Table Of Contents
- 1 Why should you purchase above ground pool ladders
- 2 Best Above Ground Pool Ladders
- 3 Intex Pool Ladder for Wall Height Above Ground Pools
- 4 Confer Plastics Heavy Duty In-Pool Ladder
- 5 Intex Deluxe Two-Sided Pool Ladder
- 6 Confer Plastics Two-Sided Above Ground Pool Ladder
- 7 Confer 7100B Above Ground Pool Ladder
- 8 Confer Plastics In-Pool Step & Ladder Complete Set
- 9 Free Standing Deck, 3-Feet by 5-Feet by 52-Inch
- 10 Swimming Pool Steps
- 11 Above Ground Swimming Pool Step to Deck
- 12 30″ Mighty Step for Above Ground Pool
- 13 Above Ground Pool Grand Entrance Steps
- 14 Blue Wave Wedding Cake Above Ground Pool Steps
- 15 Blue Wave Simple Step Grand Entry System
Why should you purchase above ground pool ladders
A pool ladder is a necessity for any above ground pool. Many above ground pools reach heights of at least 30 inches up to 55 inches, so even grown adults cannot enter the pool without the help of above ground pool ladders.
Many pool sets include a ladder at the time of purchase, though these ladders may be made with cheap quality metal and bend or break easily, leading to bruises, torn ligaments, or broken bones.
Above ground pool ladders are the easiest, most affordable option for most swimmers; as many pets, children, elderly adults, or the disabled may have difficulty climbing an above ground pool ladder.
As this is the case for many families, we will review some above ground pool step systems as well. Pools are no fun if the whole family cannot enjoy them!
Above ground pool ladders and step systems can vary widely in price and durability. The most important aspect to consider when purchasing above ground pool ladders is safety.
Do not skim over quality materials made of durable and sturdy metal, fiberglass, or water sealed wood. Ensure there is some form of non-slip material on the steps of the ladder or staircase so that there are no “slip and fall” accidents.
Not only for your and your family’s safety, but for legal purposes, you must consider this piece a worthy investment.
Many localities have what is called “premise liability” laws ensuring that anyone hurt on your property, whether you are home or not, whether they were invited or not, can file a lawsuit for financial compensation of any incurred medical expenses as well as compensation for lost wages from the resulting injury.
You must, at all times, know the state of your pool and deck, properly maintain the chemical or chlorination system, and ensure no circumstances exist that could lead to a slip and fall accident.
Your above ground pool ladder should be your very first upgrade above what comes with the pool as a set for these reasons.
This article should help teach some of the basics of above ground pool ladders and above ground step systems and review some of the highest rated swimming pool steps and above ground pool ladders.
Best Above Ground Pool Ladders
Let’s start with pool ladders for your above ground pool. A version of a pool ladder will more than likely come with your pool at the time of purchase.
Many times these pool ladders are made of cheap quality metal or plastic and not meant for long term use.
Standard manufacturer included ladders may not support the weight of a larger adult, bending or breaking beneath weight easily.
This can lead to bruising, lacerations, twisted joints, broken bones, or spine or traumatic brain injury, which is why the very first upgrade you should make is your pool entrance: whether that is an above ground pool ladder or swimming pool step system.
Above ground pool ladders typically have a 5 step system with hand rails to aid swimmers. There are many different materials used in the manufacturing of pool ladders for above ground pools.
The most popular and inexpensive option is the vinyl pool ladder, one sided. You can also get a simple, inexpensive design made in a higher grade, stronger stainless steel option.
Then upgrades could be made to go double sided, heavy duty plastic or upgrade to a swimming pool steps system.
For above ground pools without a deck, a two sided ladder would be a nice, safe, budget friendly upgrade.
If your above ground pool is inflatable, you will notice there are not many options out there for ladders safe to use with inflatable pools.
Swinging a leg over the side of an inflatable pool gets old quick, and everyone hates losing water each time they enter or exit an inflatable pool.
One option is the Intex Pool Ladder, which sells for really cheap. The high impact, slip resistant steps provide durability and the corrosion resistant steel frame ensures longevity with high use.
Rubber coated feet prevent any tears to the sides or bottom of an inflatable pool.
The ladder is also light enough to lift out of the pool and put away when unable to supervise children or visitors.
- Great for inflatable pools due to rubber feet and wide A-Frame
- Saves water from leaking when entering and exiting pool
- Lightweight, easily removable from pool when not in use
- Will not support weight over 250 pounds
- Metal may rust or bend with long term use
A simple upgrade to any manufacturer-included ladder would be a one sided ladder made from higher quality materials, able to support more weight and created from materials that will not rust or weaken in water.
You can upgrade to the Confer Plastics Heavy Duty One-Sided ladder, an all resin construction that will not rust or corrode.
- Inexpensive, entry level option for one-sided entry
- Better materials than standard included ladders
- Ladder may tear pool lining or have trouble floating
- Hardware needed to attach ladder to pool deck not included
The Intex Deluxe Pool Ladder with Removable Steps is made for either 48 inch or 52 inch above ground pool systems, and at just a bit over 100 bucks, one of the most affordable options on the market.
This ladder includes a barrier and removable steps so that you can remove the outside steps and prevent outside entry when you are not home or unable to supervise swimmers.
It also snaps and locks into place for additional stability.
This above ground pool ladder does not have to be attached to the swimming pool itself which makes it almost universal for any above ground pool.
One thing to remember is that any pool ladder that does not attach to the pool may be more unsteady and wobble under weight.
The Intex Deluxe Pool Ladder is also easy to assemble; buyers only need a screw driver and adjustable wrench (not included) to put the ladder together in under 15 minutes according to reviews.
- Inexpensive, entry level above ground pool ladder
- Easy to assemble
- Sturdy two-sided upgrade
- Removable steps on outside for safety
- Tools for assembly not included
- Free-standing structure may be wobbly or shake under some users
The Confer Plastics A-Frame 7200 Above Ground Adjustable Pool Safety Ladder is the next step up in safety and materials as a two sided above ground pool ladder.
It adjusts to fit above ground pools from 48 inches to 56 inches tall. This ladder has an extra-large platform and large 18 inch by 5 inch wide comfortread (nonslip) steps. The weight capacity is still limited to 300 pounds.
The Confer Plastics A-Frame Pool Safety Ladder includes a lockable “roll guard barrier” that simply rolls over the outer steps when not in use, making entry while you are not around to supervise impossible.
Confer Plastics includes a keyed padlock for the roll guard latch for additional security when not in use. While this ladder should not be used with inflatable pools, it is perfect for any hard walled above ground pool.
The instructions included with the Confer Plastics Above Ground Pool Ladder are very thorough and easy to understand, walking the purchaser through assembly in under two hours.
The materials needed—a rubber mallet, a utility knife, and a phillips head screwdriver, are not included. Once built, fill the legs with water for added weight and stability.
- Affordable for heavy plastic, secure, two sided option
- Comes with lockable guard for steps
- Wide platform for pool entry
- Tools not included for assembly
The Evolution A-frame above ground pool ladder secures your above ground pool by allowing the outside ladder to swing up when not in use or left unsupervised.
Swinging the pool ladder up ensures no unauthorized access into the pool when not wanted. Confer includes a padlock to lock the ladder in place.
The steps are 16 inches wide with tread and high reaching rails for added stability. Similarly to the Confer Plastics 7200, water is simply added to the legs after assembly to weigh the product down in the pool.
The manufacturer also includes a protective pad mat to use on the inside of your pool underneath the ladder, though it is still not suggested to use with inflatable pools.
- Easy assemble, water filled legs for weight
- Lockable security feature
- Ladder may still float if not properly filled and air bubbles removed after installation
- Narrower than other options
Additionally, there are setups for your above ground pool that may be a ladder on the outside of the pool and steps on the inside, a hybrid above ground pool ladder and swimming pool steps system.
The Confer Plastics In-Pool Step & Ladder Set is one of the best upgrades a pool owner can make without buying a full deck options.
This hybrid system includes a ladder on the outside of your pool and a step system on the inside, making entry and exit a breeze for children or users with limited mobility.
The system fills with water or sand for weight and the ladder flips up and locks with padlock when not in use for security from unauthorized use.
Steps are a full 24 inches wide and have side openings for water flow to prevent algae growth. The unit can be mounted to any above ground pool up to 60 inches tall and includes brackets for mounting as well as two sturdy handrails.
The steps have a weight bearing capacity of 400 pounds, so multiple adults may sit and relax together. The resin polymer construction is very durable and will last for years with repeat use or kept submerged in water.
Additionally helpful for long term use, the ladder may be removed after building a full wooden deck around the pool and the steps may then be attached directly to your wooden deck.
- Hybrid system includes both ladder and swimming pool steps
- Grows with your family; can be fit for wooden deck
- Locking ladder gate ensures security from unauthorized use
- Wide platform and nonslip tread great for children or elderly users
- Must be weighted with sand to keep from floating
- Assembly required
In this category, you could move all the way up to a complete resin deck with ladders attached to either side such as the option below.
Free standing resin decks come in a variety of sizes. You may order the 3 foot by 5 foot resin deck with a 52 inch height for taller above ground pools.
The 5 foot by 9 foot 52 inch tall version would be a tremendous upgrade with much less manual labor and material needed than a traditional wooden deck.
Similarly built options in larger sizes such as a 5 foot by 13.5 foot deck are available as well.
One ladder allows the user on to the deck where they may enter the pool using a second ladder or stand on the small deck to wait for the next turn into the above ground pool.
This is a much sturdier option for children or elderly adults needing a more secure entry and exit system. It also adds a great visual element to any above ground pool.
This patio deck is specifically designed for above ground pool ladder systems and is made from welded aluminum for sturdy construction and weight bearing.
Carpet is attached to the deck making slip and fall accidents a thing of the past, secure for even the most unbalanced user.
- Much sturdier, visually appealing option to ladders
- Security options such as closing outside ladder for unauthorized entry
- Unlike wooden decks, requires no staining, sealing, or building
- Instructions included not clear or easy to understand
- Carpeted deck may hold water or mildew in humid environments
Swimming Pool Steps
If you want a more visually pleasing look to your pool, or if an above ground pool ladder simply isn’t stable enough for your mobility needs, swimming pool steps could be a great edition to your pool setup.
Pool steps for above ground pools may come in an A-frame on the inside or outside of your pool, or you may use them on only the inside if there is a deck around the pool.
One of the most common complaints with any set of steps for above ground pools is that the unit will float even with recommended sand weight or holes drilled for water storage.
This is a common occurrence with any swimming pool step system and should not reflect poorly on one unit or manufacturer over another.
You may find the need to double the recommended sand weight in any of these items, or take additional measures to weigh down the unit.
One such tip on weighing down any pool steps for above ground pools: Take 4 inch PVC pipe and fill with cement or concrete, gluing the endcaps closed.
Strap these weights to the bottom inside area of the bottom step with bungee straps or twine to keep the front of the unit from floating up in the water once assembled.
Remove these weights before removing the step system from the pool at the end of the season.
You may also drill additional holes in the legs, steps, or walls of most swimming pool steps, allowing more water to fill up the unit and provide additional weight when installed in the pool.
Additional drill holes may be the most popular option, as you may drain the steps after draining the pool at the end of the season and simply carry the steps away, as opposed to injuring oneself trying to lift heavy weighted steps over pool walls to remove, especially if filled with sand that is not easily removable in water without clogging the pool filter system.
Among the most inexpensive swimming pool step systems is the Above Ground Swimming Pool Step to Deck sold by BW Incorporated.
This is a one-sided step system for the inside of your above ground pool, attaching by screws to a deck. The steps are each 10 inches by 27 inches.
If you do not have a deck in place, a ladder would be necessary with these above ground pool steps for entry from the outside of the pool.
This system is made from polyethylene, making it rugged for long term use. It will fit any above ground pool up to 54” in depth.
The Above Ground Swimming Pool Step to Deck includes double handrails and slip resistant steps for maximum safety according to NSPI standards for safety.
The unit supports up to 350 pounds in weight, making it ideal for larger adults. The steps have slots so that water can circulate and eliminate any algae growth.
- More weight bearing than any above ground pool ladder
- Slip resistant
- Attaches to deck
- Great for limited mobility swimmers
- Requires deck or ladder for outside entry
- May float in water
- Could require pad under steps to ensure no tears or snags in pool liner
Very similar to the above mentioned swimming pool steps, though slightly wider, we have the Above Ground Pool Mighty Step.
The wide, non-slip steps and two handrails ensure maximum safety and stability. The side panels may be filled with sand to keep steps in place after inserted into the water, and a liner pad is suggested to keep the unit from tearing the pool liner.
This one-sided swimming pool step system fits above ground pools from 48” – 54” tall. The slotted side panels offer water and chlorination circulation to prevent algae growth buildup.
Mounting brackets to mount to a deck, hardware, and installation instructions are all included. With a 400 pound weight capacity, these steps will support large adults.
The unit sits very close to the pool wall so that small children cannot get trapped between the steps and pool wall.
- Maximum weight allowable for an above ground pool step system
- Safe, non-slip, wide platform
- Includes hardware
- Heavy after adding sand weight
- Made from plastic, which may warp en route
- Without added weight or drilling holes in legs, unit is known to float
On the pricier end of the spectrum, the Grand Entrance Steps are definitely the most beautiful option for above ground pool steps.
This unit is perhaps the most secure way to enter and exit any above ground pool. Secure, stylish, and aesthetically please, any purchaser will be satisfied with the Grand Entrance Steps.
This unit is adjustable to fit pool walls ranging from 48” – 54” in height and withstand a 400 pound weight capacity for large or multiple users.
Steps measure in at 47 inches tall by 53 inches wide by 42 inches deep. The adjustable feet do not block water circulation on flat bottom above ground pools.
The rounded, abstract design feels modern and beautiful for any style preference.
The side panels should be weighted with sand in order to stay in place, a key step for most steps for above ground pools.
This can, of course, make the pool steps very heavy, and will require several adults to put any step system into an above ground pool, something to keep in mind when planning the purchase and installation.
These steps can, however, be assembled quickly with minimal equipment or effort. All hardware is included, as well as installation instructions.
- Hardware and instructions included
- Visually appealing
- Wide, non-slip steps
- May float if additional steps are not taken
- Poor water circulation compared to other similar products
- Installation may take up to 5 hours and require additional tools
One of the most gorgeous options for swimming pool steps is the Blue Wave Wedding Cake Steps.
These steps are made of injection molded ABS fabrication, offering a long lasting white glossy finish. No ballasts or anchor weights are needed, making installation and removal quick and easy.
The set also comes with a liner to place underneath the step system, preventing any wear or tear on the pool liner. The steps are ventilated, protecting against algae overgrowth, and each step is non-skid.
The Blue Wave Wedding Cake Steps also boasts the highest weight capacity at 500 pounds.
There is only one handguard, which could be considered a disappointment to fairly unstable users needing handrails on both sides.
- Beautiful, modern design and glossy finish for visual appeal
- Wide platform and stairs, highest weight capacity for large adults
- No ballasts or anchor weights necessary
- One handrail may not offer enough support for unsteady users
Perhaps the most luxurious and safe swimming pool step system is the Blue Wave Pool Entry System with Gate.
Instead of only one side of steps mounting to a deck, this system has steps on both the outside and the inside of your above ground pool, with a fenced handrail system and safety gate on the outside steps.
The gate is spring loaded and self-closing with a padlock included for additional security against unwanted pool access.
This system fits 48 inch up to 54 inch above ground pools with an all-resin design and maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds.
- Easy assembly, completed in just two hours
- Safest option for toddlers with lockable gate and fenced handrail system
- Wide, sturdy steps
- May need more than 75 pounds of sand to weigh down against floating
- Directions may not be easily understood
As you can see, there are many options when it comes to pool ladders and steps for above ground pools. The most important factors to consider are safety and security:
Make sure any option you purchase will withstand your weight and provide non-slip options. You almost always have to invest in double the recommended sand to weigh down, and you will need assistance putting any swimming pool steps in place.
We hope this guide has explained the benefits of both above ground pool ladders and swimming pool steps and assisted you in your decision.