If you're one of the many Americans who owns an above ground pool, you know how important it is to purchase the right pool entry system.
On the other hand, if you're in the market for your first above ground pool, it's critical to consider your different pool ladder options before you purchase your swimming pool.
You don't need a pool ladder to enter an above ground pool, but it certainly makes the process much more comfortable!
Many Americans who own above ground pools invest in ladders to make accessing their pool much more convenient.
However, with so many different options currently available on the market, you might be having a hard time deciding which one is right for you.
Being spoiled for choice is always a good thing, but it's still critical to choose the right ladder for your specific pool.
In this guide, we'll be taking a more in-depth look at above ground pool ladders and the different features you need to keep in mind when making a purchasing decision.
Above Ground Pool Ladders for Decks
Many people choose to build decks around their above ground pools to add to the permanence of the appearance.
If you have a deck, or you're planning on purchasing a deck when you get your new swimming pool, you won't need to worry as much about buying a ladder to get into the pool.
If your deck doesn't have a ladder system, you need to make sure the ladder you purchase is compatible with your deck.
Fortunately, there are a variety of different manufacturers that provide pool steps for those who already have a deck in place.
Above Ground Pool Ladders Without a Deck
If you don't have a deck, you need a pool ladder that can help you access the pool directly from the ground. You'll also need one that will help you leave the pool and re-enter your yard.
In many ways, it's is much more necessary on a pool without a deck.
As you can probably tell, these types of ladders are slightly different from ones you'd purchase if you had a deck.
In some cases, you may have to pay a bit of extra money for this kind of pool ladder.
Types of Above Ground Pool Ladders
In addition to the two apparent variations above, there are also a few different types of pool ladders that you'll need to keep your eyes out for when shopping.
If you want to purchase the pool ladder that's most suited to your preferences, make sure to consider the different options that we'll explore below.
Above Ground Pool Ladder
While this is another obvious category to consider, it's important to note that not all pool access points come in the shape or form of a ladder. That said, ladders tend to be one of the most common options.
Keep your eye out for a wide variety of ladder types, including A-frame ladders. If you have a particular ladder design in mind, don't worry — there are tons of unique options to choose from.
Above Ground Pool Steps
Another standard option is above ground pool steps, also known as above ground pool stairs. This is a common option for those who need easier access.
It may be much more straightforward than climbing a ladder. If older people or small children will use your pool, this is always an excellent option to consider.
Above Ground Pool Gate
While this isn't specifically a step or stair, you'll find it included with some of the more premium pool entry products. If you want to add safety and practicality to your pool's entry system, it's an excellent idea to purchase a stair or ladder system with a gate.
This is especially true if you have young children who may attempt to enter the pool when you're not looking!
Best Pool Ladders for Above Ground Pools
As mentioned previously, there are tons of excellent pool ladders currently available to consumers. If you want to purchase the perfect ladder for your above ground pool, it's critical that you look at a wide variety of options.
Fortunately, you can order many of the best pool ladders directly online. This saves you the hassle of finding a pool supply store in your area.
Below, we'll take a closer look at some of the best options currently circulating on the market.
Make sure to consider your preferences, your pool type, and the reputation of each of the ladders on this list!
This swimming pool ladder is brought to you by one of the most significant names in the pool ladder industry, Confer Plastics.
This ladder is one of their most popular products for American above ground pool owners. Let's take a closer look at this product.
- Up to 60" pool height
- Works with flat bottom pool
- Works with both pools and decks
- Weight capacity of 400 lbs.
This Confer Plastics swimming ladder provides easy exit and entry to flat bottom above ground pools. While this is branded as a ladder, it's actually a step system. If you're looking for a ladder that's easy to install in your swimming pool, this is one of your best options. It works with any pool up to 60" tall.
If you want to prevent the ladder from shifting or floating in your pool, you can deposit sand or other weighted materials into the ladder to weigh it down. The pool also comes with mounting brackets that help secure the ladder to the side of the pool and prevent movement.
Lastly, the ladder comes with a side railing that assists with climbing the steps. It also adds an extra layer of safety.
- From one of the best brands in the industry
- Easy installation process
- Lightweight design
- Large weight capacity of 400 lbs
- An expensive option
- Only one-sided (not A-frame)
- Only works with flat bottom above ground pools
If you don't like the previous Confer pool steps on this list, the curve base steps model might be a bit more suitable for your preferences. Let's dive a little deeper.
- Four steps
- Made from a robust plastic resin
- Rounded design with tread grooves
- Five-year warranty included
This curve base model of the Confer above ground pool step is one of the most unique designs you'll find. If you don't find the rigid structure of traditional steps attractive, this is an excellent option. It employs four grooved steps to help people exit and enter pools.
Like most of Confer's products, this pool step system is easily installed. In fact, you only need to click it together to set it up. You can trust this step system to carry a large weight load. It's currently capable of handling 400 lbs.
Made from durable plastic resin, you can count on this step system to retain less heat than the steel or aluminum options on the market. Lastly, you'll also benefit from a five-year warranty that protects you from manufacturer issues.
- Produced by a trusted brand
- Seamless design with the added benefit of durable tread
- Long warranty
- Adjustable base pads
- Can easily stabilize with sand or gravel
- Can handle heavy weight (400 lbs.)
- Price is quite high
- A rounded design might not be everyone's preference
This Champlain Plastics drop-in step provides swimmers with access to an easy-to-setup step system for above ground pools.
While it certainly doesn't offer anything groundbreaking, it's an excellent choice if you want something simple.
Let's take a more in-depth look at this product.
- Step system made from one piece
- Four steps
- Includes handrails
- Purchase two to create an A-frame step system
The Champlain Plastics drop-in step is a no-frills, single piece step system that provides convenient exit and entry to an above ground pool. If you don’t want to waste your time putting multiple pieces together, this is always a suitable option since you only need to attach the safety rails. Overall, this single piece system provides sturdy exit and entry, but you need to make sure to fill the weight container with sand or gravel to weigh it down. One of the best features associated with this product is how easy it is to make an A-frame step. Just purchase two and attach them together on the edge of your pool!
- Simple product
- Easy to create A-frame using two steps
- Relatively affordable
- Not as premium as some other options on this list
- One piece system may be too rigid for some pool owners
- Limited information made available about weight restrictions
This is another Confer pool ladder that offers a range of benefits to users.
This is branded as a heavy-duty ladder that provides ample support for its users, but is this really the case?
- A-frame design
- Includes vinyl step pad
- Suitable for pools up to 56"
- Two safety barriers to prevent pool access and behind the ladder access
This above ground pool ladder is one of the few on the market that provides automatic access to an A-frame. Because you'll only need to purchase one ladder to benefit from the A-frame structure, this is a surprisingly affordable option. It also comes with a vinyl mat to place under the base of the ladder.
One of the other key benefits associated with this ladder is the safety barrier. The safety barrier can prevent access to the steps of the ladder. This can help you protect children from accidentally climbing into the pool. When you unlock the pool, the safety barrier moves and prevents people from getting stuck behind the ladder while in the water.
While these safety measures are definitely beneficial, it's still important to never leave children unattended near a pool. And while there are plenty of benefits associated with this product, some users do complain it's not as sturdy as advertised.
- Considering this is an A-frame, it comes at an incredibly competitive price
- Two safety barriers in place
- Comes with a vinyl pad
- Easy to set up
- Some users complain the ladder isn't as sturdy as advertised
This Confer InPool step and ladder product provides users with similar benefits to traditional A-frame ladder systems.
Let's go over the features available with this product.
- Maximum pool or deck height of 60"
- A-frame style ladder and step system
- Easy installation
- For flat bottom pools
If you're looking for an A-frame style step system, this is undoubtedly one of the best options on the market. On one side, this product contains steps; on the other is a ladder system. Traditionally, the steps are meant to be inserted into the pool. You can fill them with sand or gravel to keep them weighted down.
The steps have openings that prevent standing water from growing algae in your pool. You'll also benefit from an easy installation process that allows you to snap the entire step and ladder system together in no time.
While it's safe to say this is an excellent choice if you're in the market for an easy entry and exit system, some users to complain that it's too heavy. The weight may be a safety hazard for young children.
For the side you submerge in the water, the weight limit is 400 lbs. For the side used on the outside of the pool, the weight limit is reduced to 300 lbs.
- Tall maximum deck height
- Includes both steps and ladder
- Perfect for those who want a system similar to an A-frame
- Easy to install
- Users complain the product is very heavy
This is one of Confer's most extensive options. It provides users with a large, stable entry system that also has a gate.
Let's check it out!
- Pool ladder with gate
- Made from resin
- Includes handrails
- Fits any pool with 48" to 54" in height
- Self-closing feature
- A-frame style
As you can see, this is one of the most advanced pool ladder systems that you'll find for an above ground pool. If you're looking for a ladder system that has a large gate, this is one of your best options. It's an excellent choice if you have small children. It even locks itself if you let the gate close.
While it's important to never leave a child alone near a pool, this does add an extra layer of protection that can reduce your risk. You'll also benefit from wide steps on both sides of the edge of your pool. If you're looking for a safe, convenient pool ladder, this has more extensive features than many of the competitors.
While some users find it's not as sturdy as initially thought, it's undoubtedly a popular choice with consumers. But if you're looking for cheap above ground pool ladders, this certainly isn't the right option for you. It's one of the most expensive pool deck ladders currently available on the market.
- Safety gate, which is an excellent feature for children
- A-frame style means you only need to purchase one ladder
- Handrails for extra support
- Gate automatically locks
- A trusted brand in the pool ladder industry
- Extremely expensive compared to other options on this list
- Huge ladder that may not be suitable for some people's taste
Benefits of an Above Ground Pool Ladder
Now that we've taken a look at some of the various pool ladders you can purchase for your above ground pool, it's time to explore the multiple benefits you'll receive if you invest in one of these products. There are plenty of pool accessories to choose from, but few are as important as a pool ladder.
The primary benefit associated with an above ground pool ladder comes down to safety. Many pools are incredibly tall, and it can be hazardous to enter and exit the pool without a ladder. This is especially true if you have children that can barely reach over the edge of the pool when they're standing up.
As mentioned previously, if you want to enhance the safety of your ladder or stair system, it's also critical to consider a gate. Those with small children must consider the potential dangers that an above ground pool can pose. Just as traditional pool owners typically use fences to protect children from pools, using a gate is an excellent safety feature for above ground counterparts.
Aside from safety, convenience is also a significant benefit you'll receive from having a stair or ladder system installed in your pool. If you want to exit and enter your above ground pool quickly, this is one of the most cost-effective solutions.
Easier for Guests
If you're someone who enjoys entertaining guests with your pool, having an exit and entry system is a must. You can't expect everyone to be able to enter an above ground pool without some form of assistance.
Less Stress on Your Above Ground Pool
Lastly, it's critical to consider the amount of stress your body weight can apply to your above ground pool shell. If you're continually placing significant weight on your pool to enter and exit, you'll be creating problems for the overall structure of the pool.
A ladder or stair system creates a much less taxing method for entry and exit. If you've invested a considerable amount in your above ground pool, it's critical to ensure that you take as best care of it as possible. A ladder is one of the many ways you can increase its longevity!
Choose Something Sturdy
If you're looking for something durable, it's essential to choose a ladder made from the right materials. Most pool ladders are either made from steel, plastic resin, or aluminum. While steel is the strongest of the materials, it also is much heavier than the other options. It can also be much more expensive.
All three of these materials provide ample support for those entering and exiting your swimming pool. Still, if you think the people using your pool are heavier than average, you may want to use a material like steel in your stair or ladder. But be careful, it can heat up in the summer!
Take Your Measurements Seriously
One of the most critical components to consider when deciding on your new ladder is the measurements of your current above ground pool. If you want to ensure that your ladder works correctly, it needs to fit snuggly on the edge of your pool.
If your ladder doesn't fit correctly, it may jolt or move when you put weight onto it. This can cause accidents and may even result in serious injury. For this reason, it's essential to measure your pool before you purchase a ladder. You should also make sure to follow all instructions carefully if you want to avoid problems after installation.
Verdict: Find the Right Ladder for Your Pool
If summer is fast approaching, you may be in the market for new accessories to improve your above ground pool. Whether you're a veteran pool owner, or this is the first time you'll be purchasing an above ground pool, it's critical to buy the items that will make your pool safer and more convenient.
Purchasing a pool deck ladder for an above ground pool is a no-brainer. It's quick, affordable, and makes a world of difference to your current setup. Just make sure to consider all the information that you've learned in this guide before you make a purchasing decision. Being an informed consumer is the best way to ensure you get value for money.
If you're in the market for any other above ground pool accessories, make sure to check out some of our other guides. We take an in-depth look at a variety of different products.