2019 Best Above Ground Pool Ladders– Reviews & Buying Guide

The best above ground pool ladder that you would select should also enhance your own lifestyle and that your family. Hence it would be quite a thoughtful decision to make, when you contemplate of buying the perfect pool ladders for above ground pools. Whilst these pool ladders provide easy and convenient access they are an invaluable and integrate part of your above ground pool. It may seem a very easy task but it is when you need to match the pool ladder with your above ground pool with a bagful of choices at your fingertips that the issue becomes complicated. Hence prudent thinking in choosing the best above ground pool ladders would be imperative.

We have made your task easy and convenient by choosing the ten best above ground pool ladders available in the market facilitating you to make the most appropriate decision.

 2019 Amazon Best Selling Above Ground Pool Ladders

How to find good above ground pool ladders?   

Getting in and out of above ground swimming pools could be a cumbersome and daunting task if you are not aided by swimming pool ladders of some kind or other. These above ground pool ladders are made using many types of materials which would need to be corrosion free as they are in constant contact with water. Stainless steel, hard plastic, treated aluminum, resin and some others are used to make swimming pool ladders. Whatever the materials used in the manufacture of above ground pool steps the most basic and primary requirement would be easy accessibility. To ensure this there are different types of pool ladders for above ground pools which would be easy and convenient to use. One of the most important issues that you would need to consider would also be style and whether the pool steps for above ground pool which you select would add to the ambience of the pool and its environs.

Best Above Ground Pool Ladders Review Summary

Rank Product NameReview ScoreGet Latest Amazon Deal
#1Confer Above Ground
Swimming Pool Ladders
10Check Price & Deals on Amazon
10 out of 10 stars (10 / 10)
#2Confer 6000X Above Ground
Pool Ladders
9.8Check Price & Deals on Amazon
9.8 out of 10 stars (9.8 / 10)
#3Confer Plastics Access Above
Ground Pool Ladders
9.7Check Price & Deals on Amazon
9.7 out of 10 stars (9.7 / 10)
#4Vinyl Works A Frame Ladder
Above Ground Pool
9.5Check Price & Deals on Amazon
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
#5Confer Plastics Above Ground
Swimming Pool Ladder
9.4Check Price & Deals on Amazon
9.4 out of 10 stars (9.4 / 10)
#6Blue Wave Heavy Duty Above
Ground Pool Ladder
9.4Check Price & Deals on Amazon
9.4 out of 10 stars (9.4 / 10)
#7Ocean Blue Mighty Above
Ground Pools Ladder
9.2Check Price & Deals on Amazon
9.2 out of 10 stars (9.2 / 10)
#8Blue Wave NE1145 Above
Ground Pool Ladder
9.1Check Price & Deals on Amazon
9.1 out of 10 stars (9.1 / 10)
#9Confer Gray Economy Above
Ground Pool Ladder
9.1Check Price & Deals on Amazon
9.1 out of 10 stars (9.1 / 10)
#10Main Access Smart Step Above
Ground Pool Ladder
9.0Check Price & Deals on Amazon
9 out of 10 stars (9 / 10)
9.8 out of 10 stars (9.8 / 10)

#1. Confer Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladders

Best Above Ground Pool Ladder

Recommendation

⇒ Ideal above ground pool ladders for you pool providing easy access in and out of it. These above ground pool steps are corrosion free as they are manufactured from a specially formulated chemical resin. These swimming pool ladders have the ability to hold up to 400 pounds which ensures safe access to any pool user.

Review Summary Confer Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder

This above ground pool stairs are strong and sturdy but is also lightweight as they are made from special chemical resistant resin. The sides of this swimming pool ladders could be filled with sand or pea gravel to weigh it down. Weighing this above ground pool steps ensures stability and strength. Though light in weight this best above ground pool ladder once stabilized could bear a weight of 400 pounds. This is amply sufficient to facilitate any pool user easily in and out of the pool. The base tread dimensions are 10” in depth, 11” in height and 27”in width providing a firm foothold to access the above ground pool.

The Confer Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladders come with a five year warranty which speaks volumes for this versatile product. The deck mounting brackets are a perfect 24 inches, which is enhanced with adjustable base pads. These allow easy access up and down when you want to get in or out of the above ground pool without much of a hassle. These above ground pool ladders are conveniently fitted out with strong handrails to ensure pool users have easy and convenient access in and out of the pool with any hassle.

Pros and Cons Confer Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder

Pros

  • Lightweight easily movable
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Ample tread dimensions
  • Adjustable base foot pads
  • Holds 400 pounds

Cons

  • Assembling the pool steps could be difficult

#2. Confer 6000X Above Ground Pool Ladders

Confer 6000X Above Ground Pool Ladders reviews

Recommendation

⇒ Good value for money and the best swimming pool ladders you could install onto your pool. It is easily adjustable in pools between 48” and 54” without much of a hassle.

Review Summary Confer 6000X Above Ground Pool Ladders

The Confer 6000X Above Ground Pool Ladders is design engineered to ensure safe entry and exit from any type of swimming pool this best above ground pool ladder is precision manufactured with corrosion free chemical resin. The combination of specially selected chemical resin brings forth an inherent tough material from which the different parts of this above ground pool stairs are molded. Once delivered to you it is easy to install and no tools are required to assemble and fix it onto the pool.  This above ground pool steps has the strength and stability to endure a weight of up to 300 pounds which is ample to hold any pool user. These swimming pool ladders provide access from deck into the pool hence needs to be installed appropriately.

This pool steps for above ground pool is designed to access the pool from a higher elevation and is adjustable for pools between 48” to 54” deep. This enables installation in pools without the hassle of finding the exact size to access different depths of pool. The strong hand rails easily facilitate access whilst providing users even the aged to carefully step in without any mishaps. These versatile pool steps for above ground pool are manufactured to meet American National Standards Institution requirements. They also meet the stringent barrier conditions of the APSP hence ensuring there is overall safety when you step onto these above ground pool stairs. These above ground pool ladders are resistant to Ultra Violet (UV) rays hence would not fade but hold color fast providing years of elegant use.

 

Pros

  • Tough and strong
  • Manufactured from specially formulated chemical resin
  • Corrosion free
  • Easily assembled
  • Adjustable to pool depths between 48” to 54”.

Cons

  • Hand rails need to be sanded because it has sharp edges

#3. Confer Plastics Access Above Ground Pool Ladders

Confer Plastics Access Above Ground Pool Ladders reviews

Recommendation

⇒ These are stylish and elegant pool ladders for above ground pools design engineered with special chemical resins to ensure strength and long lasting use. Good value for money and would bring an overall ambience to your swimming pool.

Review Summary Confer Plastics Access Above Ground Pool Ladders

This pool ladders for above ground pools are meticulously design engineered to ensure optimum safety when you get in and out of your poll without causing any difficulty and also with confidence due to its stability in enabling access.

The Confer Plastics Access Above Ground Pool Ladders surface steps is designed to eliminate skidding and is made of high quality materials which are formulated with special resins to ensure it remains corrosion free. This is the best above ground pool ladders because its versatility is manifold providing safe access, durable long lasting use, UV treated and stylishly designed too. The parts of this above ground pool stairs snap together conveniently enabling quick installation and usage. This above ground pool steps are designed with easily attachable mounting brackets to bring utmost stability to the steps to ensure optimum safety.

These pool ladders for above ground pools are specially designed with side openings to ensure the most minimum of algae growth and which could be easily cleaned when it occurs. The above ground pool ladders are adjustable to fit swimming pools up to 56 inches deep enabling easy installation without much of a hassle. This above ground pool steps holds weights up to 400 pounds and needs about 40 pounds of sand to be poured in for total stabilization.

Pros

  • Holds up to 400 pounds
  • For pools of 56 inches deep
  • Corrosion free materials
  • Side openings prevents algae build up
  • UV treated
  • Easy and quick installation

Cons

  • Needs 40 pounds of sand for weight stabilization

#4. Vinyl Works A Frame Ladder Above Ground Pool

Vinyl Works A Frame Ladder Above Ground Pool reviews

Recommendation

⇒ Elegantly designed and easy to install and use, the best above ground pool ladder if you have not spent anything on a deck. This fits perfectly over the side wall of your above ground pool providing easy access in and out of the pool. Good value for money.

          

Review Summary Vinyl Works A Frame Ladder Above Ground Pool

You don’t need a deck or other higher elevation to access your above ground pool when you use the Vinyl Works, A Frame Ladder Above Ground Pool. This swimming pool ladders are specially design engineered to fit any above ground pool providing easy access into and convenient exit. This “A” type designed pool ladder is convenient to install and very easy to use. This is one of the best above ground pool ladders and serves your purpose well without the need for any additional costs to be incurred in using this ladder compared to any other. These above ground pool ladders facilitate easy entry and exit above side walls of 4.5 feet with flat bottoms.

The molded railings provide easy access and the above ground pool steps could hold user weights of up to 300 pounds ensuring safety at its best. Weight stability is assured with the four base treads and the platform ensuring one user to use it in total safety. The specially formulated high density resin with stainless steel hardware assures this pool ladders for above ground pools provide long lasting and durable us whilst adding style and elegance to your swimming pool. The frame of this above ground pool stairs is rigid when installed providing optimum stability and strength for convenient and easy use.

Pros

  • No deck required
  • Specially formulated resin
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • No corrosion
  • Smart and elegant
  • Holds up to 300 pounds
  • Easy assembly and installation
  • Long lasting use
  • Slide lock design for additional safety

Cons

  • Beware when sliding down lock is released could cause injury

#5. Confer Plastics Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder

Confer Plastics Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder reviews

Recommendation

⇒ These swimming pool steps are easy and safe to use. It is designed and manufactured with the best materials to be anti-corrosion and long lasting. Good value for money.

Review Summary-Confer Plastics Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder

This above ground pool steps are installable with deck heights of up to 60 inches ensuring easy in and out access from your pool. No more pool steps tipping over, tripping or slipping with this versatile above ground pool ladders as they are designed engineered to ensure optimum safety and stability when installed onto your pool. The Confer Plastics Above Ground Swimming Pool Ladder which is delivered in a dismantled condition is easily snapped together to assemble the ladder. The strong mounting brackets ensure firm attachment to the pool deck ensuring added safety and stability. This pool ladders for above ground pools has steps which are 10 inches in depth and 27 inches in width thus providing a firm foothold to prevent against slipping or even missing a step when climbing in or out.

To ensure complete stability whilst installed it is required to pour in sand or any other such material into the four provided openings to add 10 pounds of weight each to enable firm grip inside and outside the pool. The 40 pounds of weight keeps the swimming pool ladders from floating or moving around whilst in the water. This best above ground pool ladder does not hinder or obstruct the free flow of water around it. This prevents the buildup of algae and also the flow of the chemically treated water to circulate around it. This above ground pool stairs holds up to an incredible 400 pounds in weight.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Stable and safe
  • Holds 400 pounds in weight
  • No slipping, tripping or stairs tipping over

Cons

  • Some parts could be difficult to assemble and need some adjustments

#6. Blue Wave Heavy Duty Above Ground Pool Ladder

Blue Wave Heavy Duty Above Ground Pool Ladder - White reviews

Recommendation

⇒ Meets all required standards in safety and is made of high quality resin to prevent corrosion. Holds up to 300 pounds in weight and is strong and sturdy. This pool steps for above ground pool is long lasting and treated against UV rays. Good value for money.

Review Summary Blue Wave Heavy Duty Above Ground Pool Ladder

No rust or corrosion with this pool steps for above ground pool because they are specially design engineered to ensure prevention of just that. The material used in the manufacture of this above ground pool steps is high quality all resin which is lightweight but strong and sturdy. It is delivered in a knockdown condition with very clear and precise instructions in quick installation. No hassles as each of the dismantled parts clip’s in to bring the superlative Blue Wave Heavy Duty Above Ground Pool Ladder – White together and to be used in your above ground pool. Unlike the usual four treads to climb up or down this above ground pool stairs has five which makes even the feeblest and slowest climber to get easily into and out of the water.

The treads are also five inches deep to ensure a firm footing without slipping or tripping in this versatile swimming pool ladders. All required American National Standard Institute (ANSI) and APSP standards and codes are strictly adhered to, especially with regard to child safety. Able to withstand a weight of 300 pounds and adjusts into pools which are 48” to 54” deep. This is one of the best above ground pool ladders that is specially design engineered to attach onto your pool and give you long lasting trouble free usage.

Pros

  • Manufactured from high quality resin
  • No corrosion
  • Easily installed
  • Carries a weight of up to 300 pounds
  • ANSI and APSP certifications
  • For pools 48” to 54” deep

Cons

  • Some issues with installation instructions

#7. Ocean Blue Mighty Above Ground Pools Ladder

Ocean Blue Mighty Above Ground Pools Ladder reviews

Recommendation

⇒ This best above ground pool ladder is designed in perfection and for optimum durability and long lasting use. The materials used in its construction are superlative and are corrosion free. It meets all required standards and is good value for money.

Review Summary-Ocean Blue Mighty Above Ground Pools Ladder

Comfortable step dimensions to ensure safe access up and down without tripping of slipping which is generally a recipe for accidents. Taking this into serious consideration the Ocean Blue Mighty Above Ground Pools Ladder is designed and manufactured with large steps. The steps in this swimming pool ladders are 34 inches in depth, 45 inches in height and 30 inches in width to ensure safety standards are always maintained. This above ground pool steps are built with strength to withstand a weight of 400 pounds and easily fits onto the deck with the two brackets fixed for extra stability.

The other safety feature is the closed tread in the inside which ensures your foot does not slip through and cause injury. The light weight but strong materials used in the construction of this pool steps for above ground pool ensures it lasts for a long time in optimum use and is also resistant to corrosion. The bottoms of the pool need to be flat for this above ground pool stairs to stand straight to ensure stability. The handrails ensure a firm grip when you want to access the pool hence providing easy access. Conveniently attaches onto above ground pools with sidewalls of heights between 48 inches and 54 inches.

Pros

  • Holds up to 400 pounds
  • For pools between 48 inches and 54 inches deep

Cons

  • Some installation issues

#8. Blue Wave NE1145 Above Ground Pool Ladder

Blue Wave NE1145 Above Ground Pool Ladder reviews

Recommendation

⇒ Compared to resin or plastic swimming pool ladders these are strong and stylish too. Wide treads ensures safe and easy accessibility in and out of the pool. This is one of the best above ground pool ladders which is designed engineered to provide years of satisfactory use. Bring style to the environs of your above ground pool with this above ground pool ladders.

Review Summary-Blue Wave NE1145 Above Ground Pool Ladder

Stylish stainless steel pool steps for above ground pool bringing an elegant ambience to the environs and also ensuring easy access in and out of your pool without much of a hassle. These above ground pool ladders are strong and sturdy as the stainless steel rails are reinforced for added stability. These are good for pools that are deep up to 54 inches and are fixed onto the deck and stayed easily by its pivot bottomed in sloped above ground pools. The stainless steel non-skid treads provide a firm foothold to ensure skid free access in and out of the pool. The width of the steps in this swimming pool ladders are 24 inches thus providing a firm grip when you climb up or down. The wide steps in the Blue Wave NE1145 Above Ground Pool Ladder are safe and ensure easy access for adults and kids alike.

These pool ladders for above ground pools are built to withstand cracking, fading, and breaking giving many years of optimum satisfaction and exemplary use. These above ground pool stairs are lightweight at 18 pounds hence easily installed but are strong in usage. Fixing on the deck is made easier with the anchors provided which also add style and complete stability ensuring it does not move around.

Pros

  • Stylish stainless steel
  • Strong and elegant
  • Easy to install
  • For pools 54 inches deep
  • No cracks, fading or breaking
  • Adjusts on uneven bottoms with pivot base
  • 24 inches wide steps

Cons

  • firm grip needed as stainless steel could slip

#9. Confer Gray Economy Above Ground Pool Ladder

Confer Gray Economy Above Ground Pool Ladder reviews

Recommendation

⇒ This above ground pool ladders are strong, durable and long lasting whilst adding beauty and elegance to your deck as well as the pool. This is just perfect to gain access to and from the pool without much of a hassle.

Review Summary- Confer Gray Economy Above Ground Pool Ladder

This best above ground pool ladder is exquisitely design engineered from vinyl resin of very high quality which has anti-corrosion properties for long lasting use. The Confer Gray Economy Above Ground Pool Ladder is vertical in design to ensure strength and stability fitting pools with walls and deck heights between 46 inches and 56 inches. These pool steps for above ground pool is good for use in all flat bottom pools. The four treads are perfectly positioned with the top safety platform sitting flat on the deck for safe and easy transfer of feet without tripping over. The 18 inches width of these swimming pool ladders provide convenient access up and down for adults as well as kids. The height of 56 inches is just right to slip into the pool without much of a fuss.

This above ground pool stairs in a sober but subtle gray color is sure to bring an ambience which adds to the beauty of its surroundings. The color would contrast perfectly with any color of above ground swimming pool you may have in your backyard. Good to hold up to 250 pounds of weight it is just the right above ground pool steps for use an d to add aesthetic beauty to the environs. This pool ladders for above ground pools is everything wrapped up and would bring long lasting satisfaction when in use.

Pros

  • High quality vinyl resin
  • Strong, lightweight and durable
  • Easy to install
  • Convenient to move in or out of the pool
  • Sober color of gray
  • For pools 56 inches deep
  • Could carry 250 pounds
  • Safety step on the deck

Cons

  • Need 10 pounds of sand for stability

#10. Main Access Smart Step Above Ground Pool Ladder

Main Access Smart Step Above Ground Pool Ladder reviews

Recommendation

⇒ Combination pool steps for small above ground swimming pools which is good value for money. You do not need a deck or other high point to access the pool as both the entry and the exit are both built into this.

Review Summary- Main Access Smart Step Above Ground Pool Ladder

This is a combination above ground pool stairs providing steps on either side of the above ground pool. This elegant design eliminates the need to bring another above ground pool steps to facilitate access into the water.

This pool ladders for above ground pools is easily adjustable to perfectly fit pools between 48 inches and 54 inches to ensure no additional issues are required when you would want to fix it after taking delivery. The Main Access Smart Step Above Ground Pool Ladder is delivered in a knockdown condition and is quite easy to assemble it and attach it onto the pool. No tools are required hence it is all a simple DIY even for the not so technically savvy pool owner. This swimming pool ladders has a flow through step design and to ensure safety has a no swim zone also incorporated into it. It is the perfect design for long lasting usage whilst adding an ambience to the deck with its subtle design and sober color.

This is one of the best above ground pool ladders and has been designed especially to be used in small pools. The total unit in the two steps design is easily installed and just what you would want to have in your pool for easy and convenient access. The width of the tread in the above ground pool ladders is 24 inches thus facilitating safe entry and exit without any hassle. These exquisitely designed walk in steps for above ground pool makes entry and exit that much simple and convenient. High quality materials used hence corrosion free.

Pros

  • Easy entry and exit
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Long lasting
  • Elegantly designed
  • Combination steps
  • Corrosion free

Cons

  • Installation may need some technical knowledge

Why You Need A Pool Ladder?

It might be quite a cumbersome endeavor to get into an above ground pool without the facility of a pool step in place. The walls of the above ground pool are about four to five feet in height hence scaling that height could be quite arduous for kids and adults too. Swimming pool ladders are an important and integrated requirement to enter and exit above ground pools. Hence it is imperative that this access is installed and the one that would select would need to be perfect to fit your above ground pool like a hand and a glove.

Different Types of Pool Ladders in Market

There are different types of pool ladders that are available to us but it is imperative that we select the right one to fit our specific pool. When our pool is an above ground then we need to take every factor into consideration before we order one.

     1. A-frame Pool Ladder

This is an above ground pool stairs which provides access into the pool and outside too. It is in an “A” design and hence the name it has derived from. The steps are on either side of the above ground pool wall and are therefore easy to access but would need to be well stabilized to prevent any tipping over. The heights are generally adjustable to ensure it spills over on either side of the above ground pool wall. These above ground pool ladders are easily installed and attached.

     2. Deck-to-pool Ladders

An above ground pool which has a deck could accommodate a deck-to-pool ladder which facilitates easy access into the pool from the deck. It also ensures easy and convenient exit from the pool onto the deck. These above ground pool steps are available in many materials from tough plastic, chemical resin, stainless steel and others. The handrails that these ladders are equipped with would ensure easy and convenient access into the pool from the deck.

     3. Ladder and Step Combination System

These also eliminate the need for a deck by providing easy access into and out from the pool. The ladder and step combination could have the ladder inside the pool and the step outside or it could be vice versa. This is movable around the above ground pool as and when required. This ladder and step combination could cost less than having a deck and is a more economical option.

     4. Ladder or Steps to a Deck

These are either ladders or steps which facilitate access from the pool onto the deck. These ladders could be either suspended from the deck hence not extending all the way down to the floor of the pool. On the other which is a step they would be placed from the floor of the pool to gain access to the deck. One could be a cheaper option than the other.

     5. Full Stair Gated Enclosure

This is a gated enclosure from where you access the pool. There is total security here especially if there are kids around who would need to be kept safe and away from danger. The full stair would extend down to the floor of the above ground pool and it would be pilfer proofed and in all probability lockable. Safety is the primary concern here and it would be strategically achieved. It is always better to be safe rather than to be sorry later hence every precaution to ensure no danger occurs should be a very high priority.

What to Consider When Buying an Above Ground Pool Ladder

The most important aspect to consider before buying an above ground pool ladder is safety. To ensure stringent safety standards are maintained there are many statutory regulations which manufacturers have to follow very strictly. The American National Standards Institute and the APSP are some of the bodies looking into the safety standards. There have been many accidents that have occurred in swimming pools hence the regulators have a hawk’s eye view on what are sold especially in the United States.

The other aspect which is important to consider when looking for an above ground pool ladder is the ease and convenience of climbing in and out of the pool. You could invest in the most expensive pool ladder but if it does not serve the purpose of convenience then it is useless. From wherever you may access the above ground pool, the factor of convenience should be fulfilled without an iota of inconvenience.

     1. How Big Is It?

The size of your above ground pool ladders generally depends on your requirements. These could be the size of your pool and the number of persons using it regularly. A deck to access the pool could determine the size of your pool ladder. The weight of the persons who regularly use the above ground pool would also come into play.

     2. How Heavy Is It?

The lighter the above ground pool stairs the better it is because if you need to move it around the pool for any reason the weight matters. Most of the best above ground pool ladders are strong, sturdy and durable. Most of them are also very light and some are weighted down with sand or similar materials to ensure it does not move around in the water. Once the sand is removed they become very light and easily movable.

     3. How Stable Is It?

Stability is important because the pool steps for above ground pools should not tip over or float in the water. If it is light it could tip over but stability could be achieved by weighing the above ground pool steps by weighing it down. Sand is one type of material that is used to stabilize above ground pool steps. Stability is important because if not you could have accidents which is imperative to be avoided. The access to your above ground pool should be carefully thought of when you are installing one. If your stair, step or ladder is not stable do not use it until you have rectified the issue.

     4. How Much Weight Can It Handle?

There are some above ground pool ladders which are able to carry weights of up to 400 pounds which is a good boast and one that would tilt the scale in its favor. Though these swimming pool ladders are lightweight they are extremely strong, because they are built with materials that are extremely strong. If you buy an above ground pool ladder, stairs or steps it would be still prudent of you to be careful and throw caution to the winds when using it. If you are a heavy individual it would be double reason to ensure you place every step with due care. Accidents could happen hence being vary of danger would be in your best interest.

     5. How Long Will It Last?

Most of these above ground pool steps are design engineered to last a very long time. Careful usage comes into play and is important criteria to determine how long it serves you and access to your pool. Most of them are also treated to withstand the harsh weather conditions hence apprising yourself on these issues would be prudent. Purchasing the best above ground pool ladders and then ensuring proper care and usage could prolong the life of your pool ladder, stairs or steps.

     6. How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of the best above ground pool ladder could begin at a couple of hundreds of dollars climbing up on the graph to just above $500 or so. They all serve the same purpose hence being prudent in your choosing and taking the cost factor seriously into consideration would be your prerogative. Looking around different manufacturers quote various prices and buying one to fit your purse is not a very arduous task.

Swimming Pool Ladders vs. Swimming Pool Stairs

Swimming pool ladders are generally suspended from the deck with one end fixed onto it. On the contrary above ground pool stairs are steadfastly placed on either the ground outside the above ground pool or inside the pool to exit onto the deck. The other difference is that above ground pool ladders have ladder types of step fixed onto it whilst above ground pool stairs have closed and easily accessible step like access up or down. They both serve the same purpose but above ground pool stairs are a safer option because even if you slip the closed wall in front of your toes would protect you. This is not the case with above ground pool ladders.