A new above ground pool is exciting for the family, but it is important to remember all of the accessories that make it functional and fun. Just like you need water to fill the pool, you need a ladder to get in and out of it. So what is the best above ground pool ladder for your pool setup?
There are a number of items you need to consider:
- Ease of entry
- Stability/Heavy duty
- Installation (deck installment, ease of setup)
The pool ladder is the access point to your pool, so it is important that you select a ladder that suits your needs.
Who are your swimmers? Consider who is using the pool:
- Will it be children who are going to jump in from the deck and climb out from the side instead of the ladder?
- Is it for an elderly family member or someone who is using the pool for water therapy and needs to be able to get in and out of the pool with less effort?
- Are you looking for a simple A-frame ladder or do you want something that feels more like stairs?
What should the ladder be made with? Materials can play a role in your pool ladder selection. From coated stainless steel to durable vinyl, it can affect the price, comfort, and durability.
How will it be installed? If you have an above ground pool already set up but plan on building a deck around it in the future, then consider a ladder that can convert from free-standing to deck installation with the hardware included in the kit. Some brands can convert to deck installation, but they do not supply the hardware. Check to make sure that the convertible ladder has everything included if that is the case. Another extra consideration is how to weigh down the ladder to keep it from floating around. Some ladders fill with water while others have holes to fill with sand. There are many great tips that work to keep their pool ladder in place.
The following top rated above ground pool ladders look at all of the points mentioned above. There are varying prices and features. Some are simple in design while others are easier to use after installation.
Top Rated Above Ground Pool Ladders
We found six different above ground pool ladders that are top rated for a variety of pool sizes and user needs.
Intex – 42-Inch Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder
This coated steel frame ladder is designed for stability while being lightweight enough at 17 pounds to move anywhere around the pool.It fits without slipping in the pool and prevents missteps with its high-impact, slip-resistant steps. The Intex ladder is easy to assemble with a tongue-and-groove system. and can hold up to 300 pounds.
It is the right height for a 36”-high pool though the manufacturer states that it is good for up to 42 inches. For a simple ladder that suits the needs of swimmers going in and out of the above ground pool, the Intex pool ladder is the right fit.
Bestway 52-Inch Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder
For above ground pools up to 52 inches, the Bestway pool ladder is a comfortable choice. The metal A-frame is corrosion resistant while the plastic steps are heavy-duty and prevent slips even when feet are wet. The frame holds up to 300 pounds and the platform covers any gaps between both sides. It is also easy to set up.
One feature that parents may like is the swim barrier. The barrier prevents anyone from swimming behind the ladder and getting stuck. The ladder also locks in an upright position when not in use so unsupervised swimming is prevented.
Main Access Heavy-Duty Adjustable Smart Step and Ladder Entry System
The Main Access combination step and ladder entry system makes it easier to enter and exit the pool. The ladder outside the pool has non-slip steps and handlebars for safety. Once over the platform, the smart step makes it simple and straightforward. It is ideal for the elderly who need extra time and stability getting in and out of the water.
The built-in no-swim zone is just one of the safety features to keep all swimmers safe. The step and ladder entry system is adjustable to fit above ground pools between 48 and 54 inches.
Confer CCX-AG 4 Step Ladder Stair Step Entry System
The Confer CCX-AG is as attractive as it is functional. The curving steps with its “wedding cake” design fit the shape of the side of your pool and the sloping handrails help stabilize entry and exit. The wide steps and heavy duty plastic means it can support up to 400 pounds.
This above ground pool ladder is made for deck or platform installation with mounting brackets that are 24 inches long. The ladder is easy to assemble. It is ideal for anyone who wants their pool to look attractive as well as make entry and exit nearly effortless.
Main Access 200200 Easy Incline Pool Ladder with Aluminum Handrails
The Main Access 200200 above ground ladder system attaches to the deck with sturdy aluminum handrails. The pool ladder body is one solid piece that inclines. The graduated steps are easier for elderly or anyone who cannot climb directly up or down a ladder when leaving or entering the pool.
One nice feature about the deck flange is that it does not stick out like other systems may. This reduces tripping or toe stubbing near the ladder. This system is designed for pools between 48 and 54 inches tall. With proper maintenance, this ladder will last years of use.
VInyl Works SLA A-Frame Ladder with Slide Lock Barrier and Handrails
This ladder system by Vinyl Works is noted for being sturdy and safe. At 57 pounds, it is definitely not flimsy. The double handrails and top platform tread bring ease to entry and exit. When it comes to safety, this ladder has many features including a Slide-Lock design to restrict access. There is a spot where a padlock (not included) can be used.
Also, permanent safety signage reminds swimmers against diving and jumping off the ladder. It can convert to deck installation with an additional deck mounting kit. The top platform and weight capacity of 300 pounds means it is good for adults too.
Confer 6000X Heavy Duty Inpool Ladder for Decks
The resin-made Confer 6000X won’t rust or corrode over the years of use. It is designed for the deck only for pools that are between 42 and 56 inches high, so it can adjust to a wide range of heights. The graduated decline into the pool allows a stair-like feeling rather than a climb that can strain hips and knees, especially for adult and elderly swimmers. At the same time, it does not take a lot of space away from swimmers. Installation is easy and the sturdy construction is satisfactory. Weight capacity is 300 pounds. The barrier restricts swimmers from going behind the ladder.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to secure an above ground pool ladder?
For deck installation, follow the manufacturer’s directions. If you don’t have a deck, you can stabilize it with weights in the water and partially bury the legs in the ground outside of the pool
How much weight can an above ground pool ladder hold?
In general, the average above ground pool ladder has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. Larger ladders designed for heavy duty can hold up to 400 pounds.
How can I clean or maintain my above ground pool ladder?
If you have a lightweight ladder, it is advisable to remove it from the water and keep metal or the metal’s coating from getting scratched. Rinse it with plain water to remove chemicals. A brush can remove residue or algae from the plastic steps. Otherwise, the steps you take to maintain your pool including weekly shock and removing dirt and debris will also extend your ladder’s life.
The best above ground swimming pool ladder for you is the one that checks all of the boxes.
- Does it fit in your budget?
- Is it the right size for my pool and the swimmers who will be using it?
- Will it hold up well to how you plan to use it?
The safety of the ladder is important for the users, so you want to ensure that you pick a ladder system that works for the ability of your swimmers. Children may climb out, but adult swimmers may not feel as comfortable balancing at the top as they ease into the water. Elderly swimmers or swimmers with limitations may require wider treads or a system that resembles stairs instead of a ladder.
It is also important to maintain the integrity of the ladder and pool. Invest in a protective mat to cushion the ladder feet and protect the pool liner. If the ladder is made of metal, remove it each winter and store it. Take care of the ladder and water with regular cleanings to brush away algae buildup or dirt. Your best pool ladder is just as much of an investment as the pool itself.