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The 15 Best Above-Ground Pool Ladders


If you buy an above-ground swimming pool, there’s every chance you’ll benefit from a ladder of some sort in the package.

Unfortunately, many of these ladders are rather flimsy and rickety for sustained use, meaning there’s a robust market segment dedicated to providing a superior and more stable alternative.

In today’s comprehensive guide to the best above-ground pool ladders, we’ll show you everything you need to look for when you’re searching for the most effective pool access.

We’ll be kicking off today by walking you through the 15 best ladders in this vertical. You’ll notice that one name, Confer, dominates this space much like Intex or Hayward have a stranglehold on pool filters.

Once we’re done with our pool ladder reviews, we’ll guide you through the most important factors to consider when you’re looking for a ladder.

Arguably the most important element to consider when you’re searching for pool ladders is the material it’s made of. You’ll find the following options when you’re shopping:

  • Metal
  • Vinyl
  • Resin
  • Plastic

You’ll also, of course, need to check closely for compatibility and make sure the ladders on your shortlist are a neat fit for your pool at home.

The 15 Best Above-Ground Pool Ladders

1. Our #1 Pick: Confer Curve Above-Ground Swimming Pool Steps



  • Resin
  • 400-pound weight limit
  • 32 x 47 x 48 inches

First up and our overall favorite above-ground swimming pool ladder from industry specialist Confer. You’ll notice that many of the ladders on our shortlist come from this mighty stable with just cause. They deliver stable and durable step solutions for in-ground pools that don’t bankrupt you.

You can buy the pool steps or you could opt for the complete set if you’re prepared to dig deeper.

Made from molded resin, you’ll get pool steps built to give you years of faithful use, helping you and guests to get in and out of the pool safely and easily.

You can top up the sides of these steps with either sand or pea gravel. This will weight them down and prevent any issues with the steps floating into the pool.

This ladder is ideal for use with most above-ground pools, making it one of the most flexible options on our shortlist.

Snap-together assembly is quick and easy. You won’t need any tools, and you won’t need any DIY skills to get started.

Maximum weight capacity is class-leading at 400 pounds, so you should find these steps suitable for pretty much anyone that uses your pool.

There are some base pads thrown in, ideal if your pool is installed on uneven ground. You also benefit from some 24-inch deck mounting thrown in.

Crowned by a 5-year limited warranty, this shows the confidence the manufacturer places in this ladder.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Steps or complete system available
  • Adjustable base pads
  • Deck-mounting brackets
  • Algae can build up

2. Also Great: Confer Plastic Pool Access Steps



  • Resin
  • 400-pound weight limit
  • 31 x 32 x 83 inches

Next up we have some more steps from the highly reputable Confer, so how do they shape up?

Off the bat, you’ll get the same impressive upper weight limit of 400 pounds, making these among the most inclusive steps on our list today.

Despite this high load-bearing capacity, the steps themselves are not overly heavy, tipping the scales at just over 55 pounds.

If you’ve been put off buying pool steps as you imagined they would be tough to put together, you’ll appreciate the snap-together assembly that Confer is famous for.

The oversized steps are designed to support your wet and slippery feet, giving you plenty of traction and ensuring you can enter and exit your pool safely.

There are some openings on the sides of these steps. This allows air to circulate and minimizes the chance of algae growing over time.

Even though this ladder has a high upper weight limit, we would like to see a little more overall stability introduced.

You get the mounting brackets you need to attach this ladder to your deck.

If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly pool ladder designed to give you plenty of safe swimming seasons, we can’t recommend this Confer highly enough.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Side openings inhibit algae growth
  • Snap-together assembly
  • For above-ground pools to 56 inches deep
  • Not the most solid ladder

3. Budget Pick: Intex Steel Frame Above-Ground Pool Ladder



  • Steel
  • 300-pound weight limit
  • 50 x 19.75 x 3 inches

Have you been searching for a cheap above-ground swimming pool ladder that doesn’t force you to compromise in terms of build quality or safety? Would you like to buy into the mighty Intex brand for much less than you might imagine? We thought so!

Well, this steel-framed Intex ladder is expressly designed for use with above-ground pools, working with pools featuring walls to 48 inches. If this sounds like the right fit for you, read on.

Complementing the steel frame, you get non-slip plastic steps perfect for protecting your footing, even when your feet are dripping wet from the pool.

The overall feel of this platform is solid, although the maximum weight limit is just 300 pounds. This should, however, be sufficient for most purposes. If you need to cater for much heavier swimmers at any point, we have some heavy-duty ladders on our shortlist ideal for that purpose.

When it comes to user feedback, most customers seem entirely satisfied with these steps. The common thread of complain we unearthed centers not on the ladder itself, but on the company’s reputation for atrocious customer service. The good news? Intex products are so good, you shouldn’t need to contact customer care in the first place!

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • High-impact and slip-resistant
  • For pool walls to 48 inches
  • Impeccable brand heritage
  • Shocking customer service

4. Confer Heavy-Duty In-Pool Ladder



  • Resin
  • 300-pound weight limit
  • 16 x 43 x 142 inches

Maybe you’ve looked at the above pool ladders, but you feel like you need something a little more robust. Well, the hard-hitting Confer step in once more with this heavy-duty ladder perfect for sustained punishment in busy above-ground pools.

This is a deck ladder perfect for decks from 42 to 56 inches high. If this sums up your pool area, what do you get for your money?

The resin build is corrosion-resistant so you’ve got no concerns about these steps rusting out after a season or two.

At the upper end, the steps will support swimmers to 300 pounds. This should be sufficient for your needs, but for beefier ladders, we offer up several options bearing loads to 400 pounds today.

Most user reviews of these steps are pretty positive. We found several complaints about the ladder floating into the pool, though. If you want a truly set-and-forget solution, we’d suggest exploring some of the other pool ladders we review.

The handrail gives elderly swimmers and children even more confidence when it comes to getting in and out of the pool. Why not give them a treat?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Won’t rust out or corrode
  • Lightweight yet rugged
  • For pools from 48 to 54 inches deep
  • Some issues with floating

5. 32-Inch Above-Ground Swimming Pool Ladder



  • Resin
  • 400-pound weight limit
  • 44 x 38 x 6 inches

This ladder from Xtremepower US is one of the best in our collected shortlist, performing strongly across the board.

The PVC build is hard-wearing and won’t ever rust out. The frame supports extra-wide steps that provide you with a completely non-slip method of entering and exiting your above-ground swimming pool.

There are mounting brackets bundled so you can quickly and easily attach this ladder to your decking or your swimming pool.

You benefit from the side openings you’d expect on this ladder. This is a design feature that promotes circulation while minimizing the likelihood of algae accumulating over time.

The snap-together assembly is ideal if you’re not a DIY-lover. You’ll need no specialist skills and no tools either. Setting these steps up is a cinch.

Maximum weight capacity is generous at 400 pounds. These steps are perfect for just about any use case.

The one gripe we found among a sea of positive user testimony concerns the fact you’ll need to weigh these steps down. This is certainly not a deal-breaker, and you can find out how to weigh down a pool ladder in our FAQs down below. Overall, most customers sing the praises of this above-ground pool ladder. See what you feel.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Side openings promote circulation
  • Extra-wide steps
  • Snap-together assembly
  • You’ll need to weigh ladder down

6. Confer Above-Ground Swimming Pool Steps



  • Plastic
  • 400 pound weight limit
  • 3 x 32.3 x 9.6 inches

Confer is one of the most well-established brands producing pool accessories like these swimming pool steps. How does this ladder perform, then?

Well, the first thing that strikes you is the subtle design and coloring. With so many swimming pool ladders uglifying your pool, this model is a refreshing change. In addition to this dark two-tone gray, you can also opt for a paler gray ladder or a beige alternative.

You also need to decide between the steps only or a complete system. This iteration includes only the swimming pool ladder.

Made from a rugged and long-lasting plastic, the maximum weight limit of 400 pounds means the steps are suitable for just about any swimmer.

Handrails are a welcome additional safety feature, ensuring all swimmers in your pool enjoy easy and safe access.

For anyone who dislikes DIY, the quick and easy assembly requires no special skills and no tools whatsoever.

Although most user testimony for this swimming pool ladder is positive, we found some scattered blowback about the difficulty of keeping it clean. Do your due diligence here. Overall, you’re getting a rugged set of steps that enhance the ambiance of your above-ground pool while at the same time streamlining exit and entry. What’s not to love?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Generous weight capacity
  • Two-tone color scheme
  • Tool-free assembly
  • Difficult to keep clean

7. Above-Ground Swimming Pool Steps



  • Resin
  • 350 pound weight limit
  • 32 x 33 x 81 inches

Next up is another highly effective swimming pool ladder from an unknown brand, so how does it shape up?

Made from a polyethylene resin, you’ll get steps that are hardwearing and resistant to corrosion and degrading over time.

Ideal for all above-ground swimming pools to 54 inches deep, you’ll make sure everyone who uses your pool can get in and out with ease.

Safety is uppermost with the oversized steps inhibiting slips and falls. Everyone from kids to seniors should find it a cinch to get in or out of your pool.

The step is perforated to discourage algae from growing. This design feature also allows water to circulate more freely.

The ladder is easy to remove when it’s time to winterize your pool. Installation is just as straightforward, and you won’t need any tools or experience to snap these steps into place. You may need some assistance shifting the ladder into place, though. It weighs just over 50 pounds, so might be too bulky to handle solo.

The design of this ladder is underwhelming with the white finish looking slightly garish. If you are buying with aesthetics as a priority, there are many more attractive pool ladders. If, on the hand, you simply want a safe and functional approach to streamlining pool entry, this set of steps is just the ticket.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Fits most above ground pools
  • Perforated steps
  • Fits securely to any decking
  • Handles feel flimsy

8. Main Access Easy-Access Pool Ladder



  • Plastic
  • 250-pound weight limit
  • 4 x 23 x 10.8 inches

If you have an above-ground pool, chances are the ladder supplied with it doesn’t pass muster. Don’t be afraid to upgrade, and if you’re thinking of doing so, it’s worth considering this easy-access ladder from Main Access.

The plastic body of these steps is made from a single piece of molded plastic. You’ll obviously get no corrosion, something that can blight some metal steps.

Up above, you have some lightweight but supportive aluminum handrails giving you even more security when you’re climbing in and out of your swimming pool.

This ladder is intended for pools from 48 to 54 inches deep, so you get a fair degree of flexibility when it comes to placement.

The steps are neatly inclined making things even easier for you. You’ll also find your feet get plenty of traction, even when they’re soaking wet. The large treads enable you to get in and out of the pool with total confidence, even if you have problems with mobility.

With quick and straightforward assembly, you can get going right out the box, and you’ll get a set of swimming pool steps that should last for years.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Molded plastic build
  • Aluminum handrails
  • Inclined steps
  • Edge of ladder can tear pool liner

9. Confer Plastics Adjustable Above-Ground Pool Ladder



  • Resin
  • 300-pound weight limit
  • 24 x 60 x 9 inches

Next up is a superb adjustable ladder for your above-ground pool made from molded plastic. How do these steps stack up, then?

Firstly, you’ll need a pool with walls from 48 to 54 inches for a neat fit.

The steps are extra wide, measuring up at 18 x 5 inches. This gives you plenty of confidence when you’re getting in and out of your pool.

Unlike some of the ladders on our shortlist today, this one comes with a nifty lockable roll guard barrier. This comes in very handy if you have kids in the house. Just roll it into place and the steps will be covered and decommissioned until you next need pool access.

The maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds should cater for most needs. If you have heavier swimmers you need to concern yourself with, explore some of the more substantial steps we review today.

The steps don’t work well with Intex pools or inflatable pools. As with all pool ladders, you’ll need to make certain about compatibility before committing to purchase.

Overall, this makes a great safety-conscious set of swimming pool steps to keep the whole family safe and sound this summer. See if they make the right fit for your pool, and if so, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • For pools from 48 to 54 inches
  • Lockable roll guard barrier
  • Oversized steps for comfort
  • No use for inflatable pools

10. Vinyl Works Pool Ladder



  • Resin
  • 300-pound weight limit
  • 84 x 22 x 48 inches

The Vinyl Works swimming pool ladder is another excellent resin model that’s built to withstand some sustained punishment.

This ladder comes with dual handrails, making it a neat choice for older swimmers or for children.

Designed for use with above-ground pools from 48 to 54 inches, and with 4.5-feet walls, make sure your pool is the right fit before proceeding. If so, you’ll get a robust method of streamlining pool access for much less than you might imagine.

Stable base treads and an oversized platform at the top ensure you can get in and out of your pool with ease, even when you’re dripping wet.

When this ladder is not in use, simply engage the slide lock. You’ll need a padlock for this, but this doesn’t come bundled with the steps.

You may enjoy the safety signage that comes with these steps. They make a great way to educate your kids about pool safety.

Setting these steps up couldn’t be easier and you’ll be up and running in minutes with no need for tools and no tasky assembly at all.

With a maximum load-bearing capacity of 300 pounds, this resin pool ladder outperforms much of the more expensive opposition and delivers outstanding value along with first-class pool safety.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Double handrails
  • 4 base treads
  • Slide-lock design
  • Handrails flex slightly

11. Intex Pool Ladder



  • Steel
  • 300-pound weight limit
  • 50 x 18.8 x 4.2 inches

Next in line comes a back-to-basics ladder from pool specialist Intex. While these steps don’t look at a glance like the most substantial piece of kit, you’ll get a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds making them suitable for most swimmers.

Built for use with Intex pools to 52 inches deep, you need to ensure this is the right set of steps for you before moving forward.

Weighing just 26 pounds, you’ll get pool steps you can shift around when required without straining yourself.

The steps themselves are designed to give you ample traction, even with wet and slippery feet.

The steel frame is treated so it won’t be eaten out by rust and corroded over time.

Although the overall set-up is secure, although we found a handful of users complaining about a flimsiness to these steps, especially with heavier users.

These steps are not adjustable in any way, so you need to make certain that they mesh with your pool to avoid any nasty surprises.

While you can find plenty of more versatile ladders, and several ladders offering more stable access, these Intex steps are a great choice if you have an Intex pool with walls to 52 inches high.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • For Intex pools to 52 inches
  • Slip-resistant steps
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Feels rather wobbly

12. Blue Wave Heavy-Duty Pool Ladder



  • Resin
  • 300-pound weight limit
  • 21 x 74 x 24 inches

Blue Wave serves up an excellent resin pool ladder that’s built to give you years of faithful service without any question of rusting out.

The 5-step design means any kids or senior swimmers will find it easier to get in and out of the pool than using the classic 4-tread design that’s prevalent in this niche. You’ll have gentler steps to climb, ideal for anyone with mobility issues.

This is a neatly adjustable ladder ideal for pools between 48 inches and 54 inches deep. This gives you great flexibility, and comes in extremely useful if you decide to upgrade your pool and you don’t want the added expense of replacing all your pool accessories, too.

There’s a safety barrier include here that serves to stop kids either swimming under the ladder or below the treads. Either can be extremely dangerous so remove any chance of that happening.

Backed by a 5-year limited warranty, you can expect plenty of service from these pool steps, and you can even use them if you upsize your pool.

This is certainly not the best pool ladder when it comes to overall build quality. As you would expect from a cheaper ladder, you may encounter some issues with floating if you don’t weigh this ladder down somewhat.

Overall, you can find superior ladders on our shortlist, but this one is well worth a second look if you have kids prone to playing around with pool equipment.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 5-tread design
  • Non-slip treads
  • Child-proof barrier
  • Expect some movement

13. Saftron Pool Ladder



  • Alloy steel
  • 250-pound weight limit
  • 60 x 28.9 x 2.3 inches

As we edge to the end of our hunt for the most effective swimming pool steps, we have a great polymer model from Saftron. How does this ladder stand out in a crowded field, then?

The first key selling point is the fact this ladder comes in a range of striking colorways rather than the white that seems to predominate.

Another nice attention to detail is the cool-touch finish so your hands won’t get scorched on a hot summer’s day as you try to get in or out of your swimming pool.

The alloy steel build ensures first-class lifespan, even if the steps come in for sustained use all year round. The polymer treatment on the frame helps to prolong lifespan further while also ensuring that the colors stay brighter for longer, even if they’re exposed to harsh sunlight.

The maximum weight limit of 250 pounds could be improved. If you need to cater for heavier swimmers in your pool, there are plenty of beefier ladders on our shortlist capable of supporting them.

Easy to install with no call for bonding or grounding at all, this is an affordable and extremely flexible set of pool steps that will ramp up the safety profile of your pool at home without bankrupting you.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Protective polymer coating
  • Stays cool to the touch
  • Long-lasting ladder
  • Weight limit not ideal

14. Intex Above-Ground Pool Ladder



  • Resin
  • 300-pound weight limit
  • 3 x 45.1 x 18.4 inches

Intex is a pool specialist that needs no introduction. Even if you’re new to home swimming pools, you can’t have failed to notice how this brand exerts a stranglehold on this space.

The resin ladders is built to withstand year-round use. The 300-pound upper weight limit places this among the more supportive ladders on our shortlist.

For all above-ground pools to 42 inches deep, if you have a bigger pool to cater for, we review plenty of suitable alternatives today.

This is a double-sided ladder ideal for allowing you both to enter and exit your pool comfortably and safely.

The steps themselves are fashioned from a highly slip-resistant plastic. This is designed to ward off corrosion and any damage from pool chemicals.

Despite offering you a solid and robust structure for pool access, you’ll find the ladder is remarkably lightweight and easy to shift around if you need to. It weighs in at just 17 pounds. Installation is straightforward, calling for no tools and no DIY expertise.

If you have a swimming pool at home and you need one of the best ladders from a pool specialist, look no further. Intex hits another homer here.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Slip-resistant plastic steps
  • Unbeatable brand image
  • For 42-inch above-ground pools
  • Needs a platform at the top

15. Aqua Select Pool Ladder



  • Steel
  • 400-pound weight limit
  • 32 x 47 x 48 inches

As we round out our search for the best above-ground pool ladder, Aqua Select delivers an impressive stainless steel set of steps that are also extremely keenly priced. If you’re looking to keep down the cost of your pool accessories without sacrificing safety and security, read on.

The rails of this ladder are made from electro-polished aluminum for a lightweight yet rugged build and a sleek, glimmering aesthetic.

The trio of white plastic steps might not look the most attractive, but they perform their job admirably and that, after all, is the only thing that counts.

If you have a saltwater pool, this ladder is liable to corrode, so you are advised to explore some of the many other options on our shortlist.

The upper weight limit of 400 pounds places this among the heaviest-duty ladders on our shortlist. That said, we discovered some blowback from users complaining about a lack of stability with heavier users.

Installing this pool ladder couldn’t be easier. You’ll get everything you need bundled down to the rubber bumpers. You won’t need to concern yourself with any bonding, and you won’t need any tools or expertise either.

Backed by a 3-year warranty, you can buy this ladder with complete confidence, and you should enjoy years of seamless pool access for much less than you might have thought. Make sure everyone getting in and out of your swimming pool at home is safe year-round.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Stainless steel ladder
  • Plastic, slip-resistant steps
  • Easy installation
  • Returns are awkward

Things You Should Consider


You might think that shopping for swimming pool ladders would be one of the simplest buying decisions you’ll face as a pool owner, and in many ways you’d be right.

That said, there are still a handful of crucial pointers that will simplify your buying decision if you pay them in mind.

  • Type of Pool Ladder
  • Materials
  • Safety
  • Compatibility
  • Ease of Use

Type of Pool Ladder

There are 3 main varieties of pool ladder:

  • Deck ladders
  • In-pool ladders
  • A-frame ladders

Deck ladders

Do you have decking surrounding your swimming pool?

If so, consider a deck ladder if you’re prepared for some straightforward installation.

In-pool ladders

Although in-pool ladders are typically used for in-ground swimming pools, you can also find some of these ladders ideal for use with above-ground pools.

This type of ladder attaches to the surrounds of your pool and the pool wall. You’ll enjoy easy access to the water with ample stability for most purposes.

A-frame ladders

This is perhaps the most popular type of ladder used for above-ground pools. The ladders are named for the shape of their construction.

These ladders are set over the pool wall so you have a set of steps inside and outside your pool.

An alternative to an A-frame ladder is a set of pool stairs. These are more solid steps, either outside the swimming pool, or on both sides.

With an A-frame pool ladder, you’ll possibly need to take care of some minor assembly, but there is usually no need for permanent installation to the pool itself. This makes it super-simple to remove these ladders and store them over winter until you recommission your pool the following year.


The next area that you’ll need to consider on the buying trail is what material the ladder is made of.

These are the most common options you’ll encounter:

  • Metal
  • Resin
  • Vinyl
  • Plastic

Not all swimming pool ladders are created equal, and the materials a ladder it’s made from can make the difference between a ladder you can leave and forget about for years, and one that will let you down after a summer or two of use.

Steel ladders are the strongest, but they are also the most expensive. If you live anywhere with a hot climate, metal ladders are also hot to the touch. Think about investing in some protective pads if this is the case.

Resin is tough and rugged, but you’ll need to store resin ladders over the off-season.

While aluminum ladders can work, these tend to rust more over time.


It goes unsaid that safety and security will be uppermost when you’re comparing pool ladders. This is doubly important if you have children likely to use the ladder.

The safest ladders are lockable so there is no way to engage the ladder unless you use a key or punch in a code.


The best above-ground swimming pool ladder is useless if it’s incompatible with your pool.

The vast bulk of ladders we review today are nicely adjustable, meaning you’ll get a great deal of latitude when it comes to the pools you can use them with. This comes in handy if you upsize your pool and means you don’t need to reinvest in a new pool ladder.

Ease of Use

You shouldn’t overlook the ease of use or otherwise of any ladders you’re considering. This is vital if you need to think about any elderly swimmers or anyone with mobility concerns.

Extended ergonomic handrails and wide treads on steps make things easier for anyone encumbered like this.

eed to give due attention to the weight capacity of any ladders on your shortlist.

With those basics in place, you should have absolutely everything you need to know in order to choose the best above-ground pool ladder the easy way.

To finish off today, we’ve assembled a list of the most frequently asked questions concerning pool ladders and provided you with the answers.


1) How can I secure my pool ladder to a deck?

If you invest in a deck ladder, this should come with all the hardware you need bundled to snap it securely into place. If you want to add further reinforcement, this is fairly easily achieved. You need a drill, a socket wrench, a level, and some mounting flanges. Put the legs of your ladder into the flange cups. Then, you need to hang the ladder so the rubber stops are resting against the side. Straighten the steps using a level. Screw the bolts right into the deck. Use a drill for concrete or a screwdriver if you have wooden decking. Lastly, tighten the flange bolts with your socket wrench and you’re good to go.

2) How can I prevent my swimming pool ladder from floating?

If you have a pool ladder that doesn’t attach to the wall of your pool, you could encounter issues with it floating away. This is especially likely if you have a lightweight resin ladder. Look for the hollow compartments in the bottom of lighter ladders. These are designed to be filled with sand. To add even more strength and reinforcement, you could use some waterproof plastic dumbbells.

3) How much weight can a swimming pool ladder bear?

Almost all swimming pool ladders for above-ground pools will be capable of withstanding up to 225 pounds, with many offering greater load-bearing capacity. Mid-range ladders should hold up to 300 pounds, while heavy-duty pool ladders can support up to 500 pounds. All that counts here is buying something in line with your purpose.


Perhaps you arrived here at Wild River Country today without the first idea of how to find the best ladder for your above-ground swimming pool. That should have changed by now.

Stick with any of the pool steps we review today, and you can push ahead with your eyes wide open. We never disguise the flaws in the products we highlight, allowing you to accurately and easily choose the right set of steps for your above-ground pool.

If you come across a swimming pool ladder that didn’t make our shortlist, we hope you find the contents of our buying guide informs your decision, saving you time and money.

Take a moment to bookmark our blog before you head off and be sure to pop back soon. We bring you fresh content daily on all aspects of pool ownership, so don’t miss out!

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