Purpose

This is the smallest and cheapest hop up there is, and whilst it's not like other hop ups in this list, it's perfect for an extra bit of height around the home without spending much money. I would use this for those jobs that are just slightly out of reach or which you could do with some more height for, but this would not be suitable for really high up jobs or in the workplace. For the home however, it's perfect, and it will barely cost you anything! 

Oypla 150kg Folding Aluminium Work Platform (Best for home use and light jobs)

This is one of the smaller hop ups in the list and is perfect for the home or for minor jobs, simply because it's so compact and ideal to carry around. At the same time it's got all the features of other hop ups in this list such as anti-slip properties, rubber feet and aluminum design. On top of that it only costs just over £30 which is a great price, so it's perfect for a first time buy. It just doesn’t have much floor space and can't hold much weight, so it's not ideal for the workplace. 

HOMCOM Folding Hop Up Aluminum (Best lengthways/rectangular option)

The best rectangular hop up on the market, primarily because of its price but also the fact it’s a sturdy, reliable bit of kit which is clearly made from good quality aluminum. Compared to our first place, the spot is actually folded better and is cheaper, but it doesn’t have as much floor space, but if you don’t need extra platform space, then this is for you. It has everything you need, it's reliable, and it should last you-which is why it’s the best rectangular option there is. It will be suitable for both the workshop and home too. 

Werner 79205, Professional Work Platform (Best for painting or decorating)

This hop up is much longer than options 1 and 2 and is perfectly reliable, sturdy and should last you a long time. It will take up some space in storage for sure, and that’s why I would only use this hop up for decorating/painting as my go to. The length and height is perfect for these reasons as it lets you cover a large portion of the wall without moving it unlike other hop ups in this list. So because of its size it's not the most ideal, but it would be for those reasons. 

Clow Hop Up 150kg Step Bench (Best heavy duty option for the workplace)

Clow Hop Up 150kg Step Bench

This one is fantastic for those jobs or any work that involves heavy loads or that requires plenty of materials/tools. It is designed from lightweight aluminum just like other options above it in this list, yet it can carry up to 150kg weight comfortably. I felt this was the best heavy duty option on offer, and whilst it's not as compact or ideal as hop ups 1 and 2 in this list, it's definitely worth the investment for those reasons. 

Youngman Large Low Level Professional Work Platform (Best Overall)

Overall the best hop up option there is and without a doubt my go to, especially due to its reliability and sturdiness. It has plenty of floorspace, security and properties such as anti-slip and tripod support that make it handy for the workplace or at home. It isn’t going to drain you dry but you pay for what you get, and what you get is the best quality hop up there on the market. Compared to others in this list, it feels more robust and sturdy, and it generally feels like better quality, so it will most likely last you longer and protect itself better against working wear and tear. 

1. Youngman Large Low Level Professional Work Platform (Best Overall)

In our first place spot and easily the best hop up overall is the Youngman work platform, which is not only rated 5 stars for over 200 reviews, but is actually one of amazon’s choices for hop up platforms. It costs £62 and whilst not the cheapest, it’s not the most expensive, and you definitely get what you pay for. It’s reliable, sturdy, and it’s my favorite out of the lot.

So, what did I like about it? Well there are plenty of hop ups that look similar to this on the market, but this is probably the most durable and for its size (600mm x 600mm platform) it’s a really good price. Granted some other hop ups are this size too, but this one definitely felt the sturdiest and with some tests (testing weight, steadiness, transport) it performs the best and it was the most ideal to have in my opinion.

The actual product itself is made from durable metal with locks and hinges to keep it in place, and so everything locks in place nicely and you don’t have to worry about anything slipping or coming loose. It’s definitely high quality aluminum metal too, so it will likely last you a long time and be reliable for general wear and tear, such as being on a worksite or having it in the back of a van. It has rubber feet to prevent it moving when you’re in action, and it also has a rubbed platform design so that you don’t have to worry about slipping. This is easily one of its best features, as it’s so easy to slip on metal, especially on a raised platform where balance is somewhat crucial, and so it prevents that danger really well I found. So, are there any drawbacks in my opinion?

Honestly, no, not really. It folds nicely amongst everything else and is compact enough, and it only weighs 5kg, so it’s not exactly a strain on the arms. If anything it could fold slightly smaller, but it still isn’t inconveniently big. Some reviews noted how the products arrived damaged and had to be sent back, and whilst this wasn’t the case with mine, it’s very much a case of the seller and if yours is damaged, send it back and get a refund. Apart from that, reviews speak very highly of it, and so do I!

So overall, this is the best option there is for hop ups and I could see myself using it in a range of scenarios. It folds nicely enough so that it’s ideal for being on the move, but its platform surface is big enough to be useful for all sorts of jobs, such as painting a large space or working with high up electrics. It’s reliable, robust and I’d happily use it for prolonged periods of time. It’s high quality too, so it should last you and reassure you that it’s safe to use for a long time. I’m a big fan, so it would definitely be my go to from now on!

Next up is what I consider to be the best rectangular/longer hop up that there is on the market, because like I said before, hop ups are typically either rectangular or square. I find that the rectangular ones are easier for certain jobs such as painting or working with a wide area, but I personally prefer the square ones (hence preferring option 1) but they work just as well. When it comes to this HOMCOM folding hop up, you have everything you need and it’s as reliable as you can get.

It’s made from robust aluminum just like option 1 and it feels secure too, so I didn’t feel at all uneasy when I was testing it out. It locks in place nicely and it really does have strength to it, so I felt it supported weight really well. It’s actually lighter than our first place option too, and if anything it folds a bit smaller, so if the Youngman hop up in first place is a bit big then this would be my go to.

So it folds nicely and has all the strength you need, are there any drawbacks? Only thing I don’t like is that there isn’t as much platform surface compared to both the young man in first place and some others in this list. Granted it’s a rectangular platform so it’s already not as large, but it could just do with a bit more foot space. Aside from that, it has anti-slip properties, security locking, tripod security and is overall a really good rectangular hop up-and I would gladly have it in my workshop arsenal.

So out of all the ones I tried I definitely did love the options I had, but there was something about this one that made me think it would be perfect for decorating or painting, either at home or for work. It’s probably one of the heaviest (not awfully heavy, just noticeable) for sure, so if that’s not ideal for you, then perhaps move on. If you’re not fussed though, then everything else about this hop up is spot on and it would be really ideal for you to have.

So, it gives you a length of 1.15 meters which is plenty to move about on, and whilst not that wide, you can definitely make use of the floor space. Because it’s so long, and also high up, it’s perfect for decorating/painting as I said. You don’t have to keep moving it slightly as you work and you can cover quite a large space from one position, which is something I couldn’t get from other hop ups in this list. Its aluminum design gives it a sturdy feel and, because it’s longer than other hop ups in this list, it actually helps with balance too. So, are there any drawbacks?

Well, of course it will take up some length space when it comes to storage, but it folds compactly for the size of it. It also has the ribbed style to prevent slipping, but I don’t feel like it was as harsh as options 1 and 2 (the harsher it is, the better grip), but it still didn’t feel unsafe. Apart from that, I think this is perfect for your painting or decorating skills or if you need to cover a large portion of a wall in general.

4. Clow Hop Up 150kg Step Bench (Best heavy duty option for the workplace)

Now this hop up isn’t the cheapest but it isn’t going to run you dry either, but the reason I liked it is because it is without the doubt the best heavy duty hop up I’ve found and tested. It caught my eye originally because of all its hinges and locks, and upon a closer look, it became clear that this product is designed to hold weight. In fact, it can hold up to 150kg of weight, and that’s why I was confident it would be the best heavy duty option.

When testing, it was sturdy and robust enough, but it actually stayed in place really well. As with the other hop ups this is lightweight aluminum, and the product itself only weighs 5kg, and yet it can hold heavy weights and is clearly designed to do so. It has a wide platform to balance the weight put on (780mm x 300mm), which is plenty of working space, or at least felt like it to me. It has all the anti-slip features you need too. If anything it’s a bit too high, but only slightly compared to other hop ups in this list, so it isn’t a major issue.

Overall, this hope is a bit more expensive and isn’t as compact or ideal as others in this list, but it is definitely the best for heavy loads or jobs which require plenty of materials or tools. It will make your life easier and you won’t have to worry about the weights or strain you put on your hop up.

5. Oypla 150kg Folding Aluminium Work Platform (Best for home use and light jobs)

This is another hop up I really like, primarily for its compactness and for how ideal it would be in the home. Sure you can buy any hop up for the home, but in my experience, the smaller and more compact tools like this are the better. It makes storage a lot simpler and it also means it’ll be more lightweight, which is ideal so that you don’t have to strain yourself carrying it!

It’s definitely a lot smaller and gives you less amount of foot room, and this is why I would only say this product is suitable for the home (and for minor jobs) rather than the workplace or any larger/time-occupying jobs. It only costs just over £30, so it’s perfect for if you’re going to need something that will give you extra height once in a while, but which isn’t too expensive either.

It’s got the same design as other hop ups in this list and is also made from aluminum, and it has anti-slip features too, so it’s perfectly safe for your home. It really is compact and I love how ideal it is, but like I said, I would only use it for smaller jobs or for the home. Since I already have a workplace hop up I don’t need one of these, but it would be my go to as a first buy. Overall, a great little bit of kit and is perfectly reliable, and it will save you some money too!

So our final spot for best hop ups is actually one that looks a bit different to your typical hop up, and it actually has a range of uses around the home. This is much smaller and is effectively a hop up step, so it only provides a foot or so of additional height. Straight off the bat this isn’t useful in the workplace, but it’s great for some additional height at home.

It only costs £11.99 and so is by far the cheapest way to get some additional height there is, and since it can be used around the home for a lot of different purposes (garden, reaching shelves, kids), it really is worth the small amount of money you pay. I’ve kept this one for myself just so I can use it if something is slightly out of reach or if I just need some height for anything.

It’s made from polypropylene, which is a reliable plastic and it should be pretty resistant to wear and tear. It has anti-slip features too and you should be safe enough on this one. It won’t hold too much weight and it’s small, so it really is only for a step or two of extra height and that’s it. So, if you want a proper hop up then this isn’t the one for you, but in my opinion if you just need a tad extra height anywhere around the home and you don’t want to splash out for it, this small portable hop up is perfect.

Hop ups – Buyers guide 

When it comes to hop ups, most of them are so similar that there aren’t any key differences you need to look for. However, there are a few attributes which will make your chosen hop up more worthwhile, particular in terms of reliability. So, make sure to keep an eye out on the following features between products:

Material 

Most hop ups are designed for the workplace, or at least the outdoors anyway, and so are made from aluminum or other reliable metals. Aluminum is good for rust and general wear and tear, and so it’s ideal for a hop up due to the nature of its job. Some cheaper hop ups or hop ups for the home (such as option 6 in our list) can be made from polypropylene, which whilst reliable, isn’t as sturdy as aluminum. So, make sure to look for aluminum if your hop up is for the outdoors.

Anti-slip features

I’ve mentioned it throughout this review, but anti-slip is key for hop ups! Look for a gridded design on the platform to reduce chances of slipping when you either have wet feet or a wet platform, as a fall from a hop up could be fatal. As well as this, look for strong locking features such as lockable hinges all around the hop up, as this will help the hop up stay in place. Finally, rubber feet will also prevent movement, which in turn prevents slipping.

How much weight it can hold 

Also a crucial feature, as this dictates which hop up is best for you. For hop ups around the home or for additional height, weight isn’t too important, but for the workplace, you’ll need something at least over 100kg. This will help with not only comfortably holding your weight when you’re on it for long amounts of time, but your heavy tools too when on the job.

FAQ

So, there’s a few things to consider when choosing the right hop up for you, as mentioned in the buyers guide. On top of that you have our best picks for hop ups on the market right now, so buying should be a lot easier!

That said, you might still have some questions or thoughts surrounding hop ups that you want answered before buying, so let’s clear that up for you. If you have any other questions, please get in touch.

Are hop ups easy to transport? 

It depends on the compactness of the product, but in general, yes they are! The point of hop ups is that they can compact down to an ideal size (without weighing much either) so that they can be easily moved about and included as part of your tool kit. This is why they’re perfect for the workplace as well as at home, as they can fold much easier than ladders and take up less space.

Are hop ups worth the money? 

Considering you can get a really good hop up for £50-60, they aren’t exactly a cheap addition to the set, but they aren’t really that expensive either. In my experience, having a hop up is definitely worth the money, both for the home and workplace. You don’t realise how ideal they are to have round (especially because they fold, are compact and are easy to transport) until you have one. Even if you don’t use it too often, they’re so much easier to have than ladders, and most people have a set of ladders don’t they? So, definitely worth it!

How high is a hop up? 

Sizes vary with the product of course, but hop ups always seem to be a minimum of 50cm high, as this is an ideal height for getting up onto your hop up without straining yourself too much, but which also provides a good half a meter of additional height for your jobs. I think this is a suitable height too and I don’t really need anymore, but some go up to 60, in fact, quite a lot do!


About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from gardentoolbox.co.uk, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence.

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