What are the pros and cons of having spiral stairs?

Spiral staircase is defined as a structure that is built around a central post that acts as an axis for its steps.

Spiral staircases are still a prominent structure in many homes, apartments, and commercial spaces. They may not be used to protect soldiers from attacking kingdoms, but they are used to save space, as well as to provide a captivating focal point as a timeless structure.

Origin of Spiral Staircase

Spiral Staircase became increasingly popular during the Middle Ages. An ancient marble spiral staircase is still standing in Trajan’s Column in Italy, which was likely built around 133 A.D. However, researchers are certain that this was not the first spiral staircase built and that the staircases were likely being used well before that. The concept of the spiral staircase is believed to be over 3,000 years old.

What Was Their Purpose?

Spiral staircases served a very specific purpose when they were first developed and implemented. Spiral staircases were originally built as a form of protection within certain kingdoms. The staircases were often built into castles and were used as an advantage when kingdoms faced an attack. Different armies would use the spiral staircase when enemies would make an attempt at an ambush because they provided a limited amount of space which prevented a group of people from running up it at one time.

What Materials Were Used?

When spiral staircases were first created, they were typically built out of stone or marble because they were built directly into walls. It took some time for them to become “freestanding structures” with a center pole as support. They are now made in a variety of materials from steel to diamond plate.

Distinct Attributes of a Spiral Staircase

closed shaft spiral staircase

Comfort and Safety

The design of a spiral staircase is very important and must account for several factors so that it isn’t uncomfortable or dangerous.

The first things that must be taken into account are the start and end points in order to calculate: the degrees of rotation, the height of the steps, and the surface and shape of each step.


All of the steps in a spiral staircase are shaped like a trapezoid, which means that its outer part is wider, and the area decreases in size as it approaches the center. Whoever ascends or descends a spiral staircase should go along the outer edge, where the steps allow for greater, safer support.


A spiral staircase can be built with a turn to the right or to the left. The line of the stairs usually goes clockwise and typically includes a handrail so that people can support themselves with more safety, especially when descending.

The Well-Known types of Spiral Staircases

Closed shaft spiral staircase:

a continuous circular structure without an intermediate landing that is joined and fixed to a central axis.

closed shaft spiral staircase

Spiral staircase with a vertical axis:

in architecture, this type of staircase has a vertical axis or wall supporting the steps. The main feature of this type of staircase is that its steps come out of a spiral without leaving a gap in the axis’s place.

spiral and open staircase

Spiral and open staircase:

its central axis is open, and it may or may not have a railing. Built around a circular well, with a hollow in the center that resembles an eye.

spiral staircase with vertical axis

What are the Pros and Cons of having a spiral staircase?

The main benefit of a spiral staircase is optimizing space, as it needs a small footprint and occupies a very small area in all compared to other types of stairs.

A great option for smaller homes or apartments, and can help you access a loft or upstairs space within a tight fit. It can also be a great second staircase option in a smaller space if you already have a standard staircase. Spiral staircases are compact, and free up space in your floor plan.

Generally, a spiral staircase only lets one person ascend or descend at a time. If two or more people are going up or down, they must go in the same direction and in single file, not next to each other, as they could on a conventional staircase. For this reason, spiral staircases are not viable in high-traffic areas.

spiral staircase

Spiral staircases are very versatile. They can be built out of a large number of materials and are perfectly suitable for both interiors and exteriors.

Since it curls back on itself, a spiral staircase puts a height limit on those who use it. This can make it uncomfortable for those of greater stature and make it very difficult, if not impossible, to take bulky objects on them.

Spiral staircases can be dangerous at times, especially if the staircase has wider slats, or just simply because it twists and can create a painful fall. While it can be a fun addition to the home, some design experts say that it’s not always a safe choice.

Why Consider a Spiral Staircase?

spiral staircase

Space Saving

Your custom spiral staircase can save space in comparison to a standard staircase due to the wrap around design. This is a great option for smaller homes or apartments, and can help you access a loft or upstairs space within a tight fit. It can also be a great second staircase option in a smaller space if you already have a standard staircase. Spiral staircases are compact, and free up space in your floor plan.

 Best  for Open Floor Plans

A spiral staircase provides a more open design to allow light to pass through and around. Because of its compact design, it can be placed most anywhere in the room without blocking the line of sight within the room. This can make room look and feel bigger, brighter, and more welcoming. Traditional stairs can be obtrusive to the eye, block light, and create shadows.

Custom Design

Whatever aesthetic or special requests, the design possibilities for handcrafted spiral staircase are virtually endless. The real beauty of a spiral staircase is that they can be custom designed to accent an area or blend into an area. From materials like steel and wood, or a combination of both, to handrail styles and accessories, the dream handcrafted spiral staircase can be fulfilled.

Better Value for Money

Though you can’t put a price on beauty, which is inherent with spiral stairs, you can put it on more usable space. You will be amazed at the small footprint of a spiral staircase; giving you the valuable space you need for furniture or other architectural elements in your design. More usable space in home translates into value and money saved. You get more for your money with a spiral staircase.

Adds Value to Your Home

Spiral staircases add a modern design element that can make your home more desirable and valuable, especially if you are thinking of selling in the future. They are unique and can help your home stand out among others. But, it’s not just the monetary value that you gain, your family and friends will appreciate the beauty of your custom spiral staircase.