What material are pool ladders made of?

William Adams
 min read

What material are pool ladders made of and what type of material is best for heavier users? It’s an interesting question.

What material are pool ladders made ofThey can be made from resin, (stainless) steel, plastic, aluminum, or a mix of two or more materials.

In-ground ladders are mainly stainless-steel, and many have resin tread inserts.

Above-ground ladders and steps are usually manufactured from durable resins that work well over time.

What material are pool ladders made from? Intro

The materials your swimming pool ladder is made from are distinguished by its level of safety, stability, and lifespan.

The material of your pool ladder directly impacts its durability…

Swimming pool ladder materials: Pros and cons

You’ll find that most above-ground pool ladders are made from steel, plastic resin, aluminum, or a mix of two or more of these materials.

We thought it opportune to go through the pros and cons of each.

Steel: What material are pool ladders made of?

Steel is your best bet if you’re looking for a heavy-duty pool ladder with a strong frame.

It can be heavy, more expensive, and more challenging to maintain if it’s not stainless or galvanized steel (galvanized means that the steel has been treated to avoid rust).

This zinc finishing can help avoid rust for as much as 50 years, depending on the weather conditions in your area.

Make sure to clean galvanized steel with a mild cleansing item that won’t harm the coating.

Before applying anything, make sure you check out the instructions given for the care and maintenance of steel, above-ground ladders.

Steel is the best choice, but the cost can be quite a bit higher too, and it might not be adequate for your particular needs.

But, having said that, the lifespan may well justify the cost, especially if you are plus-size.


Resin is a hard material and can last as long as it’s put away when the pool isn’t in use for the season.

It’s very durable but doesn’t react well to continuous UV exposure.


Plastic will last quite a long time, but it needs to be protected from the sun, or it will need to be changed relatively often.


Aluminum isn’t a bad option either, but it tends to wear away quicker than other materials.

It is not as strong as steel but sturdier than plastic and resin. Aluminum is frequently used as the frame or railings.

Aluminum resists rust, but you’ll still need to wash the air-exposed parts with a moderate cleaning agent: A mixture of liquid soap and water works well.

Avoid alkaline cleaners as they can trigger oxidation, commonly known as rust.

You can likewise add a light coat of basic vehicle wax to the frame every couple of months as part of your regular pool maintenance.

It will keep your frame clean while avoiding unpleasant marks.

Plastic Resin

Durable and weather-resistant, plastic resin is a low-maintenance material often used for above-ground swimming pool ladders.

Suppose the instructions don’t give any cleaning directions.

In that case, applying a non-abrasive plastic resin cleaner, followed by an extensive rinse, will generally do the trick.

When choosing a swimming pool ladder: Other factors to consider

Kind of use

The type of ladder you purchase will mainly depend on who will use it.

For instance, if you have little kids, you may want to buy one with added security functions, such as detachable steps and locking gates.

Seniors, swimmers with special needs and heavier people will need more help to get in and out of the water.

Deeper and broader steps are usually better than skinny rungs in such cases.

Read How much weight can pool steps hold? and find out more details about the load capacity of the separate steps of a pool ladder.

You should keep this parameter in mind when making a purchase.

Size of swimmers

It’s essential to note the amount of weight your pool ladder will hold and consider whether you’ll have heavier than average swimmers.

Many ladders hold between 250 to 300 pounds. However, there are ladders on the marketplace that cater for more.

Aim for a pool ladder with at least 400 lbs weight capacity.

You’ll probably have to pay more, but it’s money well spent on essential consideration for safety.

Tip: Read our related blogpost Is it harder to swim for overweight people? for more insights on swimming for heavier people.

Size of swimming pool

Many ladders are adjustable, particularly the ones for above-ground swimming pools.

Still, it is essential to heed the manufacturer’s specs, especially the height of the swimming pool sides, to ensure you get a ladder that’s a good fit.

Pool ladder security tips

Nobody wants to entertain horrible thoughts of what can go wrong in a swimming pool.

And a sturdy pool ladder is an excellent way to avoid injuries.

Nevertheless, as a responsible pool owner, you’ll clearly wish to take the ideal safety measures to ensure that holds true.

For one thing, read the installation guidelines thoroughly, and use all the hardware required to make the ladder as safe as possible.

For example, consider purchasing a ladder with security features, such as removable steps or a gate that locks over them.

If that’s not on the cards, you can opt for putting away the ladder when it’s not in use, especially if you don’t have a locking fence around it.

Handrails: What material are pool ladders made of?

An excellent handrails style can boost your self-confidence and make you feel safer about getting in and out of your swimming pool.

Handrails on stainless-steel in-ground pool ladders that have any kind of curve are the best for gripping.

Many pool owners cover stainless steel handrails with textured rubber to prevent slipping.

Above-ground ladders with resin handrails are of great help to quickly grab hold of while using the steps.

Handrails are usually placed in different places on above-ground pool ladders.

Integrated side handrails will be more robust and won’t lose their stability over time compared to deck-mounted handrails.

Swimming pool alarms

Swimming pool alarms are also an excellent investment for any swimming pool, and there are various types to choose from.

For example, you can set it to alert you to any people – or animals entering the area at a specific time.

Nonslip treads: What material are pool ladders made of?

Try to find large, flat steps with great depth as broad as possible for comfort and security.

The depth of rungs is measured from the front to the back and a minimum of 5 to 6 inches is advised.

The width of the pool ladder rungs is measured from side to side. Go for steps with a width of at least 15 inches.

They’ll likely be textured for safety, whether you have plastic or steel.

If they aren’t, you could add texture to the treads by finding underwater grips made especially for swimming pools and their steps.

What material are pool ladders made of? Conclusion

Swimming pool ladders are made from different products such as (stainless) steel, plastic, resin, or combined.

The essential thing is to select a ladder made from a material that will not rust, is simple to clean and safe to use, and that serves your requirements and will stand the test of time.

About William Adams

I’m an engineer and a happy plus-size individual myself. I love to blog online if I can have a positive impact on the lives of others. I help other plus-size people with in-depth product guides to make shopping for products and services less stressful in their busy lives. Read More