Best Heavy Duty Pool Ladder for Inground & Above Ground Pools in 2023

William Adams
 min read

This article is about the best heavy duty pool ladder options for both in-ground and above-ground pools.

Best Heavy Duty Pool Ladder Reviews and Buying Guide

As any pool owner knows, getting in and out of the pool can be a struggle, especially for those of us with plus-size bodies or limited mobility.

A high-quality plus-size pool ladder with a high weight capacity not only provides a safe and easy way to enter and exit the pool for heavy people, but it also adds to the overall aesthetic of your private backyard oasis 🌅🌴.

So, whether you're a seasoned pool owner or just starting out and exploring your options, read on for reviews of the top heavy duty pool ladders ✔❌ (for both above ground and inground pools) that will ensure your dip in the pool this summer 💦☀ will not only be refreshing but also safe.

After that, we'll provide you with an overview of the different types of pool ladders 🔠, followed by a helpful heavy duty pool ladder buying guide 🧐 further down the page with tips and considerations to keep in mind when looking for a durable pool ladder for heavy people.

We finish off with some pool ladder installation and maintenance tips 🛠 to ensure you can make the most of your heavy duty pool ladder purchase.

In a hurry? Check out our 3 most recommended heavy-duty pool ladders below:

Table of Contents

Top 3 Best Heavy Duty Pool Ladder for Large Individuals

Easiest Access
Wide & Stable

Material

Resin

Type

Drop-In Pool Steps

Pool Type

Inground & Above Ground

Ground Access

Optional
Outside Ladder

Top Step Height

47"H

Max Deck Height

58"H

Overall Dimensions

58"W x 77"H x 40"D

Step Dimensions

Curved x 10"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

400 lbs

Highest Pool Steps
Snap-In Installation

Material

Resin

Type

Drop-In Pool Steps

Pool Type

Inground & Above Ground

Ground Access

Optional
Outside Ladder

Top Step Height

47"H

Max Deck Height

60"H

Overall Dimensions

31"W x 85"H x 40"D

Step Dimensions

27"W x 10"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

400 lbs

Most Adjustable
With Slide Lock

Material

Resin

Type

A-Frame Pool Ladder

Pool Type

Above Ground Pool

Ground Access

Included
in A-frame

Top Step Height

49 to 57"H

Max Deck Height

48 to 56"H

Overall Dimensions

22"W x 84"H x 48"D

Step Dimensions

17"W x 3.5"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Best Heavy Duty Pool Ladder for Inground & Above Ground Pools: Introduction

As a plus-size engineer myself, I have an eye for high-quality products that are well-built, with durable materials, and are suitable for a plus-size physique.

I also understand that a high-quality plus-size pool ladder isn't just a convenience, but also a safety feature that should provide stability and support for all users, and peace of mind for the pool owner.

In this article, I'll share my expertise on heavy duty pool ladders for large users and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision when buying the best heavy duty pool ladder for large individuals.

First, we'll review heavy duty above ground pool ladders, followed by reviews of inground pool ladders for heavy people.

These reviews will help you navigate the vast array of pool ladders on the market while paying particular attention to the additional considerations that come with buying a pool ladder for heavy people.

Then, we'll discuss the various factors that affect the performance and stability of an extra-large pool ladder, including weight capacity, height, step size, and shape.

We'll also cover the different pool ladder materials and different pool ladder designs available for both pool steps for in-ground pools and heavy duty above ground pool steps, as well as installation and maintenance tips.

So, whether you're looking for a sturdy ladder for your inground pool, an A-frame pool ladder with wide steps, or a set of durable above ground pool steps, sit back, relax, and let's dive into the world of heavy duty pool ladders for large individuals.

Reviews of the Best Above Ground Pool Ladders for Heavy People

Above ground pools are the best if you are operating on a tight budget or you live in one of those cooler parts of the country.

And by the way, replacement parts for above ground pool ladders with a high weight limit are readily available so don’t fear to take the splurge!

Here is our top collection of above ground pool ladders for heavy people:

Confer 4-Step Above Ground Swimming Pool Curved Grand Entry Stair...

As a plus-size swimmer, if you want to have some good times in your pool, you would prefer to do so gracefully without clumsily entering and exiting the pool.

This pool ladder with wide steps allows you to elegantly enter the pool at your own pace with the graceful wedding cake steps, adding to the enjoyment and relaxation of your pool.

With the Confer Above Ground Pool System, a heavy duty pool ladder for large individuals with a 400 lbs weight limit, you will make your grand entrance in style and never again have to enter and exit the pool in a clumsy or unsafe way.

These pool steps will give you that peace of mind you need and ensure your safety should you get in trouble while swimming.

When you are done, these wedding cake steps will safely help to lift your tired body out of the water.

Or you can enjoy the refreshing pool while sitting on the pool ladder with wide steps, for they are definitely wide enough to do so.

Confer 4-Step Above Ground Swimming Pool Curved Grand Entry Stair...

Confer 4-Step Above Ground Swimming Pool Curved Grand Entry Stair...

This is one of the best above ground pool ladders with a 400 lbs weight limit, top of the class and made in the USA.

It has smoothly curved steps, gently sloping handrails, a wide base step and an added corner step.

Combined, these give you an extra-wide, comfortable, and strong sturdy above ground pool ladder with steps.

Confer Curve Complete System Above Ground Swimming Pool Steps with...

Pros

  • This is super strong and has no trouble whatsoever to support up to 400 pounds of user weight
  • The handrails offer extra balance for kids, seniors, or plus-size users who are unsure on their feet
  • Doesn’t rust, crack, or disintegrate
  • Has adjustable pads underneath to help you adapt it to your pool floor which may not have an entirely flat bottom
  • You can make an elegant entry into or exit out of the pool, or even lounge on the pool steps, regardless of your body size
  • You are able to snap it together easily, with the help of some very informative online videos
  • Its dimensions create a super-wide entrance space to your pool which allows every plus-size swimmer to use the pool
  • Built to last- the color doesn't fade and it won't suffer from the weather

Cons

  • While the instructions are very detailed, and even have video instructions, it is not a simple matter of unpacking and putting the pool steps in place. There are quite a number of steps involved and installation will take a good few hours if you want to do it properly, including letting out the air while submerging them slowly and weighing down the pool steps to prevent floating. In return, you will get an extremely sturdy heavy-duty pool ladder with wide steps that will last a long time.
  • Weekly hosing recommended to avoid algae buildup since this updated version has closed side panels to avoid entrapment risk

Features

  • High-quality product made in the USA
  • Holds 400 pounds
  • 4-step above ground wedding cake pool steps
  • Based on a blow-molded, strong, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) resin
  • Comes with a 20-year UV package that protects against weather, sunlight, and pool chemical exposure
  • 5-year full factory warranty on manufacturing defects and workmanship
  • Available in several two-tone colors
  • Adjustable base pads to adjust to an uneven pool floor
  • Gently sloping handrails
  • This is the complete curve system: Base steps + Additional corner steps for an extra-wide and graceful entry to your pool
  • Large 24-inch deck mounting brackets
  • The complete curve system needs weighing down with 70 lbs of ballast to prevent the pool steps from floating (gravel, sand or anything else that works for you)

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 400 Lbs
  • Step dimensions: Curved x 10"D x 11"H
  • Top step height: 47"H
  • Max deck height: 58"H
  • Deck mounting bracket length: 24"L
  • Handrail height from top step: 30"H
  • Overall dimensions: 58"W x 77"H x 40"D
  • Material: Resin

Verdict

This is one of our favorite above ground pool ladders for heavy people. It is so well-made and so easy to assemble.

On top, it makes it so easy to get in and out of the pool. This is a must-have for your above ground pool.

Tip: There is also a 3-Steps Curve System reviewed further down the page, in case you are looking for pool steps for pools with a height from 38 to 46 inches.

Easiest Access
Wide & Stable

Material

Resin

Type

Drop-In Pool Steps

Pool Type

Inground & Above Ground

Ground Access

Optional Outside Ladder

Top Step Height

47"H

Max Deck Height

58"H

Overall Dimensions

58"W x 77"H x 40"D

Step Dimensions

Curved x 10"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

400 lbs

Base Steps Only

If the complete curve system outlined above, including the corner add-on is too much for your liking, you can also get just the straight base steps.

Naturally, these are more affordable than the complete system, yet they still offer a generous wide entry of 27 inches!

Wide & Stable

Material

Resin

Type

Drop-In Pool Steps

Pool Type

Inground & Above Ground

Ground Access

Optional Outside Ladder

Top Step Height

47"H

Max Deck Height

58"H

Overall Dimensions

38"W x 77"H x 40"D

Step Dimensions

27"W x 10"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

400 lbs

Confer Pool Steps Entry System - 400 Lbs

Confer Step-1 Stair Ladder Entry System with 4 Steps and 2 Handrails...

One of the best ways to psyche yourself up for the next swimming session it to listen to a nice jam that gets your blood pumping in excitement. 🎶

If possible, get a water-resistant audio player and queue up your best playlist. You will really be motivated to do an aqua gym workout.

Of course, the easier you can access your pool, the more likely you will be to regularly do your aqua gym workouts. you won’t forget to install some great grand entrance steps for above ground pools, regardless of your swimming pool.

The Confer Pool Steps Entry System are 4-step grand entrance pool steps for above ground pools with decks up to 60" high.

These pool steps are designed to make it a breeze to enter and exit your swimming pool and get that aqua gym workout going.

This pool ladder with handrails for plus-size individuals is fitted with all-plastic tall handrails to provide great stability and support to children, plus-size, older, or infirm users.

Confer Step-1 Stair Ladder Entry System with 4 Steps and 2 Handrails...

Confer Step-1 Stair Ladder Entry System with 4 Steps and 2 Handrails...

Moreover, each step has a surface area of 270 square inches (27" wide x 10" deep), a gray color for high visibility in water, and superb grip to avoid risk of slipping.

Confer Step-1 Stair Ladder Entry System with 4 Steps and 2 Handrails...

Pros

  • High-quality materials that are weatherproof and will last for years
  • Makes pool entry and exit a breeze
  • Can take big and tall folks up to 400 lbs
  • Can be safely used by kids, pets, and senior swimmers
  • This non-slip pool ladder for plus-size individuals has steps that are safe because they don’t skid and are very stable thanks to their large base
  • The sturdy mounting brackets help you fasten it onto the deck so it won't move an inch
  • Straightforward installation guide + online videos from the manufacturer to guide you along the assembly process

Cons

  • It's heavy to put into the pool after you fill it with ballast sand but if you get someone to help, you will manage perfectly
  • Weekly hosing recommended to avoid algae buildup since this updated version has closed side panels to avoid entrapment risk

Features

  • High-quality product made in the USA
  • Based on a blow-molded, strong, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) resin
  • Comes with a 20-year UV package that protects against weather, sunlight, and pool chemical exposure
  • 5-year full factory warranty on manufacturing defects and workmanship
  • 27-inch extra-wide pool steps with a large surface area and non-skid finish
  • Strong deck mounting brackets
  • 40 lbs of ballast required
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs
  • Anti-entrapment side panels

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 400 Lbs
  • Step dimensions: 27"W x 10"D x 11"H
  • Top step height: 47"H
  • Max deck height: 60"H
  • Large flat steps: 270 square inches each
  • Handrail height from top step: 38"H
  • Overall dimensions: 31"W x 85"H x 40"D
  • Material: Resin

Verdict

This is yet another incredible heavy duty pool ladder for large individuals from Confer with a 400 lbs weight capacity.

The steps are wide enough to allow a comfortable entry and exit. They are also tall so they will fit pools with decks up to 60" high.

If properly installed and weighed down, these pool steps won't go floating anywhere, allowing you to enjoy the pool with friends and family in complete peace of mind.

Highest Pool Steps
Snap-In Installation

Material

Resin

Type

Drop-In Pool Steps

Pool Type

Inground & Above Ground

Ground Access

Optional Outside Ladder

Top Step Height

47"H

Max Deck Height

60"H

Overall Dimensions

31"W x 85"H x 40"D

Step Dimensions

27"W x 10"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

400 lbs

Vinyl Works SLA A-Frame 48-56 Inch Adjustable Above Ground Swimming...

This Vinyl Works A-Frame Slide-Lock Pool Ladder is a non-slip pool ladder for plus-size individiuals and above ground pools that has a locking feature by sliding the outside ladder steps upwards and locking them in place. 🔒

It is equipped with some security features such as longer handrails, anti-skid steps, and an anti-entrapment feature behind the in-pool steps.

This particular model is made of resin and is available in white and taupe colors.

Vinyl Works SLA A-Frame 48-56 Inch Adjustable Above Ground Swimming...

Vinyl Works SLA A-Frame 48-56 Inch Adjustable Above Ground Swimming...

Plus, you can slide the outside ladder upwards and lock it in place to block access to your pool whenever you feel like.

Lastly, you won’t need any maintenance since the whole system is made of resin.

Vinyl Works SLA A-Frame 48-56 Inch Adjustable Above Ground Swimming...

Pros

  • Can be adjusted to fit in pools between 48-56 inches high
  • The engraved “no diving/no jumping” warning keeps off jokers
  • Its slide lock design allows you to lock the pool ladder with handrails for plus-size individuals and block access to your pool, giving you some added peace of mind when you're not around
  • The anti-skid surfaces are great
  • Doesn't require any maintenance as it's made from resin
  • The extended handrails facilitate climbing the pool ladder for plus-size individuals
  • The anti-entrapment barrier ensures you young children cannot swim behind the ladder and potentially get trapped there

Cons

  • The lock is sold separately
  • Users have reported poor packaging, resulting in broken parts, though this should be covered by the 5-year warranty
  • If you actually weigh close to 300 lbs, you would be better off finding another pool ladder for obese individuals that has a higher weight limit
  • Users have reported the handrails are slightly wobbly by design
  • The product could be more UV-resistant

Features

  • Fit pools between 48-56 inches
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Anti-entrapment barrier
  • Anti-skid surface
  • Slide-lock design
  • 5-year limited warranty on defects in workmanship and materials

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 300 Lbs
  • Step dimensions: 17"W x 3.5"D x 11"H
  • Top step height: 49 to 57"H
  • Max deck height: 48 to 56"H
  • Overall dimensions: 22"W x 84"H x 48"D
  • Material: Resin

Verdict

This meets the usual safety standards thanks to the anti-skid ladder steps, anti-entrapment feature, and the slide-lock design.

It makes a safe above ground A-frame pool ladder for plus-size individuals as long as you are careful with the weight limit and are aware of its cons.

The adjustable design inherently makes it a less heavy duty model compared to other resin pool steps.

Most Adjustable
With Slide Lock

Material

Resin

Type

A-Frame Pool Ladder

Pool Type

Above Ground Pool

Ground Access

Included in A-frame

Top Step Height

49 to 57"H

Pool Height

48 to 56"H

Overall Dimensions

22"W x 84"H x 48"D

Step Dimensions

17"W x 3.5"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Item Weight

57 lbs

Intex Deluxe Pool Ladder with Removable Steps for 36-Inch and 42-Inch...

It won't come as a surprise that the Intex above ground pool ladders work well with the range of Intex above ground swimming pools, one of the top-rated manufacturers of swimming pools globally.

What we like most about this Intex Deluxe Pool Ladder is the fact that you can remove the steps from the swimming pool area during winter or whenever the pool is not being used to avoid your little ones and pets from entering the pool unsupervised.

Intex Deluxe Pool Ladder with Removable Steps for 36-Inch and 42-Inch...

Intex Deluxe Pool Ladder with Removable Steps for 36-Inch and 42-Inch...

The ladder has an improved base that is wider than the ladder itself ↔, providing a more stable A-frame pool ladder.

Intex Deluxe Pool Ladder with Removable Steps for 36-Inch and 42-Inch...

Assembly of this pool ladder is really very straightforward and easily doable by one person without needing particular technical skills, as illustrated in the manufacturer's assembly instruction video of the pool ladder:

Pros

  • Moving the pool ladder is quick and simple thanks to its lightweight construction
  • You can remove the steps from the pool to block access to the pool so young children can't find their way in when you're not around to supervise them
  • Designed to be quickly and simply assembled
  • Has very tender hi-impact plastic stepping
  • The steel frame coating protects against rust
  • Safe for plus-size users under 300 lbs
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Not great for plus-size users since the ladder might become a little wobbly when nearing the 300 lbs weight limit, better consider buying another large capacity pool ladder for overweight people
  • The steps are not the widest
  • There is no top platform, creating a dangerous gap between the inside and the outside top steps

Features

  • Luxurious pool ladder
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Removable steps
  • For above ground pools with side walls from 36 to 42 inches high
  • Coated steel frame
  • Hi-impact plastic stepping
  • Snap and lock into place
  • Lightweight
  • White steps and grey frame of alloy steel

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 300 Lbs
  • Step width: 17"W
  • Pool height: 36 to 42"H
  • Overall dimensions: 46"W x 59.5"H
  • Material: Alloy steel frame and plastic steps

Verdict

Here you get a pretty cool above ground pool ladder at a great price too!

Many users love the extra safety feature of removing the outside part of the ladder to ensure small kids and/or your pets can't climb up and swim unsupervised.

Removable Steps

Material

Alloy steel frame & Plastic steps

Type

A-Frame Pool Ladder

Pool Type

Above Ground Pool

Ground Access

Included in A-frame

Pool Height

36 to 42"H

Overall Dimensions

46"W x 59.5"H

Step Width

17"W

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Item Weight

23 lbs

48-inch Version with Removable Steps and Platform

The previously reviewed Intex ladder was only compatible with above ground pools from 36 to 42 inches high.

This model is also available as a 48-inch high above ground pool ladder with removable steps.

In addition, this model does come with a platform where the smaller version does not!

Removable Steps & Platform

Material

Alloy steel frame & Plastic steps

Type

A-Frame Pool Ladder

Pool Type

Above Ground Pool

Ground Access

Included in A-frame

Pool Height

48"H or Lower

Step Width

13"W x 2.5"D x 12"H

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Item Weight

25 lbs

52-inch Version with Fixed Steps and Platform

Finally, the last variation of this model of Intex pool ladder is for above ground pools up to 52 inches high.

This model has fixed steps instead of the removable steps, making it inherently more stable and sturdy because there are less moving parts.

In addition, it also comes with a platform on top of the A-frame Intex pool ladder!

Fixed Steps & Platform

Material

Alloy steel frame & Plastic steps

Type

A-Frame Pool Ladder

Pool Type

Above Ground Pool

Ground Access

Included in A-frame

Pool Height

52"H or Lower

Step Width

16"W x 4"D x 12"H

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Item Weight

24 lbs

Reviews of the Best Inground Pool Ladders and the Best Deck Ladders for Heavy People

If you live in places where the weather is warm for the bigger part of the year, inground pools or above ground pools with a deck will do great!

Again, here is our top choice for the best heavy duty pool ladders for inground swimming pools or above ground pools with a deck:

CONFER 6000X HEAVY DUTY INPOOL LADDER FOR DECKS FROM 42IN TO 56IN HIGH

With your swimming pool, safety for us plus-size users starts with having a sturdy and secure pool ladder for obese individuals, whether that's for your inground pool or above ground pool with a deck.

This Confer Heavy Duty Extra-Large Pool Ladder is a heavy-duty resin based inground pool ladder for plus-size people that doesn't compromise on safety, no matter the conditions.

If you've got youngsters enjoying your pool, you will enjoy peace of mind thanks to the anti-entrapment barrier. 😌

The generously sized steps, sturdy handrails, and secure top platform will make you feel like a king when climbing in and out of your pool.

This is a lavish and tremendous heavy-duty inground pool ladder for plus-size people that's made in the USA with the highest quality resin (HDPE) and a UV resistance that's top of the bill.

CONFER 6000X HEAVY DUTY INPOOL LADDER FOR DECKS FROM 42IN TO 56IN HIGH

CONFER 6000X HEAVY DUTY INPOOL LADDER FOR DECKS FROM 42IN TO 56IN HIGH

This wide heavy duty deck pool ladder for obese individuals will serve you safely for many years.

Tip: You can also get a package deal including a padded mat to protect your pool liner.

CONFER 6000X Heavy Duty Aboveground In-Pool Swimming Pool Ladder...

Pros

  • Its steps are wider compared with other pool ladders
  • The pool ladder is adjustable to fit your pool height, from 42 to 56 inches high
  • Has flat treaded steps with very good grip so you can easily climb the pool ladder
  • The top platform covers the above ground pool's top rail and ensures you don't step on the pool's side wall
  • The anti-entrapment barrier gives you added peace of mind when young children are horsing around in your pool
  • If your pool's height is less than 48 inches, you can get away with filling the side rails with water, instead of sand as ballast
  • The material is high-density polyethylene (HDPE), making this pool ladder for plus-size people very sturdy with incredible long-term durability for your pool
  • It’s very easy to assemble and comes with a detailed instruction manual and even an assembly video
  • It is one of the highest quality sturdy pool ladders out there

Cons

  • The treads feel a little hard on your feet
  • Not suitable for plus-size users weighing close to 300 lbs

Features

  • Comes with a deck platform that is adjustable to fit your deck height (from 42 to 56 inches high)
  • Fill side rails with water, not sand, if the pool is 48 inches high or less
  • Fill each side rail with 5 lbs of sand if the pool is higher than 48 inches
  • Easy-grip top handrails
  • Ladder screws into pool deck through mounting blocks under the ladder platform
  • Sturdy, 18-inch wide, easy-to-climb, flat, anti-slip, grey-colored treads with warm grey side rails for high visibility underwater
  • Anti-entrapment barrier between pool ladder and pool wall
  • High-quality product made in the USA
  • Holds 300 pounds
  • Heavy duty pool ladder for large individuals made from blow-molded, strong, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) resin
  • Comes with a 20-year UV package that protects against weather, sunlight, and pool chemical exposure
  • 5-year full factory warranty on manufacturing defects and workmanship

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 300 Lbs
  • Step dimensions: 18"W x 5"D x 11"H
  • Top platform size: 18"W x 10"D
  • Max deck height: 42 to 56"H
  • Handrail height from top step: 22"H
  • Material: Resin

Verdict

This inground pool or deck ladder makes pool access so effortless, you will be much more likely to use your pool if you've had difficulty entering and exiting your pool until now.

The massive ladder rung steps, the anti-entrapment feature, and its American-made high durability makes it a top choice ladder for your inground pool or above ground pool with decks from 42 to 56 inches high.

This heavy-duty pool ladder for overweight people is an essential piece of pool safety equipment that will give you many years of service and its ease of use will make you smile from ear to ear every time you use it!

Adjustable Top Platform

Material

Resin

Type

In-Pool Ladder

Pool Type

Inground Pool or
Above Ground Pool with Deck

Max Deck Height

42 to 56"H

Step Dimensions

18"W x 5"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Item Weight

29 lbs

Confer In Ground Swimming Pool Curve Step System

How would you like an inground heavy duty pool ladder for heavy people (400 lbs) with extra-wide steps that is not just a safety tool but also a place to wind down as you enjoy the little pool-side breeze?

That is exactly what these Confer Curved Inground Pool Steps offer. 

The curve design of this heavy-duty pool ladder for overweight people creates the wedding cake pool steps look that many pool owners desire.

These heavy duty pool steps are very robust and durable while the duo-tone color scheme makes it one of the most attractive pool steps for inground pools.

They are extra-wide with 27 inches of width at their narrowest point so you can also enjoy the refreshing pool while sitting on them for some sunbathing with a nice drink in your hand. 🍹

Confer Curve Complete System Inground Swimming Pool Steps with Blue...

Pros

  • This large capacity pool ladder for heavy individuals is super strong and has no trouble whatsoever to support up to 400 pounds of user weight
  • The smooth handrails are easy to hold and offer extra balance for kids, seniors, or plus-size users who are unsure on their feet
  • Retains its beauty, doesn’t fade, rust, crack, or disintegrate
  • Stable even on sloped pool floors thanks to the adjustable pads underneath to help you adapt it to your pool bottom
  • You can make an elegant entry into or exit out of the pool, or even lounge on the pool steps, regardless of your body size
  • You are able to snap it together easily, with the help of some very informative online videos
  • Its dimensions create a super-wide entrance space to your pool which allows every plus-size swimmer to use the pool
  • The steps feel gentle on your feet
  • It’s tough and will last for many pool seasons
  • Supports 400 lbs users without a problem

Cons

  • While the instructions are very detailed, and even have video instructions, it is not a simple matter of unpacking and putting the pool steps in place. Proper installation will take a few hours. In return, you will get an extremely sturdy heavy-duty pool ladder for overweight people that will last a long time.
  • Weekly hosing recommended to avoid algae buildup since this updated version has closed side panels to avoid entrapment risk

Features

  • High-quality product made in the USA
  • Holds 400 pounds
  • 3-step inground wedding cake pool steps
  • Based on a blow-molded, strong, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) resin
  • Comes with a 20-year UV package that protects against weather, sunlight, and pool chemical exposure
  • 5-year full factory warranty on manufacturing defects and workmanship
  • Adjustable base pads to adjust to an uneven pool floor
  • Gracefully sloping handrails
  • This is the complete curve system: Base steps + Additional corner steps for an extra-wide and graceful entry to your pool
  • Large 24-inch deck mounting brackets
  • Complete system needs weighing down with 70 lbs of ballast to prevent the pool steps from floating (gravel, sand or anything else that works for you)

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 400 Lbs
  • Step dimensions: Curved x 10"D x 11"H
  • Top step height: 36"H
  • Max deck height: 38 to 46"H
  • Deck mounting bracket length: 24"L
  • Handrail height from top step: 30"H
  • Overall dimensions: 58"W x 66"H x 32"D
  • Material: Resin

Verdict

You get ultimate convenience, elegance, safe access and a place to relax with this heavy-duty pool ladder for bariatric use.

Just as its big brother for pools taller than 46" high (the Confer 4-Steps Curve System reviewed above), this 3-Steps Curve System is a simply great addition for pools between 38 and 46" in height.

This large capacity pool ladder for heavy individuals is a high-quality product made in the USA that is robust, durable, stable, wide, heavy-duty, and will serve you well for many years.

Wide & Stable

Material

Resin

Type

Drop-In Pool Steps

Pool Type

Inground Pool or
Above Ground Pool with Deck

Top Step Height

36"H

Max Deck Height

38 to 46"H

Overall Dimensions

58"W x 66"H x 32"D

Step Dimensions

Curved x 10"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

400 lbs

Base Steps Only

If the complete 3-steps curve system outlined above, including the corner add-on is too much for your liking, you can also purchase the 3 straight base steps individually.

Naturally, these are more affordable than the complete system, yet they still offer a generous wide entry of 27 inches, making it a great pool ladder for obese individuals.

Wide & Stable

Material

Resin

Type

Drop-In Pool Steps

Pool Type

Inground Pool or
Above Ground Pool with Deck

Top Step Height

36"H

Max Deck Height

38 to 46"H

Overall Dimensions

38"W x 66"H x 32"D

Step Dimensions

27"W x 10"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

400 lbs

Inter-Fab L3E049P-W 3-Step Economy ladder with White High Impact...

The Inter-Fab 3-Step Inground Pool Ladder may interest you if you're looking for a classic, modern-looking stainless steel pool ladder that  won't break the bank.

This pool ladder with handrails for plus-size individuals has elegantly curved handrails made of 304-grade stainless steel, 3 high-impact plastic treads with an elegant white finish, and twin bumpers to protect your swimming pool walls where the bottom of the ladder rests horizontally against your pool sides.

The ladder extends 6.5 inches from your pool wall and has a step height of only 9 inches, making light work of climbing out of your pool.

Inter-Fab L3E049P-W 3-Step Economy ladder with White High Impact...

Inter-Fab L3E049P-W 3-Step Economy ladder with White High Impact...

The pool steps are a generous 18 inches wide, ensuring you have a wide and stable footing 👣 when going up or down the ladder.

Furthermore, they are screwed to the handrails with stainless steel bolts so you won't risk any of the parts rusting over time.

Pros

  • The rubber bumpers protect the pool wall against wear and tear
  • The plastic treads are friendly to your toes
  • Rails are free from rust thanks to the 304-grade stainless steel, and have a nice diameter (1.9") to grab onto
  • Installation is pretty easy though you need to figure out yourself how to anchor them into your pool deck
  • This has an attractive and timeless look
  • Very sturdy if installed properly

Cons

  • Does not come with escutcheons (circular protective plates) or ground installation anchors
  • Only rated at a 250-pound weight limit, so not suitable for heavier users who would be better off with a heavy-duty pool ladder for bariatric use (having a 400-pound weight limit, for example)
  • Would have been better if the ladder rungs were also stainless steel and not plastic

Features

  • 3 white hi-impact plastic treads
  • Made from 1.9" diameter stainless steel tubing
  • Has rubber bumpers to avoid damaging your pool wall
  • 250-pound maximum weight rating

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 250 Lbs
  • Step dimensions: 18"W x 3"D x 9"H
  • Height from top step to deck: 7.5"H
  • Deck mounting bracket depth: 4"D
  • Handrail height from deck: 18"H
  • Handrail diameter: 1.9"W
  • Overall dimensions: 20"W x 49"H x 24"D
  • Material: Stainless Steel & Plastic

Verdict

The white hi-impact plastic treads, double rubber wall bumpers, rust-free stainless steel and elegant finish makes you brim with confidence each time you're about to use this inground pool ladder in your pool.

If you have been looking for a timeless stainless steel pool ladder that is good value for money, this one deserves your consideration!

Timeless Look

Material

Stainless steel Handrails & Plastic Steps

Type

Inground Pool Ladder

Pool Type

Inground Pool or
Above Ground Pool with Deck

Handrail Height from Deck

18"H

Handrail Diameter

1.9"W

Distance from Pool Wall

6.5"D

Overall Dimensions

20"W x 49"H x 24"D

Step Dimensions

18"W x 3"D x 9"H

Weight Capacity

250 lbs

Types of Pool Ladders

When it comes to pool ladders, there are two primary types to choose from:

  • pool ladders or steps for inground pools, and
  • pool ladders or steps for above ground pools.

The type of ladder you need will depend on the type of pool you have, so let's take a closer look at each option.

Inground Pool Ladder Options

Inground pool ladders are designed to be anchored to the pool deck, the pool sides, and/or the pool floor.

Such a pool ladder with handrails for plus-size individuals typically has handrails on both sides, providing a secure grip for users entering or exiting the pool.

Plus-size users should look for inground pool ladders with wide, non-slip treads to provide a stable stepping surface. Inground pool ladders come in various styles, including:

Standard pool ladders

These ladders are the most common and have straight or curved handrails that run from the deck into the pool.

Inter-Fab L3E049P-W 3-Step Economy ladder with White High Impact...The rungs of the pool ladder are fixed between these two handrails, providing for a slender design that doesn't take up much space. As a result, the footrests on the pool ladder's rungs are often only slightly wider than the thickness of the handrails.

Most commonly, you'll find it as a stainless steel pool ladder (like the one in this review) with slip-resistant treads made of stainless steel or plastic such as resin, polyethylene (PE), or polypropylene (PP).

CONFER 6000X HEAVY DUTY INPOOL LADDER FOR DECKS FROM 42IN TO 56IN HIGHYou may also find this type of heavy duty pool ladder made entirely out of heavy duty resin, such as the model reviewed here.

Less commonly, you may come across this type as an aluminum pool ladder, which is a lighter material than stainless steel but may be more prone to rust, depending on the quality (so-called grade) of aluminum used by the manufacturer.

Wedding cake pool steps

Confer In Ground Swimming Pool Curve Step SystemThis type of pool ladder has rungs so wide they are in fact referred to as pool steps. The steps can be straight or curved, resembling a tiered wedding cake 🎂 such as the one reviewed here.

These are often a favorite of plus-size swimmers, for they are extremely stable (when properly installed) thanks to their larger footprint on the ground, virtually removing any possibility of wobbling when going up or down the steps.

Since they are more bulky, they do take up more space and are more visible compared to the slender standard pool ladder. However, on the plus side, they can add a nice decorative element to your pool.

Some inground pools are designed to have these steps built-in at one end of the pool, sometimes in a half-moon shape added onto the usual rectangular shape of the swimming pool.

Above Ground Pool Ladder Options

Above ground pool ladders are designed to be mounted onto the pool wall or deck, though the A-frame type (see below) can also simply fit over the side of your above ground pool and rest on the ground on either side of the pool side.

They typically have a smaller footprint than pool steps and come in various styles, including:

A-frame pool ladders or steps

Vinyl Works SLA A-Frame 48-56 Inch Adjustable Above Ground Swimming...These ladders resemble the shape of an A and are the most common type of above ground pool ladder when there is no pool deck around the above ground pool.

They have a wide base for stability and are typically adjustable to fit different pool heights, such as the heavy duty A-frame pool ladder in this review. These are generally the easiest to install and remove again when the swimming season is over.

Confer Entry System for Above Ground Pools | Various Step Colors (Warm...As they rest both on the ground outside the pool (like your lawn) and on the liner at the bottom of the pool, they are self-supporting and freestanding. However, the manufacturer will often recommend to also fix it to the pool side in the middle to avoid it toppling over.

Obviously, this type takes up the most space, both inside and outside of the pool and you may experience the ladder floating upwards ⬆ if it's not properly weighed down.

Additionally, you may need to consider protecting your pool liner underneath the ladder so it doesn't get damaged when the ladder shifts around during use.

Deck-mounted pool ladders or steps

CONFER 6000X HEAVY DUTY INPOOL LADDER FOR DECKS FROM 42IN TO 56IN HIGHThese ladders are mounted onto the pool deck and have handrails that extend into the pool (check this review for a good example).

They're a great choice for pools that have a deck since they are more easily accessible but also because then they cause no obstruction on the lawn around the pool.

CONFER plastics inc. Step-1 Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder Step...Essentially, these can be compared to the inground pool ladders and pool steps in this review as explained above since they are accessed from a deck, just as you would access in inground pool from ground level.

They do, however, have a more temporary look about them compared to the rugged stainless steel types of inground pool ladders since you can generally only fix them onto the pool deck and rest them onto the pool bottom, but not fix them to the pool sides as you can do with an inground pool.

In summary, choosing the right type of pool ladder is crucial for providing a safe and secure way to enter and exit your pool. Whether you have an inground or above ground pool, there are plenty of pool ladder or pool step options available to suit your needs.

We recommend taking the time to carefully consider your options and choosing a ladder that provides the stability, comfort, ease of use, and level of safety you require.

If you or other users of your swimming pool are blessed with a plus-size physique (like myself), make sure to also check out the following additional considerations for plus-size users of pool ladders:

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Heavy Duty Pool Ladder for Heavy People

When shopping for the best pool ladder or the best pool steps, there are several factors to consider to ensure the pool ladder or steps are safe and suitable for plus-size users. Here are some key factors to be mindful about:

Material: Stainless steel, aluminum, or plastic

Heavy-duty pool ladders are typically made from one or a combination of the following materials:

  • stainless steel,
  • aluminum, or
  • a type of plastic like
    • resin,
    • polyethylene (PE),
    • high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or
    • polypropylene (PP).

Stainless steel pool ladders are the most durable and can last for many years. Aluminum pool ladders are lightweight and easy to move. Plastic pool ladders such as resin pool ladders are entirely corrosion-resistant and require minimal maintenance.

A high-quality plastic pool ladder could even be more durable than a stainless steel or aluminum pool ladder, provided the plastic is properly protected against UV rays 🌞 and the plastic itself is highly durable, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

The pool ladder material naturally affects the pool ladder's strength and suitability for plus-size users. As such, you would be forgiven thinking that the durability and strength of stainless steel or aluminum are superior than resin for heavy duty pool ladders for heavy people.

Confer Curve Inground Swimming Pool Steps with Blue TreadsHowever, in terms of strength and durability, plastics can definitely compete with stainless steel and aluminum as is the case with the very durable resin pool steps reviewed here, for example. However, they are much more bulky and take up more space than their stainless steel or aluminum counterparts.

Apart from the materials used in the construction of the pool ladder, plus-size users should also look for pool steps or ladders with a stable base, sturdy construction, and a design that provides for easy access in and out of the pool.

Plus-size pool ladder weight capacity: Ensure the pool ladder can support the weight of all potential users 🏋

The weight capacity of a swimming pool ladder is one of the most critical factors to consider for plus-size users. It's essential to choose a ladder that can support the weight of all users who will be using it.

Most heavy-duty pool ladders have a weight capacity of not more than 300 pounds, but some can support even more.

As any other engineer in the pool industry will advise you, I recommend choosing a ladder with a weight capacity that exceeds the weight of the heaviest user. As such, you're allowing for a safety margin to ensure maximum pool safety. 🛡

Tip: Check our other article for more detailed tips and information on the weight limits of pool ladders.

While choosing a heavy duty pool ladder requires careful consideration of various factors, weight capacity being only one of them, taking the time to choose a pool ladder for large users with an appropriate weight limit will allow plus-size users to enjoy a safe and enjoyable pool experience.

As an engineer, I give a lot of importance to the manufacturer's guidelines in terms of weight limits, for I know these numbers are not just plucked out of thin air but based on stress testing in laboratory environments. 🥼

⚠ Failing to adhere to the recommended weight limits can therefore result in serious bodily harm.

Hence, I recommend choosing a heavy-duty pool ladder with a suitable weight limit that is specifically designed to give maximum support and stability to plus-size users. This ensures both safety and comfort for all users, and the pool owner, in and around the pool.

Height: Determine the required height of your pool ladder ↕

The height of the ladder is another factor to consider.

For standard inground pool ladders that attach to the pool deck and the pool sides, measure the height from the pool deck to the water level to determine the required height of the ladder to climb out of the pool comfortably.

For pool ladders or pool steps that rest on the pool floor, you will need to take into account the entire height from your swimming pool's bottom to the pool deck or, in case of an above ground pool without deck, to the top of the pool's side walls.

Especially A-frame ladders or double entry system pool steps need to be high enough to fit over the pool sides and reach down to the pool bottom on one side and to the ground on the other side.

Beware: You may find adjustable height pool ladders which you can adapt in height to fit your pool, think telescopic aluminum ladders. However, depending on the build quality, this may introduce weak points in the structure causing your pool ladder to wobble and be less sturdy.

Therefore, I would advise the one and done process of carefully measuring the height you require, adding some extra height as a safety margin, and then finding an appropriate heavy duty pool ladder model of the right (fixed) height.

After all, your pool doesn't grow or shrink in height over time so there's really no need to risk having an adjustable height pool ladder with potential stability flaws.

Unless, of course, you're thinking of buying a large capacity pool ladder for heavy individuals that will also fit a larger pool you might buy in the future. Then again, you should consider whether it's worth  to potentially be sacrificing safety in return for having a height adjustable pool ladder...

So, my advice is not to take the easy way out by going for an adjustable height pool ladder that will certainly fit your pool and saves you from going out and taking the exact measurements. 👎

Instead, just spend some time on finding a pool ladder of the correct height once and be done with it. 👍 You're then likely to end up buying a more robust and durable pool ladder that will last you longer. 💪

Step size and shape: Choose a non-slip pool ladder that's comfortable and secure ↔

The size and shape of the pool ladder rungs or pool steps is another critical factor for the safety of larger users. Therefore, choose a pool ladder with slip-resistant treads that can support the weight of plus-size users and have a sufficiently large surface area to support the feet.

Generally speaking, the wider the pool ladder, the more surface area for the feet, both in terms of tread width and tread depth which improves stability for heavy people and helps prevent slips and falls.

In any case, do check the following basic dimensions and specifications of the pool ladder or pool steps you're considering:

  • width of the steps: to ensure your plus-size body fits between the handrails;
  • depth of each tread: too narrow rungs or steps tend to put a lot of localized pressure under the arches of your feet as you put your weight on them, causing discomfort or pain;
  • step shape: ideally, the steps or rungs have edges that are slightly rounded off so there are no sharp edges that can dig into the soles of your feet or bang your shins against;
  • angle of a pool ladder: an inclined ladder will allow safer and more comfortable entry to and exit from the pool, compared to a pool ladder that's completely vertical with zero inclination.

Safety features: Pool ladders with handrails and large, non-slip treads 🦺

The basic safety features to look for are handrails on both sides that provide additional stability, and slip-resistant treads to help prevent accidents and falls.

The design and position of the ladder's handrails also affect the level of support and stability for plus-size users when entering or exiting the pool. Because this is hard to estimate before buying, it is helpful to have a look through the user reviews to consult the experience of other large users.

Some grand entrance pool steps have extra security features like slide-locks, gated entrances, anti-entrapment features, and the ability to lock the pool device so that kids or pets can't find their way into the pool unattended. ⛔

If you're looking for a pool ladder for heavy people that should also be suitable for people with disabilities, you will want to look for a so-called ADA-compliant pool ladder.

On top of that, if you're looking for a commercial pool ladder, you'll have to ensure you also satisfy any other local building regulations that apply to public and commercial pools. 👷

Aesthetics: Try to match the style of the residential pool ladder with the rest of your pool and backyard environment 🏡

While not an essential factor in terms of support, durability, or comfort, you will probably prefer a style of pool ladder that matches the overall look of your backyard and design of your pool area.

However, don't let the look of a stylish elegant pool ladder take precedence over the more important factors like durability, weight capacity, and other safety factors required for a heavy duty pool ladder for heavy people.

Ease of (dis)assembly of the removable pool ladder ⏱

This factor may depend on the climate you live in and whether you have to pack up the above ground pool or cover (winterize) the inground pool in winter ❄, as this will determine whether you need to remove the ladder.

If you live in a warmer climate, you may care less about the ease of installation since you'll only have to do it once. Thanks to a mild winter, you may not even have to care about disassembling at all if you can leave the pool ladder in the water during the off season.

However, if you do plan on removing the ladder for winter (even if just to preventively protect it from the elements, as I would indeed recommend 👍), then you will definitely care about the ease of moving the whole thing or the ease of disassembling it for winter and assembling it again in spring.

This might influence your choice of pool ladder model if you would, for example, prefer to have a heavy duty pool ladder which you can pack off and move into the shed or garage during winter or whenever the pool is not in use.

Additionally, for whatever reason, you may decide you want to have the option of moving the ladder easily to another side of the pool in case of an A-frame ladder. Obviously, it will help if the ladder is not too heavy so you can easily manage this.

Apart from the weight, the construction method of the heavy duty pool ladder also plays a role here. Namely, you will want to make sure that the pool ladder construction is durable enough so it can withstand repeated assembly and disassembly without wearing out certain connections or joints. 🔩

Installation and Maintenance of Your Heavy Duty Pool Ladder

Once you've selected the right heavy-duty pool ladder for your needs, the next step is to ensure it is installed correctly and properly maintained to maximize the lifespan of your pool ladder and ensure the safety of your users.

Here are some tips to consider for installation and maintenance of your pool ladder:

Installation instructions for pool ladders 🛠

Inground pool ladder installation ⚓

It is fair to say that permanent inground pool ladders require the most careful installation of all since they are meant to last many years without being removed.

Even if you intend to remove the pool ladder with the coming and going of the seasons, you must ensure they are secure and stable for the duration of the swimming season. 🏊

Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and ensure the ladder is level and securely anchored at the points indicated in the installation manual. Inground pool ladders often require attaching to the pool deck, pool sides, and perhaps even the bottom of the pool.

Since these attachments will be (semi-)permanent, make sure to position the pool ladder in a location that allows easy and safe entry into and exit out of the pool.

If you're not that handy, consider hiring a professional to install the inground pool ladder for you. This person may also have valuable experience and know-how that will ensure proper anchoring and alignment of the pool ladder in the most suitable location around your pool area.

Above ground pool ladder installation 📖

Above ground pool ladders are typically easier to install than inground pool ladders. Just follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and ensure the ladder is level and securely attached to the pool's top rail or pool deck.

As with inground pool ladders, carefully position the pool ladder in a location that allows easy and safe access to and exit from your above ground pool.

If you later change your mind about the location, you can still remove the ladder and reinstall it in another spot relatively easily, at least compared to the more permanent installation of inground pool ladders.

While using the above ground pool ladder, pay attention to any shifting or floating of the pool ladder, for these are signs of a pool ladder that is either not properly installed, or has not been weighed down properly in case of wedding cake pool steps, for example.

Maintenance tips for pool ladders 🧽

To ensure the longevity and safety of your heavy-duty pool ladder, it's important to perform regular maintenance, as well as regular inspections before, during, and after the swimming season.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Regularly inspect the ladder for any signs of wear and tear, such as loose bolts which need tightening, cracked treads, or bent rails.
  • Clean the ladder regularly with a mild detergent and water to remove any dirt, debris, or algae buildup.
  • Lubricate any moving parts, such as hinges or pivot points, with a waterproof lubricant.
  • If you have an inground pool ladder, periodically check the anchors to ensure they are still securely attached to the pool deck and that there is no play when using the pool ladder.
  • If you have a vinyl liner pool, periodically check the ladder for any sharp edges that could damage the liner. In any case, it's a good idea to protect your pool liner with a protective mat underneath your pool ladder.

By following these installation and maintenance tips, you can ensure your heavy-duty pool ladder provides safe and comfortable access to your pool for many years to come.

Regular maintenance of your ladder is crucial for both its longevity, the safety of your users, and your peace of mind as a pool owner.

By taking the time to install and maintain your ladder correctly, you can enjoy your pool with confidence or have others use it safely while you're not there to keep an eye out (or if you're sound asleep on your sunbed by the pool 😎).

Best Heavy-Duty Pool Ladder for Inground & Above Ground Pools: Conclusion

In conclusion, a heavy-duty pool ladder is a vital addition to any pool, whether it's an inground pool ladder or an above ground pool ladder with high weight capacity.

A heavy-duty pool ladder for large users can not only provide safe and easy movement in and out of the pool but also add to the overall aesthetics of your backyard swimming pool.

I highly recommend taking the time to research and choose a high-quality heavy-duty pool ladder for plus-size users that meets your specific needs and provides reliable, safe, and comfortable access to your pool.

To recap, these are good examples of a sturdy pool ladder with high weight capacity:

Easiest Access
Wide & Stable

Material

Resin

Type

Drop-In Pool Steps

Pool Type

Inground & Above Ground

Ground Access

Optional
Outside Ladder

Top Step Height

47"H

Max Deck Height

58"H

Overall Dimensions

58"W x 77"H x 40"D

Step Dimensions

Curved x 10"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

400 lbs

Highest Pool Steps
Snap-In Installation

Material

Resin

Type

Drop-In Pool Steps

Pool Type

Inground & Above Ground

Ground Access

Optional
Outside Ladder

Top Step Height

47"H

Max Deck Height

60"H

Overall Dimensions

31"W x 85"H x 40"D

Step Dimensions

27"W x 10"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

400 lbs

Most Adjustable
With Slide Lock

Material

Resin

Type

A-Frame Pool Ladder

Pool Type

Above Ground Pool

Ground Access

Included
in A-frame

Top Step Height

49 to 57"H

Max Deck Height

48 to 56"H

Overall Dimensions

22"W x 84"H x 48"D

Step Dimensions

17"W x 3.5"D x 11"H

Weight Capacity

300 lbs