You look into your backyard and it hits you: your dream has come true. Green grass, warm sun and a brand new aquamarine pool just waiting for you to jump in. Could life get any better?
But then, as you approach, you start to circle the pool, looking for a way in. You get lost in a vortex of confusion and dismay and realize after a few hours that there’s no way in or out of your new above ground pool. The dream has become a nightmare.
Don’t fear! We’re here to rescue you. You’ll be relaxing safely and happily in no time with one of these 6 best ladders and steps for your above ground pool.
Our experts are professional pool guys and girls, and they know which above ground pool ladders are kind to your wallet and built to last. But before we make a splash into our reviews, there are few things about above ground pool steps that you’ve just got to know.
What You Need to Know About Pool Steps for Above Ground Swimming Pools
Above ground pool stairs aren’t just there to help you get into and out of your pool easily. If that was all you needed them for, you could just throw a rope ladder over the edge and be done with it. No, pool ladders also need to provide adequate protection for your loved ones and your swimming pool.
Pool safety is the number one priority, and even the best pool stairs, may not provide exactly what your family needs. So which one should you choose? Don’t worry, we’ll toss you a floatie and catch you up to speed.
What to Look for in a Pool Ladder for an Above Ground Pool
Here are the characteristics you need to consider when shopping for an above ground swimming pool ladder. It’s impossible to find a pool ladder that contains all of these attributes, simply because all the designs are different. Just take note of the ones that pertain to you and your family, and you’ll be rewarded with a safer, longer lasting pool.
Durable: If your pool ladder should be anything, it should be durable. There are plenty of pool steps and ladders out there, and many are made out of cheap materials that can crack or warp over time. In the best case, you have to deal with buying new pool ladders year after year. In the worst case, rust and mold leech into your pool water, filling it with bacteria or someone falls and cuts themselves (or pierces your pool) on a broken ladder rung.
Anti-slip: Did you know that if someone slips and becomes injured at your pool, you are liable for the damages? Lawsuit after lawsuit can be found pertaining to faulty pool equipment on private property. Investing in a quality pool ladder with adequate grip isn’t just the safe thing to do; it’s the right choice to protect your financial future.
Gated: Ok, it’s time to get serious. Above ground pools are incredibly fun and bring joy to many, but the statistics on annual drownings in private pools are nothing to smile about. You absolutely MUST have some sort of mechanism to prevent young children and pets from entering your pool. You could remove your pool ladder or steps from your pool when you’re not using it, or you could buy a pool ladder with a gate or barrier. These locking mechanisms are child and pet proof and will greatly increase the safety of your pool.
Strong: Your pool ladder needs to be able to support enough weight so that you never have to worry about it coming crashing down. Because guess what? If it comes down with someone on it, it’s likely that the whole pool is going to follow. Keep in mind that when you’re covered in water, you weigh more. Make sure the weight limit of your ladder is well above anyone who plans on using it.
Deck or Ground Access: This one seems obvious, but it has to be said. If you have a deck attached to your above ground pool, you’re going to need a different type of pool steps. Decks make it easy to invest in nice pool steps, but make sure they’re equipped with a handrail for safe access.
Steps or Ladder: Whether you want pool steps or a pool ladder is really up to you and the type of pool you have. There are great products in both categories, but the benefits of each are slightly different. A pool ladder will take up less space in your pool and is easy to remove if you need to close the pool for a while. But ladders are harder to climb than steps, especially for the elderly. Pool steps provide easy and safe access to and from a pool, but they are often more difficult to assemble and take up valuable swimming space.
Top Rated Swimming Pool Ladders and Steps
Ok, we’re ready to take the dive! All the ladders and steps on this list have been thoroughly tested by our pool pros. Our research team then studied real customer reviews and manufacturers’ specs, and at the end of the day, these six pool accessories outshined the rest.
1. Confer Above Ground Swimming Pool Curve Base Steps - CCX-AG
The Confer Above Ground Swimming Pool Curve Base Steps is an above ground pool ladder for decks, so if you don’t have a deck, you can move on. If you do, however, these might be the best above ground pool steps for you. These steps are comfortable, customizable, safe and strong.
They can be pieced together easily without the need for tools, and you can weight them down as much as you like with sand or gravel.
You can even choose how much space you want them to take up. The standard model is straightforward and discrete, but if you want something more, you can purchase the curved stair attachment, which provides a nice place to sit or some extra legroom when climbing.
2. Confer Staircase Style Above Ground Pool Steps Warm Grey - STEP-1-X
For a simple yet safe set of above ground pool stairs, you can’t go wrong with the Confer Staircase Style Above Ground Pool Steps. These pool steps for decks are some of the most affordable on the market, but this doesn’t mean they’re a mess to set up and take down.
In fact, they’re a breeze to assemble, and they store easily during the winter months.
You need to apply your own weight to these stairs, but once they’re in, they won’t be going anywhere. They may not be quite as durable as the Curve Base Steps above, but they are just as strong and still feature two handrails for safe entry and exit from the pool.
3. Confer Heavy-Duty A-Frame Above-Ground Pool Ladder
This heavy duty pool ladder has it all. Not a ladder meant for decks (finally), the Confer Heavy-Duty A-Frame Above-Ground Pool Ladder is one of the only pool ladders we found that scored perfectly for durability, convenience and safety.
The A-frame ladder holds its ground firmly and has wide steps and handrails for ease of use.
Its best feature is the Roll Guard safety barrier, which covers the steps on the ladder when not in use. This barrier easily locks into place and turns the ladder into an impenetrable wall. When you’re ready to swim again, just unlock and the barrier and roll it back into its compartment. Hassle free safety! We highly recommend this safety ladder for anyone with children.
4. Confer Above Ground Swimming Pool In-Pool Ladder
If ease and affordability are what you’re after, it doesn’t get much better than the Confer 46-56 Inch Above Ground Pool Deluxe Pool Ladder. As far as pool ladders that attach to decks go, this one is one of the easiest to assemble.
You won’t have to wait more than few minutes from when you get this one out of the box to when you can be sipping a glass of lemonade comfortably lodged in your inner tube.
In terms of safety, this ladder has all the necessary components. It screws to your deck and holds steady, it had ridged steps for good grip, and two sturdy rails reach high enough that you can grab them while standing upright. The 5-step adjustable design is also nice for deeper pools
5. Confer Above Ground Swimming Pool Curve Step System
The Rolls-Royce of pool stairs, the Confer Above Ground Swimming Pool Curve Step System will have your neighbors and family friends jealous of the resort-style gateway to your pool.
This luxury stairway features platform steps that are easy to ascend and descend, and the detachable Curve Step System forms the perfect place to lounge on a hot day. This is more than just a pool ladder; these walk in steps give your pool a whole new look.
But don’t associate the luxury with daintiness in any way; this stairway is built with strong, resilient plastic and supports up to 400 lbs. It also comes complete with ridged stairs and flowing handrails for safety. With all these features, it must take ages to set up, right? Not at all. No tools are required for assembly, so you can have it ready to wow your pool guests in under an hour.
6. Confer Heavy Duty In Pool Above Ground Ladder Warm Grey - 6000X
The Confer Heavy Duty In Pool Above Ground Ladder is the most affordable option on this list. It’s true that it may not be quite as impressive as some of the other options, but it still has some unique features worth looking at, especially if you’re trying to save some cash.
First of all, it’s durable, so you won’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon. It’s made of high-impact vinyl resin that won’t dent or break.
Next, it’s got great safety features. Sturdy railings and ridged steps are a given, but this ladder also comes with an anti-entrapment barrier that keeps pets and young children from getting trapped behind its steps. Finally, this ladder is convenient. You can adjust the steps for inside the above ground pool to the height you need, and it automatically fills with water to weigh itself down. You can say goodbye to heavy sandbags and shoveling gravel!
The Right Choice is the Safe Choice
As you can see, there’s a lot to take into consideration when shopping for a new pool ladder. But one thing is for sure: the best above ground pool ladders, steps and stairs must have adequate safety features to protect your family and guests. We are happy to report that all the picks on our list have met the high safety standards of our experts. Not only that, but they’ll also make your above ground pool look amazing! Happy swimming!