this thing's incredible

I Find So Many Uses for My Award-Winning Japanese Ladder

I hover at five-foot-three, so reaching high places in my apartment always involves strategic maneuvering. I used to drag around kitchen chairs or flimsy stools, then elevate on tippy-toes to reach cabinets or overhead storage spaces. This method wasn’t safe by any means — I always climbed down with a sigh of relief. But that all changed when a fellow petite friend turned me on to Hasegawa ladders — I didn’t even know I wanted a ladder.

Hasegawa offers a few options (including a two-stepper and handsome step stool), but the Lucano 3-Step has to be the most functional for everyday use (as Maxwell Ryan of Apartment Therapy noted, it even won Japan’s Good Design Award). It does exactly the thing a ladder is supposed to do — help you step up and easily access things out of reach — without being the clanky, paint-stained aluminum ladders you see handymen tote around.

Constructed of both aluminum and steel, the ladder’s durable without being heavy. (It only weighs about 10 pounds, but supports up to 300.) It’s coated in a matte paint that won’t chip. (I know this firsthand because I accidentally knocked the ladder onto my hardwood floor.) Each step has grooves for grippy resistance, and the ladder comes fully assembled upon delivery. When folded, the ladder takes up minimal space — four-foot-four in height, a foot-and-a-half in width, six inches in depth — which makes it easy to store in a small closet, though I have no problem displaying books (though you could display other things) or hanging coats on it in full view. Perhaps my favorite detail about the ladder is that it stands upright on its own, so there’s no need to precariously lean it against a wall. (If you have a cat, it should be noted that your feline will adore climbing it.)

Sure, the Lucano is a bit pricey, but given that it has become the most frequently used piece of equipment around my apartment, I’ve found it to be more than worth the investment. Replacing light bulbs? Easy. Reaching kitchen shelves? Done. Turning off the smoke alarm after searing a steak? No problem. I now look around my apartment to find any excuse to bust out the ladder, like the handy, self-reliant, tall-enough woman I am.

Hasegawa Lucano 3-Step Aluminum Ladder

If you prefer, the ladder is also available at Amazon for $199.

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I Find So Many Uses for My Award-Winning Japanese Ladder