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A pool is the wish of many home and garden owners. But people in apartment buildings can also own a swimming pool, for example in their allotment garden or the backyard. Above ground pools are therefore an option here as they can fit in a small space, can be removed, and packed easily.
However, let’s assume you’ve bought one and filled it with water. How do you and the kids get in? Getting into an in-ground pool is easier. But since above ground pools are usually higher off the ground and also targeted at children, you can consider purchasing a pool ladder. However, not every ladder is suitable for every pool. After all, there are notable differences that you should be aware of. The article is all about the best above ground pool ladders, how to choose one and have it installed, secured, and/or attached to the pool.
Best Above Ground Pool Ladder: Top 8 Products
You can find below the reviews of the best pool ladders for above ground pools, which also includes the advantages and their downsides you need to know before buying:
1. Confer Curve Above Ground Swimming Pool Steps with Blue Treads
The Confer Curve is our overall best above ground pool ladder thanks to its extra-large platform steps, heavy-duty construction, high weight capacity, safety design, and resistance to water chemicals. Without a doubt the most weight-resistant model in the roundup, the Confer ladder is super strong as it is molded to hold up a weight of 400 pounds; that’s at least 100 pounds more resistant than the average above ground pool ladder on the market.
The secret behind its high weight capacity is that it’s designed to hold volume; that is, you have to fill it with pea gravel or sand. Its load capacity means that it can hold up to two bathers heading out for a surge. Then we also liked that the above ground pool steps are made of heavy-duty resin construction, a material that is resistant to pool chemicals.
- Has slip-resistant steps in form of the blue tread surface
- Comes with 5 years of warranty service
- Oversized above ground pool step ladder
- One of the best pool ladders for people with high weight
- Features handrails
- One of the best pool stairs around
- Filling and unfilling the sand can be a tedious task
- Requires a high budget
2. Vinyl Works Deluxe Adjustable in-Pool Step Ladder
Measuring a width of 24 inches and adjustable to a height of up to 60 inches, the Vinyl Works ladder is the ideal choice for a high pool wall. Being one of the best above ground pool ladders on the market, the pool entry system can accommodate above ground pools that are 46 inches to 60 inches high, and, for those who are scared of heights, it’s designed with slip-resistant steps and durable handrails for guiding them into the pool.
Coming with both front and deck mounting brackets and four wife steps, the step-in pool ladder can be used by persons up to 300 lbs weighty. But it can only take in one person at a time. The smoothly rounded base will make the ladder easy on your pool liner. Finally, it is a frame ladder that features a curvy set of handrails that will guide first-time swimmers into the pool.
- Can be used in an above ground swimming pool safely
- Adjustable in height
- Ideal for high pool walls
- Non-slip step surfaces
- Pool steps have extra large platform
- Comes with mounting brackets
- Can only take one person at a time
3. XtremePower 32 Inch Safety Step Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder /W Handle Slip Prevent
The XtremePower ladder is similar to the Vinyl Works Deluxe in design; the difference is just that this model doesn’t have guide rails that extend into the pool. Its easy-to-grab rails end at the edge of the pool. The product is made of PVC and is designed in white, which will make it a good option for blue above ground pools.
It’s a ladder that will be ideal for all above ground pools with a flat bottom. The above ground pool ladder is a bit heavy, weighing 52 pounds. However, like the Confer Curve, it’s also weight-resistant enough to hold a load of up to 400 pounds. Finally, the above ground ladder has side openings that ensure water circulation beneath the ladder, therefore, preventing a breeding ground for algae.
- Snap together pieces ensures ease of installation
- Features white and durable frame
- No algae buildup
- Ideal for heavy people
- Slip-resistant steps
- Floats without sand filling
- Sand leaching out
4. Main Access 200200 Easy Incline Pool Ladder with Aluminum Handrails for Above Ground Swimming Pool
The Main Access product is an economical above ground swimming pool ladder competitively priced to give you better accessibility. Also, the fact that it is pocket-friendly does not mean that its durability and quality are compromised.
Moreover, it features a user-friendly construction to facilitate its use and to ensure that you are comfortable and safe while using it. This is mainly enhanced by the round, easy-to-grip top safety handrails, which allow you to get in and out of the pool. At the bottom, the Main Access pool step depth measures 9.5 inches and 6.5 inches at the top. It can accommodate pools up to 48 to 54 inches high.
- Competitive prices
- Does not interfere with the pool lining
- Easy to assemble
- Features stable aluminum handrails
- Great ladder for frame above ground pool
- Setup instructions need to be more detailed and better
- Could be better packaged
5. Summer Waves 36 Inch SureStep 3 Step Heavy Duty Steel Outdoor Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder
A good ladder is not only practical, but it also offers the necessary level of security. The safety ladder from Summer Waves can meet all requirements and impresses with its minimalist design. One of the advantages of purchasing the above ground pool ladder is the fact that it is not difficult to install. It’s a ladder that you can finish installing in 10 minutes. Hence, you don’t need any DIY expertise or special skills to make it work.
The above ground pool ladder is recommended for framed pools and Quick Set pools. Measuring 36 inches in height itself, you can use it for pool height up to 36 inches.
- Comes with a 90-day warranty
- Quick and easy to set up
- Features a heavy-duty steel material
- Just the right features for slip resistance
- Its steel material makes it exposed to corrosion problems
6. Vinyl Works SLA 48-56 Inch Adjustable Above Ground Pool Ladder
Looking for a frame ladder that is both safe and durable? The Vinyl Works ladder is what you are looking for because it features sturdy construction to last for years. With a total height of 213 cm, weight capacity of 300 pounds, and resin material, the ladder is quite stable and gives you and the other users in the pool top-notch support.
It’s considered the best above ground pool ladders with a door due to the slide lock design it features. It suggests that the outer ladder can slide and lock into position to prevent the accessibility of the swimming pool.
The above ground pool steps also feature a non-slip surface, which provides your feet with a comfortable grip for added safety.
- Stable and robust construction
- Maintenance-free material
- Increase security with the added entry barrier
- Extended double handrails and non-slip surfaces
- Has a locking gate
- Weighs more but it improves balance
7. Intex 28074 Deluxe Ladder with Removable Steps
The above ground pool ladder from the established company Intex is a stable, robust, and reliable product that is suitable for above-ground pools. In addition, the Intex pool ladder can withstand loads of up to around 300 lbs.
The pool steps are made of white plastic and the construction is made of steel. Intex 28074 is designed for a pool height of 48 to 52 inches in height and the weight is 12.57 kilograms.
In addition, the assembly is easy as it has a snap and lock feature. The platform on the ladder allows the owner to easily turn around when getting in and out. Also, the plastic fixtures on the feet and the curvy design ensure it will not damage inflatable pools.
- Good value for money.
- Installation is particularly easy.
- Platform available for easy entry and exit.
- Due to the height, the ladder can be a bit wobbly
8. Swim Time Above Ground Swimming Pool Step to Deck
Large garden pools also need a practical ladder or step with which you can get in and out comfortably and safely. This above ground pool safety ladder from Swim Time places a great focus on weight capacity and safety and is therefore ideal when children or the elderly want to use the pool. The ladder is a proven solution that can be used by various types of users.
It has a weight capacity of 350 pounds, at least 50 pounds more load capacity than most ladders on the market. The ladder comes with the patented Easy Step design that meets NSPI standards.
- Safe ladder for pools up to 54 inches high
- Made from durable and particularly light resin
- Protective pad for protecting the pool liner
- 3-year manufacturer warranty
- Ideal for elderly and kids
- Best ladder for deck
- Handrails can be sturdier
9. Blue Wave NE1145 Premium Above Ground In-Pool Ladder
Blue Wave NE1145 is a stylish above ground pool ladder that gives your above ground pool a complete look and a bit of elegance. It is mainly facilitated by the stainless steel guardrails that it includes.
To increase safety and endurance, the Blue Wave ladder features reinforced stainless steel rails, which are not prone to rust or corrosion.
Even though the item has a slim profile, it features extra-large measurements of 24 inches in diameter, making it easy for you to get in and out of the pool with great relaxation.
- For above ground swimming pools up to 54 inches deep
- Resistant ladder can hold weight up to 300 lbs
- Reasonably priced
- Shiny appearance enhances the look of your pool
- Comes with reinforced steel rails
- Gets a bit slippery
- Can be wider
10. Confer 6000X Heavy Duty In-Pool Ladder for 42 to 56 inches Pools
Confer 6000X is an above ground swimming pool ladder that is extremely flexible and for this reason, it can be used in swimming pools of different depths. The ladder will be practical for pools that are about 48 to 54 inches high.
It encourages people of different weights as the item has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. For this reason, it supports both light and heavy men and women.
Because the item will be subjected to air and moisture and to ensure that it will not corrode or rust, it is made with a resin material that lasts a long time, improving the durability of the product.
- For people with different weight
- Made from long-lasting and rust-resistant resin
- Meets ANSI/APSP standards
- Ideal for Intex above ground pools
- Easy to assemble
- Some users wish it can be lengthened
Buying Guide: Features to Choose The Best Pool Ladder
Above ground pool ladders offer ease of use and safety to the pool system. However, getting the best above ground pool ladders might seem easy. Meanwhile, you may end up with an incompatible ladder system or a step ladder that ends up floating. To prevent you from buying twice, our buying guide will tell you everything you need to consider before purchasing a pool ladder for an above ground pool.
There are generally three types of pool ladders. In the following, you will find out interesting facts about the types of above ground pool ladders and also find out their advantages and disadvantages.
Classic ladder systems
A classic ladder system, also called the pool deck ladder, includes a single straight ladder, like the Blue Wave NE1145, that is meant to be installed fixedly to the base of the outside of the pool. Then as you climb up, you’re supported at the top by a curvy set of rails. There are also twofold classic ladders that have a set of outer steps and feet and another at the inside of the pool. These in-pool ladder systems are however usually vulnerable to chemicals and corrosion, especially if they are made of steel.
Pool stairs or in-pool ladders
Pool stairs are basically complete in-pool ladder systems. They have a higher weight capacity as some can be weighed down with sand. As you have to install them directly in the pool, pool stairs are and must be made of plastic materials or you will find them rust quicker and pollute your pool water with corroded metal.
Also called safety pool ladders, these ladders are twofold ladders that are designed to stand like the letter A. They are designed to be installed in a way whereby one set of feet will be inside the pool and the other outside.
Material of construction
Above ground pool ladders are usually made of three types of materials:
Here, there are usually two versions of the ladder. First, there is the ladder which is made of pure stainless steel, and there is also the ladder made of a stainless steel-plastic mixture.
If the ladder is made entirely of this material, it is corrosion-resistant, robust, and will last for a long time. Furthermore, these products are particularly resilient and offer a lot of stability. The higher price may be a disadvantage, but because of the longevity, that’s not important.
Above ground swimming pool ladders made of stainless steel and plastic are also corrosion-resistant and robust and can be used for a long time. However, plastic pool steps do not offer the same resilience and stability as is the case with a pure stainless steel ladder.
By nature, stainless steel is extremely corrosion-resistant and rust-free. There are two variants of ladders: there is a pool ladder with pure stainless steel hardware and another which is made of the same material with pool steps made of plastic.
The stainless steel ladder is the most stable. At the same time, however, it is also the most expensive model. If you have the budget for a stainless steel pool ladder, this product should be your first choice.
A simple steel ladder usually consists of plastic steps and powder-coated steel tubes. These materials offer longevity because they are tough and corrosion-resistant. In comparison, these models are quite inexpensive and are suitable for a smaller budget.
The advantages are the great comfort they offer and they are quite inexpensive, very durable, and resistant. However, the differences in quality can vary greatly. If the powder coating is damaged, then that’s the end of it!
Compared to plastic, steel is more stable. A steel ladder is very tough and durable. Steel pool ladders usually have plastic steps and are powder-coated. The weight is significantly lower as a result. However, the disadvantage of powder coating is that it is damaged by scratches or it can come off.
However, if the steel comes into contact with the water for a long time, corrosion can occur. If you notice the corrosion damage late, the pool ladder can become unusable and must then be disposed of. The powder coating may not be enough. If scratches get on the powder coating, corrosion can occur.
Durable plastic might be the best type of material for the pool because, although this is not the most resistant material for safety, it is a material that can ensure long years of use as there will never be rust problems as with steel.
A plastic pool ladder, as earlier mentioned, is ideal if you need the ladder submerged or exposed to chlorine pool water.
Plastic is the lightweight among the materials presented. It is particularly resistant, stable, and still easy to handle. If you have to move the pool ladder frequently, a plastic ladder is highly recommended.
However, stability is often a disadvantage. There is no doubt that this is the case, but pool ladders made of stainless steel or steel are more stable.
Probably the most important factor is safety especially when the kids will also be using the pool. All pool ladders must have a high level of stability. There’s no question about that, regardless of whether it’s going to be used by kids or adults.
Also, choose a model according to your needs and types of users; that is, buy one that fits the weight of the users and doesn’t exceed the limit.
A-frame ladders are generally known as safety ladders and are ideal if you have kids around. Special safety features include the lockable guard barrier or gates. The gate should feature a slide lock design. With this, the outer ladder will slide and lock into position to prevent the accessibility of the swimming pool when you are not around or aware to offer supervision.
You can also find pool ladders with foldable or removable pool steps. Above all, this will prevent indiscriminate access to the pool.
The pool ladder generally stays in the pool. However, if you use a tarpaulin or a pool cover, the pool ladder may have to be taken out of the water more frequently. So think carefully about whether the desired product should be light or heavy.
Plastic pool ladders are very light. A pool ladder made from a steel and plastic mixture is light. Meanwhile, a product made of steel is heavy. A variant made of a stainless steel and plastic mixture is supposed to be light. And a stainless steel pool ladder is heavy.
Before buying a ladder, ask yourself who would be using the pool and what’s their weight like. Pool ladders have a weight capacity ranging from around 250 up to 650 lbs. For kids, a ladder system with 300 lbs is enough. However, for single heavy adults, a model with a 400 weight capacity is great. However, for multiple uses, you may need the most resistance possible. The material and construction design determine how much weight the ladder can hold. Heavy-duty pool ladders made with durable plastics and steel have the highest weight capacity.
Common Questions and Answers
How to install above ground pool ladder?
The installation of a swimming pool ladder is not a very complicated task. A single person can quite successfully install it. Most often, when you buy a ladder, the assembly instructions are included with it. All you have to do is follow the instructions.
For above-ground pools, they are not attached to the pool, but simply placed on the ground. Place one side of the ladder in the pool basin, and the other outside. It is about getting on the platform of the ladder before going back down into the water.
How to secure above ground pool ladder?
You can secure ladders for above ground pools by screwing the rails into the sides of the pool as well as along the edge of the pool deck with the bolts and nuts included in the package. Attach ladders to the top rails of the above-ground pool if possible. Make sure that the holes drilled on the top of the ladder are the same distance as on the rail.
How to attach above ground pool ladder to deck surface?
Place the flanges on the pool deck and slide into the flange cups the legs of the ladder’s top end. Then let the ladder’s bottom end to the pool and rest the rubber stops against the side of the pool. Meanwhile, you can secure each side of the step with nylon ropes or small plastic bungee cords.
To make a good purchase decision with a pool ladder, it is important to be well informed beforehand and to know which products are currently on the market. In addition, you should know which details you should pay attention to so you can make the best decisions. This article provides comprehensive information on how to do this. In the article, we have selected the best above ground pool ladders for you and the selected models were particularly convincing and pool owners were largely satisfied with them.