Pool Accessories

The Best Above Ground Pool Ladders and Steps in 2021

 A swimming pool is evermore more fun when swimmers of all ages can get in and out quickly accomplished it with a pool ladder

By Allen Hayward

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Above ground, pools are safe for children because the walls are so tall. The only annoying thing is that you must climb over the wall to get into the pool. And if you want to help your child into the pool, you need to lift them up and put them in the water. If you’re tired of this routine, then you need an above ground pool ladder. We’re not talking about some flimsy or wobbly ladder that’s going to fall over or float away easily. We’re talking about a high-quality ladder that will stay strong and firmly in place.

You’ll probably have trouble selecting a ladder on your own. Don’t worry because we’re here to help you pick the best ladder.

How to Select a Pool Ladders

Before you choose a ladder for your above ground pool, there are several factors you must consider first. For instance, what is the height of your pool? Do you have a deck next to it? Who is going to use the pool? Kids? If you can answer all these questions, then you’re already on the right path to choosing a great ladder for your needs.


If you have a deck, then a ladder is only needed for the inside of your above ground swimming pool. Otherwise, a ladder is needed for the outside and inside of your pool. If there is no deck on the outside, then you need a ladder to get into the pool. Unless, of course, you prefer climbing over the wall of the pool. But most people don’t.

Size Matters

No matter what size your above ground swimming pool is, it must be filled to the top with water. That is the only way it will be safe for people to swim in it. However, this doesn’t mean you should purchase any size ladder. If you get a very tall ladder, for instance, then it won’t be safe to use for getting into your pool.

Find out the depth of your pool. This depth should match the height of the ladder.

Weight Matters

Submerged steps should be removed from your above ground pool for the winter. Most pool manufacturers will advise you to do this. When you put the steps into the pool water, it may seem like an easy task. But it becomes a lot more difficult when you try to take the steps out of the water.

Therefore, the pool ladder that you choose for the inside of your pool should not be too heavy, but it should also not be too light either. You should just barely be able to take it out of your pool without stressing yourself out.

Access to Pool

It is always easier getting into a pool than it is getting out of one. For starters, you exert a lot of energy from swimming in the pool. This means you’ll feel tired by the time you want to get out of the water. On top of that, you must lift your body out of the pool which is going to be more difficult, especially if you wore a shirt in the pool. All that water soaked into your clothes will weigh you down more. A deck could solve this problem, but most people don’t have decks. So, what is the best solution here?

One option is to have steps on the outside and inside of your pool. And if you want to prevent kids from getting into your pool, look for ladders that come with a gate included. Some ladders have gates which allow the bottom step to be closed off. There are even special ladder systems where you can remove the ladder from the pool and lock it away somewhere safe.

Above Ground Pool Steps and Ladder Materials

There are various materials that are used to make above ground swimming pool ladders. These materials include aluminum, steel, plastic resin, or a combination of them. Let’s examine each one to see what they’re about.


The strongest frame material for a pool ladder is steel. The downside to steel is that it’s expensive, heavy, and requires more maintenance. This pertains to solid steel, though. You can purchase galvanized steel or stainless-steel ladders as a cheaper and more convenient alternative.

Galvanized steel is basically steel that’s been coated with zinc to prevent the formation of rust. This rust resistance could possibly last for as much as 50 years. Although, it really depends on how much your ladder is exposed to humidity and rain. Also, you still need to use a light cleaning product on the galvanized steel to maintain it. Look in the instruction manual for the ladder to see which cleaning products are safe to use on the galvanized steel.

Plastic Resin 

Plastic resin is weather resistant and highly durable. It also doesn’t require much maintenance either. The instruction manual should guide you on how to clean this material of the ladder. If it does not, find a plastic resin cleaner that is non-abrasive to use for the cleaning formula. Rinse it off afterward.


Aluminum is stronger than resin and plastic. It is also lighter than steel. Pool ladders may use aluminum material for their step railing or frame. The downside is that rust can easily form on aluminum. Use a mild detergent to wash these exterior aluminum parts. If you have dish soap, just mix some with warm water, and that should clean the ladder well. Do not use alkaline-based cleaners because they will cause the rust to get worse.

Every few months, apply a small coat of standard car wax on the aluminum frame of the ladder. The frame will look cleaner and healthier that way.

Top Pool Ladder Steps

Prior to selecting a pool ladder, examine its main features (e.g., height, step width, capacity, etc.). Below are the top 8 above ground pool ladders for your consideration

  1. Confer Staircase Style Above Ground Pool Steps

Why we chose it

This staircase for above ground pools has a capacity of 400 pounds and provides a lot of extra space to users. The width of its steps is 31 inches, and there is added stability with the 2 railings available. If your above ground pool is at least 48 inches high but no more than 52 inches, then the Confer Staircase Above Ground Pool Steps are what you need. It also works great with decks that are no more than 60 inches in height. Users with no deck should purchase another ladder to place on the other side.

Please Note: The side supports of the staircase must be filled to weigh it down firmly. You can use pea gravel or sand to do this. If you fail to do this, someone is liable to get hurt.

  1. Simple Step Grand Entry System w/Gate By Blue Wave

Why we chose it

You’ll like this ladder if you want to prevent children from gaining access to your above ground pool. The Blue Wave features a gate which goes up as high as 60 inches and locks. Kids won’t be able to reach that high. Extra stability is also given to users with the ladder’s wide anti-skid steps and dual handrails.

This ladder is suitable for above ground pools that are a minimum of 48 inches in height and a maximum of 56 inches in height. The walls can be 12 inches in width. The material used to construct this grand entry system gate is stainless-steel and plastic resin. Since these are lighter materials, the weight capacity of the pool is only 350 pounds. But this may be good enough for what you need the pool for.

  1. Vinyl Works In-Step Ladder

Why we chose it

The Vinyl Works In-Step Ladder has a capacity of 300 pounds. You could call this a step ladder instead of a real pool ladder. Its height is rather short and features steep dual railings.

The ladder is made from plastic resin plus stainless-steel. This makes it easy to maintain and durable too. It is suitable for above ground pools that are anywhere from 46 inches to 60 inches in height. Additional hardware may be required to connect the ladder to any existing deck that you have.

4. Blue Wave Wedding Cake Above Ground Pool Step

Why we chose it

If you want above ground pool steps that are not permanent and more decorative, then you should consider the Blue Wave Wedding Cave Above Ground Pool Step. It works great with a pool that is 54 inches in height and has a deck next to it. The traction of the steps is top notch because they’re perforated. In fact, the steps are even ventilated so that algae are less likely to grow.

The capacity is 500 pounds. This makes it great for multiple people to lounge in the pool. Scratching the walls is prevented by the liner pad that is on them.


Don’t take the cheap and lazy way out by just using a stepstool to get into the pool. Think about the aesthetics and safety of your above ground pool. A durable ladder or steps is the best way to achieve these two things.

Your ladder should accommodate your lifestyle as well as your pool. If you have a lot of other people who will be using your pool regularly, then you want a sturdy ladder which can make accessing and leaving the pool much easier.


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