Best Above Ground Pool Ladders: Buyer’s Ultimate Guide

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In this article, we’ve compiled a detailed overview of the 5 best above ground pool ladders in the market. For the purpose of this article, we’ve surveyed dozens of acclaimed and well-reviewed pool ladders. Our research has spanned all the different forms of pool ladders — A-Frame pool ladders, Outside Steps pool ladders, and Hybrid Models.

Pool ladders are crucial for everyone who owns an above ground pool. Most swimming pools come with their own pool ladders. However, these pre-built ladders are often of poor quality and can get slippery, unstable, and generally unsafe for people, especially kids. Furthermore, getting a pool ladder is necessary because kids and the elderly have a hard time getting into above ground swimming pools.

Most of the above ground pool ladders in the market are over 40 inches in length. Climbing these ladders is often a challenge even for adults. In order to avoid accidents and mishaps, it’s crucial to research your pool ladder thoroughly, and examine your personal needs, before purchasing one.

Since there are so many pool ladders to choose from, we’ve narrowed down the options for you. The following are some of the best above ground pool ladders in the market.

Confer Above Ground Curve Step System
  • Confer Above Ground Curve Step System
  • ★★★★★
    Our rating
  • Price: See Here
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Confer Plastics A-Frame 7200
  • Confer Plastics A-Frame 7200
  • ★★★★★
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  • Price: see Here
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Confer Above Ground In-Pool Ladder
  • Confer Above Ground In-Pool Ladder
  • ★★★★★
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  • Price: see Here
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1. Confer Above Ground Curve Step System

Confer is one of the best companies when it comes to designing pool ladders. And the Confer Above Ground Curve Step System is our Editor’s Choice for the best pool ladder because it combines safety and stability with great aesthetics.

Product Highlights

  • Step Dimensions: 32 inches D x 47 inches H x 58 inches W.
  • Non-Slip Tread Dimensions: 27 inches W x 10 inches D x 11 inches H.
  • Number of steps: 4.
  • Molded from strong chemical-resistant resin.
  • Can hold up to 400 pounds of weight.
  • Comes with adjustable base pads and a 24” oversized deck mounting bracket.
  • 5-Year Warranty available.

Safety & Stability

This above ground pool ladder is one of the most durable pool ladders in the market. It is made from molded, chemical-resistant and extremely strong resin which can accommodate a weight of as much as 400 pounds. Even if considerably heavy adults climb the ladder, it will remain firm.

The pool ladder also comes with adjustable base pads to add stability in case you own a pool with a sloped floor.

In order to hold the pool ladder down, you need to place sand or pea gravel into plugs at the bottom of the steps. This can often get tricky because, if not done well, the sand can leak out. This will cause the pool ladder to start floating and the leaking sand will cause a mess.

Aesthetics

Designed with a slight curve, this pool ladder is one of the most aesthetically charming ladders in the market. Furthermore, you can curve the steps either inwards or outwards during installation, depending on your needs. The handrails are also elegantly curved and designed with a silver glint.

The Good

Customers loved how this above ground pool ladder could accommodate everyone, from their pets and kids to heavy adults and the elderly. Everyone felt safe while climbing the stairs and it supported their weight perfectly.

The Bad

Some of the customers stated that the plugs at the bottom of the steps holding the sand come loose. These plugs come off easily and lead to all the sand spilling out on to the ground, causing a mess.

Pros

  • Is ideal for heavy adults, children, and the elderly.
  • The steps are elegantly designed.
  • Can be assembled manually without additional hardware.

Cons

  • The instruction manual is confusing.
  • Needs considerable sanding to avoid floatation.
  • Relatively weak handrails.

2. Confer Plastics A-Frame 7200

The Confer Plastics A-Frame 7200 is an A-Frame above ground pool ladder with one side perched on the side of the pool, and the other set of rungs on the outside. It’s our Best Value recommendation because it’s extremely reasonable while still incorporating unique safety features.

Product Highlights

  • Can be attached to pools 48 inches to 56 inches in height.
  • Tread Dimensions: 18 inches W x 5 inches D
  • Can accommodate weight up to 300 pounds.
  • Lockable Roll Guard Barrier rolls over the steps to prevent kids from using them.
  • Has an extremely wide platform.

Safety & Stability

As a two-sided above ground pool ladder, this Confer ladder is one of the most stable and safe products in the market. The top of the ladder provides a wide platform for individuals to jump off comfortably. The 18 inch by 5 inch comfortread steps ensure that no one slips or comes by an accident while climbing the ladder.

This pool ladder is one of the most safe pool ladders for kids because of the Lockable Roll Guard Barrier feature. These barriers roll over the steps when the ladder is not in use. As such, kids will not be able to climb the ladder without adult supervision. For additional security, the roll guard latch also comes with a keyed padlock.

The legs of the ladder need to be filled with water for stability. However, it is worth noting that this method doesn’t wield the kind of stability one gets from sanding the ladders. This makes this pool ladder slightly less stable than its competitors.

Aesthetics

This pool ladder is designed in the style of a staircase. One end of the ladder is placed inside the pool for stability whereas the other end — the ladder — remains outside.

The Good

Customers particularly raves about the fact that this above ground pool ladder provided a lot of safety for their kids at an incredibly reasonable price.

The Bad

The worst aspect of this pool ladder is that it’s extremely malleable. If you live in a region that registers high temperatures, this might not be the ideal purchase for you because it bends under extreme heat.

Pros

  • Stable and safe two-sided option.
  • Lockable roll-guard barrier prevents kids from using it without supervision.
  • Has a wide platform for individuals to stand and jump off.

Cons

  • The package doesn’t come with the necessary tools for installation.
  • Not meant for inflatable or pop-up pools.
  • High temperatures can lead to the steps getting soft and bending.
  • Not ideal for heavier individuals.

3. Confer Above Ground In-Pool Ladder

The Confer Above Ground In-Pool Ladder is our Budget Pick because it’s one of the cheapest pool ladders in the market, and it doesn’t sacrifice quality either. This adjustable pool ladder can be attached to pool walls or to decks ranging from 46 inches to 56 inches.

Product Highlights

  • Step Dimensions: 5 inches D x 18 inches W x 46-56 inches H
  • High Hand Rails for support.
  • Can accommodate weight of up to 300 pounds.
  • No sanding required.

Safety & Stability

This pool ladder is made of a high impact heavy-duty vinyl resin, which makes it durable. However, several customers have stated that it’s not the most durable product out there. The ladder comes with an anti-entrapment to prevent kids from accessing the area behind the ladder.

Since it’s only moderately durable, it might not be the ideal pool ladder for the elderly or for heavy adults. However, it serves its purpose well for most people. It comes with 18 inch flat ladder treads which ensures that it remains sturdy for kids.

There are no plugs for sanding. This feature makes the installation more convenient than other pool ladders. However, it leads to the ladder floating slightly. It’s extremely easy to assemble and you can have it out of the package and into the pool within 30 minutes.

Aesthetics

This pool ladder is designed in a very simple style. It’s a set of rungs that lead up to a hand rail. The entire ladder is white in color.

The Good

The best aspect of this pool ladder is that it’s extremely cheap. It’s one of the cheapest above ground pool ladders in the market and provides moderate stability and comfort.

The Bad

Several customers reported that their products broke either during installation or soon after. While the parts were usually replaced, there’s a pattern of company defected products being given out. This might cause an inconvenience to individuals who need the pool ladder immediately.

Pros

  • Extremely easy to assemble.
  • Has a wide tread which is ideal for children and the elderly.
  • It’s cheap.
  • Sanding is not required.

Cons

  • The plastic isn’t highly durable.
  • Lack of sanding means the ladder might float.
  • Poor packaging and inconsistent quality.

4. Confer Heavy Duty A-Frame Above-Ground Pool Ladder

The Confer Heavy-Duty A-Frame Above-Ground Pool Ladder is one of the safest above ground pool ladders in the market and it comes with a complementary hydro tools protective mat to prevent the ladder from scraping the pool lining.

Product Highlights

  • A-Frame ladder.
  • Can accommodate weight up to 300 pounds
  • Comes with a 9 x 30 Inch Step Pad Combo.
  • Lockable Roll-Guard safety barrier to cover the outer steps.
  • The step pad is made of thick and chemical-resistant vinyl.
  • Can be attached to pools up to 56 inches high.

Safety & Stability

The best safety feature of this pool ladder is the lockable roll-guard safety barrier which easily rolls on the inside of the ladder. This prevents kids from being able to use the ladder without adult supervision. It also prevents them from being able to access the hindquarters of the ladder.

Buyers also receive a complementary Super thick 9 x 30 inches chemical-resistant vinyl Step Pad. This can be attached at the bottom of the ladder to secure it and prevent the pool lining from being scraped.

Inner side barriers are also available for added stability and to prevent the ladder from floating. The curved side provide further enhanced stability to the structure.

Aesthetics

Designed in an A-Frame, one end of the ladder goes into the pool whereas the other end is used as a ladder to climb up. The platform at the top is wide and features a curved handrail, offering both stability and the opportunity to dive into the pool.

The Good

One of the best features of this above ground pool ladder is that it comes with a step pad. This negates any concerns regarding the pool ladder scratching the pool’s vinyl surface.

The Bad

Even though the description of the product states that it can be adjusted between 48 to 54 inches, it is only really available for 54 inch pools. This has caused several buyers to purchase the wrong sized pool ladder.

Pros

  • Sturdy A-frame structure.
  • Comes with a complimentary chemical-resistant vinyl Step Pad.
  • Lockable roll-guard prevents kids from accessing the back of the ladder.

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy adults.
  • The ladder is wrongly advertised as adjustable.

5. Above Ground Swimming Pool Step to Deck

      • The Above Ground Swimming Pool Step to Deck is a great outside ladder for swimming pools that don’t have an in-built deck.

Product Highlights

        • Ladder Dimensions:45 inches H x 32 inches D x 32.5 inches W
        • Step Dimensions: 10 inches x 27 inches
        • Easy assembly.
        • Comes with a 3-year warranty.
        • Complementary 2’x3′ ladder pad is available.

Safety & Stability

This pool ladder is made from maintenance free polyethylene and it can be used on above ground pools that are up to 54 inches in depth. This pool ladder has been designed with the safety of kids in mind. It has firm and sturdy handrails beside the steps and the steps are quite wide at 10 inches.

The steps meet all NSPI safety standards for swimmer entrapment. The ladder is easy to assemble with minimal instructions necessary. Even though it is quite sturdy, it can only accommodate a maximum weight of up to 350 pounds. Furthermore, you will need to pour 40 pounds through the posts to prevent it from floating.

One of the best aspects of this ladder is that the steps are perforated to facilitate the easy circulation of water. This prevents water stagnation and algae growth.

An optional 2’x3' ladder pad is provided. This can be slipped under the ladders if you’re concerned about the pool liner being scraped.

Aesthetics

This pool ladder is pristine white in color and comes with sturdy handrails that run beside the steps. The patented design can be installed easily and the top flanges can be firmly rooted to any swimming pool deck.

The Good

Customers were most impressed by the efficiency and safety of the design. It makes it extremely simple for all individuals — young and old, slim and heavy — to get in and out of the pool with ease.

The Bad

The product description of this pool ladder is quite misleading. It states that the pool ladder has a height of 81 inches. However, customers have commented that the height is actually a moderate 45 inches. This little error has caused quite a bit of confusion and misinformation amongst buyers.

Pros

  • The rungs of the ladder are slip-resistant.
  • Can be attached to the deck for stability.
  • Ideal for swimmers with limited mobility.
  • Ladder pad is provided.

Cons

  • This pool ladder goes into the pool, so one is required for climbing the above ground pool as well.
  • Floats in water.
  • The materials such that you should pad the ladder to prevent damaging the pool liner.
  • Needs 40 pounds of sand for stability.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we’ve given you a detailed overview of the 5 best above ground pool ladders in the market. In order to compile this list we took into consideration all of the factors mentioned in the ‘Buyer’s Guide’ section of the article.

If you have any questions or doubts, please feel free to reach out to us via the comments section. We’d love to help you.

Now go out there and cannonball off some awesome pool ladders!

Above Ground Pool Ladder Buyer’s Guide

above ground pool ladder buyer's guide

There are a number of factors that you should take into consideration when you’re buying an above ground pool ladder. Below are some of the prime factors to take into consideration so that you can make the best choice in terms of your pool ladder.

Structural Design

You get above ground pool ladders in a lot of different designs and styles. All of them serve different purposes. However, the following are some of the most popular pool ladder designs and what they’re meant for:

A-Frame Pool Ladder: This pool ladder is designed like a staircase. One end of the ladder gets submerged within the pool, and the other end remains outside for people to climb on. This is also the most popular form of pool ladder for over ground pools.

Outside Steps: This pool ladder is simple. It’s a set of stairs that lead you up to the pool. The top of the stairs generally come with a platform from which you can dive in.

Hybrid Ladders: As the name suggests, these combine features from both the Outside Steps and the A-Frame Ladder. The ladder is placed within the pool and the steps are positioned on the outside.

Safety Features

Pools and ladders can be dangerous if you’re not careful. As such, whenever you buy a pool ladder, you should keep some safety features in mind.

Type of Surface:

Whenever you get out of the swimming pool, your legs are bound to be wet and slippery. As such, it’s imperative that you get a pool ladder with non-slip treads.

If you use a step made of vinyl or plastic without any treads, you could be in for an accident. Pool ladders with slip-resistant treads generally come with a molded texture to provide better grip.

Presence of Hand Rails:

Some pool ladders come with handrails that run all along the body of the ladder, and some only feature a handrail on the platform. If your pool will be used by kids and the elderly, you should find an above ground pool ladder that has railings running throughout its body.

Height of Outside Steps

If you’re buying Outside Steps, you have to be very careful about its height. Most outside steps can be adjustable to a degree.

For example, some steps can be adjusted between 46-56 inches, some between 38-48 inches, etc. You have to read enough reviews to make sure that the ladder really is adjustable to your pool’s height.

Durability & Quality

Every once in a while, you might come across a pool ladder that’s far cheaper than all competitors. You should be wary of purchasing these products because it’s possible the ladder is made of cheap metals or plastic. These don’t usually last very long and they can also be dangerous.

People also ask

How much weight does an above ground pool ladder support?

All pool ladders are made of different materials and they can accommodate different weights. However, a good pool ladder should at least be able to accommodate 300 pounds of weight, though some can accommodate as much as 450. Whatever the limit is, you should try not to test it.

If you have family members close to 300 pounds, it is advisable for you to get a pool ladder that can accommodate over 400 pounds.

What is a ladder barrier and why do I need it?

A ladder barrier is an important safety feature, especially for kids. It prevents swimmers from going behind or through the ladder, which can cause injury.

How can you stabilize a shaky pool ladder?

First, you have to ensure that your pool ladder has been placed on strong and even ground. You should also pull the ladder out as much as possible so it feels tighter. And, if that doesn’t work, you can weigh it down by filling sand into it.

This method works, but it makes it difficult to get the ladder out again. Some buyers weight the ladder down by tying dumbbells to its bottom rungs.

At which direction should the ladder be placed within the pool?

The ladder should be placed with the barrier submerged into the pool. There needs to be some space between the barrier and the pool walls as well to prevent the user’s legs from getting caught.

ask anything about above ground pool ladder
I am Nicholas Stanley a swimming pool enthusiast with more than 22+ years of swimming pool construction and maintenance in corporate, residence and spa. I have initiated this website Pools point to share my experience by trustworthy product reviews, pool related how-to guides, DIY tips ans tricks to maintain the pool. I want my readers and customers to be aware of all the technicalities of pool and pool related equipment's.

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