Best Pool Steps
When you own a pool, there are a number of necessities that you will need to invest in order to keep your pool in tip-top shape. Chemicals to keep the delicate balance of your pool are an absolute must. If you have little ones, you may want to consider purchasing some fun toys they can use in the pool to help them become better swimmers and to provide them with fun activities to do while swimming. Another accessory you are probably going to need to invest in is a set of pool steps. These provide you with an easy and safe way to get in and out of your pool. There are a number of different styles on the market and it can become quite overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. We’ve taken the guesswork out of this process, so let’s take a closer look.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 3.4 hrs of research
No, give when you use the stairs
Easy to put together, though you may need a rubber mallet for construction
Color option is a nice touch
- Confer Curve
- Confer Plastics Heavy Duty
- Confer 6000X
- Confer Heavy Duty A-Frame
- Swim Time Above Ground Step to Deck
- Extreme Max 3-Step
- Intex Deluxe with Removable Steps
- Main Access Easy-Incline Ladder
- Confer In-Ground Curve Steps
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Confer Curve
No, give when you use the stairs
Easy to put together, though you may need a rubber mallet for construction
Color option is a nice touch
Some users had problems with the stairs wanting to float away
This product from Confer provides users with a way to safely enter, exit or just relax nearby their above ground pool. It is available with either grey or blue steps, providing consumers with a way to feel they can personalize the aesthetic of their pool.Read more
There are a few important measurements to take note of with this product. The mounting brackets to install this product to your pool deck are 24” long. The dimensions of the steps are 32x47x38 and the treads of the steps are 27x10x11.
Because these steps are made with a durable, molded and chemical-resistant resin, consumers can expect them to be able to withstand weights up to 400 pounds.
This above ground step option is designed to be used in pools whose entry is level with the ground around the pool. It features four steps that are curved inwards (though you can choose to curve them outwards when you begin your installation) and handrails for a nice, pulled-together look.
Ease of Use
There are no tools required in the set up of these stairs as everything just simply snaps together. The sides of the stairs will fill with sand or pea gravel to weigh them down when you put it into your pool.
The materials used in the construction of these stairs will not fade in the summer sun. The base step of this product is part of a larger system that can be added on separately.
2. Confer Plastics Heavy Duty
Works great for tall decks
Quick to install
Some complaints that the ladder won’t stay down
Coming in second on our list is yet another product from Confer. This one looks a little bit different than the steps that took our first-place spot, however. It is available in a few different color options so consumers are able to choose a color that compliments their décor.Read more
The total height of these steps is 81”. It’s designed to be used for decks up to 60” in height. The dimensions of each step are 10x27x8.
This product is economically built but with very durable construction. It is designed to be able to hold 400 pounds.
This option is designed to be used in above ground pools that have flat bottoms. The steps are extra large and flat to help ensure you are able to easily enter and exit your pool.
Ease of Use
These stairs easily snap together for simple installation. It arrives with mounting brackets that will allow you to easily secure your steps to the pool or your deck.
A great feature of this product is that there are side openings on it that allow water to circulate around the steps. This helps to ensure that algae won’t grow in places you can’t easily see.
3. Confer 6000X
Adjustable height makes it useful for many different pool sizes
Easy to attach to your pool deck
Included screws are not rustproof
Taking our third-place spot is yet another step option from Confer. Are you seeing a trend here? This brand very clearly takes pool steps seriously and is a leader in the world of pool entryways. The 6000X differs in a few very obvious ways from the other two products we’ve reviewed so far. Let’s take a closer look.Read more
These steps are adjustable for pools that are 46 inches to 54 inches deep. The dimensions are 55x16x5.
This product is designed to hold 300 pounds.
The all-resin construction of these above ground steps ensures a durable product that will last you and your family a long while. The grey color of this product makes it easy to see in the water to ensure you won’t have any accidents are you’re entering or exiting your pool.
Ease of Use
This product doesn’t require the use of sand to weigh it down as other options on our top ten list do. Confer suggests letting the ladder fill with water and that will provide enough weight to keep it from floating away on you. You will need some power tools to put these steps together but it is still a relatively easy installation process.
The Confer 6000X has an anti-entrapment barrier feature that will help to make sure any small children won’t be able to swim behind or through the ladder.
4. Confer Heavy Duty A-Frame
Quick to put together
A-frame design makes the pool more accessible
Solid platform at the top of the stairs
Bonus protective mat
Some reviewers suggested that the stairs are not as stable when heavier people are using them
We might be 4 for 4 with the steps from Confer so far in this buying guide but that’s only because this company truly does know what they’re doing. This product looks a lot different than other options we’ve gone over so far because it uses a classic A-frame, allowing stairs to be both on the inside and outside of your pool.Read more
These steps are made for use in pools that are up to 56” tall. The treads are 5 inches by 18 inches. The ladder pad that is included with this product is 9 inches b 30 inches in size.
We were unable to find any specific weight restriction for this product but through reading the reviews we were able to deduce that it will hold at least 250 pounds.
This is the first A-frame style set of steps on our list so far. This design allows for people who are swimming to have stairs to both exit and enter your pool.
Ease of Use
The installation process for this ladder is fairly straightforward. The pieces snap together and installation can be done in around 30 minutes
Theses stairs come with an aforementioned ladder pad. This pad is meant to be used inside your pool underneath the ladder legs. The purpose of the pad is to help protect your vinyl liner in the pool. Another unique feature of this product is that it comes with a locking Roll Guard. This is a must-have for families with small children. The roll guard will prevent access to the pool so little ones won’t accidentally find their way there unattended.
5. Swim Time Above Ground Step to Deck
Hand rails are sturdy
Clear instructions & easy to assemble
Affordable price tag
Hard to get steps out of the pool once they’re weighed down with sand
Here we have an option from another brand aside from Confer. Swim Time, as you may or may not be able to guess from the brand name, is a company who provides pool accessories and supplies for homeowners. From chemicals to toys and stairs to pool alarms, Swim Time could very well be a one-stop shop for all of your pool supply needs. These stairs make getting in and out of your pool an absolute breeze. Let’s take a closer look.Read more
The height of these stairs is 81 inches and they are 32.5 inches deep. The dimensions of each individual step is 10 inches by 27 inches.
These stairs will be able to hold 350 pounds without any problems at all.
With double handrails and slip-resistant steps, these stairs for your above ground pool might be a perfect option for you if you have problems getting in and out of your pool. These are designed to be used to take you from your pool to your pool deck without any issues.
Ease of Use
There is some assembly required with these stairs but they do come together quite easily. You must invest in around forty pounds of sand in order to weigh the stairs down once they go into your pool.
The steps on this ladder are all perforated which will allow for water and chemicals to properly circulate around your pool. The perforations also help to discourage algae growth.
6. Extreme Max 3-Step
Comes with a two-year warranty
Versatile, can be used on boats
Installation is easy with two people
Convenient to use
Can be uncomfortable underfoot
This steps from Extreme Max are not only incredibly affordable (they’re actually the second cheapest option on our list), but their aluminum construction helps to ensure a durable construction that will long outlast the small investment required to own these.Read more
This ladder is available in three step options for your convenience. Choose from three, four or five steps depending on your needs. Each option will have its own size so you may need to measure your pool to ensure you’re getting a suitable ladder for your needs. Each of the three sizes come with a step interval of 11.5 inches and a step width of 15 inches.
This ladder is rated to hold 300 pounds.
Though this product is actually designed for use on a pontoon boat, it can easily be used for your above ground pool. It doesn’t provide the stability that other ladders with larger steps or rungs will provide so that is something to consider if you’re a little unsteady or if you use your pool for aquatic therapy.
Ease of Use
This product should take around 30 minutes to put together and another 30 minutes to install. It’s easy to put together and comes with all of the necessary equipment to put together and install.
A great feature of this product is that it’s very versatile. If you choose to sell your pool down the road, you can still use these steps in a pontoon boat or for other applications as well.
7. Intex Deluxe with Removable Steps
Affordable price tag for quality
Safety features to protect little ones
Some reviewers felt the stairs weren’t very sturdy
This product from Intex is a worthwhile investment for folks looking for a sturdy pool ladder with the added bonus of safety features to help protect vulnerable little ones.Read more
This product is designed for use in 36-inch to 42-inch pools. The dimensions are approximately 4x18x45 inches.
The listed weight capacity is 300 pounds.
This A-frame style ladder is designed for use in above ground pools.
Ease of Use
This ladder assembles easily. It features removable steps that snap in and out of place very easily when the pool is not in use. Though it might seem pointless to have a step-less ladder, this comes in handy in instances where there are small children around so they cannot access the pool unattended.
A great feature of this ladder is its construction. It’s made from a durable steel frame that is made to last you many years of pool-filled summers.
8. Main Access Easy-Incline Ladder
Sturdy and durable construction
Metal rails will not corrode
Space saving design
Needs to be weighed down in order to prevent the stairs from floating away
Though the Main Access brand may not be a household name yet, this company is making their mark in the pool accessory world by producing high-quality lighting, parts and chemicals to help make your summers more enjoyable by the pool. Their ladders are high quality and this particular one has many features that make it a great option for pool owners. Let’s take a closer look.Read more
This product was designed for use in pools that are up to 52-inches deep. The steps increase in size as you descend down the ladder. The first step is 6.5 inches deep and the bottom is 9.5 inches. The overall dimensions of this prodder is 54x23.5x10 inches.
This ladder is able to hold up to 300 pounds, though some reviewers mentioned they weighed more than this and the ladder held up just fine.
This ladder was designed to be used in above ground pools and installed on the pool deck. It has railings that one can use when descending into their pool.
Ease of Use
This ladder comes with all of the required mounting hardware to make installation easier. Most reviewers found this product was easy to install, especially if you follow all recommendations in the instructions.
We loved how easy it was to get into the pool with these steps installed. The gradual increase in step depth make this a great ladder for people who are a little unsteady on their feet.
Sturdy and stable
Great for families with young children
Hand rails make it easy to enter and exit
Some reviewers are unhappy with the quality of the railings
This product is available as a ladder only, a step only or as a ladder and step combination. Today we’re going to look at the step only product, though the other options are very viable as well.Read more
This product is 42” high, 36” deep and 25” wide. It’s a great option for families with small children as each step is at an 11” interval and has a 21” passage.
This product is designed to hold up to 350 pounds.
This ladder is designed to be used for above ground pools. It will attach to your pool deck and allow for easy entry and exit.
Ease of Use
This product is easy to put together and even easier to use. It features railing that can assist you as you enter and exit your pool.
The BiltMor is ruggedly built and will prove to be a long-lasting product. It’s made with polyethylene to provide durability.
10. Confer In-Ground Curve Steps
Easy to assemble and use
Great for folks with limited mobility to use to get in and out of the pool
Steps stay in place once weighed down properly
Affordable and attractive option
Removing them at the end of the season can be difficult because of the weight of the sand or pea gravel
We felt it was time to refer back to Confer to round out our top ten list of the best pool stairs. This option is a little different from other products on our list as it was designed for use in in-ground pools.Read more
The step dimensions are 32x36x58 inches and the tread dimensions are 10x11x27 with these measurements reflecting the depth, height and width respectively.
This sturdy unit is designed to hold up to 400 pounds.
Just looking at this option you can see how different it is in style than other products on our list. First of all, these steps are designed for use in in-ground pools. The steps themselves are long and curved. If you have some mobility issues, these steps will ensure a safe entry and exit point for you. If you don’t have the space in your pool for the complete step system (the steps and the curve), the steps are available for purchase separately.
Ease of Use
Most reviewers commented on how easy these steps were to install and assemble with very minimal tools. The step design makes entering and exiting the pool very easy.
The sides of these steps are designed to hold sand or pea gravel to help weigh them down so they don’t float away on you. Confer provides consumers with a five-year warranty for this item.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
To avoid disappointment, take proper measurements of your pool.
This is perhaps one of the most important criteria to look at as you begin your hunt for the perfect steps or ladders for your backyard pool. While many of the options on our list are adjustable to a certain degree, it is imperative that you know the measurements of your pool so that you are able to purchase stairs that are going to fit properly. In most cases, knowing the height of your pool will be enough.
Know the weight limit of your stairs.
This is a very important criterion to take into consideration before you purchase your steps. If you are a little on the larger size, you want to ensure that the product you buy is going to be able to withstand your weight. Most of the options on our list have weight capacities between 250 and 400 pounds. In order to avoid disappointment and the annoyance of having to return a product, make sure you’re weighing yourself as well so you have an accurate idea of what your weight is before choosing a ladder.
The type of steps that you require will depend on what style of pool you have.
Above Ground Pools
There are two main ways that the above ground pool can be built. The first way is that the pool will be built above the grade of the ground around it, requiring steps that lead from the ground into the pool. These steps will usually be in an A-frame style, allowing users to climb steps up to the top of the pool and then down the other side into it. The second way will require a deck or structure to be built level with the entryway of the pool, thus requiring the assistance of steps that will lead from the top of the pool inside the water.
In Ground Pools
Though we only included one in ground specific option on our top ten list, we still felt it is important to discuss here. The plastic steps that are designed for in-ground pools are attached via the pool wall or to the cement deck surrounding the pool. Though these might not be the most aesthetically appealing option for your in-ground pool, they’re very durable and much more affordable than springing for built-in vinyl oversteps.
Ease of Use
Easy assembly and how much easier the steps make your life are important to consider
Not everyone is a handyman or handywoman. The steps involved in putting something together can be a deal breaker for some people. Lucky for this type of person, all of the steps on our top ten list are relatively easy to assemble and install. Admittedly, there are some products that may require a full read-through of the instructions prior to assembly, but we believe most people should have no problem at all in the assembly or installation steps of the process.
Another ease-of-use factor we considered as we put together our top ten list was how easy the steps or ladders made entering and exiting the pool. While this may not be a huge concern for some people, those with mobility issues, small children or the elderly can benefit from having an entryway that makes getting into and out of the pool a cinch. Some products are better than others in this regard. For example, we wouldn’t recommend the Extreme Max 3-Step Pontoon/Dock Ladder to someone who has mobility issues.
Different steps have different unique features.
Each of the step options on our list has its own unique features that set it apart from other options. Whether it’s the ladder pad and roll guard that comes with the Confer Heavy Duty A-Frame step or the side openings on the Confer Plastics Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder that prevent the growth of algae by allowing water to circulate around the steps, there are plenty of features available on these products for you to wade through in order to choose the best for you, your family and your particular pool. If you have small children or curious pets, we would recommend looking closely at the Confer 6000X which has an anti-entrapment feature that will ensure little ones won’t get stuck behind the steps and drown. The option from Swim Time has perforated steps to prevent algae growth so if you have had a problem with algae in the past, this may be a step to consider.
Because there are so many different styles of pool steps available on the market, we recommend you take your time in making your final decision about which kind to purchase for your pool. The step style you choose can be purely about the application – how well it allows you to enter and exit your pool. Or, if you care about appearances, there are plenty of options on our list that will help to give your backyard an aesthetic boost.
To avoid the disappointment of receiving a product in the mail, reading all the instructions and installing a pool step system that isn’t going to work with the style of pool you have, it’s important that you’re taking important measurements. You need to know the height and/or depth of your pool prior to purchasing your steps. While many of the options on our top ten list are adjustable to some degree, it is still worthwhile knowing the ballpark measurements of your pool.
We recommend that you remove all pool ladders and steps during the off-season. This also applies to folks who live in warmer climates as well as installed steps can be a safety hazards for little ones. Make sure you store your steps inside some place like a shed or garage where they will stay safe from the elements.
Other Factors to Consider
Having a pool in your backyard can easily become a safety hazard. Afterall, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 350 children under the age of five drown in pools in the United States every year, most of which happen in backyard pools. Another 2500 children will pay a visit to the hospital after pool and near-drowning incidents. Some of these accidents are devastating and children can easily have permanent brain damage as a result.
The reason we’re shoving all of these statistics down your throat is because accidents do happen and we would rather you be safe than sorry. If you leave your pool steps unattended around your young children or even your pets, you’re putting them at risk of drowning. We recommend gating your steps if you will be leaving your children or pets unattended around the pool.
Having steps to get into your pool will help to protect you and your loved ones from possible injuries as you get in and out of the pool. Steps are also a necessary expense for folks who have limited mobility or injuries. Swimming is a fantastic way to help rehabilitate serious injuries. If you happen to have a backyard pool and an injury your physiotherapist suggests aquatic therapy for, you’ll definitely want to invest in stairs to help you navigate in and out of your pool.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Will the pool steps be slippery?
It’s important to always take care as you enter and exit your pool. If your steps have handles or rails, firmly grasp them. If you take care of your steps to ensure that they remain algae-free, you shouldn’t find that they’re slipperier than steps at your local public pool. It is important to note, though, that algae aren’t always visible so even if you don’t see anything growing on your steps, you should always enter and exit with care.
q: How do I get my steps out of the pool when they’re weighed down with water?
This will require two people as well as the removal of any fill plugs on your steps. If you don’t have a second person on hand to help you, you can purchase a siphon kit to take out most of the water that’s in the legs of the ladder or steps. Once some of this water is removed, the steps will be lighter and more buoyant, making them easier to lift out of the pool. In some situations, you may need to take off the handrails or steps in order to make it easier to remove.
q: Do I need to buy a pad to protect the vinyl in my pool?
A pad is a product that is designed to sit on the bottom of your pool, underneath your ladder or step to protect the vinyl lining of your pool. It’s not a bad idea to invest in this type of protection. Liner materials have become thinner over the last few years which makes them vulnerable to ripping or tearing so a pad will help to ensure that this doesn’t happen as easily or quickly.
q: Which step style is best?
This depends entirely on the style of your pool. You need to match your pool steps to the kind of pool you have. For example, buying an A-frame step isn’t going to work if you have an in-ground pool.
If you have some mobility issues, you may want to choose steps versus a ladder-style. You may also want to check the depth of the steps to ensure there is enough room for your feet on there in order to provide you with a feeling of security and stability and you exit and enter your pool.
q: How do I keep my kids safe around the pool?
Pool safety is a huge area of concern for parents who own a backyard pool. You should never leave your small children unattended in your backyard, but especially not when you have a pool. An accident can happen in a matter of seconds and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. When your pool is not in use, we recommend removing steps and ladders that can be removed (such as the A-frame style). If you purchase a step system that has safety features such as the Confer Heavy Duty A-Frame with it’s roll guard, you will need to make sure the safety feature is activated when the pool isn’t being used.
q: Do I need to winterize my above ground pool?
Winterizing your yard is an absolute must if you live in a part of the world that experiences drastic temperature changes during the winter months. Winterizing your pool is also a necessity. While you can empty and store your pool during the colder months of the year, many people decide to leave it up all year round. If you live where the temperatures drop below 0°, you’re putting your pool at risk for ice damage. We recommend draining, disassembling and storing your pool to be on the safe side. If you choose not to disassemble your pool for the winter, we do recommend removing any pool accessories. Leaving your steps and ladders installed over the winter can result in irreparable damage. Some steps might rust during the winter. Ensure that the accessories you’re removing have been cleaned and dried thoroughly and store them in a dry place for the winter. They should be out of direct sunlight to help minimize the potential of UV damage.